Things You Won’t Find in the Gospel of John

I obtained these “observations” from a number of different sources, which I will list at the end of this post. I find it really interesting that one can read through the Gospel of John many times and still not take notice of things that are missing in John’s Gospel, that are mentioned in the Synoptic Gospels and conversely what you will find in John’s Gospel that is missing from the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke). There are numerous reasons for the differences, the primary reason of which is that John portrays Jesus exclusively as the Son of God (divine) throughout his Gospel. Other reasons and expanded rationale for all of these “observations” can be explored by checking out the links at the end of this post and I strongly encourage you to do so. In the interim, I just want to list some of the things that are missing from John’s Gospel and some things that John adds, just so that you are aware. I hope you find these “observations” as interesting as I did. Some of them may surprise you:

  • In John’s Gospel there is no genealogy, neither His legal through Joseph, nor his personal through Mary. Nor is there any account of His birth.

  • There is no description of His baptism. 

  • John says nothing about the Temptation.

  • There is no account of His transfiguration.

  • There is no Appointing of the Apostles.

  • Never once is Christ seen praying. Before you object, noting John 17, read the notes on this on the first link I have provided.

  • We never read in John’s Gospel of “The Coming of the Son of Man,” nor is Jesus addressed as “The Son of David”.

  • We never find the word “Repent” in John.

  • Neither is the word “Forgive” found in John.

  • No Parables are found in John’s Gospel.

  • John’s Gospel does not mention demons.

  • There is no account of Christ’s Ascension in this fourth Gospel. 

  • John focuses more on our life in Jesus rather than the life of Jesus.

  • John uses the most metaphors for Jesus (I am the bread of life etc).

  • John also shows some of the apostles introducing each other to Jesus, versus Jesus calling His disciples.

  • John was written specifically for “those who have not seen”.

  • John focuses primarily on communicating that Jesus is the Messiah, not his miracles.

  • John focuses a lot on Jesus’ dialogues.

  • John focuses more on belief in Jesus. The Greek root for “believe” and “faith” shows up more in John than in all the other gospels combined. 

  • John’s gospel focuses more on theology than history.

  • John addresses misunderstandings about Jesus.

  • John introduces Jesus as the Word of God.

  • There is no mention of Jesus being born in Bethlehem.

  • Nothing is said about Mary being a virgin.

  • There is no mention of the last supper.

  • In John, Jesus doesn’t actually call miracles, miracles, he calls them “signs”.

Source links:

https://biblehub.com/library/pink/why_four_gospels/i_things_omitted_from_johns.htm

https://www.jesusfilm.org/blog-and-stories/gospel-of-john.html

https://jbennett4blog.wordpress.com/2014/03/25/johns-gospel-vs-the-synoptic-gospels/

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!

23 comments

  1. To some degree what you are saying is false. here is the problem. for example “Repent” that is an exact word, but you do not have to use that word to say the exact same thing. Like husband man or male or he or head of the house, you describe the same thing.
    John is a wonderful book and the I AM statements are one of those great things. But John is not soft on repentance.
    Anyone reading John 3:14 to 21 realizes Jesus means business. If you then read back and ask what it is to be born again it means repenting from the contempt and lack of trust/faith you have in God and a sucky please before you kill me pleading at the foot of the cross like Israel did at the foot of Moses with a snake on a Pole.

    There is a harsh reality that unless you likewise repent, you will end up like a Luke 13.
    In no way is John soft on repentance. And if you include 1st John as well, John is not pussy footing around. You either change or you go to hell. 1 John 1:9 is one of the most popular verses in Christian theology.

    And as for forgiveness 1 John is point blank about you forgiving others or you wont be forgiven.. a Mirror of Matthew and John 8 is about forgiveness. John 20 is about the remittance of sin.. Some things are worth noting but if someone is suggesting a cheep gospel without forgiveness and without repentance. John does not teach such a gospel.

    Luke is also a interesting Samaritan gospel. Each has its slant with some things exclusively only found in those gospels.

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    • If you read the actual info on the links Scott, you would have seen that the author addresses the “born again” segment, but he is indicating that the actual word “repent” is not specifically used. He is not saying that turning away from former sins is not advocated. Likewise with regard to the actual use of the word “forgive”. No one is advocating that repentance and forgiveness is not required. Blessings Scott.

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      • You may have come across Ed, on the internet and another group called Hebrew roots. They are on both ends of the spectrum. Ed suggests grace means no work from our side including repentance. Hebrew Roots suggests works as a means of salvation.
        As you and I know the issue is both and neither.
        Salvation cannot be had, we are dead in our trespasses and sins. So no work no matter how much cannot revive the dead. Only God can raise the dead AND that cannot happen by law without a sacrifice that can match the problem of death an sin. Which is Jesus.

        But Unlike Eds thinking, there is no access to this grace (unmerited favor) without repentance and Faith. Faith meaning that you Trust without Contempt. Or as some may say, Lose the attitude.
        This is a fatal flaw with many peoples view of their own salvation. they think they have it cause they attend church and do good and don’t sin a lot. But in soft ways they say take a hike to God. So they subvert the Faith aspect and they are not repentant but they do pretty good otherwise.
        I also think Repentance as a word falls short of the explanation. it suggests a crisis moment where you apologize but it is more than apology. Its a signature signing event. Its a turning from one thing to another. Its about conversion. So its these Opportunities that I take to break open what it is to be saved. Saved from the Curse, saved from death and saved to life meaning being spiritually given life.
        John may provide more of a grasp of this conversion than most Romans 8 and John 3 and the Romans road all work together.

        hebrews roots is wrong as well to suggest law keeping saves. It cant even bring a moment of salvation, but there is an expectation of true trust and faith that leads to a righteous life. In fact, Faith is an act of Righteousness as Romans 4 says. Not a fake hope of crossing the fingers but a loss of contempt and a full assurance of faith/Trust so that you have confidence in God. That Confidence as seen by hebrews 11 is the saving faith the loss of contempt , the repentant heart fully understanding the respect one should have for God to be his child.

        I will have to re-read John to see if he conveys that admiration clearly to describe the words faith and repentance.

        In a conversation with someone else we discussed how Marriage is very much like this. And when Contempt seeps in, in a true sense you are no longer “faithful” That relationship is somewhat broken. I see that is what happened with Israel. and Repentance in that context is a good word to describe the return and surrender realizing that reconciliation comes by taking down barriers of contempt.

        Its my hope that everyone in the christian church first grasps this return to God as more than a duty to do good but as a restoration of a relationship as John clearly spells out through his gospel. Still, I thank God for Romans, Hebrews, Luke, Matthew, Mark and other books like Isaiah and Jeremiah for their pealing back of what it means to reconcile with God.
        And God has given us the ministry of reconciliation. Funny enough, best said by Paul. Funny enough Paul wrote Romans. Galatians and Ephesians.. all pealing back this thing called salvation.

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      • Hi Scott. I understand your concerns but not sure how they relate to these quoted observations. As I indicated previously, no author within the three links I have quoted, nor the specific observations themselves, are advocating any of the concerns you express. All this particular post attempted to draw attention to, was some of the observed differences between the actual Gospel of John and the other Synoptic Gospels. They are not a critique on the entire Biblical witness nor was it intended to be. Hope this helps. Blessings to you and yours Scott.

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      • Dont worry It was no slight on you or that author Just my brain seeing some who use an excuse that repentance or forgiveness is not seen in John to justify a perverted version of the gospel. So consider my side note as a Opportunity for me to share the gospel. Not as a slight.

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      • As you can see Scott, I have deleted the followup thread of comments between you and I in its entirety. You are obviously free to post whatever you desire on your own blog but I have deliberately chosen not to get into political arguments on my blog and my mistake was releasing your secondary comment thread, which facilitated you to propagate your political opinions on this blog. I try very hard to release all submitted comments, as long as common respect is maintained, but unfortunately, in this particular case, it was not. It was my error in releasing the second political comment thread that you sent me. I should have clarified my preference for only Christian Apologetic related comments on this blog and for that I apologize. Best regards.

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      • oh, for the record. you mentioned about deleting things. I don’t go to your site to reply. On the corner of my stats page there is a Bell. When I click on it your comments come up. it shows a little circle there when there is a comment.

        So I did not know you deleted any of my posts. Nor do I care actually. But I did not know. if that made you feel better great.

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      • For the record Scott, I did not initially send you a video link with Giuliani vindicating Trump’s win, you initially sent it to me. And also for the record, I am not a Liberal. If I was an American I could not have, with a clear conscience, voted for Trump or Biden, just like American Christians like John Piper and others who said they could not. So there are more than just two opinions in being for or against Trump or Biden to the ongoing political discussion in the USA. And, as I have indicated, I have decided not to get into political arguments on this blog. That is why your comments were deleted and will continue to be deleted, should you again decide to send me political based information which vindicates your preference of President Trump. I know who you support and you know who I do not support, so let’s leave it at that. Blessings to you and yours.

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  2. Hey, Bruce! I will be honest, I am not on the same page with Pink in regards to prayer in John. I agree that John does not teach how believers are to pray; however, John is the most Trinitarian gospel and records the intimate relationship between the Father and the Son. I would be curious as to when Pink wrote this article vs the date of writing of his expository commentary on John. I see what Pink is saying that Jesus’s posture and language reveals one of equality; however, in John 11:41–42 Jesus says, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me” (ESV). I really think this as well as John 17 are prayers. Pink refers to John 11:41-42 and John 17 as prayers in his commentary. I am attaching the link if you’re interested https://hopecollege.com/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2014/12/Exposition-of-the-Gospel-of-John.pdf

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Fascinating breakdown, Bruce. It certainly highlights the different, more cosmic, emphasis of John, implying among other things, that he was writing for a different set of readers. John 1:1-18 is my flat-out favorite passage in the gospels.

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