Restoration Christian Church
Bible Study: Harvest Time
  • Song
  • The Lion and the Lamb
  • Holy Spirit
  • Who Wrote the Gospel of John

    Of all the gospels, John comes closest to revealing the identity of its author. At the very end of the gospel, the author begins referring to one disciple as “the one whom Jesus loved,” and eventually suggests this disciple wrote the gospel:

    I. The author claims to be an eyewitness

    John 2:6 NLT
    Standing nearby were six stone water jars, used for Jewish ceremonial washing. Each could hold twenty to thirty gallons.
    John 5:5 NLT
    One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years.
    John 18:10 NLT
    Then Simon Peter drew a sword and slashed off the right ear of Malchus, the high priest’s slave.
    John 21:11 NLT
    So Simon Peter went aboard and dragged the net to the shore. There were 153 large fish, and yet the net hadn’t torn.

    II. The author appears to be Jewish

    John 2:6 NLT
    Standing nearby were six stone water jars, used for Jewish ceremonial washing. Each could hold twenty to thirty gallons.
    John 2:23 NLT
    Because of the miraculous signs Jesus did in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration, many began to trust in him.
    John 6:4 NLT
    (It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover celebration.)
    John 7:2 NLT
    But soon it was time for the Jewish Festival of Shelters,
    John 7:37 NLT
    On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me!
    John 10:22 NLT
    It was now winter, and Jesus was in Jerusalem at the time of Hanukkah, the Festival of Dedication.
    John 19:14 NLT
    It was now about noon on the day of preparation for the Passover. And Pilate said to the people, “Look, here is your king!”
    John 19:31 NLT
    It was the day of preparation, and the Jewish leaders didn’t want the bodies hanging there the next day, which was the Sabbath (and a very special Sabbath, because it was Passover week). So they asked Pilate to hasten their deaths by ordering that their legs be broken. Then their bodies could be taken down.

    III. Arguments against John’s authorship

    Mark 1:19 NLT
    A little farther up the shore Jesus saw Zebedee’s sons, James and John, in a boat repairing their nets.
    John 13:23 NLT
    The disciple Jesus loved was sitting next to Jesus at the table.
    Mark 10:38–39 NLT
    But Jesus said to them, “You don’t know what you are asking! Are you able to drink from the bitter cup of suffering I am about to drink? Are you able to be baptized with the baptism of suffering I must be baptized with?” “Oh yes,” they replied, “we are able!” Then Jesus told them, “You will indeed drink from my bitter cup and be baptized with my baptism of suffering.

    IV. Who was “The disciple whom Jesus loved”?

    John 21:24 NLT
    This disciple is the one who testifies to these events and has recorded them here. And we know that his account of these things is accurate.
    John 11:1 NLT
    A man named Lazarus was sick. He lived in Bethany with his sisters, Mary and Martha.
    John 13:23 NLT
    The disciple Jesus loved was sitting next to Jesus at the table.
    John 11:3 NLT
    So the two sisters sent a message to Jesus telling him, “Lord, your dear friend is very sick.”
    John 19:35 NLT
    (This report is from an eyewitness giving an accurate account. He speaks the truth so that you also may continue to believe.)
    John 20:25 NLT
    They told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.”

    Did the Apostle John write the book of John?

    John 13:24 NLT
    Simon Peter motioned to him to ask, “Who’s he talking about?”
    John 20:2–10 NLT
    She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. She said, “They have taken the Lord’s body out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” Peter and the other disciple started out for the tomb. They were both running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He stooped and looked in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he didn’t go in. Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there, while the cloth that had covered Jesus’ head was folded up and lying apart from the other wrappings. Then the disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in, and he saw and believed—for until then they still hadn’t understood the Scriptures that said Jesus must rise from the dead. Then they went home.
    John 21:2 NLT
    Several of the disciples were there—Simon Peter, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples.
    John 21:7 NLT
    Then the disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, “It’s the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his tunic (for he had stripped for work), jumped into the water, and headed to shore.
    John 21:20–24 NLT
    Peter turned around and saw behind them the disciple Jesus loved—the one who had leaned over to Jesus during supper and asked, “Lord, who will betray you?” Peter asked Jesus, “What about him, Lord?” Jesus replied, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? As for you, follow me.” So the rumor spread among the community of believers that this disciple wouldn’t die. But that isn’t what Jesus said at all. He only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?” This disciple is the one who testifies to these events and has recorded them here. And we know that his account of these things is accurate.
    Acts 12:1–5 NLT
    About that time King Herod Agrippa began to persecute some believers in the church. He had the apostle James (John’s brother) killed with a sword. When Herod saw how much this pleased the Jewish people, he also arrested Peter. (This took place during the Passover celebration.) Then he imprisoned him, placing him under the guard of four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring Peter out for public trial after the Passover. But while Peter was in prison, the church prayed very earnestly for him.
      • John 4:27–42NLT

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