Bible Decoded: The Deceit of the Era
Consider now the talk between Peter and Jesus in the forthcoming presence of John as reported in John 21:20-24.
“Peter turned, and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following him; the same who leaned back on his breast at supper, and asked, who is it that is to betray thee?
Seeing him, Peter asked Jesus, And what of this man, lord? Jesus said to him, If it is my will that he should wait till I come, what is it to thee? Do thou follow me? That was why the story went round among the brethren that this disciple was not to die. But Jesus did not say, He is not to die; he said, if it is my will that he should wait till I come, what is it to thee? It is the same disciple that bears witness of all this and has written the story of it;and we know well that his witness is truthful.” Why did Jesus say that John would outlive the rest?
Of the 11 disciples remaining alive after the death of Judas, James son of Zebedee was the first to die. With Jesus not appearing, the still surviving disciples carried on, taking heart from the fact that John was still alive. That is why the story went round that this disciple, namely, John, was not to die.
It is not possible to know that Jesus did not intend to say that John would never die. It is only possible to know this after John is dead. It is not possible for John himself to write so, since it is not possible for anyone to write anything after he has died.
Therefore, the writing standing in his name is the work of someone else.
John’s interpretation that Jesus did not intend to say that John would not die is refuted too by Jesus’ own words at Matthew 16:28: “Verily I say unto you, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the son of man coming in his kingdom.” The words were addressed to “all alike,” definitely including John.
Re-emphasis of Jesus’ remark is purposeful at John 21:23. But for such a remark, christianity would have collapsed with the death of John following on that of James. With the requoted remark in place, it outlasted its certain collapse upon the death of John.
Jesus singled out John as he was the last disciple to die. His words ensured to himself that each and every one of the other disciples would keep believing until they got killed one by one while unknowingly furthering his designs in the security of John’s immunity. “Do you follow me?” He significantly asks at this point in the talk. But for his citation about John, the last disciple to die, they would have withdrawn upon occurrence of death to anyone of them, since it would mark a failure of his assurance. The violent death of James at the hands of Jews would certainly be that turning point (The Acts 12:2).
Mark 14:50 reports accordingly when saying that upon Jesus’ arrest, all his disciple abandoned him and fled. Moreover, Peter denied him thrice out of fear of death.
If the disciples were steadfast even after James’ death, it was because Jesus deceived them down to their last moments by the promise to return well before death of John. The disciples died. John too died.
It was a trap to secure, besides James, additional victims in its path. The so-called christianity has gained immensely from this victimisation. It so gained when christianity renamed it as fiducial martyrdom!