The Beloved Disciple: whose witness validates the Gospel of John?

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Trinity Press International, 1995 - Religion - 481 pages
The Gospel of John refers five times to "the disciple whom Jesus loved". From the second through the present century, scholars have sought to identify this "disciple", traditionally concluding that he is the author of the Gospel and is indeed none other than John the son of Zebedee. In recent phases of research, however, the identification of the Beloved Disciple with John the son of Zebedee has been exposed as weak and unpersuasive. Yet, according to James Charlesworth, even this new research is problematic in that it tends to ascribe priority in discerning the meaning of the Gospel of John to documents other than the Gospel itself. Moreover, this research tends to impute historical accuracy to documents that were not primarily intended to present histories. Based on extensive research, then, Professor Charlesworth has concluded that the primary texts in the Gospel of John and the reflections of modern scholars indicate that any identification of the Beloved Disciple - whether with one of the disciples specified in the Gospel, with one who is anonymous in this Gospel, or with some symbolic theme - must provide credible answers to eight questions.

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