This unit engages at depth with the Gospel and Letters of John. It will explore the theology of 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, eternal life, eschatology, love, and the person and work of Jesus; the relationship of John’s Gospel to the Synoptic Gospels and the relationship of the Gospel to the Letters; and the possible concerns and setting of the Johannine community, including its disagreements and 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. The issue of masculine language and imagery will also be explored in these texts.

Unit code: BN9110T

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: New Testament

Delivery Mode: Face to Face

Proposing College: Trinity College Theological School

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Learning outcomes


Outline the Johannine worldview against the backdrop of the intellectual climate of its time


Analyse the literary techniques in both Gospel and Letters, and their relevance to the core symbolism


Exegete a passage from the Johannine literature using sophisticated critical methodology


Articulate the unique theological perspective in the Gospel and Letters


Analyse the concerns and context of the Johannine community, including issues of disagreement and division


Articulate implications of the study of the Johannine literature for the life, witness and mission of the church of today.

Unit sequence

48 points of Biblical Studies


Lectures, tutorials, 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

3000 word thematic essay

3000 40.0
Exegetical Essay - Exegetical essay

3000 word exegetical essay

3000 40.0
Seminar or Tutorial - Seminar or tutorial presentation

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

1500 20.0

Variant 1

Exegetical Essay - Exegetical essay A

1500 word exegetical essay on Gospel of John

1500 20.0
Essay - Thematic essay

3000 word thematic essay

3000 40.0
Exegetical Essay - Exegetical essay B

Short exegetical essay on Johannine Letters

1500 20.0
Seminar or Tutorial - Seminar presentation

Tutorial forum, presentation and participation (approx. 1500 words)

1500 20.0

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

Unit record last updated: 2021-06-07 08:43:49 +1000