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John 13:23-26

Context
13:23 One of his disciples, the one Jesus loved, 1  was at the table 2  to the right of Jesus in a place of honor. 3  13:24 So Simon Peter 4  gestured to this disciple 5  to ask Jesus 6  who it was he was referring to. 7  13:25 Then the disciple whom Jesus loved 8  leaned back against Jesus’ chest and asked him, “Lord, who is it?” 13:26 Jesus replied, 9  “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread 10  after I have dipped it in the dish.” 11  Then he dipped the piece of bread in the dish 12  and gave it to Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son.

John 20:2-10

Context
20:2 So she went running 13  to Simon Peter and the other disciple whom Jesus loved and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” 20:3 Then Peter and the other disciple set out to go to the tomb. 14  20:4 The two were running together, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter 15  and reached the tomb first. 16  20:5 He bent down 17  and saw the strips of linen cloth lying there, 18  but he did not go in. 20:6 Then Simon Peter, who had been following him, arrived and went right into the tomb. He saw 19  the strips of linen cloth lying there, 20:7 and the face cloth, 20  which had been around Jesus’ head, not lying with the strips of linen cloth but rolled up in a place by itself. 21  20:8 Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, came in, and he saw and believed. 22  20:9 (For they did not yet understand 23  the scripture that Jesus 24  must rise from the dead.) 25 

Jesus’ Appearance to Mary Magdalene

20:10 So the disciples went back to their homes.

John 21:7

Context

21:7 Then the disciple whom 26  Jesus loved 27  said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” So Simon Peter, when he heard that it was the Lord, tucked in his outer garment (for he had nothing on underneath it), 28  and plunged 29  into the sea.

John 21:20-23

Context
Peter and the Disciple Jesus Loved

21:20 Peter turned around and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them. 30  (This was the disciple 31  who had leaned back against Jesus’ 32  chest at the meal and asked, 33  “Lord, who is the one who is going to betray you?”) 34  21:21 So when Peter saw him, 35  he asked Jesus, “Lord, what about him?” 21:22 Jesus replied, 36  “If I want him to live 37  until I come back, 38  what concern is that of yours? You follow me!” 21:23 So the saying circulated 39  among the brothers and sisters 40  that this disciple was not going to die. But Jesus did not say to him that he was not going to die, but rather, “If I want him to live 41  until I come back, 42  what concern is that of yours?”

1 sn Here for the first time the one Jesus loved, the ‘beloved disciple,’ is introduced. This individual also is mentioned in 19:26, 20:2, 21:7, and 21:20. Some have suggested that this disciple is to be identified with Lazarus, since the Fourth Gospel specifically states that Jesus loved him (11:3, 5, 36). From the terminology alone this is a possibility; the author is certainly capable of using language in this way to indicate connections. But there is nothing else to indicate that Lazarus was present at the last supper; Mark 14:17 seems to indicate it was only the twelve who were with Jesus at this time, and there is no indication in the Fourth Gospel to the contrary. Nor does it appear that Lazarus ever stood so close to Jesus as the later references in chaps. 19, 20 and 21 seem to indicate. When this is coupled with the omission of all references to John son of Zebedee from the Fourth Gospel, it seems far more likely that the references to the beloved disciple should be understood as references to him.

2 tn Grk “was reclining.” This reflects the normal 1st century practice of eating a meal in a semi-reclining position.

3 tn Grk “was reclining in the bosom (or “lap”) of Jesus” (according to both L&N 17.25 and BDAG 65 s.v. ἀνάκειμαι 2 an idiom for taking the place of honor at a meal, but note the similar expression in John 1:18). Whether this position or the position to the left of Jesus should be regarded as the position of second highest honor (next to the host, in this case Jesus, who was in the position of highest honor) is debated. F. Prat, “Les places d’honneur chez les Juifs contemporains du Christ” (RSR 15 [1925]: 512-22), who argued that the table arrangement was that of the Roman triclinium (a U-shaped table with Jesus and two other disciples at the bottom of the U), considered the position to the left of Jesus to be the one of second highest honor. Thus the present translation renders this “a position of honor” without specifying which one (since both of the two disciples to the right and to the left of Jesus would be in positions of honor). Other translations differ as to how they handle the phrase ἐν τῷ κόλπῳ τοῦ ᾿Ιησοῦ (en tw kolpw tou Ihsou; “leaning on Jesus’ bosom,” KJV; “lying close to the breast of Jesus,” RSV; “reclining on Jesus’ breast,” NASB; “reclining next to him,” NIV, NRSV) but the symbolic significance of the beloved disciple’s position seems clear. He is close to Jesus and in an honored position. The phrase as an idiom for a place of honor at a feast is attested in the Epistles of Pliny (the Younger) 4.22.4, an approximate contemporary of Paul.

sn Note that the same expression translated in a place of honor here (Grk “in the bosom of”) is used to indicate Jesus’ relationship with the Father in 1:18.

4 sn It is not clear where Simon Peter was seated. If he were on Jesus’ other side, it is difficult to see why he would not have asked the question himself. It would also have been difficult to beckon to the beloved disciple, on Jesus’ right, from such a position. So apparently Peter was seated somewhere else. It is entirely possible that Judas was seated to Jesus’ left. Matt 26:25 seems to indicate that Jesus could speak to him without being overheard by the rest of the group. Judas is evidently in a position where Jesus can hand him the morsel of food (13:26).

5 tn Grk “to this one”; the referent (the beloved disciple) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

6 tn Grk “him”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

7 sn That is, who would betray him (v. 21).

8 tn Grk “he”; the referent (the disciple Jesus loved) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

9 tn Grk “Jesus answered.”

10 sn The piece of bread was a broken-off piece of bread (not merely a crumb).

11 tn Grk “after I have dipped it.” The words “in the dish” are not in the Greek text, but the presence of a bowl or dish is implied.

12 tn The words “in the dish” are not in the Greek text, but the presence of a bowl or dish is implied.

13 tn Grk “So she ran and came.”

14 tn Grk “went out and were coming to the tomb.”

15 sn The other disciple (the ‘beloved disciple’) ran on ahead more quickly than Peter, so he arrived at the tomb first. This verse has been a chief factor in depictions of John as a young man (especially combined with traditions that he wrote last of all the gospel authors and lived into the reign of Domitian). But the verse does not actually say anything about John’s age, nor is age always directly correlated with running speed.

16 tn Grk “and came first to the tomb.”

17 sn In most instances the entrance to such tombs was less than 3 ft (1 m) high, so that an adult would have to bend down and practically crawl inside.

18 sn Presumably by the time the beloved disciple reached the tomb there was enough light to penetrate the low opening and illuminate the interior of the tomb sufficiently for him to see the strips of linen cloth lying there. The author does not state exactly where the linen wrappings were lying. Sometimes the phrase has been translated “lying on the ground,” but the implication is that the wrappings were lying where the body had been. The most probable configuration for a tomb of this sort would be to have a niche carved in the wall where the body would be laid lengthwise, or a low shelf like a bench running along one side of the tomb, across the back or around all three sides in a U-shape facing the entrance. Thus the graveclothes would have been lying on this shelf or in the niche where the body had been.

19 tn Grk “And he saw.” The conjunction καί (kai, “and”) has not been translated here in keeping with the tendency of contemporary English style to use shorter sentences.

20 sn The word translated face cloth is a Latin loanword (sudarium). It was a small towel used to wipe off perspiration (the way a handkerchief would be used today). This particular item was not mentioned in connection with Jesus’ burial in John 19:40, probably because this was only a brief summary account. A face cloth was mentioned in connection with Lazarus’ burial (John 11:44) and was probably customary. R. E. Brown speculates that it was wrapped under the chin and tied on top of the head to prevent the mouth of the corpse from falling open (John [AB], 2:986), but this is not certain.

21 sn Much dispute and difficulty surrounds the translation of the words not lying with the strips of linen cloth but rolled up in a place by itself. Basically the issue concerns the positioning of the graveclothes as seen by Peter and the other disciple when they entered the tomb. Some have sought to prove that when the disciples saw the graveclothes they were arranged just as they were when around the body, so that when the resurrection took place the resurrected body of Jesus passed through them without rearranging or disturbing them. In this case the reference to the face cloth being rolled up does not refer to its being folded, but collapsed in the shape it had when wrapped around the head. Sometimes in defense of this view the Greek preposition μετά (meta, which normally means “with”) is said to mean “like” so that the comparison with the other graveclothes does not involve the location of the face cloth but rather its condition (rolled up rather than flattened). In spite of the intriguing nature of such speculations, it seems more probable that the phrase describing the face cloth should be understood to mean it was separated from the other graveclothes in a different place inside the tomb. This seems consistent with the different conclusions reached by Peter and the beloved disciple (vv. 8-10). All that the condition of the graveclothes indicated was that the body of Jesus had not been stolen by thieves. Anyone who had come to remove the body (whether the authorities or anyone else) would not have bothered to unwrap it before carrying it off. And even if one could imagine that they had (perhaps in search of valuables such as rings or jewelry still worn by the corpse) they would certainly not have bothered to take time to roll up the face cloth and leave the other wrappings in an orderly fashion.

22 sn What was it that the beloved disciple believed (since v. 7 describes what he saw)? Sometimes it is suggested that what he believed was Mary Magdalene’s report that the body had been stolen. But this could hardly be the case; the way the entire scene is narrated such a trivial conclusion would amount to an anticlimax. It is true that the use of the plural “they” in the following verse applied to both Peter and the beloved disciple, and this appears to be a difficulty if one understands that the beloved disciple believed at this point in Jesus’ resurrection. But it is not an insuperable difficulty, since all it affirms is that at this time neither Peter nor the beloved disciple had understood the scripture concerning the resurrection. Thus it appears the author intends his reader to understand that when the beloved disciple entered the tomb after Peter and saw the state of the graveclothes, he believed in the resurrection, i.e., that Jesus had risen from the dead.

23 tn Or “yet know.”

24 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

25 sn Verse 9 is a parenthetical note by the author. The author does not explicitly mention what OT scripture is involved (neither does Paul in 1 Cor 15:4, for that matter). The resurrection of the Messiah in general terms may have been seen in Isa 53:10-12 and Ps 16:10. Specific references may have been understood in Jonah 1:17 and Hos 6:2 because of the mention of “the third day.” Beyond this it is not possible to be more specific.

26 tn Grk “the disciple, that one whom.”

27 sn On the disciple whom Jesus loved see 13:23-26.

28 tn Grk “for he was naked.” Peter’s behavior here has been puzzling to many interpreters. It is usually understood that the Greek word γυμνός (gumnos, usually translated “naked”) does not refer to complete nudity (as it could), since this would have been offensive to Jewish sensibilities in this historical context. It is thus commonly understood to mean “stripped for work” here (cf. NASB, NLT), that is, with one’s outer clothing removed, and Peter was wearing either a loincloth or a loose-fitting tunic (a long shirt-like garment worn under a cloak, cf. NAB, “for he was lightly clad”). Believing himself inadequately dressed to greet the Lord, Peter threw his outer garment around himself and dived into the sea. C. K. Barrett (St. John, 580-81) offered the explanation that a greeting was a religious act and thus could not be performed unless one was clothed. This still leaves the improbable picture of a person with much experience around the water putting on his outer garment before diving in. R. E. Brown’s suggestion (John [AB], 2:1072) seems much more probable here: The Greek verb used (διαζώννυμι, diazwnnumi) does not necessarily mean putting clothing on, but rather tying the clothing around oneself (the same verb is used in 13:4-5 of Jesus tying the towel around himself). The statement that Peter was “naked” could just as well mean that he was naked underneath the outer garment, and thus could not take it off before jumping into the water. But he did pause to tuck it up and tie it with the girdle before jumping in, to allow himself more freedom of movement. Thus the clause that states Peter was naked is explanatory (note the use of for), explaining why Peter girded up his outer garment rather than taking it off – he had nothing on underneath it and so could not remove it.

sn This is a parenthetical note by the author.

29 tn Grk “threw himself.”

30 tn The word “them” is not in the Greek text but is implied. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context.

31 tn The words “This was the disciple” are not in the Greek text, but are supplied for clarity.

32 tn Grk “his”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

33 tn Grk “and said.”

34 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author.

35 tn Grk “saw this one.”

36 tn Grk “Jesus said to him.”

37 tn Grk “to stay” or “to remain”; but since longevity is the issue in the context, “to live” conveys the idea more clearly.

38 tn The word “back” is supplied to clarify the meaning.

39 tn Grk “went out.”

40 tn Grk “the brothers,” but here the term refers to more than just the immediate disciples of Jesus (as it does in 20:17). Here, as R. E. Brown notes (John [AB], 2:1110), it refers to Christians of the Johannine community (which would include both men and women).

41 tn Grk “to stay” or “to remain”; but since longevity is the issue in the context, “to live” conveys the idea more clearly.

42 tn The word “back” is supplied to clarify the meaning.



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