For the official studies, grab them here.
The purpose of John’s Gospel is stated by John (20:30-31). It’s “written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”
John is concerned to demonstrate who Jesus is, to explain the salvation that he has come to give and to demonstrate that in him the eschatological age has dawned. Jesus is the fulfilment of the entire sweep of the Old Testament, “He is the new temple, the one of whom Moses wrote, the true bread from heaven, the true Son, the genuine vine, the tabernacle, the serpent in the wilderness, the passover” (Carson). Jesus has brought in the last times, the age of fulfilment – the Spirit has been given and eternal life is available now.
The author of this Gospel is generally agreed to be John the Apostle of Jesus – although he refers to himself in this Gospel as “the disciple that Jesus loved” (John 13:23-25, 19:26-27, 20:1-10, 21:1-25).
It was most likely written between 80-85 AD, but there is much debate about this.
The audience for this gospel is most likely Jews and those familiar with Jewish practices & history – which is why there’s little explanation about Jewish practices.
John is written differently to the other synoptic gospels – Matthew, Mark and Luke. Where as the other Gospels focus in Jesus ministry in Galilee, John’s Gospel talks nearly entirely on Jesus ministry in Judea.
Themes in John
Some themes raised in John 1:1-18 that’ll be dealt with throughout the book:
– Light / Darkness
– Eternal life
– Jesus as God
– The Spirit
Looking for a bit of extra background and reading. Here are some books you might want to get.
Good commentaries on John that are easy to read:
More technical commentaries: