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John 10:19-21

Context

10:19 Another sharp division took place among the Jewish people 1  because of these words. 10:20 Many of them were saying, “He is possessed by a demon and has lost his mind! 2  Why do you listen to him?” 10:21 Others said, “These are not the words 3  of someone possessed by a demon. A demon cannot cause the blind to see, 4  can it?” 5 

1 tn Or perhaps “the Jewish religious leaders”; 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 [1975]: 401-9.) Here the phrase could be taken to refer to the Jewish religious leaders, since the Pharisees were the last to be mentioned specifically by name, in John 9:40. However, in light of the charge about demon possession, which echoes 8:48, it is more likely that Jewish people in general (perhaps in Jerusalem, if that is understood to be the setting of the incident) are in view here.

2 tn Or “is insane.” To translate simply “he is mad” (so KJV, ASV, RSV; “raving mad” NIV) could give the impression that Jesus was angry, while the actual charge was madness or insanity.

3 tn Or “the sayings.”

4 tn Grk “open the eyes of the blind” (“opening the eyes” is an idiom referring to restoration of sight).

5 tn Questions prefaced with μή (mh) in Greek anticipate a negative answer. This can sometimes be indicated by using a “tag” at the end in English (here the tag is “can it?”).



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