THST 310 - The Gospel according to John - Fall 2003
Felix Just, S.J.

Exercise # 5

Biblical Analysis of a Jesus Film related to the Fourth Gospel

The purpose of this exercise is to consider to what extent certain films about Jesus have been influenced by the Fourth Gospel.

Choose a film about Jesus (feature film or documentary):

  • Browse through the list of films available at
  • Many of these are also available in the Media Dept. of the LMU library (upstairs).
  • If you find another film not already on this list, please let me know, so I can add it to the list.
  • Note that some films claim to be based on one particular Gospel; other films pick and choose scenes from all four Gospels; for this exercise, choose a film that is based at least partly, if not mostly, on the Gospel according to John.

Watch the film and compare it to the biblical text (of John and/or the Synoptic Gospels, as appropriate):

  • Which portions of the Fourth Gospel ARE included in the film?
  • Which portions of the Fourth Gospel are NOT included in the film?
  • Which parts of the film are NOT from John, but from the Synoptics? To help you remember which Gospel(s) contain which scenes from Jesus' life, use the "Table of Parallel Passages in the Four Gospels" in our Study Bibles (HCSB 1841-55), and/or the "Five Gospel Parallels" online
  • Overall, how strongly is this film influenced by the Fourth Gospel in particular? How "Johannine" is this film?

Write a short paper (about 1000 words) that presents the results of your biblical analysis:

  • briefly introduce the film (title, director, country, year, etc.);
  • mainly analyze the film from a Johannine perspective, comparing it closely with the text of John's Gospel;
  • briefly summarize how closely the film was influenced by John, and how accurately it depicts the biblical story;
  • for the format and printing of your paper, please follow the same guidelines given for the previous exercises.
Revising and Web-Publication (optional):
  • After receiving written comments from the professor and other students, you may revise your paper for a higher grade (unsatisfactory papers must be revised; papers that receive a "C" or "B" may also be revised and resubmitted).
  • The best papers will be eligible for publication on the "Johannine Literature" website (with your consent, of course).


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