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Adult Bible Study on Part of the Book of the Gospel of John - Article Example

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The writer of this paper states that patristic traditions attribute to John the Apostle the Fourth Gospel, the Book of Revelation, and the three Epistles of John, but modern scholars believe that he wrote none of them…
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Adult Bible Study on Part of the Book of the Gospel of John
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This understanding remained in place until the end of the 18th century. Today the majority of scholars do not believe that John or any other eyewitness wrote it and trace it instead to a "Johannine community" which traced its traditions to John.  The gospel developed over time in various stages  showing signs of having been composed in three layers, reaching its final form about 90-100 AD and summarized by Raymond Brown as follows: An initial version based on the personal experience of Jesus;
  1. A structured literary creation by the evangelist which draws upon additional sources;
  2. The final harmony that presently exists in the New Testament canon, around 85-90 AD.
This hypothesis started with Rudolf Bultmann in 1941 who suggested that the author(s) of John depended in part on an author who wrote an earlier account, the first part now referred to as “Signs Gospel.” This hypothetical "Signs Gospel" of Christ's miracles, independent of the synoptic gospels, is believed to have been circulating before the year 70 AD.  Bultmann's conclusion was controversial, nevertheless, scholars such as Raymond Brown continue to consider this hypothesis,  plausible. They believe the original of the "Signs Gospel"  to be by the “beloved disciple” arguing that the disciple who formed this community was a companion of Jesus Christ from  John 21:24 which states that the “beloved disciple” wrote an account of the life of Jesus.  However, this disciple died unexpectedly, necessitating that a revised gospel be written (John 21:23).  Paul Anderson believes it may be that John “is the source" of the Johannine tradition but "not the final writer of the tradition." Scholars are no longer looking for the identity of a single writer but for numerous authors involved in the gospel's development over a period of time and in several stages.Read More
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