January 22, 2010

Dr. Brown Answers Your E-Questions

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4 Comments
  1. Michael,

    I heard the rebroadcast of your program 3-4pm Sunday on AFR talk radio in the Dallas, re: controversy, et. al.

    You said that you liked controversy and talked about learning, growing and doing things in a way that seeks the blessing of God / seeks to please God — always advancing the truth. We see Jesus and the truth that he taught brings division and we see that Paul debated repeatedly to lead others to truth.

    Since you indicated that you welcome a controversy that challenges you to grow and become more aligned with the truth of God’s word, I would like to share with you a presentation of biblical evidence that encourages Bible students to stop trusting the traditions of men and rely instead solely on the word of God.

    When the Bible urges the readers of scripture to “prove all things” it was not suggesting that they should look to the traditions of men as their standard of truth but, rather (in accord with Ps. 118:8), that they should look to scripture and trust the authority of God’s word — not the traditions which men add to it. And these words are true: “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar” (Pr. 30:5-6), so one is always better off conforming their hypothesis to the scriptures rather than the other way around.

    However, while there is not a single verse that would justify teaching the idea, most Bible students a led to believe that John was “the disciple whom Jesus loved” because of the traditions of men even though that idea can be shown to be unbiblical — and that is why NON-Bible sources must ALWAYS be used to sell the John tradition. While NON-Bible sources may say that John was “the disciple whom Jesus loved”, what happens when one subjects that claim to biblical scrutiny, will it hold up? No it will not because two things are true:

    1: No one can cite a single verse of scripture that would justify promoting the idea that the unnamed “disciple whom Jesus loved” was anybody named John — not the Apostle John, nor any other John. Moreover, the reason that this cannot be done is that no such verse exists, which is the reason that no such verse is ever cited by those who put forth the unbiblical John tradition.

    2: The facts in the plain text of scripture can prove that WHOEVER the unnamed “other disciple, whom Jesus loved” was he could not have been John — because that idea forces the Bible to contradict itself, which the Bible cannot do if it is true. (A presentation of the biblical evidence on this topic is available at BelovedDiscipleBibleStudy.com).

    Two good rules of respect for the authority of God’s word: A) One should not be presenting an idea AS IF IT WERE BIBLICAL if they cannot cite a single verse that would justify teaching that idea – and – B) If the facts in the plain text of scripture prove that an idea is false, then those who love the truth will reject that false idea — no matter how many people believe it, no matter how loud some may shout it, no matter if a big-wig so-and-so believes it, no matter how long the false idea has been around, etc.

    One can surely find a NON-Bible source to cite if they want to justify their belief in the idea that the unnamed “other disciple whom Jesus loved” was John. But what no one has ever done is cite a single verse that would justify teaching that the unnamed “disciple whom Jesus loved” was John — not those who originated the unbiblical John idea and not those who repeat their error to this day.

    Unlike John, who repeatedly identified himself by name in the Book of Revelation, we can see that the unnamed “other disciple, whom Jesus loved” repeatedly used cryptic terms to conceal his identity, even though we see that he included himself in the text at key moments in the ministry of Jesus.

    The fact is that the John tradition is simply a case of mistaken identity. This, for example, explains why Jesus’ transfiguration, his prayers in the Garden of Gethsemane, and his raising of the daughter of Jairus are NOT in the fourth gospel. Only three disciples were present at each of these events and John was one of them. Thus John was able to give eyewitness testimony when it came to these key incidents and yet there is no mention of these events in the fourth gospel, because the author, “the disciple whom Jesus loved”, was not John. And the missing ‘John testimony’ is just the tip of the iceberg.

    That said, I would like your feedback on the biblical evidence that this study presents and the lesson that can be learned from bowing to the authority of God’s word on this question.

    Jim

  2. “This, for example, explains why Jesus’ transfiguration, his prayers in the Garden of Gethsemane, and his raising of the daughter of Jairus are NOT in the fourth gospel. Only three disciples were present at each of these events and John was one of them. Thus John was able to give eyewitness testimony when it came to these key incidents and yet there is no mention of these events in the fourth gospel, because the author, “the disciple whom Jesus loved”, was not John.”

    This is an interesting point, and I can’t believe I’ve not considered it before.

    Can anyone who believes John wrote the fourth Gospel comment on why he may have left out instances like these – when he was present?

  3. I hope this helps, it’ a copy and past from esv introduction to the book of John.

    “The title says that the Gospel was written by John, and other evidence identifies this John as the son of Zebedee. The internal evidence indicates that the author was (1) an apostle (1:14; cf. 2:11; 19:35), (2) one of the 12 disciples (“the disciple whom Jesus loved”; 13:23; 19:26; 20:2; 21:20; cf. 21:24–25), and, still more specifically, (3) John the son of Zebedee (note the association of “the disciple whom Jesus loved” with Peter in 13:23–24; 18:15–16; 20:2–9; 21:2–23; cf. Luke 22:8; Acts 1:13; 3:1–4:37; 8:14–25; Gal. 2:9). The external evidence from the church fathers supports this identification (e.g., Irenaeus, Against Heresies 3.1.2).”

  4. from Got Questions:
    http://www.gotquestions.org/disciple-whom-Jesus-loved.html

    Question: “Who was the disciple whom Jesus loved?”

    Answer: The Gospel of John is the only Gospel which mentions “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” John 13:23 tells us, “One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to Him.” John 19:26 declares, “When Jesus saw His mother there, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, ‘Dear woman, here is your son.'” John 21:7 describes, “Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, ‘It is the Lord!’” This disciple is never specifically identified, but the identity of the disciple whom Jesus loved is clear. The disciple whom Jesus loved is John, the son of Zebedee and brother of James.

    First, only the Gospel of John mentions the “disciple whom Jesus loved.” Secondly, John 21:2 lets us know who was fishing with Peter “Simon Peter, Thomas (called Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together…” The Apostle John was a son of Zebedee (Matthew 4:21). Thirdly, there were three disciples whom were especially close to Jesus: Peter, James, and John (Matthew 17:1; Mark 5:37; 14:33; Luke 8:51). The ‘disciple whom Jesus loved” could not be Peter, as Peter asks Jesus a question in regards to this disciple (John 21:20-21). That leaves us with James or John. Jesus made a statement about the possible “longevity” of the life of the disciple whom He loved in John 21:22. James was the first of the apostles to die (Acts 12:2). While Jesus did not promise the disciple whom He loved long life, it would be highly unusual for Jesus to say, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?” if the disciple whom He loved was going to be the first disciple to die.

    Church history tells us that the Apostle John lived into the 90’s A.D. and was the last surviving apostle. Early church tradition was unanimous in identifying John as the disciple whom Jesus loved. It seems that John had a closer relationship with Jesus than any of the other disciples. Jesus and John were essentially “best friends.” Jesus entrusted John with the care of His mother, gave John the vision of the transfiguration, allowed John to witness His most amazing miracles, and later gave John the Book of Revelation.

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