Even the Author of the Gospel According to John Admits He Was Not an Eyewitness

Image result for image of john the evangelist

 

This [the disciple whom Jesus loved mentioned in the preceding verses] is the disciple who is testifying to these things and has written them, and we [the author of the gospel] know that his testimony is true.

–John 21:24

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

End of post.

 

5 thoughts on “Even the Author of the Gospel According to John Admits He Was Not an Eyewitness

  1. So you’re implying it isn’t eye witness testimony? How does that work?

    If a cop takes the accurate statement of an eye-witness, is that suddenly not eye-witness testimony?

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    1. There is a big difference between claiming to be an eyewitness and claiming to have recorded the (alleged) eyewitness statement of someone else.

      And what we have in this case is even worse: We have an unidentified (anonymous) author claiming to have recorded the eyewitness testimony of an eyewitness disciple of Jesus, a disciple of Jesus who is never clearly identified (even conservative evangelical Christian NT scholar Richard Bauckham does NOT believe that the beloved disciple was John, the son of Zebedee).

      And we are to believe that our eternal destinies hing on believing the zombie story told in this alleged eyewitness account, recorded by a non-eyewitness, anonymous author whose identity even conservative Christians dispute?

      For all we know, the anonymous author of John borrowed the boiler plate Jesus Story from the Gospel of Mark, written several decades before his own gospel, and then embellished the be-jeebers out of it to come up with stories about Jesus that are radically different from those in the Synoptics.

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    2. Let’s play out Liam’s scenario in a court of law:

      John Doe is on trial, accused of murder. A police officer, Office Smith, is called to the witness stand. He is asked,

      “Did you see John Doe kill the victim?”

      The officer answers, “No I did not, but an eyewitness told me that he saw John Doe kill the victim and here are the details…”

      How would the court react to this? Well, I’m not an attorney, but I will bet that the court will want to know the name of the alleged eyewitness! In the case of the Gospel According to John, the “cop” does not give us the name of the eyewitness! But what is worse, we don’t even know the name of the “cop”!!! And more, we have no evidence that the author of the Gospel According to John was a cop or someone else whose position in society warrants some degree of trust and respect.

      What we have is an unknown author telling us that he has written down the eyewitness testimony of an unnamed, unidentifiable person.

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  2. ‘Unknown author’, singular? Doesn’t the ‘we’ in the quoted verse imply more than one? The fourth gospel as community effort?

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    1. Yes, many scholars think that chapter 21 was a later addition, either by the same author or someone else. The “we” could also refer to the Johannine community of Christians.

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