The Structure of John's Gospel

Let us now look at the sequence of segments that constitute the Gospel of John, as Steiner has pointed them out to us.

First, of course, everyone recognizes what is called the Prologue, the first eighteen (18) verses of Chapter 1. Among other things it talks about a man named John, with obvious reference to John the Baptist.

Verse 19 then says, “And this is the testimony of John ...” According to Steiner, everything in the next ten chapters is the testimony of John the Baptist. Clearly there is no indication anywhere before then that the “testimony” starting in verse 19 has come to an end. How then does Chapter 10 end? Verses 40-42 read (speaking of Jesus):

40 He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John at first baptized, and there he remained. 41 And many came to him; and they said, “John did no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true.” 42 And many believed in him there.

To see that this is the formal ending of the testimony of John, you need to go back and read the Prologue saying what John was to do, for this passage tracks it and says that he has done it. It is the announcement of the end of what John revealed.

I shall return to this point in a moment, but first let us complete the listing of segments.

Here we have an abrupt change in the story, Chapter 11, the raising of Lazarus, at the architectural middle of the Gospel. Never before have we heard of “the disciple whom Jesus loved,” but from this point on, starting in Chapter 13 to the end of the book we hear of it.

Probably the original Gospel ended with Chapter 20, but the Evangelist lived in Ephesus until he was past one hundred years of age and he undoubtedly directly or indirectly wrote the final chapter when the need for it became clear.

Scholars have properly noted a very unusual but helpful clue. Not only does the Evangelist not put the name John on his Gospel but, except for a reference to Peter as the “son of John” in 1,42 and 21,15-17, nowhere in the Gospel is the name John used except to refer to John the Baptist, and nowhere in the Gospel is the Mother of Jesus called Mary.

Granted that both the wording and structure suggest that the first ten chapters (after the Prologue) are the testimony of the Baptist, you should immediately ask two questions of how this could be.

The first is, how could Lazarus/John have written the Baptist’s testimony two-thirds of a century after the Baptist’s death when we have no direct evidence that they were ever together bodily speaking? They could have talked often, of course, though evidence suggests that their cultural territories were very different. The answer lies rather in something Steiner told his attending physician on his death bed. The doctor recorded and notarized it. It reads:

At the awakening of Lazarus, the spiritual Being, John the Baptist, who since his death had been the overshadowing Spirit of the disciples, penetrated from above into Lazarus as far as the Consciousness Soul; the Being of Lazarus himself, from below, intermingled with the spiritual Being of John the Baptist from above. After the awakening of Lazarus, this Being is Lazarus-John, the disciple whom Jesus loved.

The second question is even more profound. If one examines the first ten chapters of John, it is obvious that much if not most of it describes events that occurred after the death of the Baptist. How then could he have revealed these things to Lazarus/John?

The answer comes from Steiner’s lectures about the Baptist, saying that from the time of his beheading his soul became a group-soul of the twelve and that it entered particularly into Lazarus/John. I remind you that all the synoptics have not only Herod but other people thinking that Jesus is the spirit of the Baptist returned. I would remind you further that at the announcement to Zechariah of the Baptist’s conception, the angel told him that the child would carry the spirit and power of Elijah. And we know that the spirit of Elijah was powerfully afoot in the land after his death at the hands of Jezebel and Ahab. Now if that same spirit that penetrated Lazarus/John as stated above also served as the group-soul of the twelve, then the events experienced by the twelve would certainly have gone with him into the Consciousness Soul of Lazarus/John.

This is a sobering revelation that fits precisely with the Gospel the way it is written.

   
Mark's Mysterious Youth
Salient Points