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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(John: Chapter 1)



1:1 {In the beginning} (en archˆi). Archˆ is definite, though anarthrous like our at home, in town, and the similar Hebrew "be reshith" in Ge 1:1. But Westcott notes that here John carries our thoughts beyond the beginning of creation in time to eternity. There is no argument here to prove the existence of God any more than in Genesis. It is simply assumed. Either God exists and is the Creator of the universe as scientists like Eddington and Jeans assume or matter is eternal or it has come out of nothing.
{Was} (ˆn). Three times in this sentence John uses this imperfect of eimi to be which conveys no idea of origin for God or for the Logos, simply continuous existence. Quite a different verb (egeneto, became) appears in verse 14 for the beginning of the Incarnation of the Logos. See the distinction sharply drawn in 8:58 "before Abraham came (genesthai) I am" (eimi, timeless existence).
{The Word} (ho logos). Logos is from leg“, old word in Homer to lay by, to collect, to put words side by side, to speak, to express an opinion. Logos is common for reason as well as speech. Heraclitus used it for the principle which controls the universe. The Stoics employed it for the soul of the world (anima mundi) and Marcus Aurelius used spermatikos logos for the generative principle in nature. The Hebrew "memra" was used in the Targums for the manifestation of God like the Angel of Jehovah and the Wisdom of God in Pr 8:23. Dr. J. Rendel Harris thinks that there was a lost wisdom book that combined phrases in Proverbs and in the Wisdom of Solomon which John used for his Prologue ("The Origin of the "Prologue to St. John", p. 43) which he has undertaken to reproduce. At any rate John's standpoint is that of the Old Testament and not that of the Stoics nor even of Philo who uses the term Logos, but not John's conception of personal pre-existence. The term Logos is applied to Christ only in Joh 1:1,14; Re 19:13; 1Jo 1:1 "concerning the Word of life" (an incidental argument for identity of authorship). There is a possible personification of "the Word of God" in Heb 4:12. But the personal pre-existence of Christ is taught by Paul (2Co 8:9; Php 2:6f.; Col 1:17) and in Heb 1:2f. and in Joh 17:5. This term suits John's purpose better than sophia (wisdom) and is his answer to the Gnostics who either denied the actual humanity of Christ (Docetic Gnostics) or who separated the aeon Christ from the man Jesus (Cerinthian Gnostics). The pre-existent Logos "became flesh" (sarx egeneto, verse 14) and by this phrase John answered both heresies at once.
{With God} (pros ton theon). Though existing eternally with God the Logos was in perfect fellowship with God. Pros with the accusative presents a plane of equality and intimacy, face to face with each other. In 1Jo 2:1 we have a like use of pros: "We have a Paraclete with the Father" (paraklˆton echomen pros ton patera). See pros“pon pros pros“pon (face to face, 1Co 13:12), a triple use of pros. There is a papyrus example of pros in this sense to gn“ston tˆs pros allˆlous sunˆtheias, "the knowledge of our intimacy with one another" (M.&M., "Vocabulary") which answers the claim of Rendel Harris, "Origin of Prologue", p. 8) that the use of pros here and in Mr 6:3 is a mere Aramaism. It is not a classic idiom, but this is "Koin‚", not old Attic. In Joh 17:5 John has para soi the more common idiom.
{And the Word was God} (kai theos ˆn ho logos). By exact and careful language John denied Sabellianism by not saying ho theos ˆn ho logos. That would mean that all of God was expressed in ho logos and the terms would be interchangeable, each having the article. The subject is made plain by the article (ho logos) and the predicate without it (theos) just as in Joh 4:24 pneuma ho theos can only mean "God is spirit," not "spirit is God." So in 1Jo 4:16 ho theos agapˆ estin can only mean "God is love," not "love is God" as a so-called Christian scientist would confusedly say. For the article with the predicate see Robertson, "Grammar", pp. 767f. So in Joh 1:14 ho Logos sarx egeneto, "the Word became flesh," not "the flesh became Word." Luther argues that here John disposes of Arianism also because the Logos was eternally God, fellowship of Father and Son, what Origen called the Eternal Generation of the Son (each necessary to the other). Thus in the Trinity we see personal fellowship on an equality.

1:2 {The same} (houtos). "This one," the Logos of verse 1, repeated for clarity, characteristic of John's style. He links together into one phrase two of the ideas already stated separately, "in the beginning he was with God," "afterwards in time he came to be with man" (Marcus Dods). Thus John clearly states of the Logos Pre-existence before Incarnation, Personality, Deity.

1:3 {All things} (panta). The philosophical phrase was ta panta (the all things) as we have it in 1Co 8:6; Ro 11:36; Col 1:16. In verse 10 John uses ho kosmos (the orderly universe) for the whole.
{Were made} (egeneto). Second aorist middle indicative of ginomai, the constative aorist covering the creative activity looked at as one event in contrast with the continuous existence of ˆn in verses 1,2. All things "came into being." Creation is thus presented as a becoming (ginomai) in contrast with being (eimi).
{By him} (di' autou). By means of him as the intermediate agent in the work of creation. The Logos is John's explanation of the creation of the universe. The author of Hebrews (Heb 1:2) names God's Son as the one "through whom he made the ages." Paul pointedly asserts that "the all things were created in him" (Christ) and "the all things stand created through him and unto him" (Col 1:16). Hence it is not a peculiar doctrine that John here enunciates. In 1Co 8:6, Paul distinguishes between the Father as the primary source (ex hou) of the all things and the Son as the intermediate agent as here (di' hou).
{Without him} (ch“ris autou). Old adverbial preposition with the ablative as in Php 2:14, "apart from." John adds the negative statement for completion, another note of his style as in Joh 1:20; 1Jo 1:5. Thus John excludes two heresies (Bernard) that matter is eternal and that angels or aeons had a share in creation.
{Not anything} (oude hen). "Not even one thing." Bernard thinks the entire Prologue is a hymn and divides it into strophes. That is by no means certain. It is doubtful also whether the relative clause "that hath been made" (ho gegonen) is a part of this sentence or begins a new one as Westcott and Hort print it. The verb is second perfect active indicative of ginomai. Westcott observes that the ancient scholars before Chrysostom all began a new sentence with ho gegonen. The early uncials had no punctuation.

1:4 {In him was life} (en aut“i z“ˆ ˆn). That which has come into being (verse 3) in the Logos was life. The power that creates and sustains life in the universe is the Logos. This is what Paul means by the perfect passive verb ektistai (stands created) in Col 1:16. This is also the claim of Jesus to Martha (Joh 11:25). This is the idea in Heb 1:3 "bearing (upholding) the all things by the word of his power." Once this language might have been termed unscientific, but not so now after the spiritual interpretation of the physical world by Eddington and Jeans. Usually in John z“ˆ means spiritual life, but here the term is unlimited and includes all life; only it is not bios (manner of life), but the very principle or essence of life. That is spiritual behind the physical and to this great scientists today agree. It is also personal intelligence and power. Some of the western documents have estin here instead of ˆn to bring out clearly the timelessness of this phrase of the work of the Logos.
{And the life was the light of men} (kai hˆ z“ˆ ˆn to ph“s t“n anthr“p“n). Here the article with both z“ˆ and ph“s makes them interchangeable. "The light was the life of men" is also true. That statement is curiously like the view of some physicists who find in electricity (both light and power) the nearest equivalent to life in its ultimate physical form. Later Jesus will call himself the light of the world (Joh 8:12). John is fond of these words life and light in Gospel, Epistles, Revelation. He here combines them to picture his conception of the Pre-incarnate Logos in his relation to the race. He was and is the Life of men (t“n anthr“pon, generic use of the article) and the Light of men. John asserts this relation of the Logos to the race of men in particular before the Incarnation.

1:5 {Shineth} (phainei). Linear present active indicative of phain“, old verb from pha“, to shine (phaos, ph“s). "The light keeps on giving light."
{In the darkness} (en tˆi skotiƒi). Late word for the common skotos (kin to skia, shadow). An evident allusion to the darkness brought on by sin. In 2Pe 2:17 we have ho zophos tou skotou (the blackness of darkness). The Logos, the only real moral light, keeps on shining both in the Pre-incarnate state and after the Incarnation. John is fond of skotia (skotos) for moral darkness from sin and ph“s (ph“tiz“, phain“) for the light that is in Christ alone. In 1Jo 2:8 he proclaims that "the darkness is passing by and the true light is already shining." The Gnostics often employed these words and John takes them and puts them in the proper place.
{Apprehended it not} (auto ou katelaben). Second aorist active indicative of katalamban“, old verb to lay hold of, to seize. This very phrase occurs in Joh 12:35 (hina mˆ skotia humas katalabˆi) "that darkness overtake you not," the metaphor of night following day and in 1Th 5:4 the same idiom (hina katalabˆi) is used of day overtaking one as a thief. This is the view of Origen and appears also in 2Macc. 8:18. The same word appears in Aleph D in Joh 6:17 katelabe de autous hˆ skotia ("but darkness overtook them," came down on them). Hence, in spite of the Vulgate "comprehenderunt", "overtook" or "overcame" seems to be the idea here. The light kept on shining in spite of the darkness that was worse than a London fog as the Old Testament and archaeological discoveries in Egypt, Assyria, Babylonia, Persia, Crete, Asia Minor show.

1:6 {There came a man} (egeneto anthr“pos). Definite event in the long darkness, same verb in verse 3.
{Sent} (apestalmenos). Perfect passive participle of apostell“, to send.
{From God} (para theou). From the side of (para) God (ablative case theou).
{Whose name} (onoma aut“i). "Name to him," nominative parenthetic and dative (Robertson, "Grammar", p. 460).
{John} (I“anˆs). One n in Westcott and Hort. In the giving of the name see Lu 1:59-63, Hellenized form of Jonathan, Joanan (Gift of God), used always of the Baptist in this Gospel which never mentions the name of John son of Zebedee (the sons of Zebedee once, 21:2).

1:7 {For witness} (eis marturian). Old word from marture“ (from martus), both more common in John's writings than the rest of the N.T. This the purpose of the Baptist's ministry. {That he might bear witness} (hina marturˆsˆi). Final clause with hina and aorist active subjunctive of marture“ to make clearer eis marturian.
{Of the light} (peri tou ph“tos). "Concerning the light." The light was shining and men with blinded eyes were not seeing the light (Joh 1:26), blinded by the god of this world still (2Co 4:4). John had his own eyes opened so that he saw and told what he saw. That is the mission of every preacher of Christ. But he must first have his own eyes opened.
{That all might believe} (hina pisteus“sin). Final clause with hina and first aorist active subjunctive of pisteu“, ingressive aorist "come to believe." This is one of John's great words (about 100 times), "with nine times the frequency with which it is used by the Synoptists" (Bernard). And yet pistis, so common in Paul, John uses only in 1Jo 5:4 and four times in the Apocalypse where pisteu“ does not occur at all. Here it is used absolutely as in Joh 1:50, etc.
{Through him} (di' autou). As the intermediate agent in winning men to believe in Christ (the Logos) as the Light and the Life of men. This is likewise the purpose of the author of this book (21:31). The preacher is merely the herald to point men to Christ.

1:8 {He} (ekeinos). "That one," i.e. John. He was a light (Joh 5:35) as all believers are (Mt 5:14), but not "the light" (to ph“s).
{But came} (all'). No verb in the Greek, to be supplied by repeating ˆlthen of verse 7. See similar ellipses in 9:3; 13:18; 15:25. In Johannine fashion we have the final hina clause of verse 7 repeated.

1:9 {There was} (ˆn). Imperfect indicative. Emphatic position at the beginning of the sentence and so probably not periphrastic conjugation with erchomenon (coming) near the end, though that is possible.
{The true light} (to ph“s to alˆthinon). "The light the genuine," not a false light of wreckers of ships, but the dependable light that guides to the harbor of safety. This true light had been on hand all the time in the darkness (ˆn imperfect, linear action) before John came.
{Even the light} (not in the Greek). Added in the English to make plain this interpretation.
{Lighteth every man} (ph“tizei panta anthr“pon). Old verb (from ph“s) to give light as in Re 22:5; Lu 11:35f. The Quakers appeal to this phrase for their belief that to every man there is given an inner light that is a sufficient guide, the Quaker's text it is called. But it may only mean that all the real light that men receive comes from Christ, not necessarily that each one receives a special revelation. {Coming} (erchomenon). This present middle participle of erchomai can be taken with anthr“pon just before (accusative masculine singular), "every man as he comes into the world." It can also be construed with ph“s (nominative neuter singular). This idea occurs in Joh 3:19; 11:27; 12:46. In the two last passages the phrase is used of the Messiah which makes it probable here. But even so the light presented in 11:27; 12:46 is that of the Incarnate Messiah, not the Pre-incarnate Logos. Here kosmos rather than panta occurs in the sense of the orderly universe as often in this Gospel. See Eph 1:4.

1:10 {He was in the world} (en t“i kosm“i ˆn). Imperfect tense of continuous existence in the universe before the Incarnation as in verses 1,2.
{Was made by him} (di' autou egeneto). "Through him." Same statement here of "the world" (ho kosmos) as that made in verse 3 of panta.
{Knew him not} (auton ouk egn“). Second aorist active indicative of common verb ginosk“, what Gildersleeve called a negative aorist, refused or failed to recognize him, his world that he had created and that was held together by him (Col 1:16). Not only did the world fail to know the Pre-incarnate Logos, but it failed to recognize him when he became Incarnate (Joh 1:26). Two examples in this sentence of John's fondness for kai as in verses 1,4,5,14, the paratactic rather than the hypotactic construction, like the common Hebrew use of "wav".

1:11 {Unto his own} (eis ta idia). Neuter plural, "unto his own things," the very idiom used in 19:27 when the Beloved Disciple took the mother of Jesus "to his own home." The world was "the own home" of the Logos who had made it. See also 16:32; Ac 21:6.
{They that were his own} (hoi idioi). In the narrower sense, "his intimates," "his own family," "his own friends" as in 13:1. Jesus later said that a prophet is not without honour save in his own country (Mr 6:4; Joh 4:44), and the town of Nazareth where he lived rejected him (Lu 4:28f.; Mt 13:58). Probably here hoi idioi means the Jewish people, the chosen people to whom Christ was sent first (Mt 15:24), but in a wider sense the whole world is included in hoi idioi. Conder's "The Hebrew Tragedy" emphasizes the pathos of the situation that the house of Israel refused to welcome the Messiah when he did come, like a larger and sadder Enoch Arden experience.
{Received him not} (auton ou parelabon). Second aorist active indicative of paralamban“, old verb to take to one's side, common verb to welcome, the very verb used by Jesus in 14:3 of the welcome to his Father's house. Cf. katelaben in verse 5. Israel slew the Heir (Heb 1:2) when he came, like the wicked husbandmen (Lu 20:14).

1:12 {As many as received him} (hosoi elabon auton). Effective aorist active indicative of lamban“ "as many as did receive him," in contrast with hoi idioi just before, exceptional action on the part of the disciples and other believers.
{To them} (autois). Dative case explanatory of the relative clause preceding, an anacoluthon common in John 27 times as against 21 in the Synoptists. This is a common Aramaic idiom and is urged by Burney ("Aramaic Origin", etc., p. 64) for his theory of an Aramaic original of the Fourth Gospel.
{The right} (exousian). In 5:27 ed“ken (first aorist active indicative of did“mi) exousian means authority but includes power (dunamis). Here it is more the notion of privilege or right.
{To become} (genesthai). Second aorist middle of ginomai, to become what they were not before.
{Children of God} (tekna theou). In the full spiritual sense, not as mere offspring of God true of all men (Ac 17:28). Paul's phrase huioi theou (Gal 3:26) for believers, used also by Jesus of the pure in heart (Mt 5:9), does not occur in John's Gospel (but in Re 21:7). It is possible that John prefers ta tekna tou theou for the spiritual children of God whether Jew or Gentile (Joh 11:52) because of the community of nature (teknon from root tek-, to beget)
. But one cannot follow Westcott in insisting on "adoption" as Paul's reason for the use of huioi since Jesus uses huioi theou in Mt 5:9. Clearly the idea of regeneration is involved here as in Joh 3:3.
{Even to them that believe} (tois pisteuousin). No "even" in the Greek, merely explanatory apposition with autois, dative case of the articular present active participle of pisteu“.
{On his name} (eis to onoma). Bernard notes pisteu“ eis 35 times in John, to put trust in or on. See also 2:23; 3:38 for pisteu“ eis to onoma autou. This common use of onoma for the person is an Aramaism, but it occurs also in the vernacular papyri and eis to onoma is particularly common in the payment of debts (Moulton and Milligan's "Vocabulary"). See Ac 1:15 for onomata for persons.

1:13 {Which were born} (hoi egennˆthˆsan). First aorist passive indicative of genna“, to beget, "who were begotten." By spiritual generation (of God, ek theou), not by physical (ex haimat“n, plural as common in classics and O.T., though why it is not clear unless blood of both father and mother; ek thelˆmatos sarkos, from sexual desire; ek thelˆmatos andros, from the will of the male). But "b" of the old Latin reads "qui natus est" and makes it refer to Christ and so expressly teach the Virgin Birth of Jesus. Likewise Irenaeus reads "qui natus est" as does Tertullian who argues that "qui nati sunt" (hoi egennˆthˆsan) is an invention of the Valentinian Gnostics. Blass ("Philology of the Gospels", p. 234) opposes this reading, but all the old Greek uncials read hoi egennˆthˆsan and it must be accepted. The Virgin Birth is doubtless implied in verse 14, but it is not stated in verse 13.

1:14 {And the Word became flesh} (kai ho logos sarx egeneto). See verse 3 for this verb and note its use for the historic event of the Incarnation rather than ˆn of verse 1. Note also the absence of the article with the predicate substantive sarx, so that it cannot mean "the flesh became the Word." The Pre-existence of the Logos has already been plainly stated and argued. John does not here say that the Logos entered into a man or dwelt in a man or filled a man. One is at liberty to see an allusion to the birth narratives in Mt 1:16-25; Lu 1:28-38, if he wishes, since John clearly had the Synoptics before him and chiefly supplemented them in his narrative. In fact, one is also at liberty to ask what intelligent meaning can one give to John's language here apart from the Virgin Birth? What ordinary mother or father ever speaks of a child "becoming flesh"? For the Incarnation see also 2Co 8:9; Ga 4:4; Ro 1:3; 8:3; Php 2:7f.; 1Ti 3:16; Heb 2:14. "To explain the exact significance of egeneto in this sentence is beyond the powers of any interpreter" (Bernard). Unless, indeed, as seems plain, John is referring to the Virgin Birth as recorded in Matthew and Luke. "The Logos of philosophy is, John declares, the Jesus of history" (Bernard). Thus John asserts the deity and the real humanity of Christ. He answers the Docetic Gnostics who denied his humanity. {Dwelt among us} (eskˆn“sen en hˆmin). First aorist ingressive aorist active indicative of skˆno“, old verb, to pitch one's tent or tabernacle (skˆnos or skˆnˆ), in N.T. only here and Re 7-15; 12:12; 13:6; 21:3. In Revelation it is used of God tabernacling with men and here of the Logos tabernacling, God's Shekinah glory here among us in the person of his Son.
{We beheld his glory} (etheasametha tˆn doxan autou). First aorist middle indicative of theaomai (from thea, spectacle). The personal experience of John and of others who did recognize Jesus as the Shekinah glory (doxa) of God as James, the brother of Jesus, so describes him (Jas 2:1). John employs theaomai again in 1:32 (the Baptist beholding the Spirit coming down as a dove) and 1:38 of the Baptist gazing in rapture at Jesus. So also 4:35; 11:45; 1Jo 1:1f.; 4:12,14. By this word John insists that in the human Jesus he beheld the Shekinah glory of God who was and is the Logos who existed before with God. By this plural John speaks for himself and all those who saw in Jesus what he did. {As of the only begotten from the Father} (h“s monogenous para patros). Strictly, "as of an only born from a father," since there is no article with monogenous or with patros. In Joh 3:16; 1Jo 4:9 we have ton monogenˆ referring to Christ. This is the first use in the Gospel of patˆr of God in relation to the Logos. Monogenˆs (only born rather than only begotten) here refers to the eternal relationship of the Logos (as in 1:18) rather than to the Incarnation. It distinguishes thus between the Logos and the believers as children (tekna) of God. The word is used of human relationships as in Lu 7:12; 8:42; 9:38. It occurs also in the LXX and Heb 11:17, but elsewhere in N.T. only in John's writings. It is an old word in Greek literature. It is not clear whether the words para patros (from the Father) are to be connected with monogenous (cf. 6:46; 7:29, etc.) or with doxan (cf. 5:41,44). John clearly means to say that "the manifested glory of the Word was as it were the glory of the Eternal Father shared with His only Son" (Bernard). Cf. 8:54; 14:9; 17:5.
{Full} (plˆrˆs). Probably indeclinable accusative adjective agreeing with doxan (or genitive with monogenous) of which we have papyri examples (Robertson, "Grammar", p. 275). As nominative plˆrˆs can agree with the subject of eskˆn“sen. {Of grace and truth} (charitos kai alˆtheias). Curiously this great word charis (grace), so common with Paul, does not occur in John's Gospel save in 1:14,16,17, though alˆtheia (truth) is one of the keywords in the Fourth Gospel and in 1John, occurring 25 times in the Gospel and 20 in the Johannine Epistles, 7 times in the Synoptics and not at all in Revelation (Bernard). In 1:17 these two words picture the Gospel in Christ in contrast with the law of Moses. See Epistles of Paul for origin and use of both words.

1:15 {Beareth witness} (marturei). Historical (dramatic) present indicative of this characteristic word in John (cf. 1:17f.). See 1:32,34 for historical examples of John's witness to Christ. This sentence is a parenthesis in Westcott and Hort's text, though the Revised Version makes a parenthesis of most of verse 14. The witness of John is adduced in proof of the glory full of grace and truth already claimed for the Incarnate Logos.
{Crieth} (kekragen). Second perfect active indicative of kraz“, old verb for loud crying, repeated in dramatic form again for emphasis recalling the wonderful Voice in the wilderness which the Beloved Disciple can still hear echoing through the years.
{This was} (houtos ˆn). Imperfect indicative where John throws the tense back in past time when he looked forward to the coming of the Messiah as in Ac 3:10 where we should prefer "is" (estin). Gildersleeve ("Syntax", p. 96) calls this the "imperfect of sudden appreciation of the real state of things."
{Of whom I said} (hon eipon). But B C and a corrector of Aleph (Westcott and Hort) have ho eip“n "the one who said," a parenthetical explanation about the Baptist, not the words of the Baptist about Christ.
{After me} (opis“ mou). See also 1:27. Later in time John means. He described "the Coming One" (ho erchomenos) before he saw Jesus. The language of John here is precisely that in Mt 3:11 ho opis“ mou erchomenos (cf. Mr 1:7). The Beloved Disciple had heard the Baptist say these very words, but he also had the Synoptic Gospels.
{Is become} (gegonen). Second perfect active indicative of ginomai. It is already an actual fact when the Baptist is speaking.
{Before me} (emprosthen mou). In rank and dignity, the Baptist means, ho ischuroteros mou "the one mightier than I" (Mr 1:7) and ischuroteros mou "mightier than I" (Mt 3:11). In Joh 3:28 emprosthen ekeinou (before him, the Christ) does mean priority in time, but not here. This superior dignity of the Messiah John proudly recognizes always (Joh 3:25-30).
{For he was before me} (hoti pr“tos mou ˆn). Paradox, but clear. He had always been (ˆn imperfect) before John in his Pre-incarnate state, but "after" John in time of the Incarnation, but always ahead of John in rank immediately on his Incarnation. Pr“tos mou (superlative with ablative) occurs here when only two are compared as is common in the vernacular "Koin‚". So the Beloved Disciple came first (pr“tos) to the tomb, ahead of Peter (20:4). So also pr“ton hum“n in 15:18 means "before you" as if it were proteron hum“n. Verse 30 repeats these words almost exactly.

1:16 {For} (hoti). Correct text (Aleph B C D L) and not kai (and) of the Textus Receptus. Explanatory reason for verse 14. {Of his fulness} (ek tou plˆr“matos). The only instance of plˆr“ma in John's writings, though five times of Christ in Paul's Epistles (Col 1:19; 2:9; Eph 1:23; 3:19; 4:13). See Col 1:19 for discussion of these terms of the Gnostics that Paul employs for all the attributes of God summed up in Christ (Col 2:9) and so used here by John of the Incarnate Logos.
{We all} (hˆmeis pantes). John is facing the same Gnostic depreciation of Christ of which Paul writes in Colossians. So here John appeals to all his own contemporaries as participants with him in the fulness of the Logos.
{Received} (elabomen). Second aorist active indicative of lamban“, a wider experience than beholding (etheasametha, verse 14) and one that all believers may have. {Grace for grace} (charin anti charitos). The point is in anti, a preposition disappearing in the "Koin‚" and here only in John. It is in the locative case of anta (end), "at the end," and was used of exchange in sale. See Lu 11:11, anti ichthuos ophin, "a serpent for a fish," Heb 12:2 where "joy" and "cross" are balanced against each other. Here the picture is "grace" taking the place of "grace" like the manna fresh each morning, new grace for the new day and the new service.

1:17 {Was given} (edothˆ). First aorist passive indicative of did“mi.
{By Moses} (dia M“use“s). "Through Moses" as the intermediate agent of God.
{Came} (egeneto). The historical event, the beginning of Christianity.
{By Jesus Christ} (dia Iˆsou Christou). "Through Jesus Christ," the intermediate agent of God the Father. Here in plain terms John identifies the Pre-incarnate Logos with Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah. The full historical name "Jesus Christ" is here for the first time in John. See also 17:3 and four times in 1John and five times in Revelation. Without Christ there would have been no Christianity. John's theology is here pictured by the words "grace and truth" (hˆ charis kai hˆ alˆtheia), each with the article and each supplementary to the other. It is grace in contrast with law as Paul sets forth in Galatians and Romans. Paul had made grace "a Christian commonplace" (Bernard) before John wrote. It is truth as opposed to Gnostic and all other heresy as Paul shows in Colossians and Ephesians. The two words aptly describe two aspects of the Logos and John drops the use of Logos and charis, but clings to alˆtheia (see 8:32 for the freedom brought by truth), though the ideas in these three words run all through his Gospel.

1:18 {No man hath seen God at any time} (theon oudeis he“raken p“pote). "God no one has ever seen." Perfect active indicative of hora“. Seen with the human physical eye, John means. God is invisible (Ex 33:20; De 4:12). Paul calls God aoratos (Col 1:15; 1Ti 1:17). John repeats the idea in Joh 5:37; 6:46. And yet in 14:7 Jesus claims that the one who sees him has seen the Father as here.
{The only begotten Son} (ho monogenˆs huios). This is the reading of the Textus Receptus and is intelligible after h“s monogenous para patros in verse 14. But the best old Greek manuscripts (Aleph B C L) read monogenˆs theos (God only begotten) which is undoubtedly the true text. Probably some scribe changed it to ho monogenˆs huios to obviate the blunt statement of the deity of Christ and to make it like 3:16. But there is an inner harmony in the reading of the old uncials. The Logos is plainly called theos in verse 1. The Incarnation is stated in verse 14, where he is also termed monogenˆs. He was that before the Incarnation. So he is "God only begotten," "the Eternal Generation of the Son" of Origen's phrase.
{Which is in the bosom of the Father} (ho “n eis ton kolpon tou patros). The eternal relation of the Son with the Father like pros ton theon in verse 1. In 3:13 there is some evidence for ho “n en t“i ouran“i used by Christ of himself while still on earth. The mystic sense here is that the Son is qualified to reveal the Father as Logos (both the Father in Idea and Expression) by reason of the continual fellowship with the Father.
{He} (ekinos). Emphatic pronoun referring to the Son.
{Hath declared him} (exˆgˆsato). First aorist (effective) middle indicative of exˆgeomai, old verb to lead out, to draw out in narrative, to recount. Here only in John, though once in Luke's Gospel (24:35) and four times in Ac (10:8; 15:12,14; 21:19). This word fitly closes the Prologue in which the Logos is pictured in marvellous fashion as the Word of God in human flesh, the Son of God with the Glory of God in him, showing men who God is and what he is.

1:19 {And this is the witness of John} (kai hautˆ estin hˆ marturia tou I“anou). He had twice already alluded to it (verses 7f., 15) and now he proceeds to give it as the most important item to add after the Prologue. Just as the author assumes the birth narratives of Matthew and Luke, so he assumes the Synoptic accounts of the baptism of Jesus by John, but adds various details of great interest and value between the baptism and the Galilean ministry, filling out thus our knowledge of this first year of the Lord's ministry in various parts of Palestine. The story in John proceeds along the same lines as in the Synoptics. There is increasing unfolding of Christ to the disciples with increasing hostility on the part of the Jews till the final consummation in Jerusalem.
{When the Jews sent unto him} (hote apesteilan pros auton hoi Ioudaioi). John, writing in Ephesus near the close of the first century long after the destruction of Jerusalem, constantly uses the phrase "the Jews" as descriptive of the people as distinct from the Gentile world and from the followers of Christ (at first Jews also). Often he uses it of the Jewish leaders and rulers in particular who soon took a hostile attitude toward both John and Jesus. Here it is the Jews from Jerusalem who sent (apesteilan, first aorist active indicative of apostell“).
{Priests and Levites} (hiereis kai Leueitas). Sadducees these were. Down below in verse 24 the author explains that it was the Pharisees who sent the Sadducees. The Synoptics throw a flood of light on this circumstance, for in Mt 3:7 we are told that the Baptist called the Pharisees and Sadducees "offspring of vipers" (Lu 3:7). Popular interest in John grew till people were wondering "in their hearts concerning John whether haply he were the Christ" (Lu 3:15). So the Sanhedrin finally sent a committee to John to get his own view of himself, but the Pharisees saw to it that Sadducees were sent. {To ask him} (hina er“tˆs“sin auton). Final hina and the first aorist active subjunctive of er“ta“, old verb to ask a question as here and often in the "Koin‚" to ask for something (Joh 14:16) like aite“.
{Who art thou?} (su tis ei;). Direct question preserved and note proleptic position of su, "Thou, who art thou?" The committee from the Sanhedrin put the question sharply up to John to define his claims concerning the Messiah.

1:20 {And he confessed} (kai h“mologˆsen). The continued paratactic use of kai (and) and the first aorist active indicative of homologe“, old verb from homologos (homon, leg“, to say the same thing), to confess, in the Synoptics (Mt 10:32) as here.
{And denied not} (kai ouk ˆrnˆsato). Negative statement of same thing in Johannine fashion, first aorist middle indicative of arneomai, another Synoptic and Pauline word (Mt 10:33; 2Ti 2:12). He did not contradict or refuse to say who he was.
{And he confessed} (kai h“mologˆsen). Thoroughly Johannine again in the paratactic repetition.
{I am not the Christ} (Eg“ ouk eimi ho Christos). Direct quotation again with recitative hoti before it like our modern quotation marks. "I am not the Messiah," he means by ho Christos (the Anointed One). Evidently it was not a new question as Luke had already shown (Lu 3:15).

1:21 {And they asked him} (kai ˆr“tˆsan auton). Here the paratactic kai is like the transitional oun (then).
{What then?} (Ti oun;). Argumentative oun like Paul's ti oun in Ro 6:15. "Quid ergo?" {Art thou Elijah?} (Su Elias ei;). The next inevitable question since Elijah had been understood to be the forerunner of the Messiah from Mal 4:5. In Mr 9:11f. Jesus will identify John with the Elijah of Malachi's prophecy. Why then does John here flatly deny it? Because the expectation was that Elijah would return in person. This John denies. Jesus only asserts that John was Elijah in spirit. Elijah in person they had just seen on the Mount of Transfiguration.
{He saith} (legei). Vivid dramatic present.
{I am not} (ouk eimi). Short and blunt denial.
{Art thou the prophet?} (ho prophˆtˆs ei su;). "The prophet art thou?" This question followed naturally the previous denials. Moses (De 18:15) had spoken of a prophet like unto himself. Christians interpreted this prophet to be the Messiah (Ac 3:22; 7:37), but the Jews thought him another forerunner of the Messiah (Joh 7:40). It is not clear in Joh 6:15 whether the people identified the expected prophet with the Messiah, though apparently so. Even the Baptist later became puzzled in prison whether Jesus himself was the true Messiah or just one of the forerunners (Lu 7:19). People wondered about Jesus himself whether he was the Messiah or just one of the looked for prophets (Mr 8:28; Mt 16:14).
{And he answered} (kai apekrithˆ). First aorist passive (deponent passive, sense of voice gone) indicative of apokrinomai, to give a decision from myself, to reply.
{No} (Ou). Shortest possible denial.

1:22 {They said therefore} (eipan oun). Second aorist active indicative of defective verb eipon with a instead of usual o. Note oun, inferential here as in verse 21 though often merely transitional in John.
{Who art thou?} (Tis ei;). Same question as at first (verse 19), but briefer.
{That we give answer} (hina apokrisin d“men). Final use of hina with second aorist active subjunctive of did“mi with apokrisin from apokrinomai, above, old substantive as in Lu 2:47.
{To those that sent} (tois pempsasin). Dative case plural of the articular participle first aorist active of pemp“.
{What sayest thou of thyself?} (Ti legeis peri seautou;). This time they opened wide the door without giving any hint at all.

1:23 {He said} (ephˆ). Common imperfect active (or second aorist active) of phˆmi, to say, old defective verb.
{I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness} (Eg“ ph“nˆ bo“ntos en tˆi erˆm“i). For his answer John quotes Isa 40:3. The Synoptics (Mr 1:3; Mt 3:3; Lu 3:4) quote this language from Isaiah as descriptive of John, but do not say that he also applied it to himself. There is no reason to think that he did not do so. John also refers to Isaiah as the author of the words and also of the message, "{Make straight the way of the Lord}" (Euthunate tˆn hodon tou kuriou). By this language (euthun“ in N.T. only here and Jas 3:4, first aorist active imperative here) John identifies himself to the committee as the forerunner of the Messiah. The early writers note the differences between the use of Logos (Word) for the Messiah and ph“nˆ (Voice) for John.

1:24 {They had been sent} (apestalmenoi ˆsan). Periphrastic past perfect passive of apostell“.
{From the Pharisees} (ek t“n Pharisai“n). As the source (ek) of the committee of Sadducees (verse 19).

1:25 {Why then baptizest thou?} (Ti oun baptizeis;). In view of his repeated denials (three here mentioned).
{If thou art not} (ei su ouk ei). Condition of first class. They did not interpret his claim to be "the voice" to be important enough to justify the ordinance of baptism. Abrahams ("Studies in Pharisaism and the Gospels") shows that proselyte baptism was probably practised before John's time, but its use by John was treating the Jews as if they were themselves Gentiles.

1:26 {In the midst of you standeth} (mesos hum“n stˆkei). Adjective as in 19:18, not en mes“i hum“n. Present active indicative of late verb stˆk“ from perfect stem hestˆka. John had already baptized Jesus and recognized him as the Messiah. {Whom ye know not} (hon humeis ouk oidate). This was the tragedy of the situation (1:11). Apparently this startling declaration excited no further inquiry from the committee.

1:27 {Coming after me} (opis“ mou erchomenos). No article (ho) in Aleph B. John as the forerunner of the Messiah has preceded him in time, but not in rank as he instantly adds.
{The latchet of whose shoe I am not worthy to unloose} (hou ouk eimi axios hina lus“ autou ton himanta tou hupodˆmatos). Literally, "of whom I am not worthy that I unloose the latchet (see Mr 1:7 for himas) of his sandal (see Mt 3:11 for hupodˆma, bound under the foot)." Only use of axios with hina in John, though used by Paul in this saying of the Baptist (Ac 13:25), hikanos hina in Mt 3:8, but hikanos lusai (aorist active infinitive instead of lus“, aorist active subjunctive) in Mr 1:7 (Lu 3:16) and bastasai in Mt 3:11.

1:28 {In Bethany beyond Jordan} (en Bˆthaniƒi peran tou Iordanou). Undoubtedly the correct text, not "in Bethabara" as Origen suggested instead of "in Bethany" of all the known Greek manuscripts under the mistaken notion that the only Bethany was that near Jerusalem.
{Was baptizing} (ˆn baptiz“n). Periphrastic imperfect, common idiom in John.

1:29 {On the morrow} (tˆi epaurion). Locative case with hˆmˆrƒi (day) understood after the adverb epaurion. "Second day of this spiritual diary" (Bernard) from verse 19.
{Seeth Jesus coming} (blepei ton Iˆsoun erchomenon). Dramatic historical present indicative (blepei) with vivid present middle participle (erchomenon). Graphic picture.
{Behold the Lamb of God} (ide ho amnos tou theou). Exclamation ide like idou, not verb, and so nominative amnos. Common idiom in John (1:36; 3:26, etc.). For "the Lamb of God" see 1Co 5:7 (cf. Joh 19:36) and 1Pe 1:19. The passage in Isa 53:6f. is directly applied to Christ by Philip in Ac 8:32. See also Mt 8:17; 1Pe 2:22f.; Heb 9:28. But the Jews did not look for a suffering Messiah (Joh 12:34) nor did the disciples at first (Mr 9:32; Lu 24:21). But was it not possible for John, the Forerunner of the Messiah, to have a prophetic insight concerning the Messiah as the Paschal Lamb, already in Isa 53, even if the rabbis did not see it there? Symeon had it dimly (Lu 2:35), but John more clearly. So Westcott rightly. Bernard is unwilling to believe that John the Baptist had more insight on this point than current Judaism. Then why and how did he recognize Jesus as Messiah at all? Certainly the Baptist did not have to be as ignorant as the rabbis.
{Which taketh away the sin of the world} (ho air“n tˆn hamartian tou kosmou). Note singular hamartian not plural hamartias (1Jo 3:5) where same verb air“, to bear away, is used. The future work of the Lamb of God here described in present tense as in 1Jo 1:7 about the blood of Christ. He is the Lamb of God for the world, not just for Jews.

1:30 {Of whom} (huper hou). Not peri, but huper. "On behalf of whom." John points to Jesus as he speaks: "This is he." There he is. See verse 15 for discussion of these words of John.

1:31 {And I knew him not} (kag“ ouk ˆidein auton). Repeated in verse 33. Second past perfect of oida as imperfect. He had predicted the Messiah and described him before he met him and baptized him. See the Synoptics for that story. Whether John knew Jesus personally before the baptism we do not know.
{But that he should be made manifest to Israel} (all' hina phaner“thˆi t“i Israˆl). Final clause with hina and first aorist passive subjunctive of phanero“. The purpose of John's ministry was to manifest to Israel with their spiritual privileges (1:49) the presence of the Messiah. Hence he was baptizing in water those who confessed their sins, he means, as in Mr 1:5. The Synoptic account is presupposed all along here.

1:32 {Bare witness} (emarturˆsen). First aorist active indicative of marture“. Another specimen of John's witness to the Messiah (1:7,15,19,29,35,36).
{I have beheld} (tetheamai). Perfect middle indicative of theaomai, the realization of the promise of the sign (verse 33) by which he should recognize the Messiah. As a matter of fact, we know that he so recognized Jesus as Messiah when he came for baptism before the Holy Spirit came (Mt 3:14ff.). But this sight of the Spirit descending as a dove upon Jesus at his baptism (Mr 1:10; Mt 3:16; Lu 3:22) became permanent proof to him. John's allusion assumes the Synoptic record. The Semites regarded the dove as a symbol of the Spirit.

1:33 {He said} (ekeinos eipen). Explicit and emphatic pronoun as in verse 8, referring to God as the one who sent John (verse 6).
{With the Holy Spirit} (en pneumati hagi“i). "In the Holy Spirit." Here again one needs the background of the Synoptics for the contrast between John's baptism in water (Joh 1:26) and that of the Messiah in the Holy Spirit (Mr 1:8; Mt 3:11; Lu 3:16).

1:34 {I have seen} (he“raka). Present perfect active of hora“. John repeats the statement of verse 32 (tetheamai). {Have borne witness} (memarturˆka). Perfect active indicative of marture“ for which verb see 32.
{This is the Son of God} (ho huios tou theou). The Baptist saw the Spirit come on Jesus at his baptism and undoubtedly heard the Father's voice hail him as "My Beloved Son" (Mr 1:11; Mt 3:17; Lu 3:22). Nathanael uses it as a Messianic title (Joh 1:49) as does Martha (11:27). The Synoptics use it also of Christ (Mr 3:11; Mt 14:33; Lu 22:70). Caiaphas employs it to Christ as a Messianic title (Mt 26:63) and Jesus confessed under oath that he was (verse Mt 26:64), thus applying the term to himself as he does in John's Gospel (5:25; 10:36; 11:4) and by implication (the Father, the Son) in Mt 11:27 (Lu 10:22). Hence in the Synoptics also Jesus calls himself the Son of God. The phrase means more than just Messiah and expresses the peculiar relation of the Son to the Father (Joh 3:18; 5:25; 17:5; 19:7; 20:31) like that of the Logos with God in 1:1.

1:35 {Again on the morrow} (tˆi epaurion palin). Third day since verse 19.
{Was standing} (histˆkei). Past perfect of histˆmi, intransitive, and used as imperfect in sense. See same form in 7:37.
{Two} (duo). One was Andrew (verse 40), the other the Beloved Disciple (the Apostle John), who records this incident with happy memories.

1:36 {He looked} (emblepsas). First aorist active participle of emblep“, antecedent action before legei (says).
{As he walked} (peripatounti). Present active participle in dative case after emblepsas and like erchomenon in verse 29 vividly pictures the rapture of John in this vision of Jesus, so far as we know the third and last glimpse of Jesus by John (the baptism, verse 29, and here).
{Saith} (legei). Historical present, change from histˆkei before. He repeats part of the tribute in verse 29.

1:37 {Heard him speak} (ˆkousan autou lalountos). First active indicative of akou“ and present active participle of lale“ in genitive case agreeing with autou, object of akou“. "Heard him speaking" (kind of indirect discourse). John had disciples (mathˆtai, learners, from manthan“, to learn).
{They followed Jesus} (ˆkolouthˆsan t“i Iˆsou). Associative instrumental case after verb (first aorist active indicative, ingressive aorist, of akolouthe“). These two disciples of the Baptist (Andrew and John) took him at his word and acted on it. John the Baptist had predicted and portrayed the Messiah, had baptized him, had interpreted him, and now for the second time had identified him.

1:38 {Turned} (strapheis). Second aorist passive participle of streph“, vividly picturing the sudden act of Jesus on hearing their steps behind him.
{Beheld} (theasamenos). First aorist middle participle of theaomai (verse 32). Both participles here express antecedent action to legei (saith).
{Following} (akolothountas). Present active participle of akolouthe“ (verse 37). It was Christ's first experience of this kind and the two came from the Baptist to Jesus.
{What seek ye?} (Ti zˆteite;). Not "whom" (tina 18:4; 20:15), but "what purpose have you." The first words of Jesus preserved in this Gospel. See Lu 2:49; Mt 3:15 for words spoken before this and Mr 1:15 for Mark's first report in the Galilean ministry.
{Rabbi} (Rabbei). Aramaic title for "Teacher" which John here translates by Didaskale as he is writing late and for general readers. Luke, a Greek Christian, does not use it, but John recalls his first use of this term to Jesus and explains it. Matthew has it only in the greeting of Judas to the Master (Mt 26:25,49) and Mark once by Judas (Mr 14:45) and twice by Peter (Mr 9:5; 11:21). John's Gospel has the disciples at first addressing Jesus by Rabbi while others address him by Kurie (Lord or Sir) as in 4:11,49; 5:7. Peter uses Kurie in 6:68. In the end the disciples usually say Kurie (13:6,25, etc.), but Mary Magdalene says Rabbounei (20:16).
{Being interpreted} (methermˆmeuomenon). Present passive participle of methermˆneu“, late compound of meta and hermˆneu“, to explain (Joh 1:42), old word from Hermes, the god of speech (hermeneutics). John often explains Aramaic words (1:38,41,42; 4:25; 9:7, etc.).
{Where abidest thou?} (Pou meneis;). They wished a place for quiet converse with Jesus.

1:39 {Come and ye shall see} (erchesthe kai opsesthe). Polite invitation and definite promise (future middle indicative opsesthe from hora“, correct text, not imperative idete). {Where he abode} (pou menei). Indirect question preserving the present active indicative after secondary tense (eidan, saw) according to regular Greek idiom. Same verb men“ as in 38. {With him} (par' aut“i). "By his side," "beside him."
{That day} (tˆn hˆmeran ekeinˆn). Accusative of extent of time, all during that day.
{About the tenth hour} (h“ra h“s dekatˆ). Roman time and so ten o'clock in the morning. John in Ephesus at the close of the century naturally uses Roman time. See 20:19 "evening on that day," clearly Roman time. Thus also Joh 19:14 (sixth hour, morning) and Mr 15:25 (third hour, nine A.M.) suit. To his latest day John never forgot the hour when first he met Jesus.

1:40 {Andrew} (Andreas). Explained by John as one of the two disciples of the Baptist and identified as the brother of the famous Simon Peter (cf. also 6:8; 12:22). The more formal call of Andrew and Simon, James and John, comes later (Mr 1:16ff.; Mt 4:18ff.; Lu 3:1-11).
{That heard John speak} (t“n akousant“n para I“anou). "That heard from John," a classical idiom (para with ablative after akou“) seen also in 6:45; 7:51; 8:26,40; 15:15.

1:41 {He findeth first} (heuriskei houtos pr“ton). "This one finds (vivid dramatic present) first" (prot“n). Prot“n (adverb supported by Aleph A B fam. 13) means that Andrew sought "his own brother Simon" (ton adelphon ton idion Sim“na) before he did anything else. But Aleph L W read pr“tos (nominative adjective) which means that Andrew was the first who went after his brother implying that John also went after his brother James. Some old Latin manuscripts (b, e, r apparently), have mane for Greek pr“i (early in the morning). Bernard thinks that this is the true reading as it allows more time for Andrew to bring Simon to Jesus. Probably pr“ton is correct, but even so John likely brought also his brother James after Andrew's example.
{We have found the Messiah} (Heurˆkamen ton Messian). First aorist active indicative of heurisk“. Andrew and John had made the greatest discovery of the ages, far beyond gold or diamond mines. The Baptist had told about him. "We have seen him."
{Which is} (ho estin). Same explanatory neuter relative as in verse 38, "which word is." This Aramaic title Messiah is preserved in the N.T. only here and 4:25, elsewhere translated into Christos, Anointed One, from chri“, to anoint. See on »Mt 1:1 for discussion.

1:42 {Looked upon him} (emblepsas aut“i). See verse 36 for same word and form of John's eager gaze at Jesus. Luke uses this word of Jesus when Peter denied him (Lu 22:61).
{He brought him} (ˆgagen auton). Effective second aorist active indicative of ago as if Andrew had to overcome some resistance on Simon's part.
{Thou shalt be called Cephas} (su klˆthˆsˆi Kˆphƒs). Apparently before Simon spoke. We do not know whether Jesus had seen Simon before or not, but he at once gives him a nickname that will characterize him some day, though not yet, when he makes the noble confession (Mt 16:17f.), and Jesus will say, "Thou art Peter." Here the future passive indicative of kale“ is only prophecy. The Aramaic Cˆphƒs (rock) is only applied to Simon in John except by Paul (1Co 1:12; Ga 1:18, etc.). But the Greek Petros is used by all. In the ancient Greek petra was used for the massive ledge of rock like Stone Mountain while petros was a detached fragment of the ledge, though itself large. This distinction may exist in Mt 16:17f., except that Jesus probably used Aramaic which would not have such a distinction.

1:43 {On the morrow} (tˆi epaurion). The fourth of the days from verse 19.
{He findeth Philip} (heuriskei Philippon). Vivid dramatic present as in 41, though ˆthelˆsen (was minded, wished) is aorist active indicative. Apparently not an accidental finding, possibly due to the efforts of Andrew and Peter. Both Andrew and Philip have Greek names.
{Follow me} (akolouthei moi). Present active imperative, a direct challenge to Philip. Often Jesus uses this verb to win disciples (Mr 2:14; Mt 8:22; 9:21; 19:21 ; Lu 9:59; Joh 21:19). Already Jesus had four personal followers (Andrew and Simon, John and James). He has begun his work.

1:44 {From Bethsaida} (apo Bˆthsaida). Same expression in 12:21 with the added words "of Galilee," which locates it in Galilee, not in Iturea. There were two Bethsaidas, one called Bethsaida Julias in Iturea (that in Lu 9:10) or the Eastern Bethsaida, the other the Western Bethsaida in Galilee (Mr 6:45), perhaps somewhere near Capernaum. This is the town of Andrew and Peter and Philip. Hence Philip would be inclined to follow the example of his townsmen.

1:45 {Philip findeth} (heuriskei Philippos). Dramatic present again. Philip carries on the work. One wins one. If that glorious beginning had only kept on! Now it takes a hundred to win one. {Nathaniel} (ton Nathanaˆl). It is a Hebrew name meaning "God has given" like the Greek Theodore (Gift of God). He was from Cana of Galilee (Joh 21:2), not far from Bethsaida and so known to Philip. His name does not occur in the Synoptics while Bartholomew (a patronymic, "Bar Tholmai") does not appear in John. They are almost certainly two names of the same man. Philip uses heurˆkamen (verse 41) also to Nathanael and so unites himself with the circle of believers, but instead of Messian describes him "of whom (hon accusative with egrapsen) Moses in the law (De 18:15) and the prophets (so the whole O.T. as in Lu 24:27,44) did write."
{Jesus of Nazareth the son of Joseph} (Iˆsoun huion tou I“sˆph ton apo Nazaret). More exactly, "Jesus, son of Joseph, the one from Nazareth." Jesus passed as son (no article in the Greek) of Joseph, though John has just described him as "God-only Begotten" in verse 18, but certainly Philip could not know this. Bernard terms this part "the irony of St. John" for he is sure that his readers will agree with him as to the real deity of Jesus Christ. These details were probably meant to interest Nathanael.

1:46 {Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?} (Ek Nazaret dunatai ti agathon einai;). Literally, "Out of Nazareth can anything good be." There is a tinge of scorn in the question as if Nazareth (note position at beginning of sentence) had a bad name. Town rivalry may account to some extent for it since Cana (home of Nathanael) was near Nazareth. Clearly he had never heard of Jesus. The best thing in all the world came out of Nazareth, but Philip does not argue the point. A saying had arisen that no prophet comes out of Galilee (Joh 7:52), untrue like many such sayings.
{Come and see} (erchou kai ide). Present middle imperative (come on) and second active imperative (and see at once). Philip followed the method of Jesus with Andrew and John (verse 39), probably without knowing it. Wise is the one who knows how to deal with the sceptic.

1:47 {Behold} (ide). Here an exclamation (see 1:29) as often like idou.
{An Israelite indeed} (alˆth“s Israˆleitˆs). "Truly an Israelite," one living up to the covenant name, Israel at its best (Ro 2:29), without the guile (dolos, deceit, bait for fish, from deleaz“, to catch with bait) that Jacob once had of which Isaac complained (Ge 27:35, dolos, here in LXX). The servant of Jehovah was to be without guile (Isa 53:9).

1:48 {Whence knowest thou me?} (Pothen me gin“skeis;). Nathanael is astonished at this tribute, at any knowledge about himself by Jesus. He had overheard Christ's comment and longed to know its source.
{Before Philip called thee} (Pro tou se Philippon ph“nˆsai). Idiomatic Greek, pro and the ablative case of the articular aorist active infinitive (tou ph“nˆsai, from ph“ne“, to call) with se as the object and Philippon, the accusative of general reference, "before the calling thee as to Philip."
{When thou wast under the fig tree} (onta hupo tˆn sukˆn). "Being under the fig tree," accusative present participle agreeing with se. The fig tree was a familiar object in Palestine, probably in leaf at this time, the accusative with hupo may suggest that Nathanael had withdrawn there for prayer. Note genitive with hupokat“ in verse 50. Jesus saw Nathanael's heart as well as his mere presence there. He saw him in his worship and so knew him.

1:49 {Thou art the Son of God} (su ei ho huios tou theou). Whether Nathanael had heard the Baptist say this of Jesus (1:34) we do not know, apparently not, but Nathanael was a student of the Old Testament as Philip implied (1:45) and was quick to put together his knowledge, the statement of Philip, and the manifest supernatural knowledge of Jesus as just shown. There is no reason for toning down the noble confession of Nathanael in the light of Christ's claim in verse 51. Cf. the confession of Peter in 6:69; Mt 16:16 and Martha's in Joh 11:27. Nathanael goes further.
{Thou art King of Israel} (Basileus ei tou Israˆl). To us this seems an anti-climax, but not so to Nathanael for both are Messianic titles in Ps 2 and Jesus is greeted in the Triumphal Entry as the King of Israel (Joh 12:13).

1:50 {Answered and said} (apekrithˆ kai eipen). This redundant use of both verbs (cf. 1:26) occurs in the Synoptics also and in the LXX also. It is Aramaic also and vernacular. It is not proof of an Aramaic original as Burney argues ("Aramaic Origin", etc., p. 53).
{Because} (hoti). Causal use of hoti at beginning of the sentence as in 14:19; 15:19; 16:6. The second hoti before eidon (I saw) is either declarative (that) or merely recitative (either makes sense here).
{Thou shalt see greater things than these} (meiz“ tout“n opsˆi). Perhaps volitive future middle indicative of hora“ (though merely futuristic is possible as with opsesthe in 51) ablative case of tout“n after the comparative adjective meiz“. The wonder of Nathanael no doubt grew as Jesus went on.

1:51 {Verily, Verily} (Amˆn, amˆn). Hebrew word transliterated into Greek and then into English, our "amen." John always repeats it, not singly as in the Synoptics, and only in the words of Jesus, an illustration of Christ's authoritative manner of speaking as shown also by leg“ humin (I say unto you). Note plural humin though aut“i just before is singular (to him). Jesus addresses thus others besides Nathanael.
{The heaven opened} (ton ouranon ane“igota). Second perfect active participle of anoig“ with double reduplication, standing open. The words remind one of what took place at the baptism of Jesus (Mt 3:16; Lu 3:21), but the immediate reference is to the opened heaven as the symbol of free intercourse between God and man (Isa 64:1) and as it was later illustrated in the death of Stephen (Ac 7:56). There is a quotation from Ge 28:12f., Jacob's vision at Bethel. That was a dream to Jacob, but Christ is himself the bond of fellowship between heaven and earth, between God and man, for Jesus is both "the Son of God" as Nathanael said and "the Son of Man" (epi ton huion tou anthr“pou) as Jesus here calls himself. God and man meet in Christ. He is the true Jacob's Ladder. "I am the Way," Jesus will say. He is more than King of Israel, he is the Son of Man (the race). So quickly has this Gospel brought out in the witness of the Baptist, the faith of the first disciples, the claims of Jesus Christ, the fully developed picture of the Logos who is both God and man, moving among men and winning them to his service. At the close of the ministry Christ will tell Caiaphas that he will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of power and coming with the clouds of heaven (Mr 14:62). Here at the start Jesus is conscious of the final culmination and in apocalyptic eschatological language that we do not fully understand he sets forth the dignity and majesty of his Person.


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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(John: Chapter 1)



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