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Teaching in the Temple

14 When the feast was half over, Jesus went up to the temple courts[a] and began to teach.[b] 15 Then the Jewish leaders[c] were astonished[d] and said, “How does this man know so much when he has never had formal instruction?”[e] 16 So Jesus replied,[f] “My teaching is not from me, but from the one who sent me.[g]

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  1. John 7:14 tn Grk “to the temple.”
  2. John 7:14 tn Or “started teaching.” An ingressive sense for the imperfect verb (“began to teach” or “started teaching”) fits well here, since the context implies that Jesus did not start his teaching at the beginning of the festival, but began when it was about half over.
  3. John 7:15 tn Or “the Jewish authorities”; Grk “the Jews.” Here the phrase refers to the Jewish authorities or leaders who were Jesus’ primary opponents. See the note on the phrase “the Jewish leaders” in v. 1.
  4. John 7:15 tn Or “began to be astonished.” This imperfect verb could also be translated ingressively (“began to be astonished”), but for English stylistic reasons it is rendered as a simple past.
  5. John 7:15 tn Grk “How does this man know learning since he has not been taught?” The implication here is not that Jesus never went to school (in all probability he did attend a local synagogue school while a youth), but that he was not the disciple of a particular rabbi and had not had formal or advanced instruction under a recognized rabbi (compare Acts 4:13 where a similar charge is made against Peter and John; see also Paul’s comment in Acts 22:3).sn He has never had formal instruction. Ironically when the Jewish leaders came face-to-face with the Word become flesh—the preexistent Logos, creator of the universe and divine Wisdom personified—they treated him as an untaught, unlearned person, without the formal qualifications to be a teacher.
  6. John 7:16 tn Grk “So Jesus answered and said to them.”
  7. John 7:16 tn The phrase “the one who sent me” refers to God.