This unit engages at depth with the Gospel and Letters of John. It will explore the theology of the Johannine literature, with exegesis of a number of passages. It will provide a knowledge of: the literary structures and techniques, especially the symbolism; its theological themes, particularly glory, love, eternal life, eschatology, and the person and work of Jesus; the relationship of John’s Gospel to the Synoptic Gospels and the interrelationship of the Gospel and Epistles; and the possible concerns and setting of the Johannine community, including its divisions. Attention will also be given to the cultural values of the ancient world as they illuminate an understanding of the texts in their own context.

Unit code: BN3110T

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 3

Unit discipline: New Testament

Proposing College: Trinity College Theological School

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Learning outcomes


Describe the literary and rhetorical techniques of John’s Gospel and the Johannine Letters, particularly in relation to their symbolism


Outline key theological themes of the Gospel and Letters, particularly in its understanding of the person and work of Jesus, the theme of glory, life, love, discipleship and eschatology


Exegete a passage from one of the texts in relation to its literary context


Analyse theories on the relationship between John’s Gospel and the Synoptic tradition and between the Gospel and Letters


Describe the concerns and values of the ancient world, Jewish and Graeco-Roman, out of which the Johannine literature arises


Critically evaluate the theological contribution of the Gospel and the Letters to the theology of the New Testament.

Unit sequence

1 x level 1 introductory unit in New Testament


Lecture material uploaded and tutorial discussions

Indicative Bibliography

  • Barrett, C.K. The Gospel According to St. John: An Introduction with Commentary and Notes on the Greek Text. 2nd ed. London: SPCK, 1978.
  • de Boer, M. & J.M. Lieu (eds.), •Handbook of Johannine Studies.• Oxford; Oxford University Press, 2018.
  • Keener, C.W. The Gospel of John. A Commentary. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2003.
  • Lee, D.A. Flesh and Glory: Symbol, Gender and Theology in the Gospel of John. New York: Crossroad, 2002.
  • Lieu, J.M. I, II, and III John. New Testament Library. Louisville/London: Westminster John Knox, 2008.
  • Lincoln, A. The Gospel According to St John. London: Continuum, 2005.
  • Moloney, F.J. The Gospel of John. Collegeville MN: Liturgical Press, 1998.
  • Parsenios, G.L. First, Second and Third John. Paideia. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2014.
  • Talbert, C.H. •Reading John. A Literary and Theological Commentary on the Fourth Gospel and Johannine Epistles. Macon: Smyth & Helwys, 2013.
  • Thompson, M.M. John: A Commentary. Louisville KY: Westminster John Knox, 2015.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Essay - Thematic essay

Thematic essay of 2000 words

2000 40.0
Exegetical Essay - Exegetical essay

Major exegetical essay of 2000 words

2000 40.0
Seminar or Tutorial - Forum discussions

Tutorial forum, presentation and participation (minimum of 10 posts)

1000 20.0

Variant 1

Exegetical Essay - Exegetical essay A

Short exegetical essay of 1000 words

1000 20.0
Essay - Thematic essay

2000 word thematic essay

2000 40.0
Exegetical Essay - Exegetical essay B

Short exegetical essay of 1000 words

1000 20.0
Seminar or Tutorial - Class discussions

Tutorial forum, presentation and participation (minimum of 10 posts)

1000 20.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Maggie Kappelhoff on 30 Oct, 2020

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