John 3:16- "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever .
believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."" (NIV).
John 3:16 is possibly the most well known, and most memorized verse of the Bible. However, it is unlikely thoroughly understood by many of those who have it memorized. Who wrote it, when was it written, and to whom? Why was it written, and what does it really mean? .
Literary and Contextual analysis- .
John was undoubtedly written by "the disciple whom Jesus loved."" Despite arguments that "the beloved disciple- was someone other than John the apostle, son of Zebedee, brother of James, there has been no evidence in support of it. The early church tradition stands in support of John the apostle as the author; the Ryland Fragments support this belief (Gundry, 256-258). It is believed that the gospel John was written around A.D. 85-90, after the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed (A.D. 70) but before John's exile to Patmos. John's primary purpose is to "prove conclusively that Jesus is the Son of God- to new Christians and non-Christians seeking Jesus (NIV Life Application Study Bible: Intro to John, 1866). Specifically, John 3:16 is part of a nightly encounter between Nicodemus, "a member of the Jewish ruling council- (John 3:1), and Jesus, and is classified in the narrative genre in the form of a short story. Verse 16 is a continuation of verses 13, 14, and 15 where the Son of Man is compared to the snake Moses lifted up in the desert, so too the Son of Man should be lifted up. Verse 16 fits in chapter 3 because it is a conclusive statement given to Nicodemus in support of Christ's deity and the gift of eternal life only attained through belief in Jesus, God's only son. The verse fits into the book of John as a whole proving that Jesus is undoubtedly the Son of God.
Lexical Analysis- .
KJV- "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.