Understanding John (MA/PhD)


Fall 2023
Wed 4:00pm - 5:50pm

MA and PhD students should be well-founded in the gospels, as part of being a generalist in the New Testament. The life, death and resurrection of Jesus is at the very core of our faith, and the gospels are the primary means of how we come to know him. Understanding the Gospel of John is particularly crucial, though it is often neglected. The Gospel of John is distinctive from the Synoptics (Matthew, Mark and Luke), in part because the author interprets and explains the meaning of what Jesus said and did more deeply, and therefore has had a major impact on Christology in the early church and throughout church history. This course is devoted to studying the theology of John, delving into the profound way that the story Jesus’s life, death and resurrection shaped the theological tradition. While Christology is of central interest, we will look at how the Gospel of John shaped Christian life and thought in a number of areas.


  • Be able to outline the major topics in the theology of the Gospel of John
  • Identify the dominant and distinctive emphases in John’s portrayal of Jesus
  • Determine the context(s) out of which the theology of John developed


  • Be an academic and teacher equipped to teach this subject
  • Encounter Jesus in John
  • Be spiritually transformed as you study


  • Construct a biblical theology of a topic in John
  • Research John’s portrayal of Jesus and contrast it with the Synoptics
  • Compose a syllabus on Understanding the Gospel of John