John’s ministry in Asia Minor and the Dating of John’s Gospel and Revelation
According to a number of ancient writers, John founded the bishoprics in the churches of the province of Asia.
What was the historical situation of these ordinations, according to early Christian tradition, and what can it tell us about when early sources placed the writing of the Gospel and Revelation of John?
Was the church of Smyrna founded too late for an early dating of Revelation?
Some claim that according to Polycarp, the Christians at Smyrna (one of the seven churches of Asia addressed in Revelation) had not known the Lord at the time of Paul’s ministry, which ended with his death (c. 66).
Further Evidence that Papias spoke of two famous Johns
Some scholars argue that Papias spoke of the same John twice, thus removing any possibility that a second John, the Elder, was associated with the Johannine writings. As we have seen, most scholars reject this proposal.
Even many prominent scholars of the traditional view reject the view that Papias spoke of one John
Part 3: Concessions from Scholars Holding the Traditional View
In this post, we will see that Papias’s differentiation of the two Johns has been accepted even among those who hold the traditional view (that the Apostle John, the son of Zebedee, wrote all of the Johannine works), despite the fact that this creates an otherwise unknown John who was famous at the time of Papias. Papias’s words are:
Scholarly consensus supports two separate John in Papias
We have been considering Papias’s reference to John the Elder. For the most part, scholarship holds that Papias spoke of two separate Johns, and it is generally admitted that had Papias intended to speak of the same John twice, then he expressed himself very unnaturally. Indeed, some exclude even this possibility.
Did Papias of Hierapolis speak of one John (the Apostle/Elder) or of two separate famous Johns (John the Apostle and John the Elder)?
In the preface to his lost work, Exposition of the Dominical Oracles, Papias of Hierapolis (early second century) lists a number of disciples of the Lord, among whom he names the Apostle John and John the Elder.
My research into the thesis that the early Christians identified John/Mark with John the Evangelist
I remember as a graduate student talking about my undergraduate research with another student. There was interest until I mentioned that I had examined the potential identification of the Beloved Disciple/John the Evangelist with the John also called Mark.
Immediately the mood changed. Words didn’t need to be spoken; the incredulous look and change in demeanor said it all. The conversation was brought to an abrupt end.