The below 2 verses in the Gospel of John seem to indicate that "John" was not the true author of this Gospel.

This intertextual proof seems to indicate that it was him because of the usage of personal pronouns "We know" and also "This is the disciple...".

24 This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true.

25 Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

What sort of arguments for/against can be said concerning these passages?

Reference: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+21%3A24-25&version=NIV


8 Answers 8


The earliest surviving effort to answer this question is (probably) the explanation found in the 2nd century Muratorian Canon:

"The fourth of the Gospels is that of John, [one] of the disciples. To his fellow disciples and bishops, who had been urging him [to write], he said, 'Fast with me from today to three days, and what will be revealed to each one let us tell it to one another.' In the same night it was revealed to Andrew, [one] of the apostles, that John should write down all things in his own name while all of them should review it." (Translation by Bruce Metzger)

This would imply that "we" included Andrew, bishops, and fellow disciples of John.

It is unclear where the author of the Muratorian Canon obtained this information or how reliable it is. At the very least it conveys what some reasonably prominent 3rd generation Christians believed. Other sources (e.g. Anti-Marcionite prologue) suggest John had help in writing the Gospel, or at least an amaneunsis.

Since writing via a scribe was standard practice at the time, it's possible that one or more scribes/assistants wished to vouch for John's character and personally endorse the document. Adding a personal note or post script at the end of the scroll is attested in other New Testament documents (e.g. Romans, 2 Thessalonians).


John writes the entire gospel account in 3rd person. It is only natural for him to write the last two verses they way they are written. John told this gospel account verbally for 6 decades. Many times, he told it over and over to the same believers. It would only be natural for his audience to say, "We know his testimony is true," right after John said, "This is the disciple who bears witness of these things."

Author: The Apostle John, Son Of Zebedee

Strictly speaking, the Gospel of John does not name its author in the body of text. Titles to the book consistenly label it as the Gospel of John in ancient manuscripts. There is plenty evidence which can lead to the conclusion that is was the Apostle John

External Evidence: Early church tradition is unanimous in ascribing the fourth gospel to John

  1. Ireneus (c. A.D. 130-202) was the first to name the gospel of John and said that it was written after the other gospels from Ephesus1

  2. John was either cited or named as authentic during the first four centuries by the following2

a. Clement of Rome (c. 95-97)

b. Polycarp (c. 110-150)

c. Papias (c. 130-40)

d. Irenaeus (c. 130-202)

e. Justin Martyr (c. 150-155)

f. Clement of Alexandria (c. 150-215)

g. Tertullian (c. 150-220)

h. The Muratorian Fragment (c. 170-200)

i. The Latin Marcionite Prologue (c. 200)

j. Origen (c. 185-254)

k. Cyril of Jerusalem (c. 315-386)

l. Eusebius (c. 325-340)

m. Jerome (c. 340-420)

n. Augustine (c. 400)

  1. Eusebius specifically identified John with the Gospel which bares his name when he writes, “of all those who had been with the Lord only Matthew and John have left us their recollections....”

The author was a Jew:

a. He understood and quoted from the OT (12:40; 13:18; 19:37)

b. He knew and understood Jewish customs:

1) Wedding feasts 2:1-10

2) Ceremonial purification 3:25; 11:55

3) The manner of burial 11:38,44; 19:40

c. He knew and understood the Jewish expectation of the coming Messiah 1:19-18

d. He perceived the religious differences between the Jew and the Samaritan 4:9,20

  1. The author was a Jew from Palestine:

a. He knew the pool of Bethesda had five porches 5:2

b. He knew that Bethany was only fifteen furlongs away from Jerusalem 11:18

c. He knew that Ephraim was near the wilderness 11:54

d. He knew that the Garden of Gethsemane was on the other side of the brook Kidron 18:1

e. He knew that there was a paved area outside of the praetorium 19:13

f. He was aware of the region of Samaria and that Jacob’s well was located in Sychar (4:5-6), and that it was deep 4:11

g. He knew about the sacred mountain of Samaritan worship 4:20-21

h. He was aware of Galilee 1:44,46; 2:1,2

  1. The author was an eye-witness of what happened

a. He does not state his name, but there are traces of his own hand in the Gospel

b. “We beheld his glory” 1:14

c. He knew the number of pots used at the wedding at Cana 2:6

d. He knew the value of the anointing perfume 12:5

e. He was at the crucifixion 19:33-35

f. He knew the distance from the shore of the apostles boat and the number of fish caught 21:8,11

g. “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” 21:24

  1. The author was an Apostle, probably John:

a. He refers to himself often as the disciple whom Jesus loved 13:23; 19:26; 20:2 21:7,20

b. The identity of this “one whom Jesus loved” is narrowed down to be John through the following correlations:

1) From 21:7 the “disciple” may be identified as one of the seven persons mentioned in 21:2

a) Simon Peter

b) Thomas called the Twin

c) Nathaniel of Cana in Galilee

d) The sons of Zebedee

e) Two others

2) He must be one of the Twelve since only they were with the Lord at the last supper (Jn. 13:23-24; cf. Mk. 14:17; Lk. 22:14)

3) He is not Peter:

a) He sat next to the Lord at the Last Supper, and Peter motioned to him 13:23-24

b) His future is distinguished from Peter’s 21:20ff

4) He is closely related to Peter and thus seems to be one of the inner three (James, John and Peter ) [20:2-10; cf. Mk. 5:37-38; 9:2-3; 14:33)

5) James (John’s brother) died in AD 44, therefore, he was not the author (Acts 12:2)

6) Therefore, if it is true that he was an apostle, and one of the inner three, and he was not Peter, or James, then he must have been the Apostle John, the son of Zebedee.

Date: Probably Between AD 85 And 95

External Evidence: Allows for a date between 90-98

  1. Extant manuscripts argue for around the turn of the century:

a. The earliest evidence is in the Rylands Papyrus 457 (p52), an Egyptian fragment of John 18:31-33,37-38, dated in the first half of the second century (c. 98-150). The p52 fragment has also been dated as early as 40 A.D.

b. Other papyri (p66, p75 c. AD 175-225) offer significant sections of John

c. The Egyptian witness, Papyrus Egerton 2, supplies a composite work from c. AD 150

d. The above evidence suggests copies of the gospel circulating around Egypt in the first and second halves of the second century. This suggests a date for John to be at least around the turn of the century

  1. Ireneaus stated that John remained in Ephesus until the time of Trajan (AD 98-117). This would place John’s writing during the last decades of the first century

Therefore, if John is the author of the Gospel, then a date between 90-98 seems to be possible.

Internal Evidence: may argue for an early date (pre-AD 70)

  1. The present tense in John 5:2 “there is” suggests a time when the gate is still standing, unlike after the destruction by Titus (But this could be a part of an earlier writing wherein John expresses its existence at the time and then edited it into his gospel account). This is a strong argument

  2. The correct tradition of Palestinian places, situations, and customs argues for a time before or shortly after AD 70 when the scenes could be remembered as they were (but the author could tap his own memory without tying his writing to that period)

  3. John 21:18-23 imply the passing of time until the later death of Peter (especially 21:19). This would argue for a later date rather than an earlier one.

  4. It seems that since Jesus predicted the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, and this is not mentioned in the gospel, it gives credence to the possibility that it could have been written before 70 A.D.

  5. The gospel of John also contains more quoting of Jesus' words and discussions than the other gospels, which would tend to be an indication of an early writing date.


  1. It is possible that the Gospel was written just before or just after AD 70.

  2. It is also possible that the Gospel was written in the latter part of the first century--around the turn of the century (AD 80-98) which allows for the writing of the three epistles and Revelation by John (external evidence)

  3. Eusebius identifies John as the last Gospel written after Matthew, Mark and Luke: “The three gospels which had been written down before were distributed to all including himself.” This would support a later time for John more than an earlier one

  4. It is also possible that parts of the gospel were written down and saved, then compiled as a whole at a later date.

Therefore, it seems best to date John along with many scholars between 80-98 A.D.

Destination: Ephesus To Ephesian Gentiles

A. There is no explicit evidence for the place of origin or for the destination of the Gospel of John

B. Irenaeus and Eusebius affirm that John wrote from Ephesus where he had settled after the Roman war under Titus (AD 66-70)

C. Ephesus was not far from Phrygia, the center of the Montanist movement which made early use of John’s Gospel

D. The primary audience may have been Ephesian Gentiles:

  1. The various Jewish feasts are identified for the readers

  2. The geographical locations are identified for the readers

  3. Jewish names are translated for the readers

  4. Jewish usages are explained for the reader

  5. The introduction of the “Greeks” in chapter 12 may also reveal the author’s interest in the Gentiles.

Purposes Of The Gospel Of John:

A. John 20:30-32 states the purpose for the “book:”

“Many other signs therefore Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book: but these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God: and that believing you may have life in his name”

  1. Chapter 21 need not be considered a portion later added to the original conclusion of the Gospel. While 20:30-31 relay the purpose of the book, chapter 21 is then presented as an epilogue illustrating the result of faith -- restoration into life abundant

  2. The two pronged purpose statement for the book relates to the two pronged thrust of the book10

a. The first half of the book of the seven signs (chapters 1--12) are given so that all people “might believe” or come to faith (assuming the aorist subjunctive tense in the textual problem) in Jesus as Messiah

b. The second portion of the purpose statement [“you may have life in his name”] correlates with chapters 13--20 where believers are exhorted to close fellowship--eternal life which is not only a quantity of life but also a quality of life (cf. 5:24 with 17:2-3)

B. Gospel of John also was written to reveal who Jesus was:

  1. Unlike the synoptics which reveal Jesus inductively (from the ground up), John reveals Jesus deductively (from heaven down)

  2. Jesus is also revealed as the “Logos,” “Messiah,” “Son of God,” “God,” and “Man” fighting the incipient gnostic views of Cerinthus and the Ebionites (that Jesus was only a man upon whom the Spirit visited and then left thus affirming no pre-existence), and fighting Docitism (emphasizing Jesus’ deity over his humanity).

  • 1
    Paldrion, while you have gone to a good deal of trouble to provide external and internal support for the authorship of the gospel of John, I do not see any where that you have answered the OP's question specifically concerning vs. 24-25. While much of your support for the authorship seems correct, it is beyond the scope of the question. Can you modify / edit your answer?
    – Gina
    Commented Aug 8, 2018 at 4:41
  • @Gina I think the very first line of this answer deals with vs. 24-25. Commented Aug 16, 2021 at 13:39

The answer to this question is the same "we" as found in 1 John 1:1-5 -

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our own eyes, which we have gazed upon and touched with our own hands—this is the Word of life. And this is the life that was revealed; we have seen it and testified to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And this fellowship of ours is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ. We write these things so that our joy may be complete. And this is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you: God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.

Paul makes a similar statement in 1 Cor 15:3-7

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas and then to the Twelve. After that, He appeared to more than five hundred brothers at once, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles.

Luke also records this was well -

  • Acts 2;32 - God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it.
  • Acts 3;15 - You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this.
  • Acts 5:32 - We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him."
  • Acts 10:39 - "We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a cross

Thus, the "WE" in John 21:24 are the witnesses of the events about which John and the other apostles wrote about Jesus. Benson observes:

And we know that his testimony is true — The church probably added these words to this gospel, as Tertius did those to St. Paul’s epistle to the Romans, Romans 16:23.


Compare "I am the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down" with "This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down." The first would be a claim to authorship, while the second - which we find in John 21:24 - is not, although it does not entirely preclude the beloved disciple being the author.

Then look at "We know that his testimony is true," again from John 21:24. This was certainly not written by the beloved disciple.

The combined effect of these two observations is that the beloved disciple was not the author of gospel now known as John's Gospel. If, as tradition holds, the beloved disciple was John, that also immediately rules out John as the author.

On the other hand, there is no real evidence that John was the beloved disciple, this being an assumption that developed among the Church Fathers later in the second century. If John and the beloved disciple were two different people, we need to look at John 21:24-25 with a different perspective. The claim that it was the beloved disciple who testified these things and wrote these things would now rule out John as the author, because otherwise it would really be John who testified these things and wrote these things. The ambiguous statement in verse 25, "Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose ..." also does not read much like the testimony of an eyewitness, who would more likely say something along the lines of "I witnessed many other things ..."

Overall, whether or not the beloved disciple and John were the same person, the evidence of John 21:24-25, taken in isolation, indicates that neither was the author of John.

  • "There is no real evidence that John was the beloved disciple" - although John is a prominent figure in the other gospels and somehow goes un-named in the fourth Gospel. It's a fairly natural conclusion that when one of the most notable characters disappears, that this new un-named disciple is a fairly neat fit.
    – Steve can help
    Commented Nov 14, 2016 at 9:55
  • @SteveTaylor Yes, I believe this "fairly natural conclusion" was a major reason the Church Fathers attributed the Gospel to John, later in the second century. Commented Nov 14, 2016 at 19:53

There is a recurring theme, found only in John, about someone “knowing” someone's “testimony”
to be “true”, of which the quoted verse is obviously part :

John 5:32  There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true.

John 19:35  And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe.

John 21:24  This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true.

3 John 1:12  ¶Demetrius hath good report of all men, and of the truth itself: yea, and we also bear record; and ye know that our record is true.

So all it indicates is that four of the five canonical works attributed to John share the same author.


John 21:24-25 is clearly that John was not the author of this passage especially when words like we are used.

Johns gospel is the last Gospels around 90-120 years and its primary purpose is to show the deity of Christ. Note that the first mention of the bible written by a disciple was Irenaeus in the year 180.
There are a number of issues regarding Irenaeus which I will not go in to detail, but in summary he had a number of issues with the early church fathers & early Christian groups based on his book "Against Heresies". None of the early Christians knew who he was and the original transcript was not available only a ‘Latin’ copy without no idea who translated it.

He relies mainly on the Gospel of John which is referred to as the ‘spiritual Gospel’.

The American Bishop John Shelby Spong said: intensive five-year-long study of John’s Gospel - There is probably not a single word attributed to Jesus in this book that the Jesus of history actually spoke

Was this just a 'post scriptum' by other scholars & is the rest by John valid?

The discovery and publication in the 1930s of a papyrus fragments known as P52 was the earliest physical evidence that exists for the Gospel of John. Palaeographic dating has been used and recent examination say it could date around 200 years after Jesus. Palaeography is not the most effective method for dating texts.

Gospel does not emerge clearly in the historical record until the end of the 2nd century. Justin Martyr (100 – 165 CE) was an early Christian apologist and is regarded as the foremost interpreter of the theory of the Logos, a theology that is also found in John’s Gospel.

In the 2nd century Justin Martyr advocated a logos Christology without citing John’s Gospel explicitly. Such an omission by Justin would seem strange if the Gospel of John had already been written and was in circulation.

Another important factor is bishop Polycarp according to church history he was a student of John the Apostle, even ordained by him. The letter of Polycarp to the Philippians, generally thought to be from around 135 CE, never quotes from John, and never even alludes to it. Yet other New Testament writings are quoted abundantly in his letter. Even though he quotes the Gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke, not one quote from John. This is incredible, the one person whose Gospel he should have written about and he didn’t.

There’s really no explicit attestation for John until the bishop Irenaeus, late in the 2nd century. Therefore, making it impossible that the disciple of Jesus was the author.

Another big problem with the Gospel of John

The Gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke include many of the same stories, often in the same sequence, and similar wording. Unlike, John, 90% of its material cannot be found in the Synoptics. Here are some examples

i. The spear piercing the side of Jesus. “Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.” [John 19:34]

So Judas came to the garden, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons. Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?” “Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “I am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. [John 18:3-6]

It is strange to think that the authors of the Synoptic would not have been aware of incidents such as the spear piercing the side of Jesus and the soldiers prostrating to him in the Garden of Gethsemane, had they really taken place. It is even more inconceivable that they would have intentionally omitted such remarkable accounts from the Synoptic.

John does not mention the story of Christ's ascension – which Luke & Mark do - Luke 24:51-52 / Mark 16:19-20.

miracle of reviving the girl who had died Mark 5:35 / Luke 8:49-55 / Matthew 9:23-25

transfiguration incident - Matthew 17:1-5 / Luke 9:28-35 Although John the son of Zebedee was an eyewitness to that unique miracle.

does not mention his first meeting with Jesus

John also contradicts the others

Here is Matthew’s account of the tomb visit:

“Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it” [Matthew 28:1-2] But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you” [Matthew 28:5-7] So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. [Matthew 28:8-9] So, in Matthew’s account Mary Magdalene is presented as having seen an angel at the tomb and heard the angel announce the resurrection of Jesus. After which she actually encountered Jesus as she was running away from the tomb in order to inform the disciples about what had happened.

Now here is John’s account of the tomb visit:

Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So, she ran and went to Simon, Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him” [John 20:1-2]

In John’s Gospel, however, Mary Magdalene is presented as having found the tomb empty, after which she ran to the disciples and told them that the body of Jesus had been stolen.

Last Supper

And on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the Passover lamb, his disciples said to him, “Where will you have us go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?” And he sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him, and wherever he enters, say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says, where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ And he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready; there prepare for us.” And the disciples set out and went to the city and found it just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover. And when it was evening, he came with the twelve. And as they were reclining at table and eating, Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me” [Mark 14:12-18]

So, Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat it” [Luke 22:8]


“It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. The evening meal was in progress…” [John 13:1-2]

John implies no last supper.

A few more examples:

John 8:2-11 is the story of a woman that is about to be stoned on the accusation of adultery.

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” [John 1:29] No one else mentions 'the lamb'

Turning water into wine

“Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” [John 20:30-31]

Jesus' encounter with Simon (Peter), Andrew, James, and John different to the other Gospels

Not mentioning the names of Jesus' disciples apart from Andrew, Peter & Philip – others mention in details

does not mention his mother Salome who went to anoint Jesus with sweet spices – yet Mark 16:1-7 does

Not mentioning the genealogy of Jesus and his miraculous birth from a virgin and the incident of Temptation of Christ by Satan mentioned by the others

Not mentioning the miracle of Peter walking on water

Thomas meeting with Jesus Again, only John mentions this event, although all the disciples were present.

John 20: 24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.


Luke 24: 33 And they rose up that very hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them,

There were only eleven by then as Judas had killed himself – so Thomas must have been at the first meeting of the eleven

Some say the eleven is used as a general term to refer to the apostles, however there is no supporting passage to imply this.


  1. Uneducated: When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. [Acts 4:13]
  2. The others have many of the same stories but not John
  3. A lot is written in the third person such as; 21:24 - “This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true.” One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. [John 13:23]
  4. The Synoptics paint the picture of Jesus that is reluctant to be crucified. For example, they all mention Jesus’ begging God to be saved from death when he is in the Garden of Gethsemane. Luke even has Jesus sweating drops of blood just before his arrest. All of this is in stark contrast to John, who portrays Jesus as willingly handing himself over to the authorities - John 18:3-6.
  5. John, 1:1-18 - The passage is written in a highly poetic style that’s not found in the rest of the Gospel of John. These verses also contain key concepts not found in the rest of the Gospel, such as Jesus being “the Word” made flesh. Jesus is called the “logos” twice in the prologue and never anywhere else in the Gospel of John (or even the entire New Testament for that matter).

Clearly, the author of John was not the disciple of Jesus and the writing come much later.

  • thank you for the -1 vote, any criticism or error in my answer welcomed Commented Jul 19, 2021 at 15:01
  • 1
    @anothertheory - you "theory" effectively turns the Gospel of John into a forgery on the basis that you say it is written by someone other that what the document itself claims. On that basis, the Gospel of John should not be in the canon of Scripture. Well, that is OK for you but I will have none of it. Sorry.
    – Dottard
    Commented Sep 8, 2021 at 9:54
  • 1
    @Dottard - the evidence would suggest its been added / changed possible more. Anything incorrect, tell me what and why and happy to revisit. Commented Sep 8, 2021 at 12:39
  • 1
    @Dottard - that's your opinion I'm wrong - no evidence or reasons Commented Sep 9, 2021 at 8:57
  • 1
    @Jess thanks for the interesting point above and the +1, very decent, regardless if we agree or not. Commented Feb 7, 2022 at 10:00

Ellicott thought that this verse could be inserted after the first draft of the manuscript of the book of John.

But though the words are an addition, they are a contemporaneous addition present in every important MS. and version, and an undoubted part of the original text. We cannot tell who are the persons whose words we here read--Andrew it may be, or Philip, or some of the seventy disciples who had been witnesses of the work of Christ, or some of the Ephesian Church, as Aristion or John the Presbyter, who felt that the Apostle's personal character gave the stamp of truth to all he said, and add here the conviction that all these words were true.

Benson Commentary

The church probably added these words to this gospel, as Tertius did those to St. Paul’s epistle to the Romans, Romans 16:23.

On the other hand, it may not be an insertion. This kind of usage of "we" appears elsewhere by John.

1 John 5 13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. ...
18 We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin;

"We" means John and some other personal witnesses, such as the apostles.


The Gospel of John concludes already in 20:30

Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book. 31But these are written so that you may believee that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.

I am not the first one to observe that chapter 21 is a post scriptum. This was probably added by another person who made a (first?) copy of the manuscript. The intention is just to name the author who avoids to mention his name.

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