To clarify my post yesterday on some recent reviews of Richard Bauckham's book, J.P. Holding has told me that he agrees with me in seeing Bauckham's theory about the authorship of the fourth gospel as the second best option. He still thinks that John the son of Zebedee was the author, though his guest reviewer apparently was convinced by Bauckham's theory. J.P. Holding also made a good point to me that's easy to overlook, something I didn't mention in my review of Bauckham's book. John 21 has the beloved disciple going fishing, which is consistent with the son of Zebedee, who was a fisherman. So, to add that point to what I said in my review of Bauckham, the theory that some other John wrote the fourth gospel requires us to conclude that there was another John who:
- was also a close disciple of Jesus
- was also close to Peter
- was also involved in fishing
And this other John became widely confused with John the son of Zebedee, to the point where, by Bauckham's admission, the son of Zebedee was universally thought to be the author of the fourth gospel as early as the third century.