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Appendix A: External Data Relevant to John’s Identity

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Chapter Summary

This chapter presents an appendix discussing the external data relevant to John's identity. The external data consists entirely of patristic material, most primarily that of Irenaeus, who informs us quite clearly that a man named John who was a disciple of the earthly Jesus wrote the Fourth Gospel whilst residing in Ephesus. Irenaeus invokes John's authority as an apostle in order to refute the teachings of various "heretical" groups. Polycrates similarly provides corroboration of Polycarp's memories. Whilst arguing in favour of celebrating Pascha on 14 Nisan, Polycrates not only mentions John as one of his relatives, but both identifies him explicitly with the Beloved Disciple and states that he was laid to rest in Ephesus. The context of Polycrates' statements suggests strongly that these traditions were widely recognized in the second century.

Keywords: disciple; Ephesus; Gospel; Irenaeus; Jesus; John; Polycrates



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