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John 12:18-21

Context
12:18 Because they had heard that Jesus 1  had performed this miraculous sign, the crowd went out to meet him. 12:19 Thus the Pharisees 2  said to one another, “You see that you can do nothing. Look, the world has run off after him!”

Seekers

12:20 Now some Greeks 3  were among those who had gone up to worship at the feast. 12:21 So these approached Philip, 4  who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and requested, 5  “Sir, we would like to see Jesus.”

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

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

3 sn These Greeks (῞Ελληνές τινες, {ellhne" tine") who had come up to worship at the feast were probably “God-fearers” rather than proselytes in the strict sense. Had they been true proselytes, they would probably not have been referred to as Greeks any longer. Many came to worship at the major Jewish festivals without being proselytes to Judaism, for example, the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:27, who could not have been a proselyte if he were physically a eunuch.

4 sn These Greeks approached Philip, although it is not clear why they did so. Perhaps they identified with his Greek name (although a number of Jews from border areas had Hellenistic names at this period). By see it is clear they meant “speak with,” since anyone could “see” Jesus moving through the crowd. The author does not mention what they wanted to speak with Jesus about.

5 tn Grk “and were asking him, saying.” The participle λέγοντες (legontes) is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated here.



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