New English Translation
The Feast of Shelters
7 After this[a] Jesus traveled throughout Galilee.[b] He[c] stayed out of Judea[d] because the Jewish leaders[e] wanted[f] to kill him. 2 Now the Jewish Feast of Shelters[g] was near.[h] 3 So Jesus’ brothers[i] advised him, “Leave here and go to Judea so your disciples may see your miracles that you are performing.[j] 4 For no one who seeks to make a reputation for himself[k] does anything in secret.[l] If you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.” 5 (For not even his own brothers believed in him.)[m]
6 So Jesus replied,[n] “My time[o] has not yet arrived,[p] but you are ready at any opportunity![q] 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates me, because I am testifying about it that its deeds are evil. 8 You go up[r] to the feast yourselves. I am not going up to this feast[s] because my time[t] has not yet fully arrived.”[u] 9 When he had said this, he remained in Galilee.
10 But when his brothers had gone up to the feast, then Jesus[v] himself also went up, not openly but in secret. 11 So the Jewish leaders[w] were looking for him at the feast, asking, “Where is he?”[x] 12 There was[y] a lot of grumbling[z] about him among the crowds.[aa] Some were saying, “He is a good man,” but others, “He deceives the common people.”[ab] 13 However, no one spoke openly about him for fear of the Jewish leaders.[ac]
Teaching in the Temple
14 When the feast was half over, Jesus went up to the temple courts[ad] and began to teach.[ae] 15 Then the Jewish leaders[af] were astonished[ag] and said, “How does this man know so much when he has never had formal instruction?”[ah] 16 So Jesus replied,[ai] “My teaching is not from me, but from the one who sent me.[aj] 17 If anyone wants to do God’s will,[ak] he will know about my teaching, whether it is from God or whether I speak from my own authority.[al] 18 The person who speaks on his own authority[am] desires[an] to receive honor[ao] for himself; the one who desires[ap] the honor[aq] of the one who sent him is a man of integrity,[ar] and there is no unrighteousness in him. 19 Hasn’t Moses given you the law? Yet not one of you keeps[as] the law! Why do you want[at] to kill me?”
20 The crowd[au] answered, “You’re possessed by a demon![av] Who is trying to kill you?”[aw] 21 Jesus replied,[ax] “I performed one miracle[ay] and you are all amazed.[az] 22 However, because Moses gave you the practice of circumcision[ba] (not that it came from Moses, but from the forefathers), you circumcise a male child[bb] on the Sabbath. 23 But if a male child[bc] is circumcised[bd] on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses is not broken,[be] why are you angry with me because I made a man completely well[bf] on the Sabbath? 24 Do not judge according to external appearance,[bg] but judge with proper[bh] judgment.”
Questions About Jesus’ Identity
25 Then some of the residents of Jerusalem began to say, “Isn’t this the man[bi] they are trying[bj] to kill? 26 Yet here he is, speaking publicly,[bk] and they are saying nothing to him.[bl] Do the ruling authorities[bm] really know that this man[bn] is the Christ?[bo] 27 But we know where this man[bp] comes from.[bq] Whenever the Christ[br] comes, no one will know where he comes from.”[bs]
28 Then Jesus, while teaching in the temple courts,[bt] cried out,[bu] “You both know me and know where I come from![bv] And I have not come on my own initiative,[bw] but the one who sent me[bx] is true. You do not know him,[by] 29 but[bz] I know him, because I have come from him[ca] and he[cb] sent me.”
30 So then they tried to seize Jesus,[cc] but no one laid a hand on him, because his time[cd] had not yet come. 31 Yet many of the crowd[ce] believed in him and said, “Whenever the Christ[cf] comes, he won’t perform more miraculous signs than this man did, will he?”[cg]
32 The Pharisees[ch] heard the crowd[ci] murmuring these things about Jesus,[cj] so the chief priests and the Pharisees sent officers[ck] to arrest him.[cl] 33 Then Jesus said, “I will be with you for only a little while longer,[cm] and then[cn] I am going to the one who sent me. 34 You will look for me[co] but will not find me, and where I am you cannot come.”
35 Then the Jewish leaders[cp] said to one another, “Where is he[cq] going to go that we cannot find him?[cr] He is not going to go to the Jewish people dispersed[cs] among the Greeks and teach the Greeks, is he?[ct] 36 What did he mean by saying,[cu] ‘You will look for me[cv] but will not find me, and where I am you cannot come’?”
Teaching About the Spirit
37 On the last day of the feast, the greatest day,[cw] Jesus stood up and shouted out,[cx] “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me, and 38 let the one who believes in me drink.[cy] Just as the scripture says, ‘From within him[cz] will flow rivers of living water.’”[da] 39 (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,[db] because Jesus was not yet glorified.)[dc]
Differing Opinions About Jesus
40 When they heard these words, some of the crowd[dd] began to say, “This really[de] is the Prophet!”[df] 41 Others said, “This is the Christ!”[dg] But still others said, “No,[dh] for the Christ doesn’t come from Galilee, does he?[di] 42 Don’t the scriptures say that the Christ is a descendant[dj] of David[dk] and comes from Bethlehem,[dl] the village where David lived?”[dm] 43 So there was a division in the crowd[dn] because of Jesus.[do] 44 Some of them were wanting to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him.[dp]
Lack of Belief
45 Then the officers[dq] returned[dr] to the chief priests and Pharisees,[ds] who said to them, “Why didn’t you bring him back with you?”[dt] 46 The officers replied, “No one ever spoke like this man!” 47 Then the Pharisees answered,[du] “You haven’t been deceived too, have you?[dv] 48 None of the members of the ruling council[dw] or the Pharisees have believed in him, have they?[dx] 49 But this rabble[dy] who do not know the law are accursed!”
50 Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus[dz] before and who was one of the rulers,[ea] said,[eb] 51 “Our law doesn’t condemn[ec] a man unless it first hears from him and learns[ed] what he is doing, does it?”[ee] 52 They replied,[ef] “You aren’t from Galilee too, are you?[eg] Investigate carefully and you will see that no prophet[eh] comes from Galilee!”
A Woman Caught in Adultery[ei]
53 [[ And each one departed to his own house.
- John 7:1 sn Again, the transition is indicated by the imprecise temporal indicator After this. Clearly, though, the author has left out much of the events of Jesus’ ministry, because chap. 6 took place near the Passover (6:4). This would have been the Passover between winter/spring of a.d. 32, just one year before Jesus’ crucifixion (assuming a date of a.d. 33 for the crucifixion), or the Passover of winter/spring a.d. 29, assuming a date of a.d. 30 for the crucifixion.
- John 7:1 tn Grk “Jesus was traveling around in Galilee.”
- John 7:1 tn Grk “For he.” Here γάρ (gar, “for”) has not been translated.
- John 7:1 tn Grk “he did not want to travel around in Judea.”
- John 7:1 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 should be restricted to the Jewish authorities or leaders who were Jesus’ primary opponents.
- John 7:1 tn Grk “were seeking.”
- John 7:2 tn Or “Feast of Tabernacles” or Or “Feast of Booths” (the feast where people lived in tents or huts, which was celebrated in the autumn after harvest). John’s use of σκηνοπηγία (skēnopēgia) for the Feast of Shelters constitutes the only use of this term in the New Testament.
- John 7:2 sn Since the present verse places these incidents at the Feast of Shelters (a.d. 29 or 32, depending on whether one dates the crucifixion in a.d. 30 or 33) there would have been a 6-month interval during which no events are recorded. The author is obviously selective in his approach; he is not recording an exhaustive history (as he will later tell the reader in John 21:25). After healing the paralytic on the Sabbath in Jerusalem (John 5:1-47), Jesus withdrew again to Galilee because of mounting opposition. In Galilee the feeding of the 5,000 took place, which marked the end of the Galilean ministry for all practical purposes. John 7:1-9 thus marks Jesus’ final departure from Galilee.
- John 7:3 tn Grk “his brothers.”sn Jesus’ brothers. Jesus’ brothers (really his half brothers) were mentioned previously by John in 2:12 (see the note on brothers there). They are also mentioned elsewhere in Matt 13:55 and Mark 6:3.
- John 7:3 tn Grk “your deeds that you are doing.”sn Should the advice by Jesus’ brothers, Leave here and go to Judea so your disciples may see your miracles that you are performing, be understood as a suggestion that he should attempt to win back the disciples who had deserted him earlier (6:66)? Perhaps. But it is also possible to take the words as indicating that if Jesus is going to put forward messianic claims (i.e., through miraculous signs) then he should do so in Jerusalem, not in the remote parts of Galilee. Such an understanding seems to fit better with the following verse. It would also indicate misunderstanding on the part of Jesus’ brothers of the true nature of his mission—he did not come as the royal Messiah of Jewish apocalyptic expectation, to be enthroned as king at this time.
- John 7:4 tn Or “seeks to be well known.”
- John 7:4 sn No one who seeks to make a reputation for himself does anything in secret means, in effect: “if you’re going to perform signs to authenticate yourself as Messiah, you should do them at Jerusalem.” (Jerusalem is where mainstream Jewish apocalyptic tradition held that Messiah would appear.)
- John 7:5 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author.
- John 7:6 tn Grk “Then Jesus said to them.”
- John 7:6 tn Or “my opportunity.”
- John 7:6 tn Or “is not yet here.”
- John 7:6 tn Grk “your time is always ready.”
- John 7:8 sn One always speaks of “going up” to Jerusalem in Jewish idiom, even though in western thought it is more common to speak of south as “down” (Jerusalem lies south of Galilee). The reason for the idiom is that Jerusalem was identified with Mount Zion in the OT, so that altitude was the issue.
- John 7:8 tc Most mss (P66,75 B L T W Θ Ψ 070 0105 0250 ƒ1,13 M sa), including most of the better witnesses, have “not yet” (οὔπω, oupō) here. Those with the reading οὐκ are not as impressive (א D K 1241 al lat), but οὐκ is the more difficult reading here, especially because it stands in tension with v. 10. On the one hand, it is possible that οὐκ arose because of homoioarcton: A copyist who saw oupw wrote ouk. However, it is more likely that οὔπω was introduced early on to harmonize with what is said two verses later. As for Jesus’ refusal to go up to the feast in v. 8, the statement does not preclude action of a different kind at a later point. Jesus may simply have been refusing to accompany his brothers with the rest of the group of pilgrims, preferring to travel separately and “in secret” (v. 10) with his disciples.
- John 7:8 tn Although the word is καιρός (kairos) here, it parallels John’s use of ὥρα (hōra) elsewhere as a reference to the time appointed for Jesus by the Father—the time of his return to the Father, characterized by his death, resurrection, and ascension (glorification). In the Johannine literature, synonyms are often interchanged for no apparent reason other than stylistic variation.
- John 7:8 tn Or “my time has not yet come to an end” (a possible hint of Jesus’ death at Jerusalem); Grk “my time is not yet fulfilled.”
- John 7:10 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- John 7:11 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.
- John 7:11 tn Grk “Where is that one?”
- John 7:12 tn Grk “And there was.”
- John 7:12 tn Or “complaining.”
- John 7:12 tn Or “among the common people” (as opposed to the religious authorities mentioned in the previous verse).
- John 7:12 tn Or “the crowd.”
- John 7:13 tn Or “the Jewish authorities”; Grk “the Jews.” Here the phrase refers to the Jewish authorities or leaders who were Jesus’ primary opponents. See also the note on the phrase “the Jewish leaders” in v. 1.
- John 7:14 tn Grk “to the temple.”
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- John 7:16 tn Grk “So Jesus answered and said to them.”
- John 7:16 tn The phrase “the one who sent me” refers to God.
- John 7:17 tn Grk “his will.”
- John 7:17 tn Grk “or whether I speak from myself.”
- John 7:18 tn Grk “who speaks from himself.”
- John 7:18 tn Or “seeks.”
- John 7:18 tn Or “praise”; Grk “glory.”
- John 7:18 tn Or “seeks.”
- John 7:18 tn Or “praise”; Grk “glory.”
- John 7:18 tn Or “is truthful”; Grk “is true.”
- John 7:19 tn Or “accomplishes”; Grk “does.”
- John 7:19 tn Grk “seek.”
- John 7:20 tn Or “The common people” (as opposed to the religious authorities mentioned in 7:15).
- John 7:20 tn Grk “You have a demon!”
- John 7:20 tn Grk “Who is seeking to kill you?”sn Who is trying to kill you? Many of the crowd (if they had come in from surrounding regions for the feast) probably were ignorant of any plot. The plot was on the part of the Jewish leaders. Note how carefully John distinguishes between the leadership and the general populace in their respective responses to Jesus.
- John 7:21 tn Grk “Jesus answered and said to them.”
- John 7:21 tn Grk “I did one deed.”
- John 7:21 sn The “one miracle” that caused them all to be amazed was the last previous public miracle in Jerusalem recorded by the author, the healing of the paralyzed man in John 5:1-9 on the Sabbath. (The synoptic gospels record other Sabbath healings, but John does not mention them.)
- John 7:22 tn Grk “gave you circumcision.”
- John 7:22 tn Grk “a man.” While the text literally reads “circumcise a man” in actual fact the practice of circumcising male infants on the eighth day after birth (see Phil 3:5) is primarily what is in view here.
- John 7:23 tn Grk “a man.” See the note on “male child” in the previous verse.
- John 7:23 tn Grk “receives circumcision.”
- John 7:23 sn If a male child is circumcised on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses is not broken. The Rabbis counted 248 parts to a man’s body. In the Talmud (b. Yoma 85b) R. Eleazar ben Azariah (ca. a.d. 100) states: “If circumcision, which attaches to one only of the 248 members of the human body, suspends the Sabbath, how much more shall the saving of the whole body suspend the Sabbath?” So absolutely binding did rabbinic Judaism regard the command of Lev 12:3 to circumcise on the eighth day, that in the Mishnah m. Shabbat 18.3; 19.1, 2; and m. Nedarim 3.11 all hold that the command to circumcise overrides the command to observe the Sabbath.
- John 7:23 tn Or “made an entire man well.”
- John 7:24 tn Or “based on sight.”
- John 7:24 tn Or “honest”; Grk “righteous.”
- John 7:25 tn Grk “Is it not this one.”
- John 7:25 tn Grk “seeking.”
- John 7:26 tn Or “speaking openly.”
- John 7:26 sn They are saying nothing to him. Some people who had heard Jesus were so impressed with his teaching that they began to infer from the inactivity of the opposing Jewish leaders a tacit acknowledgment of Jesus’ claims.
- John 7:26 tn Grk “the rulers.” In context this refers to the Jewish leaders.
- John 7:26 tn Grk “this one.”
- John 7:26 tn Or “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 7:27 tn Grk “this one.”
- John 7:27 sn We know where this man comes from. The author apparently did not consider this objection worth answering. The true facts about Jesus’ origins were readily available for any reader who didn’t know already. Here is an instance where the author assumes knowledge about Jesus that is independent from the material he records.
- John 7:27 tn Or “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 7:27 sn The view of these people regarding the Messiah that no one will know where he comes from reflects the idea that the origin of the Messiah is a mystery. In the Talmud (b. Sanhedrin 97a) Rabbi Zera taught: “Three come unawares: Messiah, a found article, and a scorpion.” Apparently OT prophetic passages like Mal 3:1 and Dan 9:25 were interpreted by some as indicating a sudden appearance of Messiah. It appears that this was not a universal view: The scribes summoned by Herod at the coming of the Magi in Matt 2 knew that the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem. It is important to remember that Jewish messianic expectations in the early 1st century were not monolithic.
- John 7:28 tn Grk “the temple.”
- John 7:28 tn Grk “Then Jesus cried out in the temple, teaching and saying.”
- John 7:28 sn You both know me and know where I come from! Jesus’ response while teaching in the temple is difficult—it appears to concede too much understanding to his opponents. It is best to take the words as irony: “So you know me and know where I am from, do you?” On the physical, literal level, they did know where he was from: Nazareth of Galilee (at least they thought they knew). But on another deeper (spiritual) level, they did not: He came from heaven, from the Father. Jesus insisted that he has not come on his own initiative (cf. 5:37), but at the bidding of the Father who sent him.
- John 7:28 tn Grk “And I have not come from myself.”
- John 7:28 tn The phrase “the one who sent me” refers to God.
- John 7:28 tn Grk “the one who sent me is true, whom you do not know.”
- John 7:29 tn Although the conjunction “but” is not in the Greek text, the contrast is implied (an omitted conjunction is called asyndeton).
- John 7:29 tn The preposition παρά (para) followed by the genitive has the local sense preserved and can be used of one person sending another. This does not necessarily imply origin in essence or eternal generation.
- John 7:29 tn Grk “and that one.”
- John 7:30 tn Grk “him”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.sn Here the response is on the part of the crowd, who tried to seize Jesus. This is apparently distinct from the attempted arrest by the authorities mentioned in 7:32.
- John 7:30 tn Grk “his hour.”
- John 7:31 tn Or “The common people” (as opposed to the religious authorities).
- John 7:31 tn Or “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 7:31 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 it is “will he?”).
- John 7:32 sn See the note on Pharisees in 1:24.
- John 7:32 tn Or “The common people” (as opposed to the religious authorities like the Pharisees).
- John 7:32 tn Grk “him”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- John 7:32 tn Or “servants.” The “chief priests and Pharisees” is a comprehensive term for the groups represented in the ruling council (the Sanhedrin) as in John 7:45; 18:3; Acts 5:22, 26. As “servants” or “officers” of the Sanhedrin their representatives should be distinguished from the Levites serving as temple police (perhaps John 7:30 and 44; also John 8:20; 10:39; 19:6; Acts 4:3). Even when performing “police” duties such as here, their “officers” are doing so only as part of their general tasks (see K. H. Rengstorf, TDNT 8:540).
- John 7:32 tn Grk “to seize him.” In the context of a deliberate attempt by the servants of the chief priests and Pharisees to detain Jesus, the English verb “arrest” conveys the point more effectively.
- John 7:33 tn Grk “Yet a little I am with you.”
- John 7:33 tn The word “then” is not in the Greek text, but is implied.
- John 7:34 tn Grk “seek me.”
- John 7:35 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 is understood to refer to the Jewish authorities or leaders, since the Jewish leaders are mentioned in this context both before and after the present verse (7:32, 45).
- John 7:35 tn Grk “this one.”
- John 7:35 tn Grk “will not find him.”
- John 7:35 sn The Jewish people dispersed (Grk “He is not going to the Diaspora”). The Greek term diaspora (“dispersion”) originally meant those Jews not living in Palestine, but dispersed or scattered among the Gentiles.
- John 7:35 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 “is he?”).sn Note the Jewish opponents’ misunderstanding of Jesus’ words, as made clear in vv. 35-36. They didn’t realize he spoke of his departure out of the world. This is another example of the author’s use of misunderstanding as a literary device to emphasize a point.
- John 7:36 tn Grk “What is this word that he said.”
- John 7:36 tn Grk “seek me.”
- John 7:37 sn There is a problem with the identification of this reference to the last day of the feast, the greatest day: It appears from Deut 16:13 that the feast went for seven days. Lev 23:36, however, makes it plain that there was an eighth day, though it was mentioned separately from the seven. It is not completely clear whether the seventh or eighth day was the climax of the feast, called here by the author the “last great day of the feast.” Since according to the Mishnah (m. Sukkah 4.1) the ceremonies with water and lights did not continue after the seventh day, it seems more probable that this is the day the author mentions.
- John 7:37 tn Grk “Jesus stood up and cried out, saying.”
- John 7:38 tn An alternate way of punctuating the Greek text of vv. 37-38 results in this translation: “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. The one who believes in me, just as the scripture says, ‘From within him will flow rivers of living water.’” John 7:37-38 has been the subject of considerable scholarly debate. Certainly Jesus picks up on the literal water used in the ceremony and uses it figuratively. But what does the figure mean? According to popular understanding, it refers to the coming of the Holy Spirit to dwell in the believer. There is some difficulty in locating an OT text which speaks of rivers of water flowing from within such a person, but Isa 58:11 is often suggested: “The Lord will continually lead you, he will feed you even in parched regions. He will give you renewed strength, and you will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring that continually produces water.” Other passages which have been suggested are Prov 4:23 and 5:15; Isa 44:3 and 55:1; Ezek 47:1 ff.; Joel 3:18; and Zech 13:1 and 14:8. The meaning in this case is that when anyone comes to believe in Jesus the scriptures referring to the activity of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life are fulfilled. “When the believer comes to Christ and drinks he not only slakes his thirst but receives such an abundant supply that veritable rivers flow from him” (L. Morris, John [NICNT], 424-25). In other words, with this view, the believer himself becomes the source of the living water. This is the traditional understanding of the passage, often called the “Eastern interpretation” following Origen, Athanasius, and the Greek Fathers. It is supported by such modern scholars as Barrett, Behm, Bernard, Cadman, Carson, R. H. Lightfoot, Lindars, Michaelis, Morris, Odeberg, Schlatter, Schweizer, C. H. Turner, M. M. B. Turner, Westcott, and Zahn. In addition it is represented by the following Greek texts and translations: KJV, RSV, NASB, NA28, and UBS5. D. A. Carson, John, 322-29, has a thorough discussion of the issues and evidence although he opts for the previous interpretation. There is another interpretation possible, however, called the “Western interpretation” because of patristic support by Justin, Hippolytus, Tertullian, and Irenaeus. Modern scholars who favor this view are Abbott, Beasley-Murray, Bishop, Boismard, Braun, Brown, Bullinger, Bultmann, Burney, Dodd, Dunn, Guilding, R. Harris, Hoskyns, Jeremias, Loisy, D. M. Stanley, Thüsing, N. Turner, and Zerwick. This view is represented by the translation in the RSV margin and by the NEB. It is also sometimes called the “christological interpretation” because it makes Jesus himself the source of the living water in v. 38, by punctuating as follows: (37b) ἐάν τις διψᾷ ἐρχέσθω πρός με, καὶ πινέτω (38) ὁ πιστεύων εἰς ἐμέ. Καθὼς εἶπεν ἡ γραφή, ποταμοὶ ἐκ τῆς κοιλίας αὐτοῦ ῥεύσουσιν ὕδατος ζῶντος. Three crucial questions are involved in the solution of this problem: (1) punctuation; (2) determining the antecedent of αὐτοῦ (autou); and (3) the source of the scripture quotation. With regard to (1) P66 does place a full stop after πινέτω (pinetō), but this may be theologically motivated and could have been added later. Grammatical and stylistic arguments are inconclusive. More important is (2) the determination of the antecedent of αὐτοῦ. Can any other Johannine parallels be found which make the believer the source of the living water? John 4:14 is often mentioned in this regard, but unlike 4:14 the water here becomes a source for others also. Neither does 14:12 provide a parallel. Furthermore, such an interpretation becomes even more problematic in light of the explanation given in v. 39 that the water refers to the Holy Spirit, since it is extremely difficult to see the individual believer becoming the ‘source’ of the Spirit for others. On the other hand, the Gospel of John repeatedly places Jesus himself in this role as source of the living water: 4:10, of course, for the water itself, but according to 20:22 Jesus provides the Spirit (cf. 14:16). Furthermore, the symbolism of 19:34 is difficult to explain as anything other than a deliberate allusion to what is predicted here. This also explains why the Spirit cannot come to the disciples unless Jesus “departs” (16:7). As to (3) the source of the scripture quotation, M. E. Boismard has argued that John is using a targumic rendering of Ps 78:15-16 which describes the water brought forth from the rock in the wilderness by Moses (“Les citations targumiques dans le quatrième évangile,” RB 66 : 374-78). The frequency of Exodus motifs in the Fourth Gospel (paschal lamb, bronze serpent, manna from heaven) leads quite naturally to the supposition that the author is here drawing on the account of Moses striking the rock in the wilderness to bring forth water (Num 20:8 ff.). That such imagery was readily identified with Jesus in the early church is demonstrated by Paul’s understanding of the event in 1 Cor 10:4. Jesus is the Rock from which the living water—the Spirit—will flow. Carson (see note above) discusses this imagery although he favors the traditional or “Eastern” interpretation. In summary, the latter or “Western” interpretation is to be preferred.
- John 7:38 tn Or “out of the innermost part of his person”; Grk “out of his belly.”
- John 7:38 sn An OT quotation whose source is difficult to determine. Isa 44:3; 55:1; 58:11; and Zech 14:8 have all been suggested.
- John 7:39 tn Grk “for the Spirit was not yet.” Although only B and a handful of other NT mss supply the participle δεδομένον (dedomenon), this is followed in the translation to avoid misunderstanding by the modern English reader that prior to this time the Spirit did not exist. John’s phrase is expressed from a human standpoint and has nothing to do with the preexistence of the third Person of the Godhead. The meaning is that the era of the Holy Spirit had not yet arrived; the Spirit was not as yet at work in a way he later would be because Jesus had not yet returned to his Father. Cf. also Acts 19:2.
- John 7:39 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author.
- John 7:40 tn Or “The common people” (as opposed to the religious authorities like the chief priests and Pharisees).
- John 7:40 tn Or “truly.”
- John 7:40 sn The Prophet is a reference to the “prophet like Moses” of Deut 18:15, by this time an eschatological figure in popular belief.
- John 7:41 tn Or “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 7:41 tn An initial negative reply (“No”) is suggested by the causal or explanatory γάρ (gar) which begins the clause.
- John 7:41 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 “does he?”).
- John 7:42 tn Grk “is from the seed” (an idiom for human descent).
- John 7:42 sn An allusion to Ps 89:4.
- John 7:42 sn An allusion to Mic 5:2.
- John 7:42 tn Grk “the village where David was.”
- John 7:43 tn Or “among the common people” (as opposed to the religious authorities like the chief priests and Pharisees).
- John 7:43 tn Grk “him”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- John 7:44 sn Cf. John 7:30 regarding the attempt to seize Jesus.
- John 7:45 tn Or “servants.” The “chief priests and Pharisees” is a comprehensive term for the groups represented in the ruling council (the Sanhedrin) as in John 7:45; 18:3; Acts 5:22, 26. As “servants” or “officers” of the Sanhedrin, their representatives should be distinguished from the Levites serving as temple police (perhaps John 7:30 and 44; also John 8:20; 10:39; 19:6; Acts 4:3). Even when performing ‘police’ duties such as here, their “officers” are doing so only as part of their general tasks (See K. H. Rengstorf, TDNT 8:540).
- John 7:45 tn Grk “came.”
- John 7:45 sn See the note on Pharisees in 1:24.
- John 7:45 tn Grk “Why did you not bring him?” The words “back with you” are implied.
- John 7:47 tn Grk “answered them.”
- John 7:47 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 “have you?”).
- John 7:48 tn Grk “the rulers,” used here to describe members of the Sanhedrin.sn The chief priests and Pharisees (John 7:45) is a comprehensive term for the groups represented in the ruling council (the Sanhedrin) as in John 7:45; 18:3; Acts 5:22, 26. Likewise the term member of the ruling council here denotes a member of the Sanhedrin, the highest legal, legislative, and judicial body among the Jews. Note the same Greek word (“ruler”) is used to describe Nicodemus in John 3:1, and Nicodemus also speaks up in this episode (John 7:50).
- John 7:48 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 “have they?”).
- John 7:49 tn Grk “crowd.” “Rabble” is a good translation here because the remark by the Pharisees is so derogatory.
- John 7:50 tn Grk “him”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- John 7:50 tn Grk “who was one of them”; the referent (the rulers) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
- John 7:50 tn Grk “said to them.”
- John 7:51 tn Grk “judge.”
- John 7:51 tn Grk “knows.”
- John 7:51 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 “does it?”).
- John 7:52 tn Grk “They answered and said to him.”
- John 7:52 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 7:52 tc At least one early and significant ms (P66*) places the article before “prophet” (ὁ προφήτης, ho prophētēs), making this a reference to the “prophet like Moses” mentioned in Deut 18:15.tn This claim by the leaders presents some difficulty, because Jonah had been from Gath Hepher, in Galilee (2 Kgs 14:25). Also the Babylonian Talmud later stated, “There was not a tribe in Israel from which there did not come prophets” (b. Sukkah 27b). Two explanations are possible: (1) In the heat of anger the members of the Sanhedrin overlooked the facts (this is perhaps the easiest explanation). (2) This anarthrous noun is to be understood as a reference to the prophet of Deut 18:15 (note the reading of P66 which is articular), by this time an eschatological figure in popular belief. This would produce in the text of John’s Gospel a high sense of irony indeed, since the religious authorities by their insistence that “the Prophet” could not come from Galilee displayed their true ignorance of where Jesus came from on two levels at once (Bethlehem, his birthplace, the fulfillment of Mic 5:2, but also heaven, from which he was sent by the Father). The author does not even bother to refute the false attestation of Jesus’ place of birth as Galilee (presumably Christians knew all too well where Jesus came from).
- John 7:53 tc This entire section, 7:53-8:11, traditionally known as the pericope adulterae, is not contained in the earliest and best mss and was almost certainly not an original part of the Gospel of John. Among modern commentators and textual critics, it is a foregone conclusion that the section is not original but represents a later addition to the text of the Gospel. B. M. Metzger summarizes: “the evidence for the non-Johannine origin of the pericope of the adulteress is overwhelming” (TCGNT 187). External evidence is as follows. For the omission of 7:53-8:11: P66,75 א B L N T W Δ Θ Ψ 0141 0211 33 565 1241 1424* 2768 al. In addition codices A and C are defective in this part of John, but it appears that neither contained the pericope because careful measurement shows that there would not have been enough space on the missing pages to include the pericope 7:53-8:11 along with the rest of the text. Among the mss that include 7:53-8:11 are D M lat. In addition E S Λ 1424mg al include part or all of the passage with asterisks or obeli, 225 places the pericope after John 7:36, ƒ1 places it after John 21:25, 115 and a few others after John 8:12, ƒ13 after Luke 21:38, and the corrector of 1333 includes it after Luke 24:53. (For a more complete discussion of the locations where this “floating” text has ended up, as well as a minority opinion on the authenticity of the passage, see M. A. Robinson, “Preliminary Observations regarding the Pericope Adulterae Based upon Fresh Collations of nearly All Continuous-Text Manuscripts and All Lectionary Manuscripts containing the Passage,” Filologia Neotestamentaria 13 : 35-59, especially 41-42.) In evaluating this ms evidence, it should be remembered that in the Gospels A is considered to be Byzantine (unlike in the epistles and Revelation, where it is Alexandrian), as are E F G (mss with the same designation are Western in the epistles). This leaves D as the only major Western majuscule witness in the Gospels for the inclusion. Therefore the evidence could be summarized by saying that almost all early mss of the Alexandrian text-form omit the pericope, while most mss of the Western and Byzantine families include it. But it must be remembered that “Western mss” here refers only to D, a single witness (as far as Greek mss are concerned). Thus it can be seen that practically all of the earliest and best mss extant omit the pericope; it is found only in mss of secondary importance. But before one can conclude that the passage was not originally part of the Gospel of John, internal evidence needs to be considered as well. Internal evidence in favor of the inclusion of 8:1-11 (7:53-8:11): (1) 7:53 fits in the context. If the “last great day of the feast” (7:37) refers to the conclusion of the Feast of Tabernacles, then the statement refers to the pilgrims and worshipers going home after living in “booths” for the week while visiting Jerusalem. (2) There may be an allusion to Isa 9:1-2 behind this text: John 8:12 is the point when Jesus describes himself as the Light of the world. But the section in question mentions that Jesus returned to the temple at “early dawn” (῎Ορθρου, Orthrou, in 8:2). This is the “dawning” of the Light of the world (8:12) mentioned by Isa 9:2. (3) Furthermore, note the relationship to what follows: Just prior to presenting Jesus’ statement that he is the Light of the world, John presents the reader with an example that shows Jesus as the light. Here the woman “came to the light” while her accusers shrank away into the shadows, because their deeds were evil (cf. 3:19-21). Internal evidence against the inclusion of 8:1-11 (7:53-8:11): (1) In reply to the claim that the introduction to the pericope, 7:53, fits the context, it should also be noted that the narrative reads well without the pericope, so that Jesus’ reply in 8:12 is directed against the charge of the Pharisees in 7:52 that no prophet comes from Galilee. (2) The assumption that the author “must” somehow work Isa 9:1-2 into the narrative is simply that—an assumption. The statement by the Pharisees in 7:52 about Jesus’ Galilean origins is allowed to stand without correction by the author, although one might have expected him to mention that Jesus was really born in Bethlehem. And 8:12 does directly mention Jesus’ claim to be the Light of the world. The author may well have presumed familiarity with Isa 9:1-2 on the part of his readers because of its widespread association with Jesus among early Christians. (3) The fact that the pericope deals with the light/darkness motif does not inherently strengthen its claim to authenticity, because the motif is so prominent in the Fourth Gospel that it may well have been the reason why someone felt that the pericope, circulating as an independent tradition, fit so well here. (4) In general the style of the pericope is not Johannine either in vocabulary or grammar (see D. B. Wallace, “Reconsidering ‘The Story of the Woman Taken in Adultery Reconsidered’,” NTS 39 : 290-96). According to R. E. Brown it is closer stylistically to Lukan material (John [AB], 1:336). Interestingly one significant family of mss (ƒ13) places the pericope after Luke 21:38. Conclusion: In the final analysis, the weight of evidence in this case must go with the external evidence. The earliest and best mss do not contain the pericope. It is true with regard to internal evidence that an attractive case can be made for inclusion, but this is by nature subjective (as evidenced by the fact that strong arguments can be given against such as well). In terms of internal factors like vocabulary and style, the pericope does not stand up very well. The question may be asked whether this incident, although not an original part of the Gospel of John, should be regarded as an authentic tradition about Jesus. It could well be that it is ancient and may indeed represent an unusual instance where such a tradition survived outside of the bounds of the canonical literature. However, even that needs to be nuanced (see B. D. Ehrman, “Jesus and the Adulteress,” NTS 34 : 24-44).sn Double brackets have been placed around this passage to indicate that most likely it was not part of the original text of the Gospel of John. In spite of this, the passage has an important role in the history of the transmission of the text, so it has been included in the translation.
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