1 sn Although the author thought of the town as in Galilee (12:21), Bethsaida technically was in Gaulanitis (Philip the Tetrarch’s territory) across from Herod’s Galilee. There may have been two places called Bethsaida, or this may merely reflect popular imprecision – locally it was considered part of Galilee, even though it was just east of the Jordan river. This territory was heavily Gentile (which may explain why Andrew and Philip both have Gentile names).
2 tn Probably ἀπό (apo) indicates “originally from” in the sense of birthplace rather than current residence; Mark 1:21, 29 seems to locate the home of Andrew and Peter at Capernaum. The entire remark (v. 44) amounts to a parenthetical comment by the author.
3 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.
4 tn Grk “and were asking him, saying.” The participle λέγοντες (legontes) is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated here.