Journal article Open Access

JESUS AS THE GIVER OF ETERNAL LIFE

TOSH THOMAS

Abstract: Life is a major theme in the Gospel of John. The programmatic text (Jn. 20:30-31) pronounces the chief motive of the gospel as to “have life in His name”. The Greek term ζωή αιώνιός, meaning ‘ETERNAL LIFE’ occurs seventeen times in the gospel. It is the rendering of Hebrew term, חַַיֵי עוֺלָם (a period without definite beginning or end). Ζωή doesn’t refer to natural life (yuch,) which has death as end. John uses this imagery in reference to the life that a believer gains by believing in Jesus. The importance of ‘life’ is evident from the fact that it is mentioned both in the beginning (Jn. 1:4) and the end (Jn. 20:31) and so forms an inclusion for the whole gospel. Eternal life is a partaking in the life of God. The only qualification that goes with ζωή in the gospel is αιώνιός, usually translated as ‘eternal’. But even in places where he uses life without the adjective αιώνιός, he means the same as eternal life. Αιώνιός in the gospel, indicates not only an infinite duration in the temporal sense, but also a qualitatively new life which even death cannot destroy. This academic paper is an attempt to study Jesus as the giver of eternal life.

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