Johannine Themes in the Early Church Councils
by David Arias

Conciliar Citations of St. John's Gospel



This chart has been produced from the index of biblical citations found in Fr. Norman Tanner's Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils (New York: Sheed and Ward, 1990). It should be noted that this chart only includes what Tanner has catalogued as the direct citations of St. John's Gospel in the twenty-one Ecumenical Councils of the Catholic Church. The direct citations of St. John's Gospel in the first seven Ecumenical Councils have been bolded and italicized. I have taken all of the Scriptural quotes below from the RSV edition and have included several periods after the verses which have been quoted in full by the Ecumenical Councils. When a Council cites a verse somewhere other than the beginning of the verse I have indicated this by placing several periods before the beginning of those verses where this occurs. In his index Tanner also lists what he sees to be the indirect citations of St. John's Gospel in the Ecumenical Council. I have not included a chart of these, however, because there is some discrepancy among theologians as to exactly which Johannine texts are being indirectly referred to in the various conciliar documents.
 
 

Johannine Texts Direct Citations in the Ecumenical Councils Page #
in Tanner
Citation #
in DS (if available)
1:1 - "In the beginning was the Word..." Ephesus - The Third Letter of Cyril to Nestorius

Chalcedon - The Letter of Pope Leo to Flavian

58
 

79

 
1:3 - "All things were made through Him, and..." Chalcedon - The Letter of Pope Leo to Flavian 79  
1:9 - "It was the true light that enlightens every one..." Vatican II - The Church in the Modern World, ch. 57 1108  
1:13 - "who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh..." Vatican II - Decree on the Training of Priests, ch. 16 1062  
1:14 - "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us..." Ephesus - The Third Letter of Cyril to Nestorius; Canon 1; Canon 5

Chalcedon - The Letter of Pope Leo to Flavian

Vatican II - Decree on the Church's Missionary Activity, ch. 3

52, 59, 60
 

78, 79
 

1012

113, 117, 
118, 120
 
 
 
 

1:29b - "...Behold, the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world!" Trent - Decree on Original Sin, Canon 3 666 790
1:42b - "You shall be called Cephas..." Vatican I - First Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of Christ, ch. 3 812 1822
2:1b - "...and the mother of Jesus was there." Ephesus - Second Letter of Nestorius to Cyril 48  
2:16b - "...you shall not make my Father's house a house of trade." Nicaea II - Canon 13 149  
2:19b - "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up." Ephesus - Second Letter of Nestorius to Cyril 47  
3:5b - "...unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God." Trent - Decree on Original Sin, Canon 4; 

Decree on Justification, ch. 4; 

Canons on the Sacrament of Baptism, Canon 2

667 

672 

685

791

796

858

3:8 - "The wind blows where it will..." Vatican II - Decree on the Apostolate of Lay People, ch. 3 983  
3:13 - "No one has ascended into heaven but He Who descended from heaven, the Son of man." Ephesus - Letter of Cyril to John of Antioch  72  
3:18 - "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already..." Constantinople II - Sentence against the Three Chapters 110  
3:34 - "For He Whom God has sent utters the words of God..." Vatican II - Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, ch. 4 972  
4:13-14 - "...whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst..."  Trent - Decree on Justification, ch. 16 678 809
4:22b - "...we worship what we know..." Constance - Condemnation of John Wyclif's Articles, Article 2 422  
5:14b - "Sin no more, that nothing worse befall you." Lateran IV - Constitutions, ch. 22 245  
5:29 - "and they will come forth, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil..." Vatican II - Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, ch. 48 888  
6:38 - "...I have come down from heaven, not to do my will, but the will of the Father..." Constantinople III - Exposition of Faith 128 291
6:51 - "...the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh." Trent - Teaching on Communion under Both Kinds and of Children, ch. 1  726 930
6:53 - "Amen, Amen I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood..." Ephesus - Third Letter of Cyril to Nestorius 55  
6:54 - "...he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life..."  Trent - Teaching on Communion under Both Kinds and of Children, ch. 1 726 930
6:56 - "He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him."  Trent - Teaching on Communion under Both Kinds and of Children, ch. 1 726 930
6:58 - "...he who eats me will live because of me." Trent - Decree on the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist, ch. 2 694 875
6:58 - "...he who eats this bread will live forever." Trent - Teaching on Communion under Both Kinds and of Children, ch. 1 726 930
7:51 - "Does our law judge a person without first giving him a hearing and learning what he does?" Constantinople IV - Canon 10 174  
8:11 - "...go and sin no more, lest something worse befall you." Lateran IV - Constitutions, ch. 22 245  
8:12 - "I am the light of the world; anyone who follows me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life." Constantinople III - Exposition of Faith 124  
8:31-32 - "If you continue in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free." Constantinople IV - Definition of the Holy and Universal Eighth Synod 160  
8:40 - "but now you seek to kill me, a man who has spoken the truth to you..." Ephesus - Third Letter of Cyril to Nestorius 55  
10:1 - "...he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber..." Constance - Condemned Articles of John Hus, art. 24 431  
10:11b - "The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep." Basel-Ferrara-Florence-Rome - Form of Consent 496  
10:15b - "...and I lay down my life for the sheep." Basel-Ferrara-Florence-Rome - Form of Consent 496  
10:16c - "So there shall be one flock and one shepherd."  Lateran IV - Constitutions, ch. 4 236 435
10:29 - "What the Father gave me is greater than all." Lateran IV - Constitutions, ch. 2 232 432
10:30 - "I and the Father are one." Ephesus - Third Letter of Cyril to Nestorius

Chalcedon - The Letter of Pope Leo to Flavian 

55

80

 
10:36 - "...whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world." Vatican II - Decree on the Church's Missionary Activity, ch. 3 1013  
11:52b - "...and to gather into one the children of God who were scattered abroad." Vatican I - Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic Faith 805  
12:25b - "...whoever hates his life in this world, will keep it for eternal life." Lateran V - Condemnation of Every Proposition Contrary to the Truth of the Enlightened Christian Faith 605  
12:32 - "And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself." Vatican II - Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, ch. 3 850  
13:1b - "...when Jesus knew that His hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father..." Lateran V - On the Abrogation of the Pragmatic Sanction 640  
13:3 - "Jesus knowing, that the Father had given all things into his hands..." Lateran IV - Constitutions, ch. 71

Lyons I - Constitutions, I, ch. 5

268

299

 
13:10c - "...and you are clean, but not all of you." Constance - Condemned Articles of John Wycliff, art. 11 423  
13:35 - "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." Vatican II - Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, ch. 93 1135  
14:6a - "I am the way, and the truth, and the life..." Vatican II - Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions

Vatican II - Decree on the Church's Missionary Activity

969 
 

1022

 
14:9b - "He who has seen me has seen the Father." Ephesus - Third Letter of Cyril to Nestorius 55  
14:27b - "My peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you..." Chalcedon - Definition of the Faith

Constantinople III - Exposition of Faith

83

124

 
14:28c - "The Father is greater than I." Chalcedon - The Letter of Pope Leo to Flavian 80  
15:5c - "Apart from me you can do nothing." Vatican II - The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, ch. 4, art. 86

Vatican II - Decree on the Apostolate of Lay People, ch. 4

835 
 

983

 
15:6 - "If anyone does not abide in me, he shall be cast forth as a branch as shall wither." Constance - Sentence Condemning Jerome of Prague 433  
15:12 - "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you." Lateran V - On Religious and Their Privileges 646  
15:13 - "Greater love has no one than this, of laying down one's life for one's friends." Vatican II - Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, ch. 32 1088  
16:13a - "When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth." Ephesus - Third Letter of Cyril to Nestorius 57  
16:14 - "He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you."  Ephesus - Third Letter of Cyril to Nestorius 57  
16:33c - "...but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."  Vatican II - Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests, ch. 22 1069  
17:11b - "Holy Father, keep them in thy name, which thou hast given me, that they may be one, even as we are one." Vatican II - Decree on the Training of Priests, ch. 5 950  
17:15-16 - "I do not pray that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that thou shouldst keep them from the evil one..." Vatican II - Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests 1045  
17:20-21 - "I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word..." Vatican I - First Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of Christ 811 1821
17:21 - "that they may all be one, even as you, Father, are in me, and I in thou, that they also may be one in us..." Vatican II - Decree on Ecumenism

908 
 
 

913

 
17:21-22 - "that they may all be one...even as we are one." Vatican II - Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World 1083  
17:22b - "...that they may be one even as we are one." Lateran IV - Constitutions, ch. 2

Lateran IV - Constitutions, ch. 2

Basel-Ferrara-Florence-Rome - Pope Eugenius IV's Decree Continuing the Council of Florence

231

232 

584

431, 432
17:23a - "...so that they may be made perfectly one." Lateran IV - Constitutions, ch. 2 231 431, 432
18:31b - "It is not lawful for us to put any man to death." Constance - Condemned Articles of John Hus, art. 14 430 640
19:33-35 - "But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead....He who saw it has born witness...that you also may believe." Vienne - Decrees, 1 360 480
20:22b - "Receive the Holy Spirit." Constantinople II - Anathemas Against the Three Chapters, 12 120  
20:22-23 - "Receive the Holy Spirit; if you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven, if you retain the sins of any, they are retained." Trent - Doctrine of the Most Holy Sacraments of Penance and Extreme Unction, ch. 1

Trent - Canons Concerning the Most Holy Sacrament of Penance, Canon 3

703
 

711 

894
 

913

20:23 - "If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven, if you retain the sins of any, they are retained." Trent - Decree on Justification, ch. 14

Trent - Doctrine of the Most Holy Sacraments of Penance and Extreme Unction, ch. 6

Trent - Canons Concerning the Most Holy Sacrament of Penance, Canon 10

677

707 
 

713

807

902
 

920

20:28b - "My Lord and my God." Constantinople II - Anathemas Against the Three Chapters, 12 120 224
21:15-17 - "Feed my lambs.... Feed my sheep." Vatican I - First Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of Christ. 812 1822
21:17d-i - "Do you love me?...Feed my sheep." Vatican II - Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests, ch. 3, 12 1057  

 
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