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: BN9180C

Unit status: Approved (Minor revision)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

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


Critique current theories about 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 appropriate interpretative methods.


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


Evaluate scholarly analyses of topics in the Gospel of John.


Produce critical biblical research in the Gospel of John.

Unit sequence

BS8001C and BS8002C or equivalent Students enrolled in the unit for Master’s research degree are required to demonstrate proficiency in the appropriate biblical language(s).


Each three-hour class comprises 2 hours of interactive lecture and discussion and 1 hour of structured group discussion and interpretation focused on a particular text and readings.

Indicative Bibliography

  • Brown, Raymond E. The Gospel According to John. 2 vol. Anchor Bible 29 and 29A. New York: Doubleday, 1966–1970.
  • 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.).
  • Moloney, Francis J. Johannine Studies, 1975–2017. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 372. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2017.
  • 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


NB: If you are particularly strong and experienced in biblical studies, you may wish to do an alternative set of assessment tasks, involving a longer essay. This option can only be taken with the lecturer's permission, so discuss it with the lecturer by the end of Week 1. (The details are stored in the Notes to the formal Unit Record.)

2000 30.0
Report - essay proposal 500 10.0
Essay 4500 60.0

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

Unit record last updated: 2021-09-30 17:16:38 +1000