John the Evangelist
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John the Evangelist ( grc-gre, Ἰωάννης, Iōánnēs;
Aramaic Aramaic (Classical Syriac The Syriac language (; syc, ܠܫܢܐ ܣܘܪܝܝܐ / '), also known as Syriac Aramaic (''Syrian Aramaic'', ''Syro-Aramaic'') and Classical Syriac (in its literary and liturgical form), is an Aramaic Aramai ...
: ܝܘܚܢܢ; ar, يوحنا الإنجيلي, he, יוחנן האוונגליסט cop, ⲓⲱⲁⲛⲛⲏⲥ or ⲓⲱ̅ⲁ) is the name traditionally given to the author of the
Gospel of John The Gospel according to John ( el, Εὐαγγέλιον κατὰ Ἰωάννην, translit=Euangélion katà Iōánnēn, also known as the Gospel of John, or simply John) is the fourth of the four canonical gospels. It contains a highly sch ...
. Christians have traditionally identified him with
John the Apostle John the Apostle ( arc, ܝܘܚܢܢ ܫܠܝܚܐ, ; he, יוחנן בן זבדי, ; grc, Ἰωάννης; cop, ⲓⲱⲁⲛⲛⲏⲥ or ; la, Ioannes; ) was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Jesus; he, יֵשׁוּעַ, '' Yēšū́a ...
,
John of Patmos John of Patmos (also called John the Revelator, John the Divine, John the Theologian, and possibly John the Apostle) could be the author named as John in the Book of Revelation. The text of Revelation states that John was on Patmos, a Greek i ...
, or
John the Presbyter John the Presbyter was an obscure figure of the early Church who is either distinguished from or identified with the Apostle John and/or John of Patmos. He appears in fragments from the church father Papias of Hierapolis as one of the author's ...
, although this has been disputed by most modern scholars.


Identity

The Gospel of John refers to an otherwise unnamed "
disciple whom Jesus loved The phrase "the disciple whom Jesus loved" ( el, ὁ μαθητὴς ὃν ἠγάπα ὁ Ἰησοῦς, ) or, in John 20:2; "the disciple beloved of Jesus" (, ), is used six times in the Gospel of John The Gospel according to John ( el, ...
", who "bore witness to and wrote" the Gospel's message.Theissen, Gerd and Annette Merz. The historical Jesus: a comprehensive guide. Fortress Press. 1998. translated from German (1996 edition). Chapter 2. Christian sources about Jesus. The author of the Gospel of John seemed interested in maintaining the internal anonymity of the author's identity, although interpreting the Gospel in the light of the
Synoptic Gospel The gospels of Gospel of Matthew, Matthew, Gospel of Mark, Mark, and Gospel of Luke, Luke are referred to as the synoptic Gospels because they include many of the same stories, often in a similar sequence and in similar or sometimes identical wor ...
s and considering that the author names (and therefore is not claiming to be) Peter, and that James was martyred as early as AD 44, it has been widely believed that the author was the Apostle John (though some believe he was pretending to be).Theissen, Gerd and Annette Merz. The historical Jesus: a comprehensive guide. Fortress Press. 1998. translated from German (1996 edition)
Christian tradition Christian tradition is a collection of tradition A tradition is a belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that something is the case, or that some proposition about the world is truth, true. In epistemology, philosophers use th ...
says that John the Evangelist was
John the Apostle John the Apostle ( arc, ܝܘܚܢܢ ܫܠܝܚܐ, ; he, יוחנן בן זבדי, ; grc, Ἰωάννης; cop, ⲓⲱⲁⲛⲛⲏⲥ or ; la, Ioannes; ) was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Jesus; he, יֵשׁוּעַ, '' Yēšū́a ...
. The Apostle John was one of the "pillars" of the after Jesus' death. Harris, Stephen L., ''Understanding the Bible''. Palo Alto: Mayfield. 1985. "John" p. 302-310 He was one of the original
twelve apostles upright=1.35, Jesus and his Twelve Apostles, Chi-Rho symbol ☧, Catacombs of Domitilla">Chi_Rho.html" ;"title="fresco with the Chi Rho">Chi-Rho symbol ☧, Catacombs of Domitilla, Rome In Christian theology and ecclesiology, apostles, parti ...

twelve apostles
and is thought to be the only one to have not been killed for his faith. It had been believed that he was exiled (around AD 95) to the Aegean island of
Patmos Patmos ( el, Πάτμος, ) is a Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approx ...
, where he wrote the
Book of Revelation The Book of Revelation (also called the Apocalypse of John, Revelation to John or Revelation from Jesus Christ) is the final book of the New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; ...
. However, some attribute the authorship of Revelation to another man, called
John the Presbyter John the Presbyter was an obscure figure of the early Church who is either distinguished from or identified with the Apostle John and/or John of Patmos. He appears in fragments from the church father Papias of Hierapolis as one of the author's ...
, or to other writers of the late first century AD. Bauckham argues that the early Christians identified John the Evangelist with
John the Presbyter John the Presbyter was an obscure figure of the early Church who is either distinguished from or identified with the Apostle John and/or John of Patmos. He appears in fragments from the church father Papias of Hierapolis as one of the author's ...
.Bauckham, Richard (2007))
The Testimony of the Beloved Disciple
'.


Authorship of the Johannine works

The authorship of the
Johannine works Johannine literature refers to the collection of New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) is the second division of the Biblical canon#Christian canons, Chri ...
has been debated by
scholars A scholar is a person who pursues academic and intellectual activities, particularly academics who apply their intellectualism into expertise in an area of Studying, study. A scholar can also be an academic, who works as a professor, teacher, or r ...
since at least the 2nd century AD. The main debate centers on who authored the writings, and which of the writings, if any, can be ascribed to a common author. Eastern Orthodox tradition attributes all of the Johannine books to John the Apostle.Stephen L Harris, ''Understanding the Bible,'' (Palo Alto: Mayfield, 1985), 355 In the 6th century, the ''
Decretum Gelasianum The ''Decretum Gelasianum'' or the Gelasian Decree is so named because it was traditionally thought to be a Decretal Decretals ( la, litterae decretales) are letters of a pope The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, " ...

Decretum Gelasianum
'' argued that
Second The second (symbol: s, also abbreviated: sec) is the base unit of time Time is the indefinite continued sequence, progress of existence and event (philosophy), events that occur in an apparently irreversible process, irreversible succession ...
and Third John have a separate author known as "John, a priest" (see
John the Presbyter John the Presbyter was an obscure figure of the early Church who is either distinguished from or identified with the Apostle John and/or John of Patmos. He appears in fragments from the church father Papias of Hierapolis as one of the author's ...
). Historical critics, like H.P.V. Nunn, the non-Christians
Reza Aslan Reza Aslan ( fa, رضا اصلان, ; born May 3, 1972) is an Iranian-American scholar of sociology of religion, writer, and television host. A convert to Evangelicalism, evangelical Christianity from Shia Islam as a youth, Aslan eventually rever ...

Reza Aslan
, and
Bart Ehrman Bart Denton Ehrman (; born October 5, 1955) is an American Biblical scholar, New Testament scholar focusing on textual criticism of the New Testament, the historical Jesus, and the History of early Christianity, origins and development of early ...

Bart Ehrman
, reject the view that John the Apostle authored any of these works. Most modern scholars believe that the apostle John wrote none of these works,"Although ancient traditions attributed to the Apostle John the Fourth Gospel, the Book of Revelation, and the three Epistles of John, modern scholars believe that he wrote none of them." Harris, Stephen L., ''Understanding the Bible'' (Palo Alto: Mayfield, 1985) p. 355 although some, such as J.A.T. Robinson, F. F. Bruce,
Leon Morris Leon Lamb Morris (15 March 1914 – 24 July 2006) was an Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, th ...

Leon Morris
, and
Martin Hengel Professor Martin Hengel Martin Hengel (14 December 1926 – 2 July 2009) was a German historian of religion, focusing on the "Second Temple The Second Temple (, ''Bet HaMikdash, Beit HaMikdash HaSheni'') was the Temple in Jerusalem, Jewish holy ...

Martin Hengel
, hold the apostle to be behind at least some, in particular the gospel.Morris, Leon (1995)
The Gospel According to John
' Volume 4 of The new international commentary on the New Testament, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, , pp. 4–5, 24, 35–7. "Continental scholars have ... abandoned the idea that this gospel was written by the apostle John, whereas in Great Britain and America scholarship has been much more open to the idea." Abandonment is due to changing opinion rather "than to any new evidence." "Werner, Colson, and I have been joined, among others, by I. Howard Marshall and J.A.T. Robinson in seeing the evidence as pointing to John the son of Zebedee as the author of this Gospel." The view that John's history is substandard "is becoming increasingly hard to sustain. Many recent writers have shown that there is good reason for regarding this or that story in John as authentic. ... It is difficult to ... regard John as having little concern for history. The fact is John is concerned with historical information. ... John apparently records this kind of information because he believes it to be accurate. ... He has some reliable information and has recorded it carefully. ... The evidence is that where he can be tested John proves to be remarkably accurate." *Bruce 1981 pp. 52–4, 58. "The evidence ... favor the apostolicity of the gospel. ... John knew the other gospels and ... supplements them. ... The synoptic narrative becomes more intelligible if we follow John." John's style is different so Jesus' "abiding truth might be presented to men and women who were quite unfamiliar with the original setting. ... He does not yield to any temptation to restate Christianity. ... It is the story of events that happened in history. ... John does not divorce the story from its Palestinian context." *Dodd p. 444. "Revelation is distinctly, and nowhere more clearly than in the Fourth Gospel, a historical revelation. It follows that it is important for the evangelist that what he narrates happened." *Temple, William. "Readings in St. John's Gospel". MacMillan and Co, 1952. "The synoptists give us something more like the perfect photograph; St. John gives us the more perfect portrait". *Edwards, R. A. "The Gospel According to St. John" 1954, p 9. One reason he accepts John's authorship is because "the alternative solutions seem far too complicated to be possible in a world where living men met and talked". *Hunter, A. M. "Interpreting the New Testament" P 86. "After all the conjectures have been heard, the likeliest view is that which identifies the Beloved Disciple with the Apostle John.
Dr.
Craig Blomberg Craig L. Blomberg (born August 3, 1955) is an American New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) is the second division of the Biblical canon#Christian cano ...
, cited in Lee Strobel ''The Case for Christ'', 1998, Chapter 2. *Marshall, Howard. "The Illustrated Bible Dictionary", ed J. D. Douglas et al. Leicester 1980. II, p 804 *Robinson, J. A. T. "The Priority of John" P 122 *Cf. Marsh, "John seems to have believed that theology was not something which could be used to read a meaning into events but rather something that was to be discovered in them. His story is what it is because his theology is what it is; but his theology is what it is because the story happened so" (p 580–581).
There may have been a single author for the gospel and the three epistles. Some scholars conclude the author of the epistles was different from that of the gospel, although all four works originated from the same community. The gospel and epistles traditionally and plausibly came from
Ephesus Ephesus (; gr, Ἔφεσος, Éphesos; tr, Efes; may ultimately derive from hit, 𒀀𒉺𒊭, Apaša) was a city in ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece ...

Ephesus
, ''c.'' 90–110, although some scholars argue for an origin in
Syria Syria ( ar, سُورِيَا, ''Sūriyā''), officially the Syrian Arab Republic ( ar, ٱلْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ ٱلْعَرَبِيَّةُ ٱلسُّورِيَّةُ, al-Jumhūrīyah al-ʻArabīyah as-Sūrīyah), is a country in ...

Syria
. In the case of Revelation, most modern scholars agree that it was written by a separate author,
John of Patmos John of Patmos (also called John the Revelator, John the Divine, John the Theologian, and possibly John the Apostle) could be the author named as John in the Book of Revelation. The text of Revelation states that John was on Patmos, a Greek i ...
, ''c.'' 95 with some parts possibly dating to
Nero Nero ( ; Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus; 15 December 37 – 9 June 68 AD) was the fifth Roman emperor, ruling from 54 to 68. His infamous reign is usually associated with Tyrant, tyranny, extravagance, and debauchery.Kragelund, Patric ...

Nero
's reign in the early 60s.


Feast day

The
feast day The calendar of saints is the traditional Christian method of organizing a liturgical year by associating each day with one or more saint In religious belief, a saint is a person who is recognized as having an exceptional degree of Q-D-Š, ho ...
of Saint John in the
Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Catholics Catholic Church by country, worldwide . As the wor ...

Catholic Church
,
Anglican Communion The Anglican Communion is the third largest Christian communion Communion may refer to: Religion * The Eucharist (also called the Holy Communion or Lord's Supper), the Christian rite involving the eating of bread and drinking of wine, ree ...
, and the Lutheran Calendar, is on 27 December, the
third day Third Day was a Christian rock band formed in Marietta, Georgia during the 1990s. The band was founded by lead singer Mac Powell, guitarist Mark David Lee, Mark Lee (both of whom were the only constant members) and Billy Wilkins. Drummer David ...
of
Christmastide Christmastide (also known as Christmastime or the Christmas season) is a season of the liturgical year in most Christianity, Christian churches. In some Christian denominations, Christmastide is identical to Twelve Days of Christmas, Twelvetide, ...

Christmastide
. In the
Tridentine Calendar The Tridentine Calendar is the calendar of saints The calendar of saints is the traditional Christian method of organizing a liturgical year by associating each day with one or more saint In religious belief, a saint is a person who is reco ...
he was commemorated also on each of the following days up to and including 3 January, the
Octave In music, an octave ( la, octavus: eighth) or perfect octave (sometimes called the Pythagorean interval, diapason) is the interval (music), interval between one musical Pitch (music), pitch and another with double its frequency. The octave relat ...
of the 27 December feast. This Octave was abolished by
Pope Pius XII Pope Pius XII ( it, Pio XII), born Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli (; 2 March 18769 October 1958), was head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominati ...
in 1955. The traditional liturgical color is
white White is the lightest color and is achromatic (having no hue). It is the color of snow, chalk, and milk, and is the opposite of black. White objects fully diffuse reflection, reflect and scattering, scatter all the visible spectrum, visible wa ...

white
.
Freemasons Freemasonry or Masonry refers to Fraternity, fraternal organisations that trace their origins to the local guilds of Stonemasonry, stonemasons that, from the end of the 13th century, regulated the qualifications of stonemasons and their inter ...

Freemasons
celebrate this feast day, dating back to the 18th century when the Feast Day was used for the installation of Presidents and Grand Masters.


In art

John is traditionally depicted in one of two distinct ways: either as an aged man with a white or gray beard, or alternatively as a beardless youth.Sources: *James Hall, ''Dictionary of Subjects and Symbols in Art,'' (New York: Harper & Row, 1979), 129, 174-75. *Carolyn S. Jerousek, "Christ and St. John the Evangelist as a Model of Medieval Mysticism," ''Cleveland Studies in the History of Art,'' Vol. 6 (2001), 16. The first way of depicting him was more common in Byzantine art, where it was possibly influenced by antique depictions of Socrates; the second was more common in the art of Medieval art, Medieval Western Europe and can be dated back as far as 4th-century Rome. In medieval works of painting, sculpture and literature, Saint John is often presented in an androgynous or feminized manner. Historians have related such portrayals to the circumstances of the believers for whom they were intended. For instance, John's feminine features are argued to have helped to make him more relatable to women. Likewise, Sarah McNamer argues that because of John's androgynous status, he could function as an 'image of a third or mixed gender' and 'a crucial figure with whom to identify' for male believers who sought to cultivate an attitude of affective piety, a highly emotional style of devotion that, in late-medieval culture, was thought to be poorly compatible with masculinity. Legends from the "Acts of John" contributed much to medieval iconography; it is the source of the idea that John became an apostle at a young age. One of John's familiar attributes is the chalice, often with a snake emerging from it.James Hall, "John the Evangelist," ''Dictionary of Subjects and Symbols in Art,'' rev. ed. (New York: Harper & Row, 1979) According to one legend from the Acts of John, John was challenged to drink a cup of poison to demonstrate the power of his faith, and thanks to God's aid the poison was rendered harmless. The chalice can also be interpreted with reference to the Last Supper, or to the words of Christ to John and James: "My chalice indeed you shall drink."Fonck, L. (1910)
St. John the Evangelist
In ''The Catholic Encyclopedia'' (New York: Robert Appleton Company). Retrieved 14 August 2017 from New Advent.
According to the 1910 ''Catholic Encyclopedia'', some authorities believe that this symbol was not adopted until the 13th century. There was also a legend that John was at some stage boiled in oil and miraculously preserved.J K Elliott, "Graphic Versions: Did non-biblical stories about Jesus and the saints originate more in art than text?", ''Times Literary Supplement'', 14 December 2018, pp. 15-16, referring to a thirteenth-century manuscript in Cambridge known as the Trinity College Apocalypse. Another common attribute is a book or a scroll, in reference to his writings. John the Evangelist is symbolically represented by an eagle, one of the creatures envisioned by Ezekiel (1:10) and in the Book of Revelation (4:7).


Gallery

File: Joan_de_Joanes_-_St_John_the_Evangelist_-_WGA12061.jpg, ''St. John the Evangelist'' by Vicente Juan Masip, Joan de Joanes (1507–1579), oil on panel File:Zampieri St John Evangelist.jpg, ''Saint John the Evangelist (Domenichino), Saint John the Evangelist'' by Domenichino (1621–29) File:1490 Gleismüller Johannes auf Patmos anagoria.JPG, ''Saint John the Evangelist on Patmos'', 1490 File:Piero di Cosimo (Piero di Lorenzo) - St. John the Evangelist, c. 1500.jpg, Piero di Cosimo, ''Saint John the Evangelist'', oil on panel, 1504–6, Honolulu Museum of Art File:El Greco, The Vision of Saint John (1608-1614).jpg , ''The Vision of Saint John'' (1608–1614), by El Greco File:Simone Cantarini - São João Batista em Meditação.jpg, ''Saint John the Evangelist in meditation'' by Simone Cantarini
(1612–1648), Bologna File:Sts-john-and-bartholomew-with-donor-dosso-dossi.jpg, ''Saints John and Bartholomew'', by Dosso Dossi File:Enniscorthy St. Aidan's Cathedral East Aisle Second Window Evangelist John Detail 2009 09 28.jpg, Stained glass window in St. Aidan’s Cathedral, Ireland File:Cano - San Juan.jpg,
''Saint John and the Poisoned Cup'' by Alonzo Cano
Spain (1635–1637) File:GRM Inv. J-3182.jpg, ''Saint John and the eagle'' by Vladimir Borovikovsky in Kazan Cathedral, Saint Petersburg File:KellsFol291vPortJohn.jpg, A portrait from the Book of Kells, c. 800 File:El Greco 034.jpg, ''Saint John and the cup'' by El Greco File:St-johns-seminary-st-john.jpg, Statue of ''John the Evangelist'' outside Saint John's Seminary (Massachusetts), St. John's Seminary, Boston File:De Grey Hours f.26.v St. John the Evangelist.png, St John the Evangelist depicted in a 14th-century manuscript in the Flemish style File:San Juan Evangelista, por Francisco Pacheco.jpg, ''St John the Evangelist'', by Francisco Pacheco (1608, Museo del Prado) File:Prochorus and St John Miniature, 1224.jpg, Prochorus and St John depicted in Xoranasat's gospel manuscript in 1224. Armenian manuscript.


See also

* Eagle of Saint John * Luke the Evangelist * Mark the Evangelist * Matthew the Evangelist * St. John the Evangelist Church (disambiguation), St. John the Evangelist Church


References


External links


"Saint John the Apostle." ''Encyclopædia Britannica'' Online.

Answers.com


at th
Christian Iconography
web site * Caxton's translations of the ''Golden Legend''s two chapters on St. John
Of St. John the Evangelist
an

{{DEFAULTSORT:John The Evangelist 15 births 100 deaths Year of death unknown 1st-century writers Christian saints from the New Testament Four Evangelists Saints from the Holy Land