Authorship of the Johannine Writings

It may assist the reader if the conclusions arrived at in this chapter are put shortly as follows: (a) Jap and J are from distinct authors. (b) 2. 3 J are from the author of J and not of Jap. The evidence for this fact, which in the present writer's opinion furnishes the key to some of the chief Johannine problems, is given on pp. xxxiv sqq. (c) If John the Elder is the author of 2. 3. J, then he is according to all internal evidence the author of J and 1 J. (d) John the prophet -- a Palestinian Jew, who late in life migrated to Asia Minor, is author of Jap. (e) The above conclusions, which are arrived at on internal grounds, and on external evidence mainly of the 2nd century, are confirmed by the Papias-tradition, that John the Apostle was martyred by the Jews before 70 A.D.

§ 1. The Apocalypse is not pseudonymous, but the work of a John. --  In Jewish literature practically every apocalyptic book was pseudonymous. I have elsewhere(1) shown the causes which forced works of this character to be pseudonymous. In the post-Exilic period the idea of an inspired Law -- adequate, infallible, and valid for all time -- became a dogma of Judaism. When this dogma was once established, there was no longer any room for the prophet, nor for the religious teacher, except in so far as he was a mere exponent of the Law. The second cause for the adoption of pseudonymity was the formation of the Canon of the Law, the Prophets and the Hagiographa. After this date -- say about 200 B.C. -- no book of a prophetic character could gain canonizaation as such, and all real advances to a higher ethics or a higher theology could appear only in works of a pseudonymous character published under the name of some ancient worthy. Accordingly, when a man of God, such as the author of Daniel, felt that he had a message to deliver to his people, he was obliged to issue it in this form. But with the advent of Christianity the Law was thrust into a wholly subordinate place; for the spirit of prophecy had descended afresh on the faithful, belief in inspiration was kindled anew, and for several generations no exclusive Canon of Christian writings was formed. There is, therefore, not a single a priori reason for regarding the Apocalypse as pseudonymous. Furthermore, its author distinctly claims that the visions are his own, and that they are not for some far distant generation, as is universally the case in Jewish pseudonymous works, but for his own (2210). In four distinct {xxxix.} passages he gives his name as John (11.4.9 228). He states that he is a servant of Jesus Christ (11), a brother of the Churches in Asia and one who has shared in their tribulations (19), that he has himself seen and heard the things contained in his book (228), and that he was vouchsafed these revelations during his stay (voluntary or enforced)(2) in the island of Patmos for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus (19). To a more intimate study of our author we shall return later. So far it is clear that the Apocalypse before us was written by a prophet (229) who lived in Asia Minor, and that his actual name was John. Jap is just as assuredly the work of a John as 2 Tess 2 and 1 Cor 15 are apocalypses of St. Paul.(3) Even the later Christian apocalypse of the Shepherd of Hermas bears, as is generally acknowledged, the name of its real author.

Finally, if the work were pseudonymous, it would have gone forth under the aegis -- not of a John who was a prophet of Asia Minor and otherwise unknown, but of John the Apostle. Furthermore he would not have ventured to claim the name and authorship of a prophet in the very lifetime of that prophet and in the immediate sphere of that prophet's activity. There is not a shred of evidence, not even the shadow of a probability, for the hypothesis that the Apocalypse is pseudonymous. 

There is manifold early evidence of the Johannine authorship. Thus Justin, who lived about 135 A.D. in Ephesus, where one of the Seven Churches had its seat, declares that Jap is by "John, one of the apostles of Christ" (Dial. 81). Melito, bishop of Sardis, another of the Seven Churches, wrote (circ. 165) a lost work on Jap (ta. peri. ) ) ) th/j a`pokalu,yewj VIwa,nnou: see Eus. iv. 26. 2). Irenaeus (circ. 180) upheld the Johannine authorship of all the Johannine writings in the N.T. For Jap, see Haer. iii. 11. 1., iv. 20. 11, v. 35. 2, where John is called Domini discipulus (o` tou/ kuri,ou maqhth,j) (a title, however, which does not exclude apostleship; cf. ii. 22. 5). Tertullian cites Jap as the work of the Apostle John (c. Marc. iii. 14, 24). So also Origen, Hippolytus, and others: also the Muratorian Canon.

§ 2. John, the author of Jap, is distinct from the author of J. -- Tertullian(4), Hippolytus,(5), and Origen(6) were assured that {xl.} both the Gospel and the Apocalypse proceeded from the son of Zebedee. But this view, that both works proceeded from one and the same author, was rejected by Dionysius (ob. 265 A.D.), bishop of Alexandria, a pupil of Origen. Dionysius (Eus. H.E. vii. 25. 7-27) accepts Jap as the work of a John, but declares that he could not readily agree that he was the Apostle, the son of Zebedee. In the following sections he enumerates a variety of grounds. (a) The Evangelist does not prefix his name or mention it subsequently either in the Gospel or in his Epistle, whereas the writer of the Apocalypse definitely declares himself by name at the outset, and subsequently. That it was a John who wrote the Apocalypse he admitted, but this John did not claim to be the beloved disciple of the Lord, nor the one who leaned on His breast, nor the brother of James. (b) There is a large body of expressions of the same complexion and character common to the Gospel and of 1 J, but wholly absent from Jap. Indeed, the latter "does not contain a syllable in common" with the two former works. (c) The phraseology of the Gospel and 1 J differs from that of Jap. The former are written in irreprehensible Greek (avptai,stwj), and it would be difficult to discover in them any barbarism or solecism or idiotism (ivdiwtismo,n). But the dialect and language of Jap is inaccurate Greek (dia,lekton ) ) ) kai. glw/ttan ovuk avkribw/j e`llhni,zousan), and is characterized by barbarous idioms and solecisms. Such is Dionysius' criticism of the style of Jap; and from the standpoint of the Greek scholar it is more than justified. But that there was law and order underlying the seeming grammatical lawlessness of the Seer neither Dionysius nor any purely Greek scholar could ever discover -- a fact that widens immeasurably the breach discovered by Dionysius between J and Jap. This will become apparent when we come to the grammar and vocabulary of our author (see pp. xcvii - clix). A study of these with a knowledge of the Hebraic style of our author makes it impossible to attribute Jap and J to the same author. Thus the theory of Dionysius as to the diversity of authorship has passed out of the region of hypothesis and may not be safely regarded as an established conclusion. There were at all events two Johannine authors. Who were these?

§ 3. There were, according to Papias, two Johns, one the Apostle and the other John the Elder. Dionysius and Eusebius suggest that the latter is the author of Jap. -- Eusebius in his history (iii. 39. 4) quotes the following fragment of Papias which clearly distinguishes the Apostle and the Elder, both bearing the name John. "And if any one chanced to come who had been also a follower of the elder, I used to question (him) closely as to the sayings of the elders -- as to what Andrew or Peter had said(xli.} (ei=pen), or Philip, or Thomas, or James, or John, or Matthew, or any other of the disciples of the Lord: also as to what Aristion and the Elder John, the Lord's disciples, say (le,gousin)." Eusebius then goes on to emphasize the distinction made by Papias between these two Johns, and contends that this view is confirmed by the statements of those who said that there were two Johns in Asia and "there were two tombs in Ephesus, both of which bear the name of John even to this day. To which things it is needful also that we shall give heed; for it is probable that the second (i.e. the Elder), unless one will have it to be the first, saw the Apocalypse bearing the name of John (iii. 39. 6)." At an earlier date Dionysius of Alexandria threw out the same suggestion. He held that John the Apostle wrote J and 1 J (Eus. vii. 25. 7), but that another John -- one of the two Johns who according to report had been in Asia and both of whose tombs were said to be there -- had written the Apocalypse (vii. 25. 16). Jerome testifies to the belief ("Johannis presbyteri . . . cujus hodie alterum sepulcrum apud Ephesum ostenditur," De viris illus. 9), and also to the fact that in his day the tradition was still curent that this John the Elder was the author of 2 and 3 J (ibid. 18).

§ 4. But 2 and 3 John appear on examination of the language and idiom to proceed even more certainly than 1 J from the author of J.(7) -- The traditional view assigns 1 J and J to the same authorship. But in modern days a minority of competent scholars have rejected this view. The problem is discussed with great fairness by Brooke (Johannine Epistles, pp. i-xix), who comes to the conclusion that "there are no adequate reasons for setting aside the traditional view which attributes the Epistle and Gospel to the same authorship It remains the most probable explanation of the facts known to us (p. xviii)."(8) With this conclusion the present writer is in agreement.

But what as to the authorship of 2. 3. J? Some notable scholars disconnect these two Epistles wholly from J and 1 J. Thus Bousset (Offenbarung, 1906) at the close of a long discussion on the authorship of Jap (pp. 34-49) concludes that a John of Asia Minor, and not John the Apostle, was the author of Jap: that this John was probably identical with John the Elder of whom Papias tells us, with the Elder of 2. 3 J, with the unnamed disciple in J 21, and with the teacher of Polycarp, of whom Irenaeus writes in his letter to Florinus. Von Soden (Books of the N.T., pp. {xlii.} 444-446, 1907) is also of the opinion that John the Elder was the author of Jap and 2. 3 J as well as 1 J. Next, Schmiedel (Johannine Writings, pp. 208-209, 216-217, 229-231, 1908) attributes Jap and 2. 3 J to an unknown writer who assumed the pseudonym of John the Elder, and 1 J to another author. The joint authorship of Jap and 2. 3 J is also supported by Moffatt (Introd. to Lit. of the N.T., p. 481).

But the present writer cannot accept this hypothesis. After a considerable time spent on the linguistic study(9) of 2. 3 J in comparison with J and Jap, he has been forced to conclude that 2. 3 J are connected linguistically with J, and that so closely as to postulate the same authorship. This study was first undertaken to discover what connection existed between 2. 3 J and Jap, since an early tradition assigned the latter to John the Elder and the opening words (o` Presbu,teroj) of 2. 3 J received their most natural explanation on this hypothesis. In fact, this is more or less the view advocated by the scholars mentioned above.

Now on p. xxxiv sqq. I have dealt with the characteristic words and constructions common to 2. 3 J and J, or 2. 3 J and Jap. The facts there set forth admit in the present writer's opinion of only one conclusion as regards the relations of 2. 3 J with J and Jap, and this is that whereas 2. 3 J have nothing whatever to do with Jap, they are more idiomatically connected with J than is 1 J, and postulate the same authorship.

§ 5. If, then, (1.) 2. 3 J and J are derived from the same author and Jap from quite a different author, and John the Elder is admitted to be the author of 2. 3 J, it follows further that John the Elder is the author not only of 2. 3 J, but also of J and of 1 J. -- There is no evidence that John the Elder wrote Jap beyond the conjectures of Dionysius and Eusebius. But there is some external evidence and good internal evidence that the Elder wrote 2. 3 J. The external evidence is of the slightest. It is found in Jerome (De viris illus. c. 18), "rettulimus traditum duas posteriores epistulas Johannis non apostoli esse sed presbyteri." But the internal evidence is strong. As Brooke writes (Johannine Epp. 166 sq.): "The evidence of Papias and Irenaeus points to a prevalent Christian usage of the word (presbu,teroj), especially in Asia, to denote those who had companied with Apostles. . . . It is natural to suppose that throughout the fragment of his Introduction, whichi Eusebius quotes, Papias uses the expression presbu,teroj in the same sense." The elders are the men from . . . whom Papias learnt the sayings {xliii.}of the Apostles. "The absolute use of the phrase in Papias (kai. tou/qV o` presbu,teroj e;lege) and in 2 and 3 John makes it the distinctive title of some member of the circle to whom the words are addressed, or at least of one of who is well known to them." Hence it is only natural to recognize the Elder, mentioned in Papias and in 2. 3 J, as John the Elder, whom Papias so carefully distinguishes from John the Apostle. The writer of 2. 3 J cannot have been an apostle.(10)

But if John the Elder was the author of 2. 3 J, then we conclude further by means of the results arrived at in II. § 6 above the he was also the author of J.(11)

This conclusion does not exclude the possibility that John the Elder was, as Harnack suggests, the pupil of John the Apostle. In this case J embodies materials which John the Elder learnt from John the Apostle, but the form is his own.

§ 6. If John the Elder is the author of J and (1.) 2. 3 J, is John the Apostle the author of Jap? No. John, its author, claims to be a prophet, not an apostle. He was a Palestinian Jew who migrated to Asia Minor when probably advanced in years. --
John the author of Jap nowhere claims that he is an apostle. He appears to look upon the apostles retrospectively and from without, 2114 (cf. 1820). In these two passages he enumerates as two distinct classes -- apostles and prophets. He never makes any claim to apostleship: he never suggests that he knew Christ personally. But he distinctly claims to be a prophet -- a member {xliv.} of the brotherhood of the Christian prophets, 229, who are God's servants in a special sense, 11 107 1118 226, whereas other Christians are God's servants so far as they observe the things revealed by the prophets, 229. He is a servant of Jesus Christ, 11, a brother(12) of the Churches of Asia and a partaker in their sufferings, 19. He is commanded "to prophesy" to the nations of the earth, 1011. He designates his work as "the workds of the prophecy," 13, or "the words of the prophecy of this book," 227.10.18. Hence it may be safely concluded that the author of Jap was not an apostle.

The author of Jap was a Palestinian Jew. He was a great spiritual genius, a man of profound insight and the widest sympathies. His intimate aquaintance with the Hebrew text of the O.T., of which his book contains multitudinous quotations based directly upon it, is best explained by this hypothesis. The fact also, that he thought in Hebrew and translated its idioms literally into Greek, points to Palestine as his original home. Though no doubt he used the Aramaic of his day, in a real sense Hebrew was his mother's tongue. His Greek also, which is unlike any Greek that was ever penned by mortal man, calls for the same hypothesis. No Greek document exhibits such a vast multitude of solecisms and unparalleled idiosyncrasies. Most writers on Jap have been struck with the unbridled license of his Greek constructions. But in reality there is no such license. The Greek, though without a parallel elsewhere, proceeds according to certain rules of the author's own devising. Now this fact is a proof that our author never mastered Greek idiomatically -- even the Greek of his own day.

But we may proceed still further. Just as his use of Hebrew practically as his mother tongue (for Hebrew was still the language of learned discussion in Palestine) points to his being a Palestinian Jew, so his extraordinary use of Greek appears to prove not only that he never mastered the ordinary Greek of his own times, but that he came to acquire whatever knowledge he had of his language when somewhat advanced in years.

Two other characteristics of the man and his work point  not only to Palestine, but Galilee as his original home. The first is that he was a prophet or Seer. Now the writers of apocalypses, so far as we are aware, were generally natives of Galilee, not of Judaea. In the next place, our author exhibits an intimate acquaintance with the entire apocalyptic literature of his time, and this literature found most of its readers in Galilee, where the Law, which was hostile to it, had less power than in Judaea.

{xlv.}§ 7. The silence of ecclesiastical writers down to 180 A.D. as to any residence of John the Apostle in Asia Minor is against his being the author of Jap. -- The conclusion reached in § 6 is confirmed by external evidence. No sub-apostolic writer betrays any knowledge that John the Apostle ever resided in Ephesus. Yet the author of Jap was evidently the chief authority in the Ephesian Church, or at least one of his chief authorities. Thus Ignatius (circ. 110 A.D.) in his letter to the Church of Ephesus (122) speaks only of Paul, but makes no allusion whatever to John the Apostle, though according to the later tradtion John had exercised his apostolic authority in Ephesus long after Paul, and had written both J and Jap. The reasonable inference from the above silence is that Ignatius was not aware of any residence of John the Apostle in Ephesus. That Clemens Romanus (circ. 96 A.D.) was silent as to John's residence in Ephesus, may have some bearing on this question when taken in connection with that of Ignatius. Justin and Hegesippus (150-180 A.D.) in like manner tell nothing of John's residence in Ephesus. Yet Justin lived in Ephesus about 135 A.D., which city, according to later traditions, was the scene of John's apostolic labours.

§ 8. The above conclusions are confirmed by the tradition of John the Apostle's martyrdom, whicih, if trustworthy, renders his authorship of Jap as well as of the other Johannine literature impossible.(13) -- That John the Apostle, like his brother James, died a martyr's death, has been inferred from the following evidence: --

(a)The prophecy of Jesus. -- This recorded in Mk 1035-40 = Mt 2020-23, and especially the words: "The cup that I drink shall ye drink" (to. poth,rion o] evgw. pi,esqe kai. to. ba,ptisma o] evgw. bapti,zomai baptisqh,sesqe, Mk 1039 = to. me.n poth,rio,n mou pi,esqe, Mt 2023).(14) In Mark the above words are followed by a parallel clause: "And with the baptism that I am baptized withalshall ye be baptized." The meaning is unmistakable. Jesus predicts for James and John the same destiny that awaits Himself. That this prediction was in part fulfilled when Herod Agrippa I. put James to death, we learn from Acts 122, but not in the case of John. Now, if John's martyrdom fell within the period covered in Acts, we may conclude with Wellhausen and {xlvi.} Moffatt that we have here one of the many gaps discoverable in Luke's narrative, who fails to record John's death as he does that of Peter. But it is not necessary to assume that John was martyred before 66 A.D., as we shall see presently.

(b)But though Acts 122 fails us here, there is a Papias-tradition recounting the martyrdom of John. -- A MS of Georgius Hamartolous (9th cent.) states on the authority of Papias that John the son of Zebedee was slain by the Jews ((VIwa,nnhj)marturi,ou kathxi,wtai\ Papi,aj ga.r ) ) ) fa,skei o[ti u`po. VIoudai,wn avnh|re,qh( plhrw,saj dhladh. meta. tou/ avdelfou/ th.n tou/ Cristou/ peri. auvtw/n pro,rrhsin). This statement is confirmed by an extract published by De Boor (Texte u. Untersuchungen, 1888, v. 2. 170) from an Oxford MS. (7th or 8th cent.) of an epitome of the Chronicle of Philip of Side (5th cen.) "Papias in the second book says that John the Divine and James his brother were slain by the Jews" (Papi,aj evn t) deute,rw| lo,gw| le,gei o[ti VIwa,nnhj o` qeolo,goj(15)kai. VIa,kwboj o` avdelfo.j auvtou/ u`po. VIoudai,wn avnh|re,qhsan). Swete (Apoc. clxxix. sq.) adds here the following pertinent comment: "If Papias made it (this statement), the question remains whether he made it under some misapprehension, or merely by way of expressing his conviction that the prophecy of Mk x. 39 had found a literal fulfilment. Neither explanation is very probable in view of the early date of Papias. He does not, however, affirm that the  brothers suffered at the same time: the martyrdom of John at the hand of the Jews might have taken place at any date before the last days of Jerusalem."(16)

This Papias-tradition is rejected by Bernard, Studia Sacra, 260-284; Harnack, TLZ., 1909, 10-12; Drummond, 227 sq.; Zahn, Forschungen, vi. 147 sq.; Armitage Robinson, Historical Character of John's Gospel, 64 sqq.; Stanton, Gospels as Historical Documents, i. 166 sq.; but such a rejection is hazardous in face of the evidence furnished by subsequent and independent authorities, not to speak of the results already arrived at independently in this chapter.(17)

(c)Certain ancient writers imply or recount the martyrdom of John the son of Zebedee. -- The first evidence is that of Heracleon (an early Gnostic commentator on J, about 145 A.D.), preserved in Clement of Alexandria (Strom. iv. 9). Heracleon in connection with Lk 1211-12 states that "Matthew, Philip, Thomas, {xlvii.} Levi,(18) and many others" had escaped public testimony to Christ. The omission of John's name is full of significance. He cannot, in view of his prominence both in the N.T. and in the 2nd cent., be relegated to the nameless body of the "many others." Clement does not call in question this statement of Heracleon. Archbishop Bernard weakens this evidence, but his (Studia Sacra, 283 sq.) argument proceeds on the hypothesis that John the Apostle was the author of the Apocalypse.

The next evidence is furnished by the Martyrium Andreae i. 2 (Bonnet, Acta Apost. Apocr. II. i. 46 sq.). Here it is recounted how the apostles cast lots as to which people they should severally adopt as their sphere of missionary effort. The result of the casting of the lots was that the circumcision was assigned to Peter, the East to James and John, and the cities of Samaria and Asia to Philip (evklhrw,qh Pe,troj th.n peritomh,n( VIa,kwboj kai. VIwa,nnhj th.n avnatolh,n\ Fi,lippoj ta.j po,leij th/j Samari,aj kai. th.n VAsi,an), and so on. What is significant in this legend is that it ignores wholly any residence of John in Asia Minor.(19)

Next, in Clement (Strom. vii. 17) it is stated definitely that the teaching of the apostles, embracing the ministry of Paul, was brought to a close in the reign of Nero(20)(h` de. avposto,lwn auvtou/ (i.e. Cristou/% me,cri ge th/j Pau,lou leitourgi,aj evpi. Ne,rwnoj teleiou/tai). These words presuppose the death of all the apostles before 70 A.D. In Epiphanius (li. 33), John's activity is assigned to the times of the Emperor Claudius: tou/ a`gi,ou VIwa,nnou ) ) ) profhteu,santoj evn cro,noij Klaudi,ou kai,saroj.

The same tradition of John's marytrdom is attested in Chrysostom (Hom. lxv. on Mt 2023), though in Hom. lxxvi. he says that John long survived the fall of Jerusalem.

According to Moffatt (p. 607), even Gregory of Nyssa (Laudatio Stephani: De Basilio Magno) mentions Peter, James, and John as martyred apostles and places them between Stephen and Paul. But Bernard (Studia Sacra, 280 sqq.) has rightly objected to Gregory being cited as supporting such a thesis. The fact is that Gregory is mystified naturally by this attestation of the Church calendar to the martyrdom of John and seeks to explain it away.

{xlviii.} As clememnt and Chrysostom reflect the conflicting traditions as to the manner of John's death and the age at which he died, the Muratorian Canon attests indirectly the survival of the older tradition. It states that Paul wrote to seven churches after the precedent set by John. This statement cannot be accepted, since most (if not all) of the Pauline Epistles were written before all the Seven Churches of Asia were founded. Thus the Church in Smyrna was not founded till 61-64 A.D. at earliest: cf. Polycarp, Ad Phil. ii. But the statement becomes intelligible, if John's apostolic activity belonged to the decades before 70 A.D. Thus the older tradition discovers the element of fact in this statement of the Muratorian Canon. For in its enumeration of the works of St. Paul it proceeds: "Ex quibus singulis (non) necesse est a nobis disputari, cum ipse beatus apostolos Paulus, sequens prodecessoris sui Johannis ordinem, nonnisi nominatim septem ecclesiis scribat. . . ." Here the composition Jap is set before that of the Pauline Epistles. This fact justifies the assumption that the Muratorian Canon represents the composition of J as prior to the dispersion of the apostles. "Quartum evangeliorum Johannis ex discipulis. (Is) cohortantibus condiscipulis et episcopis suis dixit: Conjejunate mihi hodie triduo, et quid cuique fuerit revelatum, alterutrum nobis enarremus. Eadem nocte revelatum Andreae ex apostolis, ut recognoscentibus cunctis Johannes suo nomine cuncta describeret." That the condiscipuli = the rest of the apostles, is to be inferred from John himself being called ex discipulis. It may be remarked in passing that the revision of J is here plainly stated.

The North African work De Rebaptismate (circ. 250 A.D.) supports the Papias-tradition: "He said to the sons of Zebedee: "Are yet able?" For he knew the men had to be baptized, not only in water but also in their blood."

Finally, the Syrian Aphraates (De Persecutione (344 A.D.)) writes: "Great and excellent is the martyrdom of Jesus. . . . After Him was the faithful martyr Stephen, whom the Jews stoned. Simon also and Paul were perfect martyrs. And James and John walked in the footsteps of their Master Christ. . . . Also others of the apostles thereafter in diverse places confessed and proved themselves true martyrs." Here the actual martyrs are mentioned first, including John. Then come the confessors to whom the honorary rank of martyrs is accorded.

(d) The Syriac Martyrology postulates the martyrdom of John the son of Zebedee. This martyrology (411 A.D.) was drawn up at Edessa for the use of the local church. It contains the following festivals: 
          Dec. 27. VIwa,nnhj kai. VIa,kwboj oi` avpo,stoloi evn VIerosolu,moij.
          Dec. 28. VEn ~Pw,mh| th/| po,lei Pau/loj kai. Sumew.n Khfa/j.

{xlix.} Here the martrydom of James and John in Jerusalem is commemorated between that of Stephen on Dec. 26 and that of Paul and Peter on Dec. 28.

Seeing that the statements with regard to James, Paul, and Peter are trustworthy, there appears no reason for questioing that respecting John. In the Calendar of Carthage (circ. 505) there is the entry, "Commemoration of St. John Baptist, and of James the Apostle, whom Herod slew." Since in the same calendar the Baptist is commemorated on June 24, it is clear that John the son of Zebedee is here intended. Thus the two sons of Zebedee are here conjoined, and evidently on the ground of their common martyrdom. According to Moffatt (Introd. Lit. N.T. p. 605), the Armenian and Gothico-Gallic Calendars agree with the Syriac.

This considerable body of independent and diverse forms of evidence appears to the present writer to remove the Papias-tradition from the sphere of hypothesis into that of reasonably established facts of history. Finally, the date of John's marytrdom can be fixed within certain limits. He was alive when Paul had his conference with the "pillar-apostles" in Jerusalem (Gal 29). This was not later than 64 A.D.(21) Since he was martyred by the Jews, he must have died before 70 A.D.

That the later testimony of Irenaeus that John the Apostle resided in Asia, as well as the statement that Polycarp was a disciple of the Apostle, must be rejected if the Papias-tradition is correct, follows as a matter of course. Irenaeus is occasionally very inaccurate. His confusion of John the Elder with John the Apostle(22) finds (III. 12. 15) an exact parallel in his confusion of James the Lord's brother, who in Acts 1513 takes part in the Council of Jerusalem, with James the son of Zebedee, who has already been martyred in Acts 122. In iv. 27. 1 he states that one of his authorities is a disciple of the disciples of the apostles; yet in 32. 2 he designates the same man as a disciple of the apostles. In H.E. iii. 39. 2, Eusebius charges Irenaeus with wrongly representing Papias as a disciple of John the Apostle. Irenaeus states on the authority of certain elders, who maintained that they had heard it from John, that Jesus did not die {l.} till the reign of Claudius (II. 22. 5). The confusion of Philip the Evangelist and Philip the Apostle, whom Luke in the Acts distinguishes carefully, is found in several ancient writers, most probably in Polycrates of Ephesus (circ. 196 A.D.) and Proclus: cf. Eus. iii. 31. 3-4, v. 24. 2; in Clement of Alexandria (Strom. iii. 6. 52), Tertullian and Eusebius. See Encyc. Bib. (2511); Moffatt, Introd. 608 sqq.; otherwise Lightfoot, Colossians, 45 sq.

The primitive tradition as to the martyrdom of John the Apostle was gradually displaced by the later tradition represented by Irenaeus; but even so the primitive tradition maintained itself in various places down to the 7th cent., as we have shown above.

The conclusion to which the above facts and inferences point is that John the Apostle was never in Asia Minor, and that he died a martyr's death between the visit of St. Paul to the "pillar" apostles in Jerusalem, circ. 64 (?) and 70 A.D.

1. See my Eschatology, 173-205 (especially 198-205), 403 sq.; Daniel, p. xi. sq., Religious Development between the O. and N. Testaments, 41, 46.
2. There is no evidence that John was exiled to Patmos before Clement of Alexandria, and that evidence is chiefly Western.
3. Hence the attribution of the Apocalypse to the heretic Cerinthus by Caius (200-220 A.D. See Eus. ii. 25, vii. 25) and the Alogi (Epiphanius, Haer. li. 3, 4), in ancient times and by certain modern scholars, is an utterly baseless and gratuitous hypothesis.
4. C. Marc. iii. 14, 24.
5. See his Comment. on Daniel, edited by Achelis, 1897, pp. 142, 240, 244, etc., and his Peri. tou/ VAnticri,stou( xxxvi.,Ou-toj ga.r evn Pa,tmw| ) ) ) o`ra/| avpoka,luyin ) ) ) le,ge moi( w= maka,rie VIwa,nnh( avpo,stole kai. maqhta. tou/ kuri,ou( ti, ei=dej)
6. In Joann., tom. i. 14: fhsi.n ou=n th/| avpokalu,yei o` tou/ Zebedai,ou VIwa,nnhj: tom. v. 3: see also the quotation from Origen in Eus. vi. 25. 9.
7. I take J as it stands, since its relation to 1. 2. 3 J does not require any critical study of its composition. J and 1 J (?) have been more or less edited, but the work of the editors does not affect the question now at issue.
8. The list of linguistic differentiae in 1 J, which is given in Moffatt's Introd. to N.T., p. 590 sq., should be noted. They are important.
9. No linguistic study of 2. 3 J in relation to J and Jap is known to me. But for my previous study of Jap I should have missed most of the points that determine the question at issue.
10. It has, however, been urged that an apostle could designate himself an elder. This is true under certain conditions but not in 2. 3 J. That the writer is an elder and not an apostle we infer from the fact that he claims no higher title in 3 J, where, he had been an apostle, he would naturally have availed himself of his power as an apostle to suppress Diotrephes and others who disowned his jurisdiction and authority, which they could not have done had he been an apostle. Further, in case 1 Pet 51 (presbute,rouj ou=n evn u`mi/n parakalw/ o` sunpresbu,teroj), we have only to observe that Peter has at the outset indicated his apostolic authority, so that the words in 51 form no true parallel to 2. 3 J1.
11. The statement in Irenaeus (ii. 22. 5), that according to the elders in Asia, John the disciple declared that Jesus reached the age of 50, is professedly second-hand, and is therefore to be estimated accordingly. If this evidence were trustworthy, it would be practically impossible to assign J to John the Elder. But as we have seen elsewhere, Irenaeus is often quite untrustworthy. The extravagant account of the fruitfulness of the vine is also attributed by Irenaeus (v. 333) to the elders, who said that they had heard it from John the disciple. Such an expectation, if it was literally accepted and really transmitted by John the Elder, would be against his authorship of J. But it was obviously to be interpreted in a purely metaphorical sense. In these passages Irenaeus believes that the John he is speaking of is the Apostle and not the Elder, although he never designates him as avpo,stoloj, but only as maqhth,j.
12. The author describes himself simply as a brother of his readers. In 2 Pet 315 Paul is similarly described (o` avgaphto.j h`mw/n avdelfo,j); but there one apostle is supposed to be referring to another.
13. See Schwartz, Uber den Tod der Sohne Zebedaei, 1904; Wellhausen and J. Weiss on Mk 1039; Schmiedel, Encyc. Bib. ii. 2509-2510; Burkitt, Gospel History, 250 sq.; Moffatt, Introd. to Literature of the N.T. 602 sq., 613 sq.; Swete, The Apocalypse, p. clxxix sq.; Bacon, Fourth Gospel in Research, 133, 147; Latimer Jackson, Problem of the Fourth Gospel, 142-150.
14. If these words are taken to be a vaticination post eventum, as they are by certain scholars, then the evidence for the martyrdom of John is simply a fact of history. But the present writer accepts the words as an actual prophecy of Christ and one that was fulfilled in actual fact.
15. o` qeolo,gojis, of course, a late addition. It is found in most cursives of the Apocalypse in its title.
16. The italics are mine.
17. The results exclude the possibility of John the son of Zebedee being the author of Jap, and also of 1. 2. 3 J, J, if as is highly probable, John the Elder wrote 2. 3. J. John the Apostle may have been the teacher of John the Elder. This Papias-tradition would account perfectly for the absence of his writings from the N.T.
18. This reduplication in Matthew . . . Levi is found elsewhere.
19. As Latimer Jackson observes, "the allusion in Gal 29 is significant; it suggests that John, extending the right hand of fellowship to Paul and Barnabas (who had taken the Gentiles as their sphere of work), decides to cast in his lost with the circumcision (p. 149)." But we have to remember also that Peter went to the West and was martyred in Rome.
20. It is true that elsewhere Clement (Quis dives salv. 42) tells the story of John and the robber, which, we it true, would imply his living to old age.
21. Galatians is variously dated from 53 to 64 A.D.
22. Though Irenaeus has transferred to John the Apostle the labours of John the Elder and the scene of these labours, he still distinguishes the Elder whom he frequently quotes alike from the body of the Elders whom he also quotes, and from John the disciple of the Lord; cf. iv. 30. 4: "Si quis autem diligentius intendat his, . . . quaecunque Johannes discipulus Domini vidit in Apocalypsi," and 31. 1: "Talia quaedam enarrans de antiquis presbyter reficiebat nos"; 32. 1: "Senior apostolorum discipulus"; also iv. 28. 1. It is significant, however, that Irenaeus never calls this John, whom he regards as the author of the Johannine writings, an apostle, but only a disciple of the Lord. This element of truth still survives in his treatment of this question.


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