I received a question, which I shall answer in this post, before continuing with the series.
“Where do you get your research to prove that John had children more so that he had a great grandson by the name of Benjamin?
Hold the Faith, part 1 in the Apostle John series is a work of fiction, with facts sprinkled throughout.
Copied from the ‘front-matter’ of the book.
This is a work of fiction. Other than the events recorded in the Holy Bible or drawn from extensive research, the people, names and situations are products of the author’s imagination. Other than what is drawn from Scripture and this research, any resemblance to actual persons, alive or dead, is purely coincidental
Who and what is real in the book?
The Apostle John.
Why I set the book in Ephesus is explained in a previous post https://holdthefaith.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/hold-the-faith-ephesus/
Fact: there was a thriving community of believers in Ephesus.
Apollos was a Christian preacher who had come to Ephesus (probably in the year 52-3), where he is described as “being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John.”
Priscilla and Aquila, a Jewish Christian couple who had come to Ephesus with the Apostle Paul, instructed Apollos. “When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more adequately.”
The Apostle Timothy as well as John is also reported as being in Ephesus.
Some of these are mentioned in Hold the Faith, part 1 in the Apostle John series.
My purpose in writing this mixture of fact and fiction?
In our modern age, where we do everything at seemingly breakneck speed, it is often difficult to read the Bible and understand how our Christian predecessors lived.
- They walked from town to town – no jumping in cars.
- No text messages, emails or mobile phones – only painstakingly written documents
So, in Hold the Faith, I set out to explore how my early Christian ancestors lived. I also discovered what they faced… and I deepened my faith.
I should mention here that the initial impetus came from hearing an excellent and detailed Bible study on the gospel of John. It inspired me, intrigued me, and set me off exploring, looking for facts.
My purpose in ‘giving’ the apostle John a family was to bring out certain points of his life, teaching, and responses to questions about the gospel he was writing.
I have heard it said that it was John’s wedding at Cana. As well as the fact that it is not recorded who married at that famous wedding where Christ’s first miracle took place, according to traditions handed down, I believe it highly unlikely that John would marry, then immediately leave to travel with Christ for the three and a half years of His ministry.
I could fill several books with the vast amount of research I have done. Finding out the names of a possible family of the apostle John was not in that research. That was part of what was covered by the ‘work of fiction’ notice at the start of the book.
·However, from Biblical accounts, the apostles were not celibate. Peter had a mother-in-law, which means that at some time he had a wife.
The evidence for Paul being married is fairly scant.
- He writes in 1 Corinthians 9:5:
“Don’t we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers and Cephas?”
The implication could be made that Paul was complaining about leaving some wife behind.
- In Galatians 1:14, Paul says:
“I was advancing in Judaism beyond many Jews of my own age and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers”
One of the traditions, especially if he was a member of the Sanhedrin (which he never outright claimed), is that eventually he would be married. That said, there is nothing to say that he had necessarily progressed far enough to require a wife.
So, some apostles took a wife with them on their travels. I hope that answers the question. 🙂
The story continues in Grow in Grace, part 2 in the series due for release at the end of August 2013. There is at least one more book after that.