Johannine literature

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Johannine literature refers to the collection of New Testament works that are traditionally attributed to John the Apostle or to a Johannine Christian community.[1] They are dated to c. AD 60–110.


Johannine literature is traditionally considered to include the following works:[2]


Of these five books, the only one that explicitly identifies its author as a "John" is Revelation. Modern scholarship generally rejects the idea that this work is written by the same author as the other four documents.[3] The gospel identifies its author as the disciple whom Jesus loved, commonly identified with John the Evangelist since the end of the first century.[4] Some modern scholars accept the view that the Beloved Disciple is the author of the Fourth Gospel but do not identify him with John the Apostle.[5]

Scholars have debated the authorship of Johannine literature (the Gospel of John, Epistles of John, and the Book of Revelation) since at least the third century, but especially since the Enlightenment. The authorship by John the Apostle is rejected by many modern scholars.[6][7]


  1. ^ Bruce et al. 2012, The Johannine Letters: I, II, and III John
  2. ^ Moloney & Harrington 1998, p. 1
  3. ^ Bruce et al. 2012, The Johannine Letters: I, II, and III John
  4. ^ Eusebius of Caesarea, Ecclesiastical History Book iii. Chapter xxiii.
  5. ^ Richard Bauckham, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels and Eyewitness Testimony (Eerdmans, 2006), 358-63; James L. Resseguie, “The Beloved Disciple: The Ideal Point of View,” in Character Studies in the Fourth Gospel: Narrative Approaches to Seventy Figures in John (Mohr Siebeck, 2013), 535-49, 548.
  6. ^ Harris, Stephen L. (1985). Understanding the Bible: a Reader's Introduction (2nd ed.). Palo Alto: Mayfield. p. 355. ISBN 978-0-87484-696-6. Although ancient traditions attributed to the Apostle John the Fourth Gospel, the Book of Revelation, and the three Epistles of John, modern scholars believe that he wrote none of them.
  7. ^ Kelly, Joseph F. (1 October 2012). History and Heresy: How Historical Forces Can Create Doctrinal Conflicts. Liturgical Press. p. 115. ISBN 978-0-8146-5999-1.