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Sections of the Apostolic Writings
The Gospels and Acts • The “Pauline” Letters • General Letters • End Times


The Good News of the Kingdom According to
Yochanan:
Yeshua, the Son of God



Introductory Notes and Outline

Author: Yochanan Ben-Zavdai (“the Talmid Whom Yeshua Loved”)
Theme: Yeshua as Moshiach ben Elohim — the Eternal Son of God
Date of Writing: approximately 85-90 CE
Target Audience: All people everywhere (but particularly to his personal talmidim in Asia Minor)

Theme and Purpose

Yochan’s letter is often referred to as “the Universal Gospel” for all people everywhere, and presents Yeshua in His absolute Deity (see the comments on why here are four Gospel versions). His primary purpose in writing this Gospel account is “that you may believe that Yeshua is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name” (Jn 20:31.) His secondary purpose, according to tradition, was to answer a request from the bishops of Asia Minor to answer the heresy of the Ebionites, who asserted that Yeshua did not exist before Mary.

He presents Yeshua as the Son of God (Jn 1:34; Jn 1:49, etc.), who was sent from God (Jn 3:2; Jn 6:46, etc.) and always spoke the message that God gave Him (Jn 3:34; Jn 7:16-17, etc.). Accordingly, the words “believe” and “life” and the titles “Son” and “Son of God” are used many more times than in the Synoptics. He also characteristically frequently uses the words “true,” “truth,” “love,” “witness,” and “kosmoß (kosmos, world).” He alone records the great “I AM” declarations of Yeshua (Jn 6:35; Jn 8:12; Jn 10:7; Jn 10:11; Jn 11:25; Jn 14:6). These are significant in that the prase used in the Greek text is ego eimi, ego eimi (I AM), the name by which He revealed Himself to Moshe from the burning bush (Exod 3:14). See especially my note on the eternal significance of Jn 18:1-8, Yochanan alone records in detail the conflict between Yeshua and the religious establishment of His day (chapters 7-12).

Author

The human co-author of this Gospel account is Yochanan Ben-ZavdaiJohn, son of Zebedee. Along with his brother of Ya'akovJacob, falsly translated as “James” in honor of the King who authorized the KJV and Shimon KefaSimon Peter, he was a member of the “inner circle” of Yeshua’s talmidimdiksciples, described as “the talmiddiksciple whom Yeshua loved,” and one of those nearest to Yeshua in His most private moments, as the Transfiguration and his agony in Gethsemente. It was to this Talmid that Yeshua commended His mother at the moment of His death. Rav Sha'ula.k.a. Paul of Tarsus referred to him as “one of the pillars” of HaDerek, The Way, as the Yeshua Movement of Judaism was called (Gal 2:9).

Generally listed as the youngest ShliachEmissary, Apostle, he was the son of ZavdaiZebedee and ShlomitSalome. His brother was YaakovJacob, falsely translated as “James” in honor of the King who authorized the 1611 translation of the Bible, who was another of the twelve ShliachimEmissaries, Apostles. The “Church Fathers” identify him as John the Evangelist, John of Patmos, John the Elder, and the Beloved Disciple, and testify that he outlived the remaining apostles and that he was the only one to die of natural causes. Along with this Gospel account, he penned three letters which bear his name, along with the Book of the Revelation.

The Gospel according to Yochanan differs considerably from the Synoptic Gospels (“synoptic” means “from the same viewpoint or perspective”), which were likely written decades earlier. The bishops of Asia Minor supposedly requested him to write his gospel to deal with the heresy of the Ebionites, who asserted that Yeshua did not exist before Mary. Yochanan probably knew of the Gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, but these gospels spoke of Yeshua primarily in the year following the imprisonment and death of John the Baptist.

There is no information in the Bible concerning the duration of John's activity in Judea. According to tradition, John and the other Apostles remained some 12 years in this first field of labour. The persecution of HaDerek under Herod Agrippa I led to the scattering of the Apostles through the Roman Empire's provinces. [cf. Acts 12:1-17]

A Messianic Community existed at Ephesus before Sha'ul’s first work there (cf. “the brethren”, Acts 18:27) in addition to Priscilla and Aquila. The original community was under the leadership of Apollos (1 Corinthians 1:12). They were disciples of Yochanan the Immerser and were led to faith in Yeshua by Aquila and Priscilla. According to tradition, after the death of Miryam, Yeshua’s mother, Yochanan went to Ephesus. Irenaeus writes of “the church of Ephesus, founded by Paul, with John continuing with them until the times of Trajan.” From Ephesus he wrote the three epistles that bear his name. During the persecutions under Emperor Domitian, he was allegedly banished by the Roman authorities to the Greek island of Patmos, where he wrote the Book of Revelation. According to Tertullian (in “The Prescription of Heretics”) he was banished (presumably to Patmos) after being plunged into boiling oil in Rome and suffering nothing from it. It is said that all in the audience of Colosseum were converted to “Christianity” upon witnessing this miracle, but this is probably only a myth created by the Roman Church. This event would have occurred in the late 1st century, during the reign of the Emperor Domitian, who was known for his persecution of Christians.

When Yochanan was aged, he trained Polycarp who later became Bishop of Smyrna. This was important because Polycarp was able to carry Yochanan’s message to future generations. Polycarp taught Irenaeus, passing on to him stories about Yochanan. Similarly, Ignatius of Antioch was a talmid of Yochanan and was later appointed by Shimon Kefa to be the Bishop of Antioch. He is believed to have died at Ephesus sometime after 98 CE, during the reign of Trajan.

Outline

Note: The events in this account are not in chronological order. Yochanan’s intent was to document a theological treatise, not a chronological biography. See “A Chronological Harmony of the Gospels.”

I. Prologue: the Eternal Existence of the Word (1:1-14)

A. The Deity of Yeshua HaMashiach (1:1-2; Heb 1:5-13)

B. The Pre-inarnate Work of the Son of God (1:3-5; Heb 1:2)

C. The Witness of Yochanan the Immerser (1:6-8; cp vv 15-34)

D. The True Light; Rejected and Received (1:9-13; Jn 3:17-21; Jn 8:12; Jn 12:46)

E. The Word Made Flesh (1:14; Jn 14:9; Mt 1:18-23; Lk 1:30-35; Lk 2:11; 1Tim 3:16)

II. The Witness of Yochannan the Immerser (1:15-34; Mt 3:1-7; Mk 1:11; Lk 3:1-22)

III. The Son of God Manifesting His Power in Public Ministry (1:35-11:57)

A. Yeshua’s First Talmidim (1:35-51)

B. The First Miracle; at Kana (2:1-12)

C. Pesach in Yerushalayim (2:13-25)

D. Yeshua and Nakdimon, the New Birth (3:1-21)

E. Last Testimony of Yochan the Immerser (3:22-30)

F. The Shliach Yochanan’s Declaration (3:31-36)

G. Yeshua Leaves for the Galil (4:1-4)

H. Yeshua and the Samaritan Woman (4:5-38)

I. Yeshua and the Samaritan People (4:39-45)

J. Yeshua Heals a Royal Official’s Son (4:46-54)

K. Shavuot in Yerushalayim (5:1-47)

1. A Man Healed on Shabbat (5:1-16)

2. Yeshua Claims Equality with the Father (5:17-24)

3. The Two Resurrections (5:25-30)

4. Confirmatory Withnesses to Yeshua (5:31-47)

a. Witness of Yochanan the Immerser (5:33-35)

b. Witnesses of Yeshua’s Works (5:36)

c. Witness of the Father (5:36-38; Mt 3:17)

d. Witness of the Tanakh (5:39-47; Lk 24:27; Lk 24:44)

L. Five Thousand Fed (6:1-15; Mt 15:15-21; Mk 6:32-44; Lk 9:1-17)

M. Yeshua Walks on Water (6:16-21; Mt 14:22-32; Mk 6:45-52)

N. Yeshua, the Bread of Life (6:22-29)

O. Yeshua, Sent from Heaven (6:30-59)

P. Discipleship Tested (6:60-65; Mt 8:19-22; Mt 10:36)

Q. Kefa’s Declaration (6:66-71; Mt 16:13-20; Mk 8:27-30; Lk 9:18-21)

R. Yeshua's family leaves for Sukkot (7:1-9)

S. Yeshua’s Sukkot in Yerushalayim (7:10-53)

1. Yeshua teaching in the Temple during Sukkot (7:11-53)

a. People afraid to speak publicly of Yeshua (7:11-13)

b. Yeshua in the Temple mid-feast (7:14-15)

c. Yeshua says some seek to kill him (7:16-20)

d. Defense for healing on Sabbath (7:21-24)

f. Yeshua cries out in the temple (7:25-30)

h. Multitudes amazed at Signs (7:31)

h. Pharisees seek to sieze Yeshua (7:32-36)

3. The Last day of Sukkot (7:37-53)

a. Yeshua prophesies the Ruach HaKodesh (7:37-39)

b. Divided opinion about Yeshua (7:40-44)

e. Pharisees question officers (7:45-49)

f. Judgment of Nakdimon (7:50-52)

g. Everyone Goes Home After Sukkot (7:53-8:1)

T. Three months later: Chanukah in the Temple (8:2-10:39)

1. Teaching at Chanukah (8:2-59)

a. Adulterous woman brought to Yeshua (8:3-11)

b. Light of the world (8:12-20)

c. Sent by the Father (8:21-30)

d. Temple debate about father Abraham (8:31-59)

e. Yeshua leaves the temple (8:59)

2. Yeshua heals a man born blind at Chanukah (9:1-41)

a. The Healing (9:1-7)

b. Neighbors question the former blind man (9:8-12)

c. Pharisees question man’s parents (9:13-34)

d. Yeshua finds the man (9:35-39)

e. Pharisees ask if they are blind (9:40-41)

3. More Teaching at Chanukah (10:1-39)

a. The parable of the shepherd (10:1-6)

b. Yeshua explains he is the Good Shepherd (10:7-18)

c. Division among the Judeans (10:19-21)

d. Yeshua Asserts His Deity; the Judeans confront Him (10:22-39)

4. Yeshua goes to Aenon near Salim (10:40-42)

U. The Raising of El'azar (11:1-54)

1. El'azar of Bethany reported sick (11:1-6)

2. Yeshua delays for 2 days (11:6)

3. Yeshua prepares 12 to go to Judea (11:7-16)

4. Yeshua Raises El'azar (11:17-53)

a. Arrives near Bethany, 2 days later (11:17-19)

b. Marta meets Yeshua 11:20-28)

c. Miryam comes to Yeshua (11:29-37)

d. Yeshua comes to the tomb (11:38)

e. Yeshua raises El'azar from the dead (11:39-44)

f. Unbelievers report to Pharisees (11:45-46)

g. Conspiracy to kill Yeshua (11:47-53)

V. Yeshua goes to Ephraim (11:54)

W. Yeshua discussed by Judeans and Priests (11:55-57)

IV. Aliya for Yeshua’s Final Pesach

A. The Ascent to Yerushalayim (12:1-50)

1. Yeshua ascends toward Jerusalem (12:1; Mt 21:1; Mk 11:1; Lk 19:29)

2. Miryam anoints Yeshua in Simon’s house (12:2-8; Mt 26:6-13; Mk 14:3-9)

3. Crowds come to see Yeshua and Lazarus (12:9)

4. Chief priests conspire to kill Lazarus (12:10-11)

B. Triumphal entry into Jerusalem (12:12-18; Mt 21:7b-11, Mt 15-16; Mk 11:7-11; Lk 19:35-38)

C. Pharisees reaction (12:19; Lk 19:39-40)

D. Greeks seek Yeshua (12:20-22)

F. Bat Kol and Final public appeals to unbelievers (12:23-50)

V. Fellowship Around the Table (chapters 13-17)

(“The Upper Room Discourse”)

A. Yeshua Washes His Talmidim’s Feet (13:1-10; Mt 26:20-24; Mk 14:14-17;
     Lk 22:14; Lk 22:21-23)

B. Yeshua Predicts His Betrayal (13:21-35; Mt 26:21-25; Mk 14:18-21; Lk 22:21-23)

C. Yeshua Foretells Kefa’s Denial (13:36-38; Mt 26:30-3; Mk 14:26-31; Lk 22:31-34)

D. Yeshua Comforts His Talmidim (14:1-6)

E. Yeshua and the Father Are Echad (14:7-12)

F. A New Priviledge in Prayer (14:13-15)

G. Promise of the Ruach HaKodesh (14:16-26)

H. Bequest of Shalom (14:27-31)

I. Vine and Branchs (15:1-14)

J. A New Intimacy (15:15-17)

K. Yeshua Warns of Hatred From the Wold (15:18-27)

L. Yeshua Warns of Persecution (16:1-6; Mt 24:9-10; Lk 1:16-19)

M. Work of the Ruach Toward the World (16:7-11)

N. Work of the Ruach Toward His Talmidim (16:12-15)

O. Yeshua Speaks of His Death, Resurrection, and Return (16:16-33)

P. Yeshua’s High Priestly Intercessory Prayer (17:1-26)

VI. The Son of God is Murdered (chapters 18-19)

A. Events In Gethsemane (18:1-11)

1. Yeshua’s Betrayal and Arrest (18:1-9; Mt 26:36-56; Mk 14:32-50; Lk 22:39-54)

2. Kefa Smites Malchus (18:10-11)

B. Yeshua Before Annas (18:12-14, 19-24)

C. Kefa’s Three Denials (18:15-18, 25-27)

D. Yeshua Before Pilate (18:28-19:15)

1. Taken Before Pilate (18:28-38; Mt 27:2; Mt 27:11-14; Mk 15:1-5; Lk 23:1-7; Lk 23:13-15)

2. Yeshua Condemned, Barabbas Released (18:39-40)

3. Yeshua Scourged and Crowned (19:1-3; Mt 27:27-30; Mk 15:16-18)

4. Pilate Attempts to Release Yeshua (19:4-15; Mt 27:22-26; Mk 15:12-15;  Lk 23:20-25)

E. Yeshua is Murdered (19:16-30; Mt 27:31-50; Mk 15:19-37; Lk 23:26-46)

F. Events After His Death (19:31-37; Mt 27:51-56; Mk 15:38-41; Lk 23:45-49)

G. Yeshua is Buried (19:38-42; Mt 27:57-66; Mk 15:42-47; Lk 23:50-56)

VII. The Son of God Victorious (chapter20)

A. Yhe Day After His Resurrection (20:1-23)

1. Myriam, Kefa, and Yochanan Visit the Empty Tomb (20:1-18; Mt 28:1-15;
    Mk 16:1-14; Lk 24:1-32)
2. Yeshua Appears to Miryam (20:11-18)

3. Yeshua Appears to His Talmidim (20:19-23; Mk 16:14; Lk 24:33-49)

B. Yeshua Confronts Toma (20:24-29)

C. The Purpose of This Letter (20:30-31)

VIII. Epilogue; The Risen Son of God (chapter 21)

A. Yeshua Appears to Seven Talmidim at the Seashore (21:1-2)

B. The Fishermen Return to their Nets (21:3-5)

C. Yeshua Revealed Through a Miraculous Catch of Fish (21:6-11)

D. Yeshua Provides for His Talmidim (21:12-14; Lk 22:35; Phil 4:19)

E. Love, the Only Proper Motive for Service (21:15-17; 1Cor 13; 2Cor 5:14; Rev 2:4-5)

F. Yeshua Reveals the Manner of Kefa’s Death (21:18-19)

G. Yeshua Reveals that One Talmid Will Not Be Martyred (21:20-25)

 

Chapter 1

Originally posted on Shabbat, 28 November 2020

Page last updated on Friday, 05 March 2021 11:44 AM
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes are identified as "Revisions”)

Anxiously awaiting Mashiach’s return
ANXIOUSLY WATCHING FOR MASHIACH’S RETURN,
SPEEDILY AND IN OUR DAY. MARANA, TA!