The Beloved Disciple: whose witness validates the Gospel of John?
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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Fresh Insights Suggesting that Thomas Is the Beloved Disciple
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anonymous disciple apostle John appears argued author of chapter believe in Jesus Beloved Disciple Beloved Disciple believed Brown Bultmann chap chapter 21 ciple claim concluded confession convinced crucifixion Culpepper Dead Sea Scrolls denotes Disci disciple whom Jesus Disciple's drama early Christian edition editor empty tomb Evangelist evidence exegesis exegetical experts eyewitness faith Fourth Gospel gnostic GosJn Gospel According Gospel of John Gospel of Thomas Greek Hence high priest historical hypothesis Ibid identified identity inclusio insight Irenaeus Jerusalem Jesus loved Jewish Jews Johannine Christians Johannine Community Johannine School John the Apostle John the Baptist Judas Iscariot Judea Last Supper Lazarus literary Lord Mary Magdalene meaning narrative narrator Nathanael obvious Odes of Solomon passages perhaps pericope person Peter portrayed present Press question Qumran reader resurrection rightly Schnackenburg scholars Scripture symbolic Synoptics Testament Theology Thomas's Thyen tion traditions Twelve Univ verb verse words Zebedee