Chapter

The Beloved Disciple in Context

Ismo Dunderberg

in The Beloved Disciple in Conflict?

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9780199284962
Published online May 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603785 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199284962.003.0007
The Beloved Disciple in Context

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In this chapter, the Johannine Beloved Disciple is located within the broader context of early Christian portrayals of the disciples of Jesus. First, it is pointed out how they increasingly became portrayed as authors of early Christian texts; the Beloved Disciple in John and Thomas in the Gospel of Thomas denote the first step towards this development. Special attention is devoted to the authorial fiction created in these texts. Second, the chapter points out that several other followers of Jesus were described in terms of their specific affinity with him. These figures include, in addition to the Beloved Disciple and Thomas, Mary of Magdala, James, and Bartholomew. Most of them are portrayed as having the privilege of knowing Jesus’ hidden teaching, but they differ in their willingness to disclose this teaching to other disciples. It is suggested that the Beloved Disciple in John could be understood as an ‘anti-James’, replacing the brothers of Jesus.

Keywords: authorial fiction; love; teachers; students; hidden knowledge; Mary of Magdala; James; Bartholomew

Chapter.  10094 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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