The Disciple Whom Jesus Loved

By the time Johnís Gospel was written, most of the disciples who knew the author were either dead or widely dispersed. The Gospel was probably written late in the first century, but Church history shows us that by the second century, its authorship was unknown. Only because Irenaeus (A.D. 120-202), battling against the gnostics, insisted on the four Gospels based on his attribution of them to apostolic authorship, did it get into the canon, and that was based largely upon the assumption, even then shaky, that Zebedee John wrote it as one of the Twelve. In fact, especially in the light of anthroposophy, it is a virtual certainty that none of the Gospels was written by one of the original twelve disciples. Clearly Mark and Luke were not, though they gain apostolic authority from the close association of their Evangelists to Peter and Paul, respectively. Matthew and John clearly present the greatest puzzles. My little book, The Incredible Births of Jesus, gives Rudolf Steinerís insights into the authorship of Matthew, and in this one we will examine his views on John.

Church tradition has always accepted the fact that it was written in Ephesus by a very old man named John who lived there until his death. But for two thousand years the Church has thrown up its hands, either accepting by default that Zebedee John was its author or that its authorship is not really important. If the latter is true, then this book, which unveils that authorship, is a waste of time. I suggest to you that the time has come when it is important to know, and that the reason it is now important is that neither the Gospel nor the Bible in its entirety can be adequately understood for our time without it.

The Disciple Whom Jesus Loved: Unveiling the Author of John's Gospel is to be published by SteinerBooks in Summer 2000. You may order the book directly from SteinerBooks.

Dusting Off the Ancient Song