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John 13:4-5

Context
13:4 he got up from the meal, removed 1  his outer clothes, 2  took a towel and tied it around himself. 3  13:5 He poured water into the washbasin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to dry them with the towel he had wrapped around himself. 4 

1 tn Grk “and removed”; the conjunction καί (kai, “and”) has been left untranslated here for improved English style.

2 tn The plural τὰ ἱμάτια (ta Jimatia) is probably a reference to more than one garment (cf. John 19:23-24). If so, this would indicate that Jesus stripped to a loincloth, like a slave. The translation “outer clothes” is used to indicate that Jesus was not completely naked, since complete nudity would have been extremely offensive to Jewish sensibilities in this historical context.

3 tn Grk “taking a towel he girded himself.” Jesus would have wrapped the towel (λέντιον, lention) around his waist (διέζωσεν ἑαυτόν, diezwsen Jeauton) for use in wiping the disciples’ feet. The term λέντιον is a Latin loanword (linteum) which is also found in the rabbinic literature (see BDAG 592 s.v.). It would have been a long piece of linen cloth, long enough for Jesus to have wrapped it about his waist and still used the free end to wipe the disciples’ feet.

4 tn Grk “with the towel with which he was girded.”



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