John stands fourth in the standard ordering of the gospels, after Matthew, Mark and Luke.
John's gospel gives more focus to the relationship of the Son to the Father than the synoptics, as seen in chapter 17 of the gospel.
In the prologue, John identifies Jesus as the Logos (Word).
In Ancient Greek philosophy, the term logos meant the principle of cosmic reason.
The gospel is so closely related in style and content to the three surviving Johannine epistles that commentators treat the four books, The structure is highly schematic: there are seven "signs" culminating in the raising of Lazarus (foreshadowing the resurrection of Jesus), and seven "I am" sayings and discourses, culminating in Thomas's proclamation of Jesus as "my lord and my God"—the same title (dominus et deus) claimed by Roman Emperor Domitian.
The seven signs consist of Jesus' miracle at the wedding at Cana, his healing the royal official's son, his healing the paralytic at Bethesda, his feeding the 5,000, his walking on water, his healing the man born blind, and his raising Lazarus from the dead.
Other incidents recounted in this segment of the gospel include the cleansing of the Temple; Jesus' conversation with the Pharisee Nicodemus, wherein he explains the importance of spiritual rebirth; his conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well, wherein he gives the Water of Life Discourse; the Bread of Life Discourse, which prompted many of his disciples to leave; the Woman Taken in Adultery; Jesus' claims to be the Light of the World; Jesus' answer to Pilate; the Good Shepherd pericope; Jesus' rejection by the Jews; the Jesus wept; the plot to kill Jesus; the anointing of Jesus; Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem; the prediction of the glorification of the Son of Man; and the prediction of the Last Judgment.
However, Carroll cautions that this and similar statements in the Gospel of Matthew and the 1 Thessalonians should be viewed as "evidence not of Jew hatred but of sectarian conflicts among Jews" in the early years of the Christian church. Hendricks, Jr.: "Although its scathing portrayal of the Jews has opened John to charges of anti-Semitism, a careful reading reveals 'the Jews' to be a class designation, not a religious or ethnic grouping; rather than denoting adherents to Judaism in general, the term primarily refers to the hereditary Temple religious authorities." In later centuries, John was used to support anti-Semitic polemics, but the author of the gospel regarded himself as a Jew, championed Jesus and his followers as Jews, and probably wrote for a largely Jewish community.
Rudolf Bultmann, in a seminal work published in 1941, argued that John's sources were a hypothetical "Signs Gospel" listing Christ's miracles, a revelation discourse, and a passion narrative.