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Old 06-16-2001, 09:47 PM   #1
James Still
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Post John not author of fourth gospel

Nomad (and others) have argued that the author of the Gospel of John was the disciple of Jesus (the son of Zebedee) and thus an eyewitness to Jesus' words and deeds. Irenaeus (c. 180) tells us that the disciple John "produced his gospel while he was living at Ephesus in Asia." But Irenaeus' testimony is problematic. The work seems to have been used and commented upon extensively in Egypt but was not known in Asia Minor or Rome until later. Igantius, Papias, Justin, and Smyrna were unaware of it. The Timothies and Titus never refer to it even though they were written after the gospel in Ephesus. Certainly at least one of these sources should have known about such a radical departure from the Synoptics had it been written at Ephesus as Iranaeus believed.

Let's look at the internal evidence where an indirect claim of authorship is made. The first sentence to the epilogue of John's Gospel says:

"This is the disciple who is testifying to all this and has written it down, and we know that his testimony is reliable" (21:24).

To whom does the pronoun "this" refer? Certainly the "disciple Jesus loved most" just mentioned in 21:20 where Jesus chastises Peter for insinuating that the beloved disciple was a traitor. Jesus tells Peter that the beloved disciple is to "stay around" until he returns, which the Johannine community evidently had interpreted to mean that the beloved disciple would never die (21:23). That makes sense since Jesus taught that God's rule would be established within their lifetimes. But apparently the beloved disciple did die prompting the redactor of John to qualify the rumor:

"Because of this [Jesus' answer to Peter] the rumor spread among the family of believers that this disciple wouldn't die. But Jesus had not said to him, 'He won't die'; he said, 'What business is it of yours if I want him to stay around till I come?'" (21:23).

In other words, Jesus was very late in returning and the author of this epilogue is writing during a time in which the community no longer expected his imminent return. The curious parenthetical remark at 19:35 further bolsters the argument that the beloved disciple is said to be the author because the text tells us that only he and the women were at the cross. So the question naturally arises, why consider the disciple John to be one and the same person as the mysterious and unnamed beloved disciple? Iranaeus assumes as much when he writes that the author of John "leaned on the Lord's breast" just as the beloved disciple did at the Last Supper. But this assumption is unwarranted because it is certainly not clear from the text or from external evidence that the beloved disciple is the same person as John the son of Zebedee. Also, whoever wrote the epilogue for John's Gospel was not himself the author because he tells us that "his [the beloved disciple's] testimony is reliable."

Of course, some have argued that passages such as this and 19:35 are self-referential rather than by the hand of a later redactor. Even if that were true (and I think it is a bit of a stretch) a serious problem remains. John was likely martyred before the destruction of Rome in 70 CE. Clement quotes (from Heracleon's list) those apostles who were not martyred and John is not among them (the four are Matthew, Philip, Thomas, and Levi). This agrees with Jesus' prophecy in Mark 10:35-40 where he tells James and John that they too will suffer and die the way he is destined to do. So unless John wrote the gospel before 70 CE, which very few (if any) scholars believe, then John could not have been its author.

I think this is enough to make my point clear. I have left out two of the stronger arguments against John being the author of the gospel named after him. In passing they are that the fourth gospel is too Hellenized and radical to have come from the mind of an observant Jew and Galilean fisherman who followed a peasant rabbi. John's Gnosticized theology is very different from the portrayal of Jesus in the Synoptics. The second argument is much longer and relies upon a detailed analysis of internal inconsistencies, both of chronology as well as redactions and rewrites at the seams of earlier versions. Demonstrating these layers is beyond my skills and I rely upon the judgment of scholars who have spent years studying the internal evidence. I'm struck by the fact that it is relatively uncontroversial to say that John was redacted several times before its final version. Given this scholarly consensus and given my argument above, the burden rests with those who claim that John the disciple of Jesus wrote the fourth gospel to provide good reasons for the claim.
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Old 06-16-2001, 09:50 PM   #2
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Interesting, but trivial--the Johannine authorship of the 4th gospel is only tradition, not scripture, right?

matt
 
Old 06-16-2001, 10:12 PM   #3
James Still
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Post

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by matt:
Interesting, but trivial--the Johannine authorship of the 4th gospel is only tradition, not scripture, right?</font>
Trivial to you perhaps but not to Nomad! Here I'm delivering on my promise in the Kooks and Quacks thread to present a case for why John the son of Zebedee did not write the fourth gospel. Like you, most people never look into it and just take it for granted that he did not so maybe it's good to present the argument openly.
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Old 06-17-2001, 04:02 AM   #4
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James Still
"This is the disciple who is testifying to all this and has
written it down, and we know that his testimony is reliable" (21:24).

Chapter 21 is a later addition to the Book of John and by
a different author who is called John for this very reason.
(See Jesus of the Apocalypse, p.526). John was written first
and before the movement became Christian (western). John Mark
(not John of Zebedee, who wrote Revelations) was of an Eastern
tradition as was Simon Magus and Mary Magdalene. Saul of Tarsus
appears in A.D. 37 and Westernizes the mission. For this reason
John Mark is left out. Peter, who is written about in an
unfavorable light in the first 20 chapters of John gets a
favorable review in chapter twenty-one. The Book of John
reveals two secrets, the Raising of Lazarus and the
two women beneath the cross (v.19:25).

Cross referencing names in the gospels in relation to the
woman with the flask of ointment reveals that she was Mary
Magdalene and that she is pregnant by Jesus, also, it reveals
that Lazarus is Simon the Zealot (a.k.a. Simon Magus).

The two women, Mary the mother of Jesus and her sister were
also Mary the wife of Cleophas and Mary Magdalene. Joseph and
Cleophas are the same person with the name Joseph also meaning
Junior as opposed to Jacob meaning Senior. Mary, of course,
is a derivative of Miriam and is a title given to the leading
women of Scripture. The Cleophas that Jesus met on the
road to Emmaus, Luke v.24:18 is his brother James and
James is called Cleophas because with Jesus in seclusion James
is now the patriarch and this little game with pseudo-names
will make the reader think that they were four women beneath
the cross (Luke was written later than John).

My reason for making this post is to explain that the gospels
are intentionally vague in order that those with knowledge
can read a message and those who read and believe the ideal
language (fundies) will continue to be deluded.

Thanks, offa
 
Old 06-17-2001, 07:52 AM   #5
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offa,

That all sounds like some strange Soap Opera summary.
 
Old 06-17-2001, 08:21 AM   #6
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by James Still:
Nomad (and others) have argued that the author of the Gospel of John was the disciple of Jesus (the son of Zebedee) and thus an eyewitness to Jesus' words and deeds. Irenaeus (c. 180) tells us that the disciple John "produced his gospel while he was living at Ephesus in Asia." But Irenaeus' testimony is problematic. The work seems to have been used and commented upon extensively in Egypt but was not known in Asia Minor or Rome until later. Igantius, Papias, Justin, and Smyrna were unaware of it. The Timothies and Titus never refer to it even though they were written after the gospel in Ephesus. Certainly at least one of these sources should have known about such a radical departure from the Synoptics had it been written at Ephesus as Iranaeus believed.
___________

James is certainly correct.

Earlier, I had a discussion with Bede about who wrote John. The following exchange might clarify our respective positions. I think this relates to what James says.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Bede: Your argument from the silence of ancient authorities is unacceptable when the vast amount of their works are lost.

rodahi: My arguments stem from the available evidence, not from what I think the evidence might have been or should be. Also, you stated, “The early church Fathers are unanimous that the Gospel was written by John the Apostle [JOZ].” This is just plain wrong. The earliest Christian apologists--Ignatius, Polycarp, Papias, Clement of Rome, Justin Martyr, and Barnabas-- make no such claim. As a matter of fact, with respect to Papias, George Hamartolos, [ninth century] in his Chronicle, as it appears in the codex Coislinianus, states, “[John] was worthy of martyrdom.” He goes on to quote Papias’ comment that “he [John] was killed by the Jews.” In another MS, “the so-called de Boor fragment of an epitome (600-800 A.D.) of the Chronicle of the fifth century writer, Philip of Side,” Papias is quoted: “Papias in the second book says that John the divine and James his brother were killed by Jews.” See Morton Enslin, Christian Beginnings, pp. 369-370.

According to Enslin: “That Papias’ source of information is simply an inference from Mark 10:35-40 or its parallel, Matt. 20:20-23, is possible. None the less, this Marcan passage itself affords solid ground. No reasonable interpretation of these words can deny the high probability that by the time these words were written [ca. 70 CE] both brothers had ‘drunk the cup’ that Jesus had drunk and had been ‘baptized with the baptism’ with which he had been baptized.” Ibid.

According to Clement of Alexandria (Stromata 4.9), Heracleon mentions several apostles who did not suffer martyrdom: Matthew, Philip, Thomas, and Levi. John and James are not mentioned. According to Enslin, “It may be also remarked that in the fifth century Syriac martyrology the joint martyrdom of James and John was celebrated on December 27.” Ibid.

Christian apologist Aphrahat said, “Great and excellent is the martyrdom of Jesus...And James and John walked in the footsteps of their master Christ.” Demonstrations 21.23

rodahi



[This message has been edited by rodahi (edited June 17, 2001).]
 
Old 06-17-2001, 08:21 AM   #7
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soap opera? What are the gospels all about? You fundies cannot refute my claims because you are buried in dogma. Show me any place in the bible where it says that Jesus' feet were pierced and then I will believe. I'll bet you could get a million fundies to say, yes .., his feet were pierced and who besides me have you ever heard make that charge? A million to one and I am still correct. Jesus was crucified in A.D. 33 and met Paul in A.D. 37.
Had Paul not changed Jesus into some kind of mistique being we would not be engrossed in these exchanges.

thanks, offa
 
Old 06-17-2001, 10:23 AM   #8
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My reason for making this post is to explain that the gospels
are intentionally vague in order that those with knowledge
can read a message and those who read and believe the ideal
language (fundies) will continue to be deluded.

Thanks, offa[/B][/QUOTE]

Good point Offa

Most important is that we accept that the gospels were written by mythmakers for the survival and prosperity of the new tribe. Mythmakers have noetic vision and can easily write in such a way that they will gather a flock of believers that must be herded into a certain direction but against which salvation is to be found. If this was not true metanoia would be the wrong direction after salvation . . . wherefore there are no churches in the New Jerusalem.

This also means that the shepherd must be deluded for he must speak with urgency to better lead the flock in the right direction even if this is ultimatly the wrong way but is nevertheless right for the believer while in oblivion (be reminded here that at least traditionally churches were facing East but had the doors on the other end to send rejoicing believers West again).

If both the sheep and the shepherd are deluded the direction of the Church must be directed and guided by the source of the mythology and must be administrated through a hierarchial structure wherefore after salvation all roads will lead to the source for the verification of truth (inerrancy and infallibility).

The gospels must be somewhat revealing and flirt the divine to attract followers but must never be misleading and arouse the believer into an orgy with the divine lest the believer fornicates his own virginity and so robbes himself of eternal life (which I think is America's favorite sport and pass-time).

Amos




[This message has been edited by Amos123 (edited June 17, 2001).]
 
Old 06-17-2001, 10:50 AM   #9
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There may be some who might be interested in who "John of Zebedee" was, according to tradition.

The following bits of information come from the NT:
1. "And passing along by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net in the sea; for they were fishermen...And going on a little further he [Jesus] saw James the son of Zeb'edee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. And immediately he called them; and they left their father Zeb'edee in the boat with the hired servants." (1:16-20)
2. "And he appointed twelve, to be with him, and to be sent out to preach and have authority to cast out demons: Simon whom he surnamed Peter; James the son of Zeb'edee and John the brother of James, whom he named Bo-aner'ges, that is, sons of thunder." (3:14-17)
3. "[Jesus] set his face to got to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him, who went and entered the village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him; but the people would not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. And when the disciples James and John saw it, they said, 'Lord, do you want us to bid fire come down from heaven and consume them as Elijah did?' But he turned and rebuked them. And they went on to another village." (Lk. 9:51-56)
4. "And James and John, the sons of Zeb'edee, came forward to him, and said to him, 'Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.' And he said to them, 'What do you want me to do for you?' And they said to him, 'Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.' But Jesus said to them, 'You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?' And they said to him, 'We are able.' And Jesus said to them, 'The cup that I drink you will drink; and the baptisim with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it for those whom it has been prepared.' And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John." (10:35-41)
5. "Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John [of Zebedee], and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they wondered; and they recognized that they had been with Jesus." (Acts 4:13)
6. "About that time Herod [made king in 41 CE, died 44 CE] the king laid violent hands upon some who belonged to the church. He killed James the brother of John with the sword; and when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also." (Acts 12:1-3)

The facts (based on tradition) that can be gleaned from the above are as follows:
1. James and John of Zebedee were chosen to be disciples by Jesus.
2. J and JOZ were fishermen in Galilee.
3. J and JOZ were nicknamed by Jesus Boanerges or "sons of thunder." Strong's says, "The name seems to denote fiery and destructive zeal that may be likened to a thunder storm."
4. J and JOZ were willing to curse and kill a a whole Samaritan village for Jesus' sake because the villagers did not wish to "receive" Jesus.
5. J and JOZ apparently caused a rift between themselves and the other disciples by asking Jesus for special favors.
6. JOZ was illiterate.
7. James was executed during the reign of Herod Agrippa I, i.e., 42-44 CE. Note: After James' execution, JOZ is not mentioned again in Acts.

Now that we have an idea of who John of Zebedee was, the question that must be answered is this: How could an illiterate Galilean fisherman write a narrative (in good Greek) containing a highly-developed theology? Those who think JOZ did write the narrative known as "John" must prove that JOZ learned to read and write good Greek, Greek so good that it appears to have been written by a native speaker who lived outside Galilee. Further, it must be proven that JOZ's temperment changed 180 degrees from the time he was with Jesus to the time he put words on papyrus.

Another question: Where did JOZ go after his brother James was executed? The most reasonable answer, supported by several Christian commentators, is that he went nowhere. He was executed around 44 CE along with his brother, or possibly later.

rodahi
 
Old 06-17-2001, 02:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by rodahi:
There may be some who might be interested in who "John of Zebedee" was, according to tradition.

The following bits of information come from the NT:
1. "And passing along by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net in the sea; for they were fishermen...And going on a little further he [Jesus] saw James the son of Zeb'edee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. And immediately he called them; and they left their father Zeb'edee in the boat with the hired servants." (1:16-20)
2. "And he appointed twelve, to be with him, and to be sent out to preach and have authority to cast out demons: Simon whom he surnamed Peter; James the son of Zeb'edee and John the brother of James, whom he named Bo-aner'ges, that is, sons of thunder." (3:14-17)
3. "[Jesus] set his face to got to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him, who went and entered the village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him; but the people would not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. And when the disciples James and John saw it, they said, 'Lord, do you want us to bid fire come down from heaven and consume them as Elijah did?' But he turned and rebuked them. And they went on to another village." (Lk. 9:51-56)
4. "And James and John, the sons of Zeb'edee, came forward to him, and said to him, 'Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.' And he said to them, 'What do you want me to do for you?' And they said to him, 'Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.' But Jesus said to them, 'You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?' And they said to him, 'We are able.' And Jesus said to them, 'The cup that I drink you will drink; and the baptisim with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it for those whom it has been prepared.' And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John." (10:35-41)
5. "Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John [of Zebedee], and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they wondered; and they recognized that they had been with Jesus." (Acts 4:13)
6. "About that time Herod [made king in 41 CE, died 44 CE] the king laid violent hands upon some who belonged to the church. He killed James the brother of John with the sword; and when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also." (Acts 12:1-3)

The facts (based on tradition) that can be gleaned from the above are as follows:
1. James and John of Zebedee were chosen to be disciples by Jesus.
2. J and JOZ were fishermen in Galilee.
3. J and JOZ were nicknamed by Jesus Boanerges or "sons of thunder." Strong's says, "The name seems to denote fiery and destructive zeal that may be likened to a thunder storm."
4. J and JOZ were willing to curse and kill a a whole Samaritan village for Jesus' sake because the villagers did not wish to "receive" Jesus.
5. J and JOZ apparently caused a rift between themselves and the other disciples by asking Jesus for special favors.
6. JOZ was illiterate.
7. James was executed during the reign of Herod Agrippa I, i.e., 42-44 CE. Note: After James' execution, JOZ is not mentioned again in Acts.

Now that we have an idea of who John of Zebedee was, the question that must be answered is this: How could an illiterate Galilean fisherman write a narrative (in good Greek) containing a highly-developed theology? Those who think JOZ did write the narrative known as "John" must prove that JOZ learned to read and write good Greek, Greek so good that it appears to have been written by a native speaker who lived outside Galilee. Further, it must be proven that JOZ's temperment changed 180 degrees from the time he was with Jesus to the time he put words on papyrus.

Another question: Where did JOZ go after his brother James was executed? The most reasonable answer, supported by several Christian commentators, is that he went nowhere. He was executed around 44 CE along with his brother, or possibly later.

rodahi
</font>
For what it is worth, James was the remnant of religion in the conscious mind of Jesus and John of Zebedee was the remnant of religion in the subconscious mind of Jesus. This makes JOZ illiterate but a very persistent force in the life of Jesus. Both were willing to kill the entire village of Samaria because religion (Judaism) is redundant after salvation and must be annihilated for the sake of liberty (freedom from the bondage of slavery and sin). Herod was ruler in the subconscious mind and could easily do away with JOZ with the 'double edged sword' when knowledge and understanding frees the true identity of man.

Their net had probably torn with the birth of Christ out of the heavy heart of Joseph the wealthy carpenter who was pregant with despair prior to this event (Jesus was the reborn Joseph).

The sea of Galilee is the celestial sea.

Jesus was headed for the new Jerusalem and before entering he needed to purify base metal into gold wherefore he needed James and JOZ but could not promise them that they would be on his left and right because there would no longer be a left or right side in his mind (the veil is rent and the divide will be closed prior to his entry into the New Jerusalem or there will be no entry).

The other 10 apostels were eidetic images and were the reason FOR but not the cause of the salvation of Joseph. Combined they represented the need for consolidation and became the skill required to write the gospel of John from JOZ's perspective.

Amos
 
 

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