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Original Research

The structure of John 17

CH Wong

Verbum et Ecclesia; Vol 27, No 1 (2006), 374-392. doi: 10.4102/ve.v27i1.152

Submitted: 21 September 2006
Published:  17 November 2006


This article proposes a structure for John 17. In paragraph A (1-5), Jesus prays for the glorification/revelation of the Father and the Son, so that Jesus’ followers may have eternal life. This objective is achieved in Paragraph B (6-10) through the giving of God’s words, resulting in the manifestation of Jesus’ glory in them. Paragraphs 3, 4, and 5 contain three petitions: “Keep them in your name” (11-13), “keep them from the evil one” (14-16), and  “sanctify them in the truth” (17-19). The goal of these petitions is that they may be one with God, as the Father and the Son are one (11e, 21a). This request for oneness is repeated in Paragraph 6 (20-23), but here the petition is for all believers. Jesus’ revelation of the Father’s name has brought about oneness, since God’s love and Jesus himself have come to dwell in believers (Paragraph 7 [24-26]).

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Author affiliations

CH Wong, University of Pretoria, South Africa



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ISSN: 1609-9982 (print) | ISSN: 2074-7705 (online)

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