Publication Date


Degree Granted

Master of Arts in Religious Studies

Institution Granting Degree

Wake Forest University


This paper addresses the issue of Christian Unity as expressed in John 17. It shows, through evaluation of the text itself that: (1) Unity is based on love for and obedience to, Jesus Christ; (2) the Father and the Son. Together, send the Spirit of Truth to dwell in all believers; (3) all believers are loved by the Father just as He loves Jesus. A proper relationship with the Father and Jesus places all believers in Unity with each other as one family of God which is comprised of many brothers who are also friends. Unity is Visible

For those who love and obey Jesus and therefore belong to the same family, their Unity is manifested through their love toward each other. Jesus commands His disciples who are both brothers and friends to love each other just as He loves them. This love for each other unites them and provides a visible witness to the world .. 1esus states that this Unity shows the world that the Father sent Him to proclaim grace and truth. Procedure

The general path followed to show the Unity expressed in John 17:20-23: (1) establishes the importance of and the identity of the implied auditors of the Fourth Gospel; (2) defines Christian Unity from the initial reading of the text of John 17; (3) establishes some ideas of Unity that existed in the mental milieu of the time for the implied auditors of the Fourth Gospel; (4) compares those ideas to the Unity expressed in the Fourth Gospel; and (5) sharpens the original conception of Christian Unity as expressed in John 17.