Scripture Truth Banner
Bible Study



Book 4 of 27 in the New Testament


1. Author

The writer is identified as the disciple who leaned on Jesus and the one whom Jesus loved, but not specifically named.

The gospel has unique references :

a. Jn.11 Lazarus. He is not mentioned in the synoptics, this we presume is because Lazarus was alive when the synoptics were written, so thus protecting him, so this implies a late date for John’s gospel.

b. Intimate knowledge of both the trial ( Jn. 18:15) and of the crucifixion (Jn.19:25-27) of Jesus

c. The counting of the fish in Jn.21:11. This implies the writer was a fisherman since this was the common practice of the day..

External sources point clearly to the apostle John. People like Irenaeus (c.180 AD), a disciple of Polycarp, writes that John wrote this fourth gospel, at the end of the first century.

2. Purpose

And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.


John tells us his reason for writing: that we may believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and that we may have eternal life by so doing. The signs (=indication) which John mentions are chosen for that specific purpose.

Number The Sign Ref. Quote
1. Water to Wine 2:11 His disciples believed on Him
2. Nobleman’s son healed 4:484:53 Except ye see miracles ye will not believe he ( the nobleman) believed himself.
3. Man at Bethesda 5:47 If ye don’t believe Moses’s words how shall you believe Jesus’s?
4. 5000 fed 6:14 Those who saw the miraclesaid”this…is that prophet….”
5. Jesus walking on Water 6:16-21 The disciples willingly received Him
6. Blind man healed 9:38 The healed man said: ” I believe”
7 Lazarus raised from the dead 11:45 many of the jews believed on Jesus
8. Draught of fish 21:12 No one dare ask who it was for they all knew it was the Lord.

3. Outline

a) The prologue
The prologue is somewhat unique, it acts like the opening of a symphony. The main themes of the book are contained in it and they are developed as John unfolds the word.


Prologue ref. Theme Other example refs. in John
1:1-2 a. Christ’s pre-existence and Deity b. Christ’s fellowship with the Father Jn.8:58Jn.17:5
1:4 Christ the Life Jn.11:25;14:6
1:14 The Incarnation Jn.6:32-35
1:17 The law by Moses, but grace and truth by Jesus Jn.5:45-47

The above is only a sample, the reader is invited to study this aspect further!

b) Chapter outline

Jesus the Son Of God

Chapter Verses Content
1 1-18 The prologue
19-51 John the Baptist and the calling of the first disciples
2 1-25 Sign 1.Water into Wine
3 1-36 Teaching on New Birth
4 1-45 The woman at the well, teaching on the water of life.
46-54 Sign 2.The Nobleman’s son
5 1-15 Sign 3.The man at Bethesda
16-47 Teaching on those things that testify of Jesus
6 1-15 Sign 4. The feeding of the 5000+
16-21 Sign 5. Jesus walks on the water.
22-71 Teaching on the bread of life
7 1-53 Teaching on the coming of the Spirit
8 1-11 The woman caught in adultery
12-59 Teaching on the light of the world, the Son making free and Christ’s Deity
9 1-41 Sign 6.The man born blind healed
10 1-41 Teaching on the Good Shepherd
11 1-57 Sign 7.Lazarus raised from the dead, and teaching on the resurrection and the life
12 1-50 The entry into Jerusalem and teaching about the corn of wheat.
13 1-38 The washing of the disciples’ feet and the last supper
14-16 1-31 Teaching. The coming of another comforter, the true vine etc.
17 1-26 The ‘high priestly’ prayer of the Lord Jesus
18 1-40 Jesus arrested and the interview before Pilate
19 1-42 The crucifixion
20 1-31 The Resurrection
21 1-25 Sign 8.Thedraught of fish, teaching following Jesus

4. Some themes for study

a) The I am s of Jesus
When Jesus uses ‘I am’ it literally means: I, I am, ie it is emphatic, and when Jesus uses this He is identifying Himself with the God of the burning bush.

And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.


Where the same Greek is used in the LXX.

4:25-26 The confession of Jesus that He is the Messiah
5:42 Jesus has come in the Father’s name
6:35,41,48,51 Jesus being the bread of Life
8:12 Jesus the light of the world
8:23 Jesus from above
8:28 Jesus is the I,I am He
8:58 Before Abraham was Jesus is the I AM
10:7,9 Jesus is the door of the sheep
10:10 Jesus is come to give Life
10:11 Jesus is the good shepherd
11:25 Jesus is the resurrection and the life
14:6 Jesus is the Way, Truth and Life
18:5 Jesus’ confession on being arrested
14:10-11 Jesus is in the Father

There are others, and the reader is encouraged to search them out, but the ones given are the main occurrences.

b) The I will’s of Jesus

Again here is a selection

2:19 Talking about His own resurrection
6:37 He will not cast out any who come to Him
6:40,44 He will raise up those that believe on Him
6:51 He will give His flesh for the life of the world.
14:3 He will come again to receive us
14:14 Anything we ask in His name He will do it
14:16 He will ask for the Comforter
14:18 He will not leave us comfortless
15:26 He will send the Comforter