Alpha Christian Texts
The Gospel of John

Papyrus 52 (Fragment of John 18:31f)

By the Trajectory arguments, John in its canonical form is the last of the Four Gospels. It presents a highly abstracted Jesus, who is assimilated to the cosmic principle Logos, and also a theologically consistent Jesus, who continually preaches his identity with God. A corollary of this proposition is that salvation is only through Jesus, in effect excluding those Alpha Christians who still believed in a Jewish-style repentance and forgiveness scenario, John shows a close knowledge of Jerusalem, but as Bacon has shown, it is a tourist knowledge of late 1c Jerusalem, such as might have been acquired by any pious person visiting what then remained of sacred sites. Except that it describes repeated visits of Jesus to Jerusalem, the John narrative is not notably Jerusalemite. It stands outside Judaism, and treats the Jews as Others. That Jesus was himself a Jew does not come through strongly in John, where Jesus is more like a being from another planet. The exclusion of Christians from synagogue worship (plausibly dated to c85) is reflected in three passages in John.


Among those most commonly pointed out (in such places as the beginning of von Wahlde Earliest), and requiring to be somehow accounted for in any adequate theory of the nature and formation of John, are these:

There have been many attempts to construct a formation scenario for John, among them these:

Associated Texts

The usual Johannine cluster consists of five texts. The other four are:

That 1 John is somehow related to the Gospel is obvious, since they have many lines and concepts in common. 2-3 John are currently under study. The association of Revelation with any of the others is now regarded as weak, and the page on that text will be found elsewhere.

Topics for Research

The following are topics which frequently arise in discussions of John:


Here are some useful studies of one or more of the above topics. We thank the authors for making these files available to our discussion:

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4 Dec 2015 / Contact The Project / Exit to Alpha Page