A:The fourth gospel does NOT tell us who wrote it.

True.  It is likely that the apostle John wrote it, but this cannot be proved. We know that it was accepted by the church in the very early 2nd century as inspired but we cannot prove John wrote it.

B: The gospel according to John.This title was added later.


C:John 21:24 was added later.It is NOT in papyrus 66.It is NOT in papyrus 75

Very doubtful that it was added later, but it is possible it was added later. The evidence, according to scholars, is that it was in the original, but I would not bet my faith on that.  Virtually every early manuscript includes this verse.  I do not see why it is particularly significant to the Christian religion whether it was in the original, but nearly all of the early manuscripts include it, so my opinion is that it was in the original.

D:Polycarp did NOT say John son of Zebedee wrote it.

So…..? Lots of people did not say he wrote it who believed he did. This is for all practical purposes completely irrelevant information.

E:Polycarp did NOT quote from it.

So….? I have written many things and taught many lessons from the Bible in which I did not quote from John. This proves nothing. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. F:Irenaeus did NOT tell us who told him that john wrote it. There are lots of things he did not tell us. Besides, like I already said, I concede that we cannot prove John wrote the book. So…. You and I agree we cannot prove John wrote it.  This has no effect on the fact that it is an inspired book.

G:Polycarp did NOT tell Irenaeus John wrote it.

How do you know? This is sheer speculation without a shred of evidence to support it.  Just because we do not have an extant document in which he said this is NOT evidence that he did not tell him.  This is a completely specious argument.

H:You can NOT trust Irenaeus’s testimony because he never met John.He did NOT tell us where he got this info from.Polycarp did NOT tell him that john wrote it.

This is a very weak argument, in my opinion. My mom told me about her grandfather. I never met him, but I believe that he was a real person. You do not know everything Polycarp told Irenaeus. To be honest, this statement above is total speculation on your part. John 21:24 was added later.It is NOT in papyrus 66 The overall evidence disagrees with you and I know of no scholars who agree with you, but you have your right to your opinion.

I. The author of the fourth gospel is ANONYMOUS.

Fine.  This is your conclusion, but the evidence does not support your conclusion.

John Oakes

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