After the prologue (1:1-5), the historical part of the book begins with verse 6, and consists of two parts. The first part (1:6-ch. 12) contains the history of Jesus' public ministry from the time of his introduction to it by John the Baptist to its close. The second part (ch. 13-21) presents Jesus in the retirement of private life and in his intercourse with his immediate followers (13-17), and gives an account of his sufferings and of his appearances to the disciples after his resurrection (18-21).
The peculiarities of this Gospel are the place it gives (1) to the mystical relation of the Son to the Father, and (2) of the Redeemer to believers; (3) the announcement of the Holy Ghost as the Comforter; (4) the prominence given to love as an element in the Christian character.
This book is addressed primarily to Christians. It was probably written at Ephesus, which, after the destruction of Jerusalem (A.D. 70), became the centre of Christian life and activity in the East, about A.D. 90.
Critics charge that some of the passages in this book are anti-Semitic, and that these passages have shaped the way that many Christians viewed Jews.
Text originally from Easton Bible Dicionary of 1897, but hacked and hopefully improved by Wikipedians.