How Could John, a Poor, Uneducated Fisherman, Write the Gospel of John?

A fellow Christian Case Maker I met at Frank Turek’s CrossExamined Academy is teaching a church group about the reliability of the New Testament. A question was raised about the Apostle John: “How could John, an uneducated fisherman, have written such a literate and theologically rich gospel account?” After all, John was just a fisherman; was he educated enough to accomplish something this sophisticated? Irenaeus, certainly thought so. This historic Bishop of Lugdunum, was the student of Polycarp and Ignatius (two men who were taught directly by the Apostle John). Irenaeus identified the Apostle John as the author of the fourth Gospel, reflecting the historic understanding of the earliest Christians. In spite of this, many skeptics are eager to dismiss the authorship of John (often in an attempt to further discredit the supernatural New Testament claims related to Jesus) by doubting John’s level of education and degree of literacy. There are, however several good reasons to resist the notion that John, the son of Zebedee, was too illiterate to have written the fourth Gospel:

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The pursuit of knowledge in the Christian life

The more I read the Old Testament the more I am amazed at how consistent it is with the message of the New Testament.  Over the last couple of weeks I have been reading through Proverbs, a book known for its claims on how pursuing God’s wisdom leads to a well ordered, and profitable life.  Solomon, the author of most of the book of Proverbs, placed a high value on the pursuit of knowledge and wisdom.  In fact in several places the two words seem to be used interchangeably.  In our culture today there are people who put Christians down for their perceived lack of knowledge.  To these people Christians do not have enough “evidence” or are maybe behind the curve on claims to truth.  To them Christian beliefs are outdated, or do not apply to our modern culture.  However the Bible claims the exact opposite. 

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