The Gospel of John

by William R. Cannon

Before his election to the episcopacy in 1968 United Methodist Bishop William R. Cannon served as Professor of Church History and then Dean of Chandler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta. Other books by Bishop Cannon include The Gospel Of John, Jesus The Servant, and The Book Of Acts.

The Gospel of John was published by The Upper Room, 1985. This book was prepared for Religion Online by Paul Mobley.


(ENTIRE BOOK) John saw Jesus, not so much as he appeared to be from the outward aspects of his ministry, as he did from the basic purpose that ministry was designed to achieve. And what John relates about Jesus actually took place, and is consistent with the accounts of Matthew, Mark, and Luke.


  • Introduction

    Matthew, Mark, and Luke are related to John and the account of each. The major focus is on John himself, and how he related Jesus and his ministry.

  • Chapter 1: The Prologue

    John announces the good news, and tells both from whom it comes and to whom it is sent. The startling information he gives is that the message and the messenger are one and the same. Proceeding from there John establishes Jesus and the message.

  • Chapter 2: The Incarnate Word

    The Apostle John displays the Word in a series of incidents and encounters that Jesus had at the beginning of his ministry. And by the birth of Jesus, God reveals his purpose.

  • Chapter 3: The Incarnate Word

    This section of the gospel is replete with acts of kindness on the part of Jesus. In becoming God’s incarnate Word, Jesus was the everlasting expression the heavenly Father has for his children. His every deed was an act of compassion and caring love.

  • Chapter 4: The Incarnate Light

    John portrays Jesus as the Light Of The World. It is overpowering. It is the all-pervading light of God that dispels all darkness, reflected in the countenance of Son, Jesus.

  • Chapter 5: The Incarnate Life

    Apart from God, there is nothing that has always been alive. And, for a person to have his or her life restored to that person after death, the restoration can come only from the hands of God. So then we come to eternal life, and eternal life comes only through Jesus Christ.

  • Chapter 6: The Incarnate Way

    The early Christians were known as followers of the way. John presents Jesus as the incarnate Way, the divine intention for life demonstrated in human form. That way is the way of salvation.

  • Chapter 7: The Incarnate Truth

    Divine truth is clothed in the person and personality of one human being, Jesus. John makes no distinction between the person speaking and the spoken word. Jesus is the truth of God, the example for us today, as He points the way.

  • Chapter 8: The Incarnate God

    John shows us that Jesus has incarnated and therefore manifested in human form and behavior the great attributes of the omnipotent and everlasting God. Characteristics such as Word, Deed, Light, Life, Way, and Truth, are revealed. Through Jesus we see the incarnate God.

  • Chapter 9: The Epilogue

    The epilogue reveals the result of Jesus coming to earth, and His continuing work with His followers after His life on earth is over.