John 6:1-3

The Feeding of the Five Thousand

6:1 After this Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee (also called the Sea of Tiberias). 6:2 A large crowd was following him because they were observing the miraculous signs he was performing on the sick. 6:3 So Jesus went on up the mountainside and sat down there with his disciples.

tn Again, μετὰ ταῦτα (meta tauta) is a vague temporal reference. How Jesus got from Jerusalem to Galilee is not explained, which has led many scholars (e.g., Bernard, Bultmann, and Schnackenburg) to posit either editorial redaction or some sort of rearrangement or dislocation of material (such as reversing the order of chaps. 5 and 6, for example). Such a rearrangement of the material would give a simple and consistent connection of events, but in the absence of all external evidence it does not seem to be supportable. R. E. Brown (John [AB], 1:236) says that such an arrangement is attractive in some ways but not compelling, and that no rearrangement can solve all the geographical and chronological problems in John.

sn This is a parenthetical note by the author. Only John in the New Testament refers to the Sea of Galilee by the name Sea of Tiberias (see also John 21:1), but this is correct local usage. In the mid-20’s Herod completed the building of the town of Tiberias on the southwestern shore of the lake; after this time the name came into use for the lake itself.

sn Up on the mountainside does not necessarily refer to a particular mountain or hillside, but may simply mean “the hill country” or “the high ground,” referring to the high country east of the Sea of Galilee (known today as the Golan Heights).