Lazarus, not John, was the disciple whom Jesus loved
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Permissions Icon Permissions. Article PDF first page preview. Issue Section:. You do not currently have access to this article. Download all figures. Sign in. You could not be signed in. Sign In Forgot password? Don't have an account? Sign in via your Institution Sign in. Why is he unnamed? Why would Jesus deliver his own mother into the hands of this disciple with his dying breath?
I am not sure who has suggested this over the years but I first encountered the idea from Robert Eisenman. See his book James the Brother of Jesus , p. The traditional view that the Beloved Disciple was the fisherman apostle John, one of the sons of Zebedee can be traced back as early as Irenaeus c.
Church History 6. On another occasion they asked Jesus for permission to call down fire from heaven to consume a village that had not accepted their preaching Luke On both occasions Jesus had rebuked them. This view has been recently defended by Richard Bauckham in his massive study, Jesus and the Eyewitnesses.
6 Bible verses about The Beloved Disciple
Today there are several dozens of books in print suggesting various alternative identifications. Ben Witherington and others have suggested Lazarus, brother of the sisters Mary and Martha, whom Jesus raises from the dead in the gospel of John, see here.
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James Charlesworth surveys all the possibilities with a full history of scholarship in his landmark book The Beloved Disciple , which I recommend as the best place to begin for readers with a serious interest in this question. Charlesworth ends up arguing for the apostle Thomas, an identification that I think is unique with him, while he is apparently unaware of the possibility of James the brother of Jesus—a choice that has not been part of the mainstream discussion. Since he is never mentioned earlier we really have very little to go on.
Here are the texts in the RSV translation:.
Know God. Find Life. Make a Difference.
He who saw it has borne witness — his testimony is true, and he knows that he tells the truth — that you also may believe. They both ran, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first; and stooping to look in he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in. Follow me! As this disciple was known to the high priest, he entered the court of the high priest along with Jesus, while Peter stood outside at the door. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the maid who kept the door, and brought Peter in.
It is unlikely that the Beloved Disciple is anyone mentioned by name in the Gospel of John, and especially in these latter chapters, His identity is being veiled not revealed with a name.