Shmoop would like to announce a name change. We would officially like to be called "The Beloved Shmoop" from now on. Thank you for your cooperation. Now back to our regularly scheduled analysis.
We never quite catch this disciple's name, but he's clearly teacher's pet. After all, his nickname is "the disciple whom Jesus loved." According to the gospel, he's also the source for all John's info on Jesus's life and work. Yeah, we think he's worth a look.
Though he doesn't show up until Chapter 13, The Beloved Disciple gets a feature roll in some of the most important moments of Jesus's life (and death):
This guy is sharp. He gets it. No silly misunderstands for him. Which makes us wonder…
Did you notice a bit of tension between Peter and The Beloved Disciple during the course of the story? The two followers just love to play off each other:
What's going on here? It's like they're locked in some kind of weird discipleship contest. Are we supposed to be comparing the two?
Seriously, we're asking.
So who exactly is this mysterious follower of Jesus? No one really knows. For years, Christians thought that he was actually named John and that he wrote the whole Gospel himself. Hence, the Gospel of John.
Over the years, other theories have floated around. Was he one of Jesus's brothers? Was he Lazarus? Was he actually a she? (Gasp!) Now, many scholars believe that he may just be a creation of the gospel writers—a special, gifted disciple to be the ultimate witness for their version of Jesus's life.
The questions continue to this day. What was his name? Did he really exist? And what kind of running shoes was he wearing when he beat Peter in that race? Sadly, the world may never know.