My question, appearing as a duplicate question to what has been asked, identifies a scriptural reference that tells me that this disciple is not the apostle John, as the majority professes him to be. This makes this question 'unique'. I have provided my understanding of how this cannot be John and ask for others to evaluate my finding. I will provide my answer after my initial observation has been read, evaluated and commented on.

In John's gospel, Chapter 13, he first mentions 'the disciple that Jesus loved'. All of the references I have found indicate that John is this disciple, yet I cannot see how this could be true. The reason is verse 28.

But no one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him.

John is the only apostle who wrote a gospel of Jesus Christ. John's accounts were either first-hand accounts, or were proven to be true to John so that he could write the truth of this event.

From John 13:

18 “I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill this passage of Scripture: ‘He who shared my bread has turned against me.’

19 “I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am who I am. 20 Very truly I tell you, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me.”

21 After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, “Very truly I tell you, one of you is going to betray me.”

22 His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant. 23 One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. 24 Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, “Ask him which one he means.”

25 Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?”

26 Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. 27 As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him.

So Jesus told him, “What you are about to do, do quickly.” 28 But no one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him.

John stated in verse 28 that no one at the meal, him included, understood why Jesus said what he did to Judas Iscariot. John would later learn who the betrayer was, but at this time he and the others did not know. As John stated he did not understand why Jesus said this to Judas, he could not be ‘the disciple that Jesus loved’.

So who is the disciple that Jesus loved?

  • 1
    “John is the only apostle who wrote a gospel of Jesus Christ.” — There's actually no internal evidence of this. Only tradition — which tradition originates from the 2nd century AD, if I am not mistaken. Nov 7, 2022 at 0:39
  • 2
    John is the only apostle who wrote a gospel of Jesus Christ. Not so, the Gospel of Matthew was written by the Apostle Matthew. Nov 7, 2022 at 8:14
  • It is surely jumping to an unwarranted conclusion that, just because John wasn't given to know the name of the about-to-be-betrayer, that Jesus didn't love him? The Father loves the Son but did not give the Son to know the time of "the end" nor are any of his disciples given that fore-knowledge, Acts 1:7.
    – Anne
    Nov 7, 2022 at 11:15
  • Der Übermensch, Andrew Shanks - Thanks, I knew that and it still got through. I deleted my statement. Dan - Thank you for the link. I tried to find the question before I asked but couldn't. The answer is no, while all of the responses address what I'm asking, none of the responses answer my question. Anne - 'the disciple that Jesus loved' is referring to one of the 12, specifically, at the meal. I do not understand the thrust of your last question.
    – Ray
    Nov 7, 2022 at 22:22
  • Anne - What I meant to say is that I do not understand the thrust of your last statement.
    – Ray
    Nov 8, 2022 at 1:30

1 Answer 1


This answer will not rehash the extensive answer referred to in the comments but address this question in particular. What is noteworthy in the Gospel of John is John is quick to name the other disciples in what they say or do. For example, John names Philip and Andrew in the discourse before Jesus feeds the 5000 (6:5-9). The other gospels do not (Matt. 14:16-18; Mark 6:36-38; Luke 9:12-13). John mentions it was Peter who cut off the high priest's servant's ear (18:10). The other gospels do not (Matt. 26:51; Mark 14:47; Luke 22:50). Verse 20:2 identifies the other disciple as the same as the one whom Jesus loved. John 21:20-24 seems to indicate that the disciple whom Jesus loved was the author of this gospel. John's Gospel does not leave other individual disciples unnamed.

So, the conclusion is just because Jesus showed John who would betray him does not mean he would understand what Jesus told Judas. He wouldn't understand until Judas actually betrayed Jesus.

  • As none of the other disciples at the table understood why Jesus said what he did to Judas (v28) then John could not have heard what Jesus told 'the disciple that Jesus loved' when Jesus revealed who the betrayer was. John would have learned the identity at a later time, possibly just before or during the fishing event in John 21 and referenced a written testimony of what was said. Jesus would have also validated what was said to that disciple at this time.
    – Ray
    Nov 8, 2022 at 2:02
  • See edited edition.
    – Perry Webb
    Nov 8, 2022 at 10:18
  • Contrary to the instructions instructing why I needed to state my question was unique to the other one, which I followed, my question has been closed. By you? I do not agree with your conclusion.
    – Ray
    Nov 8, 2022 at 12:22

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