The book, The Disciple Whom Jesus Loved, was written by J. Phillips to analyze the identity of the fourth gospel writer who was simply called, “the disciple whom Jesus loved”. He begins the book by discussing the Bible and stressing on the importance of reading and interpreting scripture correctly in a way that glorifies God and unifies the body of believers. He continues by providing arguments that John was not the disciple by whom Jesus loved. However in church tradition, there exists two possible arguments for John’s authorship of the gospel: 1) his apostolic authorship where he was a direct eyewitness to Jesus’s ministry, and 2) comparison between other books that was written by John such as his letters and Revelation.
The author seems to hold a position wherein he believes that Lazarus was the disciple that Jesus loved and was the true author of the gospel. However, this claim cannot be strongly proven as well because there is a lack of biblical evidence that states him as the rightful writer of the gospel. Also, while Lazarus was certainly loved by Jesus during His earthly ministry, he was not an apostle which limited his eyewitness accounts in comparison to the twelve. I finished the book still not entirely convinced of the theory of Lazarus as a the gospel writer.
The author is correct in stressing that the Bible always points to the truth. That truth is none other than Jesus Christ, who by which, the Bible is all about. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard of questions regarding the authorship of the Bible, but find that too much discussion on it may not prove to be beneficial to the body of Christ. It becomes a tricky subject if issues such as this divide the church for nothing else but a ‘difference in opinion’. The fourth gospel, as with the other, books in the Bible are books that are testament to God’s love and judgment on a sinful people and how Jesus Christ is the only means to salvation. That is a gospel message that is not dependent on the earthly authorship of the books, but rather a testament to the divine inspiration that God has provided the writers of the books of the Bible.
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