Lectionary Year B
May 25, 2003
Step III: Composition
A. Immediate Context
(JFC) Pre - John 15:1-8 reports Jesus' using the tree and its branches' bearing fruit as
a metaphor for believers' abiding in God, God's Word and Him to be fruitful and blessed.
Post - From John 15:9-27 we get Jesus' explaining to His followers why the "world (i.e., those who reject Him and/or God) hate them", since they have hated Him and knowing of God without obeying His call to follow, they sin which makes them (the world) hate them, too. He uses the vocabulary of the Church being "those called out from the world". He also herein predicts His persecution, and/or recalls it.
B. Organization of Compositional Whole
(JFC) As previously in these notes we have read that John's Gospel is mostly about Jesus, who He is, what He does, especially in bringing life, both eternal and realized eschatologically, and how believers, by faith in Him, take advantage of that gift of Life. This Gospel begins with a distinctive Prologue, 1:1-18. Next, 1:19-2:11, accounts for some of Jesus' and John the Baptist's first testimonies given to the disciples and others saying Jesus is God's Son. Thereafter, 2:12-12:50 tell of Jesus' acts, conversations and discourses. Then, chapters 13 through 20 report Jesus' teachings, especially to His disciples about His arrest, trial, death and resurrection and their significance for believers. John's Gospel identifies its primary intension in 20:31, "written that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and that believing you might have life in His name." This Gospel's final chapter (21) records a post resurrection appearance, Peter's ministry and death and the role of the one called "the beloved Disciple".
C. Issues of Authorship
(JFC) These pages of Bi 216 on line have reported previously, that John, the son of Zebedee and brother of James and disciple of Jesus' is customarily thought to have at least authored if not actually written this Gospel late in the first century CE. Irenaeus (c. 130-200) was right confident that was the case. Since John might well have been martyred before getting to Ephesus, thought to be the local origin of this work and as Mark 10:39 predicts, some scholars find possible identities of the author of this, the Fourth Gospel, to be Lazarus, John Mark or a disciple of John's, Zebedee's son. Most evidence seems to consider that this Gospel was written in Ephesus, perhaps by John in his advanced years. It seems to contain first hand memories of Jesus' ministry and life.
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