New English Translation
Washing the Disciples’ Feet
13 Just before the Passover Feast, Jesus knew that his time[a] had come to depart[b] from this world to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now loved them to the very end.[c] 2 The evening meal[d] was in progress, and the devil had already put into the heart[e] of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, that he should betray[f] Jesus.[g] 3 Because Jesus[h] knew that the Father had handed all things over to him,[i] and that he had come from God and was going back to God, 4 he got up from the meal, removed[j] his outer clothes,[k] took a towel and tied it around himself.[l] 5 He poured water into the washbasin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to dry them with the towel he had wrapped around himself.[m]
6 Then he came to Simon Peter. Peter[n] said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash[o] my feet?” 7 Jesus replied,[p] “You do not understand[q] what I am doing now, but you will understand[r] after these things.” 8 Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet!”[s] Jesus replied,[t] “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.”[u] 9 Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, wash[v] not only my feet, but also my hands and my head!” 10 Jesus replied,[w] “The one who has bathed needs only to wash his feet,[x] but is completely[y] clean.[z] And you disciples[aa] are clean, but not every one of you.” 11 (For Jesus[ab] knew the one who was going to betray him. For this reason he said, “Not every one of you is[ac] clean.”)[ad]
12 So when Jesus[ae] had washed their feet and put his outer clothing back on, he took his place at the table[af] again and said to them, “Do you understand[ag] what I have done for you? 13 You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and do so correctly,[ah] for that is what I am.[ai] 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you too ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example[aj]—you should do just as I have done for you. 16 I tell you the solemn truth,[ak] the slave[al] is not greater than his master, nor is the one who is sent as a messenger[am] greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you understand[an] these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
The Announcement of Jesus’ Betrayal
18 “What I am saying does not refer to all of you. I know the ones I have chosen. But this is to fulfill the scripture,[ao] ‘The one who eats my bread[ap] has turned against me.’[aq] 19 I am telling you this now,[ar] before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe[as] that I am he.[at] 20 I tell you the solemn truth,[au] whoever accepts[av] the one I send accepts me, and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me.”[aw]
21 When he had said these things, Jesus was greatly distressed[ax] in spirit, and testified,[ay] “I tell you the solemn truth,[az] one of you will betray me.”[ba] 22 The disciples began to look at one another, worried and perplexed[bb] to know which of them he was talking about. 23 One of his disciples, the one Jesus loved,[bc] was at the table[bd] to the right of Jesus in a place of honor.[be] 24 So Simon Peter[bf] gestured to this disciple[bg] to ask Jesus[bh] who it was he was referring to.[bi] 25 Then the disciple whom Jesus loved[bj] leaned back against Jesus’ chest and asked him, “Lord, who is it?” 26 Jesus replied,[bk] “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread[bl] after I have dipped it in the dish.”[bm] Then he dipped the piece of bread in the dish[bn] and gave it to Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son. 27 And after Judas[bo] took the piece of bread, Satan entered into him.[bp] Jesus said to him,[bq] “What you are about to do, do quickly.” 28 (Now none of those present at the table[br] understood[bs] why Jesus[bt] said this to Judas.[bu] 29 Some thought that, because Judas had the money box, Jesus was telling him to buy whatever they needed for the feast,[bv] or to give something to the poor.)[bw] 30 Judas[bx] took the piece of bread and went out immediately. (Now it was night.)[by]
The Prediction of Peter’s Denial
31 When[bz] Judas[ca] had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in him. 32 If God is glorified in him,[cb] God will also glorify him in himself, and he will glorify him right away.[cc] 33 Children, I am still with you for a little while. You will look for me,[cd] and just as I said to the Jewish religious leaders,[ce] ‘Where I am going you cannot come,’[cf] now I tell you the same.[cg]
34 “I give you a new commandment—to love[ch] one another. Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.[ci] 35 Everyone[cj] will know by this that you are my disciples—if you have love for one another.”
36 Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus replied,[ck] “Where I am going, you cannot follow me now, but you will follow later.” 37 Peter said to him, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you!”[cl] 38 Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me?[cm] I tell you the solemn truth,[cn] the rooster will not crow until you have denied me three times!
Jesus’ Parting Words to His Disciples
14 “Do not let your hearts be distressed.[co] You believe in God;[cp] believe also in me. 2 There are many dwelling places[cq] in my Father’s house.[cr] Otherwise, I would have told you, because[cs] I am going away to make ready[ct] a place for you.[cu] 3 And if I go and make ready[cv] a place for you, I will come again and take you[cw] to be with me,[cx] so that where I am you may be too. 4 And you know the way where I am going.”[cy]
5 Thomas said,[cz] “Lord, we don’t know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6 Jesus replied,[da] “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.[db] No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you have known me, you will know my Father too.[dc] And from now on you do know him and have seen him.”
8 Philip said,[dd] “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be content.”[de] 9 Jesus replied,[df] “Have I been with you for so long, and you have not known[dg] me, Philip? The person who has seen me has seen the Father! How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me?[dh] The words that I say to you, I do not speak on my own initiative,[di] but the Father residing in me performs[dj] his miraculous deeds.[dk] 11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me, but if you do not believe me,[dl] believe because of the miraculous deeds[dm] themselves. 12 I tell you the solemn truth,[dn] the person who believes in me will perform[do] the miraculous deeds[dp] that I am doing,[dq] and will perform[dr] greater deeds[ds] than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name,[dt] so that the Father may be glorified[du] in the Son. 14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.
Teaching on the Holy Spirit
15 “If you love me, you will obey[dv] my commandments.[dw] 16 Then[dx] I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate[dy] to be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept,[dz] because it does not see him or know him. But you know him, because he resides[ea] with you and will be[eb] in you.
18 “I will not abandon[ec] you as orphans,[ed] I will come to you.[ee] 19 In a little while[ef] the world will not see me any longer, but you will see me; because I live, you will live too. 20 You will know at that time[eg] that I am in my Father and you are in me and I am in you. 21 The person who has my commandments and obeys[eh] them is the one who loves me.[ei] The one[ej] who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and will reveal[ek] myself to him.”
22 “Lord,” Judas (not Judas Iscariot)[el] said,[em] “what has happened that you are going to reveal[en] yourself to us and not to the world?” 23 Jesus replied,[eo] “If anyone loves me, he will obey[ep] my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and take up residence with him.[eq] 24 The person who does not love me does not obey[er] my words. And the word[es] you hear is not mine, but the Father’s who sent me.
25 “I have spoken these things while staying[et] with you. 26 But the Advocate,[eu] the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you[ev] everything,[ew] and will cause you to remember everything[ex] I said to you.
27 “Peace I leave with you;[ey] my peace I give to you; I do not give it[ez] to you as the world does.[fa] Do not let your hearts be distressed or lacking in courage.[fb] 28 You heard me say to you,[fc] ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad[fd] that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I am.[fe] 29 I have told you now before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe.[ff] 30 I will not speak with you much longer,[fg] for the ruler of this world is coming.[fh] He has no power over me,[fi] 31 but I am doing just what the Father commanded me, so that the world may know[fj] that I love the Father.[fk] Get up, let us go from here.[fl]
The Vine and the Branches
15 “I am the true vine[fm] and my Father is the gardener.[fn] 2 He takes away[fo] every branch that does not bear[fp] fruit in me. He[fq] prunes[fr] every branch that bears[fs] fruit so that it will bear more fruit. 3 You are clean already[ft] because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Remain[fu] in me, and I will remain in you.[fv] Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself,[fw] unless it remains[fx] in[fy] the vine, so neither can you unless you remain[fz] in me.
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains[ga] in me—and I in him—bears[gb] much fruit,[gc] because apart from me you can accomplish[gd] nothing. 6 If anyone does not remain[ge] in me, he is thrown out like a branch, and dries up; and such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire,[gf] and are burned up.[gg] 7 If you remain[gh] in me and my words remain[gi] in you, ask whatever you want, and it will be done for you.[gj] 8 My Father is honored[gk] by this, that[gl] you bear[gm] much fruit and show that you are[gn] my disciples.
9 “Just as the Father has loved me, I have also loved you; remain[go] in my love. 10 If you obey[gp] my commandments, you will remain[gq] in my love, just as I have obeyed[gr] my Father’s commandments and remain[gs] in his love. 11 I have told you these things[gt] so that my joy may be in you, and your joy may be complete. 12 My commandment is this—to love one another just as I have loved you.[gu] 13 No one has greater love than this—that one lays down his life[gv] for his friends. 14 You are my friends[gw] if you do what I command you. 15 I no longer call you slaves,[gx] because the slave does not understand[gy] what his master is doing. But I have called you friends, because I have revealed to you everything[gz] I heard[ha] from my Father. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you[hb] and appointed you to go and bear[hc] fruit, fruit that remains,[hd] so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you. 17 This[he] I command you—to love one another.
The World’s Hatred
18 “If the world hates you, be aware[hf] that it hated me first.[hg] 19 If you belonged to the world,[hh] the world would love you as its own.[hi] However, because you do not belong to the world,[hj] but I chose you out of the world, for this reason[hk] the world hates you.[hl] 20 Remember what[hm] I told you, ‘A slave[hn] is not greater than his master.’[ho] If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they obeyed[hp] my word, they will obey[hq] yours too. 21 But they will do all these things to you on account of[hr] my name, because they do not know the one who sent me.[hs] 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin.[ht] But they no longer have any excuse for their sin. 23 The one who hates me hates my Father too. 24 If I had not performed[hu] among them the miraculous deeds[hv] that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin.[hw] But now they have seen the deeds[hx] and have hated both me and my Father.[hy] 25 Now this happened[hz] to fulfill the word that is written in their law, ‘They hated me without reason.’[ia] 26 When the Advocate[ib] comes, whom I will send you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he[ic] will testify about me, 27 and you also will testify, because you have been with me from the beginning.
16 “I have told you all these things so that you will not fall away.[id] 2 They will put you out of[ie] the synagogue,[if] yet a time[ig] is coming when the one who kills you will think he is offering service to God.[ih] 3 They[ii] will do these things because they have not known the Father or me.[ij] 4 But I have told you these things[ik] so that when their time[il] comes, you will remember that I told you about them.[im]
“I did not tell you these things from the beginning because I was with you.[in] 5 But now I am going to the one who sent me,[io] and not one of you is asking me, ‘Where are you going?’[ip] 6 Instead your hearts are filled with sadness[iq] because I have said these things to you. 7 But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I am going away. For if I do not go away, the Advocate[ir] will not come to you, but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 And when he[is] comes, he will prove the world wrong[it] concerning sin and[iu] righteousness and[iv] judgment— 9 concerning sin, because[iw] they do not believe in me;[ix] 10 concerning righteousness,[iy] because[iz] I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; 11 and concerning judgment,[ja] because[jb] the ruler of this world[jc] has been condemned.[jd]
12 “I have many more things to say to you,[je] but you cannot bear[jf] them now. 13 But when he,[jg] the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide[jh] you into all truth.[ji] For he will not speak on his own authority,[jj] but will speak whatever he hears, and will tell you[jk] what is to come.[jl] 14 He[jm] will glorify me,[jn] because he will receive[jo] from me what is mine[jp] and will tell it to you.[jq] 15 Everything that the Father has is mine; that is why I said the Spirit[jr] will receive from me what is mine[js] and will tell it to you.[jt] 16 In a little while you[ju] will see me no longer; again after a little while, you[jv] will see me.”[jw]
17 Then some of his disciples said to one another, “What is the meaning of what he is saying,[jx] ‘In a little while you[jy] will not see me; again after a little while, you[jz] will see me,’ and, ‘because I am going to the Father’?”[ka] 18 So they kept on repeating,[kb] “What is the meaning of what he says,[kc] ‘In a little while’?[kd] We do not understand[ke] what he is talking about.”[kf]
19 Jesus could see[kg] that they wanted to ask him about these things,[kh] so[ki] he said to them, “Are you asking[kj] each other about this—that I said, ‘In a little while you[kk] will not see me; again after a little while, you[kl] will see me’? 20 I tell you the solemn truth,[km] you will weep[kn] and wail,[ko] but the world will rejoice; you will be sad,[kp] but your sadness will turn into[kq] joy. 21 When a woman gives birth, she has distress[kr] because her time[ks] has come, but when her child is born, she no longer remembers the suffering because of her joy that a human being[kt] has been born into the world.[ku] 22 So also you have sorrow[kv] now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.[kw] 23 At that time[kx] you will ask me nothing. I tell you the solemn truth,[ky] whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.[kz] 24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive it,[la] so that your joy may be complete.
25 “I have told you these things in obscure figures of speech;[lb] a time[lc] is coming when I will no longer speak to you in obscure figures, but will tell you[ld] plainly[le] about the Father. 26 At that time[lf] you will ask in my name, and I do not say[lg] that I will ask the Father on your behalf. 27 For the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.[lh] 28 I came from the Father and entered into the world, but in turn,[li] I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.”[lj]
29 His disciples said, “Look, now you are speaking plainly[lk] and not in obscure figures of speech![ll] 30 Now we know that you know everything[lm] and do not need anyone[ln] to ask you anything.[lo] Because of this[lp] we believe that you have come from God.”
31 Jesus replied,[lq] “Do you now believe? 32 Look, a time[lr] is coming—and has come—when you will be scattered, each one to his own home,[ls] and I will be left alone.[lt] Yet[lu] I am not alone, because my Father[lv] is with me. 33 I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In the world you have trouble and suffering,[lw] but take courage[lx]—I have conquered the world.”[ly]
Jesus Prays for the Father to Glorify Him
17 When Jesus had finished saying these things, he looked upward[lz] to heaven[ma] and said, “Father, the time[mb] has come. Glorify your Son, so that your[mc] Son may glorify you— 2 just as you have given him authority over all humanity,[md] so that he may give eternal life to everyone you have given him.[me] 3 Now this[mf] is eternal life[mg]—that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ,[mh] whom you sent. 4 I glorified you on earth by completing[mi] the work you gave me to do.[mj] 5 And now, Father, glorify me at your side[mk] with the glory I had with you before the world was created.[ml]
Jesus Prays for the Disciples
6 “I have revealed[mm] your name[mn] to the men[mo] you gave me out of the world. They belonged to you,[mp] and you gave them to me, and they have obeyed[mq] your word. 7 Now they understand[mr] that everything[ms] you have given me comes from you, 8 because I have given them the words you have given me. They[mt] accepted[mu] them[mv] and really[mw] understand[mx] that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. 9 I am praying[my] on behalf of them. I am not praying[mz] on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those you have given me, because they belong to you.[na] 10 Everything[nb] I have belongs to you,[nc] and everything you have belongs to me,[nd] and I have been glorified by them.[ne] 11 I[nf] am no longer in the world, but[ng] they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them safe[nh] in your name[ni] that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are one.[nj] 12 When I was with them I kept them safe[nk] and watched over them[nl] in your name[nm] that you have given me. Not one[nn] of them was lost except the one destined for destruction,[no] so that the scripture could be fulfilled.[np] 13 But now I am coming to you, and I am saying these things in the world, so they may experience[nq] my joy completed[nr] in themselves. 14 I have given them your word,[ns] and the world has hated them, because they do not belong to the world,[nt] just as I do not belong to the world.[nu] 15 I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but that you keep them safe[nv] from the evil one.[nw] 16 They do not belong to the world[nx] just as I do not belong to the world.[ny] 17 Set them apart[nz] in the truth; your word is truth. 18 Just as you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world.[oa] 19 And I set myself apart[ob] on their behalf,[oc] so that they too may be truly set apart.[od]
Jesus Prays for Believers Everywhere
20 “I am not praying[oe] only on their behalf, but also on behalf of those who believe[of] in me through their testimony,[og] 21 that they will all be one, just as you, Father, are in me and I am in you. I pray[oh] that they will be in us, so that the world will believe that you sent me. 22 The glory[oi] you gave to me I have given to them, that they may be one just as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—that they may be completely one,[oj] so that the world will know that you sent me, and you have loved them just as you have loved me.
24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am,[ok] so that they can see my glory that you gave me because you loved me before the creation of the world[ol] . 25 Righteous Father, even if the world does not know you, I know you, and these men[om] know that you sent me. 26 I made known your name[on] to them, and I will continue to make it known,[oo] so that the love you have loved me with may be in them, and I may be in them.”
Betrayal and Arrest
18 When he had said these things,[op] Jesus went out with his disciples across the Kidron Valley.[oq] There was an orchard[or] there, and he and his disciples went into it. 2 (Now Judas, the one who betrayed him, knew the place too, because Jesus had met there many times[os] with his disciples.)[ot] 3 So Judas obtained a squad of soldiers[ou] and some officers of the chief priests and Pharisees.[ov] They came to the orchard[ow] with lanterns[ox] and torches and weapons.
4 Then Jesus, because he knew everything that was going to happen to him,[oy] came and asked them, “Who are you looking for?”[oz] 5 They replied,[pa] “Jesus the Nazarene.” He told them, “I am he.” (Now Judas, the one who betrayed him, was standing there with them.)[pb] 6 So when Jesus[pc] said to them, “I am he,” they retreated[pd] and fell to the ground.[pe] 7 Then Jesus[pf] asked them again, “Who are you looking for?” And they said, “Jesus the Nazarene.” 8 Jesus replied,[pg] “I told you that I am he. If you are looking for[ph] me, let these men[pi] go.”[pj] 9 He said this[pk] to fulfill the word he had spoken,[pl] “I have not lost a single one of those whom you gave me.”[pm]
10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, pulled it out and struck the high priest’s slave,[pn] cutting off his right ear.[po] (Now the slave’s name was Malchus.)[pp] 11 But Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword back into its sheath! Am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given me?”[pq]
Jesus Before Annas
12 Then the squad of soldiers[pr] with their commanding officer[ps] and the officers of the Jewish leaders[pt] arrested[pu] Jesus and tied him up.[pv] 13 They[pw] brought him first to Annas, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year.[px] 14 (Now it was Caiaphas who had advised[py] the Jewish leaders[pz] that it was to their advantage that one man die for the people.)[qa]
Peter’s First Denial
15 Simon Peter and another disciple followed them as they brought Jesus to Annas.[qb] (Now the other disciple[qc] was acquainted with the high priest, and he went with Jesus into the high priest’s courtyard.)[qd] 16 But Peter was left standing outside by the door. So the other disciple who was acquainted with the high priest came out and spoke to the slave girl who watched the door,[qe] and brought Peter inside. 17 The girl[qf] who was the doorkeeper said to Peter, “You’re not one of this man’s disciples too, are you?”[qg] He replied,[qh] “I am not.” 18 (Now the slaves[qi] and the guards[qj] were standing around a charcoal fire they had made, warming themselves because it was cold.[qk] Peter also was standing with them, warming himself.)[ql]
Jesus Questioned by Annas
19 While this was happening,[qm] the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and about his teaching.[qn] 20 Jesus replied,[qo] “I have spoken publicly to the world. I always taught in the synagogues[qp] and in the temple courts,[qq] where all the Jewish people[qr] assemble together. I[qs] have said nothing in secret. 21 Why do you ask me? Ask those who heard what I said.[qt] They[qu] know what I said.” 22 When Jesus[qv] had said this, one of the high priest’s officers who stood nearby struck him on the face and said,[qw] “Is that the way you answer the high priest?” 23 Jesus replied,[qx] “If I have said something wrong,[qy] confirm[qz] what is wrong.[ra] But if I spoke correctly, why strike me?” 24 Then Annas sent him, still tied up,[rb] to Caiaphas the high priest.[rc]
Peter’s Second and Third Denials
25 Meanwhile Simon Peter was standing in the courtyard[rd] warming himself. They said to him, “You aren’t one of his disciples too, are you?”[re] Peter[rf] denied it: “I am not!” 26 One of the high priest’s slaves,[rg] a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off,[rh] said, “Did I not see you in the orchard[ri] with him?”[rj] 27 Then Peter denied it again, and immediately a rooster crowed.[rk]
Jesus Brought Before Pilate
28 Then they brought Jesus from Caiaphas to the Roman governor’s residence.[rl] (Now it was very early morning.)[rm] They[rn] did not go into the governor’s residence[ro] so they would not be ceremonially defiled, but could eat the Passover meal. 29 So Pilate came outside to them and said, “What accusation[rp] do you bring against this man?”[rq] 30 They replied,[rr] “If this man[rs] were not a criminal,[rt] we would not have handed him over to you.”[ru]
31 Pilate told them,[rv] “Take him yourselves and pass judgment on him[rw] according to your own law!”[rx] The Jewish leaders[ry] replied,[rz] “We cannot legally put anyone to death.”[sa] 32 (This happened[sb] to fulfill the word Jesus had spoken when he indicated[sc] what kind of death he was going to die.[sd])
Pilate Questions Jesus
33 So Pilate went back into the governor’s residence,[se] summoned Jesus, and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”[sf] 34 Jesus replied,[sg] “Are you saying this on your own initiative,[sh] or have others told you about me?” 35 Pilate answered, “I am not a Jew, am I?[si] Your own people[sj] and your chief priests handed you over[sk] to me. What have you done?”
36 Jesus replied, “My kingdom[sl] is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my servants would be fighting to keep me from being[sm] handed over[sn] to the Jewish authorities.[so] But as it is,[sp] my kingdom is not from here.” 37 Then Pilate said,[sq] “So you are a king!” Jesus replied, “You say that I am a king. For this reason I was born, and for this reason I came into the world—to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to[sr] my voice.” 38 Pilate asked,[ss] “What is truth?”[st]
When he had said this he went back outside to the Jewish leaders[su] and announced,[sv] “I find no basis for an accusation[sw] against him. 39 But it is your custom that I release one prisoner[sx] for you at the Passover.[sy] So do you want me to release for you the king of the Jews?” 40 Then they shouted back,[sz] “Not this man,[ta] but Barabbas!”[tb] (Now Barabbas was a revolutionary.[tc])[td]
Pilate Tries to Release Jesus
19 Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged severely.[te] 2 The soldiers[tf] braided[tg] a crown of thorns[th] and put it on his head, and they clothed him in a purple robe.[ti] 3 They[tj] came up to him again and again[tk] and said, “Hail, king of the Jews!”[tl] And they struck him repeatedly[tm] in the face.
4 Again Pilate went out and said to the Jewish leaders,[tn] “Look, I am bringing him out to you, so that you may know that I find no reason for an accusation[to] against him.” 5 So Jesus came outside, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe.[tp] Pilate[tq] said to them, “Look, here is the man!”[tr] 6 When the chief priests and their officers saw him, they shouted out, “Crucify[ts] him! Crucify him!”[tt] Pilate said,[tu] “You take him and crucify him![tv] Certainly[tw] I find no reason for an accusation[tx] against him!” 7 The Jewish leaders[ty] replied,[tz] “We have a law,[ua] and according to our law he ought to die, because he claimed to be the Son of God!”[ub]
8 When Pilate heard what they said,[uc] he was more afraid than ever,[ud] 9 and he went back into the governor’s residence[ue] and said to Jesus, “Where do you come from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. 10 So Pilate said,[uf] “Do you refuse to speak to me? Don’t you know I have the authority[ug] to release you, and to crucify you?”[uh] 11 Jesus replied, “You would have no authority[ui] over me at all, unless it was given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you[uj] is guilty of greater sin.”[uk]
12 From this point on, Pilate tried[ul] to release him. But the Jewish leaders[um] shouted out,[un] “If you release this man,[uo] you are no friend of Caesar![up] Everyone who claims to be a king[uq] opposes Caesar!” 13 When Pilate heard these words he brought Jesus outside and sat down on the judgment seat[ur] in the place called “The Stone Pavement”[us] (Gabbatha in[ut] Aramaic).[uu] 14 (Now it was the day of preparation[uv] for the Passover, about noon.[uw])[ux] Pilate[uy] said to the Jewish leaders,[uz] “Look, here is your king!”
15 Then they[va] shouted out, “Away with him! Away with him![vb] Crucify[vc] him!” Pilate asked,[vd] “Shall I crucify your king?” The high priests replied, “We have no king except Caesar!” 16 Then Pilate[ve] handed him over[vf] to them to be crucified.
So they took Jesus, 17 and carrying his own cross[vg] he went out to the place called “The Place of the Skull”[vh] (called in Aramaic[vi] Golgotha).[vj] 18 There they[vk] crucified[vl] him along with two others,[vm] one on each side, with Jesus in the middle. 19 Pilate also had a notice[vn] written and fastened to the cross,[vo] which read:[vp] “Jesus the Nazarene, the king of the Jews.” 20 Thus many of the Jewish residents of Jerusalem[vq] read this notice,[vr] because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the notice was written in Aramaic,[vs] Latin, and Greek. 21 Then the chief priests of the Jews[vt] said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The king of the Jews,’ but rather, ‘This man said, I am king of the Jews.’” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”
23 Now when the soldiers crucified[vu] Jesus, they took his clothes and made four shares, one for each soldier,[vv] and the tunic[vw] remained. (Now the tunic[vx] was seamless, woven from top to bottom as a single piece.)[vy] 24 So the soldiers said to one another, “Let’s not tear it, but throw dice[vz] to see who will get it.”[wa] This took place[wb] to fulfill the scripture that says, “They divided my garments among them, and for my clothing they threw dice.”[wc] So the soldiers did these things.
25 Now standing beside Jesus’ cross were his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.[wd] 26 So when Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing there, he said to his mother, “Woman,[we] look, here is your son!” 27 He then said to his disciple, “Look, here is your mother!” From that very time[wf] the disciple took her into his own home.
28 After this Jesus, realizing that by this time[wg] everything was completed,[wh] said (in order to fulfill the scripture),[wi] “I am thirsty!”[wj] 29 A jar full of sour wine[wk] was there, so they put a sponge soaked in sour wine on a branch of hyssop[wl] and lifted it[wm] to his mouth. 30 When[wn] he had received the sour wine, Jesus said, “It is completed!”[wo] Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.[wp]
31 Then, because it was the day of preparation, so that the bodies should not stay on the crosses on the Sabbath[wq] (for that Sabbath was an especially important one),[wr] the Jewish leaders[ws] asked Pilate to have the victims’ legs[wt] broken[wu] and the bodies taken down.[wv] 32 So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the two men who had been crucified[ww] with Jesus,[wx] first the one and then the other.[wy] 33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 But one of the soldiers pierced[wz] his side with a spear, and blood and water[xa] flowed out immediately. 35 And the person who saw it[xb] has testified (and his testimony is true, and he[xc] knows that he is telling the truth),[xd] so that you also may believe. 36 For these things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled, “Not a bone of his will be broken.”[xe] 37 And again another scripture says, “They will look on the one whom they have pierced.”[xf]
38 After this, Joseph of Arimathea, a disciple of Jesus (but secretly, because he feared the Jewish leaders[xg]),[xh] asked Pilate if he could remove the body of Jesus. Pilate[xi] gave him permission, so he went and took the body away.[xj] 39 Nicodemus, the man who had previously come to Jesus[xk] at night,[xl] accompanied Joseph,[xm] carrying a mixture of myrrh and aloes[xn] weighing about seventy-five pounds.[xo] 40 Then they took Jesus’ body and wrapped it, with the aromatic spices,[xp] in strips of linen cloth[xq] according to Jewish burial customs.[xr] 41 Now at the place where Jesus[xs] was crucified[xt] there was a garden,[xu] and in the garden[xv] was a new tomb where no one had yet been buried.[xw] 42 And so, because it was the Jewish day of preparation[xx] and the tomb was nearby,[xy] they placed Jesus’ body there.
20 Now very early on the first day of the week,[xz] while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene[ya] came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been moved away from the entrance.[yb] 2 So she went running[yc] to Simon Peter and the other disciple whom Jesus loved and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” 3 Then Peter and the other disciple set out to go to the tomb.[yd] 4 The two were running together, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter[ye] and reached the tomb first.[yf] 5 He bent down[yg] and saw the strips of linen cloth lying there,[yh] but he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter, who had been following him, arrived and went right into the tomb. He saw[yi] the strips of linen cloth lying there, 7 and the face cloth,[yj] which had been around Jesus’ head, not lying with the strips of linen cloth but rolled up in a place by itself.[yk] 8 Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, came in, and he saw and believed.[yl] 9 (For they did not yet understand[ym] the scripture that Jesus[yn] must rise from the dead.)[yo]
Jesus’ Appearance to Mary Magdalene
10 So the disciples went back to their homes. 11 But Mary stood outside the tomb weeping. As she wept, she bent down and looked into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white sitting where Jesus’ body had been lying, one at the head and one at the feet. 13 They said[yp] to her, “Woman,[yq] why are you weeping?” Mary replied,[yr] “They have taken my Lord away, and I do not know where they have put him!” 14 When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there,[ys] but she did not know that it was Jesus.
15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?” Because she[yt] thought he was the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will take him.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She[yu] turned and said to him in Aramaic,[yv] “Rabboni”[yw] (which means Teacher).[yx] 17 Jesus replied,[yy] “Do not touch me, for I have not yet ascended to my Father. Go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene came and informed the disciples, “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them[yz] what[za] Jesus[zb] had said to her.[zc]
Jesus’ Appearance to the Disciples
19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the disciples had gathered together[zd] and locked the doors[ze] of the place[zf] because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders.[zg] Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.[zh] 21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. Just as the Father has sent me, I also send you.” 22 And after he said this, he breathed on them and said,[zi] “Receive the Holy Spirit.[zj] 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven;[zk] if you retain anyone’s sins, they are retained.”[zl]
The Response of Thomas
24 Now Thomas (called Didymus),[zm] one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he replied,[zn] “Unless I see the wounds[zo] from the nails in his hands, and put my finger into the wounds from the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will never believe it!”[zp]
26 Eight days later the disciples were again together in the house,[zq] and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked,[zr] Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put[zs] your finger here, and examine[zt] my hands. Extend[zu] your hand and put it[zv] into my side. Do not continue in your unbelief, but believe.”[zw] 28 Thomas replied to him,[zx] “My Lord and my God!”[zy] 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are the people[zz] who have not seen and yet have believed.”[aaa]
30 Now Jesus performed[aab] many other miraculous signs in the presence of the[aac] disciples, which are not recorded[aad] in this book.[aae] 31 But these[aaf] are recorded[aag] so that you may believe[aah] that Jesus is the Christ,[aai] the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.[aaj]
- John 13:1 tn Grk “his hour.”
- John 13:1 tn Grk “that he should depart.” The ἵνα (hina) clause in Koine Greek frequently encroached on the simple infinitive (for the sake of greater clarity).
- John 13:1 tn Or “he now loved them completely,” or “he now loved them to the uttermost” (see John 19:30). All of John 13:1 is a single sentence in Greek, although in English this would be unacceptably awkward. At the end of the verse the idiom εἰς τέλος (eis telos) was translated literally as “to the end” and the modern equivalents given in the note above, because there is an important lexical link between this passage and John 19:30, τετέλεσται (tetelestai, “It is ended”). sn The full extent of Jesus’ love for his disciples is not merely seen in his humble service to them in washing their feet (the most common interpretation of the passage). The full extent of his love for them is demonstrated in his sacrificial death for them on the cross. The footwashing episode which follows then becomes a prophetic act, or acting out beforehand, of his upcoming death on their behalf. The message for the disciples was that they were to love one another not just in humble, self-effacing service, but were to be willing to die for one another. At least one of them got this message eventually, though none understood it at the time (see 1 John 3:16).
- John 13:2 tn Or “Supper.” To avoid possible confusion because of different regional English usage regarding the distinction between “dinner” and “supper” as an evening meal, the translation simply refers to “the evening meal.”
- John 13:2 sn At this point the devil had already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, that he should betray Jesus. C. K. Barrett (St. John, 365) thought this was a reference to the idea entering the devil’s own heart, but this does not seem likely. It is more probable that Judas’ heart is meant, since the use of the Greek article (rather than a possessive pronoun) is a typical idiom when a part of one’s own body is indicated. Judas’ name is withheld until the end of the sentence for dramatic effect (emphasis). This action must be read in light of 13:27, and appears to refer to a preliminary idea or plan.
- John 13:2 tn Or “that he should hand over.”
- John 13:2 tn Grk “betray him”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- John 13:3 tn Grk “Because he knew”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- John 13:3 tn Grk “had given all things into his hands.”
- John 13:4 tn Grk “and removed”; the conjunction καί (kai, “and”) has been left untranslated here for improved English style.
- John 13:4 tn The plural τὰ ἱμάτια (ta himatia) is probably a reference to more than one garment (cf. John 19:23-24). If so, this would indicate that Jesus stripped to a loincloth, like a slave. The translation “outer clothes” is used to indicate that Jesus was not completely naked, since complete nudity would have been extremely offensive to Jewish sensibilities in this historical context.
- John 13:4 tn Grk “taking a towel he girded himself.” Jesus would have wrapped the towel (λέντιον, lention) around his waist (διέζωσεν ἑαυτόν, diezōsen heauton) for use in wiping the disciples’ feet. The term λέντιον is a Latin loanword (linteum) which is also found in the rabbinic literature (see BDAG 592 s.v.). It would have been a long piece of linen cloth, long enough for Jesus to have wrapped it about his waist and still used the free end to wipe the disciples’ feet.
- John 13:5 tn Grk “with the towel with which he was girded.”
- John 13:6 tn Grk “He”; the referent (Peter) is specified in the translation for clarity.
- John 13:6 tn Grk “do you wash” or “are you washing.”
- John 13:7 tn Grk “answered and said to him.”
- John 13:7 tn Grk “You do not know.”
- John 13:7 tn Grk “you will know.”
- John 13:8 tn Grk “You will never wash my feet forever.” The negation is emphatic in Greek but somewhat awkward in English. Emphasis is conveyed in the translation by the use of an exclamation point.
- John 13:8 tn Grk “Jesus answered him.”
- John 13:8 tn Or “you have no part in me.”
- John 13:9 tn The word “wash” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. Here it is supplied to improve the English style by making Peter’s utterance a complete sentence.
- John 13:10 tn Grk “Jesus said to him.”
- John 13:10 tn Grk “has no need except to wash his feet.”
- John 13:10 tn Or “entirely.”
- John 13:10 sn The one who has bathed needs only to wash his feet. A common understanding is that the “bath” Jesus referred to is the initial cleansing from sin, which necessitates only “lesser, partial” cleansings from sins after conversion. This makes a fine illustration from a homiletic standpoint, but is it the meaning of the passage? This seems highly doubtful. Jesus stated that the disciples were completely clean except for Judas (vv. 10b, 11). What they needed was to have their feet washed by Jesus. In the broader context of the Fourth Gospel, the significance of the foot-washing seems to point not just to an example of humble service (as most understand it), but something more—Jesus’ self-sacrificial death on the cross. If this is correct, then the foot-washing which they needed to undergo represented their acceptance of this act of self-sacrifice on the part of their master. This makes Peter’s initial abhorrence of the act of humiliation by his master all the more significant in context; it also explains Jesus’ seemingly harsh reply to Peter (above, v. 8; compare Matt 16:21-23 where Jesus says to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan”).
- John 13:10 tn The word “disciples” is supplied in English to clarify the plural Greek pronoun and verb. Peter is not the only one Jesus is addressing here.
- John 13:11 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- John 13:11 tn Grk “Not all of you are.”
- John 13:11 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author.
- John 13:12 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- John 13:12 tn Grk “he reclined at the table.” The phrase reflects the normal 1st century Near Eastern practice of eating a meal in a semi-reclining position.
- John 13:12 tn Grk “Do you know.”
- John 13:13 tn Or “rightly.”
- John 13:13 tn Grk “and I am these things.”
- John 13:15 sn I have given you an example. Jesus tells his disciples after he has finished washing their feet that what he has done is to set an example for them. In the previous verse he told them they were to wash one another’s feet. What is the point of the example? If it is simply an act of humble service, as most interpret the significance, then Jesus is really telling his disciples to serve one another in humility rather than seeking preeminence over one another. If, however, the example is one of self-sacrifice up to the point of death, then Jesus is telling them to lay down their lives for one another (cf. 15:13).
- John 13:16 tn Grk “Truly, truly, I say to you.”
- John 13:16 tn See the note on the word “slaves” in 4:51.
- John 13:16 tn Or “nor is the apostle” (“apostle” means “one who is sent” in Greek).
- John 13:17 tn Grk “If you know.”
- John 13:18 tn Grk “But so that the scripture may be fulfilled.”
- John 13:18 tn Or “The one who shares my food.”
- John 13:18 tn Or “has become my enemy”; Grk “has lifted up his heel against me.” The phrase “to lift up one’s heel against someone” reads literally in the Hebrew of Ps 41 “has made his heel great against me.” There have been numerous interpretations of this phrase, but most likely it is an idiom meaning “has given me a great fall,” “has taken cruel advantage of me,” or “has walked out on me.” Whatever the exact meaning of the idiom, it clearly speaks of betrayal by a close associate. See E. F. F. Bishop, “‘He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me’—Jn xiii.18 (Ps xli.9),” ExpTim 70 (1958-59): 331-33.sn A quotation from Ps 41:9.
- John 13:19 tn Or (perhaps) “I am certainly telling you this.” According to BDF §12.3 ἀπ᾿ ἄρτι (ap’ arti) should be read as ἀπαρτί (aparti), meaning “exactly, certainly.”
- John 13:19 tn Grk “so that you may believe.”
- John 13:19 tn Grk “that I am.” R. E. Brown (John [AB], 2:555) argues for a nonpredicated ἐγώ εἰμι (egō eimi) here, but this is far from certain.
- John 13:20 tn Grk “Truly, truly, I say to you.”
- John 13:20 tn Or “receives,” and so throughout this verse.
- John 13:20 sn The one who sent me refers to God.
- John 13:21 tn Or “greatly troubled.”
- John 13:21 tn Grk “and testified and said.”
- John 13:21 tn Grk “Truly, truly, I say to you.”
- John 13:21 tn Or “will hand me over.”
- John 13:22 tn Grk “uncertain,” “at a loss.” Here two terms, “worried and perplexed,” were used to convey the single idea of the Greek verb ἀπορέω (aporeō).
- John 13:23 sn Here for the first time the one Jesus loved, the “beloved disciple,” is introduced. This individual also is mentioned in 19:26; 20:2; 21:7, and 21:20. Some have suggested that this disciple is to be identified with Lazarus, since the Fourth Gospel specifically states that Jesus loved him (11:3, 5, 36). From the terminology alone this is a possibility; the author is certainly capable of using language in this way to indicate connections. But there is nothing else to indicate that Lazarus was present at the last supper; Mark 14:17 seems to indicate it was only the twelve who were with Jesus at this time, and there is no indication in the Fourth Gospel to the contrary. Nor does it appear that Lazarus ever stood so close to Jesus as the later references in chaps. 19, 20 and 21 seem to indicate. When this is coupled with the omission of all references to John son of Zebedee from the Fourth Gospel, it seems far more likely that the references to the beloved disciple should be understood as references to him.
- John 13:23 tn Grk “was reclining.” This reflects the normal 1st century practice of eating a meal in a semi-reclining position.
- John 13:23 tn Grk “was reclining in the bosom (or “lap”) of Jesus” (according to both L&N 17.25 and BDAG 65 s.v. ἀνάκειμαι 2 an idiom for taking the place of honor at a meal, but note the similar expression in John 1:18). Whether this position or the position to the left of Jesus should be regarded as the position of second highest honor (next to the host, in this case Jesus, who was in the position of highest honor) is debated. F. Prat, “Les places d’honneur chez les Juifs contemporains du Christ” (RSR 15 : 512-22), who argued that the table arrangement was that of the Roman triclinium (a U-shaped table with Jesus and two other disciples at the bottom of the U), considered the position to the left of Jesus to be the one of second highest honor. Thus the present translation renders this “a place of honor” without specifying which one (since both of the two disciples to the right and to the left of Jesus would be in positions of honor). Other translations differ as to how they handle the phrase ἐν τῷ κόλπῳ τοῦ ᾿Ιησοῦ (en tō kolpō tou Iēsou; “leaning on Jesus’ bosom,” KJV; “lying close to the breast of Jesus,” RSV; “reclining on Jesus’ breast,” NASB; “reclining next to him,” NIV, NRSV) but the symbolic significance of the beloved disciple’s position seems clear. He is close to Jesus and in an honored position. The phrase as an idiom for a place of honor at a feast is attested in the Epistles of Pliny (the Younger) 4.22.4, an approximate contemporary of Paul.sn Note that the same expression translated in a place of honor here (Grk “in the bosom of”) is used to indicate Jesus’ relationship with the Father in 1:18.
- John 13:24 sn It is not clear where Simon Peter was seated. If he were on Jesus’ other side, it is difficult to see why he would not have asked the question himself. It would also have been difficult to beckon to the beloved disciple, on Jesus’ right, from such a position. So apparently Peter was seated somewhere else. It is entirely possible that Judas was seated to Jesus’ left. Matt 26:25 seems to indicate that Jesus could speak to him without being overheard by the rest of the group. Judas is evidently in a position where Jesus can hand him the morsel of food (13:26).
- John 13:24 tn Grk “to this one”; the referent (the beloved disciple) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- John 13:24 tn Grk “him”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- John 13:24 sn That is, who would betray him (v. 21).
- John 13:25 tn Grk “he”; the referent (the disciple Jesus loved) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- John 13:26 tn Grk “Jesus answered.”
- John 13:26 sn The piece of bread was a broken-off piece of bread (not merely a crumb).
- John 13:26 tn Grk “after I have dipped it.” The words “in the dish” are not in the Greek text, but the presence of a bowl or dish is implied.
- John 13:26 tn The words “in the dish” are not in the Greek text, but the presence of a bowl or dish is implied.
- John 13:27 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Judas) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- John 13:27 tn Grk “into that one”; the pronoun “he” is more natural English style here.sn This is the only time in the Fourth Gospel that Satan is mentioned by name. Luke 22:3 uses the same terminology of Satan “entering into” Judas but indicates it happened before the last supper at the time Judas made his deal with the authorities. This is not necessarily irreconcilable with John’s account, however, because John 13:2 makes it clear that Judas had already come under satanic influence prior to the meal itself. The statement here is probably meant to indicate that Judas at this point came under the influence of Satan even more completely and finally. It marks the end of a process which, as Luke indicates, had begun earlier.
- John 13:27 tn Grk “Then Jesus said to him.”
- John 13:28 tn Grk “reclining at the table.” The phrase reclining at the table reflects the normal practice in 1st century Near Eastern culture of eating a meal in a semi-reclining position.
- John 13:28 tn Or “knew.”
- John 13:28 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- John 13:28 tn Grk “to him”; the referent (Judas) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- John 13:29 tn Grk “telling him, ‘Buy whatever we need for the feast.’” The first clause is direct discourse and the second clause indirect discourse. For smoothness of English style, the first clause has been converted to indirect discourse to parallel the second (the meaning is left unchanged).
- John 13:29 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author.
- John 13:30 tn Grk “That one”; the referent (Judas) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- John 13:30 sn Now it was night is a parenthetical note by the author. The comment is more than just a time indicator, however. With the departure of Judas to set in motion the betrayal, arrest, trials, crucifixion, and death of Jesus, daytime is over and night has come (see John 9:5; 11:9-10; 12:35-36). Judas had become one of those who walked by night and stumbled, because the light was not in him (11:10).
- John 13:31 tn Grk “Then when.”
- John 13:31 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Judas) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- John 13:32 tc A number of early mss (P66 א* B C* D L W al as well as several versional witnesses) do not have the words “If God is glorified in him,” while the majority of mss have the clause (so א2 A C2 Θ Ψ ƒ13 33 M lat). Although the mss that omit the words are significantly better witnesses, the omission may have occurred because of an error of sight due to homoioteleuton (v. 31 ends in ἐν αὐτῷ [en autō, “in him”], as does this clause). Further, the typical step-parallelism found in John is retained if the clause is kept intact (TCGNT 205-6). At the same time, it is difficult to explain how such a wide variety of witnesses would have accidentally deleted this clause, and arguments for intentional deletion are not particularly convincing. NA28 rightly places the words in brackets, indicating doubt as to their authenticity.
- John 13:32 tn Or “immediately.”
- John 13:33 tn Or “You will seek me.”
- John 13:33 tn Grk “the Jews.” In NT usage the term ᾿Ιουδαῖοι (Ioudaioi) may refer to the entire Jewish people, the residents of Jerusalem and surrounding territory, the authorities in Jerusalem, or merely those who were hostile to Jesus. (For further information see R. G. Bratcher, “‘The Jews’ in the Gospel of John,” BT 26 : 401-9.) Here the phrase refers to the residents of Jerusalem in general, or to the Jewish religious leaders in particular, who had sent servants to attempt to arrest Jesus on that occasion (John 7:33-35). The last option is the one adopted in the translation above.
- John 13:33 sn See John 7:33-34.
- John 13:33 tn The words “the same” are not in the Greek text but are implied. Direct objects in Greek were often omitted when clear from the context.
- John 13:34 tn The ἵνα (hina) clause gives the content of the commandment. This is indicated by a dash in the translation.
- John 13:34 sn The idea that love is a commandment is interesting. In the OT the ten commandments have a setting in the covenant between God and Israel at Sinai; they were the stipulations that Israel had to observe if the nation were to be God’s chosen people. In speaking of love as the new commandment for those whom Jesus had chosen as his own (John 13:1; 15:16) and as a mark by which they could be distinguished from others (13:35), John shows that he is thinking of this scene in covenant terminology. But note that the disciples are to love “Just as I have loved you” (13:34). The love Jesus has for his followers cannot be duplicated by them in one sense, because it effects their salvation, since he lays down his life for them: It is an act of love that gives life to people. But in another sense, they can follow his example (recall to the end, 13:1; also 1 John 3:16; 4:16 and the interpretation of Jesus’ washing of the disciples’ feet). In this way Jesus’ disciples are to love one another: They are to follow his example of sacrificial service to one another, to death if necessary.
- John 13:35 tn Grk “All people,” although many modern translations have rendered πάντες (pantes) as “all men” (ASV, RSV, NASB, NIV). While the gender of the pronoun is masculine, it is collective and includes people of both genders.
- John 13:36 tn Grk “Jesus answered him.”
- John 13:37 tn Or “I will die willingly for you.”
- John 13:38 tn Or “Will you die willingly for me?”
- John 13:38 tn Grk “Truly, truly, I say to you.”
- John 14:1 sn The same verb is used to describe Jesus’ own state in John 11:33; 12:27, and 13:21. Jesus is looking ahead to the events of the evening and the next day, his arrest, trials, crucifixion, and death, which will cause his disciples extreme emotional distress.
- John 14:1 tn Or “Believe in God.” The translation of the two uses of πιστεύετε (pisteuete) is difficult. Both may be either indicative or imperative, and as L. Morris points out (John [NICNT], 637), this results in a bewildering variety of possibilities. To complicate matters further, the first may be understood as a question: “Do you believe in God? Believe also in me.” Morris argues against the KJV translation which renders the first πιστεύετε as indicative and the second as imperative on the grounds that for the writer of the Fourth Gospel, faith in Jesus is inseparable from faith in God. But this is precisely the point that Jesus is addressing in context. He is about to undergo rejection by his own people as their Messiah. The disciples’ faith in him as Messiah and Lord would be cast into extreme doubt by these events, which the author makes clear were not at this time foreseen by the disciples. After the resurrection it is this identification between Jesus and the Father which needs to be reaffirmed (cf. John 20:24-29). Thus it seems best to take the first πιστεύετε as indicative and the second as imperative, producing the translation “You believe in God; believe also in me.”
- John 14:2 tn Many interpreters have associated μοναί (monai) with an Aramaic word that can refer to a stopping place or resting place for a traveler on a journey. This is similar to one of the meanings the word can have in secular Greek (Pausanius 10.31.7). Origen understood the use here to refer to stations on the road to God. This may well have been the understanding of the Latin translators who translated μονή (monē) by mansio, a stopping place. The English translation “mansions” can be traced back to Tyndale, but in Middle English the word simply meant “a dwelling place” (not necessarily large or imposing) with no connotation of being temporary. The interpretation put forward by Origen would have been well suited to Gnosticism, where the soul in its ascent passes through stages during which it is gradually purified of all that is material and therefore evil. It is much more likely that the word μονή should be related to its cognate verb μένω (menō), which is frequently used in the Fourth Gospel to refer to the permanence of relationship between Jesus and the Father and/or Jesus and the believer. Thus the idea of a permanent dwelling place, rather than a temporary stopping place, would be in view. Luther’s translation of μοναί by Wohnungen is very accurate here, as it has the connotation of a permanent residence.
- John 14:2 sn Most interpreters have understood the reference to my Father’s house as a reference to heaven, and the dwelling places (μονή, monē) as the permanent residences of believers there. This seems consistent with the vocabulary and the context, where in v. 3 Jesus speaks of coming again to take the disciples to himself. However, the phrase in my Father’s house was used previously in the Fourth Gospel in 2:16 to refer to the temple in Jerusalem. The author in 2:19-22 then reinterpreted the temple as Jesus’ body, which was to be destroyed in death and then rebuilt in resurrection after three days. Even more suggestive is the statement by Jesus in 8:35, “Now the slave does not remain (μένω, menō) in the household forever, but the son remains (μένω) forever.” If in the imagery of the Fourth Gospel the phrase in my Father’s house is ultimately a reference to Jesus’ body, the relationship of μονή to μένω suggests the permanent relationship of the believer to Jesus and the Father as an adopted son who remains in the household forever. In this case the “dwelling place” is “in” Jesus himself, where he is, whether in heaven or on earth. The statement in v. 3, “I will come again and receive you to myself,” then refers not just to the parousia, but also to Jesus’ postresurrection return to the disciples in his glorified state, when by virtue of his death on their behalf they may enter into union with him and with the Father as adopted sons. Needless to say, this bears numerous similarities to Pauline theology, especially the concepts of adoption as sons and being “in Christ” which are prominent in passages like Eph 1. It is also important to note, however, the emphasis in the Fourth Gospel itself on the present reality of eternal life (John 5:24; 7:38-39, etc.) and the possibility of worshiping the Father “in the Spirit and in truth” (John 4:21-24) in the present age. There is a sense in which it is possible to say that the future reality is present now. See further J. McCaffrey, The House With Many Rooms (AnBib 114).
- John 14:2 tc A number of significant mss (P66c א A B C* D K L W Ψ ƒ13 33 565 579 892 al lat) have ὅτι (hoti) here, while the majority lack it (P66* C2 Θ M). Should the ὅτι be included or omitted? The external evidence is significantly stronger for the longer reading. Most Alexandrian and Western mss favor inclusion (it is a little unusual for the Alexandrian to favor the longer reading), while most Byzantine mss favor omission (again, a little unusual). However, the reading of P66*, which aligns with the Byzantine, needs to be given some value. At the same time, the scribe of this papyrus was known for freely omitting and adding words, and the fact that the ms was corrected discounts its testimony here. But because the shorter reading is out of character for the Byzantine text, the shorter reading (omitting the ὅτι) may well be authentic. Internally, the question comes down to whether the shorter reading is more difficult or not. And here, it loses the battle, for it seems to be a clarifying omission (so TCGNT 206). R. E. Brown is certainly right when he states: “all in all, the translation without ὅτι makes the best sense” (John [AB], 2:620). But this tacitly argues for the authenticity of the word. Thus, on both external and internal grounds, the ὅτι should be regarded as authentic. tn If the ὅτι (hoti) is included (see tc above), there are no less than four possible translations for this sentence: The sentence could be either a question or a statement, and in addition the ὅτι could either indicate content or be causal. How does one determine the best translation? (1) A question here should probably be ruled out because it would imply a previous statement by Jesus that either there are many dwelling places in his Father’s house (if the ὅτι is causal) or he was going off to make a place ready for them (if the ὅτι indicates content). There is no indication anywhere in the Fourth Gospel that Jesus had made such statements prior to this time. So understanding the sentence as a statement is the best option. (2) A statement with ὅτι indicating content is understandable but contradictory. If there were no dwelling places, Jesus would have told them that he was going off to make dwelling places. But the following verse makes clear that Jesus’ departure is not hypothetical but real—he is really going away. So understanding the ὅτι with a causal nuance is the best option. (3) A statement with a causal ὅτι can be understood two ways: (a) “Otherwise I would have told you” is a parenthetical statement, and the ὅτι clause goes with the preceding “There are many dwelling places in my Father’s house.” This would be fairly awkward syntactically, however; it would be much more natural for the ὅτι clause to modify what directly preceded it. (b) “Otherwise I would have told you” is explained by Jesus’ statement that he is going to make ready a place. He makes a logical, necessary connection between his future departure and the reality of the dwelling places in his Father’s house. To sum up, all the possibilities for understanding the verse with the inclusion of ὅτι present some interpretive difficulties, but last option given seems best: “Otherwise, I would have told you, because I am going to make ready a place.” Of all the options it provides the best logical flow of thought in the passage without making any apparent contradictions in the context.
- John 14:2 tn Or “to prepare.”
- John 14:2 tn Or “If not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?” What is the meaning of the last clause with or without the ὅτι? One of the questions that must be answered here is whether or not τόπος (topos) is to be equated with μονή (monē). In Rev 12:8 τόπος is used to refer to a place in heaven, which would suggest that the two are essentially equal here. Jesus is going ahead of believers to prepare a place for them, a permanent dwelling place in the Father’s house (see the note on this phrase in v. 2).
- John 14:3 tn Or “prepare.”
- John 14:3 tn Or “bring you.”
- John 14:3 tn Grk “to myself.”
- John 14:4 tc Most mss (P66* A C3 D Θ Ψ ƒ1,13 M lat sy sa) read “You know where I am going, and you know the way” (καὶ ὅπου [ἐγὼ] ὑπάγω οἴδατε καὶ τὴν ὁδόν οἴδατε, kai hopou egō hupagō oidate kai tēn hodon oidate). The difference between this reading and the wording in NA28 (supported by P66c א B C* L Q W 33 579) is the addition of καί before τὴν ὁδόν and οἴδατε after. Either assertion on the part of Jesus would be understandable: “you know the way where I am going” or “you know where I am going and you know the way,” although the shorter reading is a bit more awkward syntactically. In light of this, and in light of the expansion already at hand in v. 5, the longer reading appears to be a motivated reading. The shorter reading is thus preferred because of its superior external and internal evidence.sn Where I am going. Jesus had spoken of his destination previously to the disciples, most recently in John 13:33. Where he was going was back to the Father, and they could not follow him there, but later he would return for them and they could join him then. The way he was going was via the cross. This he had also mentioned previously (e.g., 12:32) although his disciples did not understand at the time (cf. 12:33). As Jesus would explain in v. 6, although for him the way back to the Father was via the cross, for his disciples the “way” to where he was going was Jesus himself.
- John 14:5 tn Grk “said to him.”
- John 14:6 tn Grk “Jesus said to him.”
- John 14:6 tn Or “I am the way, even the truth and the life.”
- John 14:7 tc There is a difficult textual problem here: The statement reads either “If you have known (ἐγνώκατε, egnōkate) me, you will know (γνώσεσθε, gnōsesthe) my Father” or “If you had really known (ἐγνώκειτε, egnōkeite) me, you would have known (ἐγνώκειτε ἄν or ἂν ἤδειτε [egnōkeite an or an ēdeite]) my Father.” The division of the external evidence is difficult, but can be laid out as follows: The mss that have the perfect ἐγνώκατε in the protasis (P66 [א D* W] 579 it) also have, for the most part, the future indicative γνώσεσθε in the apodosis (P66 א D W  sa bo), rendering Jesus’ statement as a first-class condition. The mss that have the pluperfect ἐγνώκειτε in the protasis (A B C D1 L Θ Ψ ƒ1,13 33 M) also have, for the most part, a pluperfect in the apodosis (either ἂν ἤδειτε in B C* [L] Q Ψ 1 33 565 al, or ἐγνώκειτε ἄν in A C3 Θ ƒ13 M), rendering Jesus’ statement a contrary-to-fact second-class condition. The external evidence slightly favors the first-class condition, since there is an Alexandrian-Western alliance supported by P66. As well, the fact that the readings with a second-class condition utilize two different verbs with ἄν in different positions suggests that these readings are secondary. However, it could be argued that the second-class conditions are harder readings in that they speak negatively of the apostles (so K. Aland in TCGNT 207); in this case, the ἐγνώκειτε…ἐγνώκειτε ἄν reading should be given preference. Although a decision is difficult, the first-class condition is to be slightly preferred. In this case Jesus promises the disciples that, assuming they have known him, they will know the Father. Contextually this fits better with the following phrase (v. 7b) which asserts that “from the present time you know him and have seen him” (cf. John 1:18).
- John 14:8 tn Grk “said to him.”
- John 14:8 tn Or “and that is enough for us.”
- John 14:9 tn Grk “Jesus said to him.”
- John 14:9 tn Or “recognized.”
- John 14:10 tn The mutual interrelationship of the Father and the Son (ἐγὼ ἐν τῷ πατρὶ καὶ ὁ πατὴρ ἐν ἐμοί ἐστιν, egō en tō patri kai ho patēr en emoi estin) is something that Jesus expected even his opponents to recognize (cf. John 10:38). The question Jesus asks of Philip (οὐ πιστεύεις, ou pisteueis) expects the answer “yes.” Note that the following statement is addressed to all the disciples, however, because the plural pronoun (ὑμῖν, humin) is used. Jesus says that his teaching (the words he spoke to them all) did not originate from himself, but the Father, who permanently remains (μένων, menōn) in relationship with Jesus, performs his works. One would have expected “speaks his words” here rather than “performs his works”; many of the church fathers (e.g., Augustine and Chrysostom) identified the two by saying that Jesus’ words were works. But there is an implicit contrast in the next verse between words and works, and v. 12 seems to demand that the works are real works, not just words. It is probably best to see the two terms as related but not identical; there is a progression in the idea here. Both Jesus’ words (recall the Samaritans’ response in John 4:42) and Jesus’ works are revelatory of who he is, but as the next verse indicates, works have greater confirmatory power than words.
- John 14:10 tn Grk “I do not speak from myself.”
- John 14:10 tn Or “does.”
- John 14:10 tn Or “his mighty acts”; Grk “his works.”sn Miraculous deeds is most likely a reference to the miraculous signs Jesus had performed, which he viewed as a manifestation of the mighty acts of God. Those he performed in the presence of the disciples served as a basis for faith (although a secondary basis to their personal relationship to him; see the following verse).
- John 14:11 tn The phrase “but if you do not believe me” contains an ellipsis; the Greek text reads Grk “but if not.” The ellipsis has been filled out (“but if [you do] not [believe me]…”) for the benefit of the modern English reader.
- John 14:11 tn Grk “because of the works.”sn In the context of a proof or basis for belief, Jesus is referring to the miraculous deeds (signs) he has performed in the presence of the disciples.
- John 14:12 tn Grk “Truly, truly, I say to you.”
- John 14:12 tn Or “will do.”
- John 14:12 tn Grk “the works.”
- John 14:12 tn Or “that I do.”sn See the note on miraculous deeds in v. 11.
- John 14:12 tn Or “will do.”
- John 14:12 tn Grk “greater works.”sn What are the greater deeds that Jesus speaks of, and how is this related to his going to the Father? It is clear from both John 7:39 and 16:7 that the Holy Spirit will not come until Jesus has departed. After Pentecost and the coming of the Spirit to indwell believers in a permanent relationship, believers would be empowered to perform even greater deeds than those Jesus did during his earthly ministry. When the early chapters of Acts are examined, it is clear that, from a numerical standpoint, the deeds of Peter and the other Apostles surpassed those of Jesus in a single day (the day of Pentecost). On that day more were added to the church than had become followers of Jesus during the entire three years of his earthly ministry. And the message went forth not just in Judea, Samaria, and Galilee, but to the farthest parts of the known world. This understanding of what Jesus meant by “greater deeds” is more probable than a reference to “more spectacular miracles.” Certainly miraculous deeds were performed by the apostles as recounted in Acts, but these do not appear to have surpassed the works of Jesus himself in either degree or number.
- John 14:13 tn Grk “And whatever you ask in my name, I will do it.”
- John 14:13 tn Or “may be praised” or “may be honored.”
- John 14:15 tn Or “will keep.”
- John 14:15 sn Jesus’ statement If you love me, you will obey my commandments provides the transition between the promises of answered prayer which Jesus makes to his disciples in vv. 13-14 and the promise of the Holy Spirit which is introduced in v. 16. Obedience is the proof of genuine love.
- John 14:16 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “Then” to reflect the implied sequence in the discourse.
- John 14:16 tn Or “Helper” or “Counselor”; Grk “Paraclete,” from the Greek word παράκλητος (paraklētos). Finding an appropriate English translation for παράκλητος is a very difficult task. No single English word has exactly the same range of meaning as the Greek word. “Comforter,” used by some of the older English versions, appears to be as old as Wycliffe. But today it suggests a quilt or a sympathetic mourner at a funeral. “Counselor” is adequate, but too broad, in contexts like “marriage counselor” or “camp counselor.” “Helper” or “Assistant” could also be used, but could suggest a subordinate rank. “Advocate,” the word chosen for this translation, has more forensic overtones than the Greek word does, although in John 16:5-11 a forensic context is certainly present. Because an “advocate” is someone who “advocates” or supports a position or viewpoint and since this is what the Paraclete will do for the preaching of the disciples, it was selected in spite of the drawbacks.
- John 14:17 tn Or “cannot receive.”
- John 14:17 tn Or “he remains.”
- John 14:17 tc Some early and significant witnesses (P66* B D* W 1 565 it) have ἐστιν (estin, “he is”) instead of ἔσται (estai, “he will be”) here, while other weighty witnesses (P66c,75vid א A D1 L Θ Ψ ƒ13 33vid M as well as several versions and fathers), read the future tense. When one considers transcriptional evidence, ἐστιν is the more difficult reading and better explains the rise of the future tense reading, but it must be noted that both P66 and D were corrected from the present tense to the future. If ἐστιν were the original reading, one would expect a few manuscripts to be corrected to read the present when they originally read the future, but that is not the case. When one considers what the author would have written, the future is on much stronger ground. The immediate context (both in 14:16 and in the chapter as a whole) points to the future, and the theology of the book regards the advent of the Spirit as a decidedly future event (see, e.g., 7:39 and 16:7). The present tense could have arisen from an error of sight on the part of some scribes or more likely from an error of thought as scribes reflected upon the present role of the Spirit. Although a decision is difficult, the future tense is most likely authentic. For further discussion on this textual problem, see James M. Hamilton, Jr., “He Is with You and He Will Be in You” (Ph.D. diss., The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2003), 213-20.
- John 14:18 tn Or “leave.”
- John 14:18 tn The entire phrase “abandon you as orphans” could be understood as an idiom meaning, “leave you helpless.”
- John 14:18 sn I will come to you. Jesus had spoken in 14:3 of going away and coming again to his disciples. There the reference was both to the parousia (the second coming of Christ) and to the postresurrection appearances of Jesus to the disciples. Here the postresurrection appearances are primarily in view, since Jesus speaks of the disciples “seeing” him after the world can “see” him no longer in the following verse. But many commentators have taken v. 18 as a reference to the coming of the Spirit, since this has been the topic of the preceding verses. Still, vv. 19-20 appear to contain references to Jesus’ appearances to the disciples after his resurrection. It may well be that another Johannine double meaning is found here, so that Jesus ‘returns’ to his disciples in one sense in his appearances to them after his resurrection, but in another sense he ‘returns’ in the person of the Holy Spirit to indwell them.
- John 14:19 tn Grk “Yet a little while, and.”
- John 14:20 tn Grk “will know in that day.”sn At that time could be a reference to the parousia (second coming of Christ). But the statement in 14:19, that the world will not see Jesus, does not fit. It is better to take this as the postresurrection appearances of Jesus to his disciples (which has the advantage of taking in a little while in v. 19 literally).
- John 14:21 tn Or “keeps.”
- John 14:21 tn Grk “obeys them, that one is the one who loves me.”
- John 14:21 tn Grk “And the one.” Here the conjunction καί (kai) has not been translated to improve the English style.
- John 14:21 tn Or “will disclose.”
- John 14:22 tn Grk “(not Iscariot).” The proper noun (Judas) has been repeated for clarity and smoothness in English style.sn This is a parenthetical comment by the author.
- John 14:22 tn Grk “said to him.”
- John 14:22 tn Or “disclose.”sn The disciples still expected at this point that Jesus, as Messiah, was going to reveal his identity as such to the world (cf. 7:4).
- John 14:23 tn Grk “answered and said to him.”
- John 14:23 tn Or “will keep.”
- John 14:23 tn Grk “we will come to him and will make our dwelling place with him.” The context here is individual rather than corporate indwelling, so the masculine singular pronoun has been retained throughout v. 23. It is important to note, however, that the pronoun is used generically here and refers equally to men, women, and children.
- John 14:24 tn Or “does not keep.”
- John 14:24 tn Or “the message.”
- John 14:25 tn Or “while remaining” or “while residing.”
- John 14:26 tn Or “Helper” or “Counselor”; Grk “Paraclete,” from the Greek word παράκλητος (paraklētos). See the note on the word “Advocate” in v. 16 for a discussion of how this word is translated.
- John 14:26 tn Grk “that one will teach you.” The words “that one” have been omitted from the translation since they are redundant in English.
- John 14:26 tn Grk “all things.”
- John 14:26 tn Grk “all things.”
- John 14:27 sn Peace I leave with you. In spite of appearances, this verse does not introduce a new subject (peace). Jesus will use the phrase as a greeting to his disciples after his resurrection (20:19, 21, 26). It is here a reflection of the Hebrew shalom as a farewell. But Jesus says he leaves peace with his disciples. This should probably be understood ultimately in terms of the indwelling of the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, who has been the topic of the preceding verses. It is his presence, after Jesus has left the disciples and finally returned to the Father, which will remain with them and comfort them.
- John 14:27 tn The pronoun “it” is not in the Greek text, but has been supplied. Direct objects in Greek were often omitted when clear from the context.
- John 14:27 tn Grk “not as the world gives do I give to you.”
- John 14:27 tn Or “distressed or fearful and cowardly.”
- John 14:28 tn Or “You have heard that I said to you.”
- John 14:28 tn Or “you would rejoice.”
- John 14:28 sn Jesus’ statement the Father is greater than I am has caused much christological and trinitarian debate. Although the Arians appealed to this text to justify their subordinationist Christology, it seems evident that by the fact Jesus compares himself to the Father, his divine nature is taken for granted. There have been two orthodox interpretations: (1) The Son is eternally generated while the Father is not: Origen, Tertullian, Athanasius, Hilary, etc. (2) As man the incarnate Son was less than the Father: Cyril of Alexandria, Ambrose, Augustine. In the context of the Fourth Gospel the second explanation seems more plausible. But why should the disciples have rejoiced? Because Jesus was on the way to the Father who would glorify him (cf. 17:4-5); his departure now signifies that the work the Father has given him is completed (cf. 19:30). Now Jesus will be glorified with that glory that he had with the Father before the world was (cf. 17:5). This should be a cause of rejoicing to the disciples because when Jesus is glorified he will glorify his disciples as well (17:22).
- John 14:29 sn Jesus tells the disciples that he has told them all these things before they happen, so that when they do happen the disciples may believe. This does not mean they had not believed prior to this time; over and over the author has affirmed that they have (cf. 2:11). But when they see these things happen, their level of trust in Jesus will increase and their concept of who he is will expand. The confession of Thomas in 20:28 is representative of this increased understanding of who Jesus is. Cf. John 13:19.
- John 14:30 tn Grk “I will no longer speak many things with you.”
- John 14:30 sn The ruler of this world is a reference to Satan.
- John 14:30 tn Grk “in me he has nothing.”
- John 14:31 tn Or “may learn.”
- John 14:31 tn Grk “But so that the world may know that I love the Father, and just as the Father commanded me, thus I do.” The order of the clauses has been rearranged in the translation to conform to contemporary English style.
- John 14:31 sn Some have understood Jesus’ statement Get up, let us go from here to mean that at this point Jesus and the disciples got up and left the room where the meal was served and began the journey to the garden of Gethsemane. If so, the rest of the Farewell Discourse took place en route. Others have pointed to this statement as one of the “seams” in the discourse, indicating that the author used preexisting sources. Both explanations are possible, but not really necessary. Jesus could simply have stood up at this point (the disciples may or may not have stood with him) to finish the discourse before finally departing (in 18:1). In any case it may be argued that Jesus refers not to a literal departure at this point, but to preparing to meet the enemy who is on the way already in the person of Judas and the soldiers with him.
- John 15:1 sn I am the true vine. There are numerous OT passages which refer to Israel as a vine: Ps 80:8-16, Isa 5:1-7, Jer 2:21, Ezek 15:1-8; 17:5-10; 19:10-14, and Hos 10:1. The vine became symbolic of Israel, and even appeared on some coins issued by the Maccabees. The OT passages which use this symbol appear to regard Israel as faithless to Yahweh (typically rendered as “Lord” in the OT) and/or the object of severe punishment. Ezek 15:1-8 in particular talks about the worthlessness of wood from a vine (in relation to disobedient Judah). A branch cut from a vine is worthless except to be burned as fuel. This fits more with the statements about the disciples (John 15:6) than with Jesus’ description of himself as the vine. Ezek 17:5-10 contains vine imagery which refers to a king of the house of David, Zedekiah, who was set up as king in Judah by Nebuchadnezzar. Zedekiah allied himself to Egypt and broke his covenant with Nebuchadnezzar (and therefore also with God), which would ultimately result in his downfall (17:20-21). Ezek 17:22-24 then describes the planting of a cedar sprig which grows into a lofty tree, a figurative description of Messiah. But it is significant that Messiah himself is not described in Ezek 17 as a vine, but as a cedar tree. The vine imagery here applies to Zedekiah’s disobedience. Jesus’ description of himself as the true vine in John 15:1 ff. is to be seen against this background, but it differs significantly from the imagery surveyed above. It represents new imagery which differs significantly from OT concepts; it appears to be original with Jesus. The imagery of the vine underscores the importance of fruitfulness in the Christian life and the truth that this results not from human achievement, but from one’s position in Christ. Jesus is not just giving some comforting advice, but portraying to the disciples the difficult path of faithful service. To some degree the figure is similar to the head-body metaphor used by Paul, with Christ as head and believers as members of the body. Both metaphors bring out the vital and necessary connection which exists between Christ and believers.
- John 15:1 tn Or “the farmer.”
- John 15:2 tn Or “He cuts off.” sn The Greek verb αἴρω (airō) can mean “lift up” as well as “take away,” and it is sometimes argued that here it is a reference to the gardener “lifting up” (i.e., propping up) a weak branch so that it bears fruit again. In Johannine usage the word occurs in the sense of “lift up” in 8:59 and 5:8-12, but in the sense of “remove” it is found in 11:39; 11:48; 16:22, and 17:15. In context (theological presuppositions aside for the moment) the meaning “remove” does seem more natural and less forced (particularly in light of v. 6, where worthless branches are described as being “thrown out”—an image that seems incompatible with restoration). One option, therefore, would be to understand the branches which are taken away (v. 2) and thrown out (v. 6) as believers who forfeit their salvation because of unfruitfulness. However, many see this interpretation as encountering problems with the Johannine teaching on the security of the believer, especially John 10:28-29. This leaves two basic ways of understanding Jesus’ statements about removal of branches in 15:2 and 15:6: (1) These statements may refer to an unfaithful (disobedient) Christian, who is judged at the judgment seat of Christ “through fire” (cf. 1 Cor 3:11-15). In this case the “removal” of 15:2 may refer (in an extreme case) to the physical death of a disobedient Christian. (2) These statements may refer to someone who was never a genuine believer in the first place (e.g., Judas and the Jews who withdrew after Jesus’ difficult teaching in 6:66), in which case 15:6 refers to eternal judgment. In either instance it is clear that 15:6 refers to the fires of judgment (cf. OT imagery in Ps 80:16 and Ezek 15:1-8). But view (1) requires us to understand this in terms of the judgment of believers at the judgment seat of Christ. This concept does not appear in the Fourth Gospel because from the perspective of the author the believer does not come under judgment; note especially 3:18; 5:24; 5:29. The first reference (3:18) is especially important because it occurs in the context of 3:16-21, the section which is key to the framework of the entire Fourth Gospel and which is repeatedly alluded to throughout. A similar image to this one is used by John the Baptist in Matt 3:10, “And the ax is already laid at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” Since this is addressed to the Pharisees and Sadducees who were coming to John for baptism, it almost certainly represents a call to initial repentance. More importantly, however, the imagery of being cast into the fire constitutes a reference to eternal judgment, a use of imagery which is much nearer to the Johannine imagery in 15:6 than the Pauline concept of the judgment seat of Christ (a judgment for believers) mentioned above. The use of the Greek verb μένω (menō) in 15:6 also supports view (2). When used of the relationship between Jesus and the disciple and/or Jesus and the Father, it emphasizes the permanence of the relationship (John 6:56; 8:31; 8:35; 14:10). The prototypical branch who has not remained is Judas, who departed in 13:30. He did not bear fruit, and is now in the realm of darkness, a mere tool of Satan. His eternal destiny, being cast into the fire of eternal judgment, is still to come. It seems most likely, therefore, that the branches who do not bear fruit and are taken away and burned are false believers, those who profess to belong to Jesus but who in reality do not belong to him. In the Gospel of John, the primary example of this category is Judas. In 1 John 2:18-19 the “antichrists” fall into the same category; they too may be thought of as branches that did not bear fruit. They departed from the ranks of the Christians because they never did really belong, and their departure shows that they did not belong.
- John 15:2 tn Or “does not yield.”
- John 15:2 tn Grk “And he”; the conjunction καί (kai, “and”) has been omitted in the translation in keeping with the tendency in contemporary English style to use shorter sentences.
- John 15:2 tn Or “trims”; Grk “cleanses” (a wordplay with “clean” in v. 3). Καθαίρει (kathairei) is not the word one would have expected here, but it provides the transition from the vine imagery to the disciples—there is a wordplay (not reproducible in English) between αἴρει (airei) and καθαίρει in this verse. While the purpose of the Father in cleansing his people is clear, the precise means by which he does so is not immediately obvious. This will become clearer, however, in the following verse.
- John 15:2 tn Or “that yields.”
- John 15:3 sn The phrase you are clean already occurs elsewhere in the Gospel of John only at the washing of the disciples’ feet in 13:10, where Jesus had used it of the disciples being cleansed from sin. This further confirms the proposed understanding of John 15:2 and 15:6 since Judas was specifically excluded from this statement (but not all of you).
- John 15:4 tn Or “Reside.”
- John 15:4 tn Grk “and I in you.” The verb has been repeated for clarity and to conform to contemporary English style, which typically allows fewer ellipses (omitted or understood words) than Greek.
- John 15:4 sn The branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it remains connected to the vine, from which its life and sustenance flows. As far as the disciples were concerned, they would produce no fruit from themselves if they did not remain in their relationship to Jesus, because the eternal life which a disciple must possess in order to bear fruit originates with Jesus; he is the source of all life and productivity for the disciple.
- John 15:4 tn Or “resides.”
- John 15:4 tn While it would be more natural to say “on the vine” (so NAB), the English preposition “in” has been retained here to emphasize the parallelism with the following clause “unless you remain in me.” To speak of remaining “in” a person is not natural English either, but is nevertheless a biblical concept (cf. “in Christ” in Eph 1:3, 4, 6, 7, 11).
- John 15:4 tn Or “you reside.”
- John 15:5 tn Or “resides.”
- John 15:5 tn Or “yields.”
- John 15:5 tn Grk “in him, this one bears much fruit.” The pronoun “this one” has been omitted from the translation because it is redundant according to contemporary English style.sn Many interpret the imagery of fruit here and in 15:2, 4 in terms of good deeds or character qualities, relating it to passages elsewhere in the NT like Matt 3:8 and 7:20, Rom 6:22, Gal 5:22, etc. This is not necessarily inaccurate, but one must remember that for John, to have life at all is to bear fruit, while one who does not bear fruit shows that he does not have the life (once again, conduct is the clue to paternity, as in John 8:41; compare also 1 John 4:20).
- John 15:5 tn Or “do.”
- John 15:6 tn Or “reside.”
- John 15:6 sn Such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire. The author does not tell who it is who does the gathering and throwing into the fire. Although some claim that realized eschatology is so prevalent in the Fourth Gospel that no references to final eschatology appear at all, the fate of these branches seems to point to the opposite. The imagery is almost certainly that of eschatological judgment, and recalls some of the OT vine imagery which involves divine rejection and judgment of disobedient Israel (Ezek 15:4-6; 19:12).
- John 15:6 tn Grk “they gather them up and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.”
- John 15:7 tn Or “reside.”
- John 15:7 tn Or “reside.”
- John 15:7 sn Once again Jesus promises the disciples ask whatever you want, and it will be done for you. This recalls 14:13-14, where the disciples were promised that if they asked anything in Jesus’ name it would be done for them. The two thoughts are really quite similar, since here it is conditioned on the disciples’ remaining in Jesus and his words remaining in them. The first phrase relates to the genuineness of their relationship with Jesus. The second phrase relates to their obedience. When both of these qualifications are met, the disciples would in fact be asking in Jesus’ name and therefore according to his will.
- John 15:8 tn Grk “glorified.”
- John 15:8 tn The ἵνα (hina) clause is best taken as substantival in apposition to ἐν τούτῳ (en toutō) at the beginning of the verse. The Father is glorified when the disciples bring forth abundant fruit. Just as Jesus has done the works which he has seen his Father doing (5:19-29) so also will his disciples.
- John 15:8 tn Or “yield.”
- John 15:8 tc Most mss (א A Ψ ƒ13 33 M) read the future indicative γενήσεσθε (genēsesthe; perhaps best rendered as “[and show that] you will become”), while some early and good witnesses (P66vid B D L Θ 0250 1 565 al) have the aorist subjunctive γένησθε (genēsthe; “[and show that] you are”). The reading of the Ausgangstext is difficult to determine because the external evidence is fairly evenly divided. On the basis of the external evidence alone the first reading has some credibility because of א and 33, but it is not enough to overthrow the Alexandrian and Western witnesses for the aorist. Some who accept the future indicative see a consecutive (or resultative) sequence between φέρητε (pherēte) in the ἵνα (hina) clause and γενήσεσθε, so that the disciples’ bearing much fruit results in their becoming disciples. This alleviates the problem of reading a future indicative within a ἵνα clause (a grammatical solecism that is virtually unattested in Attic Greek), although such infrequently occurs in the NT, particularly in the Apocalypse (cf. Gal 2:4; Rev 3:9; 6:4, 11; 8:3; 9:4, 5, 20; 13:12; 14:13; 22:14; even here, however, the Byzantine mss, with א occasionally by their side, almost always change the future indicative to an aorist subjunctive). It seems more likely, however, that the second verb (regardless of whether it is read as aorist or future) is to be understood as coordinate in meaning with the previous verb φέρητε (So M. Zerwick, Biblical Greek §342). Thus the two actions are really one and the same: Bearing fruit and being Jesus’ disciple are not two different actions, but a single action. The first is the outward sign or proof of the second—in bearing fruit the disciples show themselves to be disciples indeed (cf. 15:5). Thus the translation followed here is, “that you bear much fruit and show that you are my disciples.” As far as the textual reading is concerned, it appears somewhat preferable to accept the aorist subjunctive reading (γένησθε) on the basis of better external testimony.
- John 15:9 tn Or “reside.”
- John 15:10 tn Or “keep.”
- John 15:10 tn Or “reside.”
- John 15:10 tn Or “kept.”
- John 15:10 tn Or “reside.”
- John 15:11 tn Grk “These things I have spoken to you.”
- John 15:12 sn Now the reference to the commandments (plural) in 15:10 have been reduced to a singular commandment: The disciples are to love one another, just as Jesus has loved them. This is the “new commandment” of John 13:34, and it is repeated in 15:17. The disciples’ love for one another is compared to Jesus’ love for them. How has Jesus shown his love for the disciples? This was illustrated in 13:1-20 in the washing of the disciples’ feet, introduced by the statement in 13:1 that Jesus loved them “to the end.” In context this constitutes a reference to Jesus’ self-sacrificial death on the cross on their behalf; the love they are to have for one another is so great that it must include a self-sacrificial willingness to die for one another if necessary. This is exactly what Jesus is discussing here, because he introduces the theme of his sacrificial death in the following verse. In John 10:18 and 14:31 Jesus spoke of his death on the cross as a commandment he had received from his Father, which also links the idea of commandment and love as they are linked here. One final note: It is not just the degree or intensity of the disciples’ love for one another that Jesus is referring to when he introduces by comparison his own death on the cross (that they must love one another enough to die for one another) but the very means of expressing that love: It is to express itself in self-sacrifice for one another, sacrifice up to the point of death, which is what Jesus himself did on the cross (cf. 1 John 3:16).
- John 15:13 tn Or “one dies willingly.”
- John 15:14 sn This verse really explains John 15:10 in another way. Those who keep Jesus’ commandments are called his friends, those friends for whom he lays down his life (v. 13). It is possible to understand this verse as referring to a smaller group within Christianity as a whole, perhaps only the apostles who were present when Jesus spoke these words. Some have supported this by comparing it to the small group of associates and advisers to the Roman Emperor who were called “Friends of the Emperor.” Others would see these words as addressed only to those Christians who as disciples were obedient to Jesus. In either case the result would be to create a sort of “inner circle” of Christians who are more privileged than mere “believers” or average Christians. In context, it seems clear that Jesus’ words must be addressed to all true Christians, not just some narrower category of believers, because Jesus’ sacrificial death, which is his act of love toward his friends (v. 13) applies to all Christians equally (cf. John 13:1).
- John 15:15 tn See the note on the word “slaves” in 4:51.
- John 15:15 tn Or “does not know.”
- John 15:15 tn Grk “all things.”
- John 15:15 tn Or “learned.”
- John 15:16 sn You did not choose me, but I chose you. If the disciples are now elevated in status from slaves to friends, they are friends who have been chosen by Jesus, rather than the opposite way round. Again this is true of all Christians, not just the twelve, and the theme that Christians are “chosen” by God appears frequently in other NT texts (e.g., Rom 8:33; Eph 1:4ff.; Col 3:12; and 1 Pet 2:4). Putting this together with the comments on 15:14 one may ask whether the author sees any special significance at all for the twelve. Jesus said in John 6:70 and 13:18 that he chose them, and 15:27 makes clear that Jesus in the immediate context is addressing those who have been with him from the beginning. In the Fourth Gospel the twelve, as the most intimate and most committed followers of Jesus, are presented as the models for all Christians, both in terms of their election and in terms of their mission.
- John 15:16 tn Or “and yield.”
- John 15:16 sn The purpose for which the disciples were appointed (“commissioned”) is to go and bear fruit, fruit that remains. The introduction of the idea of “going” at this point suggests that the fruit is something more than just character qualities in the disciples’ own lives, but rather involves fruit in the lives of others, i.e., Christian converts. There is a mission involved (cf. John 4:36). The idea that their fruit is permanent, however, relates back to vv. 7-8, as does the reference to asking the Father in Jesus’ name. It appears that as the imagery of the vine and the branches develops, the “fruit” which the branches produce shifts in emphasis from qualities in the disciples’ own lives in John 15:2, 4, 5 to the idea of a mission which affects the lives of others in John 15:16. The point of transition would be the reference to fruit in 15:8.
- John 15:17 tn Grk “These things.”
- John 15:18 tn Grk “know.”
- John 15:18 tn Grk “it hated me before you.”
- John 15:19 tn Grk “if you were of the world.”
- John 15:19 tn The words “you as” are not in the original but are supplied for clarity.
- John 15:19 tn Grk “because you are not of the world.”
- John 15:19 tn Or “world, therefore.”
- John 15:19 sn I chose you out of the world…the world hates you. Two themes are brought together here. In 8:23 Jesus had distinguished himself from the world in addressing his Jewish opponents: “You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world.” In 15:16 Jesus told the disciples “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you.” Now Jesus has united these two ideas as he informs the disciples that he has chosen them out of the world. While the disciples will still be “in” the world after Jesus has departed, they will not belong to it, and Jesus prays later in John 17:15-16 to the Father, “I do not ask you to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” The same theme also occurs in 1 John 4:5-6: “They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us.” Thus the basic reason why the world hates the disciples (as it hated Jesus before them) is because they are not of the world. They are born from above, and are not of the world. For this reason the world hates them.
- John 15:20 tn Grk “Remember the word that I said to you.”
- John 15:20 tn See the note on the word “slaves” in 4:51.
- John 15:20 sn A slave is not greater than his master. Jesus now recalled a statement he had made to the disciples before, in John 13:16. As the master has been treated, so will the slaves be treated also. If the world had persecuted Jesus, then it would also persecute the disciples. If the world had kept Jesus’ word, it would likewise keep the word of the disciples. In this statement there is the implication that the disciples would carry on the ministry of Jesus after his departure; they would in their preaching and teaching continue to spread the message which Jesus himself had taught while he was with them. And they would meet with the same response, by and large, that he encountered.
- John 15:20 tn Or “if they kept.”
- John 15:20 tn Or “they will keep.”
- John 15:21 tn Or “because of.”
- John 15:21 tn Jesus is referring to God as “the one who sent me.”
- John 15:22 tn Grk “they would not have sin” (an idiom).sn Jesus now describes the guilt of the world. He came to these people with both words (15:22) and sign-miracles (15:24), yet they remained obstinate in their unbelief, and this sin of unbelief was without excuse. Jesus was not saying that if he had not come and spoken to these people they would be sinless; rather he was saying that if he had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of the sin of rejecting him and the Father he came to reveal. Rejecting Jesus is the one ultimate sin for which there can be no forgiveness, because the one who has committed this sin has at the same time rejected the only cure that exists. Jesus spoke similarly to the Pharisees in 9:41: “If you were blind, you would have no sin (same phrase as here), but now you say ‘We see’ your sin remains.”
- John 15:24 tn Or “If I had not done.”
- John 15:24 tn Grk “the works.”
- John 15:24 tn Grk “they would not have sin” (an idiom).
- John 15:24 tn The words “the deeds” are supplied to clarify from context what was seen. Direct objects in Greek were often omitted when clear from the context.
- John 15:24 tn Or “But now they have both seen and hated both me and my Father.” It is possible to understand both the “seeing” and the “hating” to refer to both Jesus and the Father, but this has the world “seeing” the Father, which seems alien to the Johannine Jesus. (Some point out John 14:9 as an example, but this is addressed to the disciples, not to the world.) It is more likely that the “seeing” refers to the miraculous deeds mentioned in the first half of the verse. Such an understanding of the first “both—and” construction is apparently supported by BDF §444.3.
- John 15:25 tn The words “this happened” are not in the Greek text but are supplied to complete an ellipsis.
- John 15:25 sn A quotation from Pss 35:19; 69:4. As a technical term law (νόμος, nomos) is usually restricted to the Pentateuch (the first five books of the OT), but here it must have a broader reference, since the quotation is from Ps 35:19 or Ps 69:4. The latter is the more likely source for the quoted words, since it is cited elsewhere in John’s Gospel (2:17 and 19:29, in both instances in contexts associated with Jesus’ suffering and death).
- John 15:26 tn Or “Helper” or “Counselor”; Grk “Paraclete,” from the Greek word παράκλητος (paraklētos). See the note on the word “Advocate” in John 14:16 for discussion of how this word is translated.
- John 15:26 tn Grk “that one.”
- John 16:1 tn Grk “so that you will not be caused to stumble.” sn In Johannine thought the verb σκανδαλίζω (skandalizō) means to trip up disciples and cause them to fall away from Jesus’ company (John 6:61, 1 John 2:10). Similar usage is found in Didache 16:5, an early Christian writing from around the beginning of the 2nd century a.d. An example of a disciple who falls away is Judas Iscariot. Here and again in 16:4 Jesus gives the purpose for his telling the disciples about coming persecution: He informs them so that when it happens, the disciples will not fall away, which in this context would refer to the confusion and doubt which they would certainly experience when such persecution began. There may have been a tendency for the disciples to expect immediately after Jesus’ victory over death the institution of the messianic kingdom, particularly in light of the turn of events recorded in the early chapters of Acts. Jesus here forestalls such disillusionment for the disciples by letting them know in advance that they will face persecution and even martyrdom as they seek to carry on his mission in the world after his departure. This material has parallels in the Olivet Discourse (Matt 24-25) and the synoptic parallels.
- John 16:2 tn Or “expel you from.”
- John 16:2 sn See the note on synagogue in 6:59.
- John 16:2 tn Grk “an hour.”
- John 16:2 sn Jesus now refers not to the time of his return to the Father, as he has frequently done up to this point, but to the disciples’ time of persecution. They will be excommunicated from Jewish synagogues. There will even be a time when those who kill Jesus’ disciples will think that they are offering service to God by putting the disciples to death. Because of the reference to service offered to God, it is almost certain that Jewish opposition is intended here in both cases rather than Jewish opposition in the first instance (putting the disciples out of synagogues) and Roman opposition in the second (putting the disciples to death). Such opposition materializes later and is recorded in Acts: The stoning of Stephen in 7:58-60 and the slaying of James the brother of John by Herod Agrippa I in Acts 12:2-3 are notable examples.
- John 16:3 tn Grk “And they.” Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and English style, which generally does not, καί (kai) has not been translated here.
- John 16:3 sn Ignorance of Jesus and ignorance of the Father are also linked in 8:19; to know Jesus would be to know the Father also, but since the world does not know Jesus, neither does it know his Father. The world’s ignorance of the Father is also mentioned in 8:55; 15:21, and 17:25.
- John 16:4 tn The first half of v. 4 resumes the statement of 16:1, ταῦτα λελάληκα ὑμῖν (tauta lelalēka humin), in a somewhat more positive fashion, omitting the reference to the disciples being caused to stumble.
- John 16:4 tn Grk “their hour.”
- John 16:4 tn The words “about them” are not in the Greek text, but are implied.
- John 16:4 sn This verse serves as a transition between the preceding discussion of the persecutions the disciples will face in the world after the departure of Jesus, and the following discussion concerning the departure of Jesus and the coming of the Spirit-Paraclete. Jesus had not told the disciples these things from the beginning because he was with them.
- John 16:5 sn Now the theme of Jesus’ impending departure is resumed (I am going to the one who sent me). It will also be mentioned in 16:10, 17, and 28. Jesus had said to his opponents in 7:33 that he was going to the one who sent him; in 13:33 he had spoken of going where the disciples could not come. At that point Peter had inquired where he was going, but it appears that Peter did not understand Jesus’ reply at that time and did not persist in further questioning. In 14:5 Thomas had asked Jesus where he was going.
- John 16:5 sn Now none of the disciples asks Jesus where he is going, and the reason is given in the following verse: They have been overcome with sadness as a result of the predictions of coming persecution that Jesus has just spoken to them in 15:18-25 and 16:1-4a. Their shock at Jesus’ revelation of coming persecution is so great that none of them thinks to ask him where it is that he is going.
- John 16:6 tn Or “distress” or “grief.”
- John 16:7 tn Or “Helper” or “Counselor”; Grk “Paraclete,” from the Greek word παράκλητος (paraklētos). See the note on the word “Advocate” in John 14:16 for a discussion of how this word is translated.
- John 16:8 tn Grk “when that one.”
- John 16:8 tn Or “will convict the world,” or “will expose the world.” The preposition περί (peri) is used in 16:8-11 in the sense of “concerning” or “with respect to.” But what about the verb ἐλέγχω (elenchō)? The basic meanings possible for this word are (1) “to convict or convince someone of something”; (2) “to bring to light or expose something; and (3) “to correct or punish someone.” The third possibility may be ruled out in these verses on contextual grounds since punishment is not implied. The meaning is often understood to be that the Paraclete will “convince” the world of its error, so that some at least will repent. But S. Mowinckel (“Die Vorstellungen des Spätjudentums vom heiligen Geist als Fürsprecher und der johanneische Paraklet,” ZNW 32 : 97-130) demonstrated that the verb ἐλέγχω did not necessarily imply the conversion or reform of the guilty party. This means it is far more likely that conviction in something of a legal sense is intended here (as in a trial). The only certainty is that the accused party is indeed proven guilty (not that they will acknowledge their guilt). Further confirmation of this interpretation is seen in John 14:17 where the world cannot receive the Paraclete and in John 3:20, where the evildoer deliberately refuses to come to the light, lest his deeds be exposed for what they really are (significantly, the verb in John 3:20 is also ἐλέγχω). However, if one wishes to adopt the meaning “prove guilty” for the use of ἐλέγχω in John 16:8 a difficulty still remains: While this meaning fits the first statement in 16:9—the world is ‘proven guilty’ concerning its sin of refusing to believe in Jesus—it does not fit so well the second and third assertions in vv. 10-11. Thus R. E. Brown (John [AB], 2:705) suggests the more general meaning “prove wrong” which would fit in all three cases. This may be so, but there may also be a developmental aspect to the meaning, which would then shift from v. 9 to v. 10 to v. 11.
- John 16:8 tn Grk “and concerning.”
- John 16:8 tn Grk “and concerning.”
- John 16:9 tn Or “that.” It is very difficult to determine whether ὅτι (hoti; 3 times in 16:9, 10, 11) should be understood as causal or appositional/explanatory: Brown and Bultmann favor appositional or explanatory, while Barrett and Morris prefer a causal sense. A causal idea is preferable here, since it also fits the parallel statements in vv. 10-11 better than an appositional or explanatory use would. In this case Jesus is stating in each instance the reason why the world is proven guilty or wrong by the Spirit-Paraclete.
- John 16:9 sn Here (v. 9) the world is proven guilty concerning sin, and the reason given is their refusal to believe in Jesus. In 3:19 the effect of Jesus coming into the world as the Light of the world was to provoke judgment, by forcing people to choose up sides for or against him, and they chose darkness rather than light. In 12:37, at the very end of Jesus’ public ministry in John’s Gospel, people were still refusing to believe in him.
- John 16:10 tn There are two questions that need to be answered: (1) what is the meaning of δικαιοσύνη (dikaiosunē) in this context, and (2) to whom does it pertain—to the world, or to someone else? (1) The word δικαιοσύνη occurs in the Gospel of John only here and in v. 8. It is often assumed that it refers to forensic justification, as it does so often in Paul’s writings. Thus the answer to question (2) would be that it refers to the world. L. Morris states, “The Spirit shows men (and no-one else can do this) that their righteousness before God depends not on their own efforts but on Christ’s atoning work for them” (John [NICNT], 699). Since the word occurs so infrequently in the Fourth Gospel, however, the context must be examined very carefully. The ὅτι (hoti) clause which follows provides an important clue: The righteousness in view here has to do with Jesus’ return to the Father and his absence from the disciples. It is true that in the Fourth Gospel part of what is involved in Jesus’ return to the Father is the cross, and it is through his substitutionary death that people are justified, so that Morris’ understanding of righteousness here is possible. But more basic than this is the idea that Jesus’ return to the Father constitutes his own δικαιοσύνη in the sense of vindication rather than forensic justification. Jesus had repeatedly claimed oneness with the Father, and his opponents had repeatedly rejected this and labeled him a deceiver, a sinner, and a blasphemer (John 5:18; 7:12; 9:24; 10:33, etc.). But Jesus, by his glorification through his return to the Father, is vindicated in his claims in spite of his opponents. In his vindication his followers are also vindicated as well, but their vindication derives from his. Thus one would answer question (1) by saying that in context δικαιοσύνης (dikaiosunēs) refers not to forensic justification but vindication, and question (2) by referring this justification/vindication not to the world or even to Christians directly, but to Jesus himself. Finally, how does Jesus’ last statement in v. 10, that the disciples will see him no more, contribute to this? It is probably best taken as a reference to the presence of the Spirit-Paraclete, who cannot come until Jesus has departed (16:7). The meaning of v. 10 is thus: When the Spirit-Paraclete comes he will prove the world wrong concerning the subject of righteousness, namely, Jesus’ righteousness which is demonstrated when he is glorified in his return to the Father and the disciples see him no more (but they will have instead the presence of the Spirit-Paraclete, whom the world is not able to receive).
- John 16:10 tn Or “that.”
- John 16:11 sn The world is proven wrong concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. Jesus’ righteousness before the Father, as proven by his return to the Father, his glorification, constitutes a judgment against Satan. This is parallel to the judgment of the world which Jesus provokes in 3:19-21: Jesus’ presence in the world as the Light of the world provokes the judgment of those in the world, because as they respond to the light (either coming to Jesus or rejecting him) so are they judged. That judgment is in a sense already realized. So it is here, where the judgment of Satan is already realized in Jesus’ glorification. This does not mean that Satan does not continue to be active in the world, and to exercise some power over it, just as in 3:19-21 the people in the world who have rejected Jesus and thus incurred judgment continue on in their opposition to Jesus for a time. In both cases the judgment is not immediately executed. But it is certain.
- John 16:11 tn Or “that.”
- John 16:11 sn The ruler of this world is a reference to Satan.
- John 16:11 tn Or “judged.”
- John 16:12 sn In what sense does Jesus have many more things to say to the disciples? Does this imply the continuation of revelation after his departure? This is probably the case, especially in light of v. 13 and following, which describe the work of the Holy Spirit in guiding the disciples into all truth. Thus Jesus was saying that he would continue to speak (to the twelve, at least) after his return to the Father. He would do this through the Holy Spirit whom he was going to send. It is possible that an audience broader than the twelve is addressed, and in the Johannine tradition there is evidence that later other Christians (or perhaps, professed Christians) claimed to be recipients of revelation through the Spirit-Paraclete (1 John 4:1-6).
- John 16:12 tn Or (perhaps) “you cannot accept.”
- John 16:13 tn Grk “that one.”
- John 16:13 tn Or “will lead.”
- John 16:13 sn Three important points must be noted here. (1) When the Holy Spirit comes, he will guide the disciples into all truth. What Jesus had said in 8:31-32, “If you continue to follow my teaching you are really my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free,” will ultimately be realized in the ongoing ministry of the Holy Spirit to the disciples after Jesus’ departure. (2) The things the Holy Spirit speaks to them will not be things which originate from himself (he will not speak on his own authority), but things he has heard. This could be taken to mean that no new revelation is involved, as R. E. Brown does (John [AB], 2:714-15). This is a possible but not a necessary inference. The point here concerns the source of the things the Spirit will say to the disciples and does not specifically exclude originality of content. (3) Part at least of what the Holy Spirit will reveal to the disciples will concern what is to come, not just fuller implications of previous sayings of Jesus and the like. This does seem to indicate that at least some new revelation is involved. But the Spirit is not the source or originator of these things—Jesus is the source, and he will continue to speak to his disciples through the Spirit who has come to indwell them. This does not answer the question, however, whether these words are addressed to all followers of Jesus, or only to his apostles. Different modern commentators will answer this question differently. Since in the context of the Farewell Discourse Jesus is preparing the twelve to carry on his ministry after his departure, it is probably best to take these statements as specifically related only to the twelve. Some of this the Holy Spirit does directly for all believers today; other parts of this statement are fulfilled through the apostles (e.g., in giving the Book of Revelation the Spirit speaks through the apostles to the church today of things to come). One of the implications of this is that a doctrine does not have to be traced back to an explicit teaching of Jesus to be authentic; all that is required is apostolic authority.
- John 16:13 tn Grk “speak from himself.”
- John 16:13 tn Or will announce to you.”
- John 16:13 tn Grk “will tell you the things to come.”
- John 16:14 tn Grk “That one.”
- John 16:14 tn Or “will honor me.”
- John 16:14 tn Or “he will take.”
- John 16:14 tn The words “what is mine” are not in the Greek text, but are implied. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context.
- John 16:14 tn Or “will announce it to you.”
- John 16:15 tn Grk “I said he”; the referent (the Spirit) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- John 16:15 tn The words “what is mine” are not in the Greek text, but are implied. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context.
- John 16:15 tn Or “will announce it to you.”
- John 16:16 tn Grk “A little while, and you.”
- John 16:16 tn Grk “and again a little while, and you.”
- John 16:16 sn The phrase after a little while, you will see me is sometimes taken to refer to the coming of the Holy Spirit after Jesus departs, but (as at 14:19) it is much more probable that it refers to the postresurrection appearances of Jesus to the disciples. There is no indication in the context that the disciples will see Jesus only with “spiritual” sight, as would be the case if the coming of the Spirit is in view.
- John 16:17 tn Grk “What is this that he is saying to us.”
- John 16:17 tn Grk “A little while, and you.”
- John 16:17 tn Grk “and again a little while, and you.”
- John 16:17 sn These fragmentary quotations of Jesus’ statements are from 16:16 and 16:10, and indicate that the disciples heard only part of what Jesus had to say to them on this occasion.
- John 16:18 tn Grk “they kept on saying.”
- John 16:18 tn Grk “What is this that he says.”
- John 16:18 tn Grk “A little while.” Although the phrase τὸ μικρόν (to mikron) in John 16:18 could be translated simply “a little while,” it was translated “in a little while” to maintain the connection to John 16:16, where it has the latter meaning in context.
- John 16:18 tn Or “we do not know.”
- John 16:18 tn Grk “what he is speaking.”
- John 16:19 tn Grk “knew.”sn Jesus could see. Supernatural knowledge of what the disciples were thinking is not necessarily in view here. Given the disciples’ confused statements in the preceding verses, it was probably obvious to Jesus that they wanted to ask what he meant.
- John 16:19 tn The words “about these things” are not in the Greek text, but are implied. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context.
- John 16:19 tn Καί (kai) has been translated as “so” here to indicate the following statement is a result of Jesus’ observation in v. 19a.
- John 16:19 tn Grk “inquiring” or “seeking.”
- John 16:19 tn Grk “A little while, and you.”
- John 16:19 tn Grk “and again a little while, and you.”
- John 16:20 tn Grk “Truly, truly, I say to you.”
- John 16:20 tn Or “wail,” “cry.”
- John 16:20 tn Or “lament.”
- John 16:20 tn Or “sorrowful.”
- John 16:20 tn Grk “will become.”
- John 16:21 sn The same word translated distress here has been translated sadness in the previous verse (a wordplay that is not exactly reproducible in English).
- John 16:21 tn Grk “her hour.”
- John 16:21 tn Grk “that a man” (but in a generic sense, referring to a human being).
- John 16:21 sn Jesus now compares the situation of the disciples to a woman in childbirth. Just as the woman in the delivery of her child experiences real pain and anguish (has distress), so the disciples will also undergo real anguish at the crucifixion of Jesus. But once the child has been born, the mother’s anguish is turned into joy, and she forgets the past suffering. The same will be true of the disciples, who after Jesus’ resurrection and reappearance to them will forget the anguish they suffered at his death on account of their joy.
- John 16:22 tn Or “distress.”
- John 16:22 sn An allusion to Isa 66:14 LXX, which reads: “Then you will see, and your heart will be glad, and your bones will flourish like the new grass; and the hand of the Lord will be made known to his servants, but he will be indignant toward his enemies.” The change from “you will see [me]” to I will see you places more emphasis on Jesus as the one who reinitiates the relationship with the disciples after his resurrection, but v. 16 (you will see me) is more like Isa 66:14. Further support for seeing this allusion as intentional is found in Isa 66:7, which uses the same imagery of the woman giving birth found in John 16:21. In the context of Isa 66 the passages refer to the institution of the messianic kingdom, and in fact the last clause of 66:14 along with the following verses (15-17) have yet to be fulfilled. This is part of the tension of present and future eschatological fulfillment that runs throughout the NT, by virtue of the fact that there are two advents. Some prophecies are fulfilled or partially fulfilled at the first advent, while other prophecies or parts of prophecies await fulfillment at the second.
- John 16:23 tn Grk “And in that day.”
- John 16:23 tn Grk “Truly, truly, I say to you.”
- John 16:23 sn This statement is also found in John 15:16.
- John 16:24 tn The word “it” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context.
- John 16:25 tn Or “in parables”; or “in metaphors.” There is some difficulty in defining παροιμίαις (paroimiais) precisely: A translation like “parables” does not convey accurately the meaning. BDAG 779-80 s.v. παροιμία suggests in general “proverb, saw, maxim,” but for Johannine usage “veiled saying, figure of speech, in which esp. lofty ideas are concealed.” In the preceding context of the Farewell Discourse, Jesus has certainly used obscure language and imagery at times: John 13:8-11; 13:16; 15:1-17; and 16:21 could all be given as examples. In the LXX this word is used to translate the Hebrew mashal which covers a wide range of figurative speech, often containing obscure or enigmatic elements.
- John 16:25 tn Grk “an hour.”
- John 16:25 tn Or “inform you.”
- John 16:25 tn Or “openly.”
- John 16:26 tn Grk “In that day.”
- John 16:26 tn Grk “I do not say to you.”
- John 16:27 tc A number of early mss (א1 B C* D L co) read πατρός (patros, “Father”) here instead of θεοῦ (theou, “God”; found in P5 א*,2 A C3 W Θ Ψ 33 ƒ1,13 M). Although externally πατρός has relatively strong support, it is evidently an assimilation to “I came from the Father” at the beginning of v. 28, or more generally to the consistent mention of God as Father throughout this chapter (πατήρ [patēr, “Father”] occurs eleven times in this chapter, while θεός [theos, “God”] occurs only two other times [16:2, 30]).
- John 16:28 tn Or “into the world; again.” Here πάλιν (palin) functions as a marker of contrast, with the implication of a sequence.
- John 16:28 sn The statement I am leaving the world and going to the Father is a summary of the entire Gospel of John. It summarizes the earthly career of the Word made flesh, Jesus of Nazareth, on his mission from the Father to be the Savior of the world, beginning with his entry into the world as he came forth from God and concluding with his departure from the world as he returned to the Father.
- John 16:29 tn Or “openly.”
- John 16:29 tn Or “not in parables.” or “not in metaphors.”sn How is the disciples’ reply to Jesus now you are speaking plainly and not in obscure figures of speech to be understood? Their claim to understand seems a bit impulsive. It is difficult to believe that the disciples have really understood the full implications of Jesus’ words, although it is true that he spoke to them plainly and not figuratively in 16:26-28. The disciples will not fully understand all that Jesus has said to them until after his resurrection, when the Holy Spirit will give them insight and understanding (16:13).
- John 16:30 tn Grk “all things.”
- John 16:30 tn Grk “and have no need of anyone.”
- John 16:30 tn The word “anything” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context.
- John 16:30 tn Or “By this.”
- John 16:31 tn Grk “Jesus answered them.”
- John 16:32 tn Grk “an hour.”
- John 16:32 tn Grk “each one to his own”; the word “home” is not in the Greek text but is implied. The phrase “each one to his own” may be completed in a number of different ways: “each one to his own property”; “each one to his own family”; or “each one to his own home.” The last option seems to fit most easily into the context and so is used in the translation.
- John 16:32 sn The proof of Jesus’ negative evaluation of the disciples’ faith is now given: Jesus foretells their abandonment of him at his arrest, trials, and crucifixion (I will be left alone). This parallels the synoptic accounts in Matt 26:31 and Mark 14:27 when Jesus, after the last supper and on the way to Gethsemane, foretold the desertion of the disciples as a fulfillment of Zech 13:7: “Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.” Yet although the disciples would abandon Jesus, he reaffirmed that he was not alone, because the Father was still with him.
- John 16:32 tn Grk “And” (but with some contrastive force).
- John 16:32 tn Grk “the Father.”
- John 16:33 tn The one Greek term θλῖψις (thlipsis) has been translated by an English hendiadys (two terms that combine for one meaning) “trouble and suffering.” For modern English readers “tribulation” is no longer clearly understandable.
- John 16:33 tn Or “but be courageous.”
- John 16:33 tn Or “I am victorious over the world,” or “I have overcome the world.”sn The Farewell Discourse proper closes on the triumphant note I have conquered the world, which recalls 1:5 (in the prologue): “the light shines on in the darkness, but the darkness has not mastered it.” Jesus’ words which follow in chap. 17 are addressed not to the disciples but to his Father, as he prays for the consecration of the disciples.
- John 17:1 tn Grk “he raised his eyes” (an idiom).sn Jesus also looked upward before his prayer in John 11:41. This was probably a common posture in prayer. According to the parable in Luke 18:13 the tax collector did not feel himself worthy to do this.
- John 17:1 tn Or “to the sky.” The Greek word οὐρανός (ouranos) may be translated “sky” or “heaven” depending on the context.
- John 17:1 tn Grk “the hour.”sn The time has come. Jesus has said before that his “hour” had come, both in 12:23 when some Greeks sought to speak with him, and in 13:1 where just before he washed the disciples’ feet. It appears best to understand the “hour” as a period of time starting at the end of Jesus’ public ministry and extending through the passion week, ending with Jesus’ return to the Father through death, resurrection, and exaltation. The “hour” begins as soon as the first events occur which begin the process that leads to Jesus’ death.
- John 17:1 tc The better witnesses (א B C* W 0109 0301) have “the Son” (ὁ υἱός, ho huios) here, while the majority (C3 L Ψ ƒ13 33 M) read “your Son also” (καὶ ὁ υἱὸς σου, kai ho huios sou), or “your Son” (ὁ υἱὸς σου; A D Θ 0250 1 579 lat sy); the second corrector of C has καὶ ὁ υἱός (“the Son also”). The longer readings appear to be predictable scribal expansions and as such should be considered secondary.tn Grk “the Son”; “your” has been added here for English stylistic reasons.
- John 17:2 tn Or “all people”; Grk “all flesh.”
- John 17:2 tn Grk “so that to everyone whom you have given to him, he may give to them eternal life.”
- John 17:3 tn Using αὕτη δέ (hautē de) to introduce an explanation is typical Johannine style; it was used before in John 1:19; 3:19, and 15:12.
- John 17:3 sn This is eternal life. The author here defines eternal life for the readers, although it is worked into the prayer in such a way that many interpreters do not regard it as another of the author’s parenthetical comments. It is not just unending life in the sense of prolonged duration. Rather it is a quality of life, with its quality derived from a relationship with God. Having eternal life is here defined as being in relationship with the Father, the one true God, and Jesus Christ whom the Father sent. Christ (Χριστός, Christos) is not characteristically attached to Jesus’ name in John’s Gospel; it occurs elsewhere primarily as a title and is used with Jesus’ name only in 1:17. But that is connected to its use here: The statement here in 17:3 enables us to correlate the statement made in 1:18 of the prologue, that Jesus has fully revealed what God is like, with Jesus’ statement in 10:10 that he has come that people might have life, and have it abundantly. These two purposes are really one, according to 17:3, because (abundant) eternal life is defined as knowing (being in relationship with) the Father and the Son. The only way to gain this eternal life, that is, to obtain this knowledge of the Father, is through the Son (cf. 14:6). Although some have pointed to the use of know (γινώσκω, ginōskō) here as evidence of Gnostic influence in the Fourth Gospel, there is a crucial difference: For John this knowledge is not intellectual, but relational. It involves being in relationship.
- John 17:3 tn Or “and Jesus the Messiah” (Both Greek “Christ” and Hebrew and Aramaic “Messiah” mean “one who has been anointed”).
- John 17:4 tn Or “by finishing” or “by accomplishing.” Jesus now states that he has glorified the Father on earth by finishing (τελειώσας [teleiōsas] is best understood as an adverbial participle of means) the work which the Father had given him to do.sn By completing the work. The idea of Jesus being sent into the world on a mission has been mentioned before, significantly in 3:17. It was even alluded to in the immediately preceding verse here (17:3). The completion of the “work” the Father had sent him to accomplish was mentioned by Jesus in 4:34 and 5:36. What is the nature of the “work” the Father has given the Son to accomplish? It involves the Son’s mission to be the Savior of the world, as 3:17 indicates. But this is accomplished specifically through Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross (a thought implied by the reference to the Father “giving” the Son in 3:16). It is not without significance that Jesus’ last word from the cross is “It is completed” (19:30).
- John 17:4 tn Grk “the work that you gave to me so that I may do it.”
- John 17:5 tn Or “in your presence”; Grk “with yourself.” The use of παρά (para) twice in this verse looks back to the assertion in John 1:1 that the Word (the Λόγος [Logos], who became Jesus of Nazareth in 1:14) was with God (πρὸς τὸν θεόν, pros ton theon). Whatever else may be said, the statement in 17:5 strongly asserts the preexistence of Jesus Christ.
- John 17:5 tn Grk “before the world was.” The word “created” is not in the Greek text but is implied.sn It is important to note that although Jesus prayed for a return to the glory he had at the Father’s side before the world was created, he was not praying for a “de-incarnation.” His humanity which he took on at the incarnation (John 1:14) remains, though now glorified.
- John 17:6 tn Or “made known,” “disclosed.”
- John 17:6 sn Mention of the Father’s name occurs again in 17:11, 12, 26, but not often elsewhere in the Gospel of John (only in 5:43; 10:25; 12:28). In one sense the name represents the person (cf. John 1:12) and thus Jesus by saying that he has revealed the Father’s name is saying that he has fully revealed who God is and what he is like (cf. John 1:18; 14:9). But there is probably a further meaning as well in John’s Gospel: Jesus himself is identified with God repeatedly (10:30; 14:11, etc.) and nowhere is this more apparent than in Jesus’ absolute uses of the phrase “I am” without a predicate (8:24, 28, 58; 13:19). The name of the Father which Jesus has revealed to his disciples is thus the divine Name revealed to Moses in Exod 3:14 (R. E. Brown, John [AB], 2:755-56). See also Isa 62:2; 65:15-16.
- John 17:6 tn Here “men” is retained as a translation for ἀνθρώποις (anthrōpois) rather than the more generic “people” because in context it specifically refers to the eleven men Jesus had chosen as apostles (Judas had already departed, John 13:30). If one understands the referent here to be the broader group of Jesus’ followers that included both men and women, a translation like “to the people” should be used here instead.
- John 17:6 tn Grk “Yours they were.”
- John 17:6 tn Or “have kept.”
- John 17:7 tn Or “they have come to know,” or “they have learned.”
- John 17:7 tn Grk “all things.”
- John 17:8 tn Grk And they.” The conjunction καί (kai, “and”) has not been translated here in keeping with the tendency of contemporary English style to use shorter sentences.
- John 17:8 tn Or “received.”
- John 17:8 tn The word “them” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context.
- John 17:8 tn Or “truly.”
- John 17:8 tn Or have come to know.”
- John 17:9 tn Grk “I am asking.”
- John 17:9 tn Grk “I am not asking.”
- John 17:9 tn Or “because they are yours.”
- John 17:10 tn Grk And all things.” The conjunction καί (kai, “and”) has not been translated here in keeping with the tendency of contemporary English style to use shorter sentences.
- John 17:10 tn Or “Everything I have is yours.”
- John 17:10 tn Or “everything you have is mine.”
- John 17:10 tn Or “I have been honored among them.”sn The theme of glory with which Jesus began this prayer in 17:1-5 now recurs. Jesus said that he had been glorified by his disciples, but in what sense was this true? Jesus had manifested his glory to them in all of the sign-miracles which he had performed, beginning with the miracle at the wedding feast in Cana (2:11). He could now say that he had been glorified by them in the light of what he had already said in vv. 7-8, that the disciples had come to know that he had come from the Father and been sent by the Father. He would, of course, be glorified by them further after the resurrection, as they carried on his ministry after his departure.
- John 17:11 tn Grk And I.” The conjunction καί (kai, “and”) has not been translated here in keeping with the tendency of contemporary English style to use shorter sentences.
- John 17:11 tn The context indicates that this should be translated as an adversative or contrastive conjunction.
- John 17:11 tn Or “protect them”; Grk “keep them.”
- John 17:11 tn Or “by your name.”sn See the note on name in John 17:6.
- John 17:11 tn The second repetition of “one” is implied, and is supplied here for clarity.
- John 17:12 tn Or “I protected them”; Grk “I kept them.”
- John 17:12 tn Grk “and guarded them.”
- John 17:12 tn Or “by your name.”
- John 17:12 tn Grk And not one.” The conjunction καί (kai, “and”) has not been translated here in keeping with the tendency of contemporary English style to use shorter sentences.
- John 17:12 tn Grk “the son of destruction” (a Semitic idiom for one appointed for destruction; here it is a reference to Judas).sn The one destined to destruction refers to Judas. Clearly in John’s Gospel Judas is portrayed as a tool of Satan. He is described as “the devil” in 6:70. In 13:2 Satan put into Judas’ heart the idea of betraying Jesus, and 13:27 Satan himself entered Judas. Immediately after this Judas left the company of Jesus and the other disciples and went out into the realm of darkness (13:30). Cf. 2 Thess 2:3, where this same Greek phrase (“the son of destruction”; see tn above) is used to describe the man through whom Satan acts to rebel against God in the last days.
- John 17:12 sn A possible allusion to Ps 41:9 or Prov 24:22 LXX. The exact passage is not specified here, but in John 13:18, Ps 41:9 is explicitly quoted by Jesus with reference to the traitor, suggesting that this is the passage to which Jesus refers here. The previous mention of Ps 41:9 in John 13:18 probably explains why the author felt no need for an explanatory parenthetical note here. It is also possible that the passage referred to here is Prov 24:22 LXX, where in the Greek text the phrase “son of destruction” appears.
- John 17:13 tn Grk “they may have.”
- John 17:13 tn Or “fulfilled.”
- John 17:14 tn Or “your message.”
- John 17:14 tn Grk “because they are not of the world.”
- John 17:14 tn Grk “just as I am not of the world.”
- John 17:15 tn Or “that you protect them”; Grk “that you keep them.”
- John 17:15 tn The phrase “the evil one” is a reference to Satan. The genitive substantival adjective τοῦ πονηροῦ (tou ponērou) is ambiguous with regard to gender: It may represent the neuter τὸ πονηρόν (to ponēron), “that which is evil,” or the masculine ὁ πονηρός (ho ponēros), “the evil one,” i.e., Satan. In view of the frequent use of the masculine in 1 John 2:13-14; 3:12, and 5:18-19 it seems much more probable that the masculine is to be understood here, and that Jesus is praying for his disciples to be protected from Satan. Cf. BDAG 851 s.v. πονηρός 1.b.β and 1.b.γ.
- John 17:16 tn Grk “they are not of the world.” This is a repetition of the second half of v. 14. The only difference is in word order: Verse 14 has οὐκ εἰσὶν ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου (ouk eisin ek tou kosmou), while here the prepositional phrase is stated first: ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου οὐκ εἰσίν (ek tou kosmou ouk eisin). This gives additional emphasis to the idea of the prepositional phrase, i.e., origin, source, or affiliation.
- John 17:16 tn Grk “just as I am not of the world.”
- John 17:17 tn Or “Consecrate them” or “Sanctify them.”sn The Greek word translated set…apart (ἁγιάζω, hagiazō) is used here in its normal sense of being dedicated, consecrated, or set apart. The sphere in which the disciples are to be set apart is in the truth. In 3:21 the idea of “practicing” (Grk “doing”) the truth was introduced; in 8:32 Jesus told some of his hearers that if they continued in his word they would truly be his disciples, and would know the truth, and the truth would make them free. These disciples who are with Jesus now for the Farewell Discourse have continued in his word (except for Judas Iscariot, who has departed), and they do know the truth about who Jesus is and why he has come into the world (17:8). Thus Jesus can ask the Father to set them apart in this truth as he himself is set apart, so that they might carry on his mission in the world after his departure (note the following verse).
- John 17:18 sn Jesus now compared the mission on which he was sending the disciples to his own mission into the world, on which he was sent by the Father. As the Father sent Jesus into the world (cf. 3:17), so Jesus now sends the disciples into the world to continue his mission after his departure. The nature of this prayer for the disciples as a consecratory prayer is now emerging: Jesus was setting them apart for the work he had called them to do. They were, in a sense, being commissioned.
- John 17:19 tn Or “I sanctify.”sn In what sense does Jesus refer to his own ‘sanctification’ with the phrase I set myself apart? In 10:36 Jesus referred to himself as “the one whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world,” which seems to look at something already accomplished. Here, however, it is something he does on behalf of the disciples (on their behalf) and this suggests a reference to his impending death on the cross. There is in fact a Johannine wordplay here based on slightly different meanings for the Greek verb translated set apart (ἁγιάζω, hagiazō). In the sense it was used in 10:36 of Jesus and in 17:17 and here to refer to the disciples, it means to set apart in the sense that prophets (cf. Jer 1:5) and priests (Exod 40:13, Lev 8:30, and 2 Chr 5:11) were consecrated (or set apart) to perform their tasks. But when Jesus speaks of setting himself apart (consecrating or dedicating himself) on behalf of the disciples here in 17:19 the meaning is closer to the consecration of a sacrificial animal (Deut 15:19). Jesus is “setting himself apart,” i.e., dedicating himself, to do the will of the Father, that is, to go to the cross on the disciples’ behalf (and of course on behalf of their successors as well).
- John 17:19 tn Or “for their sake.”
- John 17:19 tn Or “they may be truly consecrated,” or “they may be truly sanctified.”
- John 17:20 tn Or “I do not pray.”
- John 17:20 tn Although πιστευόντων (pisteuontōn) is a present participle, it must in context carry futuristic force. The disciples whom Jesus is leaving behind will carry on his ministry and in doing so will see others come to trust in him. This will include not only Jewish Christians, but other Gentile Christians who are “not of this fold” (10:16), and thus Jesus’ prayer for unity is especially appropriate in light of the probability that most of the readers of the Gospel are Gentiles (much as Paul stresses unity between Jewish and Gentile Christians in Eph 2:10-22).
- John 17:20 tn Grk “their word.”
- John 17:21 tn The words “I pray” are repeated from the first part of v. 20 for clarity.
- John 17:22 tn Grk And the glory.” The conjunction καί (kai, “and”) has not been translated here in keeping with the tendency of contemporary English style to use shorter sentences.
- John 17:23 tn Or “completely unified.”
- John 17:24 tn Grk “the ones you have given me, I want these to be where I am with me.”
- John 17:24 tn Grk “before the foundation of the world.”
- John 17:25 tn The word “men” is not in the Greek text but is implied. The translation uses the word “men” here rather than a more general term like “people” because the use of the aorist verb ἔγνωσαν (egnōsan) implies that Jesus is referring to the disciples present with him as he spoke these words (presumably all of them men in the historical context), rather than to those who are yet to believe because of their testimony (see John 17:20).
- John 17:26 sn The theme of the revelation of the Father’s name is picked up from John 17:6 and refers to Jesus’ revelation of the divine Name of Exod 3:14 in his person (see additional discussion at 17:6).
- John 17:26 tn The translation “will continue to make it known” is proposed by R. E. Brown (John [AB], 2:773).
- John 18:1 sn When he had said these things appears to be a natural transition at the end of the Farewell Discourse (the farewell speech of Jesus to his disciples in John 13:31-17:26, including the final prayer in 17:1-26). The author states that Jesus went out with his disciples, a probable reference to their leaving the upper room where the meal and discourse described in chaps. 13-17 took place (although some have seen this only as a reference to their leaving the city, with the understanding that some of the Farewell Discourse, including the concluding prayer, was given en route, cf. 14:31). They crossed the Kidron Valley and came to a garden, or olive orchard, identified in Matt 26:36 and Mark 14:32 as Gethsemane. The name is not given in Luke’s or John’s Gospel, but the garden must have been located somewhere on the lower slopes of the Mount of Olives.
- John 18:1 tn Grk “the wadi of the Kidron,” or “the ravine of the Kidron” (a wadi is a stream that flows only during the rainy season and is dry during the dry season).
- John 18:1 tn Or “a garden.”
- John 18:2 tn Or “often.”
- John 18:2 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author.
- John 18:3 tn Grk “a cohort.” The word σπεῖραν (speiran) is a technical term for a Roman cohort, normally a force of 600 men (one-tenth of a legion). It was under the command of a χιλίαρχος (chiliarchos, v. 12). Because of the improbability of an entire cohort being sent to arrest a single man, some have suggested that σπεῖραν here refers only to a maniple, a force of 200. But the use of the word here does not necessarily mean the entire cohort was present on this mission, but only that it was the cohort which performed the task (for example, saying the fire department put out the fire does not mean that every fireman belonging to the department was on the scene at the time). These Roman soldiers must have been ordered to accompany the servants of the chief priests and Pharisees by Pilate, since they would have been under the direct command of the Roman prefect or procurator. It is not difficult to understand why Pilate would have been willing to assist the Jewish authorities in such a way. With a huge crowd of pilgrims in Jerusalem for the Passover, the Romans would have been especially nervous about an uprising of some sort. No doubt the chief priests and Pharisees had informed Pilate that this man Jesus was claiming to be the Messiah, or in the terms Pilate would understand, king of Israel.
- John 18:3 tn The phrase “officers of the chief priests and Pharisees” is a comprehensive name for the groups represented in the ruling council (the Sanhedrin) as in John 7:32, 45; 18:3, 12, 18, 22; 19:6. They are different from the Levites who served as “temple police” according to K. H. Rengstorf (TDNT 8:540). In John 7:32ff. these officers had made an unsuccessful attempt to arrest Jesus, and perhaps this is part of the reason why their leaders had made sure they were accompanied by Roman soldiers this time. No more mistakes were to be tolerated.sn See the note on Pharisees in 1:24.
- John 18:3 tn The words “to the orchard” are not in the Greek text but are repeated from v. 1 for clarity.
- John 18:3 tn These were lamps that had some sort of covering to protect them from wind and rain. In earlier usage the word meant “torch” but by NT times it apparently meant a lamp designed to be used outdoors, so “lantern” is a good contemporary English equivalent.sn Mention of the lanterns and torches suggests a detail remembered by one who was an eyewitness, but in connection with the light/darkness motif of John’s Gospel, it is a vivid reminder that it is night; the darkness has come at last (cf. 13:30).
- John 18:4 tn Grk “knowing all things that were coming upon him.”
- John 18:4 tn Grk “Whom do you seek?”
- John 18:5 tn Grk “They answered.”sn The author does not state precisely who from the group of soldiers and temple police replied to Jesus at this point. It may have been the commander of the Roman soldiers, although his presence is not explicitly mentioned until 18:12. It may also have been one of the officers of the chief priests. To the answer given, “Jesus the Nazarene,” Jesus replies “I am [he].”
- John 18:5 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author. Before he states the response to Jesus’ identification of himself, the author inserts a parenthetical note that Judas, again identified as the one who betrayed him (cf. 18:2), was standing with the group of soldiers and officers of the chief priests. Many commentators have considered this to be an awkward insertion, but in fact it heightens considerably the dramatic effect of the response to Jesus’ self-identification in the following verse, and has the added effect of informing the reader that along with the others the betrayer himself ironically falls down at Jesus’ feet (18:6).
- John 18:6 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- John 18:6 tn Grk “moved back” (but here a fairly rapid movement is implied).
- John 18:6 sn When Jesus said to those who came to arrest him “I am,” they retreated and fell to the ground. L. Morris says that “it is possible that those in front recoiled from Jesus’ unexpected advance, so that they bumped those behind them, causing them to stumble and fall” (John [NICNT], 743-44). Perhaps this is what in fact happened on the scene, but the theological significance given to this event by the author implies that more is involved. The reaction on the part of those who came to arrest Jesus comes in response to his affirmation that he is indeed the one they are seeking, Jesus the Nazarene. But Jesus makes this affirmation of his identity using a formula which the reader has encountered before in the Fourth Gospel, e.g., 8:24, 28, 58. Jesus has applied to himself the divine Name of Exod 3:14, “I AM.” Therefore this amounts to something of a theophany which causes even his enemies to recoil and prostrate themselves, so that Jesus has to ask a second time, “Who are you looking for?” This is a vivid reminder to the reader of the Gospel that even in this dark hour, Jesus holds ultimate power over his enemies and the powers of darkness, because he is the one who bears the divine Name.
- John 18:7 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- John 18:8 tn Grk “Jesus answered.”
- John 18:8 tn Grk “if you are seeking.”
- John 18:8 tn The word “men” is not in the Greek text but is implied. The translation uses the word “men” here rather than a more generic word like “people” because in context Jesus referred only to the eleven remaining disciples who were loyal to him and were present at his arrest.
- John 18:8 sn A second time Jesus replied, “I told you that I am he,” identifying himself as the one they are seeking. Jesus also added, “If you are looking for me, let these men go.” Jesus successfully diverted attention from his disciples by getting the soldiers and officers of the chief priests to admit (twice) that it is only him they were after. Even in this hour Jesus still protected and cared for his own, giving himself up on their behalf. By handing himself over to his enemies, Jesus ensured that his disciples went free. From the perspective of the author, this is acting out beforehand what Jesus will actually do for his followers when he goes to the cross.
- John 18:9 tn The words “He said this” are not in the Greek text, but are implied. There is an ellipsis in the Greek text that must be supplied for the modern English reader at this point.
- John 18:9 sn This expression is similar to John 6:39 and John 17:12.
- John 18:9 tn Grk “Of the ones whom you gave me, I did not lose one of them.” The order of the clauses has been rearranged to reflect contemporary English style.sn This action of Jesus on behalf of his disciples is interpreted by the author as a fulfillment of Jesus’ own words: “I have not lost a single one of those whom you gave me.” Here it is Jesus’ own words, rather than the OT scriptures, which are quoted. This same formula will be used by the author again of Jesus’ words in 18:32, but the verb is used elsewhere in the Fourth Gospel to describe the NT fulfillment of OT passages (12:38; 13:18; 15:25; 17:12; 19:24, and 19:36). It is a bit difficult to determine the exact referent, since the words of Jesus quoted in this verse are not an exact reproduction of a saying of Jesus elsewhere in John’s Gospel. Although some have identified the saying with John 6:39, the closest parallel is in 17:12, where the betrayer, Judas, is specifically excluded. The words quoted here in 18:9 appear to be a free rendition of 17:12.
- John 18:10 tn See the note on the word “slaves” in 4:51.
- John 18:10 sn The account of the attack on the high priest’s slave contains details which suggest eyewitness testimony. It is also mentioned in all three synoptic gospels, but only John records that the disciple involved was Peter, whose impulsive behavior has already been alluded to (John 13:37). Likewise only John gives the name of the victim, Malchus, who is described as the high priest’s slave. John and Mark (14:47) both use the word ὠτάριον (ōtarion, a double diminutive) to describe what was cut off, and this may indicate only part of the right ear (for example, the earlobe).
- John 18:10 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author.
- John 18:11 tn Grk “The cup that the Father has given me to drink, shall I not drink it?” The order of the clauses has been rearranged to reflect contemporary English style.sn Jesus continues with what most would take to be a rhetorical question expecting a positive reply: “Shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?” The cup is also mentioned in Gethsemane in the synoptics (Matt 26:39, Mark 14:36, and Luke 22:42). In connection with the synoptic accounts it is mentioned in Jesus’ prayer; this occurrence certainly complements the synoptic accounts if Jesus had only shortly before finished praying about this. Only here in the Fourth Gospel is it specifically said that the cup is given to Jesus to drink by the Father, but again this is consistent with the synoptic mention of the cup in Jesus’ prayer: It is the cup of suffering which Jesus is about to undergo.
- John 18:12 tn Grk “a cohort” (but since this was a unit of 600 soldiers, a smaller detachment is almost certainly intended).
- John 18:12 tn Grk “their chiliarch” (an officer in command of a thousand soldiers). In Greek the term χιλίαρχος (chiliarchos) literally described the “commander of a thousand,” but it was used as the standard translation for the Latin tribunus militum or tribunus militaris, the military tribune who commanded a cohort of 600 men.
- John 18:12 tn Or “the Jewish authorities”; Grk “the Jews.” In NT usage the term ᾿Ιουδαῖοι (Ioudaioi) may refer to the entire Jewish people, the residents of Jerusalem and surrounding territory, the authorities in Jerusalem, or merely those who were hostile to Jesus. (For further information see R. G. Bratcher, “‘The Jews’ in the Gospel of John,” BT 26 : 401-9.) Here the phrase refers to the Jewish leaders, who were named as “chief priests and Pharisees” in John 18:3.
- John 18:12 tn Or “seized.”
- John 18:12 tn Or “bound him.”
- John 18:13 tn Grk “up, and brought.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.
- John 18:13 sn Jesus was taken first to Annas. Only the Gospel of John mentions this pretrial hearing before Annas, and that Annas was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who is said to be high priest in that year. Caiaphas is also mentioned as being high priest in John 11:49. But in 18:15, 16, 19, and 22 Annas is called high priest. Annas is also referred to as high priest by Luke in Acts 4:6. Many scholars have dismissed these references as mistakes on the part of both Luke and John, but as mentioned above, John 11:49 and 18:13 indicate that John knew that Caiaphas was high priest in the year that Jesus was crucified. This has led others to suggest that Annas and Caiaphas shared the high priesthood, but there is no historical evidence to support this view. Annas had been high priest from a.d. 6 to a.d. 15 when he was deposed by the Roman prefect Valerius Gratus (according to Josephus, Ant. 18.2.2 [18.34]). His five sons all eventually became high priests. The family was noted for its greed, wealth, and power. There are a number of ways the references in both Luke and John to Annas being high priest may be explained. Some Jews may have refused to recognize the changes in high priests effected by the Roman authorities, since according to the Torah the high priesthood was a lifetime office (Num 25:13). Another possibility is that it was simply customary to retain the title after a person had left the office as a courtesy, much as retired ambassadors are referred to as “Mr. Ambassador” or ex-presidents as “Mr. President.” Finally, the use of the title by Luke and John may simply be a reflection of the real power behind the high priesthood of the time: Although Annas no longer technically held the office, he may well have managed to control those relatives of his who did hold it from behind the scenes. In fact this seems most probable and would also explain why Jesus was brought to him immediately after his arrest for a sort of “pretrial hearing” before being sent on to the entire Sanhedrin.
- John 18:14 tn Or “counseled.”
- John 18:14 tn Grk “the Jews.” Here the phrase refers to the Jewish leaders, specifically members of the Sanhedrin (see John 11:49-50). See also the note on the phrase “Jewish leaders” in v. 12.
- John 18:14 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author.
- John 18:15 tn The words “them as they brought Jesus to Annas” are not in the Greek text, but are supplied to clarify who Peter and the other disciple were following. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context.
- John 18:15 tn Grk “that disciple.”sn Many have associated this unnamed other disciple with the beloved disciple, that is, John son of Zebedee, mainly because the phrase the other disciple which occurs here is also used to describe the beloved disciple in John 20:2, 3, 4, and 8. Peter is also closely associated with the beloved disciple in 13:23-26; 20:2-10; 21:7, and 21:20-23. But other identifications have also been proposed, chiefly because v. 16 states that this disciple who was accompanied by Peter was known to the high priest. As C. K. Barrett (St. John, 525) points out, the term γνωστός (gnōstos) is used in the LXX to refer to a close friend (Ps 54:14 LXX [55:14 ET]). This raises what for some is an insurmountable difficulty in identifying the “other disciple” as John son of Zebedee, since how could the uneducated son of an obscure Galilean fisherman be known to such a powerful and influential family in Jerusalem? E. A. Abbott (as quoted in “Notes of Recent Exposition,” ExpTim 25 [1913/14]: 149-50) proposed that the “other disciple” who accompanied Peter was Judas, since he was the one disciple of whom it is said explicitly (in the synoptic accounts) that he had dealings with the high priest. E. A. Tindall (“Contributions and Comments: John xviii.15, ” ExpTim 28 [1916/17]: 283-84) suggested the disciple was Nicodemus, who as a member of the Sanhedrin, would have had access to the high priest’s palace. Both of these suggestions, while ingenious, nevertheless lack support from the text of the Fourth Gospel itself or the synoptic accounts. W. Wuellner (The Meaning of “Fishers of Men” [NTL]) argues that the common attitude concerning the low social status and ignorance of the disciples from Galilee may in fact be a misconception. Zebedee is presented in Mark 1:20 as a man wealthy enough to have hired servants, and Mark 10:35-45 presents both of the sons of Zebedee as concerned about status and prestige. John’s mother appears in the same light in Matt 20:20-28. Contact with the high priestly family in Jerusalem might not be so unlikely in such circumstances. Others have noted the possibility that John came from a priestly family, some of which is based upon a statement in Eusebius (Ecclesiastical History 3.31.3) quoting Polycrates that John son of Zebedee was a priest. For further information on possible priestly connections among members of John’s family see L. Morris (John [NICNT], 752, n. 32). None of this is certain, but on the whole it seems most probable that the disciple who accompanied Peter and gained entry into the courtyard for him was John son of Zebedee.
- John 18:15 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author.
- John 18:16 tn Grk “spoke to the doorkeeper”; her description as a slave girl is taken from the following verse. The noun θυρωρός (thurōros) may be either masculine or feminine, but the article here indicates that it is feminine.
- John 18:17 tn Grk “slave girl.” Since the descriptive term “slave girl” was introduced in the translation in the previous verse, it would be redundant to repeat the full expression here.
- John 18:17 tn Questions prefaced with μή (mē) in Greek anticipate a negative answer. This can sometimes be indicated by using a “tag” at the end in English (here the tag is “are you?”).
- John 18:17 tn Grk “He said.”
- John 18:18 tn See the note on the word “slaves” in 4:51.
- John 18:18 tn That is, the “guards of the chief priests” as distinguished from the household slaves of Annas.
- John 18:18 tn Grk “because it was cold, and they were warming themselves.”
- John 18:18 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author.
- John 18:19 tn The introductory phrase “While this was happening” is not in the Greek text. It has been supplied in the translation to clarify the alternation of scenes in the narrative for the modern reader.
- John 18:19 sn The nature of this hearing seems to be more that of a preliminary investigation; certainly normal legal procedure was not followed, for no indication is given that any witnesses were brought forth at this point to testify against Jesus. True to what is known of Annas’ character, he was more interested in Jesus’ disciples than in the precise nature of Jesus’ teaching, since he inquired about the followers first. He really wanted to know just how influential Jesus had become and how large a following he had gathered. This was of more concern to Annas that the truth or falsity of Jesus’ teaching.
- John 18:20 tn Grk “Jesus answered him.”
- John 18:20 sn See the note on synagogue in 6:59.
- John 18:20 tn Grk “in the temple.”
- John 18:20 tn Grk “the Jews.” Here the phrase refers to the Jewish people generally, for whom the synagogues and the temple courts in Jerusalem were important public gathering places. See also the note on the phrase “Jewish religious leaders” in v. 12.
- John 18:20 tn Grk “And I.” The conjunction καί (kai, “and”) has not been translated here in keeping with the tendency of contemporary English style to use shorter sentences.
- John 18:21 tn Grk “Ask those who heard what I said to them.” The words “to them” are not translated since they are redundant in English.
- John 18:21 tn Grk “Look, these know what I said.”
- John 18:22 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- John 18:22 tn Grk “one of the high priest’s servants standing by gave Jesus a strike, saying.” For the translation of ῥάπισμα (rhapisma), see L&N 19.4.
- John 18:23 tn Grk “Jesus answered him.”
- John 18:23 tn Or “something incorrect.”
- John 18:23 tn Grk “testify.”
- John 18:23 tn Or “incorrect.”
- John 18:24 tn Or “still bound.”
- John 18:24 sn Where was Caiaphas the high priest located? Did he have a separate palace, or was he somewhere else with the Sanhedrin? Since Augustine (4th century) a number of scholars have proposed that Annas and Caiaphas resided in different wings of the same palace, which were bound together by a common courtyard through which Jesus would have been led as he was taken from Annas to Caiaphas. This seems a reasonable explanation, although there is no conclusive evidence.
- John 18:25 tn The words “in the courtyard” are not in the Greek text. They are supplied for the benefit of the modern reader, to link this scene to the preceding one in John 18:15-18.
- John 18:25 tn Questions prefaced with μή (mē) in Greek anticipate a negative answer. This can sometimes be indicated by using a “tag” at the end in English (here the tag is “are you?”).
- John 18:25 tn Grk “That one denied it and said”; the referent of the pronoun (Peter) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- John 18:26 tn See the note on the word “slaves” in 4:51.
- John 18:26 sn This incident is recounted in v. 10.
- John 18:26 tn Or “garden.”
- John 18:26 tn This question, prefaced with οὐκ (ouk) in Greek, anticipates a positive answer.
- John 18:27 tn It seems most likely that this refers to a real rooster crowing, although a number of scholars have suggested that “cockcrow” is a technical term referring to the trumpet call which ended the third watch of the night (from midnight to 3 a.m.). This would then be a reference to the Roman gallicinium (ἀλεκτοροφωνία, alektorophōnia; the term is used in Mark 13:35 and is found in some mss [P37vid,45 ƒ1] in Matt 26:34) which would have been sounded at 3 a.m.; in this case Jesus would have prophesied a precise time by which the denials would have taken place. For more details see J. H. Bernard, St. John (ICC), 2:604. However, in light of the fact that Mark mentions the rooster crowing twice (Mark 14:72) and in Luke 22:60 the words are reversed (ἐφώνησεν ἀλέκτωρ, ephōnēsen alektōr), it is more probable that a real rooster is in view. In any event natural cockcrow would have occurred at approximately 3 a.m. in Palestine at this time of year (March-April) anyway.sn No indication is given of Peter’s emotional state at this third denial (as in Matt 26:74 and Mark 14:71) or that he remembered that Jesus had foretold the denials (Matt 26:75, Mark 14:72 and Luke 22:61), or the bitter remorse Peter felt afterward (Matt 26:75, Mark 14:72, and Luke 22:62).
- John 18:28 tn Grk “to the praetorium.”sn The permanent residence of the Roman governor of Palestine was in Caesarea (Acts 23:35). The governor had a residence in Jerusalem which he normally occupied only during principal feasts or in times of political unrest. The location of this building in Jerusalem is uncertain, but is probably one of two locations: either (1) the fortress or tower of Antonia, on the east hill north of the temple area, which is the traditional location of the Roman praetorium since the 12th century, or (2) the palace of Herod on the west hill near the present Jaffa Gate. According to Philo (Embassy 38 ) Pilate had some golden shields hung there, and according to Josephus (J. W. 2.14.8 [2.301], 2.15.5 [2.328]) the later Roman governor Florus stayed there.
- John 18:28 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author.
- John 18:28 tn Grk “And they.” The conjunction καί (kai, “and”) has not been translated here in keeping with the tendency of contemporary English style to use shorter sentences.
- John 18:28 tn Grk “into the praetorium.”
- John 18:29 tn Or “charge.”
- John 18:29 sn In light of the fact that Pilate had cooperated with them in Jesus’ arrest by providing Roman soldiers, the Jewish authorities were probably expecting Pilate to grant them permission to carry out their sentence on Jesus without resistance (the Jews were not permitted to exercise capital punishment under the Roman occupation without official Roman permission, cf. v. 31). They must have been taken somewhat by surprise by Pilate’s question “What accusation do you bring against this man,” because it indicated that he was going to try the prisoner himself. Thus Pilate was regarding the trial before Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin as only an inquiry and their decision as merely an accusation.
- John 18:30 tn Grk “They answered and said to him.”
- John 18:30 tn Grk “this one.”
- John 18:30 tn Or “an evildoer”; Grk “one doing evil.”
- John 18:30 tn Or “would not have delivered him over.”
- John 18:31 tn Grk “Then Pilate said to them.”
- John 18:31 tn Or “judge him.” For the translation “pass judgment on him” see R. E. Brown (John [AB], 2:848).
- John 18:31 sn Pilate, as the sole representative of Rome in a troubled area, was probably in Jerusalem for the Passover because of the danger of an uprising (the normal residence for the Roman governor was in Caesarea as mentioned in Acts 23:35). At this time on the eve of the feast he would have been a busy and perhaps even a worried man. It is not surprising that he offered to hand Jesus back over to the Jewish authorities to pass judgment on him. It may well be that Pilate realized when no specific charge was mentioned that he was dealing with an internal dispute over some religious matter. Pilate wanted nothing to do with such matters, as the statement “Pass judgment on him according to your own law!” indicates. As far as the author is concerned, this points out who was really responsible for Jesus’ death: The Roman governor Pilate would have had nothing to do with it if he had not been pressured by the Jewish religious authorities, upon whom the real responsibility rested.
- John 18:31 tn Or “the Jewish authorities”; Grk “the Jews.” Here the phrase refers to the Jewish leaders, especially members of the Sanhedrin. See the note on the phrase “Jewish leaders” in v. 12.
- John 18:31 tn Grk “said to him.”
- John 18:31 tn Grk “It is not permitted to us to kill anyone.”sn The historical background behind the statement We cannot legally put anyone to death is difficult to reconstruct. Scholars are divided over whether this statement in the Fourth Gospel accurately reflects the judicial situation between the Jewish authorities and the Romans in 1st century Palestine. It appears that the Roman governor may have given the Jews the power of capital punishment for specific offenses, some of them religious (the death penalty for Gentiles caught trespassing in the inner courts of the temple, for example). It is also pointed out that the Jewish authorities did carry out a number of executions, some of them specifically pertaining to Christians (Stephen, according to Acts 7:58-60; and James the Just, who was stoned in the 60s according to Josephus, Ant. 20.9.1 [20.200]). But Stephen’s death may be explained as a result of “mob violence” rather than a formal execution, and as Josephus in the above account goes on to point out, James was executed in the period between two Roman governors, and the high priest at the time was subsequently punished for the action. Two studies by A. N. Sherwin-White (Roman Society and Roman Law in the New Testament, 1-47; and “The Trial of Christ,” Historicity and Chronology in the New Testament [SPCKTC], 97-116) have tended to support the accuracy of John’s account. He concluded that the Romans kept very close control of the death penalty for fear that in the hands of rebellious locals such power could be used to eliminate factions favorable or useful to Rome. A province as troublesome as Judea would not have been likely to be made an exception to this.
- John 18:32 tn The words “This happened” are not in the Greek text but are implied.
- John 18:32 tn Or “making clear.”
- John 18:32 sn A reference to John 12:32.
- John 18:33 tn Grk “into the praetorium.”
- John 18:33 sn It is difficult to discern Pilate’s attitude when he asked, “Are you the king of the Jews?” Some have believed the remark to be sarcastic or incredulous as Pilate looked at this lowly and humble prisoner: “So you’re the king of the Jews, are you?” Others have thought the Roman governor to have been impressed by Jesus’ regal disposition and dignity, and to have sincerely asked, “Are you really the king of the Jews?” Since it will later become apparent (v. 38) that Pilate considered Jesus innocent (and therefore probably also harmless) an attitude of incredulity is perhaps most likely, but this is far from certain in the absence of clear contextual clues.
- John 18:34 tn Grk “Jesus answered.”
- John 18:34 tn Grk “saying this from yourself.”
- John 18:35 sn Many have seen in Pilate’s reply “I am not a Jew, am I?” the Roman contempt for the Jewish people. Some of that may indeed be present, but strictly speaking, all Pilate affirms is that he, as a Roman, has no firsthand knowledge of Jewish custom or belief. What he knows of Jesus must have come from the Jewish authorities. They are the ones (your own people and your chief priests) who have handed Jesus over to Pilate.
- John 18:35 tn Or “your own nation.”
- John 18:35 tn Or “delivered you over.”
- John 18:36 sn The kingdom (of God) is a major theme of Jesus’ teaching. The nature of the kingdom of God in the NT and in Jesus’ teaching has long been debated by interpreters and scholars, with discussion primarily centering around the nature of the kingdom (earthly, heavenly, or both) and the kingdom’s arrival (present, future, or both). An additional major issue concerns the relationship between the kingdom of God and the person and work of Jesus himself, as here where Jesus refers to My kingdom.
- John 18:36 tn Grk “so that I may not be.”
- John 18:36 tn Or “delivered over.”
- John 18:36 tn Or “the Jewish leaders”; Grk “the Jews.” Here the phrase refers to the Jewish leaders, especially members of the Sanhedrin. See the note on the phrase “Jewish leaders” in v. 12. In the translation “authorities” was preferred over “leaders” for stylistic reasons.
- John 18:36 tn Grk “now.”
- John 18:37 tn Grk “said to him.”
- John 18:37 tn Or “obeys”; Grk “hears.”
- John 18:38 tn Grk “Pilate said.”
- John 18:38 sn With his reply “What is truth?” Pilate dismissed the matter. It is not clear what Pilate’s attitude was at this point, as in 18:33. He may have been sarcastic, or perhaps somewhat reflective. The author has not given enough information in the narrative to be sure. Within the narrative, Pilate’s question serves to make the reader reflect on what truth is, and that answer (in the narrative) has already been given (14:6).
- John 18:38 tn Or “the Jewish authorities”; Grk “the Jews.” Here the phrase refers to the Jewish leaders, especially members of the Sanhedrin. See the note on the phrase “Jewish leaders” in v. 12. The term also occurs in v. 31, where it is clear the Jewish leaders are in view, because they state that they cannot legally carry out an execution. Although it is likely (in view of the synoptic parallels) that the crowd here in 18:38 was made up not just of the Jewish leaders, but of ordinary residents of Jerusalem and pilgrims who were in Jerusalem for the Passover, nevertheless in John’s Gospel Pilate is primarily in dialogue with the leadership of the nation, who are expressly mentioned in 18:35 and 19:6.
- John 18:38 tn Grk “said to them.”
- John 18:38 tn Grk “find no cause.”
- John 18:39 tn The word “prisoner” is not in the Greek text but is implied.
- John 18:39 sn Pilate then offered to release Jesus, reminding the Jewish authorities that they had a custom that he release one prisoner for them at the Passover. There is no extra-biblical evidence alluding to the practice. It is, however, mentioned in Matthew and Mark, described either as a practice of Pilate (Mark 15:6) or of the Roman governor (Matt 27:15). These references may explain the lack of extra-biblical attestation: The custom to which Pilate refers here (18:39) is not a permanent one acknowledged by all the Roman governors, but one peculiar to Pilate as a means of appeasement, meant to better relations with his subjects. Such a limited meaning is certainly possible and consistent with the statement here.
- John 18:40 tn Or “they shouted again,” or “they shouted in turn.” On the difficulty of translating πάλιν (palin) see BDAG 753 s.v. 5. It is simplest in the context of John’s Gospel to understand the phrase to mean “they shouted back” as a reply to Pilate’s question.
- John 18:40 tn Grk “this one.”
- John 18:40 sn The name Barabbas in Aramaic means “son of abba,” that is, “son of the father,” and presumably the man in question had another name (it may also have been Jesus, according to the textual variant in Matt 27:16, although this is uncertain). For the author this name held ironic significance: The crowd was asking for the release of a man called Barabbas, “son of the father,” while Jesus, who was truly the Son of the Father, was condemned to die instead.
- John 18:40 tn Or “robber.” It is possible that Barabbas was merely a robber or highwayman, but more likely, given the use of the term ληστής (lēstēs) in Josephus and other early sources, that he was a guerrilla warrior or revolutionary leader. See both R. E. Brown (John [AB], 2:857) and K. H. Rengstorf (TDNT 4:258) for more information. The word λῃστής was used a number of times by Josephus (J. W. 2.13.2-3 [2.253-254]) to describe the revolutionaries or guerrilla fighters who, from mixed motives of nationalism and greed, kept the rural districts of Judea in constant turmoil.
- John 18:40 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author.
- John 19:1 tn Or “had him flogged,” or (traditional), “scourged him.” The verb should be read as causative. Pilate ordered Jesus to be flogged. A Roman governor would not carry out such a sentence in person. BDAG 620 s.v. μαστιγόω 1. states, “If J refers to the ‘verberatio’ given those condemned to death (TMommsen, Röm. Strafrecht 1899, 938f; Jos., Bell. 2, 308; 5, 449), it is odd that Pilate subsequently claims no cause for action (vs. 6); but if the latter statement refers only to the penalty of crucifixion, μ. vs. 1 may be equivalent to παιδεύω (q.v. 2bγ) in Lk 23:16, 22 (for μ. of a non-capital offense PFlor I, 61, 61 [85ad]=Mitt-Wilck. II/2, 80 II, 61).”sn This severe flogging was not administered by Pilate himself but his officers, who took Jesus at Pilate’s order and scourged him. The author’s choice of wording here may constitute an allusion to Isa 50:6, “I gave my back to those who beat me.” Three forms of corporal punishment were employed by the Romans, in increasing degree of severity: (1) fustigatio (beating), (2) flagellatio (flogging), and (3) verberatio (severe flogging, scourging). The first could be on occasion a punishment in itself, but the more severe forms were part of the capital sentence as a prelude to crucifixion. The most severe, verberatio, is what is indicated here by the Greek verb translated flogged severely (μαστιγόω, mastigoō). People died on occasion while being flogged this way; frequently it was severe enough to rip a person’s body open or cut muscle and sinew to the bone. It was carried out with a whip that had fragments of bone or pieces of metal bound into the tips.
- John 19:2 tn Grk “And the soldiers.” The conjunction καί (kai, “and”) has not been translated here in keeping with the tendency of contemporary English style to use shorter sentences.
- John 19:2 tn Or “wove.”
- John 19:2 sn The crown of thorns was a crown plaited of some thorny material, intended as a mockery of Jesus’ “kingship.” Traditionally it has been regarded as an additional instrument of torture, but it seems more probable the purpose of the thorns was not necessarily to inflict more physical suffering but to imitate the spikes of the “radiant corona,” a type of crown portrayed on ruler’s heads on many coins of the period; the spikes on this type of crown represented rays of light pointing outward (the best contemporary illustration is the crown on the head of the Statue of Liberty in New York harbor).
- John 19:2 sn The purple color of the robe indicated royal status. This was further mockery of Jesus, along with the crown of thorns.
- John 19:3 tn Grk “And they.” The conjunction καί (kai, “and”) has not been translated here in keeping with the tendency of contemporary English style to use shorter sentences.
- John 19:3 tn The words “again and again” are implied by the (iterative) imperfect verb ἤρχοντο (ērchonto).
- John 19:3 tn Or “Long live the King of the Jews!”sn The greeting used by the soldiers, “Hail, King of the Jews!”, is a mockery based on the standard salutation for the Roman emperor, “Ave, Caesar!” (“Hail to Caesar!”).
- John 19:3 tn The word “repeatedly” is implied by the (iterative) imperfect verb ἐδιδοσαν (edidosan).
- John 19:4 tn Grk “to them.” The words “the Jewish leaders” are supplied from John 18:38 for clarity.
- John 19:4 tn Or “find no basis for an accusation”; Grk “find no cause.”
- John 19:5 sn See the note on the purple robe in 19:2.
- John 19:5 tn Grk “He”; the referent (Pilate) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- John 19:5 sn Look, here is the man! Pilate may have meant no more than something like “Here is the accused!” or in a contemptuous way, “Here is your king!” Others have taken Pilate’s statement as intended to evoke pity from Jesus’ accusers: “Look at this poor fellow!” (Jesus would certainly not have looked very impressive after the scourging). For the author, however, Pilate’s words constituted an unconscious allusion to Zech 6:12, “Look, here is the man whose name is the Branch.” In this case Pilate (unknowingly and ironically) presented Jesus to the nation under a messianic title.
- John 19:6 sn Crucifixion was the cruelest form of punishment practiced by the Romans. Roman citizens could not normally undergo it. It was reserved for the worst crimes, like treason and evasion of due process in a capital case. The Roman statesman and orator Cicero (106-43 b.c.) called it “a cruel and disgusting penalty” (Against Verres 2.5.63-66 §§163-70); Josephus (J. W. 7.6.4 [7.203]) called it the worst of deaths.
- John 19:6 tn The word “him” is not in the Greek text. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from context.
- John 19:6 tn Grk “said to them.” The words “to them” are not translated because they are unnecessary in contemporary English style.
- John 19:6 sn How are Pilate’s words “You take him and crucify him” to be understood? Was he offering a serious alternative to the priests who wanted Jesus crucified? Was he offering them an exception to the statement in 18:31 that the Jewish authorities did not have the power to carry out a death penalty? Although a few scholars have suggested that the situation was at this point so far out of Pilate’s control that he really was telling the high priests they could go ahead and crucify a man he had found to be innocent, this seems unlikely. It is far more likely that Pilate’s statement should be understood as one of frustration and perhaps sarcasm. This seems to be supported by the context, for the Jewish authorities make no attempt at this point to seize Jesus and crucify him. Rather they continue to pester Pilate to order the crucifixion.
- John 19:6 tn On this use of γάρ (gar) used in exclamations and strong affirmations, see BDAG 190 s.v. γάρ 3.
- John 19:6 tn Or “find no basis for an accusation”; Grk “find no cause.”
- John 19:7 tn Or “the Jewish authorities”; Grk “the Jews.” In NT usage the term ᾿Ιουδαῖοι (Ioudaioi) may refer to the entire Jewish people, the residents of Jerusalem and surrounding territory, the authorities in Jerusalem, or merely those who were hostile to Jesus. (For further information see R. G. Bratcher, “‘The Jews’ in the Gospel of John,” BT 26 : 401-9.) Here the phrase refers to the Jewish leaders, especially members of the Sanhedrin, and their servants (mentioned specifically as “the chief priests and their servants” in John 19:6).
- John 19:7 tn Grk “answered him.”
- John 19:7 sn This law is not the entire Pentateuch, but Lev 24:16.
- John 19:7 tn Grk “because he made himself out to be the Son of God.”
- John 19:8 tn Grk “heard this word.”
- John 19:8 tn Grk “became more afraid.”
- John 19:9 tn Grk “into the praetorium.”
- John 19:10 tn Grk “said to him.” The words “to him” are not translated because they are unnecessary in contemporary English style.
- John 19:10 tn Or “the power.”
- John 19:10 tn Grk “know that I have the authority to release you and the authority to crucify you.” Repetition of “the authority” is unnecessarily redundant English style.sn See the note on Crucify in 19:6.
- John 19:11 tn Or “power.”
- John 19:11 tn Or “who delivered me over to you.”sn The one who handed me over to you appears to be a reference to Judas at first; yet Judas did not deliver Jesus up to Pilate, but to the Jewish authorities. The singular may be a reference to Caiaphas, who as high priest was representative of all the Jewish authorities, or it may be a generic singular referring to all the Jewish authorities directly. In either case the end result is more or less the same.
- John 19:11 tn Grk “has the greater sin” (an idiom).sn Because Pilate had no authority over Jesus except what had been given to him from God, the one who handed Jesus over to Pilate was guilty of greater sin. This does not absolve Pilate of guilt; it simply means his guilt was less than those who handed Jesus over to him, because he was not acting against Jesus out of deliberate hatred or calculated malice, like the Jewish religious authorities. These were thereby guilty of greater sin.
- John 19:12 tn Grk “sought.”
- John 19:12 tn Or “the Jewish authorities”; Grk “the Jews.” Here the phrase refers to the Jewish leaders, especially members of the Sanhedrin, and their servants (mentioned specifically as “the chief priests and their servants” in John 19:6). See the note on the phrase “Jewish leaders” in v. 7.
- John 19:12 tn Grk “shouted out, saying.”
- John 19:12 tn Grk “this one.”
- John 19:12 sn Is the author using the phrase Friend of Caesar in a technical sense, as a title bestowed on people for loyal service to the Emperor, or in a more general sense merely describing a person as loyal to the Emperor? L. Morris (John [NICNT], 798) thinks it is “unlikely” that the title is used in the technical sense, and J. H. Bernard (St. John [ICC], 2:621) argues that the technical sense of the phrase as an official title was not used before the time of Vespasian (a.d. 69-79). But there appears to be significant evidence for much earlier usage. Some of this is given in BDAG 498-99 s.v. Καῖσαρ. E. Bammel (“φίλος τοῦ καίσαρος (John 19:12),” TLZ 77 : 205-10) listed significant and convincing arguments that the official title was indeed in use at the time. Granting that the title was in use during this period, what is the likelihood that it had been bestowed on Pilate? Pilate was of the equestrian order, that is, of lower nobility as opposed to senatorial rank. As such he would have been eligible to receive such an honor. It also appears that the powerful Sejanus was his patron in Rome, and Sejanus held considerable influence with Tiberius. Tacitus (Annals 6.8) quotes Marcus Terentius in his defense before the Senate as saying that close friendship with Sejanus “was in every case a powerful recommendation to the Emperor’s friendship.” Thus it is possible that Pilate held this honor. Therefore it appears that the Jewish authorities were putting a good deal of psychological pressure on Pilate to convict Jesus. They had, in effect, finally specified the charge against Jesus as treason: “Everyone who makes himself to be king opposes Caesar.” If Pilate now failed to convict Jesus the Jewish authorities could complain to Rome that Pilate had released a traitor. This possibility carried more weight with Pilate than might at first be evident: (1) Pilate’s record as governor was not entirely above reproach; (2) Tiberius, who lived away from Rome as a virtual recluse on the island of Capri, was known for his suspicious nature, especially toward rivals or those who posed a political threat; and (3) worst of all, Pilate’s patron in Rome, Sejanus, had recently come under suspicion of plotting to seize the imperial succession for himself. Sejanus was deposed in October of a.d. 31. It may have been to Sejanus that Pilate owed his appointment in Judea. Pilate was now in a very delicate position. The Jewish authorities may have known something of this and deliberately used it as leverage against him. Whether or not they knew just how potent their veiled threat was, it had the desired effect. Pilate went directly to the judgment seat to pronounce his judgment.
- John 19:12 tn Grk “who makes himself out to be a king.”
- John 19:13 tn Or “the judge’s seat.”sn The judgment seat (βῆμα, bēma) was a raised platform mounted by steps and usually furnished with a seat. It was used by officials in addressing an assembly or making official pronouncements, often of a judicial nature.
- John 19:13 sn The precise location of the place called ‘The Stone Pavement’ is still uncertain, although a paved court on the lower level of the Fortress Antonia has been suggested. It is not certain whether it was laid prior to a.d. 135, however.
- John 19:13 tn Grk “in Hebrew.”sn The author does not say that Gabbatha is the Aramaic (or Hebrew) translation for the Greek term Λιθόστρωτον (Lithostrōton). He simply points out that in Aramaic (or Hebrew) the place had another name. A number of meanings have been suggested, but the most likely appears to mean “elevated place.” It is possible that this was a term used by the common people for the judgment seat itself, which always stood on a raised platform.
- John 19:13 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author.
- John 19:14 sn The term day of preparation (παρασκευή, paraskeuē) appears in all the gospels as a description of the day on which Jesus died. It could refer to any Friday as the day of preparation for the Sabbath (Saturday), and this is the way the synoptic gospels use the term (Matt 27:62, Mark 15:42, and Luke 23:54). John, however, specifies in addition that this was not only the day of preparation of the Sabbath, but also the day of preparation of the Passover, so that the Sabbath on the following day was the Passover (cf. 19:31).
- John 19:14 tn Grk “about the sixth hour.”sn For John, the time was especially important. When the note concerning the hour, about noon, is connected with the day, the day of preparation for the Passover, it becomes apparent that Jesus was going to die on the cross at the very time that the Passover lambs were being slain in the temple courts. Exod 12:6 required that the Passover lamb be kept alive until the 14th Nisan, the eve of the Passover, and then slaughtered by the head of the household at twilight (Grk “between the two evenings”). By this time the slaughtering was no longer done by the heads of households, but by the priests in the temple courts. But so many lambs were needed for the tens of thousands of pilgrims who came to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast (some estimates run in excess of 100,000 pilgrims) that the slaughter could not be completed during the evening, and so the rabbis redefined “between the two evenings” as beginning at noon, when the sun began to decline toward the horizon. Thus the priests had the entire afternoon of 14th Nisan in which to complete the slaughter of the Passover lambs. According to the Fourth Gospel, this is the time Jesus was dying on the cross.
- John 19:14 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author.
- John 19:14 tn Grk “And he”; the referent (Pilate) has been specified in the translation for clarity, and the conjunction καί (kai, “and”) has not been translated here in keeping with the tendency of contemporary English style to use shorter sentences.
- John 19:14 tn Or “the Jewish authorities”; Grk “the Jews.” Here the phrase refers to the Jewish leaders, especially members of the Sanhedrin, and their servants (mentioned specifically as “the chief priests and their servants” in John 19:6). See the note on the phrase “Jewish leaders” in v. 7.
- John 19:15 tn Grk “Then these.”
- John 19:15 tn The words “with him” (twice) are not in the Greek text. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context.
- John 19:15 sn See the note on Crucify in 19:6.
- John 19:15 tn Grk “Pilate said to them.” The words “to them” are not translated because it is clear in English who Pilate is addressing.
- John 19:16 tn Grk “Then he”; the referent (Pilate) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- John 19:16 tn Or “delivered him over.”
- John 19:17 tn Or “carrying the cross by himself.”sn As was customary practice in a Roman crucifixion, the prisoner was made to carry his own cross. In all probability this was only the crossbeam, called in Latin the patibulum, since the upright beam usually remained in the ground at the place of execution. According to Matt 27:32 and Mark 15:21, the soldiers forced Simon to take the cross; Luke 23:26 states that the cross was placed on Simon so that it might be carried behind Jesus. A reasonable explanation of all this is that Jesus started out carrying the cross until he was no longer able to do so, at which point Simon was forced to take over.
- John 19:17 sn Jesus was led out to the place called “The Place of the Skull” where he was to be crucified. It is clear from v. 20 that this was outside the city. The Latin word for the Greek κρανίον (kranion) is calvaria. Thus the English word “Calvary” is a transliteration of the Latin rather than a NT place name (cf. Luke 23:33 in the KJV).
- John 19:17 tn Grk “in Hebrew.”
- John 19:17 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author.
- John 19:18 tn Grk “where they.” This is a continuation of the previous verse in Greek, but contemporary English style tends toward shorter sentences. A literal translation would result in a lengthy and awkward English sentence.
- John 19:18 sn See the note on Crucify in 19:6.
- John 19:18 tn Grk “and with him two others.”
- John 19:19 tn Or “an inscription.”sn Mention of the inscription is an important detail, because the inscription would normally give the reason for the execution. It shows that Jesus was executed for claiming to be a king. It was also probably written with irony from the executioners’ point of view.
- John 19:19 tn Grk “Pilate also wrote a notice and placed it on the cross.” The two verbs should be read as causatives, since it is highly unlikely that the Roman governor would perform either of these actions himself. He ordered them to be done.sn John says simply that the notice was fastened to the cross. Luke 23:38 says the inscription was placed “over him” (Jesus), and Matt 27:37 that it was placed over Jesus’ head. On the basis of Matthew’s statement Jesus’ cross is usually depicted as the crux immissa, the cross which has the crossbeam set below the top of the upright beam. The other commonly used type of cross was the crux commissa, which had the crossbeam atop the upright beam. But Matthew’s statement is not conclusive, since with the crux commissa the body would have sagged downward enough to allow the placard to be placed above Jesus’ head. The placard with Pilate’s inscription is mentioned in all the gospels, but for John it was certainly ironic. Jesus really was the King of the Jews, although he was a king rejected by his own people (cf. 1:11). Pilate’s own motivation for placing the title over Jesus is considerably more obscure. He may have meant this as a final mockery of Jesus himself, but Pilate’s earlier mockery of Jesus seemed to be motivated by a desire to gain pity from the Jewish authorities in order to have him released. More likely Pilate saw this as a subtle way of getting back at the Jewish authorities who had pressured him into the execution of one he considered to be an innocent man.
- John 19:19 tn Grk “Now it was written.”
- John 19:20 tn Grk “the Jews.” Here the phrase refers to the residents of Jerusalem in general. See also the note on the phrase Jewish religious leaders” in v. 7.
- John 19:20 tn Or “this inscription.”
- John 19:20 tn Grk “in Hebrew.”
- John 19:21 tn Or “the Jewish chief priests.” Nowhere else in the Fourth Gospel are the two expressions οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς τῶν ᾿Ιουδαίων (hoi archiereis tōn Ioudaiōn) combined. Earlier in 19:15 the chief priests were simply referred to as οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς. It seems likely that this is another example of Johannine irony, to be seen in contrast to the inscription on the cross which read ὁ βασιλεὺς τῶν ᾿Ιουδαίων (ho basileus tōn Ioudaiōn). For this reason the phrase has been translated “the chief priests of the Jews” (which preserves in the translation the connection with “King of the Jews”) rather than “the Jewish chief priests.”
- John 19:23 sn See the note on Crucify in 19:6.
- John 19:23 sn Four shares, one for each soldier. The Gospel of John is the only one to specify the number of soldiers involved in the crucifixion. This was a quaternion, a squad of four soldiers. It was accepted Roman practice for the soldiers who performed a crucifixion to divide the possessions of the person executed among themselves.
- John 19:23 tn Or “shirt” (a long garment worn under the cloak next to the skin). The name for this garment (χιτών, chitōn) presents some difficulty in translation. Most modern readers would not understand what a ‘tunic’ was any more than they would be familiar with a ‘chiton.’ On the other hand, attempts to find a modern equivalent are also a problem: “Shirt” conveys the idea of a much shorter garment that covers only the upper body, and “undergarment” (given the styles of modern underwear) is more misleading still. “Tunic” was therefore employed, but with a note to explain its nature.
- John 19:23 tn Or “shirt” (a long garment worn under the cloak next to the skin). See the note on the same word earlier in this verse.
- John 19:23 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author.
- John 19:24 tn Grk “but choose by lot” (probably by using marked pebbles or broken pieces of pottery). A modern equivalent, “throw dice,” was chosen here because of its association with gambling.
- John 19:24 tn Grk “to see whose it will be.”
- John 19:24 tn The words “This took place” are not in the Greek text but are implied.
- John 19:24 tn Grk “cast lots.” See the note on “throw dice” earlier in the verse.sn A quotation from Ps 22:18.
- John 19:25 sn Several women are mentioned, but it is not easy to determine how many. It is not clear whether his mother’s sister and Mary the wife of Clopas are to be understood as the same individual (in which case only three women are mentioned: Jesus’ mother, her sister Mary, and Mary Magdalene) or as two different individuals (in which case four women are mentioned: Jesus’ mother, her sister, Mary Clopas’ wife, and Mary Magdalene). It is impossible to be certain, but when John’s account is compared to the synoptics it is easier to reconcile the accounts if four women were present than if there were only three. It also seems that if there were four women present, this would have been seen by the author to be in juxtaposition to the four soldiers present who performed the crucifixion, and this may explain the transition from the one incident in 23-24 to the other in 25-27. Finally, if only three were present, this would mean that both Jesus’ mother and her sister were named Mary, and this is highly improbable in a Jewish family of that time. If there were four women present, the name of the second, the sister of Jesus’ mother, is not mentioned. It is entirely possible that the sister of Jesus’ mother mentioned here is to be identified with the woman named Salome mentioned in Mark 15:40 and also with the woman identified as “the mother of the sons of Zebedee” mentioned in Matt 27:56. If so, and if John the Apostle is to be identified as the beloved disciple, then the reason for the omission of the second woman’s name becomes clear; she would have been John’s own mother, and he consistently omitted direct reference to himself or his brother James or any other members of his family in the Fourth Gospel.
- John 19:26 sn The term Woman is Jesus’ normal, polite way of addressing women (Matt 15:28, Luke 13:12; John 4:21; 8:10; 19:26; 20:15; see BDAG 208-9 s.v. γυνή 1). But it is unusual for a son to address his mother with this term. The custom in both Hebrew (or Aramaic) and Greek would be for a son to use a qualifying adjective or title. Is there significance in Jesus’ use here? Jesus probably used the term here to help establish Mary and the beloved disciple in a new “mother-son” relationship. Someone would soon need to provide for Mary since Jesus, her oldest son, would no longer be alive. By using this term Jesus distanced himself from Mary so the beloved disciple could take his place as her earthly son (cf. John 2:4). See D. A. Carson, John, 617-18, for discussion about symbolic interpretations of this relationship between Mary and the beloved disciple.
- John 19:27 tn Grk “from that very hour.”
- John 19:28 tn Or “that already.”
- John 19:28 tn Or “finished,” “accomplished”; Grk “fulfilled.”
- John 19:28 sn A reference to Ps 69:21 or Ps 22:15.
- John 19:28 sn In order to fulfill (τελειωθῇ [teleiōthē], a wordplay on the previous statement that everything was completed [τετέλεσται, tetelestai]) the scripture, he said, “I am thirsty.” The scripture referred to is probably Ps 69:21, “They also gave me gall for my food, and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.” Also suggested, however, is Ps 22:15, “My tongue cleaves to the roof of my mouth, and you [God] lay me in the dust of death.” Ps 22:1 reads “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?,” a statement Jesus makes from the cross in both Matt 27:46 and Mark 15:34. In light of the connection in the Fourth Gospel between thirst and the living water which Jesus offers, it is highly ironic that here Jesus himself, the source of that living water, expresses his thirst. And since 7:39 associates the living water with the Holy Spirit, Jesus’ statement here in 19:28 amounts to an admission that at this point he has been forsaken by God (cf. Ps 22:1, Matt 27:46, and Mark 15:34).
- John 19:29 sn The cheap sour wine was called in Latin posca, and referred to a cheap vinegar wine diluted heavily with water. It was the drink of slaves and soldiers, and was probably there for the soldiers who had performed the crucifixion.
- John 19:29 sn Hyssop was a small aromatic bush; exact identification of the plant is uncertain. The hyssop used to lift the wet sponge may have been a form of reed (κάλαμος, kalamos, “reed,” is used in Matt 27:48 and Mark 15:36); the biblical name can refer to several different species of plant (at least eighteen different plants have been suggested).
- John 19:29 tn Or “and brought it.”
- John 19:30 tn Grk “Then when.” Here οὖν (oun) has not been translated for stylistic reasons.
- John 19:30 tn Or “It is accomplished,” “It is finished,” or “It is ended.” See tn on John 13:1.
- John 19:30 tn Or “he bowed his head and died”; Grk “he bowed his head and gave over the spirit.”
- John 19:31 sn The Jewish authorities, because this was the day of preparation for the Sabbath and the Passover (cf. 19:14), requested Pilate to order the legs of the three who had been crucified to be broken. This would hasten their deaths, so that the bodies could be removed before the beginning of the Sabbath at 6 p.m. This was based on the law of Deut 21:22-23 and Josh 8:29 that specified the bodies of executed criminals who had been hanged on a tree should not remain there overnight. According to Josephus this law was interpreted in the 1st century to cover the bodies of those who had been crucified (J. W. 4.5.2 [4.317]). Philo of Alexandria also mentions that on occasion, especially at festivals, the bodies were taken down and given to relatives to bury (Flaccus 10 ). The normal Roman practice would have been to leave the bodies on the crosses, to serve as a warning to other would-be offenders.
- John 19:31 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author.
- John 19:31 tn Or “the Jewish authorities”; Grk “the Jews.” Here the phrase refers to the Jewish leaders. See also the note on the phrase “Jewish leaders” in v. 7.
- John 19:31 tn Grk “asked Pilate that the legs of them might be broken.” The referent of “them” (the three individuals who were crucified, collectively referred to as “the victims”) has been supplied in the translation for clarity.
- John 19:31 sn To have the legs…broken. Breaking the legs of a crucified person was a way of speeding up his death, since the victim could no longer use his legs to push upward in order to be able to draw a breath. This breaking of the legs was called in Latin crurifragium, and was done with a heavy mallet.
- John 19:31 tn Grk “asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and they might be taken down.” Here because of the numerous ambiguous third person references it is necessary to clarify that it was the crucified men whose legs were to be broken and whose corpses were to be removed from the crosses.
- John 19:32 sn See the note on Crucify in 19:6.
- John 19:32 tn Grk “with him”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- John 19:32 tn Grk “broke the legs of the first and of the other who had been crucified with him.”
- John 19:34 sn If it was obvious to the soldiers that the victim was already dead it is difficult to see why one of them would try to inflict a wound. The Greek verb pierced (νύσσω, nussō) can indicate anything from a slight prod to a mortal wound. Probably one of the soldiers gave an exploratory stab to see if the body would jerk. If not, he was really dead. This thrust was hard enough to penetrate the side, since the author states that blood and water flowed out immediately.
- John 19:34 sn How is the reference to the blood and water that flowed out from Jesus’ side to be understood? This is probably to be connected with the statements in 1 John 5:6-8. In both passages water, blood, and testimony are mentioned. The Spirit is also mentioned in 1 John 5:7 as the source of the testimony, while here the testimony comes from one of the disciples (19:35). The connection between the Spirit and the living water with Jesus’ statement of thirst just before he died in the preceding context has already been noted (see 19:28). For the author, the water which flowed out of Jesus’ side was a symbolic reference to the Holy Spirit who could now be given because Jesus was now glorified (cf. 7:39); Jesus had now departed and returned to that glory which he had with the Father before the creation of the world (cf. 17:5). The mention of blood recalls the motif of the Passover lamb as a sacrificial victim. Later references to sacrificial procedures in the Mishnah appear to support this: m. Pesahim 5:3 and 5:5 state that the blood of the sacrificial animal should not be allowed to congeal but should flow forth freely at the instant of death so that it could be used for sprinkling; m. Tamid 4:2 actually specifies that the priest is to pierce the heart of the sacrificial victim and cause the blood to come forth.
- John 19:35 tn The word “it” is not in the Greek text but is implied. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context.
- John 19:35 tn Grk “and that one.”
- John 19:35 sn A parenthetical note by the author.
- John 19:36 sn A quotation from Exod 12:46, Num 9:12, and Ps 34:20. A number of different OT passages lie behind this quotation: Exod 12:10 LXX, Exod 12:46, Num 9:12, or Ps 34:20. Of these, the first is the closest in form to the quotation here. The first three are all more likely candidates than the last, since the first three all deal with descriptions of the Passover lamb.
- John 19:37 sn A quotation from Zech 12:10. Here a single phrase is quoted from Zech 12, but the entire context is associated with the events surrounding the crucifixion. The “Spirit of grace and of supplication” is poured out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem in the first part of v. 10. A few verses later in 13:1 Yahweh (typically rendered as “Lord” in the OT) says “In that day a fountain will be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for impurity.” The blood which flowed from Jesus’ pierced side may well be what the author saw as the connection here, since as the shedding of the blood of the sacrificial victim it represents cleansing from sin. Although the Jewish authorities and Roman soldiers certainly “looked on the one whom they have pierced” as he hung on the cross, the author may also have in mind the parousia (second coming) here. The context in Zech 12-14 is certainly the second coming, so that these who crucified Jesus will look upon him in another sense when he returns in judgment.
- John 19:38 tn Or “the Jewish authorities”; Grk “the Jews.” Here the phrase refers to the Jewish leaders, especially the Pharisees (see John 12:42). See also the note on the phrase “Jewish leaders” in v. 7.
- John 19:38 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author.
- John 19:38 tn Grk “And Pilate.” The conjunction καί (kai, “and”) has not been translated here in keeping with the tendency of contemporary English style to use shorter sentences.
- John 19:38 tn Grk “took away his body.”
- John 19:39 tn Grk “him”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- John 19:39 sn See John 3:1-21.
- John 19:39 tn Grk “came”; the words “accompanied Joseph” are not in the Greek text but are supplied for clarity.
- John 19:39 sn Aloes refers to an aromatic resin from a plant similar to a lily, used for embalming a corpse.
- John 19:39 sn The Roman pound (λίτρα, litra) weighed twelve ounces or 325 grams. Thus 100 Roman pounds would be about 32.5 kilograms or 75 pounds.
- John 19:40 tn On this term see BDAG 140-41 s.v. ἄρωμα. The Jews did not practice embalming, so these materials were used to cover the stench of decay and slow decomposition.
- John 19:40 tn The Fourth Gospel uses ὀθονίοις (othoniois) to describe the wrappings, and this has caused a good deal of debate, since it appears to contradict the synoptic accounts which mention a σινδών (sindōn), a large single piece of linen cloth. If one understands ὀθονίοις to refer to smaller strips of cloth, like bandages, there would be a difference, but diminutive forms have often lost their diminutive force in Koine Greek (BDF §111.3), so there may not be any difference. Also, Luke uses both terms to refer to the wrappings, which suggests they are interchangeable in some contexts at least (Luke 23:53; 24:12).
- John 19:40 tn Grk “cloth as is the custom of the Jews to prepare for burial.”
- John 19:41 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- John 19:41 sn See the note on Crucify in 19:6.
- John 19:41 tn Or “an orchard.”
- John 19:41 tn Or “orchard.”
- John 19:41 tn Grk “been placed.”
- John 19:42 sn The day of preparation was the day before the Sabbath when everything had to be prepared for it, as no work could be done on the Sabbath.
- John 19:42 sn The tomb was nearby. The Passover and the Sabbath would begin at 6 p.m., so those who had come to prepare and bury the body could not afford to waste time.
- John 20:1 sn The first day of the week would be early Sunday morning. The Sabbath (and in this year the Passover) would have lasted from 6 p.m. Friday until 6 p.m. Saturday. Sunday would thus mark the first day of the following week.
- John 20:1 sn John does not mention that Mary Magdalene was accompanied by any of the other women who had been among Jesus’ followers. The synoptic accounts all mention other women who accompanied her (although Mary Magdalene is always mentioned first). Why John does not mention the other women is not clear, but Mary probably becomes the focus of the author’s attention because it was she who came and found Peter and the beloved disciple and informed them of the empty tomb (20:2). Mary’s use of the plural in v. 2 indicates there were others present, in indirect agreement with the synoptic accounts.
- John 20:1 tn Grk “from the tomb.”
- John 20:2 tn Grk “So she ran and came.”
- John 20:3 tn Grk “went out and were coming to the tomb.”
- John 20:4 sn The other disciple (the ‘beloved disciple’) ran on ahead more quickly than Peter, so he arrived at the tomb first. This verse has been a chief factor in depictions of John as a young man (especially combined with traditions that he wrote last of all the gospel authors and lived into the reign of Domitian). But the verse does not actually say anything about John’s age, nor is age always directly correlated with running speed.
- John 20:4 tn Grk “and came first to the tomb.”
- John 20:5 sn In most instances the entrance to such tombs was less than 3 ft (1 m) high, so that an adult would have to bend down and practically crawl inside.
- John 20:5 sn Presumably by the time the beloved disciple reached the tomb there was enough light to penetrate the low opening and illuminate the interior of the tomb sufficiently for him to see the strips of linen cloth lying there. The author does not state exactly where the linen wrappings were lying. Sometimes the phrase has been translated “lying on the ground,” but the implication is that the wrappings were lying where the body had been. The most probable configuration for a tomb of this sort would be to have a niche carved in the wall where the body would be laid lengthwise, or a low shelf like a bench running along one side of the tomb, across the back or around all three sides in a U-shape facing the entrance. Thus the graveclothes would have been lying on this shelf or in the niche where the body had been.
- John 20:6 tn Grk “And he saw.” The conjunction καί (kai, “and”) has not been translated here in keeping with the tendency of contemporary English style to use shorter sentences.
- John 20:7 sn The word translated face cloth is a Latin loanword (sudarium). It was a small towel used to wipe off perspiration (the way a handkerchief would be used today). This particular item was not mentioned in connection with Jesus’ burial in John 19:40, probably because this was only a brief summary account. A face cloth was mentioned in connection with Lazarus’ burial (John 11:44) and was probably customary. R. E. Brown speculates that it was wrapped under the chin and tied on top of the head to prevent the mouth of the corpse from falling open (John [AB], 2:986), but this is not certain.
- John 20:7 sn Much dispute and difficulty surrounds the translation of the words not lying with the strips of linen cloth but rolled up in a place by itself. Basically the issue concerns the positioning of the graveclothes as seen by Peter and the other disciple when they entered the tomb. Some have sought to prove that when the disciples saw the graveclothes they were arranged just as they were when around the body, so that when the resurrection took place the resurrected body of Jesus passed through them without rearranging or disturbing them. In this case the reference to the face cloth being rolled up does not refer to its being folded, but collapsed in the shape it had when wrapped around the head. Sometimes in defense of this view the Greek preposition μετά (meta, which normally means “with”) is said to mean “like” so that the comparison with the other graveclothes does not involve the location of the face cloth but rather its condition (rolled up rather than flattened). In spite of the intriguing nature of such speculations, it seems more probable that the phrase describing the face cloth should be understood to mean it was separated from the other graveclothes in a different place inside the tomb. This seems consistent with the different conclusions reached by Peter and the beloved disciple (vv. 8-10). All that the condition of the graveclothes indicated was that the body of Jesus had not been stolen by thieves. Anyone who had come to remove the body (whether the authorities or anyone else) would not have bothered to unwrap it before carrying it off. And even if one could imagine that they had (perhaps in search of valuables such as rings or jewelry still worn by the corpse) they would certainly not have bothered to take time to roll up the face cloth and leave the other wrappings in an orderly fashion.
- John 20:8 sn What was it that the beloved disciple believed (since v. 7 describes what he saw)? Sometimes it is suggested that what he believed was Mary Magdalene’s report that the body had been stolen. But this could hardly be the case; the way the entire scene is narrated such a trivial conclusion would amount to an anticlimax. It is true that the use of the plural “they” in the following verse applied to both Peter and the beloved disciple, and this appears to be a difficulty if one understands that the beloved disciple believed at this point in Jesus’ resurrection. But it is not an insuperable difficulty, since all it affirms is that at this time neither Peter nor the beloved disciple had understood the scripture concerning the resurrection. Thus it appears the author intends his reader to understand that when the beloved disciple entered the tomb after Peter and saw the state of the graveclothes, he believed in the resurrection, i.e., that Jesus had risen from the dead.
- John 20:9 tn Or “yet know.”
- John 20:9 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- John 20:9 sn Verse 9 is a parenthetical note by the author. The author does not explicitly mention what OT scripture is involved (neither does Paul in 1 Cor 15:4, for that matter). The resurrection of the Messiah in general terms may have been seen in Isa 53:10-12 and Ps 16:10. Specific references may have been understood in Jonah 1:17 and Hos 6:2 because of the mention of “the third day.” Beyond this it is not possible to be more specific.
- John 20:13 tn The conjunction καί (kai, “and”) has not been translated here.
- John 20:13 sn Woman was a polite form of address (see BDAG 208-9 s.v. γυνή 1), similar to “Madam” or “Ma’am” used in English in different regions. This occurs again in v. 15.
- John 20:13 tn Grk “She said to them.”
- John 20:14 tn The word “there” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context.
- John 20:15 tn Grk “that one” (referring to Mary Magdalene).
- John 20:16 tn Grk “That one.”
- John 20:16 tn Grk “in Hebrew.”
- John 20:16 sn The Aramaic Rabboni means “my teacher” (a title of respect).
- John 20:16 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author.
- John 20:17 tn Grk “Jesus said to her.”
- John 20:18 tn The words “she told them” are repeated from the first part of the same verse to improve clarity.
- John 20:18 tn Grk “the things.”
- John 20:18 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) is specified in the translation for clarity.
- John 20:18 tn The first part of Mary’s statement, introduced by ὅτι (hoti), is direct discourse (ἑώρακα τὸν κύριον, heōraka ton kurion), while the second clause switches to indirect discourse (καὶ ταῦτα εἶπεν αὐτῇ, kai tauta eipen autē). This has the effect of heightening the emphasis on the first part of the statement.
- John 20:19 tn Although the words “had gathered together” are omitted in some of the earliest and best mss, they are nevertheless implied, and have thus been included in the translation.
- John 20:19 tn Grk “the doors were shut”; “locked” conveys a more appropriate idea for the modern English reader.sn The fact that the disciples locked the doors is a perfectly understandable reaction to the events of the past few days. But what is the significance of the inclusion of this statement by the author? It is often taken to mean that Jesus, when he entered the room, passed through the closed doors. This may well be the case, but it may be assuming too much about our knowledge of the mode in which the resurrected body of Jesus exists. The text does not explicitly state how Jesus got through the closed doors. It is possible to assume that the doors opened of their own accord before him, or that he simply appeared in the middle of the room without passing through the doors at all. The point the author makes here is simply that the closed doors were no obstacle at all to the resurrected Jesus.
- John 20:19 tn Grk “where they were.”
- John 20:19 tn Or “the Jewish authorities”; Grk “the Jews.” In NT usage the term ᾿Ιουδαῖοι (Ioudaioi) may refer to the entire Jewish people, the residents of Jerusalem and surrounding territory, the authorities in Jerusalem, or merely those who were hostile to Jesus. (For further information see R. G. Bratcher, “‘The Jews’ in the Gospel of John,” BT 26 : 401-9.) Here the phrase refers to the Jewish leaders.
- John 20:20 sn When the disciples recognized Jesus (now referred to as the Lord, cf. Mary’s words in v. 18) they were suddenly overcome with joy. This was a fulfillment of Jesus’ words to the disciples in the Farewell Discourse (16:20-22) that they would have sorrow while the world rejoiced, but that their sorrow would be turned to lasting joy when they saw him again.
- John 20:22 tn Grk “said to them.”
- John 20:22 sn He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” The use of the Greek verb breathed on (ἐμφυσάω, emphusaō) to describe the action of Jesus here recalls Gen 2:7 in the LXX, where “the Lord God formed man out of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” This time, however, it is Jesus who is breathing the breath-Spirit of eternal life, life from above, into his disciples (cf. 3:3-10). Furthermore there is the imagery of Ezek 37:1-14, the prophecy concerning the resurrection of the dry bones: In 37:9 the Son of Man is told to prophesy to the “wind-breath-Spirit” to come and breathe on the corpses, so that they will live again. In 37:14 the Lord promised, “I will put my Spirit within you, and you will come to life, and I will place you in your own land.” In terms of ultimate fulfillment the passage in Ezek 37 looks at the regeneration of Israel immediately prior to the establishment of the messianic kingdom. The author saw in what Jesus did for the disciples at this point a partial and symbolic fulfillment of Ezekiel’s prophecy, much as Peter made use of the prophecy of Joel 2:28-32 in his sermon on the day of Pentecost as recorded in Acts 2:17-21. What then did Jesus do for the disciples in John 20:22? It appears that in light of the symbolism of the new creation present here, as well as the regeneration symbolism from the Ezek 37 passage, that Jesus at this point breathed into the disciples the breath of eternal life. This was in the form of the Holy Spirit, who was to indwell them. It is instructive to look again at 7:38-39, which states, “Just as the scripture says, ‘Out from within him will flow rivers of living water.’ (Now he said this about the Spirit whom those who believed in him were going to receive; for the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”) But now in 20:22 Jesus was glorified, so the Spirit could be given. Had the disciples not believed in Jesus before? It seems clear that they had, since their belief is repeatedly affirmed, beginning with 2:11. But it also seems clear that even on the eve of the crucifixion, they did not understand the necessity of the cross (16:31-33). And even after the crucifixion, the disciples had not realized that there was going to be a resurrection (20:9). Ultimate recognition of who Jesus was appears to have come to them only after the postresurrection appearances (note the response of Thomas, who was not present at this incident, in v. 28). Finally, what is the relation of this incident in 20:22 to the account of the coming of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2? It appears best to view these as two separate events which have two somewhat different purposes. This was the giving of life itself, which flowed out from within (cf. 7:38-39). The giving of power would occur later, on the day of Pentecost—power to witness and carry out the mission the disciples had been given. (It is important to remember that in the historical unfolding of God’s program for the church, these events occurred in a chronological sequence which, after the church has been established, is not repeatable today.)
- John 20:23 tn Grk “they are forgiven to them.” The words “to them” are unnecessary in English and somewhat redundant.
- John 20:23 sn The statement by Jesus about forgive or retaining anyone’s sins finds its closest parallel in Matt 16:19 and 18:18. This is probably not referring to apostolic power to forgive or retain the sins of individuals (as it is sometimes understood), but to the “power” of proclaiming this forgiveness which was entrusted to the disciples. This is consistent with the idea that the disciples are to carry on the ministry of Jesus after he has departed from the world and returned to the Father, a theme which occurred in the Farewell Discourse (cf. 15:27; 16:1-4; 17:18).
- John 20:24 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author; Didymus means “the twin” in Greek.
- John 20:25 tn Grk “but he said to them.”
- John 20:25 tn Or “marks.”
- John 20:25 tn The word “it” is not in the Greek text but is implied. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context. The use of “it” here as direct object of the verb πιστεύσω (pisteusō) specifies exactly what Thomas was refusing to believe: that Jesus had risen from the dead, as reported by his fellow disciples. Otherwise the English reader may be left with the impression Thomas was refusing to “believe in” Jesus, or “believe Jesus to be the Christ.” The dramatic tension in this narrative is heightened when Thomas, on seeing for himself the risen Christ, believes more than just the resurrection (see John 20:28).
- John 20:26 tn Grk “were inside”; the word “together” is implied.
- John 20:26 tn Grk “the doors were shut”; “locked” conveys a more appropriate idea for the modern English reader.sn See the note on the phrase locked the doors in 20:19.
- John 20:27 tn Or “Extend” or “Reach out.” The translation “put” or “reach out” for φέρω (pherō) here is given in BDAG 1052 s.v. 4.
- John 20:27 tn Grk “see.” The Greek verb ἴδε (ide) is often used like its cognate ἰδού (idou) in Hellenistic Greek (which is “used to emphasize the…importance of someth.” [BDAG 468 s.v. ἰδού 1.b.ε]).
- John 20:27 tn Or “reach out” or “put.”
- John 20:27 tn The word “it” is not in the Greek text but is implied. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context.
- John 20:27 tn Grk “and do not be unbelieving, but believing.”
- John 20:28 tn Grk “answered and said to him.”
- John 20:28 sn Should Thomas’ exclamation be understood as two subjects with the rest of the sentence omitted (“My Lord and my God has truly risen from the dead”), as predicate nominatives (“You are my Lord and my God”), or as vocatives (“My Lord and my God!”)? Probably the most likely is something between the second and third alternatives. It seems that the second is slightly more likely here, because the context appears confessional. Thomas’ statement, while it may have been an exclamation, does in fact confess the faith which he had previously lacked, and Jesus responds to Thomas’ statement in the following verse as if it were a confession. With the proclamation by Thomas here, it is difficult to see how any more profound analysis of Jesus’ person could be given. It echoes 1:1 and 1:14 together: The Word was God, and the Word became flesh (Jesus of Nazareth). The Fourth Gospel opened with many other titles for Jesus: the Lamb of God (1:29, 36); the Son of God (1:34, 49); Rabbi (1:38); Messiah (1:41); the King of Israel (1:49); the Son of Man (1:51). Now the climax is reached with the proclamation by Thomas, “My Lord and my God,” and the reader has come full circle from 1:1, where the author had introduced him to who Jesus was, to 20:28, where the last of the disciples has come to the full realization of who Jesus was. What Jesus had predicted in John 8:28 had come to pass: “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he” (Grk “I am”). By being lifted up in crucifixion (which led in turn to his death, resurrection, and exaltation with the Father) Jesus has revealed his true identity as both Lord (κύριος [kurios], used by the LXX to translate Yahweh) and God (θεός [theos], used by the LXX to translate Elohim).
- John 20:29 tn Grk “are those.”
- John 20:29 tn Some translations treat πιστεύσαντες (pisteusantes) as a gnomic aorist (timeless statement) and thus equivalent to an English present tense: “and yet believe” (RSV). This may create an effective application of the passage to the modern reader, but the author is probably thinking of those people who had already believed without the benefit of seeing the risen Jesus, on the basis of reports by others or because of circumstantial evidence (see John 20:8).
- John 20:30 tn Or “did.”
- John 20:30 tc ‡ Although most mss, including several significant ones (P66 א C D L W Θ Ψ ƒ1,13 33 M lat), read αὐτοῦ (autou, “his”) after τῶν μαθητῶν (tōn mathētōn, “the disciples”), the pronoun is lacking in A B K Δ 0250 al. The weight of the witnesses for the inclusion is somewhat stronger than that for the exclusion. However, the addition of “his” to “disciples” is a frequent scribal emendation and as such is a predictable variant. It is thus most likely that the shorter reading is authentic. NA28 puts the pronoun in brackets, indicating doubts as to its authenticity.
- John 20:30 tn Grk “are not written.”
- John 20:30 sn The author mentions many other miraculous signs performed by Jesus in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in the Gospel. What are these signs the author of the Gospel has in mind? One can only speculate. The author says they were performed in the presence of the disciples, which emphasizes again their role as witnesses (cf. 15:27). The point here is that the author has been selective in his use of material. He has chosen to record those incidents from the life and ministry of Jesus which supported his purpose in writing the Gospel. Much which might be of tremendous interest, but does not directly contribute to that purpose in writing, he has omitted. The author explains his purpose in writing in the following verse.
- John 20:31 tn Grk “these things.”
- John 20:31 tn Grk “are written.”
- John 20:31 tc ‡ A difficult textual variant is present at this point in the Greek text. Some mss (P66vid א* B Θ 0250) read the present subjunctive πιστεύητε (pisteuēte) after ἵνα (hina; thus NEB text, “that you may hold the faith”) while others (א2 A C D L W Ψ ƒ1,13 33 M) read the aorist subjunctive πιστεύσητε (pisteusēte) after ἵνα (cf. NEB margin, “that you may come to believe”). As reflected by the renderings of the NEB text and margin, it is often assumed that the present tense would suggest ongoing belief (i.e., the Fourth Gospel primarily addressed those who already believed, and was intended to strengthen their faith), while the aorist tense would speak of coming to faith (i.e., John’s Gospel was primarily evangelistic in nature). Both textual variants enjoy significant ms support, although the present subjunctive has somewhat superior witnesses on its behalf. On internal grounds it is hard to decide which is more likely autographic. Many resolve this issue on the basis of a reconstruction of the overall purpose of the Gospel, viz., whether it is addressed to unbelievers or believers. However, since elsewhere in the Gospel of John (1) the present tense can refer to both initial faith and continuation in the faith and (2) the aorist tense simply refrains from commenting on the issue, it is highly unlikely that the distinction here would be determinative for the purpose of the Fourth Gospel. The question of purpose cannot be resolved by choosing one textual variant over the other in 20:31, but must be decided on other factors. Nevertheless, if a choice has to be made, the present subjunctive is the preferred reading. NA28 puts the aorist’s sigma in brackets, thus representing both readings virtually equally (so TCGNT 220).
- John 20:31 tn Or “Jesus is the Messiah” (Both Greek “Christ” and Hebrew and Aramaic “Messiah” mean “one who has been anointed”).sn See the note on Christ in 1:20.
- John 20:31 sn John 20:31. A major question concerning this verse, the purpose statement of the Gospel of John, is whether the author is writing primarily for an audience of unbelievers, with purely evangelistic emphasis, or whether he envisions an audience of believers, whom he wants to strengthen in their faith. Several points are important in this discussion: (1) in the immediate context (20:30), the other signs spoken of by the author were performed in the presence of disciples; (2) in the case of the first of the signs, at Cana, the author makes a point of the effect the miracle had on the disciples (2:11); (3) if the primary thrust of the Gospel is toward unbelievers, it is difficult to see why so much material in chaps. 13-17 (the last meal and Farewell Discourse, concluding with Jesus’ prayer for the disciples), which deals almost exclusively with the disciples, is included; (4) the disciples themselves were repeatedly said to have believed in Jesus throughout the Gospel, beginning with 2:11, yet they still needed to believe after the resurrection (if Thomas’ experience in 20:27-28 is any indication); and (5) the Gospel appears to be written with the assumption that the readers are familiar with the basic story (or perhaps with one or more of the synoptic gospel accounts, although this is less clear). Thus no account of the birth of Jesus is given at all, and although he is identified as being from Nazareth, the words of the Pharisees and chief priests to Nicodemus (7:52) are almost certainly to be taken as ironic, assuming the reader knows where Jesus was really from. Likewise, when Mary is identified in 11:2 as the one who anointed Jesus’ feet with oil, it is apparently assumed that the readers are familiar with the story, since the incident involved is not mentioned in the Fourth Gospel until 12:3. These observations must be set over against the clear statement of purpose in the present verse, 20:31, which seems to have significant evangelistic emphasis. In addition to this there is the repeated emphasis on witness throughout the Fourth Gospel (cf. the witness of John the Baptist in 1:7, 8, 15, 32, and 34, along with 5:33; the Samaritan woman in 4:39; Jesus’ own witness, along with that of the Father who sent him, in 8:14, 18, and 18:37; the disciples themselves in 15:27; and finally the testimony of the author himself in 19:35 and 21:24). In light of all this evidence it seems best to say that the author wrote with a dual purpose: (1) to witness to unbelievers concerning Jesus, in order that they come to believe in him and have eternal life; and (2) to strengthen the faith of believers, by deepening and expanding their understanding of who Jesus is.