The New Testament

A Historical and Theological Introduction

Materials available for professors by request only


39. The Johannine Epistles

Questions for Research and Discussion

  1. Discuss Dodd’s understanding of the authorship of the Johannine Epistles in light of the Fourth Gospel. What do you make of his findings? Why do you think his view has not won the day?
  2. Why do some scholars feel justified in saying that 1 John is commentary on the Gospel of John? Is there any evidence that 1 John may have some level of dependence (literary or otherwise) on the Fourth Gospel?
  3. 1 John can be called a sermon and 2–3 John can be called letters. What allows for this distinction?
  4. What evidence is there that 1 John is combating incipient Gnosticism? How does the author of 1 John address this danger?
  5. Trace the concept of sin throughout 1 John. What patterns do you notice?