Though most people throughout church history have assumed that the Gospel of John was written by the Apostle John, as we’ve seen throughout our year-long study of this amazing text, this is actually an open question even among conservative scholars. On this special edition of the program, we’ll hear from Richard Bauckham who makes a case that the Fourth Gospel was written by someone known as “John the Elder.” Then D.A. Carson, Andreas Köstenberger, Craig Blomberg, and Lydia McGrew will present their arguments in favor of the traditional view.
Justin Holcomb: I know the traditional understanding of the authorship is John the Apostle, and then there are others like Richard Bauckham who say it’s John the Elder.
D.A. Carson: The reasons for appealing to John the Elder as a separate individual in my view are pretty weak.
G.K. Beale: I think it’s very difficult. I would still say it’s probably John the Apostle, but Richard Bauckham has made a very plausible argument that it’s another John.
Lydia McGrew: You’ve got this possible reading that there are two different Johns, and then Bauckham kind of takes off with it from there.
Term to Learn
In the sphere of religion, in particular, the present time is a time of conflict; the great redemptive religion which has always been known as Christianity is battling against a totally diverse type of religious belief, which is only the more destructive of the Christian faith because it makes use of traditional Christian terminology. This modern non-redemptive religion is called “liberalism.”… [This] movement is so various in its manifestations that one may almost despair of finding any common name which will apply to all its forms. But manifold as are the forms in which the movement appears, the root of the movement is one; the many varieties of modern liberal religion are rooted in naturalism-that is, in the denial of any entrance of the creative power of God (as distinguished from the ordinary course of nature) in connection with the origin of Christianity.
(Adapted from J. Gresham Machen, Christianity & Liberalism)