Facts About John the Apostle

John the Apostle

John was one of the first called of the twelve apostles. He was often included in the innermost inner circle of Jesus, along with Peter and James. John is often considered the youngest of the twelve. He started out as a bit of an arrogant man, and was somewhat of a loose cannon, but as time went on and he walked with Jesus, he became more mellow. He was the only apostle that is believed to have died a natural death.

James and John were both fishermen, who were from the town of Bethsaida.The Sea of Galilee was their usual fishing place. Their father’s name was Zebedee and their mother’s name was Salome. John was married. Some think he may have been Mary’s sister’s son, making him a cousin to Jesus, but the Bible does not specify this.

At one point, James and John were with Jesus on the way to Jerusalem. On the way, when entering a Samaritan village, the people were unwelcoming. James and John noticed this attitude and asked Jesus if He wanted them to call down fire from Heaven to destroy them. Jesus scolded them, saying they did not understand that Jesus was not on earth to destroy lives, but to save them. This event can be found in Luke 9:51-56.

The two were given the surname Boanerges by Jesus. This word means “Sons of Thunder” according to Mark 3:17.

The only place where John is called the Beloved is in the book of John, which was written by John. For this reason, it is thought that he might have been a bit arrogant about his perceived place in Jesus’ circle. However, he was a man who was quick to act and ambitious, very faithful to the Saviour, and one who learned to be kind.

Five New Testament books were penned by John. These are the Gospel According to John, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, and Revelation. The three numbered books are quite short: 1 John has only five chapters and the other two have only one.

Revelation was written while John was on the Isle of Patmos, to which he was exiled. The book details the vision he was shown by God and describes the last days. He sent the book as a letter to the churches in Asia to which the apostles had ministered previously. He was shown Heaven and earth during the last tribulation and final judgment days.

Peter, James, and John were the three apostles that spent the most time with Jesus, according to Biblical accounts. They were with Him when he raised Jairus’ daughter from the dead. They were on the Mount of Transfiguration, where Jesus, Moses, and Elijah appeared in glorified bodies. They were closest to Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, when He cried out to His Father in agony before His journey to the cross.

John and Peter were the two disciples chosen to prepare the Last Supper – the Passover meal that was observed by Jesus and the twelve disciples before His death.

John stood at the foot of the cross with Jesus’ earthly mother, Mary, and was given the responsibility to care for her.

John and Peter were entering a gate at the Temple and were asked for alms by a lame man, to whom they proceeded to offer healing; the man walked and leaped as they continued into the temple.

Though there is no way to verify this, the Basilica of St. John that was constructed in Ephesus is believed to be the final resting place of the body of John. The ruins are still in the Izmir Province of Turkey. He is believed to have traveled to Ephesus from Jerusalem and may have lived most of his life in Ephesus.

Where to Buy
The Apostle John: A Blessed Life
The Apostle John: Studies in his Life and Writings
Commentary on Saint John the Apostle and Evangelist: Homilies 48-88 (Fathers of the Church Patristic Series)
The Jewish Gospel of John: Discovering Jesus, King of All Israel
John the Beloved: How the Son of Thunder Became the Apostle of Love
John: The Gospel of Wisdom (Biblical Imagination)
Saint John the Apostle and Evangelist Silver Medal - The Patron Saints Medals
On Being a Christian - Thoughts From John the Apostle
St. John in Exile
The Gospel of John-Visual Bible DVD-Holy Bible-Bible Stories-Baptism of Jesus-Jesus of Nazareth-Bible-Bible Stories for Children-Temptation of Jesus-St. John the Baptist


Resources Related to John

The Apostle John: A Blessed Life

This study examines John’s gospel along with the history of the first century, current philosophy, archaeological revelations, and what we know about John as a man. Commentaries and quotations from expositors aid in learning about John and his writings.

The Apostle John: Studies in His Life and Writings

This study of John was written by W. H. Griffith around the turn of the century. The lessons are understandable and practical, allowing anyone to learn the concepts John teaches.

Commentary on Saint John the Apostle and Evangelist

Based on messages written in the late 300s AD, this book examines homilies 48-88, which cover Chrystostom’s commentary on the book of John from chapters 7 to the end.

The Jewish Gospel of John: Discovering Jesus, King of All Israel

Rather than an additional book or a change of the existing book, this is a book that shows the way the book would have been understood in the century in which it was written and by the people to whom it was originally written.

John the Beloved

How the son of thunder became the apostle of love is the theme of this book by Dr. Darryl DelHousaye. Much of John’s writings are about the love of God and loving one another.

John: The Gospel of Wisdom

The wisdom of John and his illustration of Jesus as the Word are examined by Michael Card, and compared with the other three gospels.

Saint John the Apostle and Evangelist Silver Medal

Silver-plated brass pendant is just under three-quarters of an inch in diameter with an embossed depiction of John and the text “SANCTUS JOANNES APOSTOLUS” around the rim.

On Being a Christian – Thoughts from John the Apostle

Dr. John Oswalt studies the book of 1 John and what it means to be a Christian. The lessons include study questions.

(DVD) St. John in Exile

A novelized dramatization of John’s imprisonment, this turns John’s life on Patmos into a personal account.

(DVD) The Gospel of John

This DVD portrays Biblical texts from the Good News Bible translation. Word for word, the book is dramatized to aid in comprehension.

(DVD) Patmos

A dramatization of the experiences of John on the Isle of Patmos, this depiction features Louis Rolston, Mark Mulholland, Joe McPartland, and John Hewitt.