|Venerated in Christianity|
Parents Zebedee, Salome
|Name John Apostle|
Siblings James, son of Zebedee
Died 100 AD, Ephesus
|Feast 27 December (Roman Catholic, Anglican)26 September (Orthodox)|
Attributes Book, a serpent in a chalice, cauldron, eagle
Patronage Author, Publishing, Scribe, Theology
Similar People Saint Peter, James - son of Zebedee, John the Evangelist, Paul the Apostle, John the Baptist
John the Apostle
John the Apostle (Aramaic: ܝܘܚܢܢ ܫܠܝܚܐ Yohanan Shliha; Hebrew: יוחנן בן זבדי Yohanan ben Zavdi; Koine Greek: Ἰωάννης; Latin: Ioannes; c. AD 6-100) was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus according to the New Testament, which refers to him as Ἰωάννης. He was the son of Zebedee and Salome. His brother was James, who was another of the Twelve Apostles. Christian tradition holds that he outlived the remaining apostles and that he was the only one to die of natural causes: Judas Iscariot died by suicide, while the other ten all are considered to have died a martyr's death. This is because the Church Fathers considered him the same person as John the Evangelist, John of Patmos, John the Elder and the Beloved Disciple, although modern theologians and scholars have not formed a consensus on the relative identities of these men. The traditions of most Christian denominations have held that John the Apostle is the author of several books of the New Testament.
- John the Apostle
- St john the apostle hd
- New Testament author
- Book of Revelation
- Extrabiblical traditions
- Liturgical commemoration
- Latter day Saint view
- Islamic view
- Gallery of art
St john the apostle hd
New Testament author
Church tradition has held that John is the author of the Gospel of John and four other books of the New Testament — the three Epistles of John and the Book of Revelation. In the Gospel, Authorship is internally credited to the "disciple whom Jesus loved" (ὁ μαθητὴς ὃν ἠγάπα ὁ Ἰησοῦς, o mathētēs on ēgapa o Iēsous) in John 20:2. John 21:24 claims that the Gospel of John is based on the written testimony of the "Beloved Disciple". The authorship of some Johannine literature has been debated since about the year 200. Some doubt that the "Gospel of John" was even written by an individual named "John" (Ἰωάννης or יוחנן). Nevertheless, the notion of "John the Evangelist" exists, and is still considered by some the same as the Apostle John.
In his Ecclesiastical History, Eusebius says that the First Epistle of John and the Gospel of John are widely agreed upon as his. However, Eusebius mentions that the consensus is that the Second and Third epistles of John are not his but were written by some other John. Eusebius also goes to some length to establish with the reader that there is no general consensus regarding the revelation of John. The revelation of John could only be what is now called the Book of Revelation. The Gospel according to John differs considerably from the Synoptic Gospels, which were likely written decades earlier. The bishops of Asia Minor supposedly requested him to write his gospel to deal with the heresy of the Ebionites, who asserted that Christ did not exist before Mary. John probably knew and undoubtedly approved of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, but these gospels spoke of Jesus primarily in the year following the imprisonment and death of John the Baptist. Around 600, however, Sophronius of Jerusalem noted that "two epistles bearing his name ... are considered by some to be the work of a certain John the Elder" and, while stating that Revelation was written by John of Patmos, it was "later translated by Justin Martyr and Irenaeus", presumably in an attempt to reconcile tradition with the obvious differences in Greek style.
Until the 19th century, the authorship of the Gospel of John had been attributed to the Apostle John. However, most modern critical scholars have their doubts. Some scholars place the Gospel of John somewhere between AD 65 and 85; John Robinson proposes an initial edition by 50–55 and then a final edition by 65 due to narrative similarities with Paul. Other scholars are of the opinion that the Gospel of John was composed in two or three stages. Most contemporary scholars consider that the Gospel was not written until the latter third of the First century AD, and with an earliest possible date of AD 75-80. "...a date of AD 75-80 as the earliest possible date of composition for this Gospel". Other scholars think that an even later date, perhaps even the last decade of the first century AD right up to the start of the 2nd century (i.e. 90 - 100), is applicable.
Nonetheless, today many theological scholars continue to accept the traditional authorship. Colin G. Kruse states that since John the Evangelist has been named consistently in the writings of early church fathers, "it is hard to pass by this conclusion, despite widespread reluctance to accept it by many, but by no means all, modern scholars."
The Gospel of John was written by an anonymous author. According to Paul N. Anderson, the gospel "contains more direct claims to eyewitness origins than any of the other Gospel traditions". F. F. Bruce argues that 19:35 contains an "emphatic and explicit claim to eyewitness authority". Bart D. Ehrman, however, does not think the gospel claims to have been written by direct witnesses to the reported Events.
Book of Revelation
The author of the Book of Revelation identifies himself as "Ἰωάννης" ("John" in standard English translation) The early 2nd century writer, Justin Martyr, was the first to equate the author of Revelation with John the Apostle. However, most biblical scholars now contend that these were separate individuals.
John the Presbyter, an obscure figure in the early church, has also been identified with the seer of the Book of Revelation by such authors as Eusebius in his Church History (Book III, 39) and Jerome.
John is considered to have been exiled to Patmos, during the persecutions under Emperor Domitian. Revelation 1:9 says that the author wrote the book on Patmos: "I, John, both your brother and companion in tribulation... was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ." Adela Yarbro Collins, a biblical scholar at Yale Divinity School, writes:
Early tradition says that John was banished to Patmos by the Roman authorities. This tradition is credible because banishment was a common punishment used during the Imperial period for a number of offenses. Among such offenses were the practices of magic and astrology. Prophecy was viewed by the Romans as belonging to the same category, whether Pagan, Jewish, or Christian. Prophecy with political implications, like that expressed by John in the book of Revelation, would have been perceived as a threat to Roman political power and order. Three of the islands in the Sporades were places where political offenders were banished. (Pliny Natural History 4.69-70; Tacitus Annals 4.30)
Some modern higher critical scholars have raised the possibility that John the Apostle, John the Evangelist, and John of Patmos were three separate individuals. These scholars assert that John of Patmos wrote Revelation but neither the Gospel of John nor the Epistles of John. For one, the author of Revelation identifies himself as "John" several times, but the author of the Gospel of John never identifies himself directly. Some Catholic scholars state that "vocabulary, grammar, and style make it doubtful that the book could have been put into its present form by the same person(s) responsible for the fourth gospel".
There is no information in the Bible concerning the duration of John's activity in Judea. According to tradition, John and the other Apostles remained some 12 years in this first field of labour. The persecution of Christians under Herod Agrippa I led to the scattering of the Apostles through the Roman Empire's provinces.[cf. Ac 12:1-17]
A messianic community existed at Ephesus before Paul's first labours there (cf. "the brethren"),[Acts 18:27] in addition to Priscilla and Aquila. The original community was under the leadership of Apollos (1 Corinthians 1:12). They were disciples of John the Baptist and were converted by Aquila and Priscilla. According to Church tradition, after the Assumption of Mary, John went to Ephesus. From there he wrote the three epistles attributed to him. John was allegedly banished by the Roman authorities to the Greek island of Patmos, where, according to tradition, he wrote the Book of Revelation. According to Tertullian (in The Prescription of Heretics) John was banished (presumably to Patmos) after being plunged into boiling oil in Rome and suffering nothing from it. It is said that all in the audience of Colosseum were converted to Christianity upon witnessing this miracle. This event would have occurred in the late 1st century, during the reign of the Emperor Domitian, who was known for his persecution of Christians.
When John was aged, he trained Polycarp who later became Bishop of Smyrna. This was important because Polycarp was able to carry John's message to future generations. Polycarp taught Irenaeus, passing on to him stories about John. Similar goes with Ignatius of Antioch, who was a student of John and later appointed by Saint Peter to be the Bishop of Antioch. In Against Heresies, Irenaeus relates how Polycarp told a story of
John, the disciple of the Lord, going to bathe at Ephesus, and perceiving Cerinthus within, rushed out of the bath-house without bathing, exclaiming, "Let us fly, lest even the bath-house fall down, because Cerinthus, the enemy of the truth, is within."
It is traditionally believed that John was the youngest of the apostles and survived them. He is said to have lived to an old age, dying at Ephesus sometime after AD 98.
An alternative account of John's death, ascribed by later Christian writers to the early second-century bishop Papias of Hierapolis, claims that he was slain by the Jews. Most Johannine scholars doubt the reliability of its ascription to Papias, but a minority, including B.W. Bacon, Martin Hengel and Henry Barclay Swete, maintain that these references to Papias are credible. Zahn argues that this reference is actually to John the Baptist. John's traditional tomb is thought to be located at Selçuk, a small town in the vicinity of Ephesus. In art, John as the presumed author of the Gospel is often depicted with an eagle, which symbolizes the height he rose to in his gospel. In Orthodox icons, he is often depicted looking up into heaven and dictating his Gospel (or the Book of Revelation) e, from JPM LIbrary MS 748).
The Feast day of Saint John in the Roman Catholic Church, which calls him "Saint John, Apostle and Evangelist", and in the Anglican Communion and Lutheran Calendars, which call him "Saint John the Apostle and Evangelist", is on 27 December. In the Tridentine Calendar he was commemorated also on each of the following days up to and including 3 January, the Octave of the 27 December feast. This Octave was abolished by Pope Pius XII in 1955. The traditional liturgical color is white.
Until 1960, another feast day which appeared in the General Roman Calendar is that of "Saint John Before the Latin gate" on May 6, celebrating a tradition recounted by Jerome that St John was brought to Rome during the reign of the Emperor Domitian, and was thrown in a vat of boiling oil, from which he was miraculously preserved unharmed. A church (San Giovanni a Porta Latina) dedicated to him was built near the Latin gate of Rome, the traditional site of this event.
The Orthodox Church and those Eastern Catholic Churches which follow the Byzantine Rite commemorate the "Repose of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian" on September 26. On May 8 they celebrate the "Feast of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian", on which date Christians used to draw forth from his grave fine ashes which were believed to be effective for healing the sick.
Other Christians highly revere him but do not canonize or venerate saints.
Latter-day Saint view
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) teaches that John received the promise of immortality from Jesus Christ, as recorded in John 21:21–23 and the seventh chapter of the Doctrine and Covenants. It also teaches that in 1829, along with the resurrected Peter and the resurrected James, John visited Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery and restored the priesthood authority with Apostolic succession to earth. John, along with the Three Nephites, will live to see the Second Coming of Christ as translated beings.
The LDS Church teaches that John the Apostle is the same person as John the Evangelist, John of Patmos, and the Beloved Disciple.
The Quran also speaks of Jesus's disciples but does not mention their names, instead referring to them as "helpers to the work of God". Muslim exegesis and Quran commentary, however, names them and includes John among the disciples. An old tradition, which involves the legend of Habib the Carpenter, mentions that John was one of the three disciples sent to Antioch to preach to the people there.