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John the Apostle, son of Zebedee

One of the first disciples of Jesus and brother of James

Background

John, a Galilean fisherman, was the son of Zebedee and brother of James. Along with Peter and James, John was one of the twelve disciples often singled out in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Peter, James, and John may have formed a kind of inner circle among Jesus' followers. In the book of Acts, John appears with Peter at the temple and both are arrested by the temple authorities before being released with a warning (Acts 4:1-22). After the martyrdom of Stephen, we find John again in company with Peter in Samaria to approve the spread of the gospel there (Acts 8:14-17). Thereafter, John disappears from the New Testament except for Paul's mention of him as a "pillar" of the Jerusalem church (Galatians 2:9). John is traditionally identified with the disciple whom Jesus loved, who was next to Jesus at the Last Supper and with him at the cross in the Gospel according to John.

AUTHOR: Robert Brusic, Seminary Pastor Emeritus