Gospel of John
The Gospel According to John, also known as The Gospel of John, is the fourth, and traditionally last, gospel of the New Testament. Historians generally agree that it was written between 90 and 100 CE, but disagree with the assertion of many Christians that the author was John the Evangelist. According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:
"Critical analysis makes it difficult to accept the idea that the gospel as it now stands was written by one person. John 21 seems to have been added after the gospel was completed; it exhibits a Greek style somewhat different from that of the rest of the work. The prologue (John 1:1-18) apparently contains an independent hymn, subsequently adapted to serve as a preface to the gospel. Within the gospel itself there are also some inconsistencies, e.g., there are two endings of Jesus' discourse in the upper room (John 14:31; 18:1). To solve these problems, scholars have proposed various rearrangements that would produce a smoother order. (http://www.usccb.org/nab/bible/john/intro.htm)"
John 3:16 is among the most prominent verses in the Bible. The phrase "John 3:16" is nearly ubiquitous at sporting events, written on signs by faithful fans. The text of the verse encapsulates the basic story of Jesus:
- For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
While this quotation is often used by Christians in conversation with atheists (and anyone else, for that matter), it is not entirely clear what the purpose of using it is. The phrase is so well-known that it is unlikely that any adult atheist in a predominantly Christian society has not heard it before, and since the atheist is unlikely to consider the Bible an authority on the matter of God's existence, it seems like this quotation would have little conversion power. As with any claim about the existence of God, the divinity of Jesus, or the authority of the Bible, the necessary component for belief is evidence. Just because it's widely known doesn't mean it's true.
The Gospel of Lazarus
Some scholars, such as Dr. Steve Hunt of Gordon College, suggest that a more probable author of the Gospel was Lazarus. He argues that there is a need for someone who:
- The community believed would live a long time
- Jesus Loved
- Was near Jesus at the last Supper
- Was near the cross and is not one of the 12
- Lives near Jerusalem
- Has some wealth
- Is known to the High Priest
- Is faster than Peter
- Believes because he sees the "cloth that had been on Jesus' head"
Dr. Steve Hunt argues that Lazarus fits all these points perfectly. Furthermore, it is important to note that the Synoptic Gospel's don't mention Lazarus. Their focus is on the Galilean 12 and not on the Jerusalem disciples. It is also important to note that Lazarus' raising from the dead is the structural and thematic turning point of the Gospel (cf. Jn 11, 21).
- Cf. Hunt, Steven. "The Gospel of John." 2011 Gordon College.