‘St John the Evangelist’ Domenico Zampieri (1581-1641)

Course Description

The Gospel of John is undoubtedly one of the finest pieces of Christian literature the world has ever seen. Written for Jews and Jewish Christians living throughout the Mediterranean world of the late first, and early second century, this Gospel was “written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name” (Jn 20:31).

Known in the early church as the “spiritual” Gospel, John presents the character of Jesus with magnificent beauty and literary artistry. Right from his opening chapter, John presents Jesus to us as the eternal Word of God, only begotten Son of the Father, who has become one of us, in the flesh (Jn 1:14; 16:28). In sending his Son, God the Father calls us all into his own divine family (Jn 1:12). With this magnificent revelation of our vocation to divine son and daughter-ship, the towering mystery revealed in John’s Gospel is the divine family of God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

As John shows, our new life as God’s adopted children is bestowed upon us through our baptism (Jn 3:5), is sustained by our new heavenly Father as he nourishes us with divine food (Jn 6:32, 51; 7:37-39), we are educated in the truth (Jn 8:31-32; 16:13), and he protects us from all evils (Jn 17:15). Jesus models the life of divine sonship to perfection (Jn 13:15), showing us how to worship the Father in “spirit and truth” (Jn 4:23-24).

With its distinctive Jewish flavor, John has countless allusions to scriptural and liturgical symbols associated with the people of Israel. In fact, as the famous Catholic biblical scholar Raymond Brown noted last century, John’s Gospel can be known as the ‘Johannine Sacramentary.’ By this he means that John’s Gospel is packed with sacramental symbolism and allusion. For example, there are allusions to baptism (Jn 3, 4, 7, 9, 13, 19), marriage (Jn 2), penance (Jn 20), anointing of the sick (Jn12), and the Eucharist (Jn 6, 19).

So join us for this exciting course where we will discover the power of the divine life Jesus has won for us, which the Father wishes to grant us through the work of the Spirit.

Course Objectives

  1. To achieve the very purpose for which John wrote this Gospel: “These were written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name” (Jn 20:31).
  2. To gain a greater appreciation of the divine life Jesus has come to give us, from God the Father, through the Holy Spirit.
  3. To grasp the sacramental nature of John’s Gospel.

Course Duration

6 Weeks: 12 Hours (i.e., two hours, one night a week).

Recommended Reading

Texts Recommended for Purchase by Course Participants:

Kelly, Anthony J. and Francis J. Moloney. Experiencing God in the Gospel of John. New Jersey: Paulist Press, 2003.

Popular Level Reading:

Bauckham, Richard. The Testimony of the Beloved Disciple: Narrative, History, and Theology in the Gospel of John. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2007.

Brown, Raymond E. A Retreat With John the Evangelist: That You May Have Life. Ohio: St. Anthony Messenger Press, 1998.

Coloe, Mary L. Dwelling in the Household of God: Johannine Ecclesiology and Spirituality. Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 2007.

Hahn, Scott and Curtis Mitch. The Ignatius Catholic Bible Study: The New Testament. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2010.

_________. The Ignatius Catholic Bible Study: John. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2003, 2nd ed. 2012.

Thematic Works for this Course:

Achtemeier, Paul J. Inspiration and Authority: Nature and Function of Christian Scripture. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 1999.

Béchard, Dean P. ed. and trans. The Scripture Documents: An Anthology of Official Catholic Teachings. Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 2002.

Bruce, F.F. The New Testament Documents: Are they Reliable? Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1981.

Catholic Church. Catechism of the Catholic Church. Homebush: St Pauls, 1994.

_________. The Historicity of the Gospels: Instruction of the Pontifical Biblical Commission. Boston: Pauline Books and Media, 1964.

_________. The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church: Address of His Holiness John Paul II and Document of the Pontifical Biblical Commission. Boston: St Paul Books and Media, 1993.

_________. Vatican Council II: The Conciliar and Post Conciliar Documents, New Revised Edition, vol. 1. Edited by Austin Flannery. New York: Costello Publishing Company, 1996.

Dauphinais, Michael and Matthew Levering. Holy People, Holy Land: A Theological Introduction to the Bible. Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press, 2005.

Farkasfalvy, Denis. Inspiration and Interpretation: A Theological Introduction to Sacred Scripture. Washington DC. The Catholic University of America Press, 2010.

Geisler, Norman L. and William C. Roach. Defending Inerrancy: Affirming the Accuracy of Scripture for a New Generation. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2011.

Hahn, Scott. A Father Who Keeps His Promises: God’s Covenant Love in Scripture. Michigan: Servant Publications, 1998.

_________. A Pocket Guide to the Bible. Huntington, IN: Our Sunday Visitor Division, 2008.

_________. Scripture Matters: Essays on Reading the Bible from the Heart of the Church. Steubenville, Ohio: Emmaus Road, 2003.

Shea, Mark P. Making Senses out of Scripture: Reading the Bible as the First Christians Did. San Diego: Basilica Press, 1999.

Sri, Edward. The Bible Compass: A Catholic’s Guide to Navigating the Scriptures. West Chester, PA: Ascension Press, 2009.

Stravinskas, Peter M.J. The Catholic Church and the Bible. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1996.

Twelfree, Graham H. Jesus the Miracle Worker: A Historical and Theological Study. Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1999.

Vanhoozer, Kevin J. (ed.) Theological Interpretation of the New Testament: A Book-by-Book Survey. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2005, 2008.

_________. (ed.) Theological Interpretation of the Old Testament: A Book-by-Book Survey. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2005, 2008.

Scholarly Level Reading:

Blomberg, Craig L. The Historical Reliability of John’s Gospel: Issues and Commentary. Downers Grove: IL: InterVarsity Press, 2001.

Brown, Raymond E. The Community of the Beloved Disciple: The Life, Loves and Hates of an Individual Church in New Testament Times. New York: Paulist Press, 1979.

_________. An Introduction to the Gospel of John. Edited by Francis J. Moloney. New York: Doubleday, 2003.

_________. The Gospel According to John I-XII. London: Geoffrey Chapman, 1982.

_________. The Gospel According to John, XIII-XXI. London: Geoffrey Chapman, 1982.

_________. The Gospel and Epistles of John: A Concise Commentary. Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1988.

Bruner, Frederick Dale. The Gospel of John: A Commentary. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2012.

Corell, Alf. Consummatum Est: Eschatology and Church in the Gospel of John. London: SPCK, 1958.

Culpepper, R. Alan. Imagery in the Gospel of John: Terms, Forms, Themes, and Theology of Johannine Figurative Language. Edited by Jörg Frey, Jan G. van der Watt and Ruben Zimmermann. Mohr Siebeck, 2006.

Donahue, John R. Life in Abundance: Studies of John’s Gospel in Tribute to Raymond E. Brown. Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 2005.

Glasson, T.F. Moses in the Fourth Gospel. London: SCM Press, 1963.

Koester, Craig R. Symbolism in the Fourth Gospel: Meaning, Mystery, Community. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2003.

Kostenberger, Andreas J. A Theology of John’s Gospel and Letters: The Word, the Christ, the Son of God (Biblical Theology of the New Testament Series). Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2009.

Moloney, Francis, J. The Gospel of John. (Sacra Pagina Series, vol. 4). Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1998.

Ridderbos, Herman N. The Gospel according to John: A Theological Commentary. Translated by John Vriend. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1997.

Scholarly Journal Articles:

Canales, Arthur D. “A Rebirth of Being ‘Born Again’: Theological, Sacramental and Pastoral Reflections from a Roman Catholic Perspective.” Journal of Pentecostal Theology 11:1 (2002): 98-119(22).

Celsor, Scott. “The Human Response in the Creation and Formation of Faith: A Narrative Analysis of John 12:20-50 and its Application to the Doctrine of Justification.” Horizons in Biblical Theology 30 (2008): 115-135.

Charlesworth, James. “The Historical Jesus in the Fourth Gospel: A Paradigm Shift?” Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus 8 (1) (2010): 3-46.

Dennis, John. “Restoration in John 11:47-52 Reading the Key Motifs in their Jewish Context.” Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses 8111 (2005): 57-86.

Farelly, Nicolas. “John 2:23-25 What Kind of Faith is This?” Presbyterion 30 (2004): 37-45.

Hahn, Scott W. “Temple, Sign, and Sacrament: Towards a New Perspective on the Gospel of John.” Letter & Spirit 4 (2008): 107-144.

Heil, John Paul. “Jesus as the Unique High Priest in the Gospel of John.” The Catholic Biblical Quarterly 57 (1995): 729-745.

Jintae, Kim. “The Concept of Atonement in the Gospel of John.” Journal of Greco-Roman Christianity and Judiasm 6 (2009): 9-27.

Kim, Stephen S. “The Relationship of John 1:19-51 to the Book of Signs in John 2-12.” Bibliotheca Sacra 165 (2008): 323-327.

Koester, Craig R. “Messianic Exegesis and the Call of Nathanael (John 1:45-51).” Journal for the Study of the New Testament 12(39) (1990): 23.

Leal, Juan. “The Hour of Jesus and the Hour of His Mother (John 2:4).” Estudios Eclesiáticos 26 (1952): 147-168.

Pitre, Brant. “Jesus, the New Temple, and the New Priesthood.” Letter & Spirit 4 (2008): 47-84.

Scaer, Peter J. “Jesus and the Woman at the Well: Where Mission Meets Worship.” Concordia Theological Quarterly 67:1 (2003): 3-18.

Schneiders, Sandra M. “The Raising of the New Temple: John 20:19-23 and Johannine Ecclesiology.” New Testament Studies 52 (2006): 337-355.

Story, Cullen I K. “The Mental Attitude of Jesus at Bethany: John 11:33, 38.” New Testament Studies, 37 (1991): 51-66.