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Discussion 11 to Meditation 38
On John, Peter & James

by JT

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The problem with this suggestion raised by the anonymous hippyroo is that John, Peter, and James are not "conclusively" first witness accounts.

It has not been proven that the people these writings were attributed to were actually the writers.

Nor is there agreement on who was intended by the attribution. While there is general agreement that Peter means the apostle, there is no agreement who "John" (writings other than the 4th gospel) and "James" were. (As an aside, it is very hard to reconcile the Catholic acceptance that the Epistle of James was written by Jesus's brother with the Catholic dogma that he had no brothers or sisters - Mary has to be kept eternally virgin.)

The Epistle of James had a hard time making it into the accepted New Testament canon, as did some of the writings of attributed to John, particularly Revelations. These writings were questioned in early church councils in the second century, and much later were doubted by Luther. And these doubts extend into the current day.

None of the accounts you refer to were written within Jesus's lifetime - they were not written down for at least 20 years and more. And they have no more claim to be eyewitness accounts than do the four gospels.