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John 13:34-35

Context

13:34 “I give you a new commandment – to love 1  one another. Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 2  13:35 Everyone 3  will know by this that you are my disciples – if you have love for one another.”

1 tn The ἵνα (Jina) clause gives the content of the commandment. This is indicated by a dash in the translation.

2 sn The idea that love is a commandment is interesting. In the OT the ten commandments have a setting in the covenant between God and Israel at Sinai; they were the stipulations that Israel had to observe if the nation were to be God’s chosen people. In speaking of love as the new commandment for those whom Jesus had chosen as his own (John 13:1, 15:16) and as a mark by which they could be distinguished from others (13:35), John shows that he is thinking of this scene in covenant terminology. But note that the disciples are to love “Just as I have loved you” (13:34). The love Jesus has for his followers cannot be duplicated by them in one sense, because it effects their salvation, since he lays down his life for them: It is an act of love that gives life to people. But in another sense, they can follow his example (recall to the end, 13:1; also 1 John 3:16, 4:16 and the interpretation of Jesus’ washing of the disciples’ feet). In this way Jesus’ disciples are to love one another: They are to follow his example of sacrificial service to one another, to death if necessary.

3 tn Grk “All people,” although many modern translations have rendered πάντες (pantes) as “all men” (ASV, RSV, NASB, NIV). While the gender of the pronoun is masculine, it is collective and includes people of both genders.



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