Johannine literature is the collection of New Testament works that are traditionally attributed to John the Apostle, John the Evangelist, or to the Johannine community.[1] They are usually dated to the period c. AD 60–110, with a minority of scholars such as John AT Robinson offering the earliest of these datings.


A Syriac Christian rendition of St. John the Evangelist, from the Rabbula Gospels, 6th century.

Johannine literature is traditionally considered to include the following works:[2]


Of these five books, the only one that explicitly identifies its author as a "John" (Ancient Greek: Ἰωάννης, romanizedIōannēs) is Revelation. Modern scholarship generally rejects the idea that this work is written by the same author as the other four documents.[3] The gospel identifies its author as the disciple whom Jesus loved, commonly identified with John the Evangelist since the end of the first century.[4]

Scholars have debated the authorship of Johannine literature (the Gospel of John, Epistles of John, and the Book of Revelation) since at least the third century, but especially since the Enlightenment. The authorship by John the Apostle is rejected by many modern scholars.[5][6]

See also


  1. ^ Bruce et al. 2012, The Johannine Letters: I, II, and III John
  2. ^ Moloney & Harrington 1998, p. 1
  3. ^ Bruce et al. 2012, The Johannine Letters: I, II, and III John
  4. ^ Eusebius of Caesarea, Ecclesiastical History Book iii. Chapter xxiii.
  5. ^ Harris, Stephen L. (1985). Understanding the Bible: a Reader's Introduction (2nd ed.). Palo Alto: Mayfield. p. 355. ISBN 978-0-87484-696-6. Although ancient traditions attributed to the Apostle John the Fourth Gospel, the Book of Revelation, and the three Epistles of John, modern scholars believe that he wrote none of them.
  6. ^ Kelly, Joseph F. (1 October 2012). History and Heresy: How Historical Forces Can Create Doctrinal Conflicts. Liturgical Press. p. 115. ISBN 978-0-8146-5999-1.