This unit will explore the content, literary character, theology and setting of the Gospel of John. Students will be introduced to both traditional interpretations and contemporary insights. They will study selected major passages in detail, bearing in mind the Gospel’s literary structure and its theological concerns. Particular attention will be devoted to those Johannine passages that play a key role in the lectionaries of the various Christian Churches.

Unit code: BN3180C

Unit status: Approved (Minor revision)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 3

Unit discipline: New Testament

Proposing College: Catholic Theological College

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Learning outcomes


Demonstrate close familiarity with the text, structure, and major theological ideas of the Gospel of John.


Discuss the social, historical, and religious context in which the Gospel of John was written.


Undertake detailed exegesis of passages from the Gospel of John, using the historical-critical method.


Reflect theologically on key themes of the Gospel of John, elucidating their insights for today.


Compare recent scholarly analyses of topics in the Gospel of John.

Unit sequence

Two Biblical Studies units at second level


Each 3-hour class comprises 2 hours of interactive lecture and discussion and 1 hour of structured group discussion and interpretation focused on biblical passages and/or secondary readings.

Indicative Bibliography

  • Brown, Raymond E. The Gospel According to John. 2 vol. Anchor Bible 29 and 29A. New York: Doubleday, 1966–1970.
  • Brown, Sherri, and Francis J. Moloney. Interpreting the Gospel and [the] Letters of John: An Introduction. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2017.
  • Byrne, Brendan. Life Abounding: A Reading of John’s Gospel. Strathfield: St Pauls Publications, 2014.
  • Edwards, Ruth B. Discovering John: Content, Interpretation, Reception. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2015.
  • Lee, Dorothy A. Flesh and Glory: Symbol, Gender and Theology in the Gospel of John. New York: Crossroad Publishing, 2002.
  • Lincoln, Andrew L. The Gospel According to Saint John. Black’s New Testament Commentaries. London: Continuum, 2005.
  • Loader, William. Jesus in John’s Gospel: Structure and Issues in Johannine Christology. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2017.
  • Moloney, Francis J. The Gospel of John. Sacra Pagina 4. Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 1998 (or 2005 ed.).
  • Segovia, Fernando F., ed. “What is John?” 2 vols. SBL Symposium Series 3 and 7. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1996–1998.
  • Schneiders, Sandra M. Written That You May Believe: Encountering Jesus in the Fourth Gospel. Rev. ed. New York: Crossroad Publishing, 2003.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Variant 1

Report 1500 30.0
Essay 2500 50.0
Written Examination - 1-hour written examination (equivalent to 1000 words) 1000 20.0

Variant 2

Report 1500 30.0
Essay 2500 50.0
Oral Examination - 15-minute oral examination (equivalent to 1000 words) 1000 20.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Maggie Kappelhoff on 30 Sep, 2021

Unit record last updated: 2021-09-30 16:34:26 +1000