John the Presbyter was a high-ranking priest in the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem when for the first time he heard Jesus speak. The encounter changed his life: he became a follower of Jesus and for the rest of his years he wrote books about his spiritual master -- one of the few of Jesus's eyewitnesses to even try to do so. The world is familiar with John's two great masterworks, the Gospel of John and the Revelation to John, available as other books in this series. But, except for New Testament specialists, few are aware of his other writings. This book presents all of the Presbyter's shorter works that have survived. They were written over a turbulent thirty-year period during which John strove to spread and preserve the truth about Jesus, in a time when others -- none more than Paul of Tarsus, who had never even met Jesus -- fought for control over who got to define Jesus's nature and teachings. During these years John escaped from Jerusalem before its destruction by the Roman military and later was arrested and exiled for treason, probably turned in to the authorities by none other than Paul. The common theme in these shorter writings is John's determination to conter Paul's efforts to recast Jesus as a Roman godling inhabiting a spiritual body, not one of flesh. The Christian religion was to adopt Paul's views, not John's, but we can still read today these books by a man who, unlike Paul, personally knew and studied under the Master. The works herein include four well-known writings: the final chapter of the gospel (originally a separate work) and the three letters also included in the New Testament, all carefully retranslated from the original Greek. But also included are several virtually unknown works: John's instruction manual for local congregations, some rare teachings of Jesus, an account of Jesus dancing and singing just before his execution, and the Presbyter's critical comments about the Gospel of Mark. Not one of these works deserves to be forgotten by history, for they are the precious writings of a man who knew Jesus. What is more, they were composed in the Presbyter's fine style, one that deserves comparison to the greatest of classical Greek and Roman authors. And today's Christians -- and indeed anyone interested in the real historical Jesus behind the distortions of dogma and doctrine -- should come to know them.
James David Audlin, Paperback Tra edition, ISBN 10: 1500395994, ISBN 13: 9781500395995