Structural Outlines of the Fourth Gospel
by Rev. Felix Just, S.J., Ph.D.

The Gospel Prologue (1:1-18)
(click here for the full text in chiastic arrangement) (color PDF)

A) 1-2:  The Divine WORD was with God eternally.
    B) 3:  All things came into being through it/him (the Word).
        C) 4-5:  In him was life and light, which darkness did not overcome.
            D) 6-8:  [John was not the light, but came to testify about the light.]
                E) 9-10:  The True Light was in the world, but the world did not recognize him.
                    F) 11:  He came into his own realm, but his own people did not accept him.
                        G) 12:  THOSE  WHO  DO  BELIEVE  IN  HIM  BECOME  CHILDREN  OF  GOD.
                    F') 13:  These believers are not ordinary human offspring, but are born of God.
                E') 14:  The Incarnate WORD reveals God's glory, full of grace and truth.
            D') 15:  [John testified about the priority of the one coming after him.]
        C') 16:  Out of his (the Word's) fullness, we all received grace upon grace.
    B') 17:  Grace and truth came into being through Jesus Christ.
A') 18:  The only-begotten Son has revealed God.

 
See also my PowerPoint presentation on John's Prologue, presented March 23, 2012, at the "Religious Education Congress" of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.


The Testimony of John [the Baptizer] (1:19-34)
[full NAB text] [see related art]

I) The Prophetic Testimony of John about Himself (1:19-28)

II) The Prophetic Testimony of John about Jesus (1:29-34)



The First Disciples of Jesus (1:35-51)
[full NAB text] [see related art]
    A1) The First Two Disciples (1:35-39)
      35-36:  John & two of his disciples saw Jesus: "Look, HERE  IS  THE  LAMB  OF  GOD." (cf. v. 29)
           37: The two disciples heard him [John] say this, and they followed Jesus.
      38-39a:  Jesus sees the two following and dialogues with them:
           Jesus: "What are you looking for?"
           They: "RABBI, where are you staying?"
           Jesus: "Come and see."
      39b: They came and saw, and remained with Jesus; it was about the tenth hour (4:00 p.m.).
       
    A2) The Third Disciple (1:40-42)
      40: One of the two disciples who heard John and followed Jesus was Andrew, brother of Simon Peter.
          41: He found his brother Simon: "We have found  THE  MESSIAH,  which is translated CHRIST."
              42: He brought Simon to Jesus, who says he will be called "Cephas," which is translated Peter.
       
    B1) The Fourth Disciple (1:43-44)
      43a:  Geographical transition: Jesus decided to go to Galilee.
          43b:  Jesus found Philip and said: "Follow me."
               44:  Geographical aside: Philip, Andrew, Peter were all from Bethsaida.
       
    B2) The Fifth Disciple (1:45-51)
      45-46:  Philip found Nathanael and dialogues with him:
           Philip: "We have found THE  ONE  ABOUT  WHOM  MOSES  AND  THE  PROPHETS  WROTE."
           Philip: "JESUS,  SON  OF  JOSEPH,  FROM  NAZARETH."
           Nathanael: "Can anything good come from Nazareth?"
           Philip:  "Come and see."
      47-51: Jesus sees and dialogues with Nathanael:
           Jesus: "Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit."
           Nathanael: "How did you get to know me?"
           Jesus: "I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you."
           Nathanael: "RABBI,  you are  THE  SON  OF  GOD (cf. v. 34);  you are  THE  KING  OF  ISRAEL."
           Jesus: "Do you believe because I told you I saw you?  You will see greater things."
           Jesus: "You will see heaven opened and God's angels ascending and descending upon  THE  SON  OF  MAN."
       
Note the dynamics of who calls whom to discipleship above:
#1&2 - John (the Baptist) sends two of his disciples to follow Jesus.
#1&2 - One is named Andrew, but the other remains anonymous.
#3 - Andrew brings his brother Simon (Peter) to Jesus.
#4 - Jesus finds and invites Philip personally.
#5 - Philip talks to Nathanael about Jesus.

Contrast: In Mark and Matthew, Jesus calls two pairs of brothers (Peter & Andrew, James & John) as his first disciples; while in Luke, the focus is mainly on Peter (for more details, see my page on Disciples and Discipleship).

Some scholars also highlight the temporal notices in this chapter:
1 - One day (implicit beginning in 1:19)
2 - "The next day..." (1:29)
3 - "The next day..." (1:35)
4 - Another day (begins 1:40, implied by late afternoon hour of 1:39)
5 - "The next day..." (1:43)
7 - "On the third day..." (2:1; the biblical way of saying "two days later")

Question: Did the evangelist really intend this as a sequence of 7 days?  If so, why didn't he explicitly say "The next day" in 1:40?  And how many days would it have taken to travel from "Bethany across the Jordan" (1:28) to "Galilee" (1:43) to "Cana in Galilee" (2:1)? (see the Geography of John's Gospel webpage).  Moreover, rather than merely completing a sequence of seven days, "On the third day" (2:1) serves to connect the story of the Wedding at Cana with the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus (cf. 2:19-21; 20:1).


 
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