Absolute Proof that the Gospel of John was not written by an Eyewitness

Ecce Home (Behold the Man), Antonio Ciseri
Behold the Man
by Antonio Ciseri

Conservative Christians claim that the Gospels are eyewitness accounts, in particular, the gospels of Matthew and John.  However, if one compares the Gospel of John to the Synoptic Gospels there are many, many differences.  In the Synoptics, Jesus seems to want to hide his true identity.  In the Gospel of John, Jesus tells practically everyone he meets that he is the Son of God.  In the Synoptics, Jesus teaches in parables, in the Gospel of John, there are no parables, only long, rambling sermons.

Was the author of the Gospel of John really an eyewitness as conservative Christians want us to believe?

I don’t think so, and here is the proof.  When Jesus is before Pilate and Pilate asks him if he is the King of the Jews, in all three Synoptic gospels Jesus responds with “You have said so” and then is silent.  He makes no further comment.   However, in the Gospel of John, Jesus is a real chatterbox. 

These two men cannot be the same Jesus.  Either Jesus was silent before his “shearers” or he wasn’t.  This discrepancy invalidates the claim that the Gospel of John was written by an eyewitness or it does the same for all three Synoptic Gospels.  Someone didn’t get the facts straight.

Christ Before Pilate, Mihaly Munkacsy
Christ before Pilate
by Mihaly Mukacsy

The Synoptic Gospels

2 And Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?”
And he answered him, “You have said so.”
3 And the chief priests accused him of many things. 4 And Pilate again asked him, “Have you no answer to make? See how many charges they bring against you.” 5 But Jesus made no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed.

                                                                                                  — Mark 15:2-5

11 Now Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?”
Jesus said, “You have said so.”
12 But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he gave no answer. 13 Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many things they testify against you?” 14 But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed.

                                                                                              — Matt 27:11-14

Then the whole company of them arose and brought him before Pilate. 2 And they began to accuse him, saying, “We found this man misleading our nation and forbidding us to give tribute to Caesar, and saying that he himself is Christ, a king.”
3 And Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?”
And he answered him, “You have said so.”
4 Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, “I find no guilt in this man.” 5 But they were urgent, saying, “He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee even to this place.”

                                                                                               — Luke 23:1-5

The Gospel of John

33 So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?”
34 Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?”
35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?”
36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”
37 Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?”
Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”
38 Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”
                                                                                                — John 18:33-38

Ecce Homo (Behold the Man), Hieronymus Bosch, 1490
Behold the Man
by Hieronymus Bosch 1490


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