Wednesday, December 27, 2017

On the elusive Elder John and lost books

Would the Real Elder John Please Stand up?

Our information about the “Elder John,” the source of our earliest traditions about the origins of the Gospels, is quite meager. There was even a basic disagreement among Patristic interpreters about whether or not the “Elder John” should be identified as or distinguished from the “Apostle John.” This article will explore the competing ideological agendas in the debate over the Elder John’s identity. It draws on the third chapter of my book The Beloved Apostle? The Transformation of the Apostle John into the Fourth Evangelist (Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2017). Used by permission of Wipf and Stock Publishers.

See Also: Why Did the Gospel of Mark Survive?

By Michael J. Kok, Ph.D.
December 2017

I know others have strong views about the matter, but I myself cannot do any better than the conclusion of this essay.

Back in 2005 I quoted Michael Pahl's mention of Papais' Expositions of the Logia of the Lord as one of those lost books that we really wish we still had. It almost certainly will never be recovered, but if it were, it would answer many questions. No doubt it would also raise many more.

Incidentally, that 2005 post introduced PaleoJudaica's longstanding interest in lost books. For past posts on the subject, see here, here, and here, and follow the links back to the original 2005 post.

And incidental to that, isn't it interesting to see how many of the blogs I linked to in that original post now themselves are lost books?

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