Friday, January 18, 2013

The Concealment

The unidentified writer of John 21:24 commends the-disciple-whom-Jesus-loved to us, writing, “we know that his testimony is true.” Such confidence in the disciple suggests that the writer knew him – knew who he was. If true, then we conclude that the writer deliberately concealed his identity from us; that is, the writer did not just forget to mention the disciples name.

The idea that Judas Iscariot is the-disciple-whom-Jesus-loved is often discounted by a consideration of the narrative of the first appearance of the-disciple-whom-Jesus-loved. (John 13:20-26)

20 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receives whomsoever I send receives me; and he that receives me receives him that sent me. 21 When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall deliver me. 22 Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake. 23 Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved. 24 Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake. 25 He then lying on Jesus' breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it? 26 Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.

In the narrative, the writer presents the-disciple-whom-Jesus-loved and Judas Iscariot as two separate characters. The two characters could only be the same person if the writer deliberately concealed the identity of the-disciple-whom-Jesus-loved. Significantly, this is the conclusion we made independently by a consideration of the narrative of the last appearance of the-disciple-whom-Jesus-loved (John 21:24); and it is a fitting conclusion for a work of scripture devoted to a God whose glory it is to conceal a matter.

Why was Judas Iscariot the disciple whom Jesus loved? Click on the question for the answer.

Still, I offer these ideas only in my own name.

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