The Other Disciple


After Jesus was arrested, John records in his gospel that Peter and another disciple follow Jesus from a distance. Who is this “other disciple”?


Not the answer you’re looking for, and not intended to be a ‘smart’ answer, either, but I once had a priest tell me that whenever we encounter an ambiguous phrase like “the other disciple” in John’s Gospel, you should insert your name there. Imagine yourself in that role.

Most likely, according to the commentaries I’ve seen over the years, this is John himself. He typically doesn’t refer to himself in first person, but as “the other” or “the one whom Jesus loved”. It quite literally makes sense here, as how else would he know what took place to write about it at that level of detail?


The commentaries I have read also say it was John himself.


Yes, John the young Priest of high birth, and the one who let Peter into Caiaphas’ courtyard when Jesus was being interrogated. Anf MAYBE the one who arranged for the large room for Jesus and his followers at the Passover.


John’s gospel is written on many levels. Pretty much, for every passage of his gospel, John has the literal (textual) level - but a higher meaning, as well. To dig deeper, we need theologians, but basically, on a literal level, John is referring to himself. But there are two apparent reasons why he doesn’t mention himself by name: firstly, John wants the glory to go to Jesus, not himself - but secondly, because the gospel is to also be read on a spiritual plane, in which John is merely a stand-in for the both the Church as a whole and us as individuals.


D-R Bible, Haydock Commentary:

Ver. 15. Peter followed Jesus, but at a distance, for he was afraid. And so did another disciple. St. Jerome, and St. Chrysostom, and after him, Theophylactus, with some others, believe that this other disciple was St. John himself. (Calmet)


You are.

So 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 know where they have laid him.” (John 20:2)

You are “the one whom Jesus loved.”



Thanks, Tim. Though I may not have had the courage to go.:smiley:


Well, the disciple whom Jesus loved got to the tomb first but let Peter go in ahead of him. :stuck_out_tongue:



Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225 – 7 March 1274) thinks in his commentary on the Gospel of St. John that this is St. John himself, who out of humility does not mention himself.

In regard to the first he says, Simon Peter followed Jesus, because of his devotedness, but at a distance because of his fear, and so did another disciple, John, who out of humility does not mention himself. We can understand from this that the other disciples fled and abandoned Jesus, as Matthew says (26:56).

So thinks also St. John Chrysostom (349 – 407):

Who is that other disciple? It is the writer himself.

Likewise St. Augustine of Hippo (354 – 28 August 430) suspects this in Catena Aurea:

AUG. Who that other disciple was we cannot hastily decide, as his name is not told us. John however is accustomed to signify himself by this expression, with the addition of, whom Jesus loved. Perhaps therefore he is the one.


Then how come John was allowed to go in? Was he not in danger as a follower of Jesus?


So what? Does that matter in any way?


It mattered to the reader of that time.


I think it had to have been “James the Just”. :newidea:



According to who? You?


Not me. But the indentity of this other disciple would have been very significant im that community.




You know how Jesus supposedly said this disciple would not die?


Peter was close to James, the brother of Jesus. Maybe James.



D-R Bible, Haydock Commentary:

Ver. 23. This saying, therefore:[4] that is, a report went about among the disciples, that John was not to die. But St. John himself, as St. Augustine and St. Chrysostom observe, took care to tell us, that Christ said not so. Nor do we find any sufficient grounds to think that St. John is not dead. (Witham)

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