Lectionary Year B
April 27, 2003
John 20:19-31

Step III: Immediate Context

The immediate context of this account is the first and third appearances of Jesus to the disciples. The first appearance is to Mary Magdalene, our passage is the appearance to the disciples and then Thomas, and the third appearance is to the disciples again.

This passage sits at the end of the gospel and itself ends with a statement of purpose for the writing of the whole gospel itself. One commentator has organized the gospel into three main parts with the second having two sub-parts. The first section is the prologue. The second section is from there to the end of our passage. The sub-parts are the calling and public ministry of Jesus(through 12:50) and then the Last Supper and Resurection appearances of Jesus(through 20:31). The final part is the Epilogue.

The writer remains anonymous and theories of authorship abound. [JA - compare perhaps the contributions on this question by Raymond Brown in his commentary on John and his monograph on the johannine community. Others?].

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