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John 14:1--16:33

Context
Jesus’ Parting Words to His Disciples

14:1 “Do not let your hearts be distressed. 1  You believe in God; 2  believe also in me. 14:2 There are many dwelling places 3  in my Father’s house. 4  Otherwise, I would have told you, because 5  I am going away to make ready 6  a place for you. 7  14:3 And if I go and make ready 8  a place for you, I will come again and take you 9  to be with me, 10  so that where I am you may be too. 14:4 And you know the way where I am going.” 11 

14:5 Thomas said, 12  “Lord, we don’t know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 14:6 Jesus replied, 13  “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. 14  No one comes to the Father except through me. 14:7 If you have known me, you will know my Father too. 15  And from now on you do know him and have seen him.”

14:8 Philip said, 16  “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be content.” 17  14:9 Jesus replied, 18  “Have I been with you for so long, and you have not known 19  me, Philip? The person who has seen me has seen the Father! How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 14:10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me? 20  The words that I say to you, I do not speak on my own initiative, 21  but the Father residing in me performs 22  his miraculous deeds. 23  14:11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me, but if you do not believe me, 24  believe because of the miraculous deeds 25  themselves. 14:12 I tell you the solemn truth, 26  the person who believes in me will perform 27  the miraculous deeds 28  that I am doing, 29  and will perform 30  greater deeds 31  than these, because I am going to the Father. 14:13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, 32  so that the Father may be glorified 33  in the Son. 14:14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.

Teaching on the Holy Spirit

14:15 “If you love me, you will obey 34  my commandments. 35  14:16 Then 36  I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate 37  to be with you forever – 14:17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept, 38  because it does not see him or know him. But you know him, because he resides 39  with you and will be 40  in you.

14:18 “I will not abandon 41  you as orphans, 42  I will come to you. 43  14:19 In a little while 44  the world will not see me any longer, but you will see me; because I live, you will live too. 14:20 You will know at that time 45  that I am in my Father and you are in me and I am in you. 14:21 The person who has my commandments and obeys 46  them is the one who loves me. 47  The one 48  who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and will reveal 49  myself to him.”

14:22 “Lord,” Judas (not Judas Iscariot) 50  said, 51  “what has happened that you are going to reveal 52  yourself to us and not to the world?” 14:23 Jesus replied, 53  “If anyone loves me, he will obey 54  my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and take up residence with him. 55  14:24 The person who does not love me does not obey 56  my words. And the word 57  you hear is not mine, but the Father’s who sent me.

14:25 “I have spoken these things while staying 58  with you. 14:26 But the Advocate, 59  the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you 60  everything, 61  and will cause you to remember everything 62  I said to you.

14:27 “Peace I leave with you; 63  my peace I give to you; I do not give it 64  to you as the world does. 65  Do not let your hearts be distressed or lacking in courage. 66  14:28 You heard me say to you, 67  ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad 68  that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I am. 69  14:29 I have told you now before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe. 70  14:30 I will not speak with you much longer, 71  for the ruler of this world is coming. 72  He has no power over me, 73  14:31 but I am doing just what the Father commanded me, so that the world may know 74  that I love the Father. 75  Get up, let us go from here.” 76 

The Vine and the Branches

15:1 “I am the true vine 77  and my Father is the gardener. 78  15:2 He takes away 79  every branch that does not bear 80  fruit in me. He 81  prunes 82  every branch that bears 83  fruit so that it will bear more fruit. 15:3 You are clean already 84  because of the word that I have spoken to you. 15:4 Remain 85  in me, and I will remain in you. 86  Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, 87  unless it remains 88  in 89  the vine, so neither can you unless you remain 90  in me.

15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains 91  in me – and I in him – bears 92  much fruit, 93  because apart from me you can accomplish 94  nothing. 15:6 If anyone does not remain 95  in me, he is thrown out like a branch, and dries up; and such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire, 96  and are burned up. 97  15:7 If you remain 98  in me and my words remain 99  in you, ask whatever you want, and it will be done for you. 100  15:8 My Father is honored 101  by this, that 102  you bear 103  much fruit and show that you are 104  my disciples.

15:9 “Just as the Father has loved me, I have also loved you; remain 105  in my love. 15:10 If you obey 106  my commandments, you will remain 107  in my love, just as I have obeyed 108  my Father’s commandments and remain 109  in his love. 15:11 I have told you these things 110  so that my joy may be in you, and your joy may be complete. 15:12 My commandment is this – to love one another just as I have loved you. 111  15:13 No one has greater love than this – that one lays down his life 112  for his friends. 15:14 You are my friends 113  if you do what I command you. 15:15 I no longer call you slaves, 114  because the slave does not understand 115  what his master is doing. But I have called you friends, because I have revealed to you everything 116  I heard 117  from my Father. 15:16 You did not choose me, but I chose you 118  and appointed you to go and bear 119  fruit, fruit that remains, 120  so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you. 15:17 This 121  I command you – to love one another.

The World’s Hatred

15:18 “If the world hates you, be aware 122  that it hated me first. 123  15:19 If you belonged to the world, 124  the world would love you as its own. 125  However, because you do not belong to the world, 126  but I chose you out of the world, for this reason 127  the world hates you. 128  15:20 Remember what 129  I told you, ‘A slave 130  is not greater than his master.’ 131  If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they obeyed 132  my word, they will obey 133  yours too. 15:21 But they will do all these things to you on account of 134  my name, because they do not know the one who sent me. 135  15:22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. 136  But they no longer have any excuse for their sin. 15:23 The one who hates me hates my Father too. 15:24 If I had not performed 137  among them the miraculous deeds 138  that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. 139  But now they have seen the deeds 140  and have hated both me and my Father. 141  15:25 Now this happened 142  to fulfill the word that is written in their law, ‘They hated me without reason.’ 143  15:26 When the Advocate 144  comes, whom I will send you from the Father – the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father – he 145  will testify about me, 15:27 and you also will testify, because you have been with me from the beginning.

16:1 “I have told you all these things so that you will not fall away. 146  16:2 They will put you out of 147  the synagogue, 148  yet a time 149  is coming when the one who kills you will think he is offering service to God. 150  16:3 They 151  will do these things because they have not known the Father or me. 152  16:4 But I have told you these things 153  so that when their time 154  comes, you will remember that I told you about them. 155 

“I did not tell you these things from the beginning because I was with you. 156  16:5 But now I am going to the one who sent me, 157  and not one of you is asking me, ‘Where are you going?’ 158  16:6 Instead your hearts are filled with sadness 159  because I have said these things to you. 16:7 But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I am going away. For if I do not go away, the Advocate 160  will not come to you, but if I go, I will send him to you. 16:8 And when he 161  comes, he will prove the world wrong 162  concerning sin and 163  righteousness and 164  judgment – 16:9 concerning sin, because 165  they do not believe in me; 166  16:10 concerning righteousness, 167  because 168  I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; 16:11 and concerning judgment, 169  because 170  the ruler of this world 171  has been condemned. 172 

16:12 “I have many more things to say to you, 173  but you cannot bear 174  them now. 16:13 But when he, 175  the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide 176  you into all truth. 177  For he will not speak on his own authority, 178  but will speak whatever he hears, and will tell you 179  what is to come. 180  16:14 He 181  will glorify me, 182  because he will receive 183  from me what is mine 184  and will tell it to you. 185  16:15 Everything that the Father has is mine; that is why I said the Spirit 186  will receive from me what is mine 187  and will tell it to you. 188  16:16 In a little while you 189  will see me no longer; again after a little while, you 190  will see me.” 191 

16:17 Then some of his disciples said to one another, “What is the meaning of what he is saying, 192  ‘In a little while you 193  will not see me; again after a little while, you 194  will see me,’ and, ‘because I am going to the Father’?” 195  16:18 So they kept on repeating, 196  “What is the meaning of what he says, 197  ‘In a little while’? 198  We do not understand 199  what he is talking about.” 200 

16:19 Jesus could see 201  that they wanted to ask him about these things, 202  so 203  he said to them, “Are you asking 204  each other about this – that I said, ‘In a little while you 205  will not see me; again after a little while, you 206  will see me’? 16:20 I tell you the solemn truth, 207  you will weep 208  and wail, 209  but the world will rejoice; you will be sad, 210  but your sadness will turn into 211  joy. 16:21 When a woman gives birth, she has distress 212  because her time 213  has come, but when her child is born, she no longer remembers the suffering because of her joy that a human being 214  has been born into the world. 215  16:22 So also you have sorrow 216  now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you. 217  16:23 At that time 218  you will ask me nothing. I tell you the solemn truth, 219  whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you. 220  16:24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive it, 221  so that your joy may be complete.

16:25 “I have told you these things in obscure figures of speech; 222  a time 223  is coming when I will no longer speak to you in obscure figures, but will tell you 224  plainly 225  about the Father. 16:26 At that time 226  you will ask in my name, and I do not say 227  that I will ask the Father on your behalf. 16:27 For the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. 228  16:28 I came from the Father and entered into the world, but in turn, 229  I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.” 230 

16:29 His disciples said, “Look, now you are speaking plainly 231  and not in obscure figures of speech! 232  16:30 Now we know that you know everything 233  and do not need anyone 234  to ask you anything. 235  Because of this 236  we believe that you have come from God.”

16:31 Jesus replied, 237  “Do you now believe? 16:32 Look, a time 238  is coming – and has come – when you will be scattered, each one to his own home, 239  and I will be left alone. 240  Yet 241  I am not alone, because my Father 242  is with me. 16:33 I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In the world you have trouble and suffering, 243  but take courage 244  – I have conquered the world.” 245 

1 sn The same verb is used to describe Jesus’ own state in John 11:33, 12:27, and 13:21. Jesus is looking ahead to the events of the evening and the next day, his arrest, trials, crucifixion, and death, which will cause his disciples extreme emotional distress.

2 tn Or “Believe in God.” The translation of the two uses of πιστεύετε (pisteuete) is difficult. Both may be either indicative or imperative, and as L. Morris points out (John [NICNT], 637), this results in a bewildering variety of possibilities. To complicate matters further, the first may be understood as a question: “Do you believe in God? Believe also in me.” Morris argues against the KJV translation which renders the first πιστεύετε as indicative and the second as imperative on the grounds that for the writer of the Fourth Gospel, faith in Jesus is inseparable from faith in God. But this is precisely the point that Jesus is addressing in context. He is about to undergo rejection by his own people as their Messiah. The disciples’ faith in him as Messiah and Lord would be cast into extreme doubt by these events, which the author makes clear were not at this time foreseen by the disciples. After the resurrection it is this identification between Jesus and the Father which needs to be reaffirmed (cf. John 20:24-29). Thus it seems best to take the first πιστεύετε as indicative and the second as imperative, producing the translation “You believe in God; believe also in me.”

3 tn Many interpreters have associated μοναί (monai) with an Aramaic word that can refer to a stopping place or resting place for a traveler on a journey. This is similar to one of the meanings the word can have in secular Greek (Pausanius 10.31.7). Origen understood the use here to refer to stations on the road to God. This may well have been the understanding of the Latin translators who translated μονή (monh) by mansio, a stopping place. The English translation “mansions” can be traced back to Tyndale, but in Middle English the word simply meant “a dwelling place” (not necessarily large or imposing) with no connotation of being temporary. The interpretation put forward by Origen would have been well suited to Gnosticism, where the soul in its ascent passes through stages during which it is gradually purified of all that is material and therefore evil. It is much more likely that the word μονή should be related to its cognate verb μένω (menw), which is frequently used in the Fourth Gospel to refer to the permanence of relationship between Jesus and the Father and/or Jesus and the believer. Thus the idea of a permanent dwelling place, rather than a temporary stopping place, would be in view. Luther’s translation of μοναί by Wohnungen is very accurate here, as it has the connotation of a permanent residence.

4 sn Most interpreters have understood the reference to my Father’s house as a reference to heaven, and the dwelling places (μονή, monh) as the permanent residences of believers there. This seems consistent with the vocabulary and the context, where in v. 3 Jesus speaks of coming again to take the disciples to himself. However, the phrase in my Father’s house was used previously in the Fourth Gospel in 2:16 to refer to the temple in Jerusalem. The author in 2:19-22 then reinterpreted the temple as Jesus’ body, which was to be destroyed in death and then rebuilt in resurrection after three days. Even more suggestive is the statement by Jesus in 8:35, “Now the slave does not remain (μένω, menw) in the household forever, but the son remains (μένω) forever.” If in the imagery of the Fourth Gospel the phrase in my Father’s house is ultimately a reference to Jesus’ body, the relationship of μονή to μένω suggests the permanent relationship of the believer to Jesus and the Father as an adopted son who remains in the household forever. In this case the “dwelling place” is “in” Jesus himself, where he is, whether in heaven or on earth. The statement in v. 3, “I will come again and receive you to myself,” then refers not just to the parousia, but also to Jesus’ postresurrection return to the disciples in his glorified state, when by virtue of his death on their behalf they may enter into union with him and with the Father as adopted sons. Needless to say, this bears numerous similarities to Pauline theology, especially the concepts of adoption as sons and being “in Christ” which are prominent in passages like Eph 1. It is also important to note, however, the emphasis in the Fourth Gospel itself on the present reality of eternal life (John 5:24, 7:38-39, etc.) and the possibility of worshiping the Father “in the Spirit and in truth” (John 4:21-24) in the present age. There is a sense in which it is possible to say that the future reality is present now. See further J. McCaffrey, The House With Many Rooms (AnBib 114).

5 tc A number of important mss (Ì66c א A B C* D K L W Ψ Ë13 33 565 579 892 al lat) have ὅτι (Joti) here, while the majority lack it (Ì66* C2 Θ Ï). Should the ὅτι be included or omitted? The external evidence is significantly stronger for the longer reading. Most Alexandrian and Western mss favor inclusion (it is a little unusual for the Alexandrian to favor the longer reading), while most Byzantine mss favor omission (again, a little unusual). However, the reading of Ì66*, which aligns with the Byzantine, needs to be given some value. At the same time, the scribe of this papyrus was known for freely omitting and adding words, and the fact that the ms was corrected discounts its testimony here. But because the shorter reading is out of character for the Byzantine text, the shorter reading (omitting the ὅτι) may well be authentic. Internally, the question comes down to whether the shorter reading is more difficult or not. And here, it loses the battle, for it seems to be a clarifying omission (so TCGNT 206). R. E. Brown is certainly right when he states: “all in all, the translation without ὅτι makes the best sense” (John [AB], 2:620). But this tacitly argues for the authenticity of the word. Thus, on both external and internal grounds, the ὅτι should be regarded as authentic.

tn If the ὅτι (Joti) is included (see tc above), there are no less than four possible translations for this sentence: The sentence could be either a question or a statement, and in addition the ὅτι could either indicate content or be causal. How does one determine the best translation? (1) A question here should probably be ruled out because it would imply a previous statement by Jesus that either there are many dwelling places in his Father’s house (if the ὅτι is causal) or he was going off to make a place ready for them (if the ὅτι indicates content). There is no indication anywhere in the Fourth Gospel that Jesus had made such statements prior to this time. So understanding the sentence as a statement is the best option. (2) A statement with ὅτι indicating content is understandable but contradictory. If there were no dwelling places, Jesus would have told them that he was going off to make dwelling places. But the following verse makes clear that Jesus’ departure is not hypothetical but real – he is really going away. So understanding the ὅτι with a causal nuance is the best option. (3) A statement with a causal ὅτι can be understood two ways: (a) “Otherwise I would have told you” is a parenthetical statement, and the ὅτι clause goes with the preceding “There are many dwelling places in my Father’s house.” This would be fairly awkward syntactically, however; it would be much more natural for the ὅτι clause to modify what directly preceded it. (b) “Otherwise I would have told you” is explained by Jesus’ statement that he is going to make ready a place. He makes a logical, necessary connection between his future departure and the reality of the dwelling places in his Father’s house. To sum up, all the possibilities for understanding the verse with the inclusion of ὅτι present some interpretive difficulties, but last option given seems best: “Otherwise, I would have told you, because I am going to make ready a place.” Of all the options it provides the best logical flow of thought in the passage without making any apparent contradictions in the context.

6 tn Or “to prepare.”

7 tn Or “If not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?” What is the meaning of the last clause with or without the ὅτι? One of the questions that must be answered here is whether or not τόπος (topos) is to be equated with μονή (monh). In Rev 12:8 τόπος is used to refer to a place in heaven, which would suggest that the two are essentially equal here. Jesus is going ahead of believers to prepare a place for them, a permanent dwelling place in the Father’s house (see the note on this phrase in v. 2).

8 tn Or “prepare.”

9 tn Or “bring you.”

10 tn Grk “to myself.”

11 tc Most mss (Ì66* A C3 D Θ Ψ Ë1,13 Ï lat sy sa) read “You know where I am going, and you know the way” (καὶ ὅπου [ἐγὼ] ὑπάγω οἴδατε καὶ τὴν ὁδόν οἴδατε, kai {opou egw Jupagw oidate kai thn Jodon oidate). The difference between this reading and the wording in NA27 (supported by Ì66c א B C* L Q W 33 579 pc) is the addition of καί before τὴν ὁδόν and οἴδατε after. Either assertion on the part of Jesus would be understandable: “you know the way where I am going” or “you know where I am going and you know the way,” although the shorter reading is a bit more awkward syntactically. In light of this, and in light of the expansion already at hand in v. 5, the longer reading appears to be a motivated reading. The shorter reading is thus preferred because of its superior external and internal evidence.

sn Where I am going. Jesus had spoken of his destination previously to the disciples, most recently in John 13:33. Where he was going was back to the Father, and they could not follow him there, but later he would return for them and they could join him then. The way he was going was via the cross. This he had also mentioned previously (e.g., 12:32) although his disciples did not understand at the time (cf. 12:33). As Jesus would explain in v. 6, although for him the way back to the Father was via the cross, for his disciples the “way” to where he was going was Jesus himself.

12 tn Grk “said to him.”

13 tn Grk “Jesus said to him.”

14 tn Or “I am the way, even the truth and the life.”

15 tc There is a difficult textual problem here: The statement reads either “If you have known (ἐγνώκατε, egnwkate) me, you will know (γνώσεσθε, gnwsesqe) my Father” or “If you had really known (ἐγνώκειτε, egnwkeite) me, you would have known (ἐγνώκειτε ἄν or ἂν ἤδειτε [egnwkeite an or an hdeite]) my Father.” The division of the external evidence is difficult, but can be laid out as follows: The mss that have the perfect ἐγνώκατε in the protasis (Ì66 [א D* W] 579 pc it) also have, for the most part, the future indicative γνώσεσθε in the apodosis (Ì66 א D W [579] pc sa bo), rendering Jesus’ statement as a first-class condition. The mss that have the pluperfect ἐγνώκειτε in the protasis (A B C D1 L Θ Ψ Ë1,13 33 Ï) also have, for the most part, a pluperfect in the apodosis (either ἂν ἤδειτε in B C* [L] Q Ψ 1 33 565 al, or ἐγνώκειτε ἄν in A C3 Θ Ë13 Ï), rendering Jesus’ statement a contrary-to-fact second-class condition. The external evidence slightly favors the first-class condition, since there is an Alexandrian-Western alliance supported by Ì66. As well, the fact that the readings with a second-class condition utilize two different verbs with ἄν in different positions suggests that these readings are secondary. However, it could be argued that the second-class conditions are harder readings in that they speak negatively of the apostles (so K. Aland in TCGNT 207); in this case, the ἐγνώκειτεἐγνώκειτε ἄν reading should be given preference. Although a decision is difficult, the first-class condition is to be slightly preferred. In this case Jesus promises the disciples that, assuming they have known him, they will know the Father. Contextually this fits better with the following phrase (v. 7b) which asserts that “from the present time you know him and have seen him” (cf. John 1:18).

16 tn Grk “said to him.”

17 tn Or “and that is enough for us.”

18 tn Grk “Jesus said to him.”

19 tn Or “recognized.”

20 tn The mutual interrelationship of the Father and the Son (ἐγὼ ἐν τῷ πατρὶ καὶ ὁ πατὴρ ἐν ἐμοί ἐστιν, egw en tw patri kai Jo pathr en emoi estin) is something that Jesus expected even his opponents to recognize (cf. John 10:38). The question Jesus asks of Philip (οὐ πιστεύεις, ou pisteuei") expects the answer “yes.” Note that the following statement is addressed to all the disciples, however, because the plural pronoun (ὑμῖν, Jumin) is used. Jesus says that his teaching (the words he spoke to them all) did not originate from himself, but the Father, who permanently remains (μένων, menwn) in relationship with Jesus, performs his works. One would have expected “speaks his words” here rather than “performs his works”; many of the church fathers (e.g., Augustine and Chrysostom) identified the two by saying that Jesus’ words were works. But there is an implicit contrast in the next verse between words and works, and v. 12 seems to demand that the works are real works, not just words. It is probably best to see the two terms as related but not identical; there is a progression in the idea here. Both Jesus’ words (recall the Samaritans’ response in John 4:42) and Jesus’ works are revelatory of who he is, but as the next verse indicates, works have greater confirmatory power than words.

21 tn Grk “I do not speak from myself.”

22 tn Or “does.”

23 tn Or “his mighty acts”; Grk “his works.”

sn Miraculous deeds is most likely a reference to the miraculous signs Jesus had performed, which he viewed as a manifestation of the mighty acts of God. Those he performed in the presence of the disciples served as a basis for faith (although a secondary basis to their personal relationship to him; see the following verse).

24 tn The phrase “but if you do not believe me” contains an ellipsis; the Greek text reads Grk “but if not.” The ellipsis has been filled out (“but if [you do] not [believe me]…”) for the benefit of the modern English reader.

25 tn Grk “because of the works.”

sn In the context of a proof or basis for belief, Jesus is referring to the miraculous deeds (signs) he has performed in the presence of the disciples.

26 tn Grk “Truly, truly, I say to you.”

27 tn Or “will do.”

28 tn Grk “the works.”

29 tn Or “that I do.”

sn See the note on miraculous deeds in v. 11.

30 tn Or “will do.”

31 tn Grk “greater works.”

sn What are the greater deeds that Jesus speaks of, and how is this related to his going to the Father? It is clear from both John 7:39 and 16:7 that the Holy Spirit will not come until Jesus has departed. After Pentecost and the coming of the Spirit to indwell believers in a permanent relationship, believers would be empowered to perform even greater deeds than those Jesus did during his earthly ministry. When the early chapters of Acts are examined, it is clear that, from a numerical standpoint, the deeds of Peter and the other Apostles surpassed those of Jesus in a single day (the day of Pentecost). On that day more were added to the church than had become followers of Jesus during the entire three years of his earthly ministry. And the message went forth not just in Judea, Samaria, and Galilee, but to the farthest parts of the known world. This understanding of what Jesus meant by “greater deeds” is more probable than a reference to “more spectacular miracles.” Certainly miraculous deeds were performed by the apostles as recounted in Acts, but these do not appear to have surpassed the works of Jesus himself in either degree or number.

32 tn Grk “And whatever you ask in my name, I will do it.”

33 tn Or “may be praised” or “may be honored.”

34 tn Or “will keep.”

35 sn Jesus’ statement If you love me, you will obey my commandments provides the transition between the promises of answered prayer which Jesus makes to his disciples in vv. 13-14 and the promise of the Holy Spirit which is introduced in v. 16. Obedience is the proof of genuine love.

36 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “Then” to reflect the implied sequence in the discourse.

37 tn Or “Helper” or “Counselor”; Grk “Paraclete,” from the Greek word παράκλητος (paraklhto"). Finding an appropriate English translation for παράκλητος is a very difficult task. No single English word has exactly the same range of meaning as the Greek word. “Comforter,” used by some of the older English versions, appears to be as old as Wycliffe. But today it suggests a quilt or a sympathetic mourner at a funeral. “Counselor” is adequate, but too broad, in contexts like “marriage counselor” or “camp counselor.” “Helper” or “Assistant” could also be used, but could suggest a subordinate rank. “Advocate,” the word chosen for this translation, has more forensic overtones than the Greek word does, although in John 16:5-11 a forensic context is certainly present. Because an “advocate” is someone who “advocates” or supports a position or viewpoint and since this is what the Paraclete will do for the preaching of the disciples, it was selected in spite of the drawbacks.

38 tn Or “cannot receive.”

39 tn Or “he remains.”

40 tc Some early and important witnesses (Ì66* B D* W 1 565 it) have ἐστιν (estin, “he is”) instead of ἔσται (estai, “he will be”) here, while other weighty witnesses ({Ì66c,75vid א A D1 L Θ Ψ Ë13 33vid Ï as well as several versions and fathers}), read the future tense. When one considers transcriptional evidence, ἐστιν is the more difficult reading and better explains the rise of the future tense reading, but it must be noted that both Ì66 and D were corrected from the present tense to the future. If ἐστιν were the original reading, one would expect a few manuscripts to be corrected to read the present when they originally read the future, but that is not the case. When one considers what the author would have written, the future is on much stronger ground. The immediate context (both in 14:16 and in the chapter as a whole) points to the future, and the theology of the book regards the advent of the Spirit as a decidedly future event (see, e.g., 7:39 and 16:7). The present tense could have arisen from an error of sight on the part of some scribes or more likely from an error of thought as scribes reflected upon the present role of the Spirit. Although a decision is difficult, the future tense is most likely authentic. For further discussion on this textual problem, see James M. Hamilton, Jr., “He Is with You and He Will Be in You” (Ph.D. diss., The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2003), 213-20.

41 tn Or “leave.”

42 tn The entire phrase “abandon you as orphans” could be understood as an idiom meaning, “leave you helpless.”

43 sn I will come to you. Jesus had spoken in 14:3 of going away and coming again to his disciples. There the reference was both to the parousia (the second coming of Christ) and to the postresurrection appearances of Jesus to the disciples. Here the postresurrection appearances are primarily in view, since Jesus speaks of the disciples “seeing” him after the world can “see” him no longer in the following verse. But many commentators have taken v. 18 as a reference to the coming of the Spirit, since this has been the topic of the preceding verses. Still, vv. 19-20 appear to contain references to Jesus’ appearances to the disciples after his resurrection. It may well be that another Johannine double meaning is found here, so that Jesus ‘returns’ to his disciples in one sense in his appearances to them after his resurrection, but in another sense he ‘returns’ in the person of the Holy Spirit to indwell them.

44 tn Grk “Yet a little while, and.”

45 tn Grk “will know in that day.”

sn At that time could be a reference to the parousia (second coming of Christ). But the statement in 14:19, that the world will not see Jesus, does not fit. It is better to take this as the postresurrection appearances of Jesus to his disciples (which has the advantage of taking in a little while in v. 19 literally).

46 tn Or “keeps.”

47 tn Grk “obeys them, that one is the one who loves me.”

48 tn Grk “And the one.” Here the conjunction καί (kai) has not been translated to improve the English style.

49 tn Or “will disclose.”

50 tn Grk “(not Iscariot).” The proper noun (Judas) has been repeated for clarity and smoothness in English style.

sn This is a parenthetical comment by the author.

51 tn Grk “said to him.”

52 tn Or “disclose.”

sn The disciples still expected at this point that Jesus, as Messiah, was going to reveal his identity as such to the world (cf. 7:4).

53 tn Grk “answered and said to him.”

54 tn Or “will keep.”

55 tn Grk “we will come to him and will make our dwelling place with him.” The context here is individual rather than corporate indwelling, so the masculine singular pronoun has been retained throughout v. 23. It is important to note, however, that the pronoun is used generically here and refers equally to men, women, and children.

56 tn Or “does not keep.”

57 tn Or “the message.”

58 tn Or “while remaining” or “while residing.”

59 tn Or “Helper” or “Counselor”; Grk “Paraclete,” from the Greek word παράκλητος (paraklhto"). See the note on the word “Advocate” in v. 16 for a discussion of how this word is translated.

60 tn Grk “that one will teach you.” The words “that one” have been omitted from the translation since they are redundant in English.

61 tn Grk “all things.”

62 tn Grk “all things.”

63 sn Peace I leave with you. In spite of appearances, this verse does not introduce a new subject (peace). Jesus will use the phrase as a greeting to his disciples after his resurrection (20:19, 21, 26). It is here a reflection of the Hebrew shalom as a farewell. But Jesus says he leaves peace with his disciples. This should probably be understood ultimately in terms of the indwelling of the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, who has been the topic of the preceding verses. It is his presence, after Jesus has left the disciples and finally returned to the Father, which will remain with them and comfort them.

64 tn The pronoun “it” is not in the Greek text, but has been supplied. Direct objects in Greek were often omitted when clear from the context.

65 tn Grk “not as the world gives do I give to you.”

66 tn Or “distressed or fearful and cowardly.”

67 tn Or “You have heard that I said to you.”

68 tn Or “you would rejoice.”

69 sn Jesus’ statement the Father is greater than I am has caused much christological and trinitarian debate. Although the Arians appealed to this text to justify their subordinationist Christology, it seems evident that by the fact Jesus compares himself to the Father, his divine nature is taken for granted. There have been two orthodox interpretations: (1) The Son is eternally generated while the Father is not: Origen, Tertullian, Athanasius, Hilary, etc. (2) As man the incarnate Son was less than the Father: Cyril of Alexandria, Ambrose, Augustine. In the context of the Fourth Gospel the second explanation seems more plausible. But why should the disciples have rejoiced? Because Jesus was on the way to the Father who would glorify him (cf. 17:4-5); his departure now signifies that the work the Father has given him is completed (cf. 19:30). Now Jesus will be glorified with that glory that he had with the Father before the world was (cf. 17:5). This should be a cause of rejoicing to the disciples because when Jesus is glorified he will glorify his disciples as well (17:22).

70 sn Jesus tells the disciples that he has told them all these things before they happen, so that when they do happen the disciples may believe. This does not mean they had not believed prior to this time; over and over the author has affirmed that they have (cf. 2:11). But when they see these things happen, their level of trust in Jesus will increase and their concept of who he is will expand. The confession of Thomas in 20:28 is representative of this increased understanding of who Jesus is. Cf. John 13:19.

71 tn Grk “I will no longer speak many things with you.”

72 sn The ruler of this world is a reference to Satan.

73 tn Grk “in me he has nothing.”

74 tn Or “may learn.”

75 tn Grk “But so that the world may know that I love the Father, and just as the Father commanded me, thus I do.” The order of the clauses has been rearranged in the translation to conform to contemporary English style.

76 sn Some have understood Jesus’ statement Get up, let us go from here to mean that at this point Jesus and the disciples got up and left the room where the meal was served and began the journey to the garden of Gethsemane. If so, the rest of the Farewell Discourse took place en route. Others have pointed to this statement as one of the “seams” in the discourse, indicating that the author used preexisting sources. Both explanations are possible, but not really necessary. Jesus could simply have stood up at this point (the disciples may or may not have stood with him) to finish the discourse before finally departing (in 18:1). In any case it may be argued that Jesus refers not to a literal departure at this point, but to preparing to meet the enemy who is on the way already in the person of Judas and the soldiers with him.

77 sn I am the true vine. There are numerous OT passages which refer to Israel as a vine: Ps 80:8-16, Isa 5:1-7, Jer 2:21, Ezek 15:1-8, 17:5-10, 19:10-14, and Hos 10:1. The vine became symbolic of Israel, and even appeared on some coins issued by the Maccabees. The OT passages which use this symbol appear to regard Israel as faithless to Yahweh (typically rendered as “Lord” in the OT) and/or the object of severe punishment. Ezek 15:1-8 in particular talks about the worthlessness of wood from a vine (in relation to disobedient Judah). A branch cut from a vine is worthless except to be burned as fuel. This fits more with the statements about the disciples (John 15:6) than with Jesus’ description of himself as the vine. Ezek 17:5-10 contains vine imagery which refers to a king of the house of David, Zedekiah, who was set up as king in Judah by Nebuchadnezzar. Zedekiah allied himself to Egypt and broke his covenant with Nebuchadnezzar (and therefore also with God), which would ultimately result in his downfall (17:20-21). Ezek 17:22-24 then describes the planting of a cedar sprig which grows into a lofty tree, a figurative description of Messiah. But it is significant that Messiah himself is not described in Ezek 17 as a vine, but as a cedar tree. The vine imagery here applies to Zedekiah’s disobedience. Jesus’ description of himself as the true vine in John 15:1 ff. is to be seen against this background, but it differs significantly from the imagery surveyed above. It represents new imagery which differs significantly from OT concepts; it appears to be original with Jesus. The imagery of the vine underscores the importance of fruitfulness in the Christian life and the truth that this results not from human achievement, but from one’s position in Christ. Jesus is not just giving some comforting advice, but portraying to the disciples the difficult path of faithful service. To some degree the figure is similar to the head-body metaphor used by Paul, with Christ as head and believers as members of the body. Both metaphors bring out the vital and necessary connection which exists between Christ and believers.

78 tn Or “the farmer.”

79 tn Or “He cuts off.”

sn The Greek verb αἴρω (airw) can mean “lift up” as well as “take away,” and it is sometimes argued that here it is a reference to the gardener “lifting up” (i.e., propping up) a weak branch so that it bears fruit again. In Johannine usage the word occurs in the sense of “lift up” in 8:59 and 5:8-12, but in the sense of “remove” it is found in 11:39, 11:48, 16:22, and 17:15. In context (theological presuppositions aside for the moment) the meaning “remove” does seem more natural and less forced (particularly in light of v. 6, where worthless branches are described as being “thrown out” – an image that seems incompatible with restoration). One option, therefore, would be to understand the branches which are taken away (v. 2) and thrown out (v. 6) as believers who forfeit their salvation because of unfruitfulness. However, many see this interpretation as encountering problems with the Johannine teaching on the security of the believer, especially John 10:28-29. This leaves two basic ways of understanding Jesus’ statements about removal of branches in 15:2 and 15:6: (1) These statements may refer to an unfaithful (disobedient) Christian, who is judged at the judgment seat of Christ “through fire” (cf. 1 Cor 3:11-15). In this case the “removal” of 15:2 may refer (in an extreme case) to the physical death of a disobedient Christian. (2) These statements may refer to someone who was never a genuine believer in the first place (e.g., Judas and the Jews who withdrew after Jesus’ difficult teaching in 6:66), in which case 15:6 refers to eternal judgment. In either instance it is clear that 15:6 refers to the fires of judgment (cf. OT imagery in Ps 80:16 and Ezek 15:1-8). But view (1) requires us to understand this in terms of the judgment of believers at the judgment seat of Christ. This concept does not appear in the Fourth Gospel because from the perspective of the author the believer does not come under judgment; note especially 3:18, 5:24, 5:29. The first reference (3:18) is especially important because it occurs in the context of 3:16-21, the section which is key to the framework of the entire Fourth Gospel and which is repeatedly alluded to throughout. A similar image to this one is used by John the Baptist in Matt 3:10, “And the ax is already laid at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” Since this is addressed to the Pharisees and Sadducees who were coming to John for baptism, it almost certainly represents a call to initial repentance. More importantly, however, the imagery of being cast into the fire constitutes a reference to eternal judgment, a use of imagery which is much nearer to the Johannine imagery in 15:6 than the Pauline concept of the judgment seat of Christ (a judgment for believers) mentioned above. The use of the Greek verb μένω (menw) in 15:6 also supports view (2). When used of the relationship between Jesus and the disciple and/or Jesus and the Father, it emphasizes the permanence of the relationship (John 6:56, 8:31, 8:35, 14:10). The prototypical branch who has not remained is Judas, who departed in 13:30. He did not bear fruit, and is now in the realm of darkness, a mere tool of Satan. His eternal destiny, being cast into the fire of eternal judgment, is still to come. It seems most likely, therefore, that the branches who do not bear fruit and are taken away and burned are false believers, those who profess to belong to Jesus but who in reality do not belong to him. In the Gospel of John, the primary example of this category is Judas. In 1 John 2:18-19 the “antichrists” fall into the same category; they too may be thought of as branches that did not bear fruit. They departed from the ranks of the Christians because they never did really belong, and their departure shows that they did not belong.

80 tn Or “does not yield.”

81 tn Grk “And he”; the conjunction καί (kai, “and”) has been omitted in the translation in keeping with the tendency in contemporary English style to use shorter sentences.

82 tn Or “trims”; Grk “cleanses” (a wordplay with “clean” in v. 3). Καθαίρει (kaqairei) is not the word one would have expected here, but it provides the transition from the vine imagery to the disciples – there is a wordplay (not reproducible in English) between αἴρει (airei) and καθαίρει in this verse. While the purpose of the Father in cleansing his people is clear, the precise means by which he does so is not immediately obvious. This will become clearer, however, in the following verse.

83 tn Or “that yields.”

84 sn The phrase you are clean already occurs elsewhere in the Gospel of John only at the washing of the disciples’ feet in 13:10, where Jesus had used it of the disciples being cleansed from sin. This further confirms the proposed understanding of John 15:2 and 15:6 since Judas was specifically excluded from this statement (but not all of you).

85 tn Or “Reside.”

86 tn Grk “and I in you.” The verb has been repeated for clarity and to conform to contemporary English style, which typically allows fewer ellipses (omitted or understood words) than Greek.

87 sn The branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it remains connected to the vine, from which its life and sustenance flows. As far as the disciples were concerned, they would produce no fruit from themselves if they did not remain in their relationship to Jesus, because the eternal life which a disciple must possess in order to bear fruit originates with Jesus; he is the source of all life and productivity for the disciple.

88 tn Or “resides.”

89 tn While it would be more natural to say “on the vine” (so NAB), the English preposition “in” has been retained here to emphasize the parallelism with the following clause “unless you remain in me.” To speak of remaining “in” a person is not natural English either, but is nevertheless a biblical concept (cf. “in Christ” in Eph 1:3, 4, 6, 7, 11).

90 tn Or “you reside.”

91 tn Or “resides.”

92 tn Or “yields.”

93 tn Grk “in him, this one bears much fruit.” The pronoun “this one” has been omitted from the translation because it is redundant according to contemporary English style.

sn Many interpret the imagery of fruit here and in 15:2, 4 in terms of good deeds or character qualities, relating it to passages elsewhere in the NT like Matt 3:8 and 7:20, Rom 6:22, Gal 5:22, etc. This is not necessarily inaccurate, but one must remember that for John, to have life at all is to bear fruit, while one who does not bear fruit shows that he does not have the life (once again, conduct is the clue to paternity, as in John 8:41; compare also 1 John 4:20).

94 tn Or “do.”

95 tn Or “reside.”

96 sn Such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire. The author does not tell who it is who does the gathering and throwing into the fire. Although some claim that realized eschatology is so prevalent in the Fourth Gospel that no references to final eschatology appear at all, the fate of these branches seems to point to the opposite. The imagery is almost certainly that of eschatological judgment, and recalls some of the OT vine imagery which involves divine rejection and judgment of disobedient Israel (Ezek 15:4-6, 19:12).

97 tn Grk “they gather them up and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.”

98 tn Or “reside.”

99 tn Or “reside.”

100 sn Once again Jesus promises the disciples ask whatever you want, and it will be done for you. This recalls 14:13-14, where the disciples were promised that if they asked anything in Jesus’ name it would be done for them. The two thoughts are really quite similar, since here it is conditioned on the disciples’ remaining in Jesus and his words remaining in them. The first phrase relates to the genuineness of their relationship with Jesus. The second phrase relates to their obedience. When both of these qualifications are met, the disciples would in fact be asking in Jesus’ name and therefore according to his will.

101 tn Grk “glorified.”

102 tn The ἵνα (Jina) clause is best taken as substantival in apposition to ἐν τούτῳ (en toutw) at the beginning of the verse. The Father is glorified when the disciples bring forth abundant fruit. Just as Jesus has done the works which he has seen his Father doing (5:19-29) so also will his disciples.

103 tn Or “yield.”

104 tc Most mss (א A Ψ Ë13 33 Ï) read the future indicative γενήσεσθε (genhsesqe; perhaps best rendered as “[and show that] you will become”), while some early and good witnesses (Ì66vid B D L Θ 0250 1 565 al) have the aorist subjunctive γένησθε (genhsqe; “[and show that] you are”). The original reading is difficult to determine because the external evidence is fairly evenly divided. On the basis of the external evidence alone the first reading has some credibility because of א and 33, but it is not enough to overthrow the Alexandrian and Western witnesses for the aorist. Some who accept the future indicative see a consecutive (or resultative) sequence between φέρητε (ferhte) in the ἵνα (Jina) clause and γενήσεσθε, so that the disciples’ bearing much fruit results in their becoming disciples. This alleviates the problem of reading a future indicative within a ἵνα clause (a grammatical solecism that is virtually unattested in Attic Greek), although such infrequently occurs in the NT, particularly in the Apocalypse (cf. Gal 2:4; Rev 3:9; 6:4, 11; 8:3; 9:4, 5, 20; 13:12; 14:13; 22:14; even here, however, the Byzantine mss, with א occasionally by their side, almost always change the future indicative to an aorist subjunctive). It seems more likely, however, that the second verb (regardless of whether it is read as aorist or future) is to be understood as coordinate in meaning with the previous verb φέρητε (So M. Zerwick, Biblical Greek §342). Thus the two actions are really one and the same: Bearing fruit and being Jesus’ disciple are not two different actions, but a single action. The first is the outward sign or proof of the second – in bearing fruit the disciples show themselves to be disciples indeed (cf. 15:5). Thus the translation followed here is, “that you bear much fruit and show that you are my disciples.” As far as the textual reading is concerned, it appears somewhat preferable to accept the aorist subjunctive reading (γένησθε) on the basis of better external testimony.

105 tn Or “reside.”

106 tn Or “keep.”

107 tn Or “reside.”

108 tn Or “kept.”

109 tn Or “reside.”

110 tn Grk “These things I have spoken to you.”

111 sn Now the reference to the commandments (plural) in 15:10 have been reduced to a singular commandment: The disciples are to love one another, just as Jesus has loved them. This is the ‘new commandment’ of John 13:34, and it is repeated in 15:17. The disciples’ love for one another is compared to Jesus’ love for them. How has Jesus shown his love for the disciples? This was illustrated in 13:1-20 in the washing of the disciples’ feet, introduced by the statement in 13:1 that Jesus loved them “to the end.” In context this constitutes a reference to Jesus’ self-sacrificial death on the cross on their behalf; the love they are to have for one another is so great that it must include a self-sacrificial willingness to die for one another if necessary. This is exactly what Jesus is discussing here, because he introduces the theme of his sacrificial death in the following verse. In John 10:18 and 14:31 Jesus spoke of his death on the cross as a commandment he had received from his Father, which also links the idea of commandment and love as they are linked here. One final note: It is not just the degree or intensity of the disciples’ love for one another that Jesus is referring to when he introduces by comparison his own death on the cross (that they must love one another enough to die for one another) but the very means of expressing that love: It is to express itself in self-sacrifice for one another, sacrifice up to the point of death, which is what Jesus himself did on the cross (cf. 1 John 3:16).

112 tn Or “one dies willingly.”

113 sn This verse really explains John 15:10 in another way. Those who keep Jesus’ commandments are called his friends, those friends for whom he lays down his life (v. 13). It is possible to understand this verse as referring to a smaller group within Christianity as a whole, perhaps only the apostles who were present when Jesus spoke these words. Some have supported this by comparing it to the small group of associates and advisers to the Roman Emperor who were called “Friends of the Emperor.” Others would see these words as addressed only to those Christians who as disciples were obedient to Jesus. In either case the result would be to create a sort of “inner circle” of Christians who are more privileged than mere “believers” or average Christians. In context, it seems clear that Jesus’ words must be addressed to all true Christians, not just some narrower category of believers, because Jesus’ sacrificial death, which is his act of love toward his friends (v. 13) applies to all Christians equally (cf. John 13:1).

114 tn See the note on the word “slaves” in 4:51.

115 tn Or “does not know.”

116 tn Grk “all things.”

117 tn Or “learned.”

118 sn You did not choose me, but I chose you. If the disciples are now elevated in status from slaves to friends, they are friends who have been chosen by Jesus, rather than the opposite way round. Again this is true of all Christians, not just the twelve, and the theme that Christians are “chosen” by God appears frequently in other NT texts (e.g., Rom 8:33; Eph 1:4ff.; Col 3:12; and 1 Pet 2:4). Putting this together with the comments on 15:14 one may ask whether the author sees any special significance at all for the twelve. Jesus said in John 6:70 and 13:18 that he chose them, and 15:27 makes clear that Jesus in the immediate context is addressing those who have been with him from the beginning. In the Fourth Gospel the twelve, as the most intimate and most committed followers of Jesus, are presented as the models for all Christians, both in terms of their election and in terms of their mission.

119 tn Or “and yield.”

120 sn The purpose for which the disciples were appointed (“commissioned”) is to go and bear fruit, fruit that remains. The introduction of the idea of “going” at this point suggests that the fruit is something more than just character qualities in the disciples’ own lives, but rather involves fruit in the lives of others, i.e., Christian converts. There is a mission involved (cf. John 4:36). The idea that their fruit is permanent, however, relates back to vv. 7-8, as does the reference to asking the Father in Jesus’ name. It appears that as the imagery of the vine and the branches develops, the “fruit” which the branches produce shifts in emphasis from qualities in the disciples’ own lives in John 15:2, 4, 5 to the idea of a mission which affects the lives of others in John 15:16. The point of transition would be the reference to fruit in 15:8.

121 tn Grk “These things.”

122 tn Grk “know.”

123 tn Grk “it hated me before you.”

124 tn Grk “if you were of the world.”

125 tn The words “you as” are not in the original but are supplied for clarity.

126 tn Grk “because you are not of the world.”

127 tn Or “world, therefore.”

128 sn I chose you out of the world…the world hates you. Two themes are brought together here. In 8:23 Jesus had distinguished himself from the world in addressing his Jewish opponents: “You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world.” In 15:16 Jesus told the disciples “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you.” Now Jesus has united these two ideas as he informs the disciples that he has chosen them out of the world. While the disciples will still be “in” the world after Jesus has departed, they will not belong to it, and Jesus prays later in John 17:15-16 to the Father, “I do not ask you to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” The same theme also occurs in 1 John 4:5-6: “They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us.” Thus the basic reason why the world hates the disciples (as it hated Jesus before them) is because they are not of the world. They are born from above, and are not of the world. For this reason the world hates them.

129 tn Grk “Remember the word that I said to you.”

130 tn See the note on the word “slaves” in 4:51.

131 sn A slave is not greater than his master. Jesus now recalled a statement he had made to the disciples before, in John 13:16. As the master has been treated, so will the slaves be treated also. If the world had persecuted Jesus, then it would also persecute the disciples. If the world had kept Jesus’ word, it would likewise keep the word of the disciples. In this statement there is the implication that the disciples would carry on the ministry of Jesus after his departure; they would in their preaching and teaching continue to spread the message which Jesus himself had taught while he was with them. And they would meet with the same response, by and large, that he encountered.

132 tn Or “if they kept.”

133 tn Or “they will keep.”

134 tn Or “because of.”

135 tn Jesus is referring to God as “the one who sent me.”

136 tn Grk “they would not have sin” (an idiom).

sn Jesus now describes the guilt of the world. He came to these people with both words (15:22) and sign-miracles (15:24), yet they remained obstinate in their unbelief, and this sin of unbelief was without excuse. Jesus was not saying that if he had not come and spoken to these people they would be sinless; rather he was saying that if he had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of the sin of rejecting him and the Father he came to reveal. Rejecting Jesus is the one ultimate sin for which there can be no forgiveness, because the one who has committed this sin has at the same time rejected the only cure that exists. Jesus spoke similarly to the Pharisees in 9:41: “If you were blind, you would have no sin (same phrase as here), but now you say ‘We see’ your sin remains.”

137 tn Or “If I had not done.”

138 tn Grk “the works.”

139 tn Grk “they would not have sin” (an idiom).

140 tn The words “the deeds” are supplied to clarify from context what was seen. Direct objects in Greek were often omitted when clear from the context.

141 tn Or “But now they have both seen and hated both me and my Father.” It is possible to understand both the “seeing” and the “hating” to refer to both Jesus and the Father, but this has the world “seeing” the Father, which seems alien to the Johannine Jesus. (Some point out John 14:9 as an example, but this is addressed to the disciples, not to the world.) It is more likely that the “seeing” refers to the miraculous deeds mentioned in the first half of the verse. Such an understanding of the first “both – and” construction is apparently supported by BDF §444.3.

142 tn The words “this happened” are not in the Greek text but are supplied to complete an ellipsis.

143 sn A quotation from Ps 35:19 and Ps 69:4. As a technical term law (νόμος, nomos) is usually restricted to the Pentateuch (the first five books of the OT), but here it must have a broader reference, since the quotation is from Ps 35:19 or Ps 69:4. The latter is the more likely source for the quoted words, since it is cited elsewhere in John’s Gospel (2:17 and 19:29, in both instances in contexts associated with Jesus’ suffering and death).

144 tn Or “Helper” or “Counselor”; Grk “Paraclete,” from the Greek word παράκλητος (paraklhto"). See the note on the word “Advocate” in John 14:16 for discussion of how this word is translated.

145 tn Grk “that one.”

146 tn Grk “so that you will not be caused to stumble.”

sn In Johannine thought the verb σκανδαλίζω (skandalizw) means to trip up disciples and cause them to fall away from Jesus’ company (John 6:61, 1 John 2:10). Similar usage is found in Didache 16:5, an early Christian writing from around the beginning of the 2nd century a.d. An example of a disciple who falls away is Judas Iscariot. Here and again in 16:4 Jesus gives the purpose for his telling the disciples about coming persecution: He informs them so that when it happens, the disciples will not fall away, which in this context would refer to the confusion and doubt which they would certainly experience when such persecution began. There may have been a tendency for the disciples to expect immediately after Jesus’ victory over death the institution of the messianic kingdom, particularly in light of the turn of events recorded in the early chapters of Acts. Jesus here forestalls such disillusionment for the disciples by letting them know in advance that they will face persecution and even martyrdom as they seek to carry on his mission in the world after his departure. This material has parallels in the Olivet Discourse (Matt 24-25) and the synoptic parallels.

147 tn Or “expel you from.”

148 sn See the note on synagogue in 6:59.

149 tn Grk “an hour.”

150 sn Jesus now refers not to the time of his return to the Father, as he has frequently done up to this point, but to the disciples’ time of persecution. They will be excommunicated from Jewish synagogues. There will even be a time when those who kill Jesus’ disciples will think that they are offering service to God by putting the disciples to death. Because of the reference to service offered to God, it is almost certain that Jewish opposition is intended here in both cases rather than Jewish opposition in the first instance (putting the disciples out of synagogues) and Roman opposition in the second (putting the disciples to death). Such opposition materializes later and is recorded in Acts: The stoning of Stephen in 7:58-60 and the slaying of James the brother of John by Herod Agrippa I in Acts 12:2-3 are notable examples.

151 tn Grk “And they.” Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and English style, which generally does not, καί (kai) has not been translated here.

152 sn Ignorance of Jesus and ignorance of the Father are also linked in 8:19; to know Jesus would be to know the Father also, but since the world does not know Jesus, neither does it know his Father. The world’s ignorance of the Father is also mentioned in 8:55, 15:21, and 17:25.

153 tn The first half of v. 4 resumes the statement of 16:1, ταῦτα λελάληκα ὑμῖν (tauta lelalhka Jumin), in a somewhat more positive fashion, omitting the reference to the disciples being caused to stumble.

154 tn Grk “their hour.”

155 tn The words “about them” are not in the Greek text, but are implied.

156 sn This verse serves as a transition between the preceding discussion of the persecutions the disciples will face in the world after the departure of Jesus, and the following discussion concerning the departure of Jesus and the coming of the Spirit-Paraclete. Jesus had not told the disciples these things from the beginning because he was with them.

157 sn Now the theme of Jesus’ impending departure is resumed (I am going to the one who sent me). It will also be mentioned in 16:10, 17, and 28. Jesus had said to his opponents in 7:33 that he was going to the one who sent him; in 13:33 he had spoken of going where the disciples could not come. At that point Peter had inquired where he was going, but it appears that Peter did not understand Jesus’ reply at that time and did not persist in further questioning. In 14:5 Thomas had asked Jesus where he was going.

158 sn Now none of the disciples asks Jesus where he is going, and the reason is given in the following verse: They have been overcome with sadness as a result of the predictions of coming persecution that Jesus has just spoken to them in 15:18-25 and 16:1-4a. Their shock at Jesus’ revelation of coming persecution is so great that none of them thinks to ask him where it is that he is going.

159 tn Or “distress” or “grief.”

160 tn Or “Helper” or “Counselor”; Grk “Paraclete,” from the Greek word παράκλητος (paraklhto"). See the note on the word “Advocate” in John 14:16 for a discussion of how this word is translated.

161 tn Grk “when that one.”

162 tn Or “will convict the world,” or “will expose the world.” The conjunction περί (peri) is used in 16:8-11 in the sense of “concerning” or “with respect to.” But what about the verb ἐλέγχω (elencw)? The basic meanings possible for this word are (1) “to convict or convince someone of something”; (2) “to bring to light or expose something; and (3) “to correct or punish someone.” The third possibility may be ruled out in these verses on contextual grounds since punishment is not implied. The meaning is often understood to be that the Paraclete will “convince” the world of its error, so that some at least will repent. But S. Mowinckel (“Die Vorstellungen des Spätjudentums vom heiligen Geist als Fürsprecher und der johanneische Paraklet,” ZNW 32 [1933]: 97-130) demonstrated that the verb ἐλέγχω did not necessarily imply the conversion or reform of the guilty party. This means it is far more likely that conviction in something of a legal sense is intended here (as in a trial). The only certainty is that the accused party is indeed proven guilty (not that they will acknowledge their guilt). Further confirmation of this interpretation is seen in John 14:17 where the world cannot receive the Paraclete and in John 3:20, where the evildoer deliberately refuses to come to the light, lest his deeds be exposed for what they really are (significantly, the verb in John 3:20 is also ἐλέγχω). However, if one wishes to adopt the meaning “prove guilty” for the use of ἐλέγχω in John 16:8 a difficulty still remains: While this meaning fits the first statement in 16:9 – the world is ‘proven guilty’ concerning its sin of refusing to believe in Jesus – it does not fit so well the second and third assertions in vv. 10-11. Thus R. E. Brown (John [AB], 2:705) suggests the more general meaning “prove wrong” which would fit in all three cases. This may be so, but there may also be a developmental aspect to the meaning, which would then shift from v. 9 to v. 10 to v. 11.

163 tn Grk “and concerning.”

164 tn Grk “and concerning.”

165 tn Or “that.” It is very difficult to determine whether ὅτι (Joti; 3 times in 16:9, 10, 11) should be understood as causal or appositional/explanatory: Brown and Bultmann favor appositional or explanatory, while Barrett and Morris prefer a causal sense. A causal idea is preferable here, since it also fits the parallel statements in vv. 10-11 better than an appositional or explanatory use would. In this case Jesus is stating in each instance the reason why the world is proven guilty or wrong by the Spirit-Paraclete.

166 sn Here (v. 9) the world is proven guilty concerning sin, and the reason given is their refusal to believe in Jesus. In 3:19 the effect of Jesus coming into the world as the Light of the world was to provoke judgment, by forcing people to choose up sides for or against him, and they chose darkness rather than light. In 12:37, at the very end of Jesus’ public ministry in John’s Gospel, people were still refusing to believe in him.

167 tn There are two questions that need to be answered: (1) what is the meaning of δικαιοσύνη (dikaiosunh) in this context, and (2) to whom does it pertain – to the world, or to someone else? (1) The word δικαιοσύνη occurs in the Gospel of John only here and in v. 8. It is often assumed that it refers to forensic justification, as it does so often in Paul’s writings. Thus the answer to question (2) would be that it refers to the world. L. Morris states, “The Spirit shows men (and no-one else can do this) that their righteousness before God depends not on their own efforts but on Christ’s atoning work for them” (John [NICNT], 699). Since the word occurs so infrequently in the Fourth Gospel, however, the context must be examined very carefully. The ὅτι (Joti) clause which follows provides an important clue: The righteousness in view here has to do with Jesus’ return to the Father and his absence from the disciples. It is true that in the Fourth Gospel part of what is involved in Jesus’ return to the Father is the cross, and it is through his substitutionary death that people are justified, so that Morris’ understanding of righteousness here is possible. But more basic than this is the idea that Jesus’ return to the Father constitutes his own δικαιοσύνη in the sense of vindication rather than forensic justification. Jesus had repeatedly claimed oneness with the Father, and his opponents had repeatedly rejected this and labeled him a deceiver, a sinner, and a blasphemer (John 5:18, 7:12, 9:24, 10:33, etc.). But Jesus, by his glorification through his return to the Father, is vindicated in his claims in spite of his opponents. In his vindication his followers are also vindicated as well, but their vindication derives from his. Thus one would answer question (1) by saying that in context δικαιοσύνης (dikaiosunh") refers not to forensic justification but vindication, and question (2) by referring this justification/vindication not to the world or even to Christians directly, but to Jesus himself. Finally, how does Jesus’ last statement in v. 10, that the disciples will see him no more, contribute to this? It is probably best taken as a reference to the presence of the Spirit-Paraclete, who cannot come until Jesus has departed (16:7). The meaning of v. 10 is thus: When the Spirit-Paraclete comes he will prove the world wrong concerning the subject of righteousness, namely, Jesus’ righteousness which is demonstrated when he is glorified in his return to the Father and the disciples see him no more (but they will have instead the presence of the Spirit-Paraclete, whom the world is not able to receive).

168 tn Or “that.”

169 sn The world is proven wrong concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. Jesus’ righteousness before the Father, as proven by his return to the Father, his glorification, constitutes a judgment against Satan. This is parallel to the judgment of the world which Jesus provokes in 3:19-21: Jesus’ presence in the world as the Light of the world provokes the judgment of those in the world, because as they respond to the light (either coming to Jesus or rejecting him) so are they judged. That judgment is in a sense already realized. So it is here, where the judgment of Satan is already realized in Jesus’ glorification. This does not mean that Satan does not continue to be active in the world, and to exercise some power over it, just as in 3:19-21 the people in the world who have rejected Jesus and thus incurred judgment continue on in their opposition to Jesus for a time. In both cases the judgment is not immediately executed. But it is certain.

170 tn Or “that.”

171 sn The ruler of this world is a reference to Satan.

172 tn Or “judged.”

173 sn In what sense does Jesus have many more things to say to the disciples? Does this imply the continuation of revelation after his departure? This is probably the case, especially in light of v. 13 and following, which describe the work of the Holy Spirit in guiding the disciples into all truth. Thus Jesus was saying that he would continue to speak (to the twelve, at least) after his return to the Father. He would do this through the Holy Spirit whom he was going to send. It is possible that an audience broader than the twelve is addressed, and in the Johannine tradition there is evidence that later other Christians (or perhaps, professed Christians) claimed to be recipients of revelation through the Spirit-Paraclete (1 John 4:1-6).

174 tn Or (perhaps) “you cannot accept.”

175 tn Grk “that one.”

176 tn Or “will lead.”

177 sn Three important points must be noted here. (1) When the Holy Spirit comes, he will guide the disciples into all truth. What Jesus had said in 8:31-32, “If you continue to follow my teaching you are really my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free,” will ultimately be realized in the ongoing ministry of the Holy Spirit to the disciples after Jesus’ departure. (2) The things the Holy Spirit speaks to them will not be things which originate from himself (he will not speak on his own authority), but things he has heard. This could be taken to mean that no new revelation is involved, as R. E. Brown does (John [AB], 2:714-15). This is a possible but not a necessary inference. The point here concerns the source of the things the Spirit will say to the disciples and does not specifically exclude originality of content. (3) Part at least of what the Holy Spirit will reveal to the disciples will concern what is to come, not just fuller implications of previous sayings of Jesus and the like. This does seem to indicate that at least some new revelation is involved. But the Spirit is not the source or originator of these things – Jesus is the source, and he will continue to speak to his disciples through the Spirit who has come to indwell them. This does not answer the question, however, whether these words are addressed to all followers of Jesus, or only to his apostles. Different modern commentators will answer this question differently. Since in the context of the Farewell Discourse Jesus is preparing the twelve to carry on his ministry after his departure, it is probably best to take these statements as specifically related only to the twelve. Some of this the Holy Spirit does directly for all believers today; other parts of this statement are fulfilled through the apostles (e.g., in giving the Book of Revelation the Spirit speaks through the apostles to the church today of things to come). One of the implications of this is that a doctrine does not have to be traced back to an explicit teaching of Jesus to be authentic; all that is required is apostolic authority.

178 tn Grk “speak from himself.”

179 tn Or will announce to you.”

180 tn Grk “will tell you the things to come.”

181 tn Grk “That one.”

182 tn Or “will honor me.”

183 tn Or “he will take.”

184 tn The words “what is mine” are not in the Greek text, but are implied. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context.

185 tn Or “will announce it to you.”

186 tn Grk “I said he”; the referent (the Spirit) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

187 tn The words “what is mine” are not in the Greek text, but are implied. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context.

188 tn Or “will announce it to you.”

189 tn Grk “A little while, and you.”

190 tn Grk “and again a little while, and you.”

191 sn The phrase after a little while, you will see me is sometimes taken to refer to the coming of the Holy Spirit after Jesus departs, but (as at 14:19) it is much more probable that it refers to the postresurrection appearances of Jesus to the disciples. There is no indication in the context that the disciples will see Jesus only with “spiritual” sight, as would be the case if the coming of the Spirit is in view.

192 tn Grk “What is this that he is saying to us.”

193 tn Grk “A little while, and you.”

194 tn Grk “and again a little while, and you.”

195 sn These fragmentary quotations of Jesus’ statements are from 16:16 and 16:10, and indicate that the disciples heard only part of what Jesus had to say to them on this occasion.

196 tn Grk “they kept on saying.”

197 tn Grk “What is this that he says.”

198 tn Grk “A little while.” Although the phrase τὸ μικρόν (to mikron) in John 16:18 could be translated simply “a little while,” it was translated “in a little while” to maintain the connection to John 16:16, where it has the latter meaning in context.

199 tn Or “we do not know.”

200 tn Grk “what he is speaking.”

201 tn Grk “knew.”

sn Jesus could see. Supernatural knowledge of what the disciples were thinking is not necessarily in view here. Given the disciples’ confused statements in the preceding verses, it was probably obvious to Jesus that they wanted to ask what he meant.

202 tn The words “about these things” are not in the Greek text, but are implied. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context.

203 tn Καί (kai) has been translated as “so” here to indicate the following statement is a result of Jesus’ observation in v. 19a.

204 tn Grk “inquiring” or “seeking.”

205 tn Grk “A little while, and you.”

206 tn Grk “and again a little while, and you.”

207 tn Grk “Truly, truly, I say to you.”

208 tn Or “wail,” “cry.”

209 tn Or “lament.”

210 tn Or “sorrowful.”

211 tn Grk “will become.”

212 sn The same word translated distress here has been translated sadness in the previous verse (a wordplay that is not exactly reproducible in English).

213 tn Grk “her hour.”

214 tn Grk “that a man” (but in a generic sense, referring to a human being).

215 sn Jesus now compares the situation of the disciples to a woman in childbirth. Just as the woman in the delivery of her child experiences real pain and anguish (has distress), so the disciples will also undergo real anguish at the crucifixion of Jesus. But once the child has been born, the mother’s anguish is turned into joy, and she forgets the past suffering. The same will be true of the disciples, who after Jesus’ resurrection and reappearance to them will forget the anguish they suffered at his death on account of their joy.

216 tn Or “distress.”

217 sn An allusion to Isa 66:14 LXX, which reads: “Then you will see, and your heart will be glad, and your bones will flourish like the new grass; and the hand of the Lord will be made known to his servants, but he will be indignant toward his enemies.” The change from “you will see [me]” to I will see you places more emphasis on Jesus as the one who reinitiates the relationship with the disciples after his resurrection, but v. 16 (you will see me) is more like Isa 66:14. Further support for seeing this allusion as intentional is found in Isa 66:7, which uses the same imagery of the woman giving birth found in John 16:21. In the context of Isa 66 the passages refer to the institution of the messianic kingdom, and in fact the last clause of 66:14 along with the following verses (15-17) have yet to be fulfilled. This is part of the tension of present and future eschatological fulfillment that runs throughout the NT, by virtue of the fact that there are two advents. Some prophecies are fulfilled or partially fulfilled at the first advent, while other prophecies or parts of prophecies await fulfillment at the second.

218 tn Grk “And in that day.”

219 tn Grk “Truly, truly, I say to you.”

220 sn This statement is also found in John 15:16.

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

222 tn Or “in parables”; or “in metaphors.” There is some difficulty in defining παροιμίαις (paroimiai") precisely: A translation like “parables” does not convey accurately the meaning. BDAG 779-80 s.v. παροιμία suggests in general “proverb, saw, maxim,” but for Johannine usage “veiled saying, figure of speech, in which esp. lofty ideas are concealed.” In the preceding context of the Farewell Discourse, Jesus has certainly used obscure language and imagery at times: John 13:8-11; 13:16; 15:1-17; and 16:21 could all be given as examples. In the LXX this word is used to translate the Hebrew mashal which covers a wide range of figurative speech, often containing obscure or enigmatic elements.

223 tn Grk “an hour.”

224 tn Or “inform you.”

225 tn Or “openly.”

226 tn Grk “In that day.”

227 tn Grk “I do not say to you.”

228 tc A number of early mss (א1 B C* D L pc co) read πατρός (patros, “Father”) here instead of θεοῦ (qeou, “God”; found in Ì5 א*,2 A C3 W Θ Ψ 33 Ë1,13 Ï). Although externally πατρός has relatively strong support, it is evidently an assimilation to “I came from the Father” at the beginning of v. 28, or more generally to the consistent mention of God as Father throughout this chapter (πατήρ [pathr, “Father”] occurs eleven times in this chapter, while θεός [qeos, “God”] occurs only two other times [16:2, 30]).

229 tn Or “into the world; again.” Here πάλιν (palin) functions as a marker of contrast, with the implication of a sequence.

230 sn The statement I am leaving the world and going to the Father is a summary of the entire Gospel of John. It summarizes the earthly career of the Word made flesh, Jesus of Nazareth, on his mission from the Father to be the Savior of the world, beginning with his entry into the world as he came forth from God and concluding with his departure from the world as he returned to the Father.

231 tn Or “openly.”

232 tn Or “not in parables.” or “not in metaphors.”

sn How is the disciples’ reply to Jesus now you are speaking plainly and not in obscure figures of speech to be understood? Their claim to understand seems a bit impulsive. It is difficult to believe that the disciples have really understood the full implications of Jesus’ words, although it is true that he spoke to them plainly and not figuratively in 16:26-28. The disciples will not fully understand all that Jesus has said to them until after his resurrection, when the Holy Spirit will give them insight and understanding (16:13).

233 tn Grk “all things.”

234 tn Grk “and have no need of anyone.”

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

236 tn Or “By this.”

237 tn Grk “Jesus answered them.”

238 tn Grk “an hour.”

239 tn Grk “each one to his own”; the word “home” is not in the Greek text but is implied. The phrase “each one to his own” may be completed in a number of different ways: “each one to his own property”; “each one to his own family”; or “each one to his own home.” The last option seems to fit most easily into the context and so is used in the translation.

240 sn The proof of Jesus’ negative evaluation of the disciples’ faith is now given: Jesus foretells their abandonment of him at his arrest, trials, and crucifixion (I will be left alone). This parallels the synoptic accounts in Matt 26:31 and Mark 14:27 when Jesus, after the last supper and on the way to Gethsemane, foretold the desertion of the disciples as a fulfillment of Zech 13:7: “Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.” Yet although the disciples would abandon Jesus, he reaffirmed that he was not alone, because the Father was still with him.

241 tn Grk “And” (but with some contrastive force).

242 tn Grk “the Father.”

243 tn The one Greek term θλῖψις (qliyis) has been translated by an English hendiadys (two terms that combine for one meaning) “trouble and suffering.” For modern English readers “tribulation” is no longer clearly understandable.

244 tn Or “but be courageous.”

245 tn Or “I am victorious over the world,” or “I have overcome the world.”

sn The Farewell Discourse proper closes on the triumphant note I have conquered the world, which recalls 1:5 (in the prologue): “the light shines on in the darkness, but the darkness has not mastered it.” Jesus’ words which follow in chap. 17 are addressed not to the disciples but to his Father, as he prays for the consecration of the disciples.



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