Did Jerome deny the apostolic origins of the monarchical episcopate?
Following up on my article discussing the origin of episcopacy in the early church, this series of posts will discuss the well-known quotation of Jerome which seems to suggest that bishops arose out of the presbytery, and were not a separate office in the line of succession to the apostles, as argued in the article.
Authorship as the key to the difference between John and the Synoptics
The Gospel of John presents a distinct picture of the life and ministry of Jesus. Whereas the Synoptics relate Jesus’ aphorisms delivered before the simple crowds in the rustic backcountry of Galilee, John’s Gospel attributes to Jesus lengthier theological discourses and elevated claims to God-like status (e.g. the “I am” statements).
According to Dionysius of Alexandria, writing in the third century, there were two memorials of John in Ephesus, and he suggested that there might have been two famous Johns who had lived in the province of Asia (whom he identifies as the authors of the Gospel of John and the book of Revelation respectively) (apud Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 7.25.16).
Examining the claim that “Domitian’s reign” in Irenaeus referred to Nero (Domitius), not Domitian
The most cited passage employed as evidence that the early Christians placed John’s exile and apocalyptic vision (of Revelation) late in the first century, late in Domitian’s reign, is found in Irenaeus:
It’s commonly thought that John the son of Zebedee was the author of the Gospel of John, the figure spoken of in that Gospel as “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” The two are never explicitly identified, however, and there are reasons for questioning this identification.
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).