It’s a question that’s been asked by Christians for nearly 2,000 years– Is Saint John the Apostle still alive today?
In this article, we’ll examine what caused this legend to start, talk about the evidence that supports it, discuss the possibility that John is immortal (and why), and also talk about how Saint John died (assuming he did) and where John’s tomb is. Finally, (for those that think John is still alive) we’ll also talk about what his mission may be.
Did Saint John die? That, my friends is the question. Now let’s get some answers!
1. Who was John of Salome?
John, the younger brother of James, son of Zebedee and Salome, was a fishermen in Galilee during the time of Jesus Christ’s missionary work. Together with his brother, John was one of the first persons called by Jesus to join his group of disciples. John and his brother went on to become part of Jesus’s inner circle, were named as two of the legendary Twelve Apostles, and after Jesus’s death and resurrection, John, James, and others went on to change the world by creating and spreading the new faith of Christianity.
As for John himself, he is credited with writing The Gospel of John, the two Epistles of John, and the Book of Revelation that are all part of the accepted canon of The Bible we have today. His writing and evangelical work throughout Palestine and Rome caused untold numbers to convert to Christianity and the fruits of his labors are beyond measure.
Always close to Jesus, John is often pictured near Christ in classic art and in The Bible he is repeatedly mentioned as one of the three apostles (along with his brother James and Peter) who were the closest associates of Jesus. Because of his favoritism by Jesus, John was known as John the Beloved.
In fact, John became so famous in Christian lore that he picked up a slew of other monikers over the years. He and his brother James were called Boangeres which translated to ‘sons of thunder’ because of their alleged quick tempers. John himself was also known by many other names including: John of Zebedee, John the Revelator, John the Divine, and John the Theologian. It’s possible he was also the same person as the Christian writers known as John the Evangelist, John the Presbyter, and John the Elder. As the accepted author of Revelation, he is also presumed to be John of Patmos. And, as is most relevant to this article, he was (is?) sometimes called Saint John the Immortal.
For all his efforts, John of Salome was one of the first ‘saints’ of the Christian Faith. Because he was made a saint during the early days of the religion (pre-congregation) we don’t have records that tell us the day he was made a saint, however we do know his Feast Days.
For Catholics and Western Christians, the Feast of St John is December 27. For Eastern Orthodox Christians, he is celebrated on September 26.
2. Why Do People Believe John Didn't Die?
Saint John – the ‘beloved’ apostle of Jesus who was allegedly responsible for writing multiple books of the Bible and instrumental in helping to get the Christian Religion started.
You mean the guy that lived over 2,000 years ago? You want me to believe he is still alive today?
Actually – YES.
And before you say preposterous, I would respectfully ask that you at least consider the EVIDENCE in favor of this claim.
3. Evidence from Christian Literature Supporting St. John's Immortality
Perhaps the most respected evidence that supports the possibility that Apostle John may still be alive today comes to us from the Gospel of John.
Here the author himself wrote about his potential immortality in John, Chapter 21: 21-23.
In this scene, Peter is talking to Jesus after his resurrection and John is following them at a distance. Jesus has just told Peter about the latter’s manner of death. Peter then asks how John will die. To which Jesus responds…
“If I want John to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.”
John 21:21-23 was such a powerful case for the immortality of John that allegedly even the other apostles and Jesus’ disciples at that time believed St. John would not die and that instead John would remain alive until Jesus’ Second Coming.
II. Book of The Mormon
Further evidence about the possibility that St. John is still alive comes from the Book of Mormon, Chapter 28: 4-7.
(Editor’s Note: I am not a Mormon nor am I here to debate the worthiness of the Mormon religion, I’m simply giving you applicable verbiage that relates to the subject at hand – AKA that St John may still be alive today. You can make your own decisions).
With an open mind, consider these verses in which Jesus is speaking directly to the other disciples about John…
“…Blessed is John, for he shall never taste of death; but he shall live to behold all the doings of the Father unto the children of men, even until all things shall be fulfilled according to the will of the Father, when I shall come in my glory with the powers of heaven. And he shall never endure the pains of death; but when I shall come in my glory he shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye from mortality to immortality; and then shall he be blessed in the kingdom of my Father.”
III. Doctrine and Covenants
Additional evidence that Apostle John is still alive comes from another Mormon text — the Doctrine and Covenants, Section 7: 1-3.
Once more it’s a scene in which Jesus is talking to Peter and John and we get more verbiage from Jesus himself that he wants John to remain alive until he returns.
Consider for yourself this alleged conversation between Jesus and his beloved apostle John which is clearly an expansion of the text from the Gospel of John: 21-23. As with John’s Gospel, the scene is told from the point of view of the author which is again St. John himself…
“And the Lord said unto me: John, my beloved, what desirest thou? For if you shall ask what you will, it shall be granted unto you.”
And I said unto him: “Lord, give unto me power over death, that I may live and bring souls unto thee.”
And the Lord said unto me: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, because thou desirest this thou shalt tarry until I come in my glory, and shalt prophesy before nations, kindreds, tongues and people.”
And for this cause the Lord also said unto Peter: “If I will that he tarry till I come again, what is that to thee? For he desired of me that he might bring souls unto me, but thou desiredst that thou mightest speedily come unto me in my kingdom. I say unto thee, Peter, this was a good desire; but my beloved John has desired that he might do more, or a greater work yet among men than what he has before done. Yea, he has undertaken a greater work; therefore I will make him as flaming fire and a ministering angel; he shall minister for those who shall be heirs of salvation who dwell on the earth…”
You can get a copy of The Gospel of The Secret Supper in The Gnostic Bible. The Gospel of the Secret Supper is located in Section Seven – Cathar Literature.
Beyond just John’s apocryphal text, the Gnostic Bible is a massive, 800-page book that includes gnostic texts such as the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Judas, and the highly heretical Reality of the Rulers that attempts to turn the story of Genesis upside down. If you decide to buy it – you’ve been warned.
4. Why is Apostle John Still Alive? Are there other immortals too?
I’ve been pondering the question of John’s immortality for years. Asking questions such as…
- If Jesus made the Apostle John immortal what is John doing now?
- How would John feel about being stuck on this world for over 2,000 years?
- Why did Jesus want John to remain alive until the Second Coming? What is John’s secret mission?
- Are there other people who Jesus made immortal too?
- If Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, how did Lazarus die again?
- Whatever happened to Mary Magdalene? Is she immortal too?
The more I explored these questions, the more convinced I became enamored by the idea that not only was St. John alive but that maybe Lazarus and Mary were too. I became so inspired by the possibility of it all that I wrote a FICTIONAL “What If?” story about it.
So what would John’s story be if he was alive today?
Let’s find out…
The Last Temptation of John – Book Summary
The Antichrist has come.
What if the events detailed in The Book of Revelations were about to occur… this year?
Could anyone save us from certain death? The answer is YES. Hard as it may be to believe, St. John the Apostle is still alive today – having been blessed with the Gift of Immortality so that he could survive to fight against the coming of The Antichrist. Unfortunately, over the course of the last 2,000 years John has lost is faith!
Can John recover his faith in time to stop Armageddon or will Satan’s Son achieve Ultimate Victory? The answer to that question and many more will be revealed in the thrilling new book series The Last Temptation of John.
Read the trilogy today… if your faith is strong enough. If nothing else, assuming you have a sense of humor, it’s good for a few laughs. 🙂
5. How did Apostle John Die?
Well obviously if the events detailed in my book The Last Temptation of John are true (and the Antichrist has risen) then we’re hoping St. Johh did NOT die, right? After all, if the horrific events detailed in John’s Book of Revelation are about to occur today then we need St. John and his fellow immortals to fight on our behalf!
And if nothing else, the possibility that Apostle John is still alive today makes for an interesting subject for a book, neh? 🙂
But for those of you who don’t buy St. John’s immortality and you believed he died and is buried, then perhaps you’ll enjoy this…
The inscription on his tomb where Saint John is (allegedly) buried…
Then again, how do we know if John is actually inside? 🙂
6. Links to Learn More
I’m certainly not the only person to write about the possibility that Apostle John may still be alive today. Here are various references to learn more about the topic – some present arguments in favor of John being immortal, others argue against it. I’ll leave to YOU to decide for yourself.
- Brittanica.com – Bio of St John’s Life
- Christian Forums – Is St John Still Alive?
- Wikipedia: St John the Apostle
- All Power to the Lamb: Is John the Apostle Dead?
- Christianity Stack Exchange: What is the basis of the Mormon belief that St John is still alive?
- Tradition in Action: Is St John still alive?
- Above Top Secret: Is St John immortal?
- BibleStudy.org: How did St John Die?
- Community Logos: Why do people believe St John is still alive?
- Mormon Research Ministry: Is St John a surviving apostle and still alive today?
- Gospel Secrets Unveiled: Could St John be one of two apostles still alive today?