BIBLIOTHECA SACRA July, 1963.
The theory that Lazarus wrote the Gospel had been pro- posed in 1949 by Floyd Filson. He observed that the first readers of the Gospel would not have any external evidence to identify the author, and that they would necessarily be dependent on the content for clues. Since the narrative plain- ly declares that Jesus loved Lazarus (11:5), the subsequent references to "the disciple whom Jesus loved" must refer back to him. His residence at Bethany, only two miles from Jerusalem, would explain his familiarity with the city and the fact that the action of the Gospel centers there. Because he had been raised from the dead he would have a peculiar interest in the topic of eternal life, which is dominant in this book, and he would logically deduce from the empty tomb that Jesus had risen. 5
Even more recently Pierson Parker, in two articles pub- lished in the Journal of Biblical Literature, denied that John the son of Zebedee could have written the Gospel, and prof- fered the astonishing hypothesis, apparently independently of Sanders, that its author was John Mark, and that the son of Zebedee wrote the Second Gospel.6 Other critics have sug- gested that the writer was an unknown mystic of the second century, or John the priest mentioned in Acts 4:6, or possibly some assistant of the apostle.
Despite the multiplication of complex hypotheses, there has been an increasing tendency to return to the traditional view. H. P. V. Nunn, after a vigorous defense of the tradi- tional authorship in his work, The Son of Zebedee and the Fourth Gospel, has pursued the same argument in later arti- cles.7 Several contemporary American scholars like E. F. Harrison8, William Hendriksen9, and A. J. MacLeod10 also
5 Floyd V. Filson, "Who Was the Beloved Disciple?" Journal of Biblical Literature, 68:83-88, 1949.
6 Pierson Parker, "John and John Mark," Journal of Biblical Literature, 79:97-100, 1960; "John Son of Zebedee and the Fourth Gospel."
7 H. P. V. Nunn, The Son of Zebedee and the Fourth Gospel; "The Bear- ing of the 21st Chapter of the Fourth Gospel on Its Authorship," Church Quarterly Review, 115 :79-95, 1932; "Considerations on Some Recent Criticism of the Fourth Gospel," Evangelical Quarterly, 15:169-78, 1943; "The Fourth Gospel in the Early Church, ibid., 16:173-91, 1944.
8 E. F. Harrison, "The Gospel of John," Wycliffe Bible Commentary pp. 1071-72.
9 10 William Hendriksen, New Testament Commentary: John, pp. 3-31. A. J. MacLeod, "The Gospel According to John," The New Bible Com- mentary, p. 865.