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The Strong Possibility That Lazar Wrote the Fourth Gospel - Printable Version

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The Strong Possibility That Lazar Wrote the Fourth Gospel - gregglaser - 09-25-2016

Here is an Aramaic bible study I'd like to share: The Strong Possibility That Lazar Wrote the Fourth Gospel -- Aramaic Peshitta Analysis

And here is my introduction to the paper...

Who wrote the fourth gospel?  Christian tradition says it was the apostle John, who was a fisherman from Galilee.  But if John was really the author, then why did he omit every event to which he is referred by name in the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke)? And why is the author uniquely named while in same boat with the “sons of Zebedee” in John 21? 
 
Questions like these have naturally prompted scholars to wonder ‘who else other than John’ is a candidate for authorship of the fourth gospel.  And Lazarus has always been the number one ‘runner-up’.
 
[Image: Lazar_pic.jpg]
 
The fourth gospel explicitly states (in John 21:20) that it was written by:
 
ܠܬܠܡܝܕܐ ܗܘ ܕܪܚܡ ܗܘܐ ܝܫܘܥ
(“the disciple whom Yahshua loved/befriended”)
 
This is an interesting description because ܠܥܙܪ (“Lazar” aka “Lazarus”) is uniquely singled out as ‘loved/befriended by Yahshua’ three times in John 11.  By contrast, the apostle John is not uniquely singled out with that description.
 
The problem though with claiming that Lazar was uniquely “loved/befriended” is that Yahshua clearly “loved/befriended” all of his disciples.  See e.g. John 13:1
 
ܘܐܚܒ ܠܕܝܠܗ ܕܒܗܢܐ ܥܠܡܐ ܘܥܕܡܐ ܠܚܪܬܐ ܐܚܒ ܐܢܘܢ
(“And he loved his own who were in this world, even until the end he loved them.”)
 
So the term “beloved disciple” is not sufficient by itself to identify Lazar.
 
Fortunately, the fourth gospel gives another important clue (many scholars even find this clue downright obvious to show Lazar wrote the fourth gospel) – it explicitly states about its author in John 21:23:
 
ܢܦܩܬ ܗܕܐ ܡܠܬܐ ܒܝܬ ܐܚܐ ܕܗܘ ܬܠܡܝܕܐ ܠܐ ܡܐܬ
 (“a rumor went out among the brethren that this disciple would not die.”) 
 
That’s a very helpful clue because Lazar was unique among the disciples in this one regard – only Lazar had been raised from the dead – so it makes sense that such a rumor (not dying again) would naturally spread about him uniquely (that is, how many times will Lazar die on earth? Once, twice?).  By contrast, there is no foundational background in the gospel that a rumor could begin that the apostle John would not die, or any other disciple other than Lazar.
 
[Image: Lazar_at_tomb.jpg]
 
And there’s more evidence too.  This paper will cover the following seven key points that suggest the fourth gospel was in fact written by Lazar:

1.      The Fourth Gospel explicitly identifies the author is “the disciple whom Yahshua loved/befriended”; and that Lazar is “loved/befriended” by Yahshua.
2.      The Banquet -- once the name Lazar exits the scene, curiously the title “the disciple whom Yahshua loved/befriended” appears on the scene
3.      Special focus on Bethany, the hometown of Lazar
4.      Temple connections
5.      Lazar at the cross
6.      Lazar in the Boat
7.      Lazar returns to a tomb, but hesitates to enter
 
Even the alleged ‘problem’ with the theory of Lazar authorship ultimately helps prove Lazar authorship.  That ‘problem’ is simply a curious question – why is Lazar identified by name in the beginning of the gospel, but identified as ‘the disciple whom Yahshua loved/befriended’ later in the gospel?  What major event happened to Lazar that would justify a name change?  We cannot assume the obvious answer: his resurrection from the dead, because Lazar is still called Lazar in John 12:3 (after he had been resurrected).  So, what happened between John 12:3 and John 13:23?  The answer appears to be the foot washing where Lazar was made a new man of the “cloth” (ܣܕܘܢܐ), the same word for “burial cloth” used in the fourth gospel to describe both Lazar’s own death (John 11:44) and the very moment (John 20:8) that Lazar first believed in Yahshua’s resurrection to life.

The conclusion of this paper is that Lazar probably wrote the fourth gospel.  And ultimately, the text alone allows debate, which is exactly the point – our calling as Christians is to enjoy the process of studying the gospel and asking thoughtful questions.  I think the Father routinely invites us to understand Him better through logic & study.  Isaiah 1:18, “’Come now, and let us reason together’, says Yahweh, ‘If your sins are as scarlet, they shall be white as snow. If they are red as crimson, as wool they shall be.’”  And when those methods bring us closer to Yahshua, mission accomplished.

[Image: Maryam_Martha_pic.jpg]



RE: The Strong Possibility That Lazar Wrote the Fourth Gospel - sestir - 09-25-2016

Wow! Smile

I miss an answer to the obvious question though: Was Lazarus present at The Lord's Supper?

Quote:And when it was evening, he came with his twelveAnd as they reclined and ate, Jesus said: Verily I say to you, That one of you that eateth with me, will betray me... — Mark 14:17.
... but ...
Quote:And Simon turned himself, and saw coming after him, that disciple whom Jesus loved, who fell on the breast of Jesus at the supper, and said, My Lord, who is it will betray thee? ... This is the disciple who hath testified of all these things, and hath written them: and we know, that his testimony is true. — John 21:20,24.



RE: The Strong Possibility That Lazar Wrote the Fourth Gospel - gregglaser - 09-25-2016

(09-25-2016, 09:14 PM)sestir Wrote: Wow! Smile

I miss an answer to the obvious question though: Was Lazarus present at The Lord's Supper?

Quote:And when it was evening, he came with his twelveAnd as they reclined and ate, Jesus said: Verily I say to you, That one of you that eateth with me, will betray me... — Mark 14:17.
... but ...
Quote:And Simon turned himself, and saw coming after him, that disciple whom Jesus loved, who fell on the breast of Jesus at the supper, and said, My Lord, who is it will betray thee? ... This is the disciple who hath testified of all these things, and hath written them: and we know, that his testimony is true. — John 21:20,24.

Excellent question, Sestir, thank you; I should have included a section on this in my study.  For now, I’ll just summarize the answer of Jim Phillips on the question – I’ll summarize his argument though from the Aramaic perspective:

                Bible Answer


Technically, the gospel of Mark never states “the twelve” were the only ones present at the last supper; it just states they were present.  The gospel overflows with examples where others are present at an event even though they are not separately identified in one of the gospels.  See e.g., John 19:39-40 (Nicodemus anoints the body).
 
And here, the Messiah says in Matthew 26:18, “I will keep the passover at your house with my disciples.”  

The fourth gospel is unique in its special insights.  For example, if we only read the synoptics, we would assume Simon Peter was the only disciple on the night he followed Yahshua into the palace of the high priest, because only Peter is named and no other disciple is named in Matthew, Mark, or Luke.  Yet we know from the fourth gospel that Peter was not alone when he entered the palace of the high priest that night, because the other disciple helped him gain access.

And the converse is also true -- the gospel writers frequently used specific language to identify a limited attendance (i.e., the transfiguration where only Peter, John, and Jacob were allowed to witness the event). Examples: Mt. 14:23, Mk. 5:37 & 9:8, Lu. 8:5. 
 
So, in the absence of specific limiting language for the last supper, there’s no need to assume limited attendance.  Indeed, in the gospel, the Messiah routinely dines with his disciples and others, especially the host of the house. See e.g., Mark 2:15, Luke 7:36, 10:38-40, 11:37, 24:29-30, John 12:2. 
 
I think you’ll also like this logical point -- in Mark 14:20, the Messiah identifies the traitor, “It is one of the twelve that dips with me in the dish”. 
 
ܚܕ ܡܢ ܬܪܥܣܪ ܕܨܒܥ ܥܡܝ ܒܠܓܬܐ
 
Logically, if “the twelve” were the only ones with the Messiah, then why would he need to use the limiting expression “one of the twelve”?  If no one else was there, wouldn’t he have said,  ܚܕ ܡܢܟܘܢ
(“one of you”)? In fact the only other time the Messiah used the term “the twelve”, he said that same expression “one of you” -- it was when “the twelve” affirmed their commitment after many “disciples” forsook the Messiah and he responded, “Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a satan?” John 6:70.
 
ܠܐ ܗܘܐ ܐܢܐ ܓܒܝܬܟܘܢ ܠܬܪܥܣܪ ܘܡܢܟܘܢ ܚܕ ܣܜܢܐ ܗܘ
 
Moreover, the Messiah used the term ܚܕ ܡܢܟܘܢ  (“one of you”) earlier at the supper (Matthew 26:21, Mark 14:18). So when he went on to caveat that his betrayer would be “one of the twelve” (Mark 14:20), that crucial detail would have been superfluous if there were only 12 present.  And incidentally, it would have brought relief (so it had purpose) to those disciples who were not part of “the twelve,” and it also set the stage for the next event where Simon Peter asks Lazar “who is it?”
 
Here’s another logical point -- the Bible tells us the Messiah washed the feet of “the disciples” (John 13:5). Then, after the Messiah sat down again, he said, “I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen”(John 13:18). Here he contrasts a larger group (“you all”), with a subset (“chosen”).  We know “the twelve” were “chosen” (John 6:70, Luke 6:13).  However, if “the twelve” were the only ones who were present, then what distinction was the Messiah making here?  We are tempted to assume these words were meant to exclude Judas Iscariot. Yet Luke 6:13 tells us the Messiah, “called to his disciples: and chose from them twelve, those he named apostles” and it goes on to list Judas by name (Luke 6:16); see also John 6:70 above.  Therefore, Judas was plainly “chosen”.  So who was the Messiah referring to when he said, “you all”? His words here are one more indication that he and “the twelve” were not alone during that supper, as here again he refers to more than just “the twelve” whom he had “chosen”.
In any case, there is also a possibility that the Messiah sat down to supper first with “the twelve”, and then the beloved disciple joined them later after the supper. The sequence of events in the fourth gospel seems to indicate that is what occurred.  See e.g., “And the supper being ended...” (John 13:2).

It’s fun to wonder Smile
 
Meaning
Recognizing Lazar outside the 12 is probably important to understanding his purpose in the body of the Messiah.  For example, Lazar was not apostolized to preach from place to place like the twelve were sent to preach, but rather he was a wanted man.  As for himself, Lazar wanted to remain as close to the Messiah as possible.  So, the fact that Yahshua invited him into family fellowship with his mother Maryam at the crucifixion is quite telling of Yahshua’s close relationship with his mother.


RE: The Strong Possibility That Lazar Wrote the Fourth Gospel - sestir - 09-27-2016

Quote:Technically, the gospel of Mark never states “the twelve” were the only ones present at the last supper; it just states they were present.
Good reasoning.

Quote:Logically, if “the twelve” were the only ones with the Messiah, then why would he need to use the limiting expression “one of the twelve”?
This is less convincing because scribes had a tendency to replace pronouns with proper names in order to make the text more informative and help the reader remember who was who. It still supports your point though.

Comparison of Mark 14:20b with John 13:26b:
Mark: "One of the twelve who dips with me in the dish."
John: "It is he for whom I dip the bread and give it to him."

Quote:Here’s another logical point -- the Bible tells us the Messiah washed the feet of “the disciples” (John 13:5). Then, after the Messiah sat down again, he said, “I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen”(John 13:18). Here he contrasts a larger group (“you all”), with a subset (“chosen”).  We know “the twelve” were “chosen” (John 6:70, Luke 6:13).  However, if “the twelve” were the only ones who were present, then what distinction was the Messiah making here?  We are tempted to assume these words were meant to exclude Judas Iscariot.

To get some context — John 13:17-19a:
"If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them."
ܐܢ ܗܠܝܢ ܬܕܥܘܢ ܛܘܒܢܐ ܐܢܬܘܢ ܐܢ ܬܥܒܕܘܢ ܐܢܝܢ ܀
-----------------------------------------------------------
"I have not spoken about all of you, for I know those whom I have chosen,
ܠܐ ܗܘܐ ܥܠ ܟܠܟܘܢ ܐܡܪ ܐܢܐ ܝܕܥ ܐܢܐ ܓܝܪ ܠܐܝܠܝܢ ܕܓܒܝܬ
-----------------------------------------------------------
 but that the scripture may be fulfilled, 'He who eats bread with me has lifted up his heel against me.' ",
ܐܠܐ ܕܟܬܒܐ ܢܫܠܡ ܕܗܘ ܕܐܟܠ ܥܡܝ ܠܚܡܐ ܐܪܝܡ ܥܠܝ ܥܩܒܗ ܀
-----------------------------------------------------------
 "Now I am telling you before it happens ..."
...ܡܢ ܗܫܐ ܐܡܪ ܐܢܐ ܠܟܘܢ ܡܢ ܩܕܡ ܕܢܗܘܐ


I would expect two statements that are contrasted to come immediately before and after a contrasting conjunction. In this case it is "but/ܐܠܐ" isn't it? So he doesn't contrast you all with the chosen but rather equals them and contrasts his ability to know people with the tendency of scripture to be fulfilled.
It seems the paper is better off without this argument.  Smile

Page 8, paragraph 3 "John 19:15" should read "John 18:15".

What would you say about the possibility that John son of Sebedee wrote most of the gospel book but Lazarus wrote 18:14-23?


RE: The Strong Possibility That Lazar Wrote the Fourth Gospel - gregglaser - 09-27-2016

Thank you, Sestir, you’re right – that’s a key clarification in the Aramaic of John 13:18 regarding the word ܐܠܐ (“except/but”).  It is curious though that John 13:16 sets the original context of the verse to include workers and apostles:

ܐܡܝܢ ܐܡܝܢ ܐܡܪ ܐܢܐ ܠܟܘܢ ܕܠܝܬ ܥܒܕܐ ܕܪܒ ܡܢ ܡܪܗ ܘܠܐ ܫܠܝܚܐ ܕܪܒ ܡܢ ܡܢ ܕܫܕܪܗ

--

In any case, I agree with you about John 13:18 – it isn’t dispositive one way or another on the question of who was present. 

I think the reason the gospels focused on “the twelve” was to emphasize that the traitor came from within the 12 tribes of Israel, or something along those lines -- the inner circle of 12, the immediate family.... 

Following that line of thought, I like this wordplay for “Jacob” that the Aramaic retains in John 13:18 when identifying the traitor:

ܕܟܬܒܐ ܢܫܠܡ ܕܗܘ ܕܐܟܠ ܥܡܝ ܠܚܡܐ ܐܪܝܡ ܥܠܝ ܥܩܒܗ


The story of Jacob's son Joseph and his 12 brothers reminds me of Matthew 10:36, "The adversaries of a man are in his own house." 

It's interesting to wonder too how the Messiah's house on earth may be constructed in some way with 12 pillars/apostles.

Bringing this back full circle, I think Lazar was something other than a pillar.   He was "outside" (commanded to come "outside" in John 11:43  ܠܥܙܪ ܬܐ ܠܒܪ; he lived outside Jerusalem in Bethany; there's more).

The sacrifice altar, for example, was outside the temple.  So I think that could be the spot for him, at the feet in the body of the Messiah. And when the smoke from the altar rises, it goes through the Messiah's nose (the ark), and into his lungs, which is close to his heart, Lazar's resting place.


RE: The Strong Possibility That Lazar Wrote the Fourth Gospel - gregglaser - 09-28-2016

And then with regard to the suggestion that 'John 18:14-23 could be a later addition?', I would consider that quite unlikely.  For example, notice the ܕܝܢ (“and”) in John 18:24.  In Aramaic we don’t write ܕܝܢ  in the second word position for a title or headline.  Rather, that grammar is for the continuation of sentences, which is why John 18:24 fits perfectly as written, the continuation of John 18:23.

And then as for the dangerous notion of cutting and pasting different verses of the gospel into different locations, I think that sort of thing is simply not done by the faithful.  The Father knows every yod and stroke.  He knows every stain on the parchment and every hair on a man’s head.   Not only does the Father know the handful of scribal errors that snuck into the ancient codices, but He is the One who set them down as punishments to us.  Every word and every sequence and every stain is precisely where it is meant to be in our time because it fulfills the Father’s purpose for our time.   Consider the example that the Crawford Codex of Revelation 10:4 (instructing John to seal what the 7 thunders said) is almost entirely illegible today. Or the example below with Revelation 2:5.

The religious academics who cut & paste from manuscripts in the medieval and pre-medieval period are a punishment upon the faithful.  Their works are the kind of inheritance one receives in a corrupt world.  Faith will triumph though.

In the Crawford Codex of Revelation 2:5, we read an admonishment:

ܐܬܕܟܪ ܡܢ ܐܝܟܐ ܢܦܩܬ ܘܥܒܕ ܥܒܕܐ ܩܕܡܝܐ ܘܐܢܕܝܢ ܠܐ ܐܬܐ ܐܢܐ ܥܠܝܟ ܘܡܙܝܥ ܐܢܐ ܡܢܪܬܟ ܐܠܐ ܬܬܘܒ
“Remember from where you departed and work the works former. And now if not, I come upon you and I am moving your lampstand unless you repent.”

Considering the verb tense of the phrase here in Rev 2:5 (present tense or past tense), I've wondered if this text may have an error with one letter? The conventional translation of ܡܙܝܥ in Revelation 2:5 is "will remove" or “am removing”, from the root word  ܙܘܥ ("shake"). However, if the word were supposed to be translated "will shake", the text would perhaps be phrased similarly to Matthew 24:29 ܢܬܬܙܝܥ . A better translation might be found in John 5:4, but the problem remains that the ܡܙܝܥ ("moved") is potentially stated in the past tense. And even if a lampstand were moved, it would presumably still be a lampstand. So the conventional translation of Revelation 2:6 is not certain. The Crawford codex does indeed have an ayin at the end of the word here. But there is also an alternative theory -- this  ܥ(ayin) may have actually been a  ܓ(gimmel) on the codex from which Crawford was copied? The Aramaic letters are scribed very similarly, and if a gimmel's tail fades over years the character will look like an  ܥ  (ayin). If so (ܓ mistaken for ܥ), then the word here would be ܡܙܝܓ  , which is relevant because its root  ܡܙܓ   means "mix, mingle, or dilute".   ܡܙܝܓ is also stated in the present tense as required by Revelation 2:5. To dilute a lamp’s strength is different and more logical in this context than to remove it entirely. For example, Revelation 2:7 prophesies that at least some of Ephesus will not fail ("To him who overcomes..."), so the lampstand does not appear to be 'removed', only at most 'diluted' ܡܙܓ.


RE: The Strong Possibility That Lazar Wrote the Fourth Gospel - Thirdwoe - 10-02-2016

The Apostle John wrote the 4th Gospel, as well as the Apostolic Letter of John, both of them are very similar in wording.

People like to speculate about many things, but, it has always been known who wrote that Gospel and that Letter.


RE: The Strong Possibility That Lazar Wrote the Fourth Gospel - sestir - 10-03-2016

Quote:And then with regard to the suggestion that 'John 18:14-23 could be a later addition?', I would consider that quite unlikely.  For example, notice the ܕܝܢ (“and”) in John 18:24.  In Aramaic we don’t write ܕܝܢ  in the second word position for a title or headline.

Thanks Greg! Ουν in the Greek texts has the same function and it is indeed a negative indicium. Did you find any more examples?

However, your suggestion that "the Father" would have corrupted the holy scriptures of the Christians in order to punish us, makes me feel like you and I are probably not on the same team. :/


RE: The Strong Possibility That Lazar Wrote the Fourth Gospel - gregglaser - 10-03-2016

(10-03-2016, 09:20 PM)sestir Wrote:
Quote:And then with regard to the suggestion that 'John 18:14-23 could be a later addition?', I would consider that quite unlikely.  For example, notice the ܕܝܢ (“and”) in John 18:24.  In Aramaic we don’t write ܕܝܢ  in the second word position for a title or headline.

Thanks Greg! Ουν in the Greek texts has the same function and it is indeed a negative indicium. Did you find any more examples?

However, your suggestion that "the Father" would have corrupted the holy scriptures of the Christians in order to punish us, makes me feel like you and I are probably not on the same team. :/

 
Sorry, I didn’t mean any disrespect to the Father in any way.  I should have clarified what I was saying, and thank you for this opportunity to do just that - I was just trying to emphasize that the Father is the Creator of saga – He empowers not only the faithful but also the enemies of the faith in order to test the faithful. 

John 19:11, “Yahshua said to him, ‘You have no power at all over me unless it has been given to you from above; therefore, whoever has delivered me to you has greater sin than yours.’”

Isaiah 45:7, “Forming light, and preparing darkness, Making peace, and preparing evil, I am Yahweh, doing all these things.”

When an animal breaks into an orchard and eats a tree branch and roughs up the tree: is it a corruption of the tree in an otherwise perfect world?, or a new perspective/pruning that the Father has allowed to happen so the farmer will learn something and act?

When the Father punished the Israelites by allowing their captivity in Babylon, this resulted in an immense loss of Hebrew writings, and even the Hebrew language itself never recovered.

When a chef breaks an egg, does he corrupt the egg, or prepare a meal?

1 Peter 1:6-7, “...at this time you are a bit weary with various temptations which suddenly come upon you, so that the proof of your faith may appear, which is worth more than refined gold tried in the fire, for glory and honor and praise at the revelation of Yahshua the Messiah.”

The bible warns of “the false pen of the scribes.” Jeremiah 8:8.  See also Isaiah 10:1; Ezekiel 20:25 (“Moreover I gave them statutes that were not good and ordinances by which they could not live. I defiled them through their very gifts, in their offering up all their firstborn, in order that I might horrify them, so that they might know that I am the Lord”); Ezekiel 14:9 (”And if the prophet, when he is deluded, and words a word, I Yahweh delude that prophet, and I spread my hand on him, and desolate him from midst my people Israel.”)  Jeremiah 5:31 (”the prophets prophesy falsely and the priests subjugate by their hands”); Jeremiah 8:8 (false pen of the scribes); Jeremiah 14:14-16 (”The prophets prophesy falsehoods in my name: I neither sent them nor misvahed them nor worded to them: they prophesy to you a false vision and divination and worthlessness and the deceit of their heart…. the sword and famine consumes those prophets: and the people to whom they prophesy are cast out in the outways of Jerusalem at the face of the famine and the sword: and there is no one to entomb them — them, their women, their sons and their daughters:”); 1 Kings 22:23 (a false spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets); Isaiah 10:1; Isa. 28:7 (priest and prophet err inadvertently through intoxicants); Lamentations 2:14 (prophets see vain burdens and seductions); Hosea 9:7-8 (”the prophet is a fool: the man of the spirit is insane, because of the abundance of your perversity and the great enmity… the prophet is a snare of the snarer in all his ways;”); Jonah 3:4-10 (false 40 day prophecy); Micah 3:5-11 (prophesying for money); Matt. 16:22 (even after following him for sometime, Peter continued to falsely believe the Messiah would never die); Matt. 22:29 and John 5:42 (on the teachings of the Pharisees); Matthew 7:15-20 (”beware of false prophets…by their fruits you know them.”); Revelation 22:18-19, “I testify to everyone who hears the word of the prophecy of this book: Whoever will place upon these things, Alha shall place upon him plagues that are written in this book.  And whoever subtracts from the words of the writing of this prophecy, Alha shall subtract his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, those things which are written in this book.”


RE: The Strong Possibility That Lazar Wrote the Fourth Gospel - gregglaser - 10-04-2016

(10-02-2016, 11:31 PM)Thirdwoe Wrote: The Apostle John wrote the 4th Gospel, as well as the Apostolic Letter of John, both of them are very similar in wording.

People like to speculate about many things, but, it has always been known who wrote that Gospel and that Letter.

Thank you for your comment, Chuck.  History is on your side.

I do have some new insights though in this post that you may find interesting.

I like to read the fourth gospel with my daughter to help her practice Aramaic.  I’ve found the grammar and conjugations are so consistent, they’re great for study. 

It would be fun to do an Aramaic word study on the epistles of John to test whether they carry the same grammar as the fourth gospel.   I don’t know the answer, but it would be fun to explore and gain new insights.

The early writers of Christian history tell us (in a nutshell) that a disciple named John, who walked with Yahshua, wrote the fourth gospel, and that he lived in Ephesus later in his life.  

There has been debate throughout the centuries whether that is John of Zebedee.  For example, R. Alan Culpepper recently wrote an interesting summary in The Gospel and Letters of John: Interpreting Biblical Texts Series (2011):

Quote:“John’s popularity among the Gnostics (along with its differences from the Synoptics) may explain, in part at least, why it was slow in being accepted by the church…  those closest to John and to Ephesus during the early part of the second century are silent regarding John.  Irenaeus is the first writer to connect John with Ephesus.  Irenaeus also said that Papias had heard John (Adv. Haer. 5.33.4, cited by Eusebius Eccl. Hist. 3.39.1), but Papias himself, as we have seen, made no claims to having heard the apostle. His information was secondhand at best.  The claims of apostolic authorship surface at just the time the Gospel was beginning to be cited by orthodox Christians, and in all likelihood the argument that it was written by the apostle John was important in securing its acceptance by the church. ”

I think it's interesting to consider that Lazar may have lived in Ephesus after Jerusalem and been called John because...

The grammar of John 19:26-27 contains a key clue that the name/title of the beloved disciple was purposefully absent because that name was in some form of transition.  First, notice the grammar in John 19:26 as Yahshua calls his mother Maryam “woman”:

ܘܐܡܪ ܠܐܡܗ ܐܢܬܬܐ ܗܐ ܒܪܟܝ
“And he said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold your son’”

And then, notice how the very next line in John 19:27 uses the exact same grammar, but conspicuously without stating a name/title for the beloved disciple:
ܘܐܡܪ ܠܬܠܡܝܕܐ ܗܘ ܗܐ ܐܡܟ
“And he said to that disciple, ‘Behold your mother’”


Scholars of ancient Judaism have written at length about grown men receiving a new name, and many consider it to be the last step of a man’s transformation after a life-changing event.   See e.g., Grey, M., Becoming as a Little Child: Elements of Ritual Rebirth in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity, Studia Antiqua, Vol 1, No 1, Fall 2001, pp. 71-72.

So the absence of a name/title in John 19:27 is circumstantial evidence that (1) the beloved disciple had just undergone a major life transformation, and (2) he was without a new name. 

According to scholar Grey, the four steps are as follows: (1) Washing, (2) Anointing, (3) Coddling, and (4) Naming.  Applying these to Lazar is interesting:

(1)    Washing – Lazar was raised from the dead in John 11, and then Yahshua washed his feet in John 13
(2)    Anointing – Maryam anointed Yahshua’s feet in John 12;  I think feet symbolize Lazar in the body of the Messiah
(3)    Coddling  - Lazar’s name means “coddling” in Hebrew; Lazar may be the young man who loses his robe in Mark 14:51
(4)    Naming – Lazar was given the new name “the disciple whom Yahshua loved/befriended,” and he may have also been given the name ܝܘܚܢܢ (“John”)

Regarding the reference in John 19:26 toܐܢܬܬܐ  (“woman”), that is a matriarchal title that Yahshua also used in John 2:4 and 4:21.  The title carries extensive duties and sometimes complex inheritance rules in Judaism, including for widows.  Incidentally, the word ܐܪܡܠܬܐ (“widow”) is not utilized in the fourth gospel.

In first century Israel, a woman could not usually inherit property.  Only a daughter could inherit from her father if there were no son (Numbers 27: 1-11; 36:1-9).  A girl depended on her dad first, then she married and depended on her husband.  Then when she became a widow (like Yahshua’s mother Maryam) she depended on her eldest son (or on her father again if she had no son).  In the Book of Ruth, for example, we see this with Naomi. 

Ultimately, we’re invited to appreciate the fourth gospel (written by the disciple whom Yahshua ܪܚܡ (“loved/befriended”)) with respect for women and ܪܚܡ (“the womb”).  

There has been a lot of interesting discussion regarding which women were present at the cross, and what was the exact relationship of the (half) brothers & sisters of the Messiah. And then there are also Jewish rules to consider regarding adoption and stewardship between eldest son and mother.  For example, consider the ancient Jewish tablets featuring adoption language that is strikingly similar to the language in John 19:27:
  • By the adoptee, with the words, “You are my father, and you are my mother.”
  • By the adopter, with the words, “You are my son.”
So the key for Lazar is heirship.  That was the meaning of Lazar resting on Yahshua's chest after the last supper.  As I cited in my paper, scholars have explained that connection from the Genesis 15 & 24 story of Abraham and his servant Alazar.


RE: The Strong Possibility That Lazar Wrote the Fourth Gospel - Thirdwoe - 10-25-2016

I don't find speculations interesting. You can go to all corners of the earth, and no matter what part of the ancient Church that has survived down to this day, and no matter how little they have been in contact with each other through the centuries, they all say the same thing...and they have said it from the beginning.

John The Apostle of Christ wrote The Gospel that bares his name.

But, of course it is God's Words that inspired and moved him to write.

Speculation doesn't interest me, Gregg.


.


RE: The Strong Possibility That Lazar Wrote the Fourth Gospel - distazo - 10-25-2016

Hi Gregg,

I do agree with Thirdwoe.

On the separation of Yeshu and Maryam. He declared in fact, that Maryam was 'woman' and that John became her son. Maryam was no longer 'mother of the One' (not Mother of God) but a faithful woman playing an important role in the 1st century.

Other letters, also are anonymous, such as Hebrews. The reason is known, Yeshu was the center, not the apostle or disciple. Tradition is not wrong on this, who were the writers, is best given by the most ancient records.

Another issue, there is not just 'one person', loved by Yeshu, but many were loved. This is the character of His Love.
There is another case where Yeshu expressed love in Marc 10:21.  ܝܶܫܽܘܥ ܕ݁ܶܝܢ ܚܳܪ ܒ݁ܶܗ ܘܰܐܚܒ݂ܶܗ
Should we then conclude this must have been Laazar? Smile


RE: The Strong Possibility That Lazar Wrote the Fourth Gospel - Thirdwoe - 10-26-2016

Does anyone here know where to find a good online text of the Peshitta OT in Estrangela, from the Ambrosianas manuscript preferably, if not a printed text of the Peshitta OT text that can be copied line by line, verse by verse, not just an image of each photo copied page?


RE: The Strong Possibility That Lazar Wrote the Fourth Gospel - gregglaser - 10-28-2016

(10-25-2016, 12:27 AM)Thirdwoe Wrote: ... You can go to all corners of the earth, and no matter what part of the ancient Church that has survived down to this day, and no matter how little they have been in contact with each other through the centuries, they all say the same thing...and they have said it from the beginning.

John The Apostle of Christ wrote The Gospel that bares his name.

But, of course it is God's Words that inspired and moved him to write.

Thank you for this reply, Chuck. I respect your traditional position immensely.   Likewise, I think there is a wonderful value in the perspective Distazo highlighted:

(10-25-2016, 07:15 AM)distazo Wrote: ...The reason is known, Yeshu was the center, not the apostle or disciple. Tradition is not wrong on this, who were the writers, is best given by the most ancient records.


We are blessed to have the Peshitta text of the fourth gospel. 

One of my favorite traditions is Christmas, even though logically (and through research) I've found December 25 itself is not the most likely date for the Messiah’s birth.  Still, I’ve observed the consensus on December 25 has created one of the most wonderful things on this planet, as happy children and families come together on a special day to sing the gospel.  It’s an experience of peace and joy, born from consensus


Now, I’m aware of course that Christmas can get misused (i.e., over-consumerism, mistranslations of the gospel), but I see the holiday can also be experienced positively too.  So the key, I think, is what we actually accomplish with our consensus, rather than tradition/consensus for its own sake.  

Indeed, I think that was a key part of the Messiah's message on earth in the first century, during a time in Jerusalem when traditions had power outside their rightful place.

In a world of uncertainty about Christian traditions, I’m reminded of Matthew 18:18-20

ܘܐܡܝܢ ܐܡܪ ܐܢܐ ܠܟܘܢ ܕܟܠ ܡܐ ܕܬܐܣܪܘܢ ܒܐܪܥܐ ܢܗܘܐ ܐܣܝܪ ܒܫܡܝܐ ܘܡܕܡ ܕܬܫܪܘܢ ܒܐܪܥܐ ܢܗܘܐ ܫܪܐ ܒܫܡܝܐ ܬܘܒ ܐܡܪܢܐ ܠܟܘܢ ܕܐܢ ܬܪܝܢ ܡܢܟܘܢ ܢܫܬܘܘܢ ܒܐܪܥܐ ܥܠ ܟܠ ܨܒܘ ܕܢܫܐܠܘܢ ܢܗܘܐ ܠܗܘܢ ܡܢ ܠܘܬ ܐܒܝ ܕܒܫܡܝܐ ܐܝܟܐ ܓܝܪ ܕܬܪܝܢ ܐܘ ܬܠܬܐ ܟܢܝܫܝܢ ܒܫܡܝ ܬܡܢ ܐܢܐ ܒܝܢܬܗܘܢ

(“And truly I say to you, that anything that you are binding in the earth will be bound in heaven. And anything that you are releasing in the earth will be released in heaven. Again I say to you, that if two from you will be agreeing in the earth about any will, that they request, will be to them from toward my Father, He in heaven. For where two or three are assembled in my name, there I am between them.")

I think one of the key historical points on the fourth gospel's journey to acceptance is that it helped unite the Orthodox Christians with Gnostic Christians. They united in Yahshua.   

Many scholars have written papers trying to piece together that relationship among 1st Century Christian communities.  Probably the most famous of those scholars was a Catholic named Raymond E. Brown.  Here is a brief historical summary I found online about his work and the context of the fourth gospel:

Quote:The oldest known commentary on the Fourth Gospel is that of the Gnostic Heracleon (d. 180). The Valentinian Gnostics appropriated the Fourth Gospel to such an extent that Irenaeus of Lyons (d. 202) had to refute their exegesis of it. [Raymond] Brown well notes the relationship between the Fourth Gospel and the early Christian Gnostics when he writes that there is "abundant evidence of familiarity with Johannine ideas in the...gnostic library from Nag Hammadi" (1979: 147). In contrast to this, Brown points out that clear use of the Fourth Gospel in the early church by "orthodox" sources is difficult to prove (1979: 148). This would seem to suggest that the contents of the Fourth Gospel, at one point, were not attractive to "orthodox" Christians yet very attractive to Gnostic Christians for some reason. In fact, the earliest indisputable "orthodox" use of the Fourth Gospel was by Theophilus of Antioch, c. 180 A.D., in his Apology to Autolycus.

The popularity of the Fourth Gospel among Gnostics made it important for the early church to pursue the question of its apostolic authorship (Perkins: 946). It was Irenaeus who defended the apostolicity of the Fourth Gospel by appealing to a tradition circulating in Asia Minor which, he claimed, linked John of Zebedee to the Fourth Gospel. The testimony of Irenaeus, however, makes for very tenuous evidence establishing John of Zebedee as the Fourth Gospel's author. First of all, it turned out that Irenaeus confused John of Zebedee with a presbyter from Asia Minor who was also named John. Secondly, Irenaeus claimed that he got his information about Johannine authorship of the Fourth Gospel when he was a child from Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna (d. 156) (Perkins: 946). The church tradition that established John as the author of the Fourth Gospel was based, primarily, on Irenaeus' childhood recollections!

I would love to read additional reference points from the Church of the East that can help put the fourth gospel authorship into perspective.  Indeed, the western scholars relying on Greek will naturally be limited in their consideration of the Aramaic source text.

(10-25-2016, 07:15 AM)distazo Wrote: ...there is not just 'one person', loved by Yeshu, but many were loved. This is the character of His Love.
There is another case where Yeshu expressed love in Marc 10:21.  ܝܶܫܽܘܥ ܕ݁ܶܝܢ ܚܳܪ ܒ݁ܶܗ ܘܰܐܚܒ݂ܶܗ
Should we then conclude this must have been Laazar? Smile

Thank you for emphasizing this point, Distazo, I agree - many were loved by the Messiah, and that is indeed the character of His love.  

I think Mark 10:21 can be a wonderful mystery in its context, as the young man is anonymous.  I've read some scholars who have made a case that this young man was Lazar, as was the (also anonymous) young man in Mark 14:51.  Perhaps.  I don't see any clear way to answer these questions one way or the other.  I do like your answer though, "there is not just 'one person', loved by Yeshu, but many were loved. This is the character of His Love."

I feel that really gets to the heart of the matter.  I might even say it is the reconciliation of brothers by their consensus on the chosen one, the Messiah.