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John 3:1-36

Context
Conversation with Nicodemus

3:1 Now a certain man, a Pharisee 1  named Nicodemus, who was a member of the Jewish ruling council, 2  3:2 came to Jesus 3  at night 4  and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs 5  that you do unless God is with him.” 3:3 Jesus replied, 6  “I tell you the solemn truth, 7  unless a person is born from above, 8  he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 9  3:4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter his mother’s womb and be born a second time, can he?” 10 

3:5 Jesus answered, “I tell you the solemn truth, 11  unless a person is born of water and spirit, 12  he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 3:6 What is born of the flesh is flesh, 13  and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. 3:7 Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must all 14  be born from above.’ 15  3:8 The wind 16  blows wherever it will, and you hear the sound it makes, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” 17 

3:9 Nicodemus replied, 18  “How can these things be?” 19  3:10 Jesus answered, 20  “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you don’t understand these things? 21  3:11 I tell you the solemn truth, 22  we speak about what we know and testify about what we have seen, but 23  you people 24  do not accept our testimony. 25  3:12 If I have told you people 26  about earthly things and you don’t believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 27  3:13 No one 28  has ascended 29  into heaven except the one who descended from heaven – the Son of Man. 30  3:14 Just as 31  Moses lifted up the serpent 32  in the wilderness, 33  so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 34  3:15 so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.” 35 

3:16 For this is the way 36  God loved the world: He gave his one and only 37  Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish 38  but have eternal life. 39  3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, 40  but that the world should be saved through him. 3:18 The one who believes in him is not condemned. 41  The one who does not believe has been condemned 42  already, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only 43  Son of God. 3:19 Now this is the basis for judging: 44  that the light has come into the world and people 45  loved the darkness rather than the light, because their deeds were evil. 3:20 For everyone who does evil deeds hates the light and does not come to the light, so that their deeds will not be exposed. 3:21 But the one who practices the truth comes to the light, so that it may be plainly evident that his deeds have been done in God. 46 

Further Testimony About Jesus by John the Baptist

3:22 After this, 47  Jesus and his disciples came into Judean territory, and there he spent time with them and was baptizing. 3:23 John 48  was also baptizing at Aenon near Salim, 49  because water was plentiful there, and people were coming 50  to him 51  and being baptized. 3:24 (For John had not yet been thrown into prison.) 52 

3:25 Now a dispute came about between some of John’s disciples and a certain Jew 53  concerning ceremonial washing. 54  3:26 So they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, the one who was with you on the other side of the Jordan River, 55  about whom you testified – see, he is baptizing, and everyone is flocking to him!”

3:27 John replied, 56  “No one can receive anything unless it has been given to him from heaven. 3:28 You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Christ,’ 57  but rather, ‘I have been sent before him.’ 3:29 The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands by and listens for him, rejoices greatly 58  when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. This then is my joy, and it is complete. 59  3:30 He must become more important while I become less important.” 60 

3:31 The one who comes from above is superior to all. 61  The one who is from the earth belongs to the earth and speaks about earthly things. 62  The one who comes from heaven 63  is superior to all. 64  3:32 He testifies about what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. 3:33 The one who has accepted his testimony has confirmed clearly that God is truthful. 65  3:34 For the one whom God has sent 66  speaks the words of God, for he does not give the Spirit sparingly. 67  3:35 The Father loves the Son and has placed all things under his authority. 68  3:36 The one who believes in the Son has eternal life. The one who rejects 69  the Son will not see life, but God’s wrath 70  remains 71  on him.

John 11:1-57

Context
The Death of Lazarus

11:1 Now a certain man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village where Mary and her sister Martha lived. 72  11:2 (Now it was Mary who anointed the Lord with perfumed oil 73  and wiped his feet dry with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.) 74  11:3 So the sisters sent a message 75  to Jesus, 76  “Lord, look, the one you love is sick.” 11:4 When Jesus heard this, he said, “This sickness will not lead to death, 77  but to God’s glory, 78  so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” 79  11:5 (Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.) 80 

11:6 So when he heard that Lazarus 81  was sick, he remained in the place where he was for two more days. 11:7 Then after this, he said to his disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” 82  11:8 The disciples replied, 83  “Rabbi, the Jewish leaders 84  were just now trying 85  to stone you to death! Are 86  you going there again?” 11:9 Jesus replied, 87  “Are there not twelve hours in a day? If anyone walks around in the daytime, he does not stumble, 88  because he sees the light of this world. 89  11:10 But if anyone walks around at night, 90  he stumbles, 91  because the light is not in him.”

11:11 After he said this, he added, 92  “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep. 93  But I am going there to awaken him.” 11:12 Then the disciples replied, 94  “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” 11:13 (Now Jesus had been talking about 95  his death, but they 96  thought he had been talking about real sleep.) 97 

11:14 Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died, 11:15 and I am glad 98  for your sake that I was not there, so that you may believe. 99  But let us go to him.” 11:16 So Thomas (called Didymus 100 ) 101  said to his fellow disciples, “Let us go too, so that we may die with him.” 102 

Speaking with Martha and Mary

11:17 When 103  Jesus arrived, 104  he found that Lazarus 105  had been in the tomb four days already. 106  11:18 (Now Bethany was less than two miles 107  from Jerusalem, 108  11:19 so many of the Jewish people of the region 109  had come to Martha and Mary to console them 110  over the loss of their brother.) 111  11:20 So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary was sitting in the house. 112  11:21 Martha 113  said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 11:22 But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will grant 114  you.” 115 

11:23 Jesus replied, 116  “Your brother will come back to life again.” 117  11:24 Martha said, 118  “I know that he will come back to life again 119  in the resurrection at the last day.” 11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live 120  even if he dies, 11:26 and the one who lives and believes in me will never die. 121  Do you believe this?” 11:27 She replied, 122  “Yes, Lord, I believe 123  that you are the Christ, 124  the Son of God who comes into the world.” 125 

11:28 And when she had said this, Martha 126  went and called her sister Mary, saying privately, 127  “The Teacher is here and is asking for you.” 128  11:29 So when Mary 129  heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. 11:30 (Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still in the place where Martha had come out to meet him.) 11:31 Then the people 130  who were with Mary 131  in the house consoling her saw her 132  get up quickly and go out. They followed her, because they thought she was going to the tomb to weep 133  there.

11:32 Now when Mary came to the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 11:33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the people 134  who had come with her weeping, he was intensely moved 135  in spirit and greatly distressed. 136  11:34 He asked, 137  “Where have you laid him?” 138  They replied, 139  “Lord, come and see.” 11:35 Jesus wept. 140  11:36 Thus the people who had come to mourn 141  said, “Look how much he loved him!” 11:37 But some of them said, “This is the man who caused the blind man to see! 142  Couldn’t he have done something to keep Lazarus 143  from dying?”

Lazarus Raised from the Dead

11:38 Jesus, intensely moved 144  again, came to the tomb. (Now it was a cave, and a stone was placed across it.) 145  11:39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” 146  Martha, the sister of the deceased, 147  replied, “Lord, by this time the body will have a bad smell, 148  because he has been buried 149  four days.” 150  11:40 Jesus responded, 151  “Didn’t I tell you that if you believe, you would see the glory of God?” 11:41 So they took away 152  the stone. Jesus looked upward 153  and said, “Father, I thank you that you have listened to me. 154  11:42 I knew that you always listen to me, 155  but I said this 156  for the sake of the crowd standing around here, that they may believe that you sent me.” 11:43 When 157  he had said this, he shouted in a loud voice, 158  “Lazarus, come out!” 11:44 The one who had died came out, his feet and hands tied up with strips of cloth, 159  and a cloth wrapped around his face. 160  Jesus said to them, “Unwrap him 161  and let him go.”

The Response of the Jewish Leaders

11:45 Then many of the people, 162  who had come with Mary and had seen the things Jesus 163  did, believed in him. 11:46 But some of them went to the Pharisees 164  and reported to them 165  what Jesus had done. 11:47 So the chief priests and the Pharisees 166  called the council 167  together and said, “What are we doing? For this man is performing many miraculous signs. 11:48 If we allow him to go on in this way, 168  everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away our sanctuary 169  and our nation.”

11:49 Then one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said, 170  “You know nothing at all! 11:50 You do not realize 171  that it is more to your advantage to have one man 172  die for the people than for the whole nation to perish.” 173  11:51 (Now he did not say this on his own, 174  but because he was high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the Jewish nation, 175  11:52 and not for the Jewish nation 176  only, 177  but to gather together 178  into one the children of God who are scattered.) 179  11:53 So from that day they planned together to kill him.

11:54 Thus Jesus no longer went 180  around publicly 181  among the Judeans, 182  but went away from there to the region near the wilderness, to a town called Ephraim, 183  and stayed there with his disciples. 11:55 Now the Jewish feast of Passover 184  was near, and many people went up to Jerusalem 185  from the rural areas before the Passover to cleanse themselves ritually. 186  11:56 Thus they were looking for Jesus, 187  and saying to one another as they stood in the temple courts, 188  “What do you think? That he won’t come to the feast?” 11:57 (Now the chief priests and the Pharisees 189  had given orders that anyone who knew where Jesus 190  was should report it, so that they could arrest 191  him.) 192 

1 sn See the note on Pharisees in 1:24.

2 tn Grk “a ruler of the Jews” (denoting a member of the Sanhedrin, the highest legal, legislative, and judicial body among the Jews).

3 tn Grk “him”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

4 tn Or “during the night.”

sn Possibly Nicodemus cameat night because he was afraid of public association with Jesus, or he wanted a lengthy discussion without interruptions; no explanation for the timing of the interview is given by the author. But the timing is significant for John in terms of the light-darkness motif – compare John 9:4, 11:10, 13:30 (especially), 19:39, and 21:3. Out of the darkness of his life and religiosity Nicodemus came to the Light of the world. The author probably had multiple meanings or associations in mind here, as is often the case.

5 sn The reference to signs (σημεῖα, shmeia) forms a link with John 2:23-25. Those people in Jerusalem believed in Jesus because of the signs he had performed. Nicodemus had apparently seen them too. But for Nicodemus all the signs meant is that Jesus was a great teacher sent from God. His approach to Jesus was well-intentioned but theologically inadequate; he had failed to grasp the messianic implications of the miraculous signs.

6 tn Grk “answered and said to him.”

7 tn Grk “Truly, truly, I say to you.”

8 tn The word ἄνωθεν (anwqen) has a double meaning, either “again” (in which case it is synonymous with παλίν [palin]) or “from above” (BDAG 92 s.v. ἄνωθεν). This is a favorite technique of the author of the Fourth Gospel, and it is lost in almost all translations at this point. John uses the word 5 times, in 3:3, 7; 3:31; 19:11 and 23. In the latter 3 cases the context makes clear that it means “from above.” Here (3:3, 7) it could mean either, but the primary meaning intended by Jesus is “from above.” Nicodemus apparently understood it the other way, which explains his reply, “How can a man be born when he is old? He can’t enter his mother’s womb a second time and be born, can he?” The author uses the technique of the “misunderstood question” often to bring out a particularly important point: Jesus says something which is misunderstood by the disciples or (as here) someone else, which then gives Jesus the opportunity to explain more fully and in more detail what he really meant.

sn Or born again. The Greek word ἄνωθεν (anwqen) can mean both “again” and “from above,” giving rise to Nicodemus’ misunderstanding about a second physical birth (v. 4).

9 sn What does Jesus’ statement about not being able to see the kingdom of God mean within the framework of John’s Gospel? John uses the word kingdom (βασιλεία, basileia) only 5 times (3:3, 5; 18:36 [3x]). Only here is it qualified with the phrase of God. The fact that John does not stress the concept of the kingdom of God does not mean it is absent from his theology, however. Remember the messianic implications found in John 2, both the wedding and miracle at Cana and the cleansing of the temple. For Nicodemus, the term must surely have brought to mind the messianic kingdom which Messiah was supposed to bring. But Nicodemus had missed precisely this point about who Jesus was. It was the Messiah himself with whom Nicodemus was speaking. Whatever Nicodemus understood, it is clear that the point is this: He misunderstood Jesus’ words. He over-literalized them, and thought Jesus was talking about repeated physical birth, when he was in fact referring to new spiritual birth.

10 tn The grammatical structure of the question in Greek presupposes a negative reply.

11 tn Grk “Truly, truly, I say to you.”

12 tn Or “born of water and wind” (the same Greek word, πνεύματος [pneumatos], may be translated either “spirit/Spirit” or “wind”).

sn Jesus’ somewhat enigmatic statement points to the necessity of being born “from above,” because water and wind/spirit/Spirit come from above. Isaiah 44:3-5 and Ezek 37:9-10 are pertinent examples of water and wind as life-giving symbols of the Spirit of God in his work among people. Both occur in contexts that deal with the future restoration of Israel as a nation prior to the establishment of the messianic kingdom. It is therefore particularly appropriate that Jesus should introduce them in a conversation about entering the kingdom of God. Note that the Greek word πνεύματος is anarthrous (has no article) in v. 5. This does not mean that spirit in the verse should be read as a direct reference to the Holy Spirit, but that both water and wind are figures (based on passages in the OT, which Nicodemus, the teacher of Israel should have known) that represent the regenerating work of the Spirit in the lives of men and women.

13 sn What is born of the flesh is flesh, i.e., what is born of physical heritage is physical. (It is interesting to compare this terminology with that of the dialogue in John 4, especially 4:23, 24.) For John the “flesh” (σάρξ, sarx) emphasizes merely the weakness and mortality of the creature – a neutral term, not necessarily sinful as in Paul. This is confirmed by the reference in John 1:14 to the Logos becoming “flesh.” The author avoids associating sinfulness with the incarnate Christ.

14 tn “All” has been supplied to indicate the plural pronoun in the Greek text.

15 tn Or “born again.” The same Greek word with the same double meaning occurs in v. 3.

16 tn The same Greek word, πνεύματος (pneumatos), may be translated “wind” or “spirit.”

17 sn Again, the physical illustrates the spiritual, although the force is heightened by the word-play here on wind-spirit (see the note on wind at the beginning of this verse). By the end of the verse, however, the final usage of πνεύματος (pneumatos) refers to the Holy Spirit.

18 tn Grk “Nicodemus answered and said to him.”

19 snHow can these things be?” is Nicodemus’ answer. It is clear that at this time he has still not grasped what Jesus is saying. Note also that this is the last appearance of Nicodemus in the dialogue. Having served the purpose of the author, at this point he disappears from the scene. As a character in the narrative, he has served to illustrate the prevailing Jewish misunderstanding of Jesus’ teaching about the necessity of a new, spiritual birth from above. Whatever parting words Nicodemus might have had with Jesus, the author does not record them.

20 tn Grk “Jesus answered and said to him.”

21 sn Jesus’ question “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you don’t understand these things?” implies that Nicodemus had enough information at his disposal from the OT scriptures to have understood Jesus’ statements about the necessity of being born from above by the regenerating work of the Spirit. Isa 44:3-5 and Ezek 37:9-10 are passages Nicodemus might have known which would have given him insight into Jesus’ words. Another significant passage which contains many of these concepts is Prov 30:4-5.

22 tn Grk “Truly, truly, I say to you.”

23 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to show the contrast present in the context.

24 tn The word “people” is not in the Greek text, but is supplied in the translation to indicate that the verb is second person plural (referring to more than Nicodemus alone).

25 sn Note the remarkable similarity of Jesus’ testimony to the later testimony of the Apostle John himself in 1 John 1:2: “And we have seen and testify and report to you the eternal life which was with the Father and was revealed to us.” This is only one example of how thoroughly the author’s own thoughts were saturated with the words of Jesus (and also how difficult it is to distinguish the words of Jesus from the words of the author in the Fourth Gospel).

26 tn The word “people” is not in the Greek text, but is supplied to indicate that the verb is second person plural (referring to more than Nicodemus alone).

27 sn Obviously earthly things and heavenly things are in contrast, but what is the contrast? What are earthly things which Jesus has just spoken to Nicodemus? And through him to others – this is not the first instance of the plural pronoun, see v. 7, you must all. Since Nicodemus began with a plural (we know, v. 2) Jesus continues it, and through Nicodemus addresses a broader audience. It makes most sense to take this as a reference to the things Jesus has just said (and the things he is about to say, vv. 13-15). If this is the case (and it seems the most natural explanation) then earthly things are not necessarily strictly physical things, but are so called because they take place on earth, in contrast to things like v. 16, which take place in heaven. Some have added the suggestion that the things are called earthly because physical analogies (birth, wind, water) are used to describe them. This is possible, but it seems more probable that Jesus calls these things earthly because they happen on earth (even though they are spiritual things). In the context, taking earthly things as referring to the words Jesus has just spoken fits with the fact that Nicodemus did not believe. And he would not after hearing heavenly things either, unless he first believed in the earthly things – which included the necessity of a regenerating work from above, by the Holy Spirit.

28 tn Grk “And no one.”

29 sn The verb ascended is a perfect tense in Greek (ἀναβέβηκεν, anabebhken) which seems to look at a past, completed event. (This is not as much of a problem for those who take Jesus’ words to end at v. 12, and these words to be a comment by the author, looking back on Jesus’ ascension.) As a saying of Jesus, these words are a bit harder to explain. Note, however, the lexical similarities with 1:51: “ascending,” “descending,” and “son of man.” Here, though, the ascent and descent is accomplished by the Son himself, not the angels as in 1:51. There is no need to limit this saying to Jesus’ ascent following the resurrection, however; the point of the Jacob story (Gen 28), which seems to be the background for 1:51, is the freedom of communication and relationship between God and men (a major theme of John’s Gospel). This communication comes through the angels in Gen 28 (and John 1:51); but here (most appropriately) it comes directly through the Son of Man. Although Jesus could be referring to a prior ascent, after an appearance as the preincarnate Son of Man, more likely he is simply pointing out that no one from earth has ever gone up to heaven and come down again. The Son, who has come down from heaven, is the only one who has been ‘up’ there. In both Jewish intertestamental literature and later rabbinic accounts, Moses is portrayed as ascending to heaven to receive the Torah and descending to distribute it to men (e.g., Targum Ps 68:19.) In contrast to these Jewish legends, the Son is the only one who has ever made the ascent and descent.

30 tc Most witnesses, including a few important ones (A[*] Θ Ψ 050 Ë1,13 Ï latt syc,p,h), have at the end of this verse “the one who is in heaven” (ὁ ὢν ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ, Jo wn en tw ouranw). A few others have variations on this phrase, such as “who was in heaven” (e syc), or “the one who is from heaven” (0141 pc sys). The witnesses normally considered the best, along with several others, lack the phrase in its entirety (Ì66,75 א B L T Ws 083 086 33 1241 pc co). On the one hand, if the reading ὁ ὢν ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ is authentic it may suggest that while Jesus was speaking to Nicodemus he spoke of himself as in heaven even while he was on earth. If that is the case, one could see why variations from this hard saying arose: “who was in heaven,” “the one who is from heaven,” and omission of the clause. At the same time, such a saying could be interpreted (though with difficulty) as part of the narrator’s comments rather than Jesus’ statement to Nicodemus, alleviating the problem. And if v. 13 was viewed in early times as the evangelist’s statement, “the one who is in heaven” could have crept into the text through a marginal note. Other internal evidence suggests that this saying may be authentic. The adjectival participle, ὁ ὤν, is used in the Fourth Gospel more than any other NT book (though the Apocalypse comes in a close second), and frequently with reference to Jesus (1:18; 6:46; 8:47). It may be looking back to the LXX of Exod 3:14 (ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ ὤν). Especially since this exact construction is not necessary to communicate the location of the Son of Man, its presence in many witnesses here may suggest authenticity. Further, John uses the singular of οὐρανός (ourano", “heaven”) in all 18 instances of the word in this Gospel, and all but twice with the article (only 1:32 and 6:58 are anarthrous, and even in the latter there is significant testimony to the article). At the same time, the witnesses that lack this clause are very weighty and must not be discounted. Generally speaking, if other factors are equal, the reading of such mss should be preferred. And internally, it could be argued that ὁ ὤν is the most concise way to speak of the Son of Man in heaven at that time (without the participle the point would be more ambiguous). Further, the articular singular οὐρανός is already used twice in this verse, thus sufficiently prompting scribes to add the same in the longer reading. This combination of factors suggests that ὁ ὢν ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ is not a genuine Johannism. Further intrinsic evidence against the longer reading relates to the evangelist’s purposes: If he intended v. 13 to be his own comments rather than Jesus’ statement, his switch back to Jesus’ words in v. 14 (for the lifting up of the Son of Man is still seen as in the future) seems inexplicable. The reading “who is in heaven” thus seems to be too hard. All things considered, as intriguing as the longer reading is, it seems almost surely to have been a marginal gloss added inadvertently to the text in the process of transmission. For an argument in favor of the longer reading, see David Alan Black, “The Text of John 3:13,” GTJ 6 (1985): 49-66.

sn See the note on the title Son of Man in 1:51.

31 tn Grk “And just as.”

32 sn Or the snake, referring to the bronze serpent mentioned in Num 21:9.

33 sn An allusion to Num 21:5-9.

34 sn So must the Son of Man be lifted up. This is ultimately a prediction of Jesus’ crucifixion. Nicodemus could not have understood this, but John’s readers, the audience to whom the Gospel is addressed, certainly could have (compare the wording of John 12:32). In John, being lifted up refers to one continuous action of ascent, beginning with the cross but ending at the right hand of the Father. Step 1 is Jesus’ death; step 2 is his resurrection; and step 3 is the ascension back to heaven. It is the upward swing of the “pendulum” which began with the incarnation, the descent of the Word become flesh from heaven to earth (cf. Paul in Phil 2:5-11). See also the note on the title Son of Man in 1:51.

35 tn This is the first use of the term ζωὴν αἰώνιον (zwhn aiwnion) in the Gospel, although ζωή (zwh) in chap. 1 is to be understood in the same way without the qualifying αἰώνιος (aiwnios).

sn Some interpreters extend the quotation of Jesus’ words through v. 21.

36 tn Or “this is how much”; or “in this way.” The Greek adverb οὕτως (Joutws) can refer (1) to the degree to which God loved the world, that is, to such an extent or so much that he gave his own Son (see R. E. Brown, John [AB], 1:133-34; D. A. Carson, John, 204) or (2) simply to the manner in which God loved the world, i.e., by sending his own son (see R. H. Gundry and R. W. Howell, “The Sense and Syntax of John 3:14-17 with Special Reference to the Use of Οὕτωςὥστε in John 3:16,” NovT 41 [1999]: 24-39). Though the term more frequently refers to the manner in which something is done (see BDAG 741-42 s.v. οὕτω/οὕτως), the following clause involving ὥστε (Jwste) plus the indicative (which stresses actual, but [usually] unexpected result) emphasizes the greatness of the gift God has given. With this in mind, then, it is likely (3) that John is emphasizing both the degree to which God loved the world as well as the manner in which He chose to express that love. This is in keeping with John’s style of using double entendre or double meaning. Thus, the focus of the Greek construction here is on the nature of God's love, addressing its mode, intensity, and extent.

37 tn Although this word is often translated “only begotten,” such a translation is misleading, since in English it appears to express a metaphysical relationship. The word in Greek was used of an only child (a son [Luke 7:12, 9:38] or a daughter [Luke 8:42]). It was also used of something unique (only one of its kind) such as the mythological Phoenix (1 Clement 25:2). From here it passes easily to a description of Isaac (Heb 11:17 and Josephus, Ant. 1.13.1 [1.222]) who was not Abraham’s only son, but was one-of-a-kind because he was the child of the promise. Thus the word means “one-of-a-kind” and is reserved for Jesus in the Johannine literature of the NT. While all Christians are children of God (τέκνα θεοῦ, tekna qeou), Jesus is God’s Son in a unique, one-of-a-kind sense. The word is used in this way in all its uses in the Gospel of John (1:14, 1:18, 3:16, and 3:18).

38 tn In John the word ἀπόλλυμι (apollumi) can mean either (1) to be lost (2) to perish or be destroyed, depending on the context.

39 sn The alternatives presented are only two (again, it is typical of Johannine thought for this to be presented in terms of polar opposites): perish or have eternal life.

40 sn That is, “to judge the world to be guilty and liable to punishment.”

41 tn Grk “judged.”

42 tn Grk “judged.”

43 tn See the note on the term “one and only” in 3:16.

44 tn Or “this is the reason for God judging,” or “this is how judgment works.”

45 tn Grk “and men,” but in a generic sense, referring to people of both genders (as “everyone” in v. 20 makes clear).

46 sn John 3:16-21 provides an introduction to the (so-called) “realized” eschatology of the Fourth Gospel: Judgment has come; eternal life may be possessed now, in the present life, as well as in the future. The terminology “realized eschatology” was originally coined by E. Haenchen and used by J. Jeremias in discussion with C. H. Dodd, but is now characteristically used to describe Dodd’s own formulation. See L. Goppelt, Theology of the New Testament, 1:54, note 10, and R. E. Brown (John [AB], 1:cxvii-cxviii) for further discussion. Especially important to note is the element of choice portrayed in John’s Gospel. If there is a twofold reaction to Jesus in John’s Gospel, it should be emphasized that that reaction is very much dependent on a person’s choice, a choice that is influenced by his way of life, whether his deeds are wicked or are done in God (John 3:20-21). For John there is virtually no trace of determinism at the surface. Only when one looks beneath the surface does one find statements like “no one can come to me, unless the Father who sent me draws him” (John 6:44).

47 tn This section is related loosely to the preceding by μετὰ ταῦτα (meta tauta). This constitutes an indefinite temporal reference; the intervening time is not specified.

48 sn John refers to John the Baptist.

49 tn The precise locations of Αἰνών (Ainwn) and Σαλείμ (Saleim) are unknown. Three possibilities are suggested: (1) In Perea, which is in Transjordan (cf. 1:28). Perea is just across the river from Judea. (2) In the northern Jordan Valley, on the west bank some 8 miles [13 km] south of Scythopolis. But with the Jordan River so close, the reference to abundant water (3:23) seems superfluous. (3) Thus Samaria has been suggested. 4 miles (6.6 km) east of Shechem is a town called Salim, and 8 miles (13 km) northeast of Salim lies modern Ainun. In the general vicinity are many springs. Because of the meanings of the names (Αἰνών = “springs” in Aramaic and Σαλείμ = Salem, “peace”) some have attempted to allegorize here that John the Baptist is near salvation. Obviously there is no need for this. It is far more probable that the author has in mind real places, even if their locations cannot be determined with certainty.

50 tn Or “people were continually coming.”

51 tn The words “to him” are not in the Greek text, but are implied.

52 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author.

53 tc Was this dispute between the Baptist’s disciples and an individual Judean (᾿Ιουδαίου, Ioudaiou) or representatives of the Jewish authorities (᾿Ιουδαίων, Ioudaiwn)? There is good external support for the plural ᾿Ιουδαίων (Ì66 א* Θ Ë1,13 565 al latt), but the external evidence for the singular ᾿Ιουδαίου is slightly stronger ({Ì75 א2 A B L Ψ 33 1241 the majority of Byzantine minuscules and others}).

tn Or “a certain Judean.” Here BDAG 478 s.v. ᾿Ιουδαίος 2.a states, “Judean (with respect to birth, nationality, or cult).” If the emphasis is simply on the individual’s origin, “Judean” would be preferable since it designates a nationality or place of origin. However, the mention of ceremonial washing in the context suggests the dispute was religious in nature, so “Jew” has been retained in the translation here.

54 tn Or “ceremonial cleansing,” or “purification.”

sn What was the controversy concerning ceremonial washing? It is not clear. Some have suggested that it was over the relative merits of the baptism of Jesus and John. But what about the ceremonial nature of the washing? There are so many unanswered questions here that even R. E. Brown (who does not usually resort to dislocations in the text as a solution to difficulties) proposes that this dialogue originally took place immediately after 1:19-34 and before the wedding at Cana. (Why else the puzzled hostility of the disciples over the crowds coming to Jesus?) Also, the synoptics imply John was imprisoned before Jesus began his Galilean ministry. At any rate, there is no reason to rearrange the material here – it occurs in this place for a very good reason. As far as the author is concerned, it serves as a further continuation of the point made to Nicodemus, that is, the necessity of being born “from above” (3:3). Note that John the Baptist describes Jesus as “the one who comes from heaven” in 3:31 (ἄνωθεν [anwqen], the same word as in 3:3). There is another lexical tie to preceding material: The subject of the dispute, ceremonial washing (3:25), calls to mind the six stone jars of water changed to wine at the wedding feast in 2:6, put there for “Jewish ceremonial washing.” This section ultimately culminates and concludes ideas begun in chap. 2 and continued in chap. 3. Although the author does not supply details, one scenario would be this: The disciples of John, perplexed after this disagreement with an individual Jew (or with the Jewish authorities), came to John and asked about the fact that Jesus was baptizing and more and more were coming to him. John had been preaching a baptism of repentance for forgiveness of sin (see Mark 1:4, Luke 3:3). Possibly what the Jew(s) reported to John’s disciples was that Jesus was now setting aside the Jewish purification rituals as unnecessary. To John’s disciples this might also be interpreted as: (a) a falling away from Judaism, and (b) a break with John’s own teaching. That Jesus could have said this is very evident from many incidents in his ministry in all the gospels. The thrust would be that outward cleansing (that is, observance of purification rituals) was not what made a person clean. A new heart within (that is, being born from above) is what makes a person clean. So John’s disciples came to him troubled about an apparent contradiction in doctrine though the explicit problem they mentioned is that Jesus was baptizing and multitudes were coming to him. (Whether Jesus was or was not baptizing really wasn’t the issue though, and John the Baptist knew that because he didn’t mention it in his reply. In 4:2 the author says that Jesus was not baptizing, but his disciples. That reference would seem to cover this incident as well, and so the disciples of John are just reporting what they have heard, or thought they heard.) The real point at issue is the authority of Jesus to “overturn” the system of ritual purification within Judaism. John replied to this question of the authority of Jesus in 3:27-36. In 3:27-30 he reassured his disciples, reminding them that if more people were coming to Jesus, it did not threaten him at all, because “heaven” had ordained it to be so (v. 27). (After all, some of these very disciples of John had presumably heard him tell the Jewish delegation that he was not the Messiah but was sent before him, mentioned in John 1.) Then John compared himself to the friend of the bridegroom who stands by and yet participates in the bridegroom’s joy (v. 29). John was completely content in his own position as forerunner and preparer of the way.

55 tn “River” is not in the Greek text but is supplied for clarity.

56 tn Grk “answered and said.”

57 tn Or “the Messiah” (Both Greek “Christ” and Hebrew and Aramaic “Messiah” mean “one who has been anointed”).

sn See the note on Christ in 1:20.

58 tn Grk “rejoices with joy” (an idiom).

59 tn Grk “Therefore this my joy is fulfilled.”

60 sn Some interpreters extend the quotation of John the Baptist’s words through v. 36.

61 tn Or “is above all.”

62 tn Grk “speaks from the earth.”

63 sn The one who comes from heaven refers to Christ. As in John 1:1, the Word’s preexistence is indicated here.

64 tc Ì75 א* D Ë1 565 as well as several versions and fathers lack the phrase “is superior to all” (ἐπάνω πάντων ἐστίν, epanw pantwn estin). This effectively joins the last sentence of v. 31 with v. 32: “The one who comes from heaven testifies about what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony.” On the other side, the phrase may have been deleted because of perceived redundancy, since it duplicates what is said earlier in the verse. The witnesses that include ἐπάνω πάντων ἐστίν in both places are weighty and widespread (Ì36vid,66 א2 A B L Ws Θ Ψ 083 086 Ë13 33 Ï lat sys,p,h bo). On balance, the longer reading should probably be considered authentic.

tn Or “is above all.”

65 tn Or “is true.”

66 tn That is, Christ.

67 tn Grk “for not by measure does he give the Spirit” (an idiom). Leviticus Rabbah 15:2 states: “The Holy Spirit rested on the prophets by measure.” Jesus is contrasted to this. The Spirit rests upon him without measure.

68 tn Grk “has given all things into his hand” (an idiom).

69 tn Or “refuses to believe,” or “disobeys.”

70 tn Or “anger because of evil,” or “punishment.”

71 tn Or “resides.”

72 tn Grk “from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.”

73 tn Or “perfume,” “ointment.”

74 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author. It is a bit surprising that the author here identifies Mary as the one who anointed the Lord with perfumed oil and wiped his feet dry with her hair, since this event is not mentioned until later, in 12:3. Many see this “proleptic” reference as an indication that the author expected his readers to be familiar with the story already, and go on to assume that in general the author in writing the Fourth Gospel assumed his readers were familiar with the other three gospels. Whether the author assumed actual familiarity with the synoptic gospels or not, it is probable that he did assume some familiarity with Mary’s anointing activity.

75 tn The phrase “a message” is not in the Greek text but is implied. Direct objects in Greek were often omitted when clear from context.

76 tn Grk “to him, saying”; the referent (Jesus) is specified in the translation for clarity.

77 tn Grk “This sickness is not to death.”

sn Jesus plainly stated the purpose of Lazarus’ sickness in the plan of God: The end of the matter would not be death, but the glorification of the Son. Johannine double-meanings abound here: Even though death would not be the end of the matter, Lazarus is going to die; and ultimately his death and resurrection would lead to the death and resurrection of the Son of God (11:45-53). Furthermore, the glorification of the Son is not praise that comes to him for the miracle, but his death, resurrection, and return to the Father which the miracle precipitates (note the response of the Jewish authorities in 11:47-53).

78 tn Or “to God’s praise.”

79 sn So that the Son of God may be glorified through it. These statements are highly ironic: For Lazarus, the sickness did not end in his death, because he was restored to life. But for Jesus himself, the miraculous sign he performed led to his own death, because it confirmed the authorities in their plan to kill Jesus (11:47-53). In the Gospel of John, Jesus’ death is consistently portrayed as his ‘glorification’ through which he accomplishes his return to the Father.

80 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author. It was necessary for the author to reaffirm Jesus’ love for Martha and her sister and Lazarus here because Jesus’ actions in the following verse appear to be contradictory.

81 tn Grk “that he”; the referent (Lazarus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

82 sn The village of Bethany, where Lazarus was, lies in Judea, less than 2 mi (3 km) from Jerusalem (see 11:18).

83 tn Grk “The disciples said to him.”

84 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. See the previous references and the notes on the phrase “Jewish people” in v. 19, and “Jewish religious leaders” in vv. 24, 31, 33.

85 tn Grk “seeking.”

86 tn Grk “And are.” Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and English style, which generally does not, καί (kai) has not been translated here.

87 tn Grk “Jesus answered.”

88 tn Or “he does not trip.”

89 sn What is the light of this world? On one level, of course, it refers to the sun, but the reader of John’s Gospel would recall 8:12 and understand Jesus’ symbolic reference to himself as the light of the world. There is only a limited time left (Are there not twelve hours in a day?) until the Light will be withdrawn (until Jesus returns to the Father) and the one who walks around in the dark will trip and fall (compare the departure of Judas by night in 13:30).

90 tn Grk “in the night.”

91 tn Or “he trips.”

92 tn Grk “He said these things, and after this he said to them.”

93 tn The verb κοιμάω (koimaw) literally means “sleep,” but it is often used in the Bible as a euphemism for death when speaking of believers. This metaphorical usage by its very nature emphasizes the hope of resurrection: Believers will one day “wake up” out of death. Here the term refers to death, but “asleep” was used in the translation to emphasize the metaphorical, rhetorical usage of the term, especially in light of the disciples’ confusion over what Jesus actually meant (see v. 13).

94 tn Grk “Then the disciples said to him.”

95 tn Or “speaking about.”

96 tn Grk “these.”

97 tn Grk “the sleep of slumber”; this is a redundant expression to emphasize physical sleep as opposed to death.

sn This is a parenthetical note by the author.

98 tn Grk “and I rejoice.”

99 sn So that you may believe. Why does Jesus make this statement? It seems necessary to understand the disciples’ belief here in a developmental sense, because there are numerous references to the disciples’ faith previous to this in John’s Gospel, notably 2:11. Their concept of who Jesus really was is continually being expanded and challenged; they are undergoing spiritual growth; the climax is reached in the confession of Thomas in John 20:28.

100 sn Didymus means “the twin” in Greek.

101 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author.

102 sn One gets the impression from Thomas’ statement “Let us go too, so that we may die with him” that he was something of a pessimist resigned to his fate. And yet his dedicated loyalty to Jesus and his determination to accompany him at all costs was truly commendable. Nor is the contrast between this statement and the confession of Thomas in 20:28, which forms the climax of the entire Fourth Gospel, to be overlooked; certainly Thomas’ concept of who Jesus is has changed drastically between 11:16 and 20:28.

103 tn Grk “Then when.”

104 tn Grk “came.”

105 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Lazarus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

106 tn Grk “he had already had four days in the tomb” (an idiom).

sn There is no description of the journey itself. The author simply states that when Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had been in the tomb four days already. He had died some time before this but probably not very long (cf. Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5:6,10 who were buried immediately after they died, as was the common practice of the time). There is some later evidence (early 3rd century) of a rabbinic belief that the soul hovered near the body of the deceased for three days, hoping to be able to return to the body. But on the fourth day it saw the beginning of decomposition and finally departed (Leviticus Rabbah 18.1). If this belief is as old as the 1st century, it might suggest the significance of the four days: After this time, resurrection would be a first-order miracle, an unequivocal demonstration of the power of God. It is not certain if the tradition is this early, but it is suggestive. Certainly the author does not appear to attach any symbolic significance to the four days in the narrative.

107 tn Or “three kilometers”; Grk “fifteen stades” (a stade as a unit of linear measure is about 607 feet or 187 meters).

108 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

109 tn Or “many of the Judeans” (cf. BDAG 479 s.v. ᾿Ιουδαῖος 2.e); Grk “many of the Jews.” Here the phrase refers to the residents of Jerusalem and the surrounding area in general (those who had been friends or relatives of Lazarus or his sisters would mainly be in view) since the Jewish religious authorities (“the chief priests and the Pharisees”) are specifically mentioned as a separate group in John 11:46-47. See also the note on the phrase “the Jewish leaders” in v. 8.

110 tn Or “to comfort them” or “to offer them sympathy.”

111 tn Grk “to comfort them concerning their brother”; the words “loss of” are not in the Greek text but are implied.

sn This is a parenthetical note by the author.

112 sn Notice the difference in the response of the two sisters: Martha went out to meet Jesus, while Mary remains sitting in the house. It is similar to the incident in Luke 10:38-42. Here again one finds Martha occupied with the responsibilities of hospitality; she is the one who greets Jesus.

113 tn Grk “Then Martha.” Here οὖν (oun) has not been translated for stylistic reasons.

114 tn Or “give.”

115 sn The statement “whatever you ask from God, God will grant you” by Martha presents something of a dilemma, because she seems to be suggesting here (implicitly at least) the possibility of a resurrection for her brother. However, Martha’s statement in 11:39 makes it clear that she had no idea that a resurrection was still possible. How then are her words in 11:22 to be understood? It seems best to take them as a confession of Martha’s continuing faith in Jesus even though he was not there in time to help her brother. She means, in effect, “Even though you weren’t here in time to help, I still believe that God grants your requests.”

116 tn Grk “Jesus said to her.”

117 tn Or “Your brother will rise again.”

sn Jesus’ remark to Martha that Lazarus would come back to life again is another example of the misunderstood statement. Martha apparently took it as a customary statement of consolation and joined Jesus in professing belief in the general resurrection of the body at the end of the age. However, as Jesus went on to point out in 11:25-26, Martha’s general understanding of the resurrection at the last day was inadequate for the present situation, for the gift of life that conquers death was a present reality to Jesus. This is consistent with the author’s perspective on eternal life in the Fourth Gospel: It is not only a future reality, but something to be experienced in the present as well. It is also consistent with the so-called “realized eschatology” of the Fourth Gospel.

118 tn Grk “Martha said to him.”

119 tn Or “will rise again.”

120 tn That is, will come to life.

121 tn Grk “will never die forever.”

122 tn Grk “She said to him.”

123 tn The perfect tense in Greek is often used to emphasize the results or present state of a past action. Such is the case here. To emphasize this nuance the perfect tense verb πεπίστευκα (pepisteuka) has been translated as a present tense. This is in keeping with the present context, where Jesus asks of her present state of belief in v. 26, and the theology of the Gospel as a whole, which emphasizes the continuing effects and present reality of faith. For discussion on this use of the perfect tense, see ExSyn 574-76 and B. M. Fanning, Verbal Aspect, 291-97.

124 tn Or “the Messiah” (Both Greek “Christ” and Hebrew and Aramaic “Messiah” mean “one who has been anointed”).

sn See the note on Christ in 1:20.

125 tn Or “the Son of God, the one who comes into the world.”

126 tn Grk “she”; the referent (Martha) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

127 tn Or “in secret” (as opposed to publicly, so that the other mourners did not hear).

128 tn Grk “is calling you.”

129 tn Grk “she”; the referent (Mary) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

130 tn Or “the Judeans”; Grk “the Jews.” Here the phrase refers to the friends, acquaintances, and relatives of Lazarus or his sisters who had come to mourn, since the Jewish religious authorities are specifically mentioned as a separate group in John 11:46-47. See also the notes on the phrase “the Jewish leaders” in v. 8 and “the Jewish people of the region” in v. 19.

131 tn Grk “her”; the referent (Mary) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

132 tn Grk “Mary”; the proper name (Mary) has been replaced with the pronoun (her) in keeping with conventional English style, to avoid repetition.

133 tn Or “to mourn” (referring to the loud wailing or crying typical of public mourning in that culture).

134 tn Or “the Judeans”; Grk “the Jews.” Here the phrase refers to the friends, acquaintances, and relatives of Lazarus or his sisters who had come to mourn, since the Jewish religious authorities are specifically mentioned as a separate group in John 11:46-47. See also the notes on the phrase “the Jewish leaders” in v. 8, “the Jewish people of the region” in v. 19, and the word “people” in v. 31.

135 tn Or (perhaps) “he was deeply indignant.” The verb ἐνεβριμήσατο (enebrimhsato), which is repeated in John 11:38, indicates a strong display of emotion, somewhat difficult to translate – “shuddered, moved with the deepest emotions.” In the LXX, the verb and its cognates are used to describe a display of indignation (Dan 11:30, for example – see also Mark 14:5). Jesus displayed this reaction to the afflicted in Mark 1:43, Matt 9:30. Was he angry at the afflicted? No, but he was angry because he found himself face-to-face with the manifestations of Satan’s kingdom of evil. Here, the realm of Satan was represented by death.

136 tn Or “greatly troubled.” The verb ταράσσω (tarassw) also occurs in similar contexts to those of ἐνεβριμήσατο (enebrimhsato). John uses it in 14:1 and 27 to describe the reaction of the disciples to the imminent death of Jesus, and in 13:21 the verb describes how Jesus reacted to the thought of being betrayed by Judas, into whose heart Satan had entered.

137 tn Grk “And he said.” Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and English style, which generally does not, καί (kai) has not been translated here.

138 tn Or “Where have you placed him?”

139 tn Grk “They said to him.” The indirect object αὐτῷ (autw) has not been translated here for stylistic reasons.

140 sn Jesus wept. The Greek word used here for Jesus’ weeping (ἐδάκρυσεν, edakrusen) is different from the one used to describe the weeping of Mary and the Jews in v. 33 which indicated loud wailing and cries of lament. This word simply means “to shed tears” and has more the idea of quiet grief. But why did Jesus do this? Not out of grief for Lazarus, since he was about to be raised to life again. L. Morris (John [NICNT], 558) thinks it was grief over the misconception of those round about. But it seems that in the context the weeping is triggered by the thought of Lazarus in the tomb: This was not personal grief over the loss of a friend (since Lazarus was about to be restored to life) but grief over the effects of sin, death, and the realm of Satan. It was a natural complement to the previous emotional expression of anger (11:33). It is also possible that Jesus wept at the tomb of Lazarus because he knew there was also a tomb for himself ahead.

141 tn Or “the Judeans”; Grk “the Jews.” Here the phrase refers to the friends, acquaintances, and relatives of Lazarus or his sisters who had come to mourn, since the Jewish religious authorities are specifically mentioned as a separate group in John 11:46-47. See also the notes on the phrase “the Jewish leaders” in v. 8 and “the Jewish people of the region” in v. 19, as well as the notes on the word “people” in vv. 31, 33.

142 tn Grk “who opened the eyes of the blind man” (“opening the eyes” is an idiom referring to restoration of sight).

143 tn Grk “this one”; the second half of 11:37 reads Grk “Could not this one who opened the eyes of the blind have done something to keep this one from dying?” In the Greek text the repetition of “this one” in 11:37b referring to two different persons (first Jesus, second Lazarus) could confuse a modern reader. Thus the first reference, to Jesus, has been translated as “he” to refer back to the beginning of v. 37, where the reference to “the man who caused the blind man to see” is clearly a reference to Jesus. The second reference, to Lazarus, has been specified (“Lazarus”) in the translation for clarity.

144 tn Or (perhaps) “Jesus was deeply indignant.”

145 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author.

146 tn Or “Remove the stone.”

147 tn Grk “the sister of the one who had died.”

148 tn Grk “already he stinks.”

149 tn Or “been there” (in the tomb – see John 11:17).

150 sn He has been buried four days. Although all the details of the miracle itself are not given, those details which are mentioned are important. The statement made by Martha is extremely significant for understanding what actually took place. There is no doubt that Lazarus had really died, because the decomposition of his body had already begun to take place, since he had been dead for four days.

151 tn Grk “Jesus said to her.”

152 tn Or “they removed.”

153 tn Grk “lifted up his eyes above.”

154 tn Or “that you have heard me.”

155 tn Grk “that you always hear me.”

156 tn The word “this” is not in the Greek text. Direct objects in Greek were often omitted when clear from the context.

157 tn Grk “And when.”

158 sn The purpose of the loud voice was probably to ensure that all in the crowd could hear (compare the purpose of the prayer of thanksgiving in vv. 41-42).

159 sn Many have wondered how Lazarus got out of the tomb if his hands and feet were still tied up with strips of cloth. The author does not tell, and with a miracle of this magnitude, this is not an important fact to know. If Lazarus’ decomposing body was brought back to life by the power of God, then it could certainly have been moved out of the tomb by that same power. Others have suggested that the legs were bound separately, which would remove the difficulty, but the account gives no indication of this. What may be of more significance for the author is the comparison which this picture naturally evokes with the resurrection of Jesus, where the graveclothes stayed in the tomb neatly folded (20:6-7). Jesus, unlike Lazarus, would never need graveclothes again.

160 tn Grk “and his face tied around with cloth.”

161 tn Grk “Loose him.”

162 tn Or “the Judeans”; Grk “the Jews.” Here the phrase refers to the friends, acquaintances, and relatives of Lazarus or his sisters who had come to mourn, since the Jewish religious authorities are specifically mentioned as a separate group in John 11:46-47. See also the notes on the phrase “the Jewish leaders” in v. 8 and “the Jewish people of the region” in v. 19, as well as the notes on the word “people” in vv. 31, 33 and the phrase “people who had come to mourn” in v. 36.

163 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

164 sn See the note on Pharisees in 1:24.

165 tn Grk “told them.”

166 tn The phrase “chief priests and Pharisees” is a comprehensive name for the groups represented in the ruling council (the Sanhedrin) as in John 7:45; 18:3; Acts 5:22, 26.

167 tn Or “Sanhedrin” (the Sanhedrin was the highest legal, legislative, and judicial body among the Jews). The συνέδριον (sunedrion) which they gathered was probably an informal meeting rather than the official Sanhedrin. This is the only occurrence of the word συνέδριον in the Gospel of John, and the only anarthrous singular use in the NT. There are other plural anarthrous uses which have the general meaning “councils.” The fact that Caiaphas in 11:49 is referred to as “one of them” supports the unofficial nature of the meeting; in the official Sanhedrin he, being high priest that year, would have presided over the assembly. Thus it appears that an informal council was called to discuss what to do about Jesus and his activities.

168 tn Grk “If we let him do thus.”

169 tn Or “holy place”; Grk “our place” (a reference to the temple in Jerusalem).

170 tn Grk “said to them.” The indirect object αὐτοῖς (autois) has not been translated for stylistic reasons.

171 tn Or “you are not considering.”

172 tn Although it is possible to argue that ἄνθρωπος (anqrwpo") should be translated “person” here since it is not necessarily masculinity that is in view in Caiaphas’ statement, “man” was retained in the translation because in 11:47 “this man” (οὗτος ὁ ἄνθρωπος, outo" Jo anqrwpo") has as its referent a specific individual, Jesus, and it was felt this connection should be maintained.

173 sn In his own mind Caiaphas was no doubt giving voice to a common-sense statement of political expediency. Yet he was unconsciously echoing a saying of Jesus himself (cf. Mark 10:45). Caiaphas was right; the death of Jesus would save the nation from destruction. Yet Caiaphas could not suspect that Jesus would die, not in place of the political nation Israel, but on behalf of the true people of God; and he would save them, not from physical destruction, but from eternal destruction (cf. 3:16-17). The understanding of Caiaphas’ words in a sense that Caiaphas could not possibly have imagined at the time he uttered them serves as a clear example of the way in which the author understood that words and actions could be invested retrospectively with a meaning not consciously intended or understood by those present at the time.

174 tn Grk “say this from himself.”

175 tn The word “Jewish” is not in the Greek text, but is clearly implied by the context (so also NIV; TEV “the Jewish people”).

176 tn See the note on the word “nation” in the previous verse.

177 sn The author in his comment expands the prophecy to include the Gentiles (not for the Jewish nation only), a confirmation that the Fourth Gospel was directed, at least partly, to a Gentile audience. There are echoes of Pauline concepts here (particularly Eph 2:11-22) in the stress on the unity of Jew and Gentile.

178 tn Grk “that he might gather together.”

179 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author.

180 tn Grk “walked.”

181 tn Or “openly.”

182 tn Grk “among the Jews.” Here the phrase refers to the residents of Judea in general, who would be likely to report Jesus to the religious authorities. The vicinity around Jerusalem was no longer safe for Jesus and his disciples. On the translation “Judeans” cf. BDAG 479 s.v. ᾿Ιουδαῖος 2.e. See also the references in vv. 8, 19, 31, 33, 36, and 45.

183 tn There is no certain identification of the location to which Jesus withdrew in response to the decision of the Jewish authorities. Many have suggested the present town of Et-Taiyibeh, identified with ancient Ophrah (Josh 18:23) or Ephron (Josh 15:9). If so, this would be 12-15 mi (19-24 km) northeast of Jerusalem.

184 tn Grk “the Passover of the Jews.” This is the final Passover of Jesus’ ministry. The author is now on the eve of the week of the Passion. Some time prior to the feast itself, Jerusalem would be crowded with pilgrims from the surrounding districts (ἐκ τῆς χώρας, ek th" cwra") who had come to purify themselves ceremonially before the feast.

185 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

186 tn Or “to purify themselves” (to undergo or carry out ceremonial cleansing before participating in the Passover celebration).

187 tn Grk “they were seeking Jesus.”

188 tn Grk “in the temple.”

189 tn The phrase “chief priests and Pharisees” is a comprehensive name for the groups represented in the ruling council (the Sanhedrin) as in John 7:45; 18:3; Acts 5:22, 26.

190 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

191 tn Or “could seize.”

192 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author.



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