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John 18:15-18

Context
Peter’s First Denial

18:15 Simon Peter and another disciple followed them as they brought Jesus to Annas. 1  (Now the other disciple 2  was acquainted with the high priest, and he went with Jesus into the high priest’s courtyard.) 3  18:16 But Simon Peter was left standing outside by the door. So the other disciple who was acquainted with the high priest came out and spoke to the slave girl who watched the door, 4  and brought Peter inside. 18:17 The girl 5  who was the doorkeeper said to Peter, “You’re not one of this man’s disciples too, are you?” 6  He replied, 7  “I am not.” 18:18 (Now the slaves 8  and the guards 9  were standing around a charcoal fire they had made, warming themselves because it was cold. 10  Peter also was standing with them, warming himself.) 11 

1 tn The words “them as they brought Jesus to Annas” are not in the Greek text, but are supplied to clarify who Peter and the other disciple were following. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context.

2 tn Grk “that disciple.”

sn Many have associated this unnamed other disciple with the beloved disciple, that is, John son of Zebedee, mainly because the phrase the other disciple which occurs here is also used to describe the beloved disciple in John 20:2, 3, 4, and 8. Peter is also closely associated with the beloved disciple in 13:23-26, 20:2-10, 21:7, and 21:20-23. But other identifications have also been proposed, chiefly because v. 16 states that this disciple who was accompanied by Peter was known to the high priest. As C. K. Barrett (St. John, 525) points out, the term γνωστός (gnwstos) is used in the LXX to refer to a close friend (Ps 54:14 LXX [55:14 ET]). This raises what for some is an insurmountable difficulty in identifying the “other disciple” as John son of Zebedee, since how could the uneducated son of an obscure Galilean fisherman be known to such a powerful and influential family in Jerusalem? E. A. Abbott (as quoted in “Notes of Recent Exposition,” ExpTim 25 [1913/14]: 149-50) proposed that the “other disciple” who accompanied Peter was Judas, since he was the one disciple of whom it is said explicitly (in the synoptic accounts) that he had dealings with the high priest. E. A. Tindall (“Contributions and Comments: John xviii.15,” ExpTim 28 [1916/17]: 283-84) suggested the disciple was Nicodemus, who as a member of the Sanhedrin, would have had access to the high priest’s palace. Both of these suggestions, while ingenious, nevertheless lack support from the text of the Fourth Gospel itself or the synoptic accounts. W. Wuellner (The Meaning ofFishers of Men” [NTL]) argues that the common attitude concerning the low social status and ignorance of the disciples from Galilee may in fact be a misconception. Zebedee is presented in Mark 1:20 as a man wealthy enough to have hired servants, and Mark 10:35-45 presents both of the sons of Zebedee as concerned about status and prestige. John’s mother appears in the same light in Matt 20:20-28. Contact with the high priestly family in Jerusalem might not be so unlikely in such circumstances. Others have noted the possibility that John came from a priestly family, some of which is based upon a statement in Eusebius (Ecclesiastical History 3.31.3) quoting Polycrates that John son of Zebedee was a priest. For further information on possible priestly connections among members of John’s family see L. Morris (John [NICNT], 752, n. 32). None of this is certain, but on the whole it seems most probable that the disciple who accompanied Peter and gained entry into the courtyard for him was John son of Zebedee.

3 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author.

4 tn Grk “spoke to the doorkeeper”; her description as a slave girl is taken from the following verse. The noun θυρωρός (qurwro") may be either masculine or feminine, but the article here indicates that it is feminine.

5 tn Grk “slave girl.” Since the descriptive term “slave girl” was introduced in the translation in the previous verse, it would be redundant to repeat the full expression here.

6 tn Questions prefaced with μή (mh) in Greek anticipate a negative answer. This can sometimes be indicated by using a “tag” at the end in English (here the tag is “are you?”).

7 tn Grk “He said.”

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

9 tn That is, the “guards of the chief priests” as distinguished from the household slaves of Annas.

10 tn Grk “because it was cold, and they were warming themselves.”

11 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author.



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