196. The Gospel according to St. John (KJV)

Plot: Within the framework of the life of Jesus, the Gospel according to St. John has quite a lot of new stories,  parables and memorable quotes not found in the others, but more noticeably there seems to be a more joyous, beautiful and perhaps optimistic tone to some of the writing.

Again we skip the nativity story entirely, but we do get Jesus turning water into wine at the wedding (Ch. 2), bringing Lazarus back to life (Ch. 11), and washing the Disciples’ feet (Ch.13).  His turning the moneylenders out of the temple is recorded at the beginning of his works and not closer to his arrest and crucifixion as in the other versions. There are also quotes from John the Baptist.

Like Matthew, there are many lines which are well known even to philistines (small p) such as myself.

“He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone … “   John 8:7

“I am the Light of the World : he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life”  John 8:12

“Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free”   John 8:32

Favourite lines/passages:

Quite a few, actually.

“And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not”  John 1: 5

“The good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep”   John 10:11

“A prophet hath no honour in his own country”  John 4:44

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends”  John 15:13

“… be of good cheer, I have overcome the world”   John 16:33


Many of the quotes attributed to Jesus in John start with the words “Verily, verily” which sounds very Monty Pythonish after a while.

Personal rating: As literature, 5/10.

Next :  Staying with the NT, The Acts of the Apostles

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