The Gospel of John - Introduction

Over the next few months we will be reading and discussing the Gospel of John in our gospel community groups. At Saturate Church we are committed to developing disciples who saturate their lives with the Good News of Jesus. As we go through our study of the Gospel of John, we will be writing posts that recap our teaching and discussions each week in the hope that you will grow in your knowledge, faith, and love for him as your Lord and Savior.

This week we will introduce the Gospel of John by answering some of the most common questions we received from you. If you have additional questions, please leave a comment or contact us.

Who wrote the Gospel of John?

Most scholars believe the Gospel of John was written by the apostle John, who was one of the original twelve disciples of Jesus. This John is NOT John the Baptist, nor is he John, the father of Peter, both of whom are mentioned in the first chapter of John.

The author is best known as John, the son of Zebedee. He is frequently referred to as “the disciple whom Jesus loved” in the Gospel of John and was a part of Jesus’ inner circle of disciples that included both Peter and James.

Where and when was the Gospel of John written?

The early church fathers (mid-2nd century AD) taught that the Gospel was written while the apostle John was living in the city of Ephesus in Asia.

Most likely the Gospel was written after the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in AD 70. We suspect this because John’s gospel emphasizes Jesus as a replacement of the Jewish temple and the sacrificial systems that could no longer be performed due to the destruction of the Jewish temple. John also mentions the death of his friend, and fellow disciple, Peter (John 21:18-19) which we believe occurred around AD 65. Taking all of this into account, most scholars believe the Gospel was written in the AD 80s.

Why did John write this Gospel and who was it written to?

John most likely wrote his Gospel to the Ephesian churches, Jews who were scattered throughout the Roman Empire, as well as gentiles who were attracted to the person of Jesus and wanted to know more about him. In other words he wrote it for the entire early church which was quickly becoming a multi-cultural universal church.

The primary reason for John writing the Gospel is shared with us in the Gospel (John 20:30-31; 21:24-25). John desires to persuade anyone who reads this account to believe in the testimonies presented in the Gospel that Jesus is the Son of God, the long-awaited Jewish Messiah, and that by believing in him you would have eternal life.   

What makes the Gospel of John unique?

John’s gospel is full of some amazing gems to keep your eye out for. Here are just a few:

  • The seven titles given to Jesus (John 1)

  • The seven miraculous signs performed by Jesus (John 1-12, 20)

  • The seven “I AM” statements (John 6-15)

  • The theme of “light” and “darkness”.

  • The theme of “testimony” or “witness”.

  • The theme of “eternal life”.

What is our theme verse for the Gospel of John?

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” - John 1:5

We are so excited to start this journey through the Gospel of John with you! If you have any questions please reach out and let us know. In the meantime, we invite you to come and see how amazing and wonderful Jesus is and why coming to know him and believe in him is truly Good News!