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John, like the writer of the first Gospel, was one of the twelve apostles, and hence an eyewitness of all that he describes. He was one of the first four followers summoned by Jesus, and was of all men the man most intimately associated with the Master, and beloved by Him. A mere youth at the time of his call, John apparently outlived all the other Apostles.
His Gospel is of later date than the other three and is supposed to have been written by him perhaps sixty years after the death of Christ, though there is a widespread opinion among modern scholars that not John himself, but some intimate friend and pupil of his, was the actual writer. John also, as a leader of the Church, wrote three of the "Epistles" and in extreme old age penned his mighty and mystic "Revelation."
This Gospel is supplementary to and widely different from the other three. It aims, not to tell the story of Jesus' life, but to expound His doctrines. The other Gospels are chiefly narrative; this one, while mentioning incidents passed over by the others, is a book of philosophic discourses. John, who had most loved Jesus and most fully caught His spirit, explains His mission to the world as the God, born man, to suffer for us all, the God of Divine Love.
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