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Friday, August 9, 2013

Robert J. Morgan: In defense of John

(Photo by Billy Hathorn)
In his recent article for The Huffington Post titled "Let John Be John and Let Jesus Be Jesus," Robert J. Morgan (pastor of a large Nashville congregation for 30-plus years) makes one thing perfectly clear:  his belief that the apostle John was indeed the author of the Fourth Gospel.

Morgan explains that the earliest Christians felt likewise.  He traces their belief in John's authorship from John's "disciple" Polycarp, to Polycarp's "follower" Irenaeus – and then offers this quote from Irenaeus:  John, the disciple of the Lord, who also leaned on him,
himself also published the Gospel in Ephesus, when he was living in Asia.

Morgan also cites Theophilus of Antioch, the Muratorian Fragment, Clement of Alexandria, Eusebius of Caesarea, Tertullian, and the Ryland Fragment "in John's defense."  All of these sources were rooted within the first three centuries of Christianity.

Morgan then concludes:  If any other ancient text were affirmed by this kind of evidence, its authorship would be virtually unquestioned.

Not all readers were satisfied with Morgan's line of reasoning.  Davidmdelaney101 (who identifies himself via the following phrase: "Part of me refers to itself as 'I'") wrote this comment:  So the sources attributing the vital gospel of John to the apostle John are early Christians who had every incentive and motive to give their new religion its firmest possible grounding.  That's a problem… 


Copyright August 9, 2013 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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