The date of John's birth and early life is largely unknown. He is believed to have been born of noble parents at the village of [[W:Harpham|Harpham]] in East Riding, Yorkshire. He was educated at St. [[Augustine of Canterbury|Augustine]]'s monastery at Canterbury under the supervision [[Archbishop]] [[Theodore of Tarsus|Theodore]]. Abp. Theodore is reputed to have given him the name John when he became a [[monk]].
After completing his studies at Canterbury, John joined the monastic community of [[Whitby Abbey|Whitby]] led by Abbess [[Hilda]]. John established for himself a reputation as a preacher as he expounded the [[Scripture]]. On [[August 25]], 687, John was [[consecration of a
Bishop|consecrated]] Bishop of Hexham, succeeding St. Eata.
In 705, Bp. John was transferred to the [[see]] of York after the repose of Bp. Bosa. During his episcopate at York, John was attentive to the training of a number of students who were under his charge, including Bede, Berethume later the [[abbot]] of Beverley, and Wilfrid the Younger who succeeded John as Bishop of York. He [[ordination|ordained]] Bede both as [[deacon]] and then [[priest]].