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John 18:8-9

Context
18:8 Jesus replied, 1  “I told you that I am he. If you are looking for 2  me, let these men 3  go.” 4  18:9 He said this 5  to fulfill the word he had spoken, 6  “I have not lost a single one of those whom you gave me.” 7 

1 tn Grk “Jesus answered.”

2 tn Grk “if you are seeking.”

3 tn The word “men” is not in the Greek text but is implied. The translation uses the word “men” here rather than a more generic word like “people” because in context Jesus referred only to the eleven remaining disciples who were loyal to him and were present at his arrest.

4 sn A second time Jesus replied, “I told you that I am he,” identifying himself as the one they are seeking. Jesus also added, “If you are looking for me, let these men go.” Jesus successfully diverted attention from his disciples by getting the soldiers and officers of the chief priests to admit (twice) that it is only him they were after. Even in this hour Jesus still protected and cared for his own, giving himself up on their behalf. By handing himself over to his enemies, Jesus ensured that his disciples went free. From the perspective of the author, this is acting out beforehand what Jesus will actually do for his followers when he goes to the cross.

5 tn The words “He said this” are not in the Greek text, but are implied. There is an ellipsis in the Greek text that must be supplied for the modern English reader at this point.

6 sn This expression is similar to John 6:39 and John 17:12.

7 tn Grk “Of the ones whom you gave me, I did not lose one of them.” The order of the clauses has been rearranged to reflect contemporary English style.

sn This action of Jesus on behalf of his disciples is interpreted by the author as a fulfillment of Jesus’ own words: “I have not lost a single one of those whom you gave me.” Here it is Jesus’ own words, rather than the OT scriptures, which are quoted. This same formula will be used by the author again of Jesus’ words in 18:32, but the verb is used elsewhere in the Fourth Gospel to describe the NT fulfillment of OT passages (12:38, 13:18, 15:25, 17:12, 19:24, and 19:36). It is a bit difficult to determine the exact referent, since the words of Jesus quoted in this verse are not an exact reproduction of a saying of Jesus elsewhere in John’s Gospel. Although some have identified the saying with John 6:39, the closest parallel is in 17:12, where the betrayer, Judas, is specifically excluded. The words quoted here in 18:9 appear to be a free rendition of 17:12.



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