David W. Wood

The Johannine Question: From Fichte to Steiner

Part II. The Openly Hidden Author

All the mysteries of the world lie perfectly revealed before us. We gradually
raise ourselves up to them, from the stone to the seer. There is no such thing
as a mystery in itself, there are only uninitiated people of varying degrees.

Christian Morgenstern.48

Inner Proof

As we saw in Part I of this essay, it can be fruitful for the critical reader to start with close textual analyses and comparisons, whether it is between the Gospel of John, Fichte’s Way to the Blessed Life, or Steiner’s Christianity as Mystical Fact. In his lectures on the fourth gospel Steiner underlined the importance of critical textual readings, pointing out how careful scriptural and textual exegesis is like the process of weighing gold: “And with such a profound ancient document as the Gospel of John it is really a matter of placing every single word on the gold scales in order to ascertain its correct value.”49

To independently determine the truthfulness or correctness of a presentation for oneself, one has to eventually move beyond the mere external letter of the texts to its inner spirit. It is a matter of inwardly comparing the claims in a text with one’s own experiences and sense for the truth on the one hand, and with the universal standards of reason and logic on the other. Fichte called this process of moving from the letter of a text to its spirit, a philosophical “inner proof” (innerer Beweis). As Fichte remarks in his 1804/05 lectures on history, it is equivalent with humanity’s practical sense for truth, as well as with the fourth gospel’s conception of the divine: “The Johannine Jesus does not know of any other God than the true God in which we all co-exist and live and are able to become blessed, and outside of which there is only death and non-being; and if this procedure is also fully correct, it does not appeal to any sort of intellectual speculation, but to the inner sense for truth in humanity that can be practically developed – and it does not know of any other proof than this inner one.”50

Fichte’s conception of inner proof has its origins in the original Johannine documents, such as the First Epistle of John: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (1 John 4: 1).51 For Fichte, a genuine inner proof must not contradict the external documents and historical texts, and must definitely never contradict reason and logic itself. Fichte found the logos presentation of John the Evangelist to be in harmony with the method of rational inner proof, and this is why he considered the Gospel of John to be the most philosophical of all the gospels:

The philosopher can only be in harmony with John, for he alone has respect for reason, and appeals to a proof that the philosopher solely views as valid: the inner proof.52

For Fichte, the other three gospels depict and make appeals to more external examples and proofs such as the miracles, whereas the Gospel of John furnishes a basis for a doctrine of religion by appealing to one’s own inner spiritual faculties: “The other proclaimers of Christianity, however, build on the external exercising of proof by means of the miracles, which for us at least, does not prove anything. Moreover, among the evangelists it is John alone who contains what we are seeking and want: a doctrine of religion”.53

Despite the agreement between Fichte’s thought and the language, imagery and principles of the Gospel of John (and even with the works of some contemporary poets), the philosopher was adamant that his conclusions in the Way to the Blessed Life were arrived at in a manner completely independent of all the scriptures and other writers, including the Gospel of John, and did not rely on any outside texts or authorities. Fichte’s only appeal is to the inner tribunal and truth of human reason itself: “with the demonstration of this agreement between our doctrine and Christianity we did not want to prove the truth of our doctrine, nor was our intention to provide it with an external support. Its proof should have been apparent in the previous lectures as something absolutely self-evident, and it does not require any further support. And likewise, if Christianity is to have any claims to validity, it has to prove itself to be in agreement with reason (Vernunft), and as a pure and perfected expression of this reason, outside of which there is no truth. Do not expect the philosopher to lead you back into the fetters of blind authority.”54

Differences between Fichte and Steiner

As already noted, to look at the textual similarities between two writers is only half the work of a balanced and critical investigation. A second fundamental aspect of a scientific study is to ask: where, and if at all, do the accounts and theories of these two thinkers differ? With regard to our investigation of the Johannine Question and the raising of Lazarus in the works of Fichte and Steiner, one could ask: where do the treatments of Fichte and Steiner perhaps diverge, and are there possibly any new elements in the one thinker that is not to be found in the other? Looking at the late Fichte, we find a text from 1813 in which Fichte acknowledges that there are elements in the raising of Lazarus that were difficult to explain. As a so-called ‘miracle’ (Wunder), this episode appears to rely on external authority and not be subject to the method of inner proof. What was Fichte’s way of dealing with this problem? – He said he would leave the task of explaining how the miracle of Lazarus could be rationally understood to a subsequent thinker. Writing in his Staatslehre (Theory of the State) in 1813, one year before his death, Fichte stated: “The belief in miracles and the attachment to them are clearly pagan, and contrary to the first principles of Christianity. Instead of this he [Jesus] employed references to Moses and to the prophets, and to inner proof. Thus, there are say, two epochs in the life of Jesus, concerning which the evangelists remained confused and never attained clarity. (The raising of Lazarus is evidently against this [view of no miracles and inner proof]: I will therefore leave it to someone else to investigate.)”55 Thus, because in 1813 Fichte still could not reconcile this event with the philosophical demands of reason and inner proof, it is not surprising to find a detailed treatment of the raising of Lazarus missing from his earlier 1806 text, The Way to the Blessed Life.

In contrast, a rational and non-contradictory explanation for understanding the raising of Lazarus was attempted by Rudolf Steiner in the early 20th century, beginning with his 1902 book Christianity as Mystical Fact. In this regard Steiner’s approach may be viewed as a direct continuation of the spirit of Fichte’s rational method of inner proof. Indeed, Steiner believed his method – which took into account the mystery (or mystical) traditions of antiquity, could even show how the fourth gospel was in harmony with the other three: “Whoever proceeds from the standpoint of a ‘mystical’ origin of the gospels can explain without coercion the elements that do not agree [in the Gospel of John]; for such a person there is also a harmony between the fourth gospel and the other three.”56 In other words, unlike Fichte who was at pains to emphasize the differences between the Gospel of John and the three synoptic gospels, in Christianity as Mystical Fact Steiner seeks to show an underlying harmony between the four gospels in terms of ancient mystery traditions.

To be clear: I am not arguing here for the correctness of Steiner’s interpretation, but simply inquiring into whether in his main writings and lectures on the Gospel of John there are crucial differences or any new elements compared to Fichte, especially in their respective treatments of Lazarus miracle.57 Steiner believed himself capable of providing a rational solution to this episode of the raising of Lazarus by carefully examining the language of certain key words and events in the fourth gospel. His explanation of words such as “love”, “come forth”, “birth” and “death” hinges on the fact that they have multiple levels of meaning, and he advocates that they can even be read purely literally. For instance, on the one level “love” refers to the “God’s love for his existence” like we find in Fichte, yet on the other the term “loved” is also a terminus technicus of the language of initiation to be found in the mystery schools of ancient Greece and Egypt – especially the mystery traditions found in Plato and the writings of Philo of Alexandria. The terms “loved” or “beloved” signifies that the neophyte is ready for or has passed through an initiation or a process of spiritual enlightenment: “Let us now consider the entire process as an initiation. Lazarus is loved by Jesus (John, 11: 36). Being-loved in the conventional sense cannot be meant here. That would contradict the sense of the Gospel of John in which Jesus is the ‘Word’. Jesus loved Lazarus because he considered him mature for awakening the Word in him.”58

Steiner’s approach seeks to pay justice to the language, images, and other elements of the historical text. He argues that many of the contradictions in the text are only apparent and can be overcome by viewing them from these different perspectives, especially from the perspective of spiritual illumination: “What therefore has happened to Lazarus? The spirit has become alive in him. He has partaken of the life that is eternal. One only needs to express his experience using the words of someone initiated into the mysteries and the sense immediately reveals itself.”59 An unbiased reader should see that an explanation and approach of this kind – which focuses on the multilayered meanings of the gospel’s terminology and places the raising of Lazarus into initiation and mystery traditions as a way of resolving its apparent contradictions – is explicitly lacking in Fichte’s Way to the Blessed Life.

The Riddle of the Identity of the Fourth Gospel Writer

Moreover, Steiner’s reference to the mystery language of the text directly relates to what is arguably his most original contribution to the Lazarus debate.60 For in his Christianity as Mystical Fact and later gospel lectures Steiner additionally tries to provide a solution to the so-called “Johannine Question”: that is to say, to the riddle of the identity of the author of the fourth gospel. Who wrote this ancient document? – Is John the Evangelist the author, or perhaps another person named John, or someone else entirely? The authorship question forms one of the more contested issues in Johannine scholarship. For some researchers this question can never be answered with any certainty; for others, possible candidates for the author include John the Presbyter, John the Apostle (son of Zebedee), the Beloved Disciple, John Mark, Lazarus of Bethany, or even an entire community of first century writers.61

For Steiner, the identity of the author is openly presented in this gospel but in a veiled or esoteric manner, in accordance with the language and traditions of the mysteries. – It is therefore a matter of learning how to read the images and words of chapter 11 in the correct way: “Anyone who is able to read has to see that a mystery is hidden this chapter. The mystery, and what is lying behind it, is none other than the communication of who is actually the real author of the Gospel of John, who is actually saying everything that is related in the Gospel of John.”62 Steiner’s solution to the Johannine question is noteworthy for at least three reasons: first, as noted, in the spirit and method of J.G. Fichte, his solution is a rational or “inner proof”, and as such is not contrary to the intellect or logic; second, it is based on an analysis of the composition, language and images of the entire text; third, it is perfectly immanent to the gospel and other Johannine writings, and does not rely on external authorities or reported testimonies.

Steiner starts from the fact that the author does not name himself apart from designating himself in an enigmatic manner at the end of this gospel: “Peter turned and saw following them the disciple whom Jesus loved, who had lain close to his breast at supper […] This is the disciple who is bearing witness to these things, and who has written these things, and we know that his testimony is true” (John 21: 20, 24). The question now becomes for Steiner: who is this Beloved Disciple, the disciple “whom Jesus loved”, the figure who has stated he is the writer of this text, and what is the significance of this name or designation? Steiner points out that the name of a “beloved disciple” is specifically given in the text to Lazarus (cf. John 11: 3, 5, 36), and that it is Lazarus who is spiritually awakened from the dead by Jesus himself (John 11: 38-44). Furthermore, this spiritual enlightenment or awakening was profound. Through his illness the old Lazarus became dead to the world (John 11: 11-15); henceforth he has become a wholly new and transformed man: “‘Lord, he whom you love is ill.’ But when Jesus heard it he said, ‘This illness is not unto death; it is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be gloried by means of it.’” (John 11: 3-4). Combining a rational line of argumentation with an analysis of the gospel’s terminology, and the traditions of spiritual enlightenment in antiquity, in Steiner’s reading the identity of the writer of the fourth gospel – the Beloved Disciple or the “disciple whom Jesus loved” – must be none other than the spiritually awakened (i.e. initiated) Lazarus, who took a new name after his spiritual awakening.

The idea of receiving a new name after undergoing a profound spiritual experience belongs to a long and ancient tradition, such as one finds in the Old Testament with Abraham or Joseph, or in the New Testament with Simon becoming Peter, or Saul becoming Paul. Moreover, although not present in the body of the text of the fourth gospel itself, the name John has been traditionally attached to this document, a name literally meaning “graced by God”. And of course, the name John is directly cited a number of times in another text of the Johannine tradition, The Apocalypse, which also describes a spiritual illumination: “I John, your brother, […] was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. I was in the spirit on the Lord’s day …” (Rev. 1, 9-10). In Steiner’s further interpretation, the name ‘John’ is given to a person who has undergone a spiritual awakening: “All those who are awakened are called ‘John’. It is a generic name, and the awakening of Lazarus in the Gospel of John is none other than the description of this awakening.”63

An Open Mystery Drama

A crucial point of Steiner’s interpretation of the fourth gospel concerns the difference between the older dramatic mystery traditions of Greece or Egypt and the raising of Lazarus. Whereas in the mysteries of antiquity the process of initiation was cloaked in secrecy and took place in the hidden depths of a temple, the death and awakening of Lazarus should also be understood in this tradition of an initiation ceremony, yet now in part carried out by Jesus openly on the public stage. Indeed, one of the most original aspects of Steiner’s presentation in Christianity as Mystical Fact is to situate the raising of Lazarus in ancient dramatic mystery traditions. For Steiner, the raising of Lazarus forms none other than the conclusion or final act of an open mystery drama: “A mystery in the truest sense of the word stands before us. […] Jesus had prepared in this family everything that was to lead to the great final act of the drama: to the awakening of Lazarus”.64 Here Steiner drew a parallel with the charge against the ancient Greek playwright Aeschylus of openly divulging on stage the secrets of the Eleusinian mysteries: “But in this way Jesus revealed the secrets of the mysteries. It is understandable that the Jews would not leave this act of Jesus unpunished, just as little as the Greeks would have left Aeschylus unpunished, if he had betrayed the secrets of the mysteries. […] [In the mysteries], ‘those who saw became blessed’; however, Jesus wanted to make everyone blessed”.65 In this regard it would seem imperative for the scholarship to consider in more detail the relation between the 1902 book Christianity as Mystical Fact and Steiner’s Four Mystery Dramas of 1910-1913.

It is furthermore interesting to note that Rudolf Steiner only presented his full solution to the Johannine question over time and in various stages. The figure of Lazarus is first implicitly intimated as the initiated author in Steiner’s 1902 book Christianity as Mystical Fact. Then the solution is presented from the perspective of Lazarus-John in 1906 lectures in Berlin and Paris66, before the full relationship between Lazarus, John and the Beloved Disciple is explicitly stated in various lectures in 1907 and 1908.67 Further aspects were presented in many other subsequent lectures and texts, including Steiner’s final lecture – the so-called Last Address of 28 September 1924.68 In order to attain the most comprehensive understanding of Steiner’s solution, it would appear necessary to take into account as many of these perspectives as possible. In any event, a key presentation for understanding Steiner’s view of the Johannine authorship question is the Hamburg lecture cycle of 1908, his most prominent lecture cycle on The Gospel of John, in the lecture of 22 May entitled “The Awakening of Lazarus”. One can consider it a more secure and reliable source than many of the other lectures, since it was apparently checked and revised by Steiner himself.69 – In this lecture Steiner clearly pronounces his solution to the Johannine Question:

What does ‘to love’ mean in the language of the mysteries? It expresses the relationship of the student to the teacher. ‘He whom the Lord loved’ is the most intimate, the most initiated student. It was the Lord himself who initiated Lazarus, and Lazarus arose as an Initiate from out of the grave – that is, from out of the place of initiation. And the same words ‘whom the Lord loved’ are again and again later said of John – or to express it better – of the author of the Gospel of John; for the name ‘John’ is not stated; it is precisely he who is the Beloved Disciple, and to whom the Gospel of John is to be attributed. It is the awakened Lazarus himself. For the writer of the Gospel of John wanted to thereby say: what I have to say, I have to say by virtue of my initiation, which was bestowed on me by the Lord himself.70

As one can see: in Steiner’s exegesis, the Beloved Disciple, the writer or Evangelist John, and the spiritually awakened Lazarus, are simply different ways to designate one and the same individuality. – Curiously, this central point of Steiner’s Christology has been misunderstood by seasoned theologians such as Helmut Zander. Zander has failed to understand that in Steiner’s interpretation, expressed in this 1908 Hamburg lecture above, The Beloved Disciple is another name for the spiritually awakened Lazarus. Zander writes: “With regard to the then passionately discussed authorship of the Gospel of John, Steiner did not decide for the then conventional solutions, neither for the Ephesian Presbyter John (which can be traced back to a note by Papias), nor for the ‘Beloved Disciple’ of Jesus, but for the exceedingly rare solution of Lazarus.”71 This is another example of a prominent Steiner researcher failing to properly read and return to the original sources, and neglecting to provide an accurate presentation of a basic yet crucial component of Steiner’s Johannine philosophy of religion.72

According to the Johannine tradition, the deepest esoteric truths are not reserved for a closed and select circle, but are capable of being openly expressed and published in writing. We find this thought expressed in the closing words of the fourth gospel: “But there are also many other things which Jesus did; were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written” (John 21, 25); as well as in the Apocalypse of John: “I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet saying, ‘Write what you see in a book’ […] And he said to me: ‘Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near.’” (Rev. 1: 10-11; 22: 10). The last dramatic stage or “final act” of the raising of Lazarus also takes place openly before a crowd: And Jesus said “I knew that you hear me always, but I have said this on account of the people standing by, that they may believe that you sent me.’ When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus come out’” (John 11: 42-43). In Steiner’s sense, chapter 11 of the fourth gospel and its related identity question furnish a prime example of the openly esoteric nature of the Johannine writings: for the knowledge of the identity of the author is ‘openly hidden’ in the text of the fourth gospel itself. Yet one still has to learn how to actively read this text, to move from its letter to its spirit, in order to grasp this secret. Here one sees how Steiner’s open solution to the Johannine question harmonizes with his Goethean conception of esotericism as an “open mystery” or “open secret” (offenbares Geheimnis), such as one finds in his 1899 essay “Goethes geheime Offenbarung”, his 1902 booklet Goethes ‚Faust’ als Bild seiner esoterischen Weltanschauung, or the 1910 Geheimwissenschaft im Umriss.73

Conclusion: on the Originality of an Author

To summarize: understanding the significance of Rudolf Steiner’s solution to the Johannine Question requires grasping a number of key elements: 1) Steiner’s methodology seeks to be textually immanent, rational and free of contradictions, viewing the problem from multiple standpoints; 2) great weight is attached to the Gospel of John’s changing terminology and to the images derived from the initiation traditions of antiquity; 3) various personalities in this fourth gospel have multiple names, and these designations similarly have literal and mystery significances; and 4) Steiner’s exegesis pays close attention to the public aspect of the Lazarus episode, its artistic composition and dramatic parallels, in which the raising is viewed as an open mystery drama. Thus, the originality of Steiner’s solution to the Johannine Question should not be reduced merely to his choice of the figure of Lazarus – for scholars before and after him have also selected this figure – but it should be seen in a combination of all the elements just mentioned.

This essay does not seek to put forward an “anthroposophical” reading of the Johannine Question, just as little as it advances an “anti-anthroposophical” interpretation; instead, it proposes a close textual and critical reading of this problem in the works of Fichte and Steiner. In genuine scholarly research it is not a matter of making Fichte or Steiner seem more innovative and original than they are, or inversely, of blindly and dogmatically labelling them as unoriginal without a proper examination of their works, but of accurately and comprehensively presenting their thoughts and conceptions as they can be found in the primary literature.

The same critical standards should hold for the secondary literature. Accordingly, a close textual examination reveals among others the erroneous nature of the claim that there is no “real original difference” between Steiner’s and Fichte’s readings of the Gospel of John, and especially of their treatments of the raising of Lazarus. As we have seen, on account of its apparent conflict with the method of rational inner proof, Fichte scarcely refers to the miracle of Lazarus in The Way to the Blessed Life and his other works, and never discusses this raising episode at any length. Fichte likewise does not interpret the Lazarus event in terms of the initiation and mystery traditions of antiquity, or explicitly attempt a solution to the Johannine Question, to the problem of the authorship of the Johannine writings. Steiner, in contrast, devotes ten pages of his 1902 book to the riddle of Lazarus’s awakening, interpreting this event as a dramatic and open culmination of a formerly closed initiation process; and the authorship problem of the fourth gospel is a central concern for him, developed and extended in numerous writings and lectures over a period of 25 years.

The contested issue of Steiner’s originality will never be convincingly answered if one does not carry out at the very minimum a twofold investigation of his work. One of the first steps must be to thoroughly analyze the terminological similarities and conceptual parallels that Steiner’s work shares with other figures, such as the Johannine logos tradition present in both Fichte’s Way to the Blessed Life and Steiner’s Christianity as Mystical Fact. However, this first step should be supplemented by second and further steps in the research: e.g. to critically determine if Steiner’s work differs, in any small or substantial way, from the presentations of his predecessors and contemporaries, or if it possibly goes beyond them. Only close textual and multi-perspective approaches can accurately determine if and to what extent Steiner – or any other author and thinker, including Fichte – might have contributed something new to a particular field of research.

About the author

David W. Wood has a PhD in philosophy jointly from the Sorbonne (Université Paris IV) and the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich. From 2009-2011 he was a post-doctoral researcher at the Bavarian Academy of Sciences where he collaborated on the Johann Gottlieb Fichte Gesamtausgabe (The Collected Works of Fichte in German). Among others, he is author of the book: “Mathesis of the Mind”: A Study of Fichte’s Wissenschaftslehre and Geometry (New York/Amsterdam: Rodopi (Brill), 2012).

See his work at: http://independent.academia.edu/DavidWWood


48 A reflection written in 1909: see Christian Morgenstern, Stufen (Munich: Piper, 1918), p. 199; cf. C. Morgenstern, Aphorismen, Werke und Briefe, vol. 5, ed. R. Habel (Stuttgart: Urachhaus, 1987), aphorism no. 1425, p. 306.

49 R. Steiner, lecture 22 May 1908, in: Das Johannes Evangelium (GA 103), 10th ed. 1981, p. 82.

50 J.G. Fichte, Die Grundzüge des gegenwärtigen Zeitalters. Dargestellt von Johann Gottlieb Fichte in Vorlesungen, gehalten zu Berlin, im Jahre 1804-5 (Berlin: Im Verlag der Realschulbuchhandlung, 1806), p. 210.

51 References to the Johannine texts in this essay are based on the Greek-English New Testament, eds. Nestle, Aland et. al. (Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1998).

52 Nur mit Johannes kann der Philosoph zusammenkommen, denn dieser allein hat Achtung für die Vernunft, und beruft sich auf Den Beweis, den der Philosoph allein gelten lässt: den innern.” J.G. Fichte, Die Anweisung zum seeligen Leben, oder auch die Religionslehre. Durch Johann Gottlieb Fichte. (Berlin: Im Verlag der Realschulbuchhandlung, 1806), pp. 155-156. (FGA I, 9: 116).

53 Ibid.

54 Ibid., Fichte 1806, pp. 154-155 (FGA I, 9: 115).

55 J.G. Fichte, Staatslehre (Berlin: G. Reimer, 1820), p. 217 (FGA II, 16: 145).

56 Rudolf Steiner, Das Christentum als mystische Thatsache (1902), pp. 89-90; GA 8, pp. 111-112; SKA 5 p. 182.

57 Apart from the primary source of the main written work Das Christentum als mystische Tatsache (Christianity as Mystical Fact, cf. endnote 23 above), for Steiner’s further treatment of the raising of Lazarus, see the important lecture cycles: R. Steiner, Das Johannes Evangelium, lecture cycle in Hamburg 18-31 May 1908 (GA 103), 10th ed. 1981; R. Steiner, Das Johannes Evangelium im Verhältnis zu den anderen Evangelien, besonders zu dem Lukas-Evangelium, lecture cycle in Kassel, 24 June – 7 July 1909 (GA 112), 5th ed. 1975; and R. Steiner, Kosmogonie, lectures in 1906 (GA 97), 2nd ed. 2001.

58 R. Steiner, Das Christentum als mystische Thatsache (1902), p. 102; GA 8, p. 126; SKA 5, p. 192.

59 Ibid. (1902), p. 101; GA 8, pp. 124-125; SKA 5, pp. 191-192.

60 At the beginning of the 20th century the theologian Johannes Kreyenbühl had also posited Lazarus as the author of the fourth gospel cf. Das Evangelium der Wahrheit, Berlin, volume 1 (1900), pp. 157-159, and volume 2 (1905), p. 810. Hence, both Steiner and Kreyenbühl share the same choice of Lazarus as the writer of the fourth gospel. However, Kreyenbühl’s approach differs considerably from Steiner’s multi-perspective and contradictory-free approach, and his solution does not depend on understanding the open mystery and initiation language, or the dramatic composition and images of this gospel.

61 For contemporary overviews of this problem and selected answers, see among others: Richard Bauckham, The Testimony of the Beloved Disciple: Narrative, History, and Theology in the Gospel of John (Grand Rapids MI: Baker Academic, 2007), and Martin Hengel’s influential earlier but still valuable study: Die johanneische Frage: Ein Lösungsversuch (Tübingen: Mohr, 1993). Selected works from an anthroposophical perspective: see Manfred Krüger’s translation into German and highly stimulating commentary, Die Schriften des Johannes, Vol. II, Wahr ist das Wort, Betrachtungen zum Johannesevangelium mit einer Übersetzung der Briefe (Stuttgart: Verlag Freies Geistesleben, 2011), pp. 13-31, 87-134; and in English, Andrew J. Welburn, The Beginnings of Christianity (Edinburgh: Floris Books, 1991) pp. 302-331.

62 R. Steiner, Das Johannes-Evangelium (GA 103), lecture 22 May 1908 in Hamburg, 10th ed. (1981), p. 64.

63 R. Steiner, Kosmogonie (GA 94), lecture 28 October 1906 in Munich, p. 245.

64 R. Steiner, Das Christentum als mystische Thatsache (1902), p. 102; GA 8, pp. 125-126; SKA 5, p. 192. See too R. Steiner, Das Johannes-Evangelium (GA 103), pp. 62-84.

65 R. Steiner, Das Christentum als mystische Thatsache (1902), p. 105; GA 8, p. 129 ; SKA 5, p. 195.

66 Lecture 19 February 1906 in Berlin: “The awakening of Lazarus is the awakening of John himself, who wrote the gospel.” (Die Auferweckung des Lazarus ist die eigene Auferweckung des Johannes, der das Evangelium geschrieben hat.) in: GA 94, p. 200. Or again lecture 31 May 1906, in Paris: “John – that is Lazarus who arose out of the grave after his initiation” (Johannes – das ist der nach seiner Einweihung aus dem Grabe erstandene Lazarus.) GA 94, p. 50.

67 See R. Steiner, Das christliche Mysterium (GA 97), and Das Johannes-Evangelium (GA 103).

68 In: R. Steiner, Esoterische Betrachtungen, vol. 4 (GA 238), pp. 166-174.

69 Cf. R. Steiner, Das Johannes-Evangelium (GA 103), 10th ed. (1981), p. 4.

70 R. Steiner, Das Johannes-Evangelium (GA 103), lecture 22 May 1908 in Hamburg, 10th ed. (1981), p. 67.

71 Helmut Zander, Anthroposophie in Deutschland, volume 1, 2007, p. 848.

72 Zander’s superficial grasp of Steiner’s Christology is evident because the main reference he provides for his misjudgment is “(GA 10310, 64 [1908])”, i.e. this same Hamburg lecture of 22 May 1908 entitled “The Awakening of Lazarus” that I have just quoted at length, where Steiner unambiguously states his view of the identity of the Beloved Disciple and the awakened Lazarus, and even their identity with John the Evangelist (Ibid.).

73 Cf. R. Steiner, Goethes geheime Offenbarung (Goethe’s Secret Revelation; August 1899) in: GA 30, pp. 86-99; Goethes ‚Faust’ als Bild seiner esoterischen Weltanschauung (Berlin: F. Grunert, 1902) reprinted in: GA 22; and Die Geheimwissenschaft im Umriß (GA 13), 30th ed. 1989, esp. p. 34.