Peter, James, and … Lazarus?

I recently ran across a hypothesis promulgated anew by Ben Witherington III that attempts to deal with the main issues about the authorship and uniqueness of the fourth gospel.[1] There is much of interest in the problem and proposed solution. First, an overview of the problem and proposed solution, then, its implications for Latter-day Saints.

The problem:

Of crucial interest is the mention of a “beloved disciple” in this highly unique gospel. Since antiquity the author of this gospel, who according to ch. 21 is the Beloved Disciple, has been a matter of some debate. By the late second century Irenaeus made the winning case for John son of Zebedee, apparently against questions raised as to this gospel’s apostolic authorship because of its affinities to and popularity in Gnosticism. John is never mentioned in the fourth gospel, though in the epilogue (Jn 21) the “sons of Zebedee” are mentioned once. Apparently the only thing this identification has going for it is the fact that it never mentions John son of Zebedee by name and that Peter and John are often described together in the other gospels and in Acts, similar to the connection to Peter and the Beloved Disciple in the fourth gospel.

The huge problem with this identification is that John (son of Zebedee), a Galilean fisherman present in the other gospels at key events such as the transfiguration and the agony in the garden, doesn’t mention these events, nor does he mention the bulk of Jesus’ Galilean ministry! The author focuses instead on Jerusalem and its environs. And the author is clearly (at least clear to those who read Greek) not the same as the author of the book of Revelation. And the presence of Peter and John together seems in this gospel to be more of a rivalry than in the other gospels: the Beloved Disciple beats Peter to the tomb, and Peter seems to be hung up on the rumor that the BD would not die in Jn 21. It also seems that there is evidence from Papias, a church father who wrote around AD 100, that John was martyred earlier than the gospel of John was written in the 90s (see discussion in BW3’s post).

The solution [2]:

There is a person whom Jesus loved mentioned in Jn 11, however: Lazarus, brother of Mary and Martha, resident of Bethany, near Jerusalem. Lazarus is resurrected after having been dead four days as a sign that Jesus is “the resurrection and the life”, and he is explicitly called beloved three times (!) in Jn 11:3, 11, 36.

Identification with Lazarus solves many problems. It explains the focus on Jerusalem and relative ignorance of Galilee as well as the omission of the transfiguration and garden prayer scenes. It also explains why the rumor started that the BD would not die (John 21)—because he had already once been brought back from the dead by Jesus! And the list goes on (see BW3’s post).

What caught my attention about this, besides the fact that I had never encountered it before, was that this is another in the growing list of ideas that were taken for granted by Joseph Smith et al. but that can no longer be in the wake of closer historical analysis. If John is not the BD, and, perhaps more problematic, if the discussion in John 21 was to dispel rumors that the disciple would live until Jesus returned (presumably because the BD had died, which occasioned the writing of John 21), then we must ask whether there is a New Testament basis for the translation of John “the Beloved”. The LDS revelations about such “tarrying” servants seem to be layered on the foundation of John the Beloved, much like the Book of Moses (Joseph Smith’s reworking of the first chapters of Genesis) seems based on long-held traditional assumptions that Moses was author of the Pentateuch, which ample evidence demonstrates he certainly was not. Thus we are once again confronted with how to understand revelation and history; forced to reflect, once again, on the extent to which modern revelation is a category that can be separated from such historical contingencies. I think we have enough examples, such as the relationship between the Joseph Smith papyri and the Book of Abraham, to deal with this in a constructive way, but it might be worth bringing to the surface again and with a fresh set of data.

——————-

[1] See earlier entries in the Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible on “Beloved Disciple” and “John, Gospel of”, by F.V. Filson and J.N. Sanders, respectively.

[2] What follows is, of course, is not the only proposed solution. Mary Magdalene and John Mark are others.

  • http://joelsmonastery.blogspot.com Gerald Smith

    It may be that they understood John to tarry, and wondered if Lazarus (if he were the BD) was to also tarry. Such could explain the possible conundrum you bring up, IF Lazarus is the Beloved Disciple.

  • Kevin Barney

    Wow, that was really interesting. I’ve never heard that theory before, but I agree that it makes a lot of sense.

  • jupiterschild

    Hi Gerald, thanks for dropping by. Can you say more about how you would read John 21 as referring to both John and Lazarus?

  • g.wesley

    I think your last paragraph is really well put. For me, it comes down to separating the value of religion and the genuineness of religious experience from claims to the antiquity of our Mormon texts. Not that the possibility of their being ancient has to rejected as a rule, or that all arguments for their being ancient are off limits. Just that it’s time to stop hanging everything on the peg of antiquity.

  • Roger

    Do any other sects in Christendom besides the LDS Church hold that John, son of Zebedee, was “to tarry”? My interaction with their teachers and scholars leads me to understand that they interpret the dialogue between Peter and Christ as the latter reproving Peter for concerning himself with issues not within his portfolio. Any insights would be appreciated.

  • JohnH

    Roger,
    Very few people trust Papias to be reliable and instead prefer to trust Polycarp an Irenaeus in regards to John being around until about 100 a.d. There are traditions of John being assumed into heaven, Augustine and Dante both argued against that having happened but Augustine was sort of against the entire idea of being assumed into heaven. There are Catholics that think the John was assumed into heaven (meaning translated like Enoch, Elijah, Moses), but it is not required for Catholics to think that John was assumed into heaven after death, or that he was assumed before death, or that he just died and remains dead. There are other sects that think that John didn’t die, either based on the tradition that he was assumed into heaven or from the reading of the Gospel of John, Latter-Day Saints aren’t the only ones.

  • secco

    Sorry for being a bit late to respond, Jupiterschild. BW3’s post is one of those reminders that modern scholars tend to ignore past scholarship. Much of what BW3 states has been analyzed and discussed (and to large degree refuted) decades ago. Not that this is an easy problem: thoughtful obvservers agree that there is no simple answer to the question of who the Beloved Disciple (BD) really is, BW3’s breathless lecture notwithstanding.

    R E Brown favored the Beloved Disciple being John the son of Zebedee in his masterful two-volume commentary on John, and spends a dozen or so pages discussing why he believes the BD but even the authorship of the Fourth Gospel should be associated with John the son of Zebedee. However, by the time Brown wrote his commentaries on the Johannine community, he no longer believed this to be the case.

    Brown’s analysis alone is valuable and pokes holes in many of BW3’s comments. He acknowledges the no-longer-novel-in-the-1960’s-suggestion that the reason why the Beloved Disciple was the first to recognize the rise Christ in 21:7 was because he was Lazarus who had gone through the same experience himself – but also indicates this could very well be a facetious suggestion. He adds further comic examples about speculation in this arena. For example, K.A. Eckhardt back in 1961 also speculated that Lazarus was a pseudonym for John son of Zebedee after he had been brought back from the dead by the power of Jesus!

    Many other scholars have reviewed these issues in deeper detail and disagree with BW3. BW3’s analysis doesn’t really hold and shows more than one sign of sloppiness and neglect of existing literature. In one of the more obvious points suggesting early on that BD = Lazarus because of 11:3, BW3 states, “Indeed one could argue that [Lazarus] is the only named person in the whole Gospel about whom this is specifically said directly.” If BW3 were simply to read on to 11:5, he’d see that Brown had it right when he said that Lazarus “is the one *male* figure in the Gospel of whom it is specifically said that Jesus loved him.” [Emphasis added.] Mary and Martha are also loved by Jesus.

    I find the idea that Lazarus would be mentioned by name in Ch 11 & 12 but then all of a sudden anonymous for Chapters 13-21 to be a serious problem for assigning BD equal to Lazarus. This is also why the author of the BD entry in the Anchor Bible Dictionary rejects the BD = Lazarus theory. Schnackenburg (and most other commentators since the third volume of his classic commentary was published thirty years ago) don’t buy the Lazarus = BD argument.

    So, while it is always fun to speculate on who the Beloved Disciple was, in no small part because of the separate question of whether the Beloved Disciple was also the author of the Fourth Gospel, BW3’s point – and, sorry to say Jupiterschild, yours as well – hasn’t held up well to scrutiny.

    Of course, your longer points, JC, about needing to re-think our modern day revelation in the face of new knowledge still holds, and that may be the more useful lesson. Most of the above-cited scholars no longer would hold that John the son of Zebedee was the (sole) author of the Fourth Gospel, and many do not think the text supports John being the Beloved Disciple, either. So if we are going to look to careful scholarly analysis, we still are left with the issues you raise in your last paragraph, JC. This one might very well be a good one to start with – but let’s do so with some attention to what thoughtful scholars have already brought to the table via their careful sifting and weighing of the extant texts.

  • RT

    Thanks Jupiterschild! Connecting this theory about BD=Lazarus to LDS ideas about John’s translation is provocative and really underscores the vast chasm separating JS from the ancient worlds that produced the Bible. The more we learn, the more the latter seem stranger and more exotic than we ever could have imagined (particularly in Sunday School)!

    Secco: I’m not a NT scholar, so I do not have a good grasp of the range of contemporary research. But is it possible that your statement about the scholarly consensus on the BD=Lazarus theory is somewhat overstated? (“Much of what BW3 states has been analyzed and discussed (and to large degree refuted) decades ago. “) Based on the little amount of reading that I have done, this theory seems to have had proponents throughout the twentieth century and appears to be anything but dead (cf. Herman C. Waetjen, The Gospel of the Beloved Disciple: A Work in Two Editions (2005)). Up the point of Charlesworth’s 1995 review of the question, it was the third most popular theory after an “unidentified disciple” and “John the son of Zebedee”. As the most recent scholarly trends have been against BD= John the son of Zebedee, this seems to me to put the BD=Lazarus theory in a better position. I just looked at Culpepper’s brief discussion in The Gospel and Letters of John, and he is clearly more favorable to BD=Lazarus than to BD=John, though he ultimately concludes that the identity of the disciple is unknown.

    The fact that the Gospel never explicitly equates the BD and Lazarus is clearly a problem (“I find the idea that Lazarus would be mentioned by name in Ch 11 & 12 but then all of a sudden anonymous for Chapters 13-21 to be a serious problem for assigning BD equal to Lazarus. This is also why the author of the BD entry in the Anchor Bible Dictionary rejects the BD = Lazarus theory. “). But in my humble opinion, I don’t consider it a deathblow to the BD=Lazarus theory. The ambiguity of identification could have arisen in the traditioning process when a later editor chose to obscure the the close relationship that obtained between Lazarus and Jesus (there seems to be plenty of evidence for a secondary editorial interest in the figure of the BD in the present form of the Gospel of John).

    And if the Secret Gospel of Mark can be accepted as authentic, then the associations between Lazarus and the BD become all the more strong (cf Marvin Meyer). There the “young man” is said to live in Bethany, has a sister who speaks with Jesus, is raised from the dead, is said to love Jesus, is wealthy (he may be the same rich young man of Mark 10:17 who Jesus is said to love). The narrative sequence in Mark of Jesus traveling up to Jerusalem to be killed followed by Secret Marks raising of the young man after 10:34 parallels the narrative sequence found in John 11-12.

    In addition, it is possible that the author/editor of Mark was trying to obscure the identity of Lazarus in 14:3 where an unnamed woman in Bethany is said to have anointed Jesus for burial at the house of “Simon the Leper”. This narrative presentation is somewhat suspicious because the woman is explicitly identified as Mary, sister of Lazarus, in John 12:3, and the home is that of Lazarus. The designation “Simon the Leper” is also strange and may have been invented or polemical.

    So in both Mark (with Secret Mark) and John we have a prominent wealthy disciple living in Bethany who is associated with a sister, raised from the dead, and, though not belonging to the 12 disciples, becomes pivotal in the events preceding the death of Jesus. In Mark he is merely identified as a young man (Mark 14:51; 16:5), while in John this disciple is figured in both Lazarus and the BD.

    As far as I can see it, no other theory is more plausible. The idea that the BD’s identity is totally unknown seems unlikely, since his stature in the tradition is considerable. Furthermore, all indications are that he was male (19:26-27), and there are no internal grounds for assuming that the BD is Mary in disguise (in addition to other socio-historical considerations that militate against this interpretation). Interestingly, we find the same clustering of individuals in the final days of Jesus in both Mark and John — a “young man”, Mary Magdalene, and Mary mother of Jesus on the one hand, and the beloved disciple, Mary Magdalene, and Mary mother of Jesus on the other.

  • jupiterschild

    JohnH: can you give us a sense of why Papias is to be rejected in favor of Irenaeus and Polycarp? Because there are obvious motives to ascribe authorship to one of the twelve I think the burden of proof is in the Irenaeus camp.

    Secco: thanks for bringing in Brown et al.–I had hoped you’d weigh in! First, I should say that I didn’t intend to mean that BW3 was the first to advance this; I tried to indicate this with the now-dated IDB refs and “anew” in the first sentence. And, my own personal distaste for BW3′s usual tone aside, I think caution is in order when judging a conference paper for its reference to all previous scholarship. One hopes that in a rigorously published piece this would not be lacking, but in a blog post of a delivered talk lacunae are to be expected.

    More important, can you say more about the actual arguments used to poke the holes you mentioned? I certainly don’t think it’s an open-and-shut case, and I suspect (without having made a study of the redaction of John) that there’s something funny going on in the assembling of the book. (Perhaps a pro-Lazarus camp inserting John 11 so as to co-opt the unnamed BD in 13ff?) I’m also curious, not knowing Brown all that well, as to why he abandoned his earlier position and whether that itself doesn’t call into question the soundness of his pro-John arguments.

    About the ABD entry, I read it a couple of times in prepping the post and didn’t get the sense that Byrne rejected Lazarus (he doesn’t come down in favor of any, as with most encyclopedia entries) as much as he indicated one objection to it (against the 5 he marshalls for Johannine identification). His conclusion is that “most scholars abandon the quest for a name and see beneath the BD a well-educated disciple of Jesus, in all likelihood not one of the Twelve.”

    While I have your ear, I’m particularly curious as to the positive bases for naming John son of Zebedee, explicitly called unlettered in Acts, the BD/Author. There is so much that has to be explained if it’s John–the chronologically truncated ministry, the emaciated Galilean ministry, the focus on Jerusalem, the lack of key moments mentioned in the others, that the most we have to go on is the lack of mention of John. It seems to me that most people who want it to be John son of Zebedee are the ones who, like Irenaeus, have a theological stake in its being so.

    As you well noted, my point in this post is not so much to throw my questionable weight behind one or the other but to raise the issue of the historical basis for a relatively important figure in LDS theology. While I do think that there are more problems with John than with Lazarus, I’m not ready yet to bear my testimony of Mary and Martha’s brother as author. In my heart of hearts I hope it was Mary.

  • JohnH

    jc,
    For one we don’t have what Papias actually said any longer but only second hand accounts of the subject. The assumption that John dies actually comes from reading one line as thought James and John died at the same time rather then both being “done away” by the Jews but at separate times. Considering that others that cite Papias from the middle ages (when they still had his writings) for saying that John was the last living Apostle claiming that Papias has John dying early seems odd.

    For another thing, since the 2nd century A.D. there have been many that expressed doubt as to the truthfulness (and intelligence) of Papias. He is claimed to have believed everything that anyone claimed about pretty much anything of the Apostles and written it down. The fragments and those relating things that he wrote are one of the places where it is related that the Gospels were written in Aramaic, that Matthew was written first and in Hebrew, and quite a bit else, so if you want to debate Mark being written in Aramaic and Matthew first and in Hebrew go ahead, I sort of thought that would defeat a large portion of what you and others have been trying to say here.

  • Robert Rey Black

    I am impressed with the scholarship you guys seem to have here. I would like to ask a related (almost) question. Is the Gospel of the Hebrews = Gospel of the Ebionites=Aramaic Mathew=The Cathar Gospel=Gospel of Matthew (minus the first two chapters). Anybody? Please?

  • secco

    I’ll try and tackle some of the feedback in pieces.

    First piece is about Brown and his change of heart. As DA Carson notes, Brown never really addresses his earlier positive points. He simply states, “I am inclined to change my mind,” in 1979, and points out he’s not been the only one to do so. (Interestingly, this is after an earlier footnote two pages before points readers to his original discussion in AB, indicating he’s not ashamed of his earlier 1966 analysis, just isn’t certain of the conclusion any more.) He writes that previously he thought that the combination of internal and external evidence made John the son of Zebedee the most likely candidate; now he “recognize[s] that the external and internal evidence are probably not to be harmonized.”

    I’ll come back later to the positives in favor of BD = John the apostle but I wanted to not neglect to point out that there are so many fun intricacies to this puzzle. Here’s one from Brown’s later analysis:

    “The proposed identification of the Beloved Disciple with the disciple of 1:35-40 has often been debated and rejected on the grounds that elsewhere, when the Fourth Gospel is speaking of the community hero, it clearly identifies him as “the Disciple who Jesus loved,” and no such clarification is found in 1:35-40. The objection loses its force if it is realized that the unnamed disciple of chap 1 was not *yet* the Beloved Disciple because at the beginning of the Gospel story he had not yet come to understand Jesus fully — a christological development that would place a distance between him and the other named disciples of chap. 1 and would bring him uniquely close to Jesus. Consonant with the theory that the Gospel is giving us an insight into Johannine ecclesiological growth, I think it no accident that the Beloved Disciple makes his appearance by name only in “the hour” (13:1) when Jesus, having loved his own, “now showed his love for them to the very end.” This does not mean that this Disciple was not present during the ministry, but that he achieved his *identity* in a christological context. During his lifetime, whether in the period of Jesus’ ministry or in the post-resurrectional period, the Beloved Disciple lived through the same growth in christological perspective that the Johannine community went through, and it was this growth that made it possible for the community to identify him as the one whom Jesus particularly loved.”

    This doesn’t rule out John the son of Zebedee as the BD, of course, but it is a wonderfully appealing possibility to contemplate that the Fourth Gospel, yet again, has layers of meaning that ultimately are intensely christological and yet hidden from the casual reader. (This insight, were it to be accepted, does, IMHO, weigh somewhat against Lazarus = BD.)

  • larryco_

    I first read the Witherington article about a year ago and found it very interesting. Not long after that I read a book by (I’m pretty sure) James Tabor, who speculated that the beloved desciple was James the Just, the brother of Jesus. His reasoning was that, although we do not see this James featured in the gospels, he would have been beloved by the Savior and it seems appropriate that the overseeing of Mary (with the implied death of Joseph) be passed from the big brother to the next brother in line. To Tabor, it seems silly that Jesus would ask John to watch over his mother when she still had children living. This James, of course, would soon become significant in the Jerusalem church after Jesus’ death and resurrection. Again, interesting points made by both Witherington and Tabor.

  • g.wesley

    The thing with Papias is complex to be sure. Is he reliable or not? Well that probably has to be decided on a case by case basis and not in isolation from other evidence.

    As I read what survives of his work in quotation and paraphrase, he says that Matthew wrote in Hebrew/Aramaic, and each tried to interpret/translate Matthew. I’m not familiar with any passage in which Papias says anything about what language the other gospels were written in. And in this passage about Matthew he does not say that Matthew wrote first; he may have believed that, and some scholars may have argued for priority of Matthew or an Aramaic source behind the synoptic gospels, but Papias is not saying that in this passage or anywhere else as far as I know.

    Papias does not say that Mark was one of these interpreters/translators of Matthew. He says Peter, not Matthew, was Mark’s source. Some scholars may want to point to what Papias says as support for their solution to the synoptic problem, but it was not a problem that Papias himself recognized or thought about.

    As for John, Papias is the one who mentions the other John, John the Elder, but again I don’t think he says anywhere that this Elder John is the author of any of the New Testament texts traditionally ascribed to John, whether Apostle or Revelator. Eusebius, quoting and paraphrasing Papias, is the one who does that, whence some scholarly speculation about authorship by the Elder John, I believe. Eusebius is also the one who thinks Papias is a bumpkin for promulgating the crass notion of the millennium (really, that dolt, Irenaeus too, not to mention the author of Revelation!).

    How can we be certain about what Papias said when his writings only survive in quotation and paraphrase? We probably can’t. Imagine how much less certainty we might have if Papias had written anonymously like the author of the Fourth Gospel (basically), if he had anonymous texts attributed to him like John, or, if he had never written anything himself but his teaching and career had been recorded decades later like Jesus.

  • g.wesley
  • secco

    Belated, I know, but:

    RT, I’d like to try and address some of your questions. First, I apologize for the tone of my initial response to the BW3 post. As I read through it initially, I somehow had the impression that BW3 was making more of this theory than perhaps was intended, and ascribed to the post a sort of “wow, look at this amazing discovery.” His post/lecture did not seem to ever note that this theory is hardly novel, and in fact many, many scholars have carefully considered whether BD=Lazarus. Indeed, just as you say, it is still a common theory today.

    And I agree there are good reasons to at least consider BD=Lazarus. After all, as noted, he is the one male figure who, it is stated, Jesus loved. However, I can find very little other current scholarly support for *concluding* that the Beloved Disciple was Lazarus. Yes, as you point out, nearly all scholars consider it, just as they consider nearly every other credible named male in trying to figure out who the BD is. But very, very few scholars accept this theory after careful consideration. In short, if BW3 would have said, hey, here are some interesting reasons to consider Lazarus, and here is why I disagree with the dozens of other scholars that have looked at this question and concluded otherwise, that would have been perhaps more useful.

    One illustration of the difficulty of the question of the identify of the BD can be an initial question: was the Beloved Disciple a member of the Twelve, or not? Brown thought so in 1965, but not in 1979. In his later work, he indicated that the comparison against Peter suggested that, “By setting the Beloved Disciple over against Peter, the Fourth Gospel gives the impression that he was an outsider to the group of best-known disciples, a group that would have include John son of Zebedee, if we may judge from Acts 3:1, 4:13; 8:14.” On the other hand, Keener (2003) argues, “Brown’s argument that the beloved disciple was not one of the Twelve because of his competition with Peter cuts in the opposite direction equally well or better. How could the beloved disciple be exceptionally close to the Lord, and be *able* to be viewed as competition for Peter, were he *not* one of the Twelve? The comparison in any case elevates the beloved disciple without necessarily diminishing Peter.”

    I find Keener’s argument to be more persuasive: the disciple whom Jesus loved was not only with him at the last meal, but closer than Peter was, the chief-most of the Twelve. Brown also points out that this closeness is a reason to reject Lazarus who was never named in the Synoptics as being close to Jesus.

    JC, you ask what the positives that Brown and others have put forward. Back in 1966, Brown thought:

    - The BD did need to be one of the Twelve, not just because of the scene in Ch 13 but also the favored position of the seven disciples in Ch 21.
    - Furthermore, “The close association with Peter posited in the description of the BD would fit no other NT figure as well as it fits John son of Zebedee.” He points out especially that John and Peter are companions in Acts (Acts 3-4) in particular in the mission to Samaria (Acts 8:14), which is important given John 4 and the discussion of a mission among the Samaritans.
    - The Fourth Gospel claims to preserve the BD’s memories of Jesus. Since these are often at odds with the Synoptic descriptions, “Does it not seem likely that the man behind it would have had to be a man of real authority in the Church, a man of status not unlike Peter’s?”
    - Some minor points: John might have been related to Jesus. Brown then goes in to a discussion of Salome, Mary, and why, if they were related, it would make sense for Jesus to put his mother in the charge of John at the cross. And it might even explain how the BD was known to the high priest, since Luke 1:5, 36 suggests that Mary had priestly family relatives.

    A critical question, left for future posts, is why is the Beloved Disciple anonymous? For Bultmann, the BD was only a symbol, never a reality. Echoing Gregory the Great, Bultmann saw the BD as representing the Hellenistic Church (e.g., Jesus leaves his mother, = Jewish Christianity, in the care of the BD, = Hellenistic Church), and so on. Others see the BD as “the perfect Christian disciple, close to Jesus at the Last Supper and at the hour of death, the first to believe in the risen Christ.”

    Recent commentators are divided: some see the anonymity as indicating that the readers would of course understand who the reference was to; others insist the opposite. For example, the Word Biblical Commentary (1999): “It is difficult to supply a cogent reason for the Evangelist consistently and completely hiding [the BD’s] identity if he were a prominent leader like John the Apostle or Paul, or a well-known individual like John Mark or Lazarus.”

    Keener (2003) spends some 50+ pages of careful analysis and in the end finds himself more persuaded by the traditionalists (who see Johannine authorship and BD=John son of Zebedee) than the modernists who cannot identify author or BD.

    If one is to seriously study the authorship and therein the BD question, a good place, according to WBC is Westcott:
    “Westcott’s presentation of the internal evidence relating to the authorship of the Fourth Gospel is justly famous and worthy of mention. By a series of arguments that move in narrower concentric circles he sought to show that (i) the author was a Jew, (ii) the author was a Jew of Palestine, (iii) the author was an eyewitness of what he describes, (iv) the author was an apostle, (v) the author was the apostle John.”
    This argument was in 1882, and as Craig Blomberg says, “No full scale refutation of Westcott has ever appeared.” (At least as of 2003.)

    Westcott’s original is available as an e-book, courtesy of Google, at the URL below and the key arguments are pages v through xxv of the 1882 edition. (The book is still in print in reprint format.)
    http://archive.org/details/gospelaccording00westgoog

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