Fr. Tim Peters Catholic Bible Study - The Gospel of John
Fr. Tim Peters is a Catholic diocesan priest in Orange County, CA. One of the 12 Peters children, he received his doctorate from the Angelicum University in Rome.
He teaches Biblical Theology as well as the biblical languages at St. John's Seminary in California and assists at St. Joachim's Church in Costa Mesa, CA.
We are proud to present his free video biblical study on the Gospel of St. John. Please feel free to use this bible study in your home, with a church group, or in any type of church setting. This is free for everyone. We'd like as many people to join in with this bible study as possible, so please link back to it if you have a website, or share it via facebook, twitter, instagram and other social media.
Fr. Tim uses the RSV Bible in his study and recommends you have a copy handy while you follow along this free bible study.
John, Chapter 1 (40 Minute Video)
John chapter 1– This study will cover the following:
1.The Prologue in John’s Gospel presents a summary of the entire Gospel (vv. 1–18).
a.John 1:1––‘In the Beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.’ The first sentence in the Prologue takes us back to Genesis, ‘In the Beginning;’ yet John wants us to see the entire work of creation through the person of Christ. Moreover, John tells us that Christ (The eternal Word) is God.
b.John 1:14––‘And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory…’ Thus, all of history was forever changed. The humbling act when the Word became flesh is known as the ‘incarnation,’ the moment when God entered the world. The incarnation is a monumental moment is salvation history, not just on earth, but in heaven as well! God dwelt with His people––This recalls the Tabernacle in the desert, the portable shrine that God commanded His people to build so the He could dwell with them and manifest His glory.
2.John 1:29–– The next (2nd) day––John the Baptists says–‘Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the Word’ John wants to demonstrate that Jesus is the true Passover Lamb.
3.John 1:35––The next (3rd) day––John the Baptist says––‘Behold the Lamb of God’
4.John 1:43––The next (4th) day––Philip says ‘we have found the One about whom Moses wrote…” Nathaniel responds––‘Can anything good come out of Nazareth.’
John, Chapter 2 (44 Minute Video)
John Chapter 2- This study will cover the following:
––On the Third day (7th day) there was a wedding feast in Cana in Galilee and the Mother of Jesus was there.
1.John 2:3––‘Woman… my hour has not yet come.’ The word ‘Woman’ in Greek (gune) is actually respectful! We must be careful not to read the bible according to our own cultural bias. In addition the phrase ‘my hour has not yet come’ is developed throughout John’s Gospel, referring to the Hour when He would glorify His Father. At the Cross Jesus will address the same ‘woman’––Mary, the New Eve, and He will tell his beloved disciple––‘behold your mother.’
2.John 2:10––The First Sign––of Seven Sings––Jesus changes water into the best wine. Wine was a symbol of Joy, but especially a symbol of covenant renewal. Hence, ‘new wine’ even had a special name [Hebr. tirosh], and was associated with covenant renewal (see Hos 2:18–25)—Accordingly, Jesus uses the metaphor of new wine and new wineskins to speak about the New and Eternal Covenant (Matt 9:38; Mark 2:22; Luke 5:38).
3.John 2:13–23––The Cleansing of the temple. “What sign can you show us??? Jesus responded, 'Destroy this Temple and in three days I will raise it up.’ Moses worked signs for the people of Israel, thus they understood that he was a prophet (Cf. Exod 3–5). Other prophets like Elijah and Elisha also worked signs which demonstrated that they were true prophets.
John, Chapter 3 (60 Minute Video)
John Chapter 3 – This study will cover the following
1.3:1–16––One must be born from ‘above’ (Greek - anothen=above/again). What does Jesus mean when He says that we must be ‘born from above’ and why does He speak of being born of ‘water and Spirit?’
2.John 3:14––Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness so must the Son of man be lifted up.’ (See also John 8:28; 12:32, 34) here ‘lifted up’ refers to Jesus being lifted up on the cross.
3.John 3:17–19––Light, darkness and Judgment – John explains that the true children of the Lord, those that are born from above and they will reject the works of darkness and chose to walk in the light.
John, Chapter 4 (40 Minute Video)
John Chapter 4 –– This study will cover the following:
1.4:1–45–Jesus meets the Samaritan women while sitting at a well (similar to Moses in Exod 2:15–22). Jesus speaks with the Samaritan women about ‘Living Water’ and ‘True Worshipers.’
2.The necessary place of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
3.The response of the Samaritan woman as a model of discipleship.
4.The importance of wells as places where the patriarchs encountered their brides.
5.John 4:46–54––The 2nd Sign––The Healing of the royal officials son at Cana.
John, Chapter 5 (43 Minute Video)
John Chapter 5 –– This study will cover the following:
1.5:1–18––The 3rd Sign––The cure on the Sabbath––‘Rise, take up your mat and walk.’
2.The importance and purpose of the Sabbath.
3.Honoring the Son as one honors the Father
4.The resurrection of the dead.
5.Judgement and eternal life.
John, Chapter 6 Part 1 (35 Minute Video)
John chapter 6 –– Part I –– This study will cover the following:
1.John 6:1–15––The 4th Sign––Jesus multiplies the Loaves and feeds thousands. This recalls other multiplication miracles.
a.The Manna (Exod 16).
b.Elijah (1 Kgs 17).
c.Elisha (2 Kgs 4).
2.John 6:16–24––The 5th Sign––Jesus walks on water––The boat arrives at its destination when they desire to take him into the boat…when we desire to receive Him our journey is complete.
3.John 6:22–31 ––Questions related to Moses and the Manna.
John, Chapter 6 Part 2 (33 Minute Video)
John Chapter 6–– Part II– This study will cover the following:
1.In John 6:35–58––The 1st “I Am” Statement––I am the Bread of Life––vv. 53–58–– Jesus emphasizes the importance of eating His flesh and drinking His blood––using two verbs different verbs for ‘eating.’
2.John 6:31–35––The Bread of Life Discourse––The crowd seeks the bread that perishes. They ask Jesus for a sign thinking of the manna which their ancestors ate in the desert. However, this desire for Manna-is the context from which the Bread of Life discourse begins.
3.The Father’s gift.
4.John 6:51–53- Jesus emphasizes that we must eat His flesh and drink His blood.
5.John 6:54–58––Jesus changes uses a more descriptive Greek verb [trogo] in order to emphasize His point.
6.John 6:59–72– The importance of the Spirit.
7.John 6:59–71––Many of Jesus’ disciples (other than the twelve) began to abandon Him after the Bread of Life Discourse. Peter replies ‘where will we go, you have the words of eternal life.’ Some of Jesus’ disciples walk away finding His teaching too difficult.
8.Peter’s response is a model for those who wish to follow Christ faithfully. Sometimes we don’t have all the answers but we must simply trust that our Lord will help us to grow in our ability to understand.
John, Chapter 7 (25 Minute Video)
John Chapter 7 –– This study will cover the following:
1-John 7:1–52––The Feast of Tabernacles––‘Rivers of Living water will flow from within him’––The feast of Tabernacles celebrated the desert journey—when water flowed from the rock (Exod 17). It also commemorated the fact that God dwelt in the midst of His people during their desert Journey. How does Jesus’ reference to ‘rivers of living water’ recall the river that flowed out of Eden (Gen 2) and Ezekiel’s prophecy about the New Temple (Ezek 47)? How do Jesus’ words help us understand the important role of the Holy Spirit in our lives?
2-His hour had not yet come, the importance of the ‘hour.’ What does John mean when he speaks of Jesus’ hour?
3-Living water – from Eden (Gen 2), to the Rock in the Garden (Exod 17), to Ezekiel’s vision of the new temple (Ezek 47). How do these Old Testament images of water help prepare us for Jesus’ reference to ‘living water?’
John, Chapter 8 (44 Minute Video) John Chapter 8 –– This study will cover the following:
1-John 8:1–12––The women caught in adultery–– ‘Let the one without sin cast the first stone.’ Jesus demonstrates that His desire is that we receive His forgiveness. Why did Jesus write on the ground with His finger? Why did Jesus ask the woman, ‘where are your accusers?’
2-The significance of Jesus’ words ‘go, and sin no more.’ How do these words apply to our lives?
3-John 8:12––The 2nd “I Am” Statement––I am the Light of the World.–––Jesus the Light of the world. Where is the importance of light emphasized the bible?
4-The Great ‘I am’ –– Understand the importance of the three ‘I am’ statements in John 8:24, 28 and 58. How do these statements demonstrate that Jesus is divine?
5-If you do not believe that “I am” you will die in your sins….before Abraham came to be “I Am” (vv. 24, 58). How did the Jews react after the third ‘I Am’ statement in chapter 8 and what does this tell us about Jesus’ divinity?
6-They picked up stones – Demonstrating that they understood Jesus’ words.
John, Chapter 9 (22 Minute Video) John Chapter 9 –– This study will cover the following:
1-–The 6th Sign––The man born Blind is healed. How does Jesus use this miracle to speak about spiritual blindness?
2-The significance of putting mud on the eyes of the blind man and sending him to wash. How does this action tell us that we need to be washed of our sins and spiritual blindness?
3-Being ‘sent’- Siloam and the symbolic meaning of being sent. The healing of Naaman the Syrian in 2 Kgs 5.
4-Irony in the biblical story – How could the blind man speak about Jesus’ miracle without ever having seen Jesus? What does this tells us about faith?
5-Blindness, sin and pride – versus – humility, repentance and sight. Compare contrast the faith of the blind man to the pride of those who oppose Jesus?
John, Chapter 10 (26 Minute Video) John Chapter 10 –– This study will cover the following:
1-John 10:7–– The 3rd “I am” Statement––I am the sheep gate. Jesus uses the title ‘sheep gate’ to underline the fact that entrance into the flock is only through Him. Thus, only through Christ can we enter the kingdom and enjoy the Shepherd’s protection. How does the metaphor of a gate help us to understand that Jesus is the world’s only Savior?
2-John 10:11––The 4th “I am” Statement ––“I am the good Shepherd. In the Old Testament leaders were often considered to be shepherds of the people. Hence, Moses was shepherding a flock before God called him to shepherd His people (Exod 3). The same is true for David who was also a shepherd (1 Sam 16). However, over the course of its history Israel constantly lacked good shepherds, evident by the kings, priests and false prophets that led the people astray. Hence, the prophets spoke of the day when they Lord would send Israel a new shepherd (Jer 23:1–6; Ezek 34; 37; Micah 5). If kings were and leader were refers to as shepherds, how does Jesus’ reference to being the good shepherd distinguish?
3-‘I came so that you might have life’ v. 11 – What does Jesus mean by life in abundance?
4-I have ‘other sheep’– Refers to the gentiles who will enter the covenant.
John, Chapter 11 (45 Minute Video) John Chapter 11 –– This study will cover the following:
1-John 11:1–44––The 7th Sign––The resurrection of Lazarus from the dead.
2-Lazarus was ill, why did Jesus delay?
3-What was the importance of Martha’s question?
4-John 11:25––The 5th “I am” Statement––I am the Resurrection and the Life. What is the significance of this ‘I Am’ statement?
5-Why did Jesus weep?
6-Lazarus come forth! What is the importance of Jesus’ command, which was given to a dead man?
7-The plan to kill Jesus and the prophecy of the High Priest. What was the false logic of their plan and how were the words of the High Priests prophetic?
John, Chapter 12 (34 Minute Video) John Chapter 12 –– This study will cover the following:
1-12:1–19––Jesus is anointed at Bethany. What does His anointing tells us about humble service? How did this woman recognize something about Jesus that others failed to recognize? What response did Jesus give to Judas’ question?
2-The Triumphal entrance into Jerusalem. What important Psalm is recalled?
3-The significance of the word - Hosanna!!! As a cry/prayer for salvation. What does ‘hosanna’ mean and why do we sing these words before the consecration of the Eucharist at each mass?
4-John 12:20 ––The desire of the Greeks to seek Jesus is a turning point and indicates that the Gentiles want to know Christ. Why is the conversion of the Gentiles the turning point and how will this forever change human history?
5-The arrival of the ‘Hour.’ Jesus’ statement that: “The Hours has come!” What does the arrival of the ‘hour’ signify?
6-The grain of wheat and Jesus’ death –– Unless a grain of wheat fall to the ground and die it cannot bear fruit, but if it dies, it will bear much fruit. How do these words help one understand Jesus’ mission as well as the call that we have as disciples of Christ? What must we do?
John, Chapter 13 (44 Minute Video) John Chapter 8 –– This study will cover the following:
1- John 13:1–20––Foot washing and humble service. Jesus washes His disciple’s feet and gives them an example of humble service. How can we continue to serve other in the same manner? What changes must you make in your life so that this type of service can be a reality in your local church?
2-John 13:31–35––The New Commandment––‘Love one another as I have loved you.’ What does this commandment tells us about the true meaning of love?
3-The coming of the Holy Spirit. What does Jesus say concerning the coming of the Holy Spirit and how does this give us confidence?
4-No servant is greater than their master. How does this statement prepare us for trials, persecution and rejection?
5-Judas – the one who betrayed Christ. What was the significance of the price that Judas received for Jesus’ life see (Exod 21:32)?
6-Peter – The prophecy concerning Peter’s denial of Christ.
7-Peter and Judas – What makes them different?
John, Chapter 14 (41 Minute Video) John Chapter 14 –– This study will cover the following:
1-John 14:1–6 – The 6th “I am” Statement––I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. How does Jesus’ statement about being the Way, the Truth and the Life prepare the Church for eternal life in the Father’s presence?
2-The coming of the Holy Spirit, the Helper, the Spirit of Truth. Why is the Holy Spirit called the ‘Spirit of Truth’? How will this help us distinguish truth from lies?
3-The one who loves me will keep my word. How does this statement underline the importance of frequently studying sacred scripture?
4-Understanding what Jesus meant when He said that ‘The Father is greater than I.’ Did Jesus willingly accept the limitations of our humanity? Why do we bow our heads as we recite the Creed each Sunday?
John, Chapter 15 (41 Minute Video) John Chapter 15 –– This study will cover the following:
1-John 15:1–9––The 7th “I am” Statement––I Am the true Vine, you are the Branches.
2-The branches that are pruned- How does the pruning of the branches help us to understand, tribulation, trials and difficulties?
3-The branches that will be cut off and burned. How does this help us understand that we must abide in Jesus and faithfully walk with our Lord?
4-The significance of the command ‘remain’ in Me. What should one do if they wish to faithfully remain in Christ?
5-John 15:10–27––Love one another––No one has greater love than this, to give their life for a friend. How does Jesus teach us the meaning of true love and authentic friendship? What are some examples of how our modern world has misunderstood the meaning of love and friendship?
6-True friendship, a new definition of friendship. What is friendship according to Jesus and how can you apply this type of friendship to your life?
7-‘If the world hates you…’ How will the world’s hatred of Jesus’ followers continually place us in direct conflict with this world?
8-‘The Spirit will bear witness about Me…’ Why must the Spirit bear witness and How will this take place?
John, Chapter 16 (37 Minute Video) John Chapter 16 –– This study will cover the following:
1-John 16:1–32––Jesus promises to send the Holy Spirit and He explains that He must return to the Father and then the Holy Spirit will come.
2-Coming persecutions vv. 1–4. Why does Jesus want to prepare His disciples for the coming persecutions? Must we also prepare for persecution?
3-The Spirit of truth v. 13. What will the Holy Spirit do in the Church?
4-The significance of Jesus words concerning ‘a little while’ vv. 16–24. What is the significance of Jesus’ reference to ‘a little while?’
5-The significance of Jesus’ instruction, to ask ‘the Father in my name…’ v. 23. Why does Jesus’ departure to the Father also provide greater confidence for the Church as they turn to the Father in prayer?
6-The peace of Jesus’ followers in the midst of the coming tribulations. What is the difference between Jesus’ peace which is a gift from God and the mistaken concept of the world’s peace which is very often superficial? What is the key to understanding the difference between these two types of peace?
7-The significance of Jesus’ statement, ‘I have conquered/overcome the world.’ How is a life of faith an on-going victory and a lack of faith like an on-going defeat?
John, Chapter 17 (34 Minute Video) John Chapter 17 –– This study will cover the following:
1-The great priestly prayer of Christ, which He prayed before giving His life.
2-This is eternal life… John 17:3. Why is John 17:3 one of the most important verses in John’s Gospel and how can you explain this verse to a friend?
3-The glorification of the Son by the Father vv. 4–5. Why will the Father glorify the Son?
4-‘May they be one…as You and I are One’–– In His prayer in John 17, our Lord prayed for the unity of the Church, vv. 10–11, 21. How does Jesus’ prayer underline the importance of unity within the Church? How does this make the Church unique from all other worldly structures and institutions?
5-How do we as Catholic seek to maintain the unity which Jesus desired for the Church and how can we make this same unity a greater reality in our parishes?
6-Explain why unity is important within the Church and how is this a sign to others that Christ is present?
7-The world has hated them because they are not of the world, vv. 14–16. Why is it important to belong to Christ instead of belonging to the world and how does this prepare us for persecution?
8-The revelation of the Father’s love through the Son, v. 26. How is the Father’s love revealed through the Son and what does this tell us about Jesus’ mission?
John, Chapter 18 (37 Minute Video) John Chapter 18 –– This study will cover the following:
1-Jesus is arrested and put on trial––Like a Lamb before the slaughter (Isa 53). Read Isaiah 52:12–53:12 and explain how this prophecy is fulfilled through Jesus’ passion?
2-What is the significance of Jesus’ question, ‘whom do seek?’ vv. 4–6.
3-Why were their two High Priests, Caiaphas and Annas?
4-Why did Jesus mean when He referred to ‘the cup that the Father has given Me,’ vv. 11.
5-Pilate’s dialogue with Jesus, vv. 28–31. Did Pilate want to crucify Jesus? What do Pilate’s questions indicate?
6-What is the significance of Pilate’s last question – ‘What is truth?’ Why must every generation answer this same question and discover that the answer is only found in Christ?
7-Jesus’ trial and His refusal to answer Herod. Why didn’t Jesus answer Herod?
8-The king of the Jews or Barabbas? What is the meaning of the name Barabbas and why is this important?
John, Chapter 19 (41 Minute Video) John Chapter 19 –– This study will cover the following:
1-Jesus is crucified, His hour has arrived. The crown of thorns and purple robe. The location and significance of Golgotha/Calvary.
2-The importance of Jesus words on the cross. Why is each saying from the Cross important?
3-‘I thirst’- What could be the spiritual meaning of such a statement? Do you thirst to know, love and serve God?
4-‘Son behold your Mother’ – At the cross He gives His mother to the ‘beloved disciple’ and to the whole Church, for we are all called to be beloved disciples. What does this tell us about our calling to be beloved disciples of the Lord?
5-‘Today you will be with me in paradise.’ – How do these words provide confidence for Jesus’ disciples at the hour of death?
6-The significance of the hyssop branch v. 30. What was it used for in the Old Testament?
7-Not a bone shall be broken (Exod 12:46; Ps 34:21). How do these words show that Jesus has fulfilled the Passover?
8-‘Into your hands I commend my Spirit.’ – How do these words help us at the moment of death?
9-‘Blood and water’ – A centurion pierces His side and Blood and Water flowed forth (Ezek 47). What was the significance of the Blood and Water, what did it recall in the Old Testament and what did it anticipate? What two sacraments did the early Church understand being alluded to in this verse?
10-John’s three-fold testimony of the Blood and Water that flowed from Jesus’ side. John gives a triple witness verifying this great truth. The early Church fathers noted that the blood and water which flowed from the side of Christ underlines the importance of Baptism and the Eucharist. How does this help you better understand the importance of the Eucharist?
11-Nicodemus at the tomb v. 39. What does Nicodemus’ presence tells us about his slow conversion process (see John 3 and 7)?
John, Chapter 20 (34 Minute Video) John Chapter 20 –– This study will cover the following:
1-Jesus rises from the dead and appears to His apostles––
2-Mary Magdalene and the resurrected Lord. Why Mary Magdalene of all people?
3-Mary Magdalene mistakes Jesus as the ‘gardener’ v. 15. Have you ever failed to recognize our Lord?
4-Jesus called Mary by name and she tuned towards Christ, what is the significance of this turning action?
5-He gives his apostles the gift of the Holy Spirit and breaths on them giving them the charism of being able to forgive sins in His name. Why only the Apostles (Jesus’ disciples)? Where were they at this time, in what room?
6-The significance of Jesus breathing upon His disciples (see Gen 2:4–7; Ezek 37). How does this breathing action demonstrate that the gift of the Holy Spirit is unique? According to Acts 2, when does the rest of the Church receive the Holy Spirit?
7-Doubting Thomas and his great confession of faith – a climactic moment in John’s Gospel, ‘My Lord and My God.’ How does Thomas provide the shortest and yet most power testimony of Jesus’ identity?
8-The missionary activity of Thomas after the resurrection. Where did Thomas later travel to (what counties) for his missionary journeys?
John, Chapter 21 (30 Minute Video) John Chapter 21 –– This study will cover the following:
1-Jesus appears to His disciples and re-commission Peter as the leader of the Church. Jesus also implies that Peter will suffer and die a death similar to Christ’s. Why is the recommissioning of Peter important and what does this tell us about Peter’s role in the early Church?
2-The net was not torn! What was the significance of the 153 large fish and the unbroken net?
3-‘Peter, do you love me?’ - Why must every follower of Christ answer this question?
4-‘Feed my sheep’ – In what way will Peter feed the Sheep?
5-Another will stretch out your hand and lead you where you do not want to go… How did Peter’s death fulfill Jesus’ words?
6-‘follow Me’ – Why does Jesus end the conversation with these words and how do they recall Peter’s initial call in John 1:40–42?
7-Written ‘so that you may believe.’ – What was John’s purpose in writing the Gospel?
Fr. Tim is also working on a bible study of the books of Exodus and Psalms.