John the Redactor

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John the Redactor, or simply John 2, is the name given to a hypothesized editor of the work now known as the Gospel of John.

According to this hypothesis, John the Redactor inherited an anonymous gospel, appending his own writings to the end in the form of John 21. The Redactor is also theorized to have made other editorial changes to the gospel.

Theorized intentions[edit]

  • Anti-docetic

The Gospel of John is oft-viewed as having docetic implications. The redactor, therefore, is theorized to have inserted more directly reference to Jesus's humanity and the material nature of his flesh, thus bringing the work in line with Proto-orthodox theology.

  • Future eschatology

The Gospel of John generally presents the point of view of realized eschatology—that the kingdom of heaven was established by Jesus's resurrection. The redactor is theorized to have inserted elements of future eschatology—the view that a future kingdom of heaven has yet to be realized but will at a point in the future.

  • Peterine dupremacy

The Gospel of John generally presents Peter as secondary to the disciple whom Jesus loved. The redactor is theorized to have altered the gospel so as to reassert Peterine supremacy among the Apostles.


  • Secret Gospels: Essays on Thomas and the Secret Gospel of Mark by Marvin W. Meyer
  • Who Wrote the Gospels by Randel McCraw Helms