Beloved Disciple, The

Beloved Disciple, The

A disciple mentioned only in the Gospel of John and never identified by name. Appearing first at the Last Supper, reclining at Jesus’s bosom, at Peter’s bidding he asks the identity of Jesus’s betrayer (John 13:23-25). At the crucifixion, standing beneath the cross with Jesus’s mother, he is entrusted with her care (John 19:25-27). On Easter morning, he outruns Peter to Jesus’s tomb and finds it empty (John 20:2-10). Later, in Galilee, he identifies for Peter a figure standing on the shore as the risen Jesus (John 21:7). Finally, Jesus parries Peter’s question about whether the Beloved Disciple will live until Jesus’s return (John 21:20-23). He is also identified as the person responsible for writing down some of the material contained in the Gospel of John (John 21:24). The assumption that the Beloved Disciple must have been one of the Twelve led to the traditional view that he was John the son of Zebedee. Yet that identification is never made in the Gospel itself and other theories have also been advanced.

John 13:23-25

23One of his disciples—the one whom Jesus loved—was reclining next to him;24Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking.25So whil ... View more

John 19:25-27

25And that is what the soldiers did.
Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Mag ... View more

John 20:2-10

2So 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 ... View more

John 21:7

7That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on some clothes, for he was naked, and jump ... View more

John 21:20-23

Jesus and the Beloved Disciple
20Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them; he was the one who had reclined next to Jesus at the supper ... View more

John 21:24

24This is the disciple who is testifying to these things and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true.

 NEH Logo
Bible Odyssey has been made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor
Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this website, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.