Who is John the Elder?

Discussions about the Bible, and any issues raised by Scripture.
DBowling
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Re: Who is John the Elder?

Postby DBowling » Fri Jun 23, 2017 5:46 am

PaulSacramento wrote:Then there is the issue of John Zebedee being named ( twice) in the GOJ and the term "beloved disciple" being used independent of that.

I think you are mistaken there...

John of Zebedee is never named or referred to by name in the Gospel of John.
Which would be peculiar for a member of Jesus' inner circle.
This is another internal evidence that "the beloved disciple" is in fact the Apostle John.

The only "John" referred to by name in the Gospel of John is John the Baptist.

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Re: Who is John the Elder?

Postby PaulSacramento » Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:21 am

The sons of Zebedee are named, not twice, my bad, but at the end.
The internal evidence that gives clues to the beloved disciple ( if you do not read into it that he may be John Son of Zebedee):
He is called the beloved disciple.
Only one other is ever mentioned as being the one the Jesus loves: Lazarus.
The majority of the GOJ happens around Jerusalem, where Lazarus lives.
There are accounts that only a member not typically associated with Jesus as one of the 12, could have access to, like being by Jesus at the cross.
Jesus leaves his mother in the care of the beloved disciple, which would mean that he had means and a home to care for her, which we know Lazarus had.
The final chapter seems to set apart the the beloved disciple from the ones actually named.

In short, there is enough "gray areas" to accept that it may not be John, son of Zebedee.

There is also the writing, that is more inline with an educated Jew than a fisherman.

Which, according to:

Smith's Bible Dictionary
Lazarus
(whom God helps), another form of the Hebrew name Eleazar.

Lazarus of Bethany, the brother of Martha and Mary. (John 11:1) All that we know of him is derived from the Gospel of St. John, and that records little more than the facts of his death and resurrection. The language of (John 11:1) implies that the sisters were the better known. Lazarus is "of Bethany, of the village of Mary and her sister Martha." From this and from the order of the three names in (John 11:5) we may reasonably infer that Lazarus was the youngest of the family. All the circumstances of John 11 and 12 point to wealth and social position above the average.


Seems to add some weight to the view.

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Re: Who is John the Elder?

Postby DBowling » Fri Jun 23, 2017 9:07 am

PaulSacramento wrote:The sons of Zebedee are named, not twice, my bad, but at the end.
The internal evidence that gives clues to the beloved disciple ( if you do not read into it that he may be John Son of Zebedee):
He is called the beloved disciple.

The term "beloved disciple" would seem to exclude Lazarus.
Lazarus was not one of the 12.
And as Wescott points out, the author of the fourth Gospel has detailed eyewitness testimony to the activities of the 12 Disciples.

The presence of the "beloved disciple" at the Last Supper is pretty strong internal evidence that the "beloved disciple" was just what the title indicates... one of the 12 disciples.

That, and the total lack of any external evidence to support Lazarus as author, IMHO pretty much removes Lazarus as a legitimate alternative to the Apostle John.

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Re: Who is John the Elder?

Postby PaulSacramento » Fri Jun 23, 2017 10:20 am

DBowling wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:The sons of Zebedee are named, not twice, my bad, but at the end.
The internal evidence that gives clues to the beloved disciple ( if you do not read into it that he may be John Son of Zebedee):
He is called the beloved disciple.

The term "beloved disciple" would seem to exclude Lazarus.
Lazarus was not one of the 12.
And as Wescott points out, the author of the fourth Gospel has detailed eyewitness testimony to the activities of the 12 Disciples.

The presence of the "beloved disciple" at the Last Supper is pretty strong internal evidence that the "beloved disciple" was just what the title indicates... one of the 12 disciples.

That, and the total lack of any external evidence to support Lazarus as author, IMHO pretty much removes Lazarus as a legitimate alternative to the Apostle John.


Seems like you are suggesting that only the 12 were disciples.
What do you base that on?

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Re: Who is John the Elder?

Postby PaulSacramento » Fri Jun 23, 2017 10:31 am

I am also curious as to how you reconcile the stylistic writing in the GOJ and the Johnanin Epistles with a fisherman?

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Re: Who is John the Elder?

Postby DBowling » Fri Jun 23, 2017 10:54 am

PaulSacramento wrote:Seems like you are suggesting that only the 12 were disciples.
What do you base that on?

Jesus had many small "d" disciples.

But the phrase "disciples" is often used to refer to the 12.
I'd need to look more closely at how often the term "disciples" in John refers to the 12 Disciples, and how often it refers to the larger group of Jesus followers who extend beyond the 12.

What I am suggesting is that the author of the fourth Gospel is an eyewitness to the activities of the 12.
A significant example being the Last Supper, where the fourth Gospel explicitly states that the "beloved disciple" is present.
Within the context of the Last Supper, I think it is reasonable to understand that "beloved disciple" refers to one of the 12.

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Re: Who is John the Elder?

Postby DBowling » Sat Jun 24, 2017 5:54 am

PaulSacramento wrote:I am also curious as to how you reconcile the stylistic writing in the GOJ and the Johnanin Epistles with a fisherman?

Some comments...

I don't really get all that excited about stylistic issues in the NT documents. Paul explicitly states that he used an amanuensis at times, and I have no reason to believe that Paul (who was very educated) was unique among NT writers in his use of an amanuensis.

There are thematic similarities between the Gospel of John and the Johannine epistles, most notably the theme of love. So I have no problem at all accepting the Apostle John as the author of all four documents

If we look at the Gospel of John in particular, John 21:24 is a very interesting verse.
This is the disciple who is testifying to these things and wrote these things, and we know that his testimony is true.

This verse tells us two things:
1. The "beloved disciple" is the author of the Gospel of John.
2. There is a "we" who were also involved in the Gospel of John.

Who is "we" and what role did "we" play in the final state of John's Gospel.
Is 'we' an amanuensis?
Is 'we' an editor?
Are 'we' collaborators with John?
(There is a very early tradition that John collaborated with other Apostles in the creation of the fourth Gospel)

I don't know for sure, but the involvement of 'we' is an indicator that John had some sort of assistance in writing the fourth Gospel.

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Re: Who is John the Elder?

Postby thatkidakayoungguy » Sat Jun 24, 2017 5:22 pm

After all it is called the Gospel of John.

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Re: Who is John the Elder?

Postby PaulSacramento » Mon Jun 26, 2017 4:24 am

DBowling wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:I am also curious as to how you reconcile the stylistic writing in the GOJ and the Johnanin Epistles with a fisherman?

Some comments...

I don't really get all that excited about stylistic issues in the NT documents. Paul explicitly states that he used an amanuensis at times, and I have no reason to believe that Paul (who was very educated) was unique among NT writers in his use of an amanuensis.

There are thematic similarities between the Gospel of John and the Johannine epistles, most notably the theme of love. So I have no problem at all accepting the Apostle John as the author of all four documents

If we look at the Gospel of John in particular, John 21:24 is a very interesting verse.
This is the disciple who is testifying to these things and wrote these things, and we know that his testimony is true.

This verse tells us two things:
1. The "beloved disciple" is the author of the Gospel of John.
2. There is a "we" who were also involved in the Gospel of John.

Who is "we" and what role did "we" play in the final state of John's Gospel.
Is 'we' an amanuensis?
Is 'we' an editor?
Are 'we' collaborators with John?
(There is a very early tradition that John collaborated with other Apostles in the creation of the fourth Gospel)

I don't know for sure, but the involvement of 'we' is an indicator that John had some sort of assistance in writing the fourth Gospel.



Paul, though a tent maker, was a trained and educated Pharisee, so it makes sense that his writing was more "advanced" and "stylistic" ( even at times hard to grasp).
Luke was also educated ( A physician).
The writing style in the GOJ is not inline with a fisherman.
That said, I agree that who actually WROTE the final version we have was probably not John, as the final wording implies, so that can explain the style and prose, BUT you still have to account for the letters attributed to John and Revelation.

I ( and as you know I am not alone on this)simply don't think it is a cut n dry as you are making it.

That said, the GOJ is my favorite Gospel.

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Re: Who is John the Elder?

Postby DBowling » Mon Jun 26, 2017 12:52 pm

PaulSacramento wrote:The writing style in the GOJ is not inline with a fisherman.
That said, I agree that who actually WROTE the final version we have was probably not John, as the final wording implies, so that can explain the style and prose, BUT you still have to account for the letters attributed to John and Revelation.

I think early church history does a pretty good job of identifying the Author of the Gospel and Epistles of John and even Revelation, and I haven't seen any more credible options than what early church history gives us.
So I think early church history and thematic similarities within the Johannine documents do a pretty good job of accounting for who wrote the Johannine NT documents.

As for the assertion that a "fisherman" wouldn't be able to write those books, I think that assertion is dependent on a number of presumptions that are simply unprovable.

I ( and as you know I am not alone on this)simply don't think it is a cut n dry as you are making it.

I am aware there are questions out there, which is precisely why I spent time researching who wrote the Gospel of John and John's epistles... and even Revelation.

Based on my research I am convinced 'beyond a reasonable doubt' that the Apostle John is in fact the author of the Johannine NT documents.
I can also say with certainty that the internal and external evidence supporting John the Apostle is significantly greater than the evidence supporting any of the alternative options that I have seen.
That said, the GOJ is my favorite Gospel.

The Gospel of John is indeed an incredible book! :)

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Re: Who is John the Elder?

Postby PaulSacramento » Tue Jun 27, 2017 4:47 am

Now, do you think that the Apostle John is John the elder is John Zebedee?

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Re: Who is John the Elder?

Postby DBowling » Tue Jun 27, 2017 5:06 pm

PaulSacramento wrote:Now, do you think that the Apostle John is John the elder is John Zebedee?

Short answer... yes.

I'm unaware of any claims that John the Apostle is anyone other than the son of Zebedee.

However, I am aware of the position of Eusebius that Papias "John the Elder" was someone different than the Apostle John. I have answered earlier in this thread why I believe that John the Apostle and John the Elder are one and the same.

The short version is Eusebius was not even consistent as to whether they were the same John or two different Johns, and Eusebius claim that they were different was agenda based because he opposed Chiliasm and apostolic origins for Revelation made it more difficult for him to claim it was noncanonical.

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Re: Who is John the Elder?

Postby PaulSacramento » Wed Jun 28, 2017 4:48 am

Thanks for your views DB.

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Re: Who is John the Elder?

Postby DBowling » Wed Jun 28, 2017 2:49 pm

PaulSacramento wrote:Thanks for your views DB.

And thanks to you for a very interesting discussion! :D


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