Thursday, October 10, 2013

Introduction to the Gospel of John

Today I lectured on the introduction to the Gospel of John. After 20 minutes speaking about the main essay, "Jesus was a Jew" and the final exams I launched into introducing my favourite Gospel in just under 2 hours with a 20 minutes break in between. I spoke about the difference between the synoptic Gospels and the Fourth Gospel, authorship, dating, provenance, and spent 30 minutes on the structure of John divided into 5 main sections according to the Feasts of the Jews listed by the evangelist.

After that, I spent about 3 minutes on each chapter, elucidating a motif or theme prominent in each of the 21 chapters beginning with the prologue, the signs in John 2 and 4, then another Feast in John 5 and Jesus' healing of the invalid. I spoke about the 38 years of illness as a symbol of Israel's wandering in spiritual wilderness until the Messiah came to rescue Israel (symbolized by the paralyzed man). The bell rang 11:20am as I was answering one final question and we rushed to our weekly Family Groups gathering in my flat. We had an extended time of discussion on church growth, preaching, what makes a good sermon, leadership, etc and we continued our conversation over beef spaghetti until 1:15pm.

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