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Original scientific paper

Is John’s Gospel Ethically Defective?

Robin Plant ; Evanđeoski teološki fakultet, Osijek

Fulltext: english, pdf (143 KB) pages 7-21 downloads: 1.268* cite
APA 6th Edition
Plant, R. (2012). Is John’s Gospel Ethically Defective?. Kairos, 6 (1), 7-21. Retrieved from
MLA 8th Edition
Plant, Robin. "Is John’s Gospel Ethically Defective?." Kairos, vol. 6, no. 1, 2012, pp. 7-21. Accessed 17 Sep. 2021.
Chicago 17th Edition
Plant, Robin. "Is John’s Gospel Ethically Defective?." Kairos 6, no. 1 (2012): 7-21.
Plant, R. (2012). 'Is John’s Gospel Ethically Defective?', Kairos, 6(1), pp. 7-21. Available at: (Accessed 17 September 2021)
Plant R. Is John’s Gospel Ethically Defective?. Kairos [Internet]. 2012 [cited 2021 September 17];6(1):7-21. Available from:
R. Plant, "Is John’s Gospel Ethically Defective?", Kairos, vol.6, no. 1, pp. 7-21, 2012. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 17 September 2021]

This paper discusses and evaluates the widespread view that John’s Gospel has little ethical value and may even be responsible for fostering antisemitism. It is argued that such criticisms are misplaced and that John is, in fact, advocating the kind of unity, mutual trust and self-sacrifice that would have been necessary among believers at a time of conflict between church and synagogue. Jesus’ willingness to wash the disciples’ feet, the egalitarian nature of the Gospel, and the paradigmatic community of Father, Son and Spirit, are identified as role models for the kind of love Jesus commands. Although John’s ethical focus is essentially inward-looking, it forms the basis for a distinctive Christian counter-culture and has important social and political implications. It is concluded that while John’s ethical vision is limited, and open to being misapplied, this can be avoided by interpreting it in the light of other biblical perspectives.

Bible; God; church; ethics; Gospel of John; evangelisation; unity; love; theology

Hrčak ID: 215506


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