The Greek text of John 1:35 according to the Textus Receptus states,

ΛΕʹ Τῇ ἐπαύριον πάλιν εἱστήκει ὁ Ἰωάννης καὶ ἐκ τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ δύο TR, 1550

which is translated as,

35 On the day after, John, and two of his disciples, had been standing again,

Are these two disciples of John the Baptist ever identified?


4 Answers 4


Many commentaries suggest that "the other disciple" appears to have been John (that is, the author of the same Gospel). Some hold the view the disciple perhaps may have been Philip, or Thomas.

  • The identity of the second of the Baptizer’s disciples is not mentioned in this pericope. Naturally a great deal of speculation has arisen as a result of this silence. The two possible candidates for the position most mentioned are Philip and the Beloved Disciple.

    Borchert, G.L. (1996). "John 1–11" (Vol. 25A). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 142.

  • The other was doubtless our Evangelist himself. His great sensitiveness is touchingly shown in his representation of this first contact with the Lord; the circumstances are present to him in the minutest details; he still remembers the Very hour. But “he reports no particulars of those discourses of the Lord by which he was bound to Him for the whole of His life; he allows everything personal to retire” [OLSHAUSEN].

    Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible" (Vol. 2). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 129.

  • And two of his disciples. —One was Andrew, we know from ver. 40 (see Com. on Matthew ch. 10:1–4); the other was certainly John. We judge thus from (1) John’s manner of mentioning himself, either not at all, or indirectly (chs. 13:23; 18:15; 19:26; 20:3; 21:20); a manner which he seems to have extended also to his mother (19:25; comp. Introduction, p. 5), and to which we might cite analogies in Mark (ch. 14:51) and Luke (ch. 24:18). 2) The giving of one name, suggesting a personal reserve in regard to the other. 3) The very lifelike character of the subsequent account. 4) The more distinct calling of the sons of Zebedee immediately after, with the sons of Jonas, on the sea of Galilee, Matth. 4. As the calling of the latter is introduced here, so is doubtless the calling of the former.

    Lange, J. P., & Schaff, P. (2008). "A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: John." Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 91.

  • 40) Not until this point does John mention a name, and here he mentions only the one. It seems to be a habit with John to append data such as names of persons and of places at the end of his narratives. Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two that heard John and followed him. Involuntarily we ask: “Who was the other of the two? and why is he not also named here?” We know the answer: “The other is John, the Apostle, himself, who never mentions his own name in his Gospel nor the name of any of his relatives.” A comparison of the data establishes this fact beyond a doubt. By mentioning only Andrew, John does not intimate which of the two, he or Andrew, was the first in making the move to follow Jesus. He merely combines the two, first in hearing the Baptist’s testimony and then in following Jesus. That is all. Only of one thing we may be sure: if Andrew had made the first advance, John would have recorded it to Andrew’s credit although he wrote this Gospel years after Andrew was dead. Either both acted at the same moment and from the same impulse, or—and this is quite possible—John was the first and in his modesty declines to take the credit in a Gospel written by himself.

    Lenski, R. C. H. (1961). The interpretation of St. John’s gospel. Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Publishing House, 151.

  • The one was Andrew (ver. 41), the other the Evangelist himself, who studiously refrains from mentioning his own name throughout the narrative. The name of James the elder also does not appear, nor that of Salome, the Evangelist’s mother, who is mentioned by name in Mark’s Gospel (15:40; 16:1). The omission of his own name is the more significant from the fact that he is habitually exact in defining the names in his narrative. Compare the simple designation Simon (1:42) with subsequent occurrences of his name after his call, as 1:42; 13:6; 21:15, etc. Also Thomas (11:16; 20:24; 21:2); Judas Iscariot (6:71; 12:4; 13:2, 26); the other Judas (14:22). Note also that he never speaks of the Baptist as John the Baptist, like the other three Evangelists, but always as John.

    Vincent, M. R. (1887). "Word Studies in the New Testament" (Vol. 2). New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 69.

  • Again on the morrow (τῃ ἐπαυριον παλιν [tēi epaurion palin]). Third day since verse 19. Was standing (ἱστηκει [histēkei]). Past perfect of ἱστημι [histēmi], intransitive, and used as imperfect in sense. See same form in 7:37. Two (δυο [duo]). One was Andrew (verse 40), the other the Beloved Disciple (the Apostle John), who records this incident with happy memories.

    Robertson, A. T. (1933). "Word Pictures in the New Testament." Nashville, TN: Broadman Press, John 1:35.

  • Andrew was the name of the disciple of the Baptist who heard John’s testimony to Jesus and came and visited Jesus. The identity of the unnamed disciple here is unknown, though Brown thinks that he is to be identified with the one whom this Gospel calls “the beloved disciple;” Boismard thinks that the unnamed disciple was Philip, since Philip and Andrew go together in this Gospel (6:5–9; 12:21–22) and came from the same village (1:44). Andrew “first, before he did anything else,” or, “before the other unnamed disciple could find his brother,”104 found Simon Peter, his very own (ἴδιον, idion) brother (not simply a relative). Andrew then brought Simon to Jesus, and thus, in a sense, became the first Christian evangelist.

    Bryant, B.H., & Krause, M.S. (1998). "John." Joplin, MO: College Press Pub. Co., John 1:40-41.

  • I. Andrew and another with him were the two that John Baptist had directed to Christ, v. 37. Who the other was we are not told; some think that it was Thomas, comparing ch. 21:2; others that it was John himself, the penman of this gospel, whose manner it is industriously to conceal his name, ch. 13:23, and 20:3.

    Henry, M. (1994). "Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible: Complete and Unabridged in One Volume." Peabody: Hendrickson, 1921.

  • The unnamed disciple is commonly held to be John the son of Zebedee, a brother of James and author of this Gospel. In Mark 1:16–20 two pairs of brothers (Simon and Andrew, James and John) who were fishermen were called by Jesus.

    Blum, E. A. (1985). "John." In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), "The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures" (Vol. 2). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 275-276.

  • Subsequently, one of the disciples is identified (v. 40). That Andrew “first” found his brother Simon (Peter, v. 41) has been taken to imply that the other, unnamed disciple also found his brother. Since in the Marcan account (Mark 1:16-20) the brothers Andrew and Peter figure together with the brothers James and John, the sons of Zebedee, it has been inferred that the unnamed disciple was one of the sons of Zebedee and that he too found his brother. But such harmonization with the synoptic account hangs by the slenderest of threads.

    Mays, J. L. (Ed.). (1988). "Harper’s Bible Commentary." San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1049.

  • The two disciples of John who followed Jesus were John, the writer of the Gospel, and his friend Andrew. John the Baptist was happy when people left him to follow Jesus, because his ministry focused on Jesus. “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).

    Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). "The Bible Exposition Commentary" (Vol. 1). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 288.

  • The calling of Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was the direct result of John the Baptist’s testimony concerning Jesus as the Lamb of God. The second person mentioned in this account is not named, but many surmise that it was the author of this Gospel, the apostle John.

    White, J. E. (1998). "John." In D. S. Dockery (Ed.), "Holman Concise Bible Commentary." Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 467.

  • The unnamed disciple of verse 35 is, by common consent, regarded as John, the writer of this fourth Gospel. John was the disciple who leaned on the Master’s bosom, devoted and affectionate. He was “the disciple whom Jesus loved:” he was, apparently, the only one of the twelve who stood by the Cross as the Savior was dying.

    Pink, A.W. (1923–1945). "Exposition of the Gospel of John." Swengel, PA: Bible Truth Depot, 65.

  • Again the next day John was standing. The picture is one of silent waiting. The hearts of all were full with thoughts of some great change. Was standing: compare 7:37, 18:5, 18:16, 18:18, 19:25, 20:11.

    Westcott, B. F., & Westcott, A. (Eds.). (1908). "The Gospel According to St. John Introduction and Notes on the Authorized Version." London: J. Murray, 23.

  • “two of his disciples” Mark 1:16–20 seems to be a different account of the calling of these two disciples. It is uncertain how much previous contact occurred between Jesus and His Galilean disciples. There were specific stages of discipline involved in the process of becoming a full-time follower of a rabbi in Jesus’ day. These procedures are spelled out in the rabbinical sources but are not exactly followed in the Gospel accounts. The two disciples mentioned are Andrew (cf. v. 40), and John (who never refers to himself by name in the Gospel).

    Utley, R. J. (1999). "The Beloved Disciple’s Memoirs and Letters: The Gospel of John, I, II, and III John" (Vol. 4). Marshall, Texas: Bible Lessons International, 19.

  • On this day John was present along with two of his disciples. From verse 40 we learn that one of these disciples was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. The other, though his name is never given, was most likely the apostle John, the writer of this book. Never, in this Gospel, does the writer refer to himself by name; usually he designates himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23; 19:26; 20:2; 21:7, 20).

    Redford, D. (2007). "The Life and Ministry of Jesus: the Gospels" (Vol. 1). Cincinnati, OH: Standard Pub., 100.

  • Two of John’s disciples are drawn to Jesus. One is Andrew. The other may be John, the writer of this Gospel. The hour when they first meet with Jesus is for ever etched on their memory. It is mid-afternoon.

    Knowles, A. (2001). "The Bible Guide" (1st Augsburg books ed.). Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg, 508.

  • Who the other disciple was, is not certain: but considering (1) that the Evangelist never names himself in his Gospel, and (2) that this account is so minutely accurate as to specify even the hours of the day, and in all respects bears marks of an eye-witness, and again (3) that this other disciple, from this last circumstance, certainly would have been named, had not the name been suppressed for some especial reason, we are justified in inferring that it was the Evangelist himself. And such has been the general opinion.

    Alford, H. (2010). Alford’s Greek Testament: an exegetical and critical commentary (Vol. 1). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 700.

  • Wherefore then has he not made known the name of the other also? Some say, because it was the writer himself that followed; others, not so, but that he was not one of the distinguished disciples; it behooved not therefore to say more than was necessary. For what would it have advantaged us to learn his name, when the writer does not mention the names even of the seventy-two?

    John Chrysostom (1889). "Homilies of St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople, on the Gospel of St. John." In P. Schaff (Ed.), G. T. Stupart (Trans.), "Saint Chrysostom: Homilies on the Gospel of St. John and Epistle to the Hebrews" (Vol. 14). New York: Christian Literature Company, 65.


Yes, at least one is. In John 1:37 the two disciples follow Jesus, then in 1:40:

One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother.

Andrew went and fetched his brother Simon and said (1:41), "We have found the Messiah."

As for who the other disciple was, the gospel does not tell us, and it seems beyond speculation. A very plausible explanation is that John's account of the two apostles meeting Jesus is a literary creation, as shown in one answer at Reconciling the accounts of the calling of Simon Peter

Confusion arises because in the synoptics (Mark 1:16), Jesus first meets Simon and Andrew casting a net into the Sea of Galilee, with Peter mentioned first of the two brothers, yet here Jesus meets Andrew as a disciple of John, then meets Simon Peter.

  • @H3br3wHamm3r81 The gospel does not say who the second disciple was. If you look at my answer (just written) to hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/q/819/2873 you will find that I make a case for the John account being written for theological purposes. If that case is correct, there was no second disciple. Commented Jan 10, 2015 at 1:55

Short answer: The two disciples of John the Baptist seem to be Andrew (per John 1:40) and John the Apostle.

John’s Gospel: One key point in trying to identify the two disciples of John the Baptist is that, in writing the fourth Gospel, John the Evangelist/Apostle never names himself. As Gill says, he “always chooses to conceal himself”.

The only point in the fourth Gospel at which “Zebedee’s sons” are mentioned is in the last chapter, days after the resurrection. There in John 21:2 they’re noted as two of the only seven disciples Jesus appears to.

John, in his Gospel several times, simply identifies himself as the one “whom Jesus/he loved”:
-At the last supper [i.e. reclining on Jesus was the one “whom Jesus loved”) John 13:23 (NASB)
-At the foot of the cross (i.e. Jesus’ mother is with “the disciple whom he loved”) John 19:26 (NASB)
-Near the empty tomb with Mary Magdalene running to Peter and the “other disciple whom Jesus loved” John 20:2 (NASB)
-As Peter turns and sees “whom Jesus loved following them; the one who also had leaned back on His bosom at the supper” John 21:20 (NASB)

Matthew and Mark’s Gospels: While John in his Gospel chooses to not name himself, the Gospels of Matthew and Mark clearly do name him. In those two, back when the first disciples are being called, Matthew and Mark note two pairs of brothers being called. First are Simon Peter and Andrew, then the brothers James and John. [Matthew 4:18-22 (NASB), Mark 1:16-20 (NASB)]

John’s Gospel vs. Matthew and Mark’s: While Matthew and Mark’s Gospels, on the first day of disciple callings, has the two pairs of brothers named, John’s has only two disciples actually named. There, while Andrew is “one of the two who heard John” the Baptist, the other who heard him simply isn’t named. Instead that day it only has Simon Peter hearing of Jesus from his brother Andrew. John 1:35-42 (NASB) It isn’t until the next day that any other disciple is named, and that’s Philip.

John the Evangelist, in writing of Jesus telling Andrew (and another) to “Come and see”, appears to be concealing his own identity for the first time; he does that later quite a bit. For the first day of callings he only names the brothers Andrew and Simon Peter; he doesn’t name himself or his brother. At this point he only mentions himself as “one of the two”. In subsequent chapters he’ll write of himself as the one “whom Jesus/he loved”.


The other disciple is not John and can not be. The book of John was not written by John but by a Disciple who was not one of the eleven. The author of the book was a very close and old friend of Jesus probably from Jesus early childhood. This disciple was known by the Pharisees and was probably one of them, which would explain the secrecy. There is way to much evidence in the book of John that explains who the author is and explains why the other gospel's don't mention the disciple who Jesus loved.

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