The Signs Gospel

The Signs Gospel


Est. Date. 50-90 A.D.

Translation. Fortna's reconstruction given by Andrew Bernhard [NRSV]

The signs gospel parallels the gospel of John. It focuses on the miraculous deeds of Jesus while on Earth.

This is considered another hypothetical source for the writer of the fourth gospel. The possibility also

remains that there are similarities between the two gospels because they had the same original source –

the Apostle John!


John 1 (6) There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. (7) He came as a

witness, so that all might believe through him.

(19) This is the testimony given by John when priests and Levites came to ask

him, "Who are you?"

(35) Now John was standing with two of his disciples who heard him say this,

and they followed Jesus. (38) They said to him, "Rabbi, where are you staying?"

(39) He said to them, "Come and see." They came and saw where he was

staying, and they remained with him that day. It was about four o'clock in the


(40) One of the two who heard John speak and followed him was Andrew. (41)

He first found his brother Simon and said to him, "We have found the

Messiah." (42)

He brought Simon to Jesus, who looked at him and said, "You are Simon son of

John. You are to be called Cephas."

He found Philip and Jesus said to him, "Follow me." (44) Now Philip was from

Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.

(45) Philip found Nathanael and said to him, "We have found him about whom

Moses in the law wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth."

(46) Nathanael said to him, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?"

Philip said to him, "Come and see."

(47) When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, "Here is

truly an Israelite."


The Signs Gospel

(49) Nathanael replied, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of


John 2 (1) There was a wedding in Cana, and the mother of Jesus was there. (2) Jesus

and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. (3) When the wine gave

out, the mother of Jesus said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you." (6)

Now standing there were six stone water jars, each holding twenty or thirty


(7) Jesus said to them, "Fill the jars with water." And they filled them up to the


(8) He said to them, "Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward." So

they took it.

(9) When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, the steward

called the bridegroom (10) and said to him, "Everyone serves the good wine

first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you

have kept the good wine until now."

(11) Jesus did this, the first of his signs; and his disciples believed in him.

(12) After this he went down to Capernaum with his disciples.

John 4 (46) Now there was a royal official whose son lay ill in Capernaum. (47) He

went and said to him, "Sir, come down before my little boy dies."

(50) Jesus said, "Go; your son will live."

The man started on his way. (51) As he was going down, his slaves met him and

told him that his child was alive. (52) So he asked them the hour when he

began to recover, and they said to him, "Yesterday at one in the afternoon the

fever left him." (53) So he himself believed, along with his whole household.

(54) Now this was the second sign that Jesus did.

John 21 (2) Gathered there together were Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin,

Nathanael of Cana, the sons of Zebedee. (3) Simon Peter said to them, "I am

going fishing."

They said to him, "We will go with you."


The Signs Gospel

They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

(4) Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach. (6) He said to them, "Cast the

net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some."

So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so

many fish. (7) Simon Peter put on some clothes and jumped into the sea (8) for

they were not far from the land, only about a hundred yards off. (11) So Simon

Peter went ashore and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred fifty-

three of them; and though there were so many, the net was not torn. (14) This

was now the third sign that Jesus did before the disciples.

John 6 (1) After this Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Tiberias. (3) He went up

the mountain and sat down there with his disciples. (5) When he looked up and

saw a large crowd coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, "Where are we to

buy bread for these people to eat?"

(7) Philip answered him, "Six months' wages would not buy enough bread for

each of them to get a little."

(8) One of his disciples said to him, (9) "There is a boy here who has five barley

loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?"

(10) Jesus said, "Make the people sit down." Now there was a great deal of

grass in the place; so they sat down, about five thousand in all. (11) Then Jesus

took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those

who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted.

(13) And from the fragments of the five barley loaves, left by those who had

eaten, they filled twelve baskets. (14) When the people saw the sign that he

had done, they began to say, "This is indeed the prophet who is to come into

the world."

(15) Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself. (16) When evening

came, his disciples went down to the sea, (17) got into a boat, and started

across the sea to Capernaum. (18) The sea became rough because a strong

wind was blowing. (19) When they had rowed about three or four miles, they

saw Jesus walking on the sea, and they were terrified. (20) But he said to them,

"It is I; do not be afraid." (21) And immediately the boat reached the land

toward which they were going.


The Signs Gospel

John 11 (1) Now a certain Mary; (2) her brother Lazarus was ill. (3) She sent a message

to Jesus, "Lord, he whom you love is ill."

(7) He said to the disciples, "Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep. Let us go to


(17) When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb

four days. (32) When Mary saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him,

"Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died."

(33) When Jesus saw her weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply

moved. (34) He said, "Where have you laid him?"

They said to him, "Lord, come and see."

(38) Then Jesus came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against

it. (39) Jesus said, "Take away the stone." Then he cried with a loud voice,

"Lazarus, come out!"

(44) The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and

his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Unbind him, and let him go."

(45) Those who had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.

John 9 (1) As he walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. (6) He spat on the

ground and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man's eyes,

(7) saying to him, "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam." Then he went and washed

and came back able to see. (8) The neighbors and those who had seen him

before as a beggar began to ask, "Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?"

John 5 (2) Now in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate there is a pool, called in Hebrew Beth-

zatha, which has five porticoes. (3) In these lay many invalids—blind, lame, and

paralyzed. (5) One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. (6)

When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time,

he said to him, "Do you want to be made well?"

(7) The sick man answered him, "Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool

when the water is stirred up; and while I am making my way, someone else

steps down ahead of me."

(8) Jesus said to him, "Stand up, take your mat and walk."

(9) At once the man was made well, and he took up his mat and began to walk.


The Signs Gospel

John 2 (14) In the temple Jesus found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the

money changers seated at their tables. (15) Making a whip of cords, he drove

all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured

out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. (16) He told

those who were selling the doves, "Take these things out of here! Stop making

my Father's house a marketplace!"

(18) The Jews then said to him, "What sign can you show us for doing this?"

19 Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it


John 11 (47) So the chief priests called a meeting of the council, and said, "This man is

performing many signs. (48) If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe

in him, and the Romans will come and destroy our nation."

(49) But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them,

(50) "It is better for you to have one man die for the people than to have the

whole nation destroyed." (53) So from that day on they planned to put him to


John 12 (37) Although he had performed so many signs, they did not believe in him.

(38) This was to fulfill the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah: "Lord, who has

believed our message, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?"

(39) And so they could not believe, because Isaiah also said, (40) "He has

blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, so that they might not look with

their eyes, and understand with their heart and turn— and I would heal them."

(1) Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus,

whom he had raised from the dead. (2) There they gave a dinner for him.

Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. (3) Mary

took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus, and wiped

them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

(4) But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples, said, (5) "Why was this perfume not

sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?"


The Signs Gospel

(7) Jesus said, "She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial.

(8) You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me."

(12) The next day the great crowd that had come to the festival heard that

Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. (13) So they took branches of palm trees and

went out to meet him, shouting, "Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in

the name of the Lord— the King of Israel!"

(14) Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it; as it is written: (15) "Do not be

afraid, daughter of Zion. Look, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey's colt!"

John 13 (1) Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come

to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were

in the world, he loved them to the end. (2) The devil had already put it into the

heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper (3) Jesus,

knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had

come from God and was going to God, (4) got up from the table, took off his

outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. (5) Then he poured water into a

basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel

that was tied around him. (6) He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Lord,

are you going to wash my feet?"

(7) Jesus answered, "You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will


(8) Peter said to him, "You will never wash my feet."

Jesus answered, "Unless I wash you, you have no share with me."

(9) Simon Peter said to him, "Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my


(10) Jesus said to him, "One who has bathed does not need to wash, except for

the feet, but is entirely clean. And you are clean, though not all of you." (11)

For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason he said, "Not all of you are



The Signs Gospel

(12) After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to

the table, he said to them, "Do you know what I have done to you? (13) You

call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. (14) So if I,

your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one

another's feet. (15) For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I

have done to you. (16) Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their

master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. (17) If you

know these things, you are blessed if you do them. (18) I am not speaking of all

of you; I know whom I have chosen. But it is to fulfill the scripture, 'The one

who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.' (19) I tell you this now, before

it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe that I am he. (20) Very

truly, I tell you, whoever receives one whom I send receives me; and whoever

receives me receives him who sent me."

John 18 (1) Jesus went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley to a place where

there was a garden. (2) Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place,

because Jesus often met there with his disciples. (3) So Judas brought a

detachment of soldiers together with police from the chief priests, and they

came there with lanterns and torches and weapons. (4) Then Jesus asked

them, "Whom are you looking for?"

(5) They answered, "Jesus of Nazareth."

Jesus replied, "I am he."

(10) Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, struck the high priest's slave,

and cut off his right ear. The slave's name was Malchus.

(11) Jesus said to Peter, "Put your sword back into its sheath. Am I not to drink

the cup that the Father has given me?" (12) So the soldiers, their officer, and

the Jewish police arrested Jesus and bound him.

(13) First they took him to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the

high priest that year. (15) Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus.

Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the

courtyard of the high priest, (16) but Peter was standing outside at the gate. So

the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out, spoke to the

woman who guarded the gate, and brought Peter in.


The Signs Gospel

(17) The woman said to Peter, "You are not also one of this man's disciples, are


He said, "I am not."

(18) Now the slaves and the police had made a charcoal fire because it was

cold, and they were standing around it and warming themselves. Peter also

was standing with them and warming himself.

(19) Then the high priest questioned Jesus about his teaching. (20) Jesus

answered, "I have always taught in the temple, where all come together. (21)

Why do you ask me?"

(22) When he had said this, one of the police standing nearby struck Jesus on

the face, saying, "Is that how you answer the high priest?"

(24) Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest. (25)They asked

him, "You are not also one of his disciples, are you?"

He denied it and said, "I am not."

(26) One of the slaves of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter

had cut off, asked, "Did I not see you in the garden with him?"

(27) Again Peter denied it, and at that moment the cock crowed.

(28) Then they took Jesus from Caiaphas to Pilate's headquarters. It was early

in the morning. (29) Pilate said, "What accusation do you bring against this


(33) Then Pilate summoned Jesus and asked him, "Are you the King of the


Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king."

(38) He told them, "I find no case against him. (39) But you have a custom that

I release someone for you at the Passover. Do you want me to release for you

the King of the Jews?"

(40) They shouted in reply, "Not this man, but Barabbas!" Now Barabbas was a



The Signs Gospel

John 19 (1) Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. (2) And the soldiers wove a

crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they dressed him in a purple robe.

(3) They kept coming up to him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!" and striking

him on the face.

(6) And the police saw him, they shouted, "Crucify him! Crucify him!"

Pilate said to them, "I find no case against him."

(13) Pilate brought Jesus outside and sat on the judge's bench at a place called

The Stone Pavement, or in Hebrew Gabbatha. (14) Now it was the day of

Preparation; and it was about noon. (16) Then he handed him over to them to

be crucified.

So they took Jesus. (17) He went out to what is called The Place of the Skull,

which in Hebrew is called Golgotha. (18) There they crucified him, and with him

two others, one on either side. (19) And there was written, "Jesus of Nazareth,

the King of the Jews." (20) And it was written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek.

(23) When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided

them into four parts, one for each soldier. They also took his tunic; now the

tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from the top. (24) So they said to one

another, "Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see who will get it." This was

to fulfill what the scripture says, "They divided my clothes among themselves,

and for my clothing they cast lots."

(25) And that is what the soldiers did. Meanwhile, standing near the cross of

Jesus were his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and

Mary Magdalene. (28) After this, he said (in order to fulfill the scripture), "I am


(29) A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full of the

wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth.

(30) When Jesus had received the wine, he said, "It is finished." Then he bowed

his head and gave up his spirit.

(31) Since it was the day of Preparation, the Jews did not want the bodies left

on the cross during the sabbath. So they asked Pilate to have the legs of the

crucified men broken and the bodies removed. (32) Then the soldiers came and

broke the legs of the first and of the other who had been crucified with him.

(33) But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did


The Signs Gospel

not break his legs. (34) Instead, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a

spear, and at once blood and water came out. (36) These things occurred so

that the scripture might be fulfilled, "None of his bones shall be broken."

(37) And again another passage of scripture says, "They will look on the one

whom they have pierced." (38) After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who

was a disciple of Jesus, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus.

Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed his body and wrapped it

with the spices in linen cloths.

(41) Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the

garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. (42) And so,

because it was the day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid

Jesus there.

John 20 (1) Early on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and

saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. (2) So she ran and went

to Simon Peter and said, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do

not know where they have laid him."

(3) Then Peter set out and went toward the tomb and went into the tomb. (9)

For as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the

dead. (10) Then he returned to his home.

(11) But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to

look into the tomb; (12) and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the

body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. (14)

She turned around and saw Jesus standing there.

(15) Jesus said to her, "Whom are you looking for, Mary?"

She said to him in Hebrew, "Rabbouni!."

(17) Jesus said to her, "Do not hold on to me. But go to my brothers."

(18) Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, "I have seen the


(19) When it was evening on that day and the doors of the house where the

disciples had met were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said,

"Peace be with you." (20) He showed them his hands and his side. Then the

disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.


The Signs Gospel

(22) He breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit."

(30) Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are

not written in this book. (31) But these are written so that you may come to

believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God.


Robert T. Fortna, The Fourth Gospel and Its Predecessor : From Narrative Source to Present Gospel

(Philadelphia: Polebridge Press 1988).