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John 1:41-46

Context
1:41 He first 1  found his own brother Simon and told him, “We have found the Messiah!” 2  (which is translated Christ). 3  1:42 Andrew brought Simon 4  to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon, the son of John. 5  You will be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter). 6 

The Calling of More Disciples

1:43 On the next day Jesus 7  wanted to set out for Galilee. 8  He 9  found Philip and said 10  to him, “Follow me.” 1:44 (Now Philip was from Bethsaida, 11  the town of 12  Andrew and Peter.) 1:45 Philip found Nathanael 13  and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the law, and the prophets also 14  wrote about – Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” 1:46 Nathanael 15  replied, 16  “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” 17  Philip replied, 18  “Come and see.”

1 tc Most witnesses (א* L Ws Ï) read πρῶτος (prwtos) here instead of πρῶτον (prwton). The former reading would be a predicate adjective and suggest that Andrew “was the first” person to proselytize another regarding Jesus. The reading preferred, however, is the neuter πρῶτον, used as an adverb (BDAG 893 s.v. πρῶτος 1.a.β.), and it suggests that the first thing that Andrew did was to proselytize Peter. The evidence for this reading is early and weighty: Ì66,75 א2 A B Θ Ψ 083 Ë1,13 892 al lat.

2 sn Naturally part of Andrew’s concept of the Messiah would have been learned from John the Baptist (v. 40). However, there were a number of different messianic expectations in 1st century Palestine (see the note on “Who are you?” in v. 19), and it would be wrong to assume that what Andrew meant here is the same thing the author means in the purpose statement at the end of the Fourth Gospel, 20:31. The issue here is not whether the disciples’ initial faith in Jesus as Messiah was genuine or not, but whether their concept of who Jesus was grew and developed progressively as they spent time following him, until finally after his resurrection it is affirmed in the climactic statement of John’s Gospel, the affirmation of Thomas in 20:28.

3 tn Both Greek “Christ” and Hebrew and Aramaic “Messiah” mean “the one who has been anointed.”

sn This is a parenthetical note by the author. See the note on Christ in 1:20.

4 tn Grk “He brought him”; both referents (Andrew, Simon) have been specified in the translation for clarity.

5 tc The reading “Simon, son of John” is well attested in Ì66,75,106 א B* L 33 pc it co. The majority of mss (A B2 Ψ Ë1,13 Ï) read “Simon, the son of Jonah” here instead, but that is perhaps an assimilation to Matt 16:17.

6 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author. The change of name from Simon to Cephas is indicative of the future role he will play. Only John among the gospel writers gives the Greek transliteration (Κηφᾶς, Khfas) of Simon’s new name, Qéphâ (which is Galilean Aramaic). Neither Πέτρος (Petros) in Greek nor Qéphâ in Aramaic is a normal proper name; it is more like a nickname.

7 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity. Jesus is best taken as the subject of εὑρίσκει (Jeuriskei), since Peter would scarcely have wanted to go to Galilee.

8 sn No explanation is given for why Jesus wanted to set out for Galilee, but probably he wanted to go to the wedding at Cana (about a two day trip).

9 tn Grk “and he.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.

10 tn Grk “and Jesus said.”

11 sn Although the author thought of the town as in Galilee (12:21), Bethsaida technically was in Gaulanitis (Philip the Tetrarch’s territory) across from Herod’s Galilee. There may have been two places called Bethsaida, or this may merely reflect popular imprecision – locally it was considered part of Galilee, even though it was just east of the Jordan river. This territory was heavily Gentile (which may explain why Andrew and Philip both have Gentile names).

12 tn Probably ἀπό (apo) indicates “originally from” in the sense of birthplace rather than current residence; Mark 1:21, 29 seems to locate the home of Andrew and Peter at Capernaum. The entire remark (v. 44) amounts to a parenthetical comment by the author.

13 sn Nathanael is traditionally identified with Bartholomew (although John never describes him as such). He appears here after Philip, while in all lists of the twelve except in Acts 1:13, Bartholomew follows Philip. Also, the Aramaic Bar-tolmai means “son of Tolmai,” the surname; the man almost certainly had another name.

14 tn “Also” is not in the Greek text, but is implied.

15 tn Grk “And Nathanael.”

16 tn Grk “said to him.”

17 sn Can anything good come out of Nazareth? may be a local proverb expressing jealousy among the towns.

map For location see Map1 D3; Map2 C2; Map3 D5; Map4 C1; Map5 G3.

18 tn Grk “And Philip said to him.”



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