This unit offers a critical scholarly study of the theological, literary, and pastoral significance of The Gospel of John within its First-Century context. It will include a study of the emergence of Johannine Christianity and its relationship to Judaism following the destruction of Jerusalem, and the distinctive Johannine response to this event. Using narrative-critical methods the unit will follow the text of the Gospel, particularly in its structural and symbolic elements, in order to elucidate the particular theology of this Gospel.

Unit code: BN9013Y

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: New Testament

Proposing College: Yarra Theological Union

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Learning outcomes


Examine and explain the background, structure, themes, literary forms and terminology of the Gospel


Evaluate information from the primary and secondary sources, particularly by using databases relevant to this subject and effectively to communicate it in both oral and written form


Identify the characteristics of narrative critical methods as distinct from historical critical methods


Write an exegetical paper on a specific text demonstrating appropriate skills in biblical interpretation


Synthesize and explain the unique theology of John’s Gospel in relation to its first-century context

Unit sequence

At least one foundational unit in Biblical Studies, preferably two units


Through questions and reading tasks I engage students with the biblical text using an enquiry method, supported by lectures.

Indicative Bibliography

  • NRSV Bible with the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books [RSV is also acceptable]
  • Brown, R. E. An Introduction to the Gospel of John: Edited, updated, introduced, and concluded by Francis J. Moloney. ABRL. New York, NY: Doubleday, 2003.
  • Culpepper, R. Alan, and Paul N. Anderson, eds. John and Judaism: A Contested Relationship in Context. RBS 87, Atlanta, GA: SBL, 2017.
  • Hunt, Steven A., D. Francois Tolmie and Ruben Zimmermann,eds. Character Studies in the Fourth Gospel: Narrative Approaches to Seventy Figures in John, Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2013.
  • Koester, C.R. The Word of Life: A Theology of John’s Gospel. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2008.
  • Lee, D. A. Flesh and Glory: Symbol, Gender and the Theology in the Gospel of John. New York, NY: Crossroad, 2002.
  • Lincoln, A. T. The Gospel According to Saint John. Black’s New Testament Commentary. London: Contiuum, 2005.
  • Moloney, F. J. The Gospel of John. Sacra Pagina 4. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1998. (recommended for purchase)
  • Reynolds, Benjamin E. and Gabriele Boccaccini, eds. Reading the Gospel of John’s Christology as Jewish Messianism: Royal, Prophetic and Divine Messiahs, Leiden: Brill, 2018.
    • Wheaton, Gerry. The Role of Jewish Feasts in John’s Gospel. SNTSMS 162. Cambridge: CUP, 2015.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Exegetical Essay

Exegetical Essay 4500 words

(A taped oral exam will be an option to be used at the lecturer’s discretion when a student may be disadvantaged in written assessment such as a student with English as a second language.)

4500 60.0

Exegesis 2500 words

2500 40.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 27 Sep, 2019

Unit record last updated: 2021-06-07 08:43:50 +1000