"Because of the Woman’s Testimony . . .": Reexamining the Issue of Authorship in the Fourth Gospel

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Cambridge University Press


This article combines historical, literary, theological, and feminist criticism to inquire into the identity of the Beloved Disciple (BD) in the Fourth Gospel attempting to mediate between the theory of the BD as pure literary construct and the BD as a single historical individual. It proposes that the BD is a textual paradigm of ideal discipleship which is realized diversely in several characters in the text. This has ramifications for the textual identity of the evangelist and of the foundational Easter witness of the Johannine community. It suggests that women were more significant in leadership of the Johannine community than has been recognised in the past.