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John 15:22-24

Context
15:22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. 1  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 2  among them the miraculous deeds 3  that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. 4  But now they have seen the deeds 5  and have hated both me and my Father. 6 

1 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.”

2 tn Or “If I had not done.”

3 tn Grk “the works.”

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

5 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.

6 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.



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