- Major material of the Synoptics is omitted from John such as the temptation, transfiguration, and the Sermon on the Mount. In fact, 93 percent of the material in John does not appear in the other Gospels.
- Included in John is material not found in the Synoptics. This includes most of the first 4 chapters, the resurrection of Lazarus (John 11), and the Farewell Discourse (John 13-17).
- John centers on the trips to Jerusalem, because it is the place where Jesus must be accepted or rejected. The Synoptic Gospels center upon the Galilean ministry of Christ. John’s emphasis centers around and within Jerusalem.
- John centers more on the personal ministry of Jesus, whereas the Synoptics’ emphasis is on Jesus’ public ministry to crowds. Some unique features of John are interviews of individuals, rather than widely distributed public aspect of the ministry: Nicodemus (3:1-15); the woman of Samaria (4:1-26); Cana’s nobleman (4:43-53); the paralytic in Jerusalem (5:1-15); the blind man (9:1-38); and Mary and Martha (11:17-40). We also find attention to the personal ministry to his disciples: Andrew (1:40; 6:8), Peter (1:42; 6:68; 13:6-9; 18:11; 21:15-22), Philip (1:42-44), Nathanael (1:47-51; 21:2), Thomas (11:16; 14:5; 20:26-29), even Judas Iscariot (12:4-8; 13:26-30). John centers up personal contact, rather than the crowds and public ministry.
- John’s emphasis is on the Deity of Christ. The emphasis is found in the “I Am” statements. In this epistle, Jesus clearly declares His deity in the “I am He” statements (4:26; 8:24; 13:19; 18:5, 6, 8). This is in addition to the “I Am” statements (6:35, 41, 48, 51; 6:35, 41, 48, 51; 10:7-9, 11, 14; 11:25; 14:6; 15:1, 5. Direct teaching on the deity of Christ, such as the Logos in the prologue; affirmation of Jesus’ preexistence (John 1:1-8); the fact of incarnation (John 1:14); climax of Thomas’ confession (John 20:28). John’s Gospel, unlike the Synoptics, declares Christ’s Deity from the beginning. The Synoptics deal more with the humanity and office of Jesus as King. In the Synoptics Jesus’ deity is veiled until after Calvary.
- While the Synoptics emphasize the Kingdom, John’s emphasis is on Eternal life. John refers to life (36 times), and kingdom only 5 times. Whereas in the Synoptics the word life is referred to a total of 16 times, but kingdom is referred to 120 times.
It can be debated if John used the Synoptic Gospels. There is no reason to believe that he did not know the Synoptics and their authors. “Clearly he did not make extensive use of them in composing his own narrative.”