Augsburg Fortress

John, The Son of Zebedee: The Life of a Legend

John, The Son of Zebedee: The Life of a Legend

Beginning with New Testament reports of John as fisherman and extending through the most recent Johannine scholarship, Culpepper gathers stories from church fathers, the apocryphal acts of John, medieval sources, Victorian poets, and nineteenth-and twentieth-century historians of earliest Christianity about the exploits and the death of this apostle. Culpepper's sweeping study examines a multitude of sources, many of which are widely dispersed and not previously available in English.

Culpepper reveals images of John that suggest the power of historical tradition and legend. The resulting study is one of the most important sources of information about the development of Johannine legends, as well as one of the most successful efforts to overcome barriers that have traditionally separated New Testament exegesis from the study of the history of Christianity.
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  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9780800631673
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 398
  • Publication Date June 14, 2000


"Will no doubt become a reference manual for anyone interested in the development of legends about John...Very useful and very stimulating."
-- Jean-Daniel Kaesli, University of Lausanne, Switzerland

Table of Contents


1. Fisherman: The Setting of the Apostle's early life.
2. Son of Thunder: The Apostle in the Synoptic Gospels and Acts.
3. Beloved Disciple: The Apostle in the Fourth Gospel.
4. Elder and Seer: John in the Epistles and the Apocalypse.
5. Obscurity: The Apostle in the Second Century.
6. Saint: The Eagle Soars.
7. Hero: The Acts of the Apostle.
8. Icon: The Apostle in Art and Literature.
9. Historical Figure: The Apostle in Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century Research.
10. Eclipse and Acclaim: The Apostle in Recent Research.