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John, the Apostle
See also John the Apostle
In the rest of the NT there are only a few scattered references to John. After the ascension of Jesus he remained in Jerusalem with the other apostles, praying and waiting for the coming of the Holy Spirit. In Acts he appears with Peter in two important scenes. Soon after Pentecost they healed a man who had been lame from his birth, and while explaining the miracle to the astonished crowd gathered around them, they were arrested. The next day they were brought before the Sanhedrin. After being warned not to preach about Jesus any more, they were released (
Five books of the NT are attributed to him—the Fourth Gospel, three letters, and Revelation. The only one in which his name actually appears is the last. According to tradition, he spent his last years in Ephesus. Very likely the seven churches of Asia enjoyed his ministry. The Book of Revelation was written on the island of Patmos, where he was exiled “because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus” (
It is evident from all we know of John that he was one of the greatest of the apostles. He is described as the disciple whom Jesus loved, no doubt because of his understanding of and love for his Lord. The defects of character with which he began his career as an apostle—an undue vehemence, intolerance, and selfish ambition—were in the course of time brought under control, until he became especially known for his gentleness and kindly love.
Bibliography: C. F. Nolloth, The Fourth Evangelist, 1925; J. Marsh, Saint John, 1968; S. S. Smalley, John: Evangelist and Interpreter, 1978.——SB