MDiv

MTS (and other)

Students will demonstrate (1) a basic familiarity with the material and theology of the Fourth Gospel (and to a lesser extent of the Letters of John), (2) a developing ability to do careful exegesis of the full-range of Gospel materials for application, (3) a developing understanding of the social, cultural, and historical settings necessary for interpreting the Gospels, (4) a developing ability to situate the Gospels within Christian history and reflection and Church teaching, and (5) a developing ability to reflect theologically on the materials of the Gospels, and an initial ability to reflect theologically on the Gospel of John in particular within students’ particular heritages.

Students will demonstrate a general knowledge of Johannine literature as a primary theological source for Catholic tradition and a general knowledge of appropriate methods used to interpret this literature. They will also demonstrate that they can integrate aspects of this knowledge into broader reflection in core areas of theological study.

Workload

MDiv

 MTS (and other)

Weekly quizzes and/or exercises will provide an opportunity for the assessment of students’ growing familiarity with the Gospel(s), Letters, background materials necessary for understanding these texts, and the place of the Gospels in Christian history and teaching: 40%
Weekly quizzes and/or exercises will provide an opportunity for the assessment of students’ growing familiarity with the Gospel(s), Letters, background materials necessary for understanding these texts, and the place of the Gospels in Christian history and teaching: 40%
A paper (approximately 10 pages) will provide an opportunity to assess students’ grasp of the requirements for exegesis of a Johannine text for preaching and/or teaching in a ministry context: 30% (NB: Topic requires professor's approval)
A paper (approximately 10 pages) will provide an opportunity to assess students’ ability to relate elements of the Johannine materials to issues found in other theological disciplines (liturgy, systematics, ethics, spirituality, etc.): 30% (NB: Topic requires professor's approval)
A final exam will provide an opportunity for the assessment of students’ overall developed knowledge and understanding of the Gospels, the background necessary for understanding these texts, the place of these texts in Christian history and teaching, and a developed ability to use these texts for theological reflection: 30%
A final exam will provide an opportunity for the assessment of students’ overall developed knowledge and understanding of the Gospels, the background necessary for understanding these texts, the place of these texts in Christian history and teaching, and a developed ability to use these texts for theological reflection: 30%

Bibliography

Learning Outcomes

Description

This course is intended to introduce students to the Gospel of John (and also to the Letters of John, where helpful) and in particular to the theological implications of the Gospel of John.

The course will employ active learning technologies geared to the above objectives (rather than lectures geared to content retention). This will mean that most of the work will be done in preparing for the class and in class. Students will be expected to spend at least 8 hours / week reading and preparing for class / papers / exams.


Evaluation

THO 4103  Johannine Literature

L. Gregory Bloomquist

sola Dei gratia

Required Reading
  • Bible (any Bible with OT and NT and that is not a paraphrase is acceptable, e.g., RSV, NRSV, CEB).

  • An introduction to the New Testament that will enable students to situate the material of John's Gospel in relation to the New Testament and the material of 1-3 John and the Revelation to John / Apocalypse in relation to the Gospel of John (either purchased or available in the SPU Library). 

    • See Suggested Introductions below. 

    • Requires professor's approval.

  • At least one commentary on the Gospel of John (either purchased or available in the SPU Library).

    • See Suggested Commentaries below.

    • Requires professor's approval. 


Resources available on-line for the study of the New Testament and Johannine Literature

Suggested Introductions


Suggested Commentaries

Course Calendar (revised)


G 123  from 9 AM - 12 Noon (unless otherwise posted)


DATES
SUBJECTS
ASSIGNMENTS
January 14

Introduction to the course


Introduction to the Gospel of John, Letters, Apocalypse


Review of the socio-cultural context for reading the Christian Gospels

At the very least and before READING WEEK, all students should be familiar with

  1. the kinds of contexts presented in Raymond E. Brown, An Introduction to the New Testament (New Haven, Yale University Press, 1997)
    • chapter 4 "The political and social world of New Testament times,"
    • chapter 5 "The religious and philosophical world of New Testament times," and
    • the introductory materials from chapters 11, 12, 13, 14,  and 37 (on John, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, and Revelation/Apocalypse, respectively);
  2. the kinds of "cultural values" presented by B. J. Malina, The New Testament World: Insights From Cultural Anthropology (3rd rev and expanded ed; Louisville, KY.: Westminster John Knox, 2001). 
January 21
John 1
  • What is the title of the Gospel? What is the significance of that title?
  • What is the meaning of the "word" and its/his role? How would we determine the meaning?
  • What is the significance of John the witnesser?
  • List titles by which Jesus is known in John 1.
  • What is the possible significance of John's: "lamb of God"?
  • How are Jesus' first followers presented?
January 28
John 2-3
  • What is the significance of the notion of "sign" and Jesus' first "sign"?
  • Be able to identify the major outlines of the Jewish understanding of marriage in the 1st century.
  • What is the significance of the "cleansing of the Temple"? How does it compare with the accounts of similar events in the Synoptic Gospels?
  • Be able to discuss the basic outlines of the Jewish feast of Passover.
  • Why is Passover important for understanding the context of Jesus' words in chapter 2?
  • What do we know about Nicodemus and what he says to Jesus?
  • What are the essential elements of the discussion between Jesus and Nicodemus?
February 4
John 4-5
  • What do we know about the Samaritans?
  • How is the drama that takes place at the well in Samaria set up? What are its essential components?
  • What are the essential elements of the discussion between Jesus and the Samaritan woman?
  • What are the essential elements of the discussion between Jesus and the official whose son is ill?
  • Identify key features of the miracle story that begins chapter 5.
  • What is the significance of Jesus' lengthy presentation that follows the miracle?
February 11
John 6:1-40
  • Identify key features of the miracle story that begins chapter 6.
  • Why is Passover important for understanding the context of Jesus' words in chapter 6?
  • Between the miracle that begins chapter 6 and its lengthy explanation, we find another miracle. What are the features of this miracle, and why does it occur where it does?
  • What are the essential elements of the discussion between Jesus and the people?
February 18
READING WEEK

Sunday February 24

BY Midnight

Major Quiz on material covered in the first half of the course
The in-class Major Quiz will be worth the equivalent of 3 quizzes.
February 25

 John 6 (cont.) 

and

John 7-10
  • What are the essential elements of the discussion between Jesus and the people?
  • What are the essential elements of the discussion between Jesus and his disciples? Why?


----


  • At this point in your study, what do you think John means when he writes: "the Jews"?
  • What are the essential elements of the discussion between Jesus and his brothers?
  • What are the essential elements of the discussions between Jesus and "the Jews"?
  • Be able to discuss the major outlines of the Jewish feast of Tabernacles and Hanukkah.
  • Why are these two feasts important for understanding the context of Jesus words in chapters 7-10?
  • Identify key features of the miracle story found in John 9. How is it like and how is it different from the story in John 5?
  • What are the main elements of the imagery that Jesus uses in chapter 10?
March 4
John 7-10 (cont.)
  • At this point in your study, what do you think John means when he writes: "the Jews"?
  • What are the essential elements of the discussion between Jesus and his brothers?
  • What are the essential elements of the discussions between Jesus and "the Jews"?
  • Be able to discuss the major outlines of the Jewish feast of Tabernacles and Hanukkah.
  • Why are these two feasts important for understanding the context of Jesus words in chapters 7-10?
  • Identify key features of the miracle story found in John 9. How is it like and how is it different from the story in John 5?
  • What are the main elements of the imagery that Jesus uses in chapter 10?
March 11
John 11 - 13
  • Identify important elements in the opening scene of chapter 11.
  • Identify key features of the exchanges between Jesus and the two sisters.
  • Be prepared to answer the question: "Was Lazarus raised from the dead?"
  • Why is Passover important for understanding the context of chapters 12-20?
  • Read chapters 12 and 13 as if they were intended to be read together. What do you notice?
  • What are the essential elements of the "footwashing" scene in John 13?
  • What are the differences between the "Last Supper" account in John and the ones found in the Synoptic Gospels?
  • What is the emphasis in Jesus' words to his disciples, and in particular to Peter, in chapter 13?
March 18

John 13 - 17

  • Be prepared to identify the specific emphases of Jesus in each of the sections of the "Farewell Discourse".
  • What is the function / role of the "Paraclete" in John 14-16? Compare it with the role of the Holy Spirit in the Synoptic Gospels.
  • Be prepared to identify the major elements of the prayer of Jesus in John 17.
  • Compare Jesus' prayer in John 17 with examples of Jesus' prayer in the Synoptic Gospels.
March 25
John 18 - 19
  • Prepare your own synoptic comparison of the events of the Passion in John and the Passion accounts of the Synoptic Gospels. Highlight similarities and differences. (Example of four Gospel synopsis: HERE.)

Friday

March 29

BY 5 PM

Research Papers

April 1

John 20 - 21

  • Prepare your own synoptic comparison of the events of the Resurrection appearances in John and those of the Synoptic Gospels. Highlight similarities and differences. (Example of four Gospel synopsis: HERE.)


  • Note the text critical issue in John 20:31
  • Identify the primary features of John 21
  • Compare the ending of the Gospel (a) if it ends with John 20 and (b) if it ends with John 21.

NB:

April 8

(MAKE-UP CLASS)

Hour 1:

Overview of 1-3 John

or

Further discussion of John 18-21


------

Hour 2:

Review of John and Conclusions

  • How does 1  John differ from the Gospel?
  • What is unique in 2 John?
  • How would we best discuss the Sitz im Leben of 3 John?





April 15
  FINAL EXAM (Written)