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The Authorship of the Fourth Gospel:
The Disciple Whom Yeshua Loved
Who Really Wrote the “Book of John”?
The Disciple Whom Yeshua Loved
Kepha turned and saw that the disciple whom
Yeshua loved was following them. (This was
the one who had leaned back against Yeshua
at the supper and had said, "Master, who is
going to betray you?") When Kepha saw him,
he asked, "Master, what about him?" Yeshua
answered, "If I want him to remain alive until
I return, what is that to you? You must follow
me." (4th Gospel 21:20-24)
The Disciple Whom Yeshua Loved
Because of this, the rumor spread among the
brothers that this disciple would not die. But
Yeshua did not say that he would not die; he
only said, "If I want him to remain alive until I
return, what is that to you?" This is the
disciple who testifies to these things and who
wrote them down. We know that his
testimony is true. (4th Gospel 21:20-24)
Do We Base our Faith on Bible or
Tradition?
What does the Bible Say?
Would You Believe the Bible Over Tradition
if the Bible Clearly Says that someone
other than John Wrote the 4th Gospel?
“Prove all things; hold fast that which is
good” (1Th. 5:21).
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God,
a workman that needeth not to be
ashamed, rightly dividing the word of
truth.” (2Ti. 2:15).
Be a Berean!
Now the Bereans were of more noble
character than the Thessalonians, for they
received the message with great eagerness
and examined the Scriptures every day to
see if what Paul said was true.
Acts 17:11
Why Should We Doubt That Yochanan
(John) Wrote the 4th Gospel
Yochanan Wrote the Book of Revelation
The revelation of Yeshua Messiah, which Elohim gave
him to show his servants what must soon take place. He
made it known by sending his angel to his servant
Yochanan, who testifies to everything he saw-- that is,
the word of Elohim and the testimony of Yeshua
Messiah. (Revelation 1:1-2)
Yochanan, To the seven assemblies in the province of
Asia: Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who
was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits
before his throne. (Revelation 1:4)
Yochanan Wrote the Book of Revelation
I, Yochanan, your brother and companion in the
suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that
are ours in Yeshua, was on the island of Patmos
because of the word of Elohim and the testimony
of Yeshua. (Revelation 1:9)
I, Yochanan, am the one who heard and saw these
things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell
down to worship at the feet of the angel who had
been showing them to me. (Revelation 22:8)
The first three gospels all mention these three notable events
of Yeshua’ ministry:
his raising of the daughter of Jairus (Mt. 9:18-26, Mk. 5:22-43,
Lu. 8:41-56).
his transfiguration (Mt. 17:1-9, Mk. 9:2-9, Lu. 9:28-36),
his Gethsemane prayers (Mt. 26:36-46, Mk. 14:32-42, Lu.
22:39-46).
Only three disciples were present at these events, and the
Apostle John was one of them (Mt. 17:1 & 26:37, Mk. 5:37,
9:2 & 14:33, Lu. 8:51 & 9:28). Although John was an
eyewitness to all of these events there is no mention of
these key events in the gospel that today bears John’s
name!
After six days Yeshua took with him Kepha, Ya'acov and
Yochanan the brother of Ya'acov, and led them up a high
mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured
before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes
became as white as the light. (Matthew 17:1-2)
Afterward, these three disciples were strictly commanded
about how and when to proclaim his glory:
As they were coming down the mountain, Yeshua
instructed them, "Don't tell anyone what you have seen,
until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead."
(Matthew 17:9)
It turns out every event where John is referred
to by name in the first three gospels is missing
from the fourth gospel!
Yeshua told John, “ye know not what manner of
spirit ye are of” when rebuking John and his
brother after they sought to “command fire to
come down from heaven” (Lu. 9:54-55).
John and Peter were sent by Yeshua to prepare
the Passover (Lu. 22:8).
Yeshua “privately” answered the questions of
John, Peter, James, and Andrew on the Mount
of Olives (Mk. 13:3).
The mother of John and his brother asked
Yeshua to seat them, “one on thy right hand,
and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory”
(Mk. 10:35-41).
We know many things about John: his name; he was a son of
Zebedee and had a brother named James; he was a
fisherman; he and his brother were partners with Peter
and were present when Yeshua healed Peter’s wife’s
mother; John was one of the twelve apostles chosen by
Yeshua; he and his brother asked for the seats next to
Yeshua and they were surnamed by Yeshua, “Boanerges,
which is, The sons of thunder”; he and his brother once
wanted to call fire down from heaven on a group of
people and Yeshua rebuked them for it; John was the one
who told Yeshua, “we saw one casting out devils in thy
In the 4th Gospel we are informed that Peter and
"another disciple" ran to the tomb and that the "other
disciple, the one whom Yeshua loved" (see 4th Gospel
20:2) got there first. Then Peter arrived, went into the
tomb and saw the grave clothes.
Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb
first, also went inside. He saw and believed (4th Gospel
20:8)
Now the text goes out of its way not to say that Peter
believed. But the "other disciple" - the one who is the
author of this 4th Gospel - "saw and believed."
Yet after that event, Yeshua appeared to the
Eleven and rebuked them for not believing when
the women told them he was raised:
Later Yeshua appeared to the Eleven as they
were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of
faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those
who had seen him after he had risen (Mark
16:14).
What Do We Know About the
“Disciple Whom Yeshua Loved”?
Fourth gospel 13:21-28 (with Yeshua at the
supper)
Fourth gospel 18:12-18 (with Yeshua at his
trial)
Fourth gospel 19:25-27 (with Yeshua at the
cross)
Fourth gospel 20:1-10 (first man at Yeshua’s
tomb & first to believe)
Fourth gospel 21:2-24 (first to identify
Yeshua & author of this gospel)
He is at the supper Yeshua had with his disciples
just before his betrayal. Yeshua had just washed
his disciples feet and was revealing to them that
one of them was going to betray him.
His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to
know which of them he meant. One of them,
the disciple whom Yeshua loved, was reclining
next to him. Shimon Kepha motioned to this
disciple and said, "Ask him which one he
means." Leaning back against Yeshua, he asked
him, "Master, who is it?" (4th Gospel 13:22-25)
Early on the first day of the week, while it was still
dark, Miryam Magdalene went to the tomb and
saw that the stone had been removed from the
entrance. So she came running to Shimon Kepha
and the other disciple, the one Yeshua loved, and
said, "They have taken the Master out of the
tomb, and we don't know where they have put
him!" So Kepha and the other disciple started for
the tomb. Both were running, but the other
disciple outran Kepha and reached the tomb first.
(4th Gospel 20:1-4)
Shimon Kepha and another disciple were
following Yeshua. Because this disciple
was known to the high priest, he went
with Yeshua into the high priest's
courtyard, but Kepha had to wait
outside at the door. The other disciple,
who was known to the high priest, came
back, spoke to the girl on duty there and
brought Kepha in. (4th Gospel 18:15-16)
Near the cross of Yeshua stood his mother,
his mother's sister, Miryam the wife of
Clopas, and Miryam Magdalene. When
Yeshua saw his mother there, and the
disciple whom he loved standing nearby,
he said to his mother, "Dear woman,
here is your son," and to the disciple,
"Here is your mother." From that time
on, this disciple took her into his
home. (4th Gospel 19:25-27)
The Disciple Whom Yeshua Loved
Kepha turned and saw that the disciple whom Yeshua loved
was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back
against Yeshua at the supper and had said, "Master, who is
going to betray you?") When Kepha saw him, he asked,
"Master, what about him?" Yeshua answered, "If I want him
to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must
follow me." Because of this, the rumor spread among the
brothers that this disciple would not die. But Yeshua did not
say that he would not die; he only said, "If I want him to
remain alive until I return, what is that to you?" This is the
disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them
down. We know that his testimony is true. (4th Gospel
21:20-24)
How Many People Do the Gospels Identify as
Being Loved By Yeshua?
Only 4! (2 Men)
1 in the First Three Gospels
3 in the 4th Gospel (only one of them was a
man)
Who is that man???
The Rich Young Ruler
As Yeshua started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on
his knees before him. "Good teacher," he asked, "what
must I do to inherit eternal life?" "Why do you call me
good?" Yeshua answered. "No one is good-- except Elohim
alone. You know the commandments: 'Do not murder, do
not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false
testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and
mother.'" "Teacher," he declared, "all these I have kept
since I was a boy." Yeshua looked at him and loved him.
"One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have
and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.
Then come, follow me." At this the man's face fell. He went
away sad, because he had great wealth. (Mark 10:17-22)
Lazarus
Now a man named El‛azar (Lazarus) was sick.
He was from Bethany, the village of
Miryam and her sister Martha. This
Miryam, whose brother El‛azar now lay
sick, was the same one who poured
perfume on the Master and wiped his feet
with her hair. So the sisters sent word to
Yeshua, "Master, the one you love is
sick." (4th Gospel 11:1-3)
Lazarus
His name comes from the Greek word La,zaroj,
Lazarus, which corresponds to the Hebrew
rz"[.l; [pronounced Lazar], apparently the
same as rz"['l.a,, (El‛azar or more
commonly Eleazar) which means "whom Elohim
helps."
This El‛azar is the one whom the writer of the 4th
Gospel identifies by name as the one whom
Yeshua loved! There is no other man mentioned
in the 4th Gospel about whom is says that Yeshua
loved him.
Two verses later it says the same thing again:
When he heard this, Yeshua said, "This sickness
will not end in death. No, it is for Elohim's
glory so that Elohim's Son may be glorified
through it." Yeshua loved Martha and her
sister and El‛azar. (4th Gospel 11:4-5)
Why did he say it again? Is Yeshua’s love for
El’azar germane to the story?
As the story unfolds, Yeshua tells his disciples
that they are headed back to Yehudah, to the
town of Bethany to see their friend El‛azar:
After he had said this, he went on to tell
them, "Our friend El‛azar has fallen asleep;
but I am going there to wake him up." (4th
Gospel 11:11)
“Friend”
Greek o` fi,loj (ha philos) from phileo
which means “to love.”
A “friend” is “one who is loved.”
This is now the third time Yeshua refers to El’azar
as one who is loved by him.
Read 11:11-34
Yeshua wept. Then the Yehudim said, "See
how he loved him!" (11:35-36)
This is an amazing statement. Some
translations render this, "Behold, how he
loved him." To paraphrase, the text is saying
that the Jews even took note of Yeshua’s love
for Lazarus. "Stop and take notice how much
Yeshua loved El‛azar"!
This is the 4th time Lazarus is identified as the
one whom Yeshua loved!
Therefore Yeshua no longer moved about publicly
among the Yehudim. Instead he withdrew to a region
near the desert, to a village called Ephraim, where he
stayed with his disciples.
Then, as the season of the Pesach was nearing, Yeshua
and his disciples did return to Yehudah (Judea):
Six days before the Pesach, Yeshua arrived at Bethany,
where El‛azar lived, whom Yeshua had raised from the
dead. Here a dinner was given in Yeshua's
honor. Martha served, while El‛azar was among those
reclining at the table with him. (12:1-2)
Meanwhile a large crowd of Yehudim found
out that Yeshua was there and came, not
only because of him but also to see El‛azar,
whom he had raised from the dead. So the
chief priests made plans to kill El‛azar as
well, for on account of him many of the
Yehudim were going over to Yeshua and
putting their faith in him. (12:9-11)
The fame of El‛azar on account of his being
raised from the dead was becoming
widespread:
Now the crowd that was with him when he
called El‛azar from the tomb and raised him
from the dead continued to spread the
word. Many people, because they had
heard that he had given this miraculous
sign, went out to meet him. (12:17-18)
The final mention of El‛azar by name is in 12:17
of the 4th Gospel. El‛azar appears in chapter 11
where he is the subject whom Yeshua raised
from the dead and the one who is emphatically
named as the "one whom Yeshua loved." His
name is placed into the record of the 4th Gospel
a total of 13 times in chapters 11 and 12. And
then after chapter 12, he seems to
disappear. Where did he go? What happened
to him?
After El‛azar, who was emphatically identified
as being loved by Yeshua, seems to disappear
from the narrative after chapter 12, one who
is designated by the title "the disciple whom
Yeshua loved" mysteriously appears out of
nowhere in chapter 13 and finds himself
imbedded into the narrative all the way to
the end of the Gospel. Then, the writer's
final commentary is to identify himself with
this "disciple whom Yeshua loved."
Let’s Revisit the Events which “the Disciple
that Yeshua Loved” was involved with in
light of the identification of Lazarus…
First is the testimony of that "other disciple" outrunning
Kepha. It says that he reached the empty tomb first,
looked into the tomb and waited outside. Then Peter
went in and saw the empty tomb. Finally, the "other
disciple" went in and is credited in the narrative as
having looked, that he "saw and believed."
The testimony of Mark's gospel excludes the apostle
John as being identified as this one who "saw and
believed." Yeshua later scolded all eleven disciples for
not believing:
Later Yeshua appeared to the Eleven as
they were eating; he rebuked them for
their lack of faith and their stubborn
refusal to believe those who had seen
him after he had risen (Mark 16:14).
So, John could not have been the disciple
whom Yeshua loved.
Why it is that this one "saw and
believed"?
Shimon Kepha and another disciple were
following Yeshua. Because this disciple
was known to the high priest, he went
with Yeshua into the high priest's
courtyard, but Kepha had to wait outside
at the door. The other disciple, who was
known to the high priest, came back,
spoke to the girl on duty there and
brought Kepha in. (4th Gospel 18:15-16).
Kepha turned and saw that the disciple whom
Yeshua loved was following them. (This was the
one who had leaned back against Yeshua at the
supper and had said, "Master, who is going to
betray you?") When Kepha saw him, he asked,
"Master, what about him?" Yeshua answered, "If
I want him to remain alive until I return, what is
that to you? You must follow me." (4th Gospel
21:20-24)
Because of this, the rumor spread among the
brothers that this disciple would not die. But
Yeshua did not say that he would not die; he only
said, "If I want him to remain alive until I return,
what is that to you?" This is the disciple who
testifies to these things and who wrote them
down. We know that his testimony is true. (4th
Gospel 21:20-24)
Was the author of the 4th Gospel trying to hide
his identity?
How could millions of sincere believers for some
1900 years have been deceived about the
identity of the writer of the 4th Gospel?
What does this say about the reliability of
tradition?
Acknowledgment
I must acknowledge where I came into this
understanding of the real author of the 4th
Gospel. Hats off to J. Phillips for his carefully
thought out insights into the true understanding
of its authorship. His book, entitled, The Disciple
Whom Jesus Loved, can be read in its entirety at
his website,
www.TheDiscipleWhomJesusLoved.com.

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