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Bible Dictionaries
John the Apostle

People's Dictionary of the Bible

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John the Apostle. The son of Zebedee and Salome, of Bethsaida. His father was able to have "hired servants" and bis mother was one of the women who aided in Jesus' support, Luke 8:3, and took spices to embalm his body. Mark 16:1. He is regarded as the youngest of the twelve apostles, but had been a disciple of John the Baptist, who pointed out Jesus as the Lamb of God to him. John 1:35-37. John is noted as "the disciple whom Jesus loved," and as one of the three chosen to witness the restoration of Jairus' daughter, the transfiguration, and the agony in the garden. At the last supper he reclined on Jesus' bosom, and to his care Jesus on the cross committed his mother. He with Peter on the resurrection morn ran to the empty tomb of Jesus, and "he saw and believed." When with some others he was fishing on the Sea of Galilee, he was the first to recognize the Lord standing on the shore. After the ascension, he and James and Peter were the leading apostles, Galatians 2:9, of the infant church, and guided its counsels. He was banished for a time to the isle of Patmos. Tradition represents him as closing his career at Ephesus. He was naturally bold and severe. Our Lord called him a "son of thunder," but he became amiable though firm and fearless.

John, Gospel of. The fourth Gospel is ascribed to John, and was probably composed, or at least put in its present shape, at Ephesus, between a.d. 70 and 95. The particular design of it is expressed by the author to be that we might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that, believing, we might have life through his name. John 20:31. Hence the subjects and discourses of this book have special relation to our Lord's character and offices, and are evidently intended to prove his nature, authority, and doctrines as divine. The gospel contains: A. The prologue, 1:1-18; B. The history, 1:19 to chap. 21. 1. The preparation for Jesus' public ministry, (a) by John 1:19-36; (b) by the choice of disciples. 1:37-51. 2. The public labors of Jesus in doctrine and miracle, chaps. 2-12. 3. Jesus in the private circle of his disciples. Chaps. 13-17. 4. The history of the passion and resurrection or public glorification of the Lord. Chaps. 18-21. "The Gospel of John is," says Schaff, "the gospel of gospels. It is the most remarkable as well as most important literary production ever composed.... It is a marvel even in the marvellous Book of books. It is the most spiritual and ideal of gospels. It brings us, as it were, into the immediate presence of Jesus. It gives us the clearest view of his incarnate divinity and his perfect humanity."

John, the Epistles of, are three in number. They were written in Ephesus, between a.d. 80 and 95, or possibly later. The first has always been attributed to John, though his name is neither prefixed nor subscribed. It is a kind of practical application of the gospel. It is addressed to Christians. The second epistle is addressed to the "elect lady and her children." The elect lady is supposed to have been some honorable woman distinguished for piety, and well known in the churches as a disciple of Christ. Some, however, have thought some particular church and its members might be denoted. Those who adopt the latter opinion apply the term to the church at Jerusalem, and the term "elect sister," 2 John 1:13, to the church at Ephesus. The third epistle, which is addressed to Gaius, or Caius, a private individual, and is commendatory of his piety, was written about the same time with the others.

Bibliography Information
Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'John the Apostle'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/​dictionaries/​eng/​rpd/​j/john-the-apostle.html. 1893.
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