Saint John the Evangelist Seminary

A Commitment of the Evangelical Catholic Church for Academic Formation


















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Saint John the Evangelist Seminary

SC 504: Johannine Literature 
Course Syllabus


The Gospel of John, the Johannine letters, and the Revelation of John are considered both against the background of first century history and their theological relevance in our time; emphasis on major Johannine themes and, in the case of Revelation, the apocalyptic movement in general.


The approach is scholarly, rather than moralistic or sectarian. The course will be taught from the perspective of the Bible as a record of God's self -disclosure (revelation). An important objective is that each student will arrive at a greater intellectual appreciation of the corporate nature of our heritage of faith and how large a part of the spirit and content of Western civilization flows from the biblical sources.

This course is not designed to give easy answers to questions of personal faith, although it should provide considerable foundation of historical, literary , and theological data which will enable the earnest student to arrive at a more mature personal faith. The professor will endeavor to provide an atmosphere of freedom and intellectual honesty in which maturation in faith and understanding is possible. The student's effort to develop his/her own personal religious faith, of course, is a task in which he/she will be engaged, hopefully, for the rest of his/her life.

The methods and content of the course are determined not only by aim and objectives, but also by such factors as size of enrollment, varied and limited biblical knowledge on the part of the students, and the necessity of examination for learning and evaluation. The course should provide a background for other courses in Religious Studies. Information concerning the major in Religious Studies and the Master of Arts in Religious Studies degree will be provided by the professor or other members of the departmental faculty.

In additional to material covered in this study, the course structure provides opportunity for discussion of interesting and enigmatic topics, and the raising of questions which have grown out of your studies. 


Upon successful completion of this course, the student should be able to:

• - Recognize and apply basic theological terminology and concepts
• - Understand the fundamental elements of early Christianity
• - Understand the methods used in and goals of theological research
• - Identify a sample of theological authors, their key positions, and periods
• - Write effective analytical essays about theological issues
• - Improve critical reading skills and creative engagement with biblical texts
• - appreciate the variety of different belief systems in the biblical world


1. Complete readings, summaries and papers.
2. Interact with me via Skype or Google Chat as we progress with this course.
3. Participate Actively
4. Ask questions whenever something is confusing or unclear.
5. Have fun.


1. A healthy and functioning PC or Laptop with Internet Connection and Skype or Google Chat up and running.

2. Completion of two (2) papers. The first at the “mid-point” of our journey and a final paper. Topics for papers TBA.


The New Oxford Annotated Bible (with the Apocrypha). New Revised Standard Version. Third Edition. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001 (Paperback).

Smith, D. Moody. John. "Abingdon New Testament Commentaries." Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1999 (paperback).

Efird, James M. Revelation for Today: An Apocalyptic Approach. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1989 (paperback).

Recommended Books for your personal library:

• The Interpreter's Bible, especially vols. 8 & 12
• The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, 5 vols.
• The Interpreter's One-Volume Commentary of the Bible
• the Abingdon Bible Handbook
• The Interpreter's Concise Commentary: Vol. VI, The Gospels and Vol. VIII, Revelation and the General Epistles
• The Anchor Bible Dictionary , 6 vols.
• The New Interpreter's Bible; (especially vols. VIII, IX, XII)
• the Revised Edition of The HarperCollins Bible Dictionary.


Saint John the Evangelist Seminary
An Online Academic Program