The author of the Gospel of John

The author of the Gospel of John was anonymous.  An unnamed disciple whom Jesus loved was the most important source.  Did this unnamed disciple actually write this gospel?  Was this beloved disciple meant to be a symbol of all the followers of Jesus?  Christian tradition has identified this unnamed disciple as the apostle John, since this gospel style and content seem to relate to the three other epistles referred to as the Johannine epistles.  Thus, most scholars treat these four books, along with the Book of Revelation, as a single corpus of Johannine literature, even though not from the same author.  This Johannine Christian group defined itself in contrast to Judaism, rather than as part of a wider Christian community.  They were separating from Judaism and the Jewish community life, so that there was a lot of talk about synagogues.  The Greek style in this gospel was similar to a Greco-Roman biography, with a focus on the main subject’s great words and deeds, his death, and the consequences.  One third of the Gospel of John concerns the last week of Jesus’ life.  The author or authors were followers of Jesus Christ in the first century of the common era, perhaps one to two generations removed from the time of Jesus.  They wrote this book to help believe in Jesus Christ.  Do you think that the Gospel of John helps you to believe in Jesus?

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