When John wrote the other disciple whom Jesus loved (John 20:2), does this single him out from the other disciples?
… to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved,… (John 20:2, ESV)
πρὸς Σίμωνα Πέτρον καὶ πρὸς τὸν ἄλλον μαθητὴν ὃν ἐφίλει ὁ Ἰησοῦς (John 20:2, NA27)
The use of the other (τὸν ἄλλον, other of the same kind) seems to point toward saying Jesus loved the other disciples the same as John, and John was only stating this to avoid using his name. I'm not suggesting that one can argue this case based on this grammar, but am wondering if there is other evidence. Is there any way we can differentiate between this being the case versus Jesus having any special love for John?
Because John referred to himself as the disciple whom Jesus loved to avoid using his name and drawing attention to himself, it makes more sense that John used the expression to point to who Jesus was rather than a unique relationship with Christ. However, is there evidence from such sources as the church fathers answering one way or the other.