Scholarly Defenses of the Apostle John's Authorship

Discussion in 'The Gospels & Acts' started by KMK, Apr 10, 2018.

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  1. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

    I am looking for scholarly works that defend the Reformed/ Traditional view of the authorship of John's Gospel, Epistles, and Revelation. Especially those that deal with modern scholarship.

    (I am not looking for an argument one way or the other.)
  2. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

  3. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Junior

    It's probably not what you're looking for, but the only thing I can think of would be the introductions in the study Bibles, or a Bible handbook like Ryken's. That's the only place I would know where to go.
  4. JimmyH

    JimmyH Puritan Board Junior

    In his sermons on 1John Martyn Lloyd-Jones mentioned what he said was a famous book called 'The Tests of Life' by Robert Law (no relation to William Law) and I am in the midst of reading it now. He affirms the authorship of the Gospel, Epistle and the Apocalypse to the disciple that Jesus loved. This is circa 1909 and with my limited experience I would consider it scholarly.
    Also, though his name seems to 'live in infamy', he knew something about the Greek text and Brooke Foss Westcott's 'The Epistles of St. John' says, "The writing is so closely connected with the Fourth Gospel in vocabulary, style, thought, scope, that these two books cannot but be regarded as works of the same author. The proofs which are given elsewhere to establish the fact that the Fourth Gospel was written by the Apostle St John extend to the Epistle also."
  5. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    All of these are reformed/Conservative
    I have used Leon Morris and His work on Romans, and see him as being very trustworthy.
  6. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

    Thank you. From what I could tell from the preview, Carson's is pretty thorough. But, if anyone has a better way for me to spend $26 then let me know.
  7. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable

    Most folks have a "go to litmus test verse or passage" when considering commentaries. The result is either "yes, I like what he has to say", "no, I think he missed the point entirely" or "I disagree but can live with that shortcoming".

    Do you have one for John, e.g., John 5:1-9 (verse 4 often in brackets)? I am happy to let you know what Carson has to say as I have this commentary.
  8. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

    I am not sure what you are asking. I was just wondering if there is a definitive work that addresses the arguments of Brown and others modern theologians.
  9. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable

    @KMK ,

    My apologies. I assumed you were looking for some reason to purchase a commentary on John.

    Carson may not be the definitive work, re: Brown's claims, and I do not know of one offhand, but Carson does deal with the matter of Brown's and others' at great length in the commentary.

    Given Carson's reliance in no small part upon Morris, perhaps that work may be considered "definitive":

    ‘To put the same point in another way, if it was possible for a redactor to leave the Gospel in this form, it was equally possible for the evangelist to do so. We have no need to postulate a redac​

    Leon Morris, ‘The Composition of the Fourth Gospel’, in W. Ward Gasque and William Sanford LaSor (eds.), Scripture, Tradition, and Interpretation (Fs. Everett F. Harrison; Eerdmans, 1978)

    After detailed examination of the claims related to authenticity and authorship, Carson concludes:

    In other words, the Fourth Gospel’s stylistic unity, considered at the level of vocabulary and syntax, argues for a unified authorial stamp that makes the pursuit of sources a dubious enterprise. Its compositional integrity, considered at the level of the cohesiveness of the argumentation in many of its narratives and discourses, argues for a similar conclusion, and suggests that the pursuit of merely brief, aphoristic utterances of Jesus (Did Jesus never utter more than an aphorism?) is similarly ephemeral. Grant to the Evangelist all stylistic licence: when all the evidence is taken together, it is not hard to believe that when we listen to the voice of the Evangelist in his description of what Jesus said, we are listening to the voice of Jesus himself.​
  10. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

    Do Carson or Morris deal with the authorship of the Epistles and Revelation in their commentaries on the Gospel as well? It appears that Carson identifies the Evangelist as the 'beloved disciple'. Is that so with Morris as well?
  11. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    I do not know if they address those concerns directly in their John commentaries, but both of them would agree that John wrote all letters associated with him traditionally.
  12. dtaylor3

    dtaylor3 Puritan Board Freshman

    Many local libraries have access to the Alta Religion Journal Database that will get you peer-reviewed scholarship. Do you know if your library has access to these?
  13. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

    I am willing to spend money on resources, I am simply asking if there is a consensus as to which are the best.

    But thanks for the recommendation.
  14. a mere housewife

    a mere housewife Not your cup of tea

    I was trying to post this to your messages because I'm not sure it's relevant to your real question -- it's not a scholarly defense, but Newbigin comes down on the traditional side, merely giving a brief opinion. But he points out that it is more important to understand the author's silence about his identity, when the weight of the book depends on his witness (John 21:24). Newbigin cites the opening witness to Christ from John the Baptist who refuses to identify himself as more than a 'voice'. The beloved disciple is also, he says, refusing to be more than a voice. That was worth thinking about today.
    (PS. It wouldn't fit on the messages because it is too many characters!)
  15. KMK

    KMK Administrator Staff Member

    Yes, from what I have read, the author's anonymity is strong evidence for the Apostle's authorship, as well as his identity with the beloved disciple.
  16. timfost

    timfost Puritan Board Junior

    William Hendriksen makes a defence for John's authorship of both the Epistle and Revelation in More Than Conquerors. He makes some really good arguments.
  17. Alan D. Strange

    Alan D. Strange Puritan Board Junior

    For the sake of accuracy, it's the ATLA Religion Database. ATLA is the American Theological Library Association.
  18. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    Leon Morris book, as all of his commentaries are, would be first class scholarship on John.
  19. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    Didn't the author who took up to finish Hendriksen updated commentary set write on the Gospel of John also?
  20. timfost

    timfost Puritan Board Junior

    I can't remember if Hendriksen or Kistemaker did that commentary (I don't have them all, though I believe my pastor does).
  21. Relztrah

    Relztrah Puritan Board Freshman

    I also want to thank all respondents for these suggestions. I just read Dionysius of Alexandra's treatise on the authorship of Revelation in which he argues against John's authorship. I will check out these resources that disagree.

    Attached Files:

  22. Bill The Baptist

    Bill The Baptist Puritan Board Graduate

    Hendriksen wrote the commentary on John in 1954. If I’m not mistaken, it was the first one he wrote in the series.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2018
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