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St. Lazarus the "One Whom Jesus Loved" - Possible He Wrote the 4th Gospel?

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by Gxg (G²), Oct 21, 2014.

  1. Radagast

    Radagast wonders what's going on around here

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    That's a very, very significant fact, and the tradition that John wrote the gospel is very old.

    Also, the Lazarus theory simply cannot explain why John is not mentioned by name in the 4th gospel -- we know from the other gospels that John was one of the three "core" disciples (those at the Transfiguration, for example). According to the Lazarus theory, the 4th gospel simply airbrushes John out, as if Lazarus really, really hated him. That's just unbelievable, quite frankly.
     
  2. ImaginaryDay

    ImaginaryDay We Live Here

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    Agreed. The whole premise of the OP started with a 'discrepancy' between "the one whom Jesus loved" (Lazarus) and "The disciple whom Jesus loved" (Lazarus?) with the support of recent blogs and theorists pointing the way.
     
  3. elliott95

    elliott95 JESUS PRAISER

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    The Gospels are all anonymous works. They have been assigned names by tradition, the same way that the names of the three wise men have been assigned names.

    That is the most that can be said about the authorship with any degree of certainty.
     
  4. simonthezealot

    simonthezealot have you not read,what God has spoken unto you?

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    Lazarus is no more or less a theory than John...
    Neither are fully quantified by the word of God, one has more substance in the word though, that being Lazarus.
     
  5. Radagast

    Radagast wonders what's going on around here

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    Nonsense! What's your explanation for why the 4th gospel doesn't mention John then?

    ... or why even the oldest manuscripts are marked "According to John"? That inscription is also part of the word.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2014
  6. rick357

    rick357 bond-slave

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    For that matter mary magdelin is just as viable
     
  7. Radagast

    Radagast wonders what's going on around here

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    Viable? :doh: What's your explanation for why the 4th gospel doesn't mention John then?

    ... or why even the oldest manuscripts are marked "According to John"?
     
  8. YoureMyBeloved

    YoureMyBeloved Newbie

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    :confused: What?

    Maybe it was one of the twelve (at least I feel it)-except Peter but really, why one of the most prominent apostles isn't mentioned in a gospel when he's in the synoptics?

    I've argued with a believer of the Lazarus theory that saw John as a minor apostle :eek: because in the gospels he's mentioned as the brother of James and his intimacy with Jesus was exaggerated because he was seen as the beloved disciple. It's explicit in the gospels he's one of the inner circle of the three and Acts shows he's often with Peter, their leader. Even if he isn't the author of the fourth gospel, his importance in the early church is undeniable.

    Except the Early Church doesn't mention any Lazarus as the author of any Gospel.
    And even if you just want to use scripture, Lazarus isn't mentioned as an disciple. Just someone Jesus loved and Jesus loved more people in the other gospels too.

    Unless you believe in some Conspiracy Theory, there are two things that refute Magdalene as the author.

    The disciple is clearly male and Magdalene talks with Peter and the disciple whom Jesus loved.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2014
  9. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    Indeed - and for anyone that actually read through the article itself referenced in the OP by Dr. Ben Witherington (as noted in Ben Witherington: Was Lazarus the Beloved Disciple? ), it it is rather foolish for anyone assuming that those advocating Lazarus as the dominant influence in John's Gospel either don't understand that it's a theory - or that they have not understood the traditional arguments for why others believe John was the author. People need to deal with information as it is BEFORE choosing to speak rather than jumping into a thread speaking without dealing with the argument. Even the oldest manuscripts marked "According to John" don't do anything in argumentation since the same dynamic has occurred in other Scriptures which were attributed to others even though they had other people influencing them - with the act of attributing something to others being a means of showing how they'd approve (as it concerns a stamp of leadership) or showing they were the final word - or showing association. We can see this same dynamic in the debates over books like II Peter - as the debate has happened for a long time and others have felt it was actually Jude who wrote the Epistle on BEHALF of Peter....more shared here and in the following:




    It is what it is as it concerns the ways debates have long occurred throughout the centuries on many Epistles not being written by others it claimed to be written by - and yet that doesn't change the power of the message. It's the same with the ways others have debated for some time the logic of claiming John (rather than Lazarus in light of the scriptures emphasizing him at many points more than others) somehow wrote the Gospel of John.

    Others noting Lazarus - counter to the silliness of acting as if Lazarus somehow had issue with the Apostles John - are aware of where St. John was one of the main three who accompanied Jesus to special events...but that doesn't do anything in showing or proving that John HAD to have wrote the Gospel - otherwise we can begin concluding that St. James had to have written one of the Gospels. Christ had others he was close to besides the main three. The Book of Jude involves one who was seen just as prominent as any of the other Apostles - with him being the Brother of Jesus (even though once unbelieving in Christ as were his other brother, John 7) - and yet we don't consider it odd that he wrote a book simply because he was not one of the main three (i.e. Peter, James and John) who were at certain events, do we? We can also see the same in the life of James - one who ended up leading the entire Jerusalem Church, as seen in Acts 15 and Acts 21-24. None of the Apostles were ABOVE Him, even though he was not one of the 12.....and his life was an intense one - and yet, although he was killed before Passover, he counted all of his sufferings as pure joy and died the way he lived - his death noted by the church historian Eusebius (260-339 CE), who in his Ecclesiastical History dedicates a whole chapter to James' death and martyrdom...his version that was passed down from Hegesippus (110-180 CE, a Jew by birth and one of the earliest church historians)

    But the main point was that he did many of these things DESPITE not having been one of the 12 disciples. Thus, the reality of the matter is that there's really little basis claiming that one can only have written a Gospel if one was one of the 12 - for there were always others of prominence besides the 12 who were both eye-witnesses and seeing all the events occurring. Lazarus is not someone who can be written out easily....but if others wanted to go there, we could include Cleophas from Luke 24 (alongside the other disciple whom Christ met on the Road to Emmaus - both being intimate with the Lord and being the ones telling the Eleven that Christ had risen), or the unknown disciple casting out demons in Mark 9 whom Christ defended from the Apostles when they said he was not part of their group. Christ ALWAYS had other disciples - others who followed him and were eye-witnesses.

    And while we're on the subject of eye-witnesses, we have to consider that even with certain events, there's no way they could have recorded all the events present since many of them involved them not even being present (i.e. the Woman
    at the Well in John 4, them being asleep at the Garden of Gethsamene when Jesus was praying specifically outside of where they could hear, etc.). If people are going to make an issue against Lazarus, they need to actually NOT try to paint an argument that no one is actually saying.

    Seriously, Most people jumping into the issue without dealing with the argument don't really care to address the argument (which is against the OP request anyhow) - and if they are not going to address the actual argument, then they never really cared to see what was being argued to begin with. The issue is seeing who wrote the Gospel of John - and understanding that it's not simply a matter of saying Lazarus wrote the Gospel "just because..."

    Rather, it is a matter of realizing that much of the internal evidence supports the ideology of Lazarus having written the Gospel with John present when looking at the locations (i.e. the heavy focus on Jerusalem, counter to John's background as a Gallilean, the language, seeing how John was not known to the chief priests, etc.). The other side of the issue is realizing where the Early Church was not always in agreement in the matter of who wrote John and being open to possibilities has never been a dogmatic issue - as mentioned earlier:

     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2014
  10. rick357

    rick357 bond-slave

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    No conspiracy....Dan Brown missed the idea of mary as Jesus companion in gnosis...and even so I dont hold to those ideas either....my actual point is two thousand years later if we move away from John...any disciple will do
     
  11. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    Essentially - and seeing that none of us was there, all of us are going on a level of faith anyhow with any tradition we adhere to.
     
  12. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    Generally, it seems that any time this is mentioned, one of the main responses is that Lazarus was not noted to be a disciple - but it's a very limited argument that isn't consistent since MANY people in the scriptures were never written to be disciples and yet we understand that their life and devotion are a reflection of their intimacy with Christ.

    As noted before:

     
  13. listed

    listed are you?

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    I think it is completely in line with the vernacular of John the Revelator.
     
  14. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    Somehow, if my mother dictates to me her memories of her childhood, and I write them down in a book, making me the "author" ...

    I can't see "Family life according to Mother" ... never mentioning my mother. And she was one of three children who obviously featured in the "inner circle" of what happened.


    If John, being one of the "inner circle" of three, shared his experiences, ideas, etc. with Lazarus, and Lazarus penned "The Gospel according to John" ... don't you think John would be featured in there?

    How do the stories even make sense, and how are they a "witness" otherwise? Which is the very stated intent of the Gospel of John ... that hearing these things, you might believe?

    If the one who told them doesn't even seem to be there, how credible is that?


    It makes no sense to me. And I'm sorry, GxG, it's not personal. But that's my take on that aspect of the question.
     
  15. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    Culture makes a world of difference in how biographies are understood. Minus the fact that there were already ghost writers in the early Church (as others noted how Jude was seen as writing on behalf of Peter in II Peter and other similar events happened), the same dynamic has happened a lot in current times. Making a biography on the life and times of people in the South - with MLK, Ella Baker or other prominent authors either signing off on it after giving their views/collecting that of others OR having it attributed to them in honor of them after another collected their thoughts but they passed before it was completed - that's not a new reality.

    Heck, even others such as rap artist 50 Cent was noted to have written a biography - but it was written BY another person in truth. , with his approval after narration. The same dynamic has occurred even with music. And as another noted, "see all those celebrity autobiographies — the memoirs of actors, athletes and politicians? Chances are, they're the work of a ghostwriter." There was even a recent movie on the matter called "Let It Shine" (with Tyler James Williams :) ) where someone made lyrics/music and it was attributed to another who proclaimed it on stage. It's no different with the Gospel of John - we already see plainly where even the Book of Revelation was debated by the Church Fathers and they were never in agreement as to John the Apostle writing it, with others attributing it to another John...just as they felt II Peter was attributed to Jude (as noted before here)....or just as others in the early Church felt that Thaddeus or Thaddaeus, one of the 12 (Matthew 10:3, KJV) believe that he actually penned the Book of Jude and used "Jude" as one of his surnames (as Thaddeus is regarded amongst Catholic interpreters as the Apostle James the son of Alpheus - St. James the Less - as goes the tradition, more noted in CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Epistle of Saint Jude and Thaddeus, Apostle of the Seventy - Beauty of the Saints - Ukrainian Orthodoxy).



    But with John, as he was never identified explictly as writing the Gospel of John anyhow, it really isn't sensible (IMHO) trying to fight on the matter as if he HAD to have written it simply because his name is on the Book. That'd be akin to acting as if the Gospel of Mark could not have been seen as being written by St. John Mark due to those whom tradition ascribed them to be (as the Gospel of Mark was assumed to be written by St. Peter originally since Church fathers believe that Mark was the interpreter of Peter, which would give reason to believe that he wrote his Gospel - even though there was never any evidence of this and others in the Church felt John Mark was at best a disciple of Peter and presented his assessment as well as facts gathered from Peter...with John Mark being the young man who ran off naked as noted in Mark 14:51 and connected with his mother whose house the Apostles used in Acts 12:1-11, indicating there were ALWAYS more than the 12 keeping watch over events, more shared in Gospel of Mark and Is Mark?s Gospel an Early Memoir of the Apostle Peter? | Cold Case Christianity)

    In light of the various reasons, when seeing how significant Lazarus is within the Book of John and considering the background of John son of Zebedee of Galilee being different from the Jerusalem background emphasized in the 4th Gospel (counter to Lazarus, who was associated in language/heritage from that area)...there'd be nothing radical with having someone like Lazarus inject his life/significant perspective into the Gospel of John when writing it - and also using St. John's perspective when consulting, before attributing the finished work to the Apostle John.

    But there's also the logical reality of seeing the entire book as being written by Lazarus - with him being an eye-witness of key events and having been told on others he was not present for, seeing that there's no evidence of John giving the name to the book since the book was the last one written and the name was given long after John had passed. There's nothing off noting Lazarus wrote the book, being the disciple whom Jesus loved and best fitting many events that the Apostle John simply could not have fit into (i.e. being known by the high priest when Jesus was arrested, speaking in regards to Jerusalem with the language/culture that Lazarus had being near it, easily being one of the disciples noted on the beach when Christ returned, etc.).

    Having someone else record events while attributing it to someone else is not the same as not having a witness - for the facts are presented even though the authorship is disputed. John never claimed he was the author anyhow - but what was noted was that others would believe Christ - so to claim the witness he pointed to (which is the LIFE of CHrist) was not real because of a name attribution issue is a misapplication of scenarios. Others have believed the 4th Gospel even when they did not associate it with being written by the Apostle John - so the witness is still having power and changing people.

    And as said before, if really wishing to be consistent with the argument, you would also have to believe that the other Epistles which the Church Fathers debated over do not have power because there were debates over the authors - such as Jude being believed to have written II Peter. There would be no need for that - not knowing who wrote a book is not the same as showing a book to not be true.
    Not a problem if it doesn't make sense to you - although I see no need for why that is the case. And of course, I did not take it personal in any way. That's the nature of debate.;)
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2014
  16. Radagast

    Radagast wonders what's going on around here

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    On your theory, Lazarus would also have removed all mention of John from the book. That's hardly "using St. John's perspective when consulting," nor is it consistent with the book being "in honour of John."

    In fact, it makes no sense whatsoever. :doh:
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2014
  17. Radagast

    Radagast wonders what's going on around here

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    By the way, if you compare Matt 27:55-56 and John 19:25, it seems that John was Jesus' cousin. That helps to explain the close relationship.

    It also means that John and Jesus were related to the priestly line (see Luke 1:5 and 1:36), which in turn explains John 18:15-16.
     
  18. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    :doh1:. Having removed all mention of John from a book is illogical when it comes to associating a work with another while being largely responsible for it - just as it is with John Mark being the author of the Gospel of Mark even though it was said that he himself was influenced by Peter. As already said, it would be foolish acting as if the Gospel of Mark could not have been seen as being written by St. John Mark due to those whom tradition ascribed them to be (as the Gospel of Mark was assumed to be written by St. Peter originally since Church fathers believe that Mark was the interpreter of Peter, which would give reason to believe that he wrote his Gospel - even though there was never any evidence of this and others in the Church felt John Mark was at best a disciple of Peter and presented his assessment as well as facts gathered from Peter...with John Mark being the young man who ran off naked as noted in Mark 14:51 and connected with his mother whose house the Apostles used in Acts 12:1-11, indicating there were ALWAYS more than the 12 keeping watch over events, more shared in Gospel of Mark and Is Mark?s Gospel an Early Memoir of the Apostle Peter? | Cold Case Christianity).

    And as it is, since John Mark isn't mentioned in the Book of Mark (even though he mentions Peter), the same is logical for Lazarus when mentioning John. THus, your rebuttal comes off quite pointless even when acting as if you have a point (Proverbs 18:13) - with the incredulous reactions being needless when one didn't even grasp the original point being made. If you're going to respond to something, respond to what was said rather than what you wish to make it into..And most of those kinds of claims you made were already addressed in the OP article linked:


    If you did not read through the article in its ENTIRETY before commenting, you didn't actually deal with the argument or what the OP asked for before responding.

    As I already said, we already see plainly where even the Book of Revelation was debated by the Church Fathers and they were never in agreement as to John the Apostle writing it, with others attributing it to another John...just as they felt II Peter was attributed to Jude (as noted before here)....or just as others in the early Church felt that Thaddeus or Thaddaeus, one of the 12 (Matthew 10:3, KJV) believe that he actually penned the Book of Jude and used "Jude" as one of his surnames (as Thaddeus is regarded amongst Catholic interpreters as the Apostle James the son of Alpheus - St. James the Less - as goes the tradition, more noted in CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Epistle of Saint Jude and Thaddeus, Apostle of the Seventy - Beauty of the Saints - Ukrainian Orthodoxy).




    Thus, as said before, do not go into discussions without actually having dealt with the facts or read what was noted BEFORE making false scenarios. That was one of the basics of the OP - and thus far, none of the responses you've given have really shown respect for that simple request.

    I am well aware of Matthew 27:55-56/John 19:25 and how one view is that John and Jesus were cousins (as I have argued that myself in the distant past here, for example and here too) - for no one questions whether Jesus and John were close. I have also noted where John and Peter would be close to Christ due to John and James being fishing partners with Peter (as noted in Luke 5 and Mark 1 and as I addressed in-depth here and here).

    Nonetheless, John and Jesus being potentially related does not show that the Gospel of John HAD to be written by Jesus nor does having John as part of Jesus' inner circle mean that Jesus did not have others he was very close to. Additionally, John and Jesus being related has nothing to do with showing that John and Jesus were known among the priestly line. Jesus technically had a priestly connection (as did his cousin John the Baptist) due to how their mothers were within the line of Aaron (as I noted long ago in the thread entitled What tribe was Mary- Levite or Judah? )- thus giving them room to show the concept of the New Priesthood developing for all since Jesus was truly both Prophet, Priest and King - even though the reality of the matter is that he did not come in the Line of Aaron (as Hebrews 5-10 note with regards to the priesthood of Melchizeldek) since he was identified through the Line of Judah by his father Joseph - and Christ was still respectful of the priesthood even as the Chief Priest did not know nor respect him. This can easily be seen in why they had significant issue with him when he turned over tables in John 2 - as well as the division that came from him and many not knowing where Christ even came from in John 7 - and on the issue, more was discussed in thread such as Priests ( #72 ) and Is the Court of the Gentiles a bad place to be?

    Additionally, there's no real way of claiming John was well-known by the high priest since he was considered ignorant/unlearned right alongside Peter - a common dynamic that happened for others coming out of Galilee (as noted in John 7:37-53)....even though Lazarus, being from area near Jerusalem, would have had NO issue with being well-known among the priest. As it concerns how John was not well known, this was already discussed earlier - as seen here:

     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2014
  19. Radagast

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    Exactly. Therefore the "beloved disciple" must be John.
     
  20. Gxg (G²)

    Gxg (G²) Pilgrim/Monastic on the Road to God (Psalm 84:1-7) Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    Not according to logic (and please cease splicing what I've said OUTSIDE of the context I said things in plainly), as you already avoided where other epistles were attributed to others BESIDES those it was written in the name of (i.e. Jude seen as writing II Peter rather than Peter himself and the Book of Mark being written by John Mark from his perspective, even though Peter was potentially the one he was trained under). As I said, Lazarus writing the Book of John and noting it to be attributed to John would be directly in line with NT Practice since the same has occurred already - as is the case with with John Mark being the author of the Gospel of Mark even though his name was NEVER mentioned in the text and it was said that he himself was influenced by Peter. As already said, it would be foolish acting as if the Gospel of Mark could not have been seen as being written by St. John Mark due to those whom tradition ascribed them to be (as the Gospel of Mark was assumed to be written by St. Peter originally since Church fathers believe that Mark was the interpreter of Peter, which would give reason to believe that he wrote his Gospel - even though there was never any evidence of this and others in the Church felt John Mark was at best a disciple of Peter and presented his assessment as well as facts gathered from Peter...with John Mark being the young man who ran off naked as noted in Mark 14:51 and connected with his mother whose house the Apostles used in Acts 12:1-11, indicating there were ALWAYS more than the 12 keeping watch over events, more shared in Gospel of Mark and Is Mark?s Gospel an Early Memoir of the Apostle Peter? | Cold Case Christianity).

    And as it is, since John Mark isn't mentioned in the Book of Mark (even though he mentions Peter), the same is logical for Lazarus when mentioning John and we already see plainly where even the Book of Revelation was debated by the Church Fathers and they were never in agreement as to John the Apostle writing it, with others attributing it to another John...just as they felt II Peter was attributed to Jude (as noted before here)....or just as others in the early Church felt that Thaddeus or Thaddaeus, one of the 12 (Matthew 10:3, KJV) believe that he actually penned the Book of Jude and used "Jude" as one of his surnames (as Thaddeus is regarded amongst Catholic interpreters as the Apostle James the son of Alpheus - St. James the Less - as goes the tradition, more noted in CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Epistle of Saint Jude and Thaddeus, Apostle of the Seventy - Beauty of the Saints - Ukrainian Orthodoxy).





    Those are basic facts, which goes back to the issue of seeing how illogical it is claiming Lazarus could not have written John because of where he attributed the name of the 4th Gospel to John. There's zero evidence the book was written by John explictly anyhow since the name was given later on - but had Lazarus written it, it would have been completely fine for him to mention John in the text while being the one whose account was transpiring.

    That said, as said before, no one is supposed to be in the thread speaking unless they have actually done as the OP has requested - as mentioned before:


    If you did not read the article IN FULL/IN ITS ENTIRETY by Ben Witherington, you are not dealing with the argument as presented.....and thus, off-topic from the purpose of the OP. That said, I will ask again - once and only once. Either deal with the OP, or it will be taken further since it is not dealing with the issue.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2014
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