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John 19:39-40

Context
19:39 Nicodemus, the man who had previously come to Jesus 1  at night, 2  accompanied Joseph, 3  carrying a mixture of myrrh and aloes 4  weighing about seventy-five pounds. 5  19:40 Then they took Jesus’ body and wrapped it, with the aromatic spices, 6  in strips of linen cloth 7  according to Jewish burial customs. 8 

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

2 sn See John 3:1-21.

3 tn Grk “came”; the words “accompanied Joseph” are not in the Greek text but are supplied for clarity.

4 sn Aloes refers to an aromatic resin from a plant similar to a lily, used for embalming a corpse.

5 sn The Roman pound (λίτρα, litra) weighed twelve ounces or 325 grams. Thus 100 Roman pounds would be about 32.5 kilograms or 75 pounds.

6 tn On this term see BDAG 140-41 s.v. ἄρωμα. The Jews did not practice embalming, so these materials were used to cover the stench of decay and slow decomposition.

7 tn The Fourth Gospel uses ὀθονίοις (oqonioi") to describe the wrappings, and this has caused a good deal of debate, since it appears to contradict the synoptic accounts which mention a σινδών (sindwn), a large single piece of linen cloth. If one understands ὀθονίοις to refer to smaller strips of cloth, like bandages, there would be a difference, but diminutive forms have often lost their diminutive force in Koine Greek (BDF §111.3), so there may not be any difference.

8 tn Grk “cloth as is the custom of the Jews to prepare for burial.”



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