The Identity of John the Evangelist: Revision and Reinterpretation in Early Christian Sources (Hardback)
  • The Identity of John the Evangelist: Revision and Reinterpretation in Early Christian Sources (Hardback)
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The Identity of John the Evangelist: Revision and Reinterpretation in Early Christian Sources (Hardback)

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£65.00
Hardback 232 Pages / Published: 01/03/2020
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This book examines the various Johannine narratives found in writings in the period from Papias (early second century) to Eusebius (early fourth century). Dean Furlong argues that the first major revision of the Johannine narrative was the identification of John the Evangelist with John the Apostle, the son of Zebedee, at the beginning of the third century. This in turn initiated a process of reinterpretation, as the previously-separate narratives of the two figures were variously spun into new configurations during the third and fourth centuries. This process culminated with Eusebius's synthesis of the Johannine traditions, which came to form the basis of what is considered the "traditional" Johannine story. Furlong concludes that in the earliest narrative, found in Papias, John the Evangelist was identified, not with the Apostle, but with another disciple of Jesus known as John the Elder.

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9781978709300
Number of pages: 232
Dimensions: 229 x 152 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
This is an excellent examination of the historical sources regarding the John who wrote the Gospel, and the various traditions concerning his identity, his death, and his place amongst the Evangelists. This will no doubt become a standard reference point for many years to come.--Fr John Behr, St Vladimir's Seminary, New York, and Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam
The frequent claim that the early church was unanimous in identifying the Fourth Evangelist as John the son of Zebedee obscures the complexity of the ancient sources. In this carefully-argued monograph, Dean Furlong presents a robust challenge to this claim. Like a skillful detective, Furlong interrogates the early witnesses, with a keen eye for detail, concluding that 'the traditional view' results from the conflation of independent traditions about the Zebedean John and Papias's John the Elder. His proposal provides compelling explanations for some of the puzzles in the Johannine traditions, such as Epiphanius's otherwise bewildering dating of John's exile and death to the reign of Claudius. Furlong's thesis deserves serious consideration as a valuable contribution both to authorship questions and to the early reception history of the Johannine corpus.--Ian Boxall, The Catholic University of America
In this clearly written and thoroughly researched volume, Dean Furlong argues that John the Elder, mentioned by Papias, was the author of the Fourth Gospel, rather than John the son of Zebedee. This study is a highly learned and detailed investigation of all the relevant evidence on this matter. It has the great merit of helping us to understand and take seriously all - and not just some - of the evidence about the authorship of John's Gospel from patristic sources. Anyone interested in the Fourth Gospel will greatly benefit from this highly significant study.--Paul Trebilco, University of Otago

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