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Dating the New Testament - John

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The Gospel of John is closely related in style and content to the three Johannine epistles , and most scholars treat the four books, along with the Book of Revelation , as a single corpus of Johannine literature , albeit not from the same author. The discourses contained in this gospel seem to be concerned with issues of the church-synagogue debate at the time of composition. The Gospel of John, the three Johannine epistles , and the Book of Revelation , exhibit marked similarities, although more so between the gospel and the epistles especially the gospel and 1 John than between those and Revelation. The gospel of John went through two or three "editions" before reaching its current form around AD The scholarly consensus in the second half of the 20th century was that John was independent of the synoptic gospels Matthew , Mark , and Luke , but this agreement broke down in the last decade of the century and there are now many who believe that John did know some version of Mark and possibly Luke, as he shares with them some items of vocabulary and clusters of incidents arranged in the same order.

The principal affect of the fall of Jerusalem on the church was in regard to its future locality. Perhaps this early dispersal of the Christians away from the capital city, with its Jewish temple and all this stood for, was one method God used to prepare His succeeding church there for the ultimate break with Judaism that would occur with the fall of Jerusalem. The first source is Josephus, a Jewish writer of the first century, an eyewitness of the events of 70 AD ; the second man was Hegisippus, who was a Jewish believer of the second century; and then came Eusebius of Caesarea a Gentile Christian of the fourth century.

By pooling the material on what they say happened in so far as Jewish believers are concerned, we are told that the Jewish believers did obey the book of Hebrews, and made their break from Judaism complete. One million one hundred thousand Jews were killed in that Roman conflict.

But we are told by these writers that not one single Jewish believer lost his life, because of his obedience to the letter to the Hebrews. During his ministry, Paul of course was the principal protagonist against heresy e. So if we take the view that John wrote to combat further heresy, it would be logical for there to have been a time gap of a couple of decades or so after the death of Paul for these heresies to have arisen and to have become somewhat established, i.

Westcott -Bishop of Durham, although not a modern commentator, is nevertheless probably one of the most erudite exponents of the Greek writings of the church fathers who has ever lived. He was also a staunch defender of biblical inspirationthe deity of Christ and His Resurrection. The Church Fathers are most persuasive evidence for the date of John, and they unanimously ascribe a later date to John, written when he was a very old man.

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That it was an old man, not a younger impostor, is shown by clear familiarity with pre-Fall Jerusalem, e. Despite the fact that the sacred writer does not identify himself in the text there are clues, internal evidence in the fourth Gospel, that a minority of modern scholars believe clearly point to John the Apostle as the sacred writer.

And, one must consider that the absence of the name of this one very important Apostle in this Gospel, rather than eliminating John as the inspired writer, points to John who, in his humility, omits his personal name and assumes the identify of the "beloved disciple," a role which all of us are called to fill.

Point 1: The other Gospel writers all identify the son of the priest Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth kinswoman of Mary as John "the Baptist" [or Baptizer]. It is obvious that the use of this title is necessary to avoid confusion with John son of Zebedee, the Apostle. But in the fourth Gospel, John son of Zechariah is identified simply as "John" 22 times see John151923262829323540 ;24252627 ; ;3536 ;41 If there was an author other than John the Apostle wouldn't it be expected that there would be confusion between which "John" was being mentioned in the text?

John never identifies himself by name in the Gospel, but if it was understood by the various churches of Asia Minor that their Bishop, John the Apostle, was the inspired writer it was not necessary to make the differentiation between himself and John the Baptist. The author accurately portrays Old Covenant customs, religious traditions, and the fine points of halakhic legal regulations that were unique to Israel as God's holy covenant people. The inspired writer of this Gospel is knowledgeable about the different sects of 1 st century Judaism and is especially knowledgeable about the geography and topography of what was the Roman dominated province of Judea and the city of Jerusalem, identifying and correctly describing sites that were not rediscovered in Jerusalem until the late s.

All these qualifications fit John the Apostle. Point 3: The author identifies himself as an eyewitness to the events of the fourth Gospel and as "the disciple whom Jesus loved. The author of the book of Revelation whom the Fathers of the Church testify is John son of Zebedee, Bishop of Ephesus identifies himself as "John" five times: Revelation Revelation Revelation Revelation Revelation This may be a coincidence but considering the symbolic use of numbers in both the Gospel and in Revelation it could be another indicator of John's authorship; 5 is the symbolic number of grace in Scripture see the document " The Significance of Numbers in Scripture " in the Documents section of Agape Bible Study.

But how do we know which of the Apostles is "the one Jesus loved"? The Synoptic Gospels identify 3 Apostles that Jesus singled out on important occasions. These were Peter, to whom Jesus gave the "keys of the kingdom", James, the son of Zebedee, and James' younger brother, the Apostle John. We can narrow down the identity of the inspired writer of the fourth Gospel to one of these 3 men and, by eliminating the other 2, we can come to one final name.

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The "beloved disciple" who authors the fourth Gospel cannot be Peter because the fourth Gospel records that on several occasions Peter was accompanied by the "beloved disciple" John ; James Zebedee is eliminated as a candidate for the "beloved disciple" by the fact that he was the first Apostle to be martyred circa 42AD. We have an accurate date for his martyrdom not only from Christian sources Actsetc. This fact eliminates James because the fourth Gospel was written at least 25 years after his death.

That only leaves John, son of Zebedee as the "beloved disciple". This argument fails to acknowledge the fact that there are many common expressions and themes used in the Gospel and in the Epistles and Revelation. For example compare these few verses from the fourth Gospel with 1 John:. Many of St. The poor Greek grammar of the Revelation text, which is often cited by modern scholars, could indicate the absence of a secretary when John was imprisoned on the penal colony of Patmos although I have often found John's poor Greek grammar to be very good Christian theology.

In any event, the style and linguistic similarities between the works attributed to John's authorship are far more similar than they are different.

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No where else in the New Testament do you find Christ defined in terms of the "Word of God", the "Lamb of God", and the "Light of the world" except in those writings attributed to John the Apostle. Please refer to the introduction to the Book of Revelation for a more detailed comparison between the literary themes of Revelation and the fourth Gospel. Scholars, ancient and modern, do agree that the fourth Gospel was the last to be written. When it was written is another issue.

Scholars fall into 2 camps: the "early daters" and the "late daters. Bishop St. Irenaeus, disciple of Bishop Polycarp, who was a disciple of John, who also credits John as the author of the fourth Gospel, recounts the exact information. If John were the author of the fourth Gospel, it would have to have been written prior to 98AD. You may recall in John that this passage alludes to John living to a remarkable old age'such an advanced age that a rumor was spread that this unnamed Apostle may not die.

Dating of johns gospel

Some Biblical scholars of the 19 th and 20 th centuries held that the fourth Gospel was written sometime in the late 2 nd century AD. However, this position is no longer acceptable because of solid evidence to the contrary.

There are also allusions to the fourth Gospel in the last letters of Bishop St. Ignatius of Antioch who was martyred c. Even the "late daters" today would hesitate to date this Gospel much later than about AD.

The "early daters" place the composition of the fourth Gospel before the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem by the Roman army in 70AD; perhaps as early as 60 or 68 AD.

They point out that there is no mention of that catastrophic event which began with the Jewish revolt against the Roman Empire and which ended with such brutal devastation of Judea that it signaled the "end of the world" for the Jews of the Old Covenant. Instead the fourth Gospel makes reference to a site in Jerusalem, in the present tense, that no longer stood after the 9 th of Ab, 70AD when the Roman army destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple.

In John it is written "Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda, and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades.

The secular consensus dates the Gospel of John around year Our earliest surviving manuscript (P52) is approximately from year CE so that would be the latest dating for the Gospel of John. The Gospel of John, the Letters of 1, 2 and 3 John, and Revelation Saint John the Evangelist on Patmos by Hans Burgkmair The writings of John are often assigned the latest dates of all New Testament literature, with some secular scholars placing them well into the second century A.D., and even most conservative scholars dating at least Revelation around 95 A.D., when John would have . The Dating of the Fourth Gospel. Bishop St. Irenaeus, disciple of Bishop Polycarp, who was a disciple of John, who also credits John as the author of the fourth Gospel, recounts the exact information. If John were the author of the fourth Gospel, it would have to have been written prior to 98AD.

It had been buried in debris since the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD. It proved to have 5 colonnades just as it was described in the fourth Gospel.

Point 1: The testimony of the disciples of the Apostles and the generations of disciples to follow them cannot be ignored. The earliest mention suggesting John as the writer of the fourth Gospel is found in St.

What the church fathers said

Justin Martyr's First Apology Justin was martyred circa AD. In this work he alludes to John and speaks of the Gospels as including "memoirs of the Apostles"in the plural. This would have to be a reference to Matthew and John since Mark and Luke were not Apostles in the narrowest use of the word as applied to the original 12 eleven after Judas' deathbut who also came to be called "apostles" as this Greek word, which means "emissaries" was later applied to all those who held positions of leadership within the Church.

Justin Martyr's testimony is very important because Ephesus was his home church and he would have been very familiar with anything his great Apostle-bishop had written and the traditions associated with John's writings. Irenaeus Bishop of Lyon b. Irenaeus was the disciple of St. Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna who was a disciple of John the Apostle.

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Irenaeus, in his work Against Heresies, briefly describes the composition of and authorship of the four Gospels and records that after the first three were written "John, the disciple of our Lord, who also had leaned upon his breast, did himself publish a Gospel during his residence at Ephesus in Asia. Later in the same work St. Irenaeus quotes verses from the fourth Gospel and attributes the words to "John, the disciple of the Lord.

The oldest list that has survived is known as the Muratorian Fragment, named for the scholar of discovered it, I. Muratori who published the manuscript in The document contains an account of the writing of the fourth Gospel: "The fourth Gospel is by John, one of the disciples.

When his fellow disciples and bishops were urging him, he said, 'Fast with me for three days beginning today, and whatever will have been revealed to us, let us recount it with each other. And therefore while various points are taught in the different books of the Gospels, there is not difference to the faith of believers; for in all of them all things are spoken under the one guiding Spirit, I, page It is not until the early fourth century that any ambiguity appears in the acceptance of John the Apostle as the inspired writer of the fourth Gospel.

John as Bishop of Ephesus ca. ADthat have caused controversy. Eusebius, quoting from a lost work of St. Polycrates Bishop of Ephesus ca. He fell asleep at Ephesus.

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But then Polycrates identifies John as a "priest wearing the mitre and martyr and teacher. Unanswered Questions.

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Asked in New Testament. When was John's gospel written? The exact date is unknown. It has traditionally been taught it was written between CE. Answer The Gospel of John was originally anonymous and the Church Fathers only attributed it to the disciple John later in the second century.

Answer Around a.

John, the son of Zebedee, is the author of this Gospel. He and his brother James are called the "Sons of Thunder," most likely for their lively, zealous personalities. Of the 12 disciples, John, James, and Peter formed the inner circle, chosen by Jesus to become his closest companions. Mar 13, †∑ Interestingly, modern New Testament scholars are now nearly unanimous in dating Johnís Gospel much earlier. Johnís Gospel was written early enough to have been written by the Apostle himself, a man who saw the events firsthand and recorded them within the lifetime of those who would know if he was lying. Jun 18, †∑ AND "Date: c CE Note that the ancient Ryland's papyrus with its short extract from John's Gospel is dated to the first half of the 2nd century. This question is .

Reasons are as follows:- Most scholars date this gospel c. Further, we believe that this gospel should be dated late in 65 or even in 66, for the following two reasons: a it is doubtful that it should be dated after 66, because otherwise the lack of an Olivet Discourse in which many of the prophecies were at that time coming true, is inexplicable; b the gospel should perhaps be dated after Peter's death, as we shall see when we examine the purpose [From article "The Gospel of John: Introduction, Argument, Outline" By: Daniel B.

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Asked in New Testament What influenced johns gospel? John was influenced by the need that he perceived, to write a simply evangelical gospel. Actually all 12 were there.

John's Gospel - 1st Century - Papyrus 52

Asked in New Testament Johns gospel has how many chapters? William Johns has written: 'The importance of the scriptures'. Johns has written: 'Time of our lives'. Geoff Johns has written: 'Hawkman' 'The Flash'. Allan Johns has written: 'The hit girl'. Francis A.

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Johns has written: 'A bibliography of Arthur Waley'. There are several Johns in the Bible, it depends on which one you are asking about.

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One of the johns: John, the disciple of Jesus and the author of the gospel of John. James Grey Johns has written: 'The American presidency'. Ada Winifred Johns has written: 'Special libraries'.

Date of Johnís Gospel. It is highly unlikely that John wrote this missive any later than 66 AD. There is not one New Testament book that notes the death of Paul or Peter or the fall of Jerusalem (70 AD), an event that shook the civilized world more than 9/11 did in the 21st century.

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