Why is John’s Gospel Different? Some Thoughts

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).

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Was Lazarus the Beloved Disciple?

While there are good reasons for supposing that the Beloved Disciple was not John the son of Zebedee (see here), the view that he was Lazarus also raises difficulties.

1. The Beloved Disciple is portrayed as an anonymous figure right up until the final chapter of the Fourth Gospel, whereas Lazarus is named. This fact alone seems to rule out Lazarus as the BD.

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