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Andrew of Bethsaida and the Johannine Circle

The Muratorian Tradition and the Gospel Text


James Patrick

This book is a reading of the text of the Gospel of John in light of a tradition of Johannine authorship represented by the Muratorian Fragment, Papias of Hierapolis, and the Anti-Marcionite Prologue, all which are taken to reflect the influence of a common tradition represented by Jerome, Clement of Alexandria, and Victorinus of Pettau. Taken together these suggest that the Gospel of John was the work of the late first- or early second-century John the Presbyter who mediated the tradition of a distinctive group of Johannine disciples among whom Andrew was most important.


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C H A P T E R S E V E N: John and His Churches


 C H A P T E R S E V E N John and His Churches We belong to God, and anyone who knows God listens to us, while anyone who does not belong to God, refuses to hear us. 1 John 4:6 onsiderations of style, syntax¸ and vocabulary, as well as weighty tradition, argue that the author of this text was the author of 2 and 3 John, that his name was John, and that he was, as the two shorter Epistles attest, a presbyter. His authority was great, for heeding his teaching meant communion with God while ignoring it meant “not belonging to God.” We know John the Presbyter through his writings, and a majority of scholars ancient and modern have found the similarities of content and language among the Epistles and the Gospel so compelling that unity of authorship has been widely, if not universally, accepted. About 260 Dionysius of Alexan- dria, thinking of 1 John only, noted, “It is plainly to be seen that one and the same character marks the Gospel and the Epistle throughout…. Similar phrases occur everywhere,” and both were written “without error as regards the Greek language, with elegance in their expression, in their reasonings and in their entire structure.”1 That John the Presbyter was the teacher who wrote the Epistles and brought together the memories of the community to make the Gospel is an identification given weight by the considered support of B. H. Streeter and Von Hügel,...

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