19 JUNE 1926, Page 16


[To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.] Sra,—The reviewer of Dr. Nolloth's work on the Fourth Gospel evidently inclines to the view that the " beloved' disciple " was Lazarus. It is an attractive view ; but the fact that the authorities tried to put Lazarus to death (St. John xii.' 10,11) makes it improbable that he would have venturel into the palace of the high priest when our Lord was on His trial, as did the " other disciple." Our Lord committed His holy, mother to " the beloved disciple." There is no tradition whatever, I believe, of the B.V.M. going to live at the house at Bethany, where she would have gone had the " beloved disciple " been Lazarus. When St. Peter and another disciple visited the empty tomb he who outran his chief took care to let him have the first view of the inside of the tomb. I have always considered that in this matter the unnamed disciple thus honoured St. Peter to make up, if possible, for his having been the means of bringing the great leader within the sphere of temptation—the palace. The probability is that Lazarus, being in danger, left Jerusalem altogether, for a while at least; and it is singular, if he were " the beloved disciple," that we have no hint or suggestion that he was concerned with the affairs of the Church on or after the Day of Pentecost. St.' James, who only became a convert to the Lord's teaching after the Resurrection, was given a leading position in the Church. It is quite unlikely that he was present at the Last Supper. In the face of St. Matthew xxvi. 20 ; St. Mark xiv. 17 ; St. Luke xxii. 14 it is somewhat rash to assume that other than the twelve were present.—I am, Sir, &c.,