20:19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the disciples had gathered together 4 and locked the doors 5 of the place 6 because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. 7 Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
1 sn The first day of the week would be early Sunday morning. The Sabbath (and in this year the Passover) would have lasted from 6 p.m. Friday until 6 p.m. Saturday. Sunday would thus mark the first day of the following week.
2 sn John does not mention that Mary Magdalene was accompanied by any of the other women who had been among Jesus’ followers. The synoptic accounts all mention other women who accompanied her (although Mary Magdalene is always mentioned first). Why John does not mention the other women is not clear, but Mary probably becomes the focus of the author’s attention because it was she who came and found Peter and the beloved disciple and informed them of the empty tomb (20:2). Mary’s use of the plural in v. 2 indicates there were others present, in indirect agreement with the synoptic accounts.
3 tn Grk “from the tomb.”
4 tn Although the words “had gathered together” are omitted in some of the earliest and best
5 tn Grk “the doors were shut”; “locked” conveys a more appropriate idea for the modern English reader.
sn The fact that the disciples locked the doors is a perfectly understandable reaction to the events of the past few days. But what is the significance of the inclusion of this statement by the author? It is often taken to mean that Jesus, when he entered the room, passed through the closed doors. This may well be the case, but it may be assuming too much about our knowledge of the mode in which the resurrected body of Jesus exists. The text does not explicitly state how Jesus got through the closed doors. It is possible to assume that the doors opened of their own accord before him, or that he simply appeared in the middle of the room without passing through the doors at all. The point the author makes here is simply that the closed doors were no obstacle at all to the resurrected Jesus.
6 tn Grk “where they were.”
7 tn Or “the Jewish authorities”; Grk “the Jews.” In NT usage the term ᾿Ιουδαῖοι (Ioudaioi) may refer to the entire Jewish people, the residents of Jerusalem and surrounding territory, the authorities in Jerusalem, or merely those who were hostile to Jesus. (For further information see R. G. Bratcher, “‘The Jews’ in the Gospel of John,” BT 26 : 401-9.) Here the phrase refers to the Jewish leaders.
8 tn Grk “were inside”; the word “together” is implied.
9 tn Grk “the doors were shut”; “locked” conveys a more appropriate idea for the modern English reader.
sn See the note on the phrase locked the doors in 20:19.