BIBLIOTHECA SACRA July, 1963
the moment when Jesus gave His command, "What thou doest, do quickly," Judas withdrew before further action could be taken, and perhaps Peter never learned even by the sign who the traitor was. Jesus' answer may have been spoken only for the ears of His questioner, and not for the whole company. If so, the "beloved disciple" would have been the only one who left the feast with a sure knowledge of the traitor's identity. Perhaps he thought it would be unwise to divulge this information to the remaining ten disciples, lest he should precipitate a disturbance among them when Jesus was about to begin an important discourse.
A second reference to an unnamed disciple appears in the story of the trial of Jesus before the high priest. "And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. Now that disciple was known unto the high priest, and entered in with Jesus into the court of the high priest; but Peter was standing at the door without. So the other disciple who was known unto the high priest, went out and spake unto her that kept the door, and brought in Peter" (18:15-16).
It is conceivable that "the disciple whom Jesus loved" and this "other disciple" might be two separate individuals, but that conclusion seems unlikely. Why should the writer inject two unknowns into his story? Both at the last supper and at the high priest's court the unnamed disciple was a close companion of Peter, and in the second instance he was interested enough in Peter to intercede with the portress that he might be admitted. The constant association of these two disciples confirms the conviction that on all occasions the same person is involved.
The status of this person was unusual. He was able to obtain free admittance to the court of the high priest, and was sufficiently influential to obtain entrance for Peter also. Evidently he had access to the upper echelon of Judaism, possibly through acquaintance with Joseph of Arimathea or Nicodemus, whom he seems to have known personally.
A few hours later he was standing at the cross in company with the women who had remained to witness the final scene of the tragedy. "But there were standing by the cross his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and