New American Bible (Revised Edition)
15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter,[a] “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”[b] He said to him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 He then said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” [Jesus] said to him, “Feed my sheep.(A) 18 [c]Amen, amen, I say to you,(B) when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” 19 He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when he had said this, he said to him, “Follow me.”(C)Read full chapter
- 21:15–17 In these three verses there is a remarkable variety of synonyms: two different Greek verbs for love (see note on Jn 15:13); two verbs for feed/tend; two nouns for sheep; two verbs for know. But apparently there is no difference of meaning. The threefold confession of Peter is meant to counteract his earlier threefold denial (Jn 18:17, 25, 27). The First Vatican Council cited these verses in defining that Jesus after his resurrection gave Peter the jurisdiction of supreme shepherd and ruler over the whole flock.
- 21:15 More than these: probably “more than these disciples do” rather than “more than you love them” or “more than you love these things [fishing, etc.].”
- 21:18 Originally probably a proverb about old age, now used as a figurative reference to the crucifixion of Peter.