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Is the Apostle John still alive?

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by Achilles6129, Dec 26, 2013.

  1. Achilles6129

    Achilles6129 Veteran

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    "21 When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” 22 Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!” 23 So the saying spread abroad among the brothers[b] that this disciple was not to die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he was not to die, but, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?”" Jn. 21:21-23 (ESV)

    There are several very interesting things about this passage. First, notice that Christ is the one who advances the possibility that John might remain until his second coming. This is not a possibility that is advanced by anyone else in the discussion - Christ himself suggests the possibility. This means that there is a strong implication that this will in fact happen in reality.

    Second, the very fact that Christ mentions John remaining alive until his second coming is proof that it is indeed possible. Christ could supernaturally preserve John's body so that it does not age. John could then remain alive undercover for the next 2000 years without anyone ever knowing.

    Next, there is the fact that the Apostle John wrote the book of Revelation at a very advanced age (he must have been in his eighties). Yet in the book he shows a great deal of clarity of thought and a lucidity which would escape most eighty-year-olds (the book of Revelation is one of the most brilliant books ever written).

    Finally, there is this passage in the book of Revelation:

    "11 And I was told, “You must again prophesy about many peoples and nations and languages and kings.”" Rev. 10:11 (ESV)

    Most interpreters take this as a reference to John's future prophecy in the book of Revelation - but could it be referring to a time in the far distant future when John will once again prophesy - maybe as one of the two witnesses? Is it possible that the Apostle John is in fact one of the two witnesses?

    One last note. The Apostle John's tomb is supposedly in Ephesus, but in order for my thesis to be correct it would obviously have to be just ancient folktale and legend. The fact of the matter is we really have no idea how most of the Apostles died. All we have are church legends.

    Anyways, is it possible that the Apostle John is still alive today? I certainly believe so, just by virtue of the fact that it is Jesus Christ who advanced the possibility.
     
  2. rockytopva

    rockytopva Love to pray! :) Supporter

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    Interesting story...

    Catholic tradition states that after the Assumption, John went to Ephesus and from there wrote the three epistles traditionally attributed to him. John was allegedly banished by the Roman authorities to the Greek island of Patmos, where some believe that he wrote 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 entire Colosseum audience were converted to Christianity upon witnessing this miracle. This event would have occurred during the reign of Domitian, a Roman emperor who was known for his persecution of Christians in the late 1st century.
     
  3. rockytopva

    rockytopva Love to pray! :) Supporter

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    If I had to put together a timeline...

    8 AD John is born
    29 AD Jesus calls John and Peter to be disciples.
    32 AD John witnesses transfiguration.
    33 AD Jesus asks John to take care of Mary
    45 AD John at Jerusalem council.
    54 AD - Mary the Mother of Jesus dies, freeing John for ministry
    66 AD John leaves for Ephesus.
    70 AD Jerusalem destroyed
    80 AD John writes the gospel of John
    94 AD St. John was apprehended by the proconsul of Asia and sent to Rome,
    95 AD John miraculously preserved from death when thrown into a cauldron of boiling oil
    96 AD John banished to Patmos where he writes Revelation
    97 AD - John returns to Ephesus after the death of Domitian
    96-98 AD John writes epistles
    99 AD John dies


    And is this the tomb of St John in Ephesus?
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Strong in Him

    Strong in Him I can do all things through Christ Supporter

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    John was human. No human can live for 2000 years - even Methuselah only managed 969.

    Jesus said, " if I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you?" Jesus was telling Peter to follow him; to do that he would need to keep his eyes on Jesus and not worry about what any of the others were doing. He didn't advance the possibility of John staying alive, he was saying to Peter, "even if I wanted this for this person, it's not your concern".

    It's the same for us today. Jesus may say to us "if I want him to have a great ministry/her to be famous and write books/them to start a church which becomes huge, why does that matter to you? You follow me."
    It's keeping the 10th commandment - you shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbour.
     
  5. Optimax

    Optimax Senior Veteran

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    Sure he is still alive.

    In heaven with the rest of the born again people.

    BTW:

    Those who are not born again are also still alive.

    Not in heaven though.

    They are no longer on the planet known as Earth though.
     
  6. squint

    squint Well-Known Member

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    Seriously now. Come on. I encountered a person I worked with years ago that belonged to a cult sect that believed this, and get this, they thought they even had John come and talk to them. You know, turn the lights down low, a darkly dressed PERSON would then show up, take a seat and speak to them, that supposedly being John.

    Preterists take that as part of their proof that the second coming transpired in 70 a.d. which is of course another anomaly.

    The scriptures produce some really strange social phenomena. The John is alive cults are certainly one of those areas where gullible people gather for manipulation.

    s
     
  7. OrthodoxyUSA

    OrthodoxyUSA Well-Known Member Supporter

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    OCA - Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian

    God be gracious to me a sinner.
     
  8. rockytopva

    rockytopva Love to pray! :) Supporter

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  9. ananda

    ananda Early Buddhist

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    This is my belief regarding this text: the Apostle John is alive on earth today, but not in the sense that most people might understand it.

    In Jn 21:21-23, it is written that John will remain until Messiah's return. It is obvious that the prophecy regarding John is related to Messiah's opposing prophecy, in the same context, regarding the possibility of Peter falling away (Jn 21:18).

    I believe that the prophecy regarding John is related to what Messiah prophesied in Mt 24:34. He stated that this generation of disciples (John's generation) will not pass away until the fulfillment of prophecy. How is that possible, in light of the fact that all men and women of John's generation have died? I suggest that they have not - in a sense. Mt 24:35 explains: Messiah's true Words will not pass away.

    Messiah's true Words lives on through the testimony of faithful disciples such as the Apostle John, to this day. Messiah commanded "ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain" (Jn 15:16). John's fruit has remained to this day, in the form of the gospel and epistles he has faithfully written.

    So, in summary, Messiah is alive today on earth through the presence of His Words. John is also alive today through the presence of the faithful testimony (writings) he has given.

    P.S. Back to Jn 21: Messiah's opposite prophecy regarding Peter's falling away is a topic for another post and forum. But, suffice it to say, Messiah prophesied that Peter would allow himself to follow another man's teachings (Jn 21:18). In this way, Peter would fall away from Messiah's correct teachings, and thus falter in his testimony for Messiah. That is why I believe Messiah gave Peter multiple warnings and gentle reminders to love Him and feed His sheep with correct doctrine (Jn 21:15-17), and, in the same breath, emphasized that John's testimony will not fail.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2013
  10. Strong in Him

    Strong in Him I can do all things through Christ Supporter

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    No it isn't.
    Jesus said "IF I want him to remain ..... what is that to you?" The passage then says that a rumour started among the apostles that John would not die, but then states that Jesus did not say he would not die, he said only "IF I want him to remain ..."

    Tradition says that John himself wrote this Gospel - i.e. John is saying "Jesus did not say that I wouldn't die."
     
  11. Achilles6129

    Achilles6129 Veteran

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    What's wrong? Jesus Christ himself is the one who suggests it. He says that if he wants, John could remain alive until his return. So what's wrong with speculating about the possibility?

    Well, sorry to hear it. But the bottom line is you can't say "because a cult sect believes such and such an aspect of Scripture" it must be false. Cult sects can be right about certain things too, you know. Not everything they say is false. So it's important to be able to sort of sift the wheat from the chaff - the same thing you would do with any pastor or theologian.

    Can you give a reason from Scripture why John is not alive...especially after Christ himself advanced the possibility? Why is it supposed to be impossible for God to supernaturally preserve his body? Aren't the two witnesses supernaturally preserved?


    God can supernaturally preserve the human form. Humans were meant to remain alive forever. Also, God supernaturally preserves the two witnesses, though I am sure you take them allegorically.

    Right, but Christ advanced the possibility of John remaining alive until the second coming. Why would he advance such a possibility if it couldn't happen? Notice how it is Christ who first states the possibility - not anyone else in the discussion.
     
  12. Achilles6129

    Achilles6129 Veteran

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    Yes, I am aware of the legend. But they are really just that - legends. We don't really know what really happened.

    Isn't it interesting that John wrote Revelation when he was in his eighties or nineties yet it is one of the most brilliant books ever written? Strange that such an old man could write so clearly and lucidly, isn't it? Kind of like it's strange how the Apostle Paul could write so well considering the states of affairs he was in; the fact that he was near execution, etc. They must have been writing through the Holy Spirit - perhaps he preserved their faculties remarkably well.

    Is that John's tomb? We'll never know. Legend says it is, but legend may be wrong.

    Let me ask you this, Mr. Rockytopva - what do you make of the Biblical arguments for/against the Apostle John's being alive today?
     
  13. squint

    squint Well-Known Member

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    Because that is what it is and can result in absurd notions and even manipulating deceptions as prior noted.
    Religious people can also be gullible, manipulated and deceived by imaginations. So what else is new?

    The most obvious matter would be WHY HIDE? Seems to me if John showed up anywhere and it was a proven fact it would translate to instant conversion for quite a few. But of course that's not going to happen except to the imaginative, gullible and deceived.

    Paul advised as well to know no man after the flesh, not even Jesus.

    That might particularly apply to supposed 2000 year old flesh men.

    A lot of people want to validate their beliefs in a tangible way by externalizing proofs of various sorts to convince others or even themselves.

    Faith is not a matter of external visibility. We may see 'results' of same, but faith of itself is an internal/heart/mind matter best recognized therein for what it is. The fantasy that John is still physically alive is not a matter of faith but of fantasy.

    s
     
  14. ananda

    ananda Early Buddhist

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    The Ἐὰν in Jn 21:22 suggests that the stated event may or may not occur. I believe it did occur.

    As for Jn 21:23-25, from the grammar and wording used, it is likely that a third-party disciple added this portion to John's gospel to explain away Messiah's prophecy.
     
  15. rockytopva

    rockytopva Love to pray! :) Supporter

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    Amazing indeed he wrote all these books at such an age! Without the help of bifocals! [​IMG]

    I think he passed away around 100 AD.
     
  16. OrthodoxyUSA

    OrthodoxyUSA Well-Known Member Supporter

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    St. Prochoros did the writing.

    [​IMG]

    God be gracious to me a sinner.
     
  17. Achilles6129

    Achilles6129 Veteran

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    I do not think taking Christ's words at face value is a bad thing to do. We're certainly not trying to deceive or get anything from gullible people here. We're just trying to interpret Christ's words honestly.

    Why hide? Perhaps he will reveal himself at the time of the end - perhaps he's one of the two witnesses? Maybe God doesn't want him to reveal himself yet?
     
  18. squint

    squint Well-Known Member

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    Wouldn't hold my breath waiting for a 2000 year old Apostle to crawl out of his hiding place to show himself in the flesh.
     
  19. Standing Up

    Standing Up On and on

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    Maybe John's one of the Two Witnesses. With Mary as the second.

    (Epiphanius c350ad? suggested for all we know she is still alive because we don't know her end.)

    PS. For my part, I'd agree they both died and were buried.
     
  20. Cappadocious

    Cappadocious Well-Known Member

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    John was in the Lord's Day and beheld the Parousia.
     
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