• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

A2 Religious Std Authorship of the Fourth Gospel

Extracts from this document...


A2 Religious Std - Authorship of the Fourth Gospel "The author of the Fourth Gospel must have been someone who knew Jesus." Examine and evaluate. (30 marks) The authorship of the Fourth Gospel is much of an enigma, as Marsh suggested, "The identity of the author must remain wrapped in anonymity". Whilst it is difficult to establish the actual author of the Gospel; through the use of internal and external evidence backed up by scholarly views we might be able to agree on our broader position of whether or not the author must have been someone who knew Jesus. We must also decide on the criteria on which to classify someone to have known Jesus. The traditional view claims the author to be an apostle, therefore includes "the disciple Jesus loved", which is believed to be John (the son of Zebedee) although some suggests it could have been Lazarus or Mary Magdalene. Nevertheless, if it were to have been written by "the disciple Jesus loved", the author would have been someone who knew Jesus. ...read more.


This supports the argument that it was John the Apostle who wrote the Gospel as it would have made sense for him not to have felt the need to distinguish between the two. It is also worth mentioning that the Muratorian Fragment also testifies John to be the author; this adds strengths to the argument as the Muratorian Fragment was a well respected document. Internal, biblical evidence can also be used to support the claim. The most obvious evidence would be John 21:24 where the author suggests the author "is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true." The detailed accounts which the author of the Fourth Gospel points to also strengthen the argument that the Gospel must have been written by someone who knew Jesus well. Taking John 21:11 as an example: "Simon Peter climbed aboard and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn." ...read more.


However, even if John was alive and his health condition and memory did not prevent him from writing the Gospel; the fact that he was poorly educated raises points against him being the author of the Gospel. Dodd pointed out that the discourses in the Gospel are revolved around complex themes which support the claim about John's lack of academic qualifications. Other doubts are also raised suggesting the Gospel was not written by someone who knew Jesus. First of all, the sequence of events in the Gospel differs with that of other Gospels therefore suggesting the author did not have to be an eyewitness. The inaccuracy in detail is also reinforced by the fact that some facts are wrong with the author using the term "Sea of Tiberius" instead of "Sea of Galilee" as a clear example. One may also point to the Gnostic influences on the Fourth Gospel where there are shared ideas of the existence of entities such as light, evil, physical and spiritual. However the belief that those who had "divine light" would reach the spiritual world was not stated in the Gospel which does not agree that knowledge alone is sufficient in getting us into heaven. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Christianity section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Christianity essays

  1. Outline your knowledge and understanding of the issues surrounding authorship and date of Luke's ...

    These are, around AD 63, AD 75- 85 and the early second century. the date of Luke is very much linked to the date in which Acts was written, as Luke clearly must have been earlier than its sequel. It is now generally argued that the earliest date is most

  2. Examine why the writers of the synoptic gospels edited the material they used.

    .New Testament scholars have attempted to distinguish the correlation between the gospel writers and materials.

  1. Luke's Gospel

    The importance of the proto-Luke theory lies in fact that it narrows the gap between which Mark and Lukes' were written and possibly Luke being written at an earlier date than the writing of Mark. On the other hand, the existence of such an earlier 'gospel' of Luke is denied

  2. Discuss and assess the view that according to the author of Lukes gospel it ...

    the Kingdom of God yet those who do good deeds to make their reputation better will not. Giving charity should not be done for the praise of others but done privately according to Jesus' teachings. Through rituals Jesus criticized the religious authorities for being hypocritical since they appeared holy on the outside but were impure inwardly.

  1. What are the moral and religious differences, if any, between euthanasia and suicide? Why ...

    As mentioned before, euthanasia is always decided when facing terminal illness (physical pain), there is no hope and no chance of getting better. Euthanasia is often the last resort, there is no other way out. Whereas suicide is mostly related to emotional pain such as pressure that cannot be coped

  2. St.Mark's Gospel

    If Mark got his information from Peter, the Gospel is accurate. Mark was with Peter in Jerusalem at the start of the Gospel. Mark lived in Jerusalem. At the time, it was very easy to travel. Peter went form Jerusalem to Rome.

  1. AS level coursework

    William Barclay argued that miracles can happen apart from "we think too much of what we can do and too little about what Jesus Christ can do through us." Miracles altogether play a huge role on the church today as they are an important part of individual's religion as it

  2. Define Religious Authority

    Tradition allows the ability to apply Jesus?s teachings of equality and love and adapt them to new circumstances which is a factor as to why tradition maintains a firm sense of authority.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work