+gt;Roger, pick up your Bible (I assume you have one?), look up the Gospel +gt;according t
>Roger, pick up your Bible (I assume you have one?), look up the Gospel
>according to John, chapter 21, verse 24. This is near the very the end
>of the book: "This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who
>wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true." (NIV). John the
>apostle, an eyewitness, wrote this gospel. From the commentary of the
>NIV Study Bible, Zondervan Bible Publishers, 1985, p. 1591: "The author
>[of the Gospel according to John] is the apostle John, "the disciple
>whom Jesus loved" (13:23; 19:26; 20:2; 21:7,20,24).
Chapter 21 of John, the final chapter, is known to New Testament
scholars as "the epilogue of John." They agree that this chapter
was NOT part of the original manuscript, but was added later,
very likely by a different author. As such, it was written to
SOLVE ONE OR MORE PROBLEMS: one being to bring John into
accordance with Matthew's sightings of a risen Jesus in Galilee,
but more significantly, in all probability, to quash the brewing
scandal over "the disciple whom Jesus loved." The late Morton Smith,
a scholar of ancient history, wrote that "it has often been
argued from Johannine evidence that the unnamed 'Beloved
Disciple' was Lazarus. In the "Epistle of Clement of Alexandria"
that Smith discovered in an ancient monastery in 1958, there
is reference to EXACTLY such allegations being made at the
time, which Clement of course denies. But in this same letter,
Clement affirms the existence of a "Secret Gospel of Mark", i.e.
portions of the gospel of Mark that had been "censored out" from
the text in general circulation because church leaders felt
they would be damaging to the new faith. One "censored" passage
has Jesus raising Lazarus in Mark (a story otherwise only in John);
however, it has the two of them spending the night together
in circumstances suggesting that their "love" was more Socratic
than Platonic. "Lazarus in Mark as Jesus' lover" also helps
explain the curious snippet of "the youth who fled naked in
the garden" (Mark 14:51-52), a passage unaccountably deleted
by both later Synoptic gospels, one of the very few that were.
There is much more about this in my book, "The Making of the
Messiah" (Prometheus Books, Buffalo, NY).
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank