Did John Write the Fourth Gospel?

In my previous post I explained why the author of the book of Revelation, someone named John, was not claiming to be John the son of Zebedee and in fact probably was not John the son of Zebedee.   I also showed why this author was not the same one who produced the fourth Gospel, the Gospel of John.  Now I want to talk about the Gospel to show that it too was probably not written by John.

The first thing to ...

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Who Wrote the Book of Revelation and the Fourth Gospel?

Speaking of the Apocalypse (from the previous post giving that odd video):  Someone recently asked me if the same author could have written both the book of Revelation and the Gospel of John.   Interesting question!   Traditionally, both books have been identified as coming from the same person, John the son of Zebedee, the fisherman who was one of Jesus’ closest disciples.   In answering the question I would like to stress two points: first, they almost certainly were not written by ...

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Some Comments on the Gospel of John: (Based on John Spong’s Book). A Blast from the Past

A couple of people on the blog have suggested that as a feature of the blog, I periodically provide a Blast From the Past — that is, repost a blog post from a few years ago.  I think it’s a great idea.  My guess is that most people on the blog haven’t read everything from then, and if they have, if they’re like me, they won’t remember them!  So I decided to go back from three years ago today (well, ...

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Wine in the Kingdom

Writing my last post on Papias made me think of something that is rather humorous even if it is only very tangentially related.   If you recall, Papias claimed that Jesus taught the following about the future utopian kingdom on earth:

 The days are coming when vines will come forth, each with ten thousand boughs; and on a single bough will be ten thousand branches.  And indeed, on a single branch will be ten thousand shoots and on every shoot ...

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The Nature of John’s Signs Source

I have given one of the major pieces of evidence that there was a Signs Source that was used by the author of the Gospel of John, a written document that enumerated seven miraculous deeds of Jesus that were designed to show that he was a divine being, the Son of God.   There is another piece of evidence.  It is the concluding comment of chapter 20 of the Gospel, which I have already quoted a couple of times:

“Jesus ...

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Some Evidence for a Signs Source in John

I started this mini-thread by mentioning one of the now-lost documents of early Christianity that I would love to have discovered, the alleged “Signs Source” of the Gospel of John.  Before giving the evidence that there may have been some such source, I went off on a tangent, in order to show that John has a different view of Jesus’ spectacular deeds from what you find in Matthew, Mark, and Luke.   In these earlier Gospels, Jesus does “miracles,” both because ...

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Signs in the Gospel of John

For many decades now there have been scholars who have been convinced that the Gospel of John is based, in large part, on written, but no-longer surviving, sources.   It is much debated whether John relied on the Synoptic Gospels for any of its stories, or whether in fact its author had ever read (or even heard of) Matthew, Mark, and Luke.

There are very few verbatim overlaps between John and the others, and outside of the Passion narrative there is not ...

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The Community Behind the Gospel of John: Part 2

In the last post I began to discuss what we can know about the history of the community that produced (or that produced someone who produced) the Gospel of John.   The reason for dealing with this question is this:  one of the overarching theses of my book on memory and the historical Jesus is that the things we experience in the present affect how we remember the past.  They affect which parts of the past we remember (if they something ...

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The Community Behind the Gospel of John

In chapter 6 of my proposed book Jesus Before the Gospels, after I deal with collective memory in theory, I move on to talk about how Jesus was remembered in three different early Christian communities, those behind the Gospels of Mark (our earliest canonical Gospel), John (our latest canonical Gospel), and Thomas (our best known non-canonical Gospel).   One thing we have learned from memory studies is that the present affects not only what is remembered about the past, ...

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The Virgin Birth and the Gospel of John

I have pointed out that our earliest Gospel, Mark, not only is lacking a story of the virgin birth but also tells a story that seems to run precisely counter to the idea that Jesus’ mother knew that his birth was miraculous, unlike the later Gospels of Matthew and Luke.  It is striking to note that even though these two later Gospels know about a virgin birth,  our latest canonical Gospel, John, does not know about ...

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