Parallels in John’s Gospel
A chiasm is a writing style that uses a repetition
pattern for clarification and/or emphasis on its central point.
In his book, The Genius of John, author Peter F. Ellis shows parallels
all the way through the Gospel of John.
For example, see the following Parallel
Here are just few of his examples:
John 1:1-16 Power to Become Children of God
A) Through the pre-existing Word, all things came to be (John 1:1-8)
B) The true light is rejected by his own (John 1:9-11)
C) To all who believe, power is given to become children of God (John 1:12-13)
B’) The Word become flesh is accepted by those who beheld his glory (John 1:14)
A’) Through Jesus Christ, grace and truth came to be (John 1:15-16)
John 2:1-12 Water Changed into Wine at Cana
A) Jesus, his mother, and his disciples at Cana (John 2:1-2)
B) Wine and servants (John 2:3-5)
C) Water changed into wine (John 2:6-8)
B’)Wine and servants (John 2:9-10)
A’) Jesus, his mother, and his disciples at Cana (John 2:11-12)
John 3:22 - 4:3 John the Baptist Witnesses to
A) Here he is baptizing, and all are going to him (John 3:22-26)
B) No one can receive anything except what is given him from heaven (John 3:27-28)
C) He must increase, but I must decrease (John 3:29-30)
B’)He who comes from heaven is above all (John 3:31-36)
A’) Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John (John 4:1-3)
John 4:46-54 Royal Official Believes
A) So he came again to Cana in Galilee, where he had made the water wine (4:46-47)
B) Go; your son will live (4:48-50a)
C) The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went his way (4:50b)
B’)The father knew that was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live” (4:51-53)
A’) This was now the second sign that Jesus did when he had come from Judea to Galilee (4:54)
John 11:1-44 Jesus Declares He is the
Resurrection and the Life
A) Jesus comes from unnamed village to Bethany (11:1-19)
B) Martha comes out to meet Jesus (11:20-22)
C) Jesus declares: “I am the resurrection and the life” (11:23-27)
B’) Mary comes out to meet Jesus (11:28-32)
A’) Lazarus comes out of the tomb (11:33-44)
Parallels in John’s Gospel
In his book, The Genius of John, author Peter F.
Ellis shows parallels all the way through the Gospel of John. There is
a phrase or idea that is repeated to draw attention to the special
meaning of an idea sandwiched in the center between the two. See
several examples of this type of Chiastic Parallel.
Although not mentioned by him there is another
parallel at the end of John’s Gospel.
John 20:30 states that Jesus did many other things
not mentioned in John’s Gospel.
And John 21:25 repeats that.
(See notes why chapter 21 had to be written by the same author as the
rest of the Gospel.)
So, we need to ask,
“Was John creating a parallel between these two
passages to highlight a special meaning to the passage sandwiched
Here is the exact center between John 20:30 and
“So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large
fish, a hundred and fifty-three of them; and although there were so
many, the net was not torn.
said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared
ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord.
came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish.”
Was John implying that there is a special meaning
to the net not being torn as well as the 153 Fish ?
On page 292, Peter F. Ellis argues that chapter 21 had to be part of the
original Gospel. He demonstrates the parallels between John 1:19-51 and
John 20:18 – 21:25 and another Chiastic parallel between John 12:12-50
and John 20:18 – 21:25 prove that whoever wrote chapters One and Twelve
had to be the author of chapter Twenty-One. See pages 195, 292, 310,
Also, see why the meaning of “153 Fish” as proposed
by this website, lends itself to a very natural explanation of
Saint John would switch from one style of Greek to another in this final
Another example of Chiastic Parallel is in
A) Formerly dead (5a)
B)God made us alive in Christ (verses 5b-7)
C) By grace (8a)
D) Through faith, which is a gift (8b)
C’) Not by works (9)
B”) God made us alive in Christ (10)
A’) Formerly dead (11-12)