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John 20:17-20

Context
20:17 Jesus replied, 1  “Do not touch me, for I have not yet ascended to my Father. Go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” 20:18 Mary Magdalene came and informed the disciples, “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them 2  what 3  Jesus 4  had said to her. 5 

Jesus’ Appearance to the Disciples

20:19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the disciples had gathered together 6  and locked the doors 7  of the place 8  because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. 9  Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20:20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 10 

1 tn Grk “Jesus said to her.”

2 tn The words “she told them” are repeated from the first part of the same verse to improve clarity.

3 tn Grk “the things.”

4 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) is specified in the translation for clarity.

5 tn The first part of Mary’s statement, introduced by ὅτι (Joti), is direct discourse (ἑώρακα τὸν κύριον, Jewraka ton kurion), while the second clause switches to indirect discourse (καὶ ταῦτα εἶπεν αὐτῇ, kai tauta eipen auth). This has the effect of heightening the emphasis on the first part of the statement.

6 tn Although the words “had gathered together” are omitted in some of the earliest and best mss, they are nevertheless implied, and have thus been included in the translation.

7 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.

8 tn Grk “where they were.”

9 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 [1975]: 401-9.) Here the phrase refers to the Jewish leaders.

10 sn When the disciples recognized Jesus (now referred to as the Lord, cf. Mary’s words in v. 18) they were suddenly overcome with joy. This was a fulfillment of Jesus’ words to the disciples in the Farewell Discourse (16:20-22) that they would have sorrow while the world rejoiced, but that their sorrow would be turned to lasting joy when they saw him again.



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