Indirect Internal Evidence—that the author of the Gospel of John was the Apostle John

Recent Biblical scholarship into the “Historical Jesus,” such as the “Jesus Seminar,” and others, claim late dates of the Authorship of the Gospels. Most of these sources deny that the Gospel of John was written by the Apostle John and put a late date (2nd or 3rd Century) on its authorship. There is really little evidence to support these claims. Yet there is much evidence that shows tradition is correct and that the Author of the Gospel that claims Christ’s Deity was the Apostle John, “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” W. Graham Scroggie in his critical work, Guide to the Gospels provides ample objective evidence to refute this Modern, Post-Modern and deconstructionist notion about authorship of the Gospel of John.


Indirect Internal Evidence [that the author of the Gospel of John was the Apostle John]

(a)The Author was a Jew

‘He is familiar with Jewish opinions and customs, his composition is impressed with Jewish characteristics, he is penetrated with the spirit of the Jewish dispensation. the vocabulary, the structure of the sentences, the symmetry and arrangement of the thoughts, are essentially Hebrew. The Old Testament is the source of the religious life of the writer. His Jewish opinions and hopes are taken up into and transfigured by his Christian faith, but the Jewish foundation underlies his whole narrative. The Evangelist vindicates the Law as of Divine authority.

(b) The Author was a Jew of Palestine

This was proved by his local knowledge. He speaks of places with an unaffected precision, as familiar in every case with the scene which he wishes  to recall; he moves about in a country which he knows ( “John 1:28“2:1“2:11“3:23“4:46“11:18“11:54“21:1“21:2).The writer of the Fourth Gospel is evidently at home in Jerusalem as it was before its fall in AD 70 ( “5:2“9:7“18:1“19:13;* “19:17“19:20“19:41). He has an accurate knowledge of the Temple and its ritual (“2:14-16“2:20“10:22; especially chapters. “7 , “8). The author’s quotations from the old Testament show that he was not dependent on the Septuagint (LXX), but was acquainted with the original Hebrew.

(c) The Author was an Eye-witness to what he Describes

His narrative is marked by minute details of persons, and time, an number, and place, and manner, which cannot but  have come from a direct experience.

Persons:“John 6:5“6:7“7:21“14:5“14:8“14:22“13:25“3:1;“7:50“19:39“11:1;

Time: “John 2:13“2:23“5:1“6:4“7:2“10:22; also “1:29“1:35“1:43;

“2:1 ;“12:1“12:12“13:1“19:31;  “20:1“20:26“4:6“4:52“19:14“13:30“18:28;


Number:“1:35“2:6“6:9“6:19“19:3“21:8“21:11; also, “4:18“5:5“7:5“19:39
Place: “John 1:28“3:23“4:46“5:14“6:59“8:20“10:40“11:30“11:54“11:56“18:1
Manner: “1:35-51“8:10-20“18:1“5:27“21:1-14
Other details:“John 6:9“11:32“12:3“12:13“13:30“18:3“19:3“20:7“21:17; also, “13:24“18:6“19:5“21:20

(d) The Author was an Apostle

This follows almost necessarily from the character of the scenes, which he describes. He exhibits intimate acquaintances with the feelings of the ‘the disciples.’ He knows their thoughts at critical moments (“John 2:11“2:17“2:22“6:19“6:60“12:16“13:22“13:28“21:12). He had an intimate knowledge of Jesus (” 11:33“13:21“2:24“4:1“5:6“6:15“7:1“16:19“6:6“6:61“6:64“13:1“13:3“13:11“18:4“19:28).

(e) The Author was the Apostle John

As the writer is exact in defining the names in his Gospel (“1:42“11:16“20:24“21:2“6:71“12:4;“13:2“13:26;“14:22) it is presumed that the unnamed person of “13:23“19:26“20:2“21:7“21:20 is himself. If someone else had written this gospel it is unthinkable that he would not have mentioned by name so distinguished an Apostle as John.

W. Graham Scroggie. Guide to the Gospels pp.135-139 — summary of an argument from Westcott.

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