Document: C. Vanderwaal, Search the Scriptures, Vol. VIII: John to Romans, trans. by Theodore Plantinga (St. Catharines, ON.: Paideia Press, 1978).
Excerpt: The disciple Jesus loved. Anyone who reads the fourth gospel carefully can see for himself that it was written by a Palestinian Jew who was an apostle and an eyewitness of the events he describes. The inescapable conclusion is that the author must be John. The writer appears to be very familiar with Palestine (4:6, 11, 20, 35), for he gives us some surprising details, for example, in connection with time (1:39) and distances (6:19; 21:8). Such details could only have come from an eyewitness. In 21:20 the author refers to himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” Now, Jesus was especially close to three disciples—Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, i.e. James and John. Peter could not be the disciple referred to in 21:20, for he is clearly distinguished from him in this verse: Peter points to the disciple in question and asks Jesus about him. Thus it must be James or John. Now, James had died in the year 44, as a victim of Jewish hatred. Thus the eyewitness and writer had to be John, the other “son of thunder” (literally: noisemaker).
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