Erich Lessing

John, young and clean-shaven. This sixth-century mosaic at San Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna, Italy, reflects artistic convention. The apostle John customarily appears youthful, in contrast to the mature, bearded John the Baptist. Ancient tradition regarded the apostle John as the author of the Gospel of John, the enigmatic “fourth” Gospel. Many scholars today suggest that the author of John’s Gospel may have been a disciple of the apostle. In any case, the evangelist probably knew of the three Synoptic Gospels, even though he did not follow them.