Pierson Parker’s Objections to the Traditional Authorship of John


The Jesus Memoirs

A list of objections to the traditional authorship of the fourth New Testament Gospel was conveniently summarized by Pierson Parker, “John the son of Zebedee and the Fourth GospelJournal of Biblical Literature 81 (1962): 35-43. The list has a mixed quality, with some of the reasons compelling, others a little repetitive, and a few hardly defensible. I have listed his points below with the page numbers in brackets:

  1. The Gospel lacks interest in Jesus’ ministry in Galilee or in the Apostle John’s mother (pp. 36-37).
  2. There are only three incidents involving fishing (6:4f, 21:1f, 9f) and two are found in the secondary appendix, despite the fishing profession of Zebedee and his sons (37)
  3. The triumvirate of Peter, James, and John in the Synoptic Gospels only appear together in the appendix of John (p. 37).
  4. It is difficult to imagine how the emotional and wrathful “son of thunder”…

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