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John 7:15

Context
7:15 Then the Jewish leaders 1  were astonished 2  and said, “How does this man know so much when he has never had formal instruction?” 3 

1 tn Or “the Jewish authorities”; Grk “the Jews.” Here the phrase refers to the Jewish authorities or leaders who were Jesus’ primary opponents. See the note on the phrase “the Jewish leaders” in v. 1.

2 tn Or “began to be astonished.” This imperfect verb could also be translated ingressively (“began to be astonished”), but for English stylistic reasons it is rendered as a simple past.

3 tn Grk “How does this man know learning since he has not been taught?” The implication here is not that Jesus never went to school (in all probability he did attend a local synagogue school while a youth), but that he was not the disciple of a particular rabbi and had not had formal or advanced instruction under a recognized rabbi (compare Acts 4:13 where a similar charge is made against Peter and John; see also Paul’s comment in Acts 22:3).

sn He has never had formal instruction. Ironically when the Jewish leaders came face to face with the Word become flesh – the preexistent Logos, creator of the universe and divine Wisdom personified – they treated him as an untaught, unlearned person, without the formal qualifications to be a teacher.



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