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Who Is This John?

Even non-Christians are at least vaguely aware that the fourth Gospel, or life of Christ, is attributed to a John; because of its literary associations, they may also be aware that the Book of Revelation is attributed to John; and well-informed Christians may also know that a John wrote the first three Epistles of the New Testament. Oh, yes -- and there was a John who was among the 12 disciples. So how many Johns were there? Well, it is agreed that John the disciple was present at the trial and Crucifixion of Jesus, and it is also widely believed that this John wrote the fourth Gospel and those first three Epistles to the early Christian communities. But there is not solid agreement among scholars that this was the same John who wrote the Book of Revelation. Nevertheless, the religious community of Patmos does believe that the John who dictated the book in the cave here was the same as the other John and thus flatly proclaims their institution and site as that of St. John the Divine.

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