Johannine Literature

Johannine Literature

Johannine Literature THL307 is being taught at United Theological College in 2019 Session 2 by Jeff Aernie.

This subject examines the Johannine literature within the New Testament (the Gospel and epistles of John; Revelation). It addresses literary and historical evidence that Johannine Christianity was a distinctive development within early Christianity with its own literature. Emphasis is given to the setting, genre, content and theology of the Gospel and letters of John, supplemented by a comparative introduction to the book of Revelation.

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Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:

  • be able to demonstrate familiarity with the evidence indicating the distinctiveness of Johannine Christianity
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of evidence used to reconstruct the history and development of Johannine Christianity
  • be able to discuss the distinctiveness of the Gospel of John
  • be able to discuss both the similarities and differences between the Gospel of John and the three Johannine epistles
  • be able to discuss literary, historical and theological relationships between the various parts of the Johannine literature
  • be able to identify and discuss similarities and differences between Revelation and the Gospel and letters of John
  • demonstrate critical engagement with both the primary biblical materials and secondary literature
  • demonstrate self-guided learning, including research, writing and communication skills


The subject will cover the following topics:

  • The place and shape of Johannine Christianity in the context of first-century Christianity
  • The relationship of Johannine Christianity to Judaism, the Graeco-Roman world and other expressions of early Christianity
  • The authorship, genre and provenance of the Gospel and letters of John and Revelation
  • An examination of the Gospel of John, the three letters of John and the book of Revelation from literary, historical and theological perspectives
  • The literary, historical and theological interrelations between the Gospel of John, the letters of John and Revelation
  • Central themes of Johannine theology