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Biography of John the Apostle


Index

John the Apostle, one of the twelve apostles, commonly believed to have been the "beloved disciple" and companion of Jesus, and the author of the New Testament books known as the Gospel of John, of the three Epistles of John, and of the book of Revelation. John and his elder brother, James, with their father, Zebedee, were fishermen on the sea of Galilee. They had heard the preaching of John the Baptist along the Jordan, and when Jesus called the brothers, they gladly left their work and followed. Under the guidance of Jesus, John and James overcame their defects of character, headstrongness and impetuousness, and became strong and calmly noble. John was one of the three who witnessed the raising of Jairus' daughter and saw the transfiguration; and he was with Jesus in his hour of trial in the Garden of Gethsemane. John witnessed the crucifixion, and at the cross Jesus charged the Apostle with the care of his mother Mary. John returned to his trade for a time, but after the Pentecost he engaged in missionary work with Peter. John and Peter were imprisoned by the Jewish authorities. They held firm in their faith, however, and went to Samaria upon their release, continuing as missionairies. John stayed at Jerusalem during the persecutions, supporting the new church. He spent most of his later life in Asia Minor. The works ascribed to John were all written during the latter part of the Apostle's life.