I. Although the Gospel contains no direct statement of authorship, the Church tradition has been almost universal in attributing the Gospel to John the Apostle. This view does not preclude, however, some of his assistants helping him and organizing the material.

II. Who was John?

III. The Gospel of John was apparently finished late in John's life, around the year 100. However, the references to the Jewish feasts, which ended with the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D. may well indicate that the Gospel was begun shortly before or after that time. Given that the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) seem to make no use of this Gospel, it is likely that it was published after them. That is the general view of almost all commentators, old and new. See, e.g., Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History Book VI, chapter 14, verses 5-7; Fr. Raymond Brown, The Gospel and Epistles of John 11-12. The fact that it refers generically to "the Jews" and not specifically to the specific groups, e.g., Pharisees, Sadducees, Herodians, Zealots, indicates that it was likely finished well after the destruction of the Temple, for that event largely led to the end of most of those groups.

IV. The Gospel according to John is symbolized by the eagle largely because, form the prologue onwards, it soars to the divine perspective.

D. The Gospel describes fewer events and does so at greater length, using double and triple meanings. For example, John several times uses word play on a Jewish term that could be two things. See, e.g., John 3:8 (wind and spirit, from the common term ruah); John 7:8 (going up, which could refer to travel or to being raised on the Cross); John 13:1 ("to the end" could mean until death or to the greatest degree.) Even the high priest Caiaphas unknowingly spoke at two levels and prophesied about the importance of Jesus' death, "it is better that one man should die instead of the people." John 11:50. There are more lengthy discourse than in any other Gospel and most of the events, especially the miracles, include explanations regarding the theme of the event. See, e.g , John 5:17-47; 6:22-68, 9. When Jesus speaks at a depth, the people do not at first understand, but later come to do so. See, e.g., 1: 48-51; 2:19-25, 3:3-15, 4:7-25.

VI. The Gospel begins with the Prologue (John 1:1-19), continues onto the Book of Signs (John 1:19-13:50, describing the miracles and discourses of Jesus), reaches a climax with the Book of Glory (describing the Last Supper and the passion, death, and Resurrection of Jesus), and concludes with an epilogue regarding the sending forth of the disciples from Galilee.