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A few examples:

I have been offered The Book of John in booklet form from time to time by Christians preaching on the main street in Auckland.

In the TV series Vikings the Viking leader and hero Ragnar Lothbrok raids the Lindisfarne Monastery in the year 793 and asks a Christian monk named Athelstan what is the book he has in his possession. Athelstan replies "The Book of St John", and when questioned why he says "Because without it there is only darkness".

Is the Book of John significant for one reason or another?

closed as primarily opinion-based by curiousdannii, Lee Woofenden, KorvinStarmast, Matt Gutting, bruised reed Sep 28 '17 at 16:27

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    It's just some people's favourite. – curiousdannii Sep 15 '17 at 9:08
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    Matthew, Mark, and Luke are all premised on Jesus being a man. John is premised on Jesus being Deity. John is favored because unless Jesus was who he claimed to be Salvation is not possible. Also John's passages make the connection of Jesus as the son of God; and eternal; and explains the relationship between the Soul and eternal life. – BYE Sep 15 '17 at 13:50
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    This question seems to be largely opinion-based. Limiting it to a particular group might make it a better fit for this site. For example, 'Why did Anglo-saxon monks favor the Gospel of St John?' or 'Why do street preachers in New Zealand dustribute John instead of one of the other Gospels?'. I can't guarantee anyone will have an answer, but the question will be a better fit. – bradimus Sep 15 '17 at 15:44
  • @bradimus I don't think so. It's a common practice for Christians to hand out free copies of abbreviated bibles. Very common is just the Gospel of John. I've also seen just the New Testament, and also the NT plus Psalms. All of these small enough to fit in a pocket and durable enough to last a year or two from regular use. This question asks why just John sometimes. Why that gospel? Why not something else or the whole thing? – fredsbend Sep 23 '17 at 0:06
  • Coincidentally, I think the answer is mostly pragmatic, "The Bible's a big book and John is the most clear on the major points most Christians share: divinity of Christ and the Trinity". – fredsbend Sep 23 '17 at 0:07
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There are at least a couple of differnt levels here.

Why are the Gospels different?

The Gospels, Matthew, Mark Luke and John are core to the Christian faith.

Without the life and person of Jesus it is pretty certain that there would be no such thing as Christianity, either in name or in character. For those of us living after the Biblical age the four gospels are the only record we have of that, and it makes them collectively exceptionally important - foundational - to Christianity. If we had never had certain other books of the Bible , Christianity would probably be very different. If we had never had the Gospels (or their equivalent) it would never have happened.

Why is John different?

Three of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark Luke) are called 'Synoptic'. They present a similar view of Jesus, and most of the stories in them are found in at least two of those Gospels. It's reasonable to argue that the picture we have of Jesus would be only somewhat changed, if we lacked any one of them. John, on the other hand, presents a very different (not contradictory) picture. If it was missing we would have a significantly different view of Jesus. It also presents an unashamedly 'evangelistic' view of Jesus, presenting not just the story but making explicit statements about his significance. For example it contains the famous "John 3:16" verse.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Your experiences

In my experience Christians often give out Gospels because they contain the core of the Christian message. They are also very readable and relatable. John probably gets used more often than others for the reasons above, but not exclusively.

At the time of the Vikings, any written copy of a Gospel was rare, and so considered precious by Christians (for its content, not its monetary value, though that was substantial) and it is that that makes Athelstan value it. It is entirely possible that John was the only Gospel Athelstan owned, and that he would have been equally attached to any of the other Gospels. When Athelstan says "Because without it there is only darkness" he is not referring to the physical book, but to the message written in it.

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    As a historical note, [the fictional] Athelstan was a monk working in the scriptorium at Lindisfarne. If anyone in Britain had access to the four Gospels, it was the monks of Lindisfarne. – bradimus Sep 15 '17 at 20:06

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