Outline Analysis of the Books of the Bible

By Barnard C. Taylor



1. AUTHOR. — John the Apostle, one of the twelve.

2. DATE. — Not known certainly, probably about the time of the Gospel by the same writer, 75-85 A. D.

3. TO WHOM WRITTEN. — To Christians generally, though the apostle had in mind especially, no doubt, those in the churches of Asia Minor.

4. HISTORICAL OCCASION. — Perhaps just after his Gospel had been published, at a time when there were indications of erroneous beliefs springing up. It is supposed to have been written from Ephesus.

5. LEADING TOPICS. — The character of God, and the nature of the Christian as related to Christ; the character that should distinguish him from the world, exhibiting holiness and sinlessness, walking in the light, having fellowship with God, striving to perfection.

6. CHIEF PURPOSE. — To show the natural results of a union with Christ. Those who are in Christ grow like him in character.


(a) Those in the light should not sin, Ch. 1-2:28.

(b) Sons of God should be like God, Ch. 2:29–4:21.

(c) Eternal life in Christ, Ch. 5.

8. SPECIAL TEACHING OF THE BOOK. — Christians have fellowship with God; all are sinful and need cleansing; Christians should keep the commandments of Christ; as the sons of God they should not sin; Christ gives eternal life; God's great love shown by his sending his Son; faith over comes the world.

9. RELATION TO OTHER N. T. BOOKS. — Closely related to the Gospel of John in amplifying the same truths. It excels the other Epistles in setting forth the divine nature of the Christian, and the holy character that belongs to him. Its theme is Christian perfection.

10. TOPICS FOR SPECIAL STUDY. — The meaning of the New Testament doctrine of perfection; the relation of the work of John in Asia Minor to that of Paul.