9:5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 1 9:6 Having said this, 2 he spat on the ground and made some mud 3 with the saliva. He 4 smeared the mud on the blind man’s 5 eyes 9:7 and said to him, “Go wash in the pool of Siloam” 6 (which is translated “sent”). 7 So the blind man 8 went away and washed, and came back seeing.
9:8 Then the neighbors and the people who had seen him previously 9 as a beggar began saying, 10 “Is this not the man 11 who used to sit and beg?” 9:9 Some people said, 12 “This is the man!” 13 while others said, “No, but he looks like him.” 14 The man himself 15 kept insisting, “I am the one!” 16 9:10 So they asked him, 17 “How then were you made to see?” 18 9:11 He replied, 19 “The man called Jesus made mud, 20 smeared it 21 on my eyes and told me, 22 ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed, and was able to see.” 23
9:14 (Now the day on which Jesus made the mud 24 and caused him to see 25 was a Sabbath.) 26
9:16 Then some of the Pharisees began to say, 27 “This man is not from God, because he does not observe 28 the Sabbath.” 29 But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner perform 30 such miraculous signs?” Thus there was a division 31 among them.
1 sn Jesus’ statement I am the light of the world connects the present account with 8:12. Here (seen more clearly than at 8:12) it is obvious what the author sees as the significance of Jesus’ statement. “Light” is not a metaphysical definition of the person of Jesus but a description of his effect on the world, forcing everyone in the world to ‘choose up sides’ for or against him (cf. 3:19-21).
2 tn Grk “said these things.”
3 tn Or “clay” (moistened earth of a clay-like consistency). The textual variant preserved in the Syriac text of Ephraem’s commentary on the Diatessaron (“he made eyes from his clay”) probably arose from the interpretation given by Irenaeus in Against Heresies: “that which the Artificer, the Word, had omitted to form in the womb, he then supplied in public.” This involves taking the clay as an allusion to Gen 2:7, which is very unlikely.
4 tn Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, the conjunction καί (kai) was replaced by a third person pronoun and a new sentence started here in the translation.
5 tn Grk “on his.”
6 tn The pool’s name in Hebrew is shiloah from the Hebrew verb “to send.” In Gen 49:10 the somewhat obscure shiloh was interpreted messianically by later Jewish tradition, and some have seen a lexical connection between the two names (although this is somewhat dubious). It is known, however, that it was from the pool of Siloam that the water which was poured out at the altar during the feast of Tabernacles was drawn.
7 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author. Why does he comment on the meaning of the name of the pool? Here, the significance is that the Father sent the Son, and the Son sent the man born blind. The name of the pool is applicable to the man, but also to Jesus himself, who was sent from heaven.
8 tn Grk “So he”; the referent (the blind man) is specified in the translation for clarity.
9 tn Or “formerly.”
10 tn An ingressive force (“began saying”) is present here because the change in status of the blind person provokes this new response from those who knew him.
11 tn Grk “the one.”
12 tn Grk “Others were saying.”
13 tn Grk “This is the one.”
14 tn Grk “No, but he is like him.”
15 tn Grk “That one”; the referent (the man himself) is specified in the translation for clarity.
16 tn Grk “I am he.”
17 tn Grk “So they were saying to him.”
18 tn Grk “How then were your eyes opened” (an idiom referring to restoration of sight).
19 tn Grk “That one answered.”
20 tn Or “clay” (moistened earth of a clay-like consistency).
21 tn Grk “and smeared.” Direct objects in Greek were often omitted when obvious from the context.
22 tn Grk “said to me.”
23 tn Or “and I gained my sight.”
24 tn Or “clay” (moistened earth of a clay-like consistency).
25 tn Grk “and opened his eyes” (an idiom referring to restoration of sight).
26 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author.
27 tn As a response to the answers of the man who used to be blind, the use of the imperfect tense in the reply of the Pharisees is best translated as an ingressive imperfect (“began to say” or “started saying”).
28 tn Grk “he does not keep.”
29 sn The Jewish religious leaders considered the work involved in making the mud to be a violation of the Sabbath.
30 tn Grk “do.”
31 tn Or “So there was discord.”