16:25 “I have told you these things in obscure figures of speech; 1 a time 2 is coming when I will no longer speak to you in obscure figures, but will tell you 3 plainly 4 about the Father.
16:29 His disciples said, “Look, now you are speaking plainly 5 and not in obscure figures of speech! 6
1 tn Or “in parables”; or “in metaphors.” There is some difficulty in defining παροιμίαις (paroimiai") precisely: A translation like “parables” does not convey accurately the meaning. BDAG 779-80 s.v. παροιμία suggests in general “proverb, saw, maxim,” but for Johannine usage “veiled saying, figure of speech, in which esp. lofty ideas are concealed.” In the preceding context of the Farewell Discourse, Jesus has certainly used obscure language and imagery at times: John 13:8-11; 13:16; 15:1-17; and 16:21 could all be given as examples. In the LXX this word is used to translate the Hebrew mashal which covers a wide range of figurative speech, often containing obscure or enigmatic elements.
2 tn Grk “an hour.”
3 tn Or “inform you.”
4 tn Or “openly.”
5 tn Or “openly.”
6 tn Or “not in parables.” or “not in metaphors.”
sn How is the disciples’ reply to Jesus now you are speaking plainly and not in obscure figures of speech to be understood? Their claim to understand seems a bit impulsive. It is difficult to believe that the disciples have really understood the full implications of Jesus’ words, although it is true that he spoke to them plainly and not figuratively in 16:26-28. The disciples will not fully understand all that Jesus has said to them until after his resurrection, when the Holy Spirit will give them insight and understanding (16:13).