The Johannine Literature


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.


One Semester


Semester 2 every odd year

Subject Points




Delivery Mode

On site at St Francis College Milton


THL106 and at least one 200-level subject

An Introduction to the Johannine Gospel and Letters / Jan van der Watt, 2007. [ISBN: 9780567030375]

Prescribed Texts

An exegetical essay

A research essay



This 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

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:

  • be able to demonstrate a critical and informed understanding of issues relating to the interpretation of the Johannine literature;

  • be able to demonstrate familiarity with evidence indicating the history, development and distinctiveness of Johannine Christianity;

  • be able to demonstrate critical appreciation of the distinctiveness of the Gospel of John;

  • be able to discuss similarities and differences between the Gospel of John, the Johannine epistles and Revelation, including their literary, historical and theological relationships;

  • be able to discuss major theological and ethical themes in the Johannine literature and critically evaluate their contemporary relevance;

  • be able to demonstrate advanced competence in the exegesis and interpretation of biblical texts through critical engagement with primary biblical materials and constructive engagement with secondary literature; and

  • be able to demonstrate self-guided learning, including advanced research, writing and communication skills.