John 1 – Intro / Prologue

Biola University – Fall 2012
Johannine Literature
Dr. Klink


  1. Narrative and Text
    60% Bible is story / Engaging into the story
    Don’t focus on the verse numbers, focus on the story
    What is plot?

    • Plot has connection and intention
    • Story (Overarching story that God wants to tell; Present and Past)


  2. Structure
    Every passages / “pericope”: a train of thought / complete full story

    1. Introduction & Setting
    2. Conflict
    3. Resolution
    4. Conclusion or Interpretation or Response


  3. Dialogues
    1. Challenge: Informal debate (not any specific… but for honor)
      Honor/position in society was a form of currency
    2. Conflict: Formal debate. Not just honor/shame but about Theology
    3. Rhetorical: opposition so strong (slam) i.e. Gentiles vs. Jews / Ridicule

    We want to get behind the text. By going through it, not around it.
    Like a path that goes from A to B, we must take the journey though it. Through the text. God wrote it, we don’t want to put too much from the front.

  4. Author(s)
    • Human (Limitations)
    • God

Historical Book
Dealing with interpretations of history
Can be subjective


Verses 1:1-18
(Argument: Not original 1:19-20:31)
Many scholars believe they are both not original
7:53-8:11 Missing Manuscripts
All copies have prologue

Other introductions and prologues:
Matthew – Geneology (strong language of fulfilment / king)
Mark – Title (Grand announcement)Luke – Address to Office / Preface (Academic)
John – Prologue


  • Reveals plot / introducing conflict and resolution
    ā†’ Historical Strand
    ā†’ Cosmological strand (beyond limitations, God/Word/Spirit = One)
  • Introduces characters
  • “Unseen forces”
1:1-5 = Parallel = Genesis 1:1-5
v.17 First mention of Jesus, attention to word 1st
“Word” OT / Genesis
“Word” Spoken word / Message
“Word” Jesus Christ
Pre 1870’s v. 1:2 “This one” was in the beginning, not personally/personalized
until made flesh
should all be neuter until v.10Here’s the real problem: Our problem is not the problem
Light and darkness is the problem – sin
Ginomai (v.3 used three times emphatically) = made
Eleven used of ginomai: vv. 3, 6, 10, 14, 18
Connected to creation
Used a key moments (Nicodemus etc.)
Linking John right next, through John for Jesus Christ1:6-8 (ginomai – 11 times (v.3) three times etc)
1:7 Witness – impersonal language, Jesus as “Light”
1:9-13 The true light “was” coming
1:10 He but still a title “it”
“It was in the world” end of v.10 “it” turns into “him”
grammatically incorrect use of pronoun
Light changes into a man
Neuter = cosmos, Masculine = personal
1:11 recapping grand story God is creating, coming to His people
1:12 “yet” or “but” is Gospel grade/grace
“right” or “authority” not ours to control or have
Children of God introduction of character (Who is this? Gospel.)
“become (5th ginomai) children of God”
“made (6th ginomai) through Him” Creative work God is doing
“But to all…” “But (of) God…”
1:14 “Word (7th ginomai) flesh” significance of the 7th use of ginomai / intentional
flesh – suffering / broken / death / OT fulfillment / sacrafice
Matches sacrafice language
“one and only son” form of ginomai = unique son
Greek words have three categories: Masculine / Feminine / Neuter (Non-gender)
1:16-17 “grace in place of grace” substitution
“grace on top of grace” additional
New covenant is also grace
Gospel has goodness
incomplete notes. end section. —

1:19-27 John Baptist story assumed to be well known
“Who are you?” Big deal that Jews sent priests / Levites (both are intellects and political)
1:20 In words expressing positive of John from narrator
Starts by negating but not answering question
1:22 Demanding for why/what are you doing without authority
Challenges them
1:23 Jews all asking John, John asks what is God doing
1:26 Foot strap, distancing of himself to Jesus. Viewed as degrading. Not as far as washing feet.
not worthy enough / feet washing = wiping backside
humility / reverence – don’t get comfortable with Jesus
We are not worthy, we are small
Don’t make God smaller
Only in the name of Jesus, we have no authority except through him
1:29 John’s recognition is that Jesus is international
Not only world of Israel. Shocking to Jesus.
Lamb imagery. Oldest sons will live but God’s will die.
1:32 highlighting significance of spirit over manifestation
anointing / authority / by God
no crowd mention to make audience unlimited
baptism of the spirit
1:35 Assumption of audience knows Simon Peter’s brother
1:37 shows John fulfilling purpose – witness to Christ
1:38 “turned around” (Hebrew: OT “Lord, return…”) Ps. 90:13
Zech 1:3 “Return to me and I’ll return to you”
Potent to OT readers
Malachi, fulfillment -> God had returned
“What are you seeking” first record of words from Jesus
Explanation of terms “rabbi” “Cephas”
Writing for gentiles possibly
“Come and you will see” resurrection (Chapter 20)
Without seeing, will I believe? What are you looking for?
They began their discipleship
1:39 First time God is dwelling with his people
1:40 Narrator slowly reveals, anonymous character now personalized
“one of the two” = Andrew (Simon Peter’s brother)
Who is the other? Another purpose to anonymity, from the beginning, one of the first, unnamed, ideal witness
Anonymity purpose is to direct attention to Jesus
1:41-42 Renaming of person is authority of the giver
Jesus looking at him declares him as disciple
Lamb of God looking at Son of John