Were John son of Zebedee and the Beloved Disciple the same person?

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.

Here are eight points to consider:

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Papias: One John or Two? (Part 4)

Examining the argument that Papias was identifying the Elder John with the Apostle

Part 4: The Argument for a Single John

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.

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John Mark? You have got to be kidding me!

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.

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Papias: One John or Two? (Part 3)

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:

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