Where was John the beloved buried? Or was he not buried?

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deacon blues
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Where was John the beloved buried? Or was he not buried?

Post by deacon blues » Mon Oct 25, 2021 8:45 am

My TBM sister and her husband are traveling in Turkey this week, Ephesus in particular. They visited famous Saint John's Basilica, where legend has it, John the beloved and/or the apostle was buried. Of course TBM's know that John was never buried but was translated, as D&C 7 explains. I think my sister is part of a tour with a TBM guide. I'm just thinking about some possible discussions they might be having about the fate of John the beloved and/or apostle. Has anyone ever heard faith promoting (or not) stories about this uniquely LDS view?
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Re: Where was John the beloved buried? Or was he not buried?

Post by moksha » Tue Oct 26, 2021 4:16 am

I found this at the Encyclopedia Britannica:
John’s subsequent history is obscure and passes into the uncertain mists of legend. At the end of the 2nd century, Polycrates, bishop of Ephesus, claims that John’s tomb is at Ephesus, identifies him with the beloved disciple, and adds that he “was a priest, wearing the sacerdotal plate, both martyr and teacher.” That John died in Ephesus is also stated by St. Irenaeus, bishop of Lyon circa 180 CE, who says John wrote his Gospel and letters at Ephesus and Revelation at Pátmos. During the 3rd century two rival sites at Ephesus claimed the honour of being the apostle’s grave. One eventually achieved official recognition, becoming a shrine in the 4th century.
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Re: Where was John the beloved buried? Or was he not buried?

Post by wtfluff » Tue Oct 26, 2021 9:06 am

moksha wrote:
Tue Oct 26, 2021 4:16 am
I found this at the Encyclopedia Britannica:
John’s subsequent history is obscure and passes into the uncertain mists of legend. At the end of the 2nd century, Polycrates, bishop of Ephesus, claims that John’s tomb is at Ephesus, identifies him with the beloved disciple, and adds that he “was a priest, wearing the sacerdotal plate, both martyr and teacher.” That John died in Ephesus is also stated by St. Irenaeus, bishop of Lyon circa 180 CE, who says John wrote his Gospel and letters at Ephesus and Revelation at Pátmos. During the 3rd century two rival sites at Ephesus claimed the honour of being the apostle’s grave. One eventually achieved official recognition, becoming a shrine in the 4th century.
The penguin brings up the first question that came to mind when wondering if Mr. Beloved was buried:

What sort of evidence is there that John The Beloved was actually a real person? (No: Neither the bible, mor the D&C can be considered evidence.)
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Re: Where was John the beloved buried? Or was he not buried?

Post by stealthbishop » Mon Nov 01, 2021 4:11 pm

wtfluff wrote:
Tue Oct 26, 2021 9:06 am
moksha wrote:
Tue Oct 26, 2021 4:16 am
I found this at the Encyclopedia Britannica:
John’s subsequent history is obscure and passes into the uncertain mists of legend. At the end of the 2nd century, Polycrates, bishop of Ephesus, claims that John’s tomb is at Ephesus, identifies him with the beloved disciple, and adds that he “was a priest, wearing the sacerdotal plate, both martyr and teacher.” That John died in Ephesus is also stated by St. Irenaeus, bishop of Lyon circa 180 CE, who says John wrote his Gospel and letters at Ephesus and Revelation at Pátmos. During the 3rd century two rival sites at Ephesus claimed the honour of being the apostle’s grave. One eventually achieved official recognition, becoming a shrine in the 4th century.
The penguin brings up the first question that came to mind when wondering if Mr. Beloved was buried:

What sort of evidence is there that John The Beloved was actually a real person? (No: Neither the bible, mor the D&C can be considered evidence.)
Just because something is written in the Bible does not mean that it's historical or that it is entirely fiction. It must go through a process of critical analysis to filter legend from plausible history. Reputable secular scholars of early Christianity (such as Bart Ehrman) do not dismiss the entire Bible out of hand even though there are indeed serious historical issues with the Bible clearly.

The best evidence for a historical John is that 99.99% of biblical scholars believe that the Epistle to the Galatians is an undisputed letter from Paul and that Paul is indeed a historical person. In that letter, Paul says that he has met in person with James the brother of Jesus, and Peter in Jerusalem. He says that James, Peter and John are "the pillars of the church" there but he did not see John (meaning that John exists but was away at the time). It's not a slam dunk but definitely makes it plausible for most secular scholars.

OTOH, most secular scholars of early Christianity believe that John the Beloved did not write the Gospel of John, the Epistles of John nor the Book of Revelation. They believe him to be, like the historical Peter, most likely illiterate for the most part.
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Re: Where was John the beloved buried? Or was he not buried?

Post by Palerider » Mon Nov 01, 2021 7:19 pm

stealthbishop wrote:
Mon Nov 01, 2021 4:11 pm

Just because something is written in the Bible does not mean that it's historical or that it is entirely fiction. It must go through a process of critical analysis to filter legend from plausible history. Reputable secular scholars of early Christianity (such as Bart Ehrman) do not dismiss the entire Bible out of hand even though there are indeed serious historical issues with the Bible clearly.

The best evidence for a historical John is that 99.99% of biblical scholars believe that the Epistle to the Galatians is an undisputed letter from Paul and that Paul is indeed a historical person. In that letter, Paul says that he has met in person with James the brother of Jesus, and Peter in Jerusalem. He says that James, Peter and John are "the pillars of the church" there but he did not see John (meaning that John exists but was away at the time). It's not a slam dunk but definitely makes it plausible for most secular scholars.

OTOH, most secular scholars of early Christianity believe that John the Beloved did not write the Gospel of John, the Epistles of John nor the Book of Revelation. They believe him to be, like the historical Peter, most likely illiterate for the most part.
Well researched and thought out response.

I'm just wondering however, if being illiterate would have stopped someone like Peter or John from having a scribe write their story as they recollected it or dictated it to the scribe. Could this have been a relatively common practice?

Almost like an authorized biography?

ETA:

As an example, I believe Tertius served as a scribe for Paul's dictation of Romans. See Romans 16:22.
I believe this dictating was more common than people now realize.
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Re: Where was John the beloved buried? Or was he not buried?

Post by Cnsl1 » Mon Nov 01, 2021 10:25 pm

Regarding John (and the 3 Nephites) never tasting death, is there any mythology or stories from other religious writers about John (or others) to continue to roam the earth saving souls, or was this an original thought by Joseph Smith?

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Re: Where was John the beloved buried? Or was he not buried?

Post by wtfluff » Tue Nov 02, 2021 10:14 am

stealthbishop wrote:
Mon Nov 01, 2021 4:11 pm
wtfluff wrote:
Tue Oct 26, 2021 9:06 am
The penguin brings up the first question that came to mind when wondering if Mr. Beloved was buried:

What sort of evidence is there that John The Beloved was actually a real person? (No: Neither the bible, mor the D&C can be considered evidence.)
Just because something is written in the Bible does not mean that it's historical or that it is entirely fiction. It must go through a process of critical analysis to filter legend from plausible history. Reputable secular scholars of early Christianity (such as Bart Ehrman) do not dismiss the entire Bible out of hand even though there are indeed serious historical issues with the Bible clearly.
To quote Mr. Ehrman himself (paraphrased:) "There are more differences between the manuscripts used to produce the new testament, than there are words in the new testament."

Maybe I could have worded my last sentence better and typed: Is there evidence "besides" the bible and the D&C that might lead us to believe that John The Beloved was actually a real person?
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Re: Where was John the beloved buried? Or was he not buried?

Post by stealthbishop » Wed Nov 03, 2021 10:50 am

Palerider wrote:
Mon Nov 01, 2021 7:19 pm


Well researched and thought out response.

I'm just wondering however, if being illiterate would have stopped someone like Peter or John from having a scribe write their story as they recollected it or dictated it to the scribe. Could this have been a relatively common practice?

Almost like an authorized biography?

ETA:

As an example, I believe Tertius served as a scribe for Paul's dictation of Romans. See Romans 16:22.
I believe this dictating was more common than people now realize.
Your example shows that scribes can be used but there is a pattern that Paul follows when he is using a scribe that is contextual. He announces it in the Epistle! That doesn't happen with any of the gospels. They are anonymous authors where only much later they are given names to distinguish them from each other, add credibility, and filter out what are seen as heretical gospels. Epistles of John do not show any evidence of using a scribe (it's possible but there is no evidence). The Book of Revelation does identify the author as "John" but he doesn't specify (probably on purpose). John is not an uncommon name during that time period so he could be anybody.

People who are more devout Christians definitely use the scribe argument for people such as Peter and John but there just isn't a lot of hard evidence that they did employ it. The Book of Acts does make the accusation that these people at ground zero (like Peter and John) were illiterate which fits with the stats of literacy in late antiquity and especially in the region of Galilee. So that tradition has contextual credibility.
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Re: Where was John the beloved buried? Or was he not buried?

Post by stealthbishop » Wed Nov 03, 2021 11:04 am

wtfluff wrote:
Tue Nov 02, 2021 10:14 am
stealthbishop wrote:
Mon Nov 01, 2021 4:11 pm
wtfluff wrote:
Tue Oct 26, 2021 9:06 am
The penguin brings up the first question that came to mind when wondering if Mr. Beloved was buried:

What sort of evidence is there that John The Beloved was actually a real person? (No: Neither the bible, mor the D&C can be considered evidence.)
Just because something is written in the Bible does not mean that it's historical or that it is entirely fiction. It must go through a process of critical analysis to filter legend from plausible history. Reputable secular scholars of early Christianity (such as Bart Ehrman) do not dismiss the entire Bible out of hand even though there are indeed serious historical issues with the Bible clearly.
To quote Mr. Ehrman himself (paraphrased:) "There are more differences between the manuscripts used to produce the new testament, than there are words in the new testament."

Maybe I could have worded my last sentence better and typed: Is there evidence "besides" the bible and the D&C that might lead us to believe that John The Beloved was actually a real person?
He would also say that most of those differences are spelling errors, grammar mistakes, and general carelessness on the part of scribes. It's not easy work! But some differences he says are big changes (see his book Misquoting Jesus). (One significant one that I'm learning about is the sweating of blood in Luke. That appears to be an interpolation and serious change made by a scribe to ramp up the suffering of Jesus in that gospel when the rest of it the author is really trying hard to dampen it in comparison with Mark).

Bart uses Galatians a lot in his framework for the historical Jesus. He says the people who are mythicists (believe that Jesus is just a myth) don't have a leg to stand on and he cites Galatians a lot)

But you are right, in order for there to be higher probability there should be independent/multiple attestation. With Jesus there is outside the bible. Josephus mentions him and there are a few other sources outside the Bible for Jesus. With John, there isn't (that I know of and I have looked) but there is multiple attestation within the Bible because there are different sources. The synoptic Gospels and Gospel of John are considered different sources. Paul's letters are a different source. Bart and other scholars of early Christianity see it that way.

So yes, the answer to your question to my knowledge, is that there are no credible sources outside the bible that recognize a historical John. But then again, this lack of evidence is the case with MANY notable historical figures that lived earlier or later than Jesus, John and Peter such as Alexander the Great as Bart Ehrman says.
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Re: Where was John the beloved buried? Or was he not buried?

Post by Hagoth » Mon Nov 08, 2021 10:53 am

Of course, the name John was attached later to that gospel by a community that believed the author to be the apostle John. The actual author never makes that claim. An interesting hypothesis I came across recently suggests that not only was the the one whom Jesus loved not John, but might not have even been a man. Women played a huge role in earliest Christianity. By the time of the Pauline letters that was already in the process of being squashed. Even more so by the time of the gospels. It was noticed, however, by some of the early critics of Christianity.
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Re: Where was John the beloved buried? Or was he not buried?

Post by stealthbishop » Mon Nov 08, 2021 2:34 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Mon Nov 08, 2021 10:53 am
Of course, the name John was attached later to that gospel by a community that believed the author to be the apostle John. The actual author never makes that claim. An interesting hypothesis I came across recently suggests that not only was the the one whom Jesus loved not John, but might not have even been a man. Women played a huge role in earliest Christianity. By the time of the Pauline letters that was already in the process of being squashed. Even more so by the time of the gospels. It was noticed, however, by some of the early critics of Christianity.
Agreed.

Very early Christianity and the message of the historic Jesus was very egalitarian because it was apocalyptic which meant that the current age was controlled by Satan and demons and they were behind the curtain and causing oppression of the poor, the vulnerable, the disabled, women and children. But God was going to intervene and set things right and send a cosmic judge or a powerful messiah to bring in a new kingdom that had justice and equity. These messages resonated with many women. So women were often leaders in the early house churches. Paul was also of the same belief in equity of men and women and most reputable scholars believe that any reference that he makes about women in a non-egalitarian manner is likely an interpolation by scribes or a forgery. For instance, most reputable scholars know the "pastoral epistles" of Timothy and Titus are not written by Paul at all even though they are attributed to him. They are likely forgeries. They clearly are meant to combat any message of equality of men and women and promote the Roman/Greek culture of male superiority among other things.
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Re: Where was John the beloved buried? Or was he not buried?

Post by stealthbishop » Sat Dec 11, 2021 6:51 am

UPDATE:

I did ask Bart Ehrman on his blog point blank if he believed that John, the son of Zebedee, from the New Testament is a historical figure and he said that he did and that John is "multiply attested in numerous independent sources and there's nothing to suggest there'd be a reason to make him up."
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Re: Where was John the beloved buried? Or was he not buried?

Post by Hagoth » Sun Dec 12, 2021 12:26 pm

stealthbishop wrote:
Sat Dec 11, 2021 6:51 am
UPDATE:

I did ask Bart Ehrman on his blog point blank if he believed that John, the son of Zebedee, from the New Testament is a historical figure and he said that he did and that John is "multiply attested in numerous independent sources and there's nothing to suggest there'd be a reason to make him up."
In your opinion Stealth, does that information lend any further credence to claims that John the apostle was the same person as the gospel author and/or John the Revelator?
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Re: Where was John the beloved buried? Or was he not buried?

Post by moksha » Mon Dec 13, 2021 5:18 am

Hagoth wrote:
Sun Dec 12, 2021 12:26 pm
In your opinion Stealth, does that information lend any further credence to claims that John the apostle was the same person as the gospel author and/or John the Revelator?
Or does the content of the Book of Revelations make you suspect that L. Ron Hubbard traveled back in time to write that particular work?
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Re: Where was John the beloved buried? Or was he not buried?

Post by Not Buying It » Mon Dec 13, 2021 6:09 am

Suppose for a minute John the Revelator really was translated and is roaming the earth, like the Three Nephites. They don't seem to be good for much. What exactly do they do with their time? They've had literally thousands of years to make some kind of impact on humanity, and all they seem to do is have ambiguous "it might have been one of the three Nephites" encounters with weirdo Mormons. Since they don't seem to be doing much else, you'd think they'd at least get in touch with the Brethren and help out with some of the issues the Church is facing the Brethren seem incapable of dealing with, but I guess they are too busy pretending to be hitchhikers and stuff.

They could have had dinner ready for the handcart companies at Martin's Cove. They could have been at Mountain Meadows to warn John Lee and Co. that murdering everyone in a wagon train may not be a good idea. Geez, they could've been in Nauvoo to warn Joseph that screwing anyone in a dress might cause problems for the Church at some point in the future. They could have stopped by the Lion House to let Brigham know slavery is wrong and maybe getting ahead of the Civil Rights movement by giving blacks the priesthood would be the right thing to do. They seem pretty damn useless to me.

Unless they've got some kind of super secret project they are working on, as near as I can tell being translated was pretty much a waste of time for them.
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Re: Where was John the beloved buried? Or was he not buried?

Post by Hagoth » Mon Dec 13, 2021 7:18 am

Not Buying It wrote:
Mon Dec 13, 2021 6:09 am
Suppose for a minute John the Revelator really was translated and is roaming the earth, like the Three Nephites. They don't seem to be good for much.
They have all received advanced degrees in finance and are doing great work at Ensign Peak.
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Re: Where was John the beloved buried? Or was he not buried?

Post by stealthbishop » Mon Dec 13, 2021 7:54 am

Hagoth wrote:
Sun Dec 12, 2021 12:26 pm
stealthbishop wrote:
Sat Dec 11, 2021 6:51 am
UPDATE:

I did ask Bart Ehrman on his blog point blank if he believed that John, the son of Zebedee, from the New Testament is a historical figure and he said that he did and that John is "multiply attested in numerous independent sources and there's nothing to suggest there'd be a reason to make him up."
In your opinion Stealth, does that information lend any further credence to claims that John the apostle was the same person as the gospel author and/or John the Revelator?
Most NT scholars worth their salt do not believe at all that they are the same person. The historical John the son of Zebedee was likely illiterate.

The "Gospel of John" and the Epistles of "John" have extremely different themes, vocabulary, and grammar compared to the the Book of Revelation. Not the same literary fingerprint at all. There is a mountain of evidence that they are not the same person and even some of the proto-orthodox writers were even skeptical and could see the differences. "John the Revelator" does not claim in Revelation to be the son of Zebedee. These names in the NT were very common. Revelation was written in all likelihood after John the son of Zebedee died. It is only through some traditions from some of the early proto-orthodox church father's that these two John's were conflated and that idea sort of won out the day at least for a long while. And, of course, our Mormon tradition inherited that idea and ran with it.
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Re: Where was John the beloved buried? Or was he not buried?

Post by stealthbishop » Wed Dec 29, 2021 1:30 pm

Also, Bart Ehrman will be coming out with a new book about the Book of Revelation in the next few years. I'm really looking forward to it.

One of the themes he will push back against is the idea that the OT God is a god of wrath and vengeance and the NT God is a god of mercy and kindness. (eg. compare and contrast the god of Jonah with the god of the Book of Revelation). Bottom line is that it depends on what book in the OT (and sometimes in the OT which source within the book) or NT you're reading.
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Re: Where was John the beloved buried? Or was he not buried?

Post by wtfluff » Wed Dec 29, 2021 3:24 pm

Another bit of a thread-jack...

Do folks who are believers in the "restoration-ist" movement put much credence in "where" some "famous prophet" like John the beloved might be buried?

I understand Catholics with their sainthood-type-stuff "caring" about such things, but MORmONs?
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Re: Where was John the beloved buried? Or was he not buried?

Post by Hagoth » Thu Dec 30, 2021 7:23 am

wtfluff wrote:
Wed Dec 29, 2021 3:24 pm
Another bit of a thread-jack...

Do folks who are believers in the "restoration-ist" movement put much credence in "where" some "famous prophet" like John the beloved might be buried?

I understand Catholics with their sainthood-type-stuff "caring" about such things, but MORmONs?
That's an interesting question. I don't even know where Joseph Smith is buried. I'm surprised it's not a pilgrimage site at least on par with Elvis' grave.
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