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John, “The Disciple Jesus Loved”


Only John has the usage, “the disciple Jesus loved”, among the evangelists. From the early church, the belief is that this refers to John himself. There are five occasions when John uses this phrase in his gospel:
1. John 13:23. At the Last Supper when John reclined with Jesus along with the other apostles.
2. John 19:26. When Jesus entrusted his mother to John while on the cross.
3. John 20:2. When Mary Magdalene reported the empty tomb to Peter and John.
4. John 21:7. When John identified to Peter that Jesus was on the shore directing them for the miraculous catch of fish.
5. John 21:20. Peter asking of John’s end of life to Jesus after Jesus told about how Peter would die.

The author, out of his modesty, was not using his name or “I” at these places. Another reasoning is that, because of the persecution when John published the gospel, he had to conceal his identity for security reasons while his readers would recognize who he was.


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