Subject Code THL307

Subject Name The Johannine Literature

Duration One semester

Availability Semester 2; Every second year (odd years)

Level Advanced

Subject Units 8

Core/Elective Archbishop’s subject

Delivery Mode Face to face at St Francis College – the Brisbane Campus for CSU School
of Theology and Canberra Internal

Student Workload At least three readings a week.

Prerequisites Students are recommended to have prior knowledge equivalent to or
studied THL106 and at least one 200-level New Testament subject.

Incompatible Subjects


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.

Prescribed Texts

An Introduction to the Johannine Gospel and Letters by Jan van der Watt


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.

Assessment Tasks

An exegetical essay and a research essay.