- The Oxford Handbook of Johannine Studies
- The Text of The Gospel and Letters of John
- Literary Sources of the Gospel and Letters of John
- John and other Gospels
- The Story of the Johannine Community and its Literature
- The Beloved Disciple, the Fourth Evangelist, and the Authorship of the Fourth Gospel
- The Gospel of John and Archaeology
- The Jews of the Fourth Gospel
- The Johannine Literature in a Greek Context
- The Johannine Literature and Contemporary Jewish Literature
- The Johannine Literature and the Gnostics
- The Fourth Gospel as Narrative and Drama
- Ideological Readings of the Fourth Gospel
- Gender and the Fourth Gospel
- Social-Scientific Readings of the Gospel and Letters of John
- Symbolism and ‘Signs’ in the Fourth Gospel
- Dualism and the World in the Gospel and Letters of John
- Eschatology and Time in the Gospel of John
- The Person of Jesus Christ in the Gospel of John
- The Purpose of the Ministry and Death of Jesus in the Gospel of John
- Faith, Eternal Life, and the Spirit in the Gospel of John
- Ethics in Community in the Gospel and Letters of John
- Temple, Festivals, and Scripture in the Gospel Of John
- The Johannine Literature and the Canon
- Johannine Commentaries in the Early Church
- Index Locorum
- General Index
Abstract and Keywords
Discussions of the authorship of the Gospel of John must answer two questions: who is the Beloved Disciple who is portrayed as the book’s primary source of information, and how is this individual related to the author, John the evangelist? On the first question, scholars are divided on whether the Beloved Disciple is a real historical individual or an ideal symbolic figure. Data from the text itself and from social-science perspectives on the reputations of key figures from the past suggest that both are correct: the Beloved Disciple was a legendary associate of Jesus whose presentation reflects his reputation as a source of information that was critical to the Johannine theological outlook. On the second question, data suggests that the evangelist was not the Beloved Disciple but rather a disciple of that individual, perhaps basing his own book on an earlier document produced by the Beloved Disciple.
Tom Thatcher is Professor of Biblical Studies and Dean of the Seminary at Cincinnati Christian University (USA). His research interests focus on the application of social science models to problems in the Gospels and the Johannine Literature, including collective memory and media criticism. He is the author of Why John Wrote a Gospel (2006), and Greater Than Caesar (2009).
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