Bible Dictionary

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John, Gospel of

Written by John the Apostle. In 20:31 he tells us his object in writing is to testify (1) that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, and (2) that Jesus is the Son of God. The scenes from Jesus’ life that he describes are carefully selected and arranged with this object in view. The record begins with a statement of Christ’s status in the premortal existence: He was with God, He was God, and He was the creator of all things. Finally He was born in the flesh as the Only Begotten Son of the Father. John traces the course of Jesus’ ministry, greatly emphasizing His divinity and His Resurrection from the dead and citing miracles and sermons to develop his points. He clearly affirms that Jesus is the Son of God, attested to by miracles, by witnesses, by the prophets, and by Christ’s own voice. John teaches by contrast, using such terms as light and darkness, truth and error, good and evil, God and the devil. Perhaps in no other record is the holiness of Jesus and the perfidy of the Jewish rulers so plainly declared.

This Gospel is supplementary to the other three. It deals mainly with the Judean ministry, whereas the Synoptists write chiefly of the ministry in Galilee. Several items from this Gospel have been clarified by latter-day revelation, such as D&C 7 and D&C 88:141. See also Gospels; John.