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John 7:14-24

Teaching in the Temple

7:14 When the feast was half over, Jesus went up to the temple courts 1  and began to teach. 2  7:15 Then the Jewish leaders 3  were astonished 4  and said, “How does this man know so much when he has never had formal instruction?” 5  7:16 So Jesus replied, 6  “My teaching is not from me, but from the one who sent me. 7  7:17 If anyone wants to do God’s will, 8  he will know about my teaching, whether it is from God or whether I speak from my own authority. 9  7:18 The person who speaks on his own authority 10  desires 11  to receive honor 12  for himself; the one who desires 13  the honor 14  of the one who sent him is a man of integrity, 15  and there is no unrighteousness in him. 7:19 Hasn’t Moses given you the law? Yet not one of you keeps 16  the law! Why do you want 17  to kill me?”

7:20 The crowd 18  answered, “You’re possessed by a demon! 19  Who is trying to kill you?” 20  7:21 Jesus replied, 21  “I performed one miracle 22  and you are all amazed. 23  7:22 However, because Moses gave you the practice of circumcision 24  (not that it came from Moses, but from the forefathers), you circumcise a male child 25  on the Sabbath. 7:23 But if a male child 26  is circumcised 27  on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses is not broken, 28  why are you angry with me because I made a man completely well 29  on the Sabbath? 7:24 Do not judge according to external appearance, 30  but judge with proper 31  judgment.”

1 tn Grk “to the temple.”

2 tn Or “started teaching.” An ingressive sense for the imperfect verb (“began to teach” or “started teaching”) fits well here, since the context implies that Jesus did not start his teaching at the beginning of the festival, but began when it was about half over.

3 tn Or “the Jewish authorities”; Grk “the Jews.” Here the phrase refers to the Jewish authorities or leaders who were Jesus’ primary opponents. See the note on the phrase “the Jewish leaders” in v. 1.

4 tn Or “began to be astonished.” This imperfect verb could also be translated ingressively (“began to be astonished”), but for English stylistic reasons it is rendered as a simple past.

5 tn Grk “How does this man know learning since he has not been taught?” The implication here is not that Jesus never went to school (in all probability he did attend a local synagogue school while a youth), but that he was not the disciple of a particular rabbi and had not had formal or advanced instruction under a recognized rabbi (compare Acts 4:13 where a similar charge is made against Peter and John; see also Paul’s comment in Acts 22:3).

sn He has never had formal instruction. Ironically when the Jewish leaders came face to face with the Word become flesh – the preexistent Logos, creator of the universe and divine Wisdom personified – they treated him as an untaught, unlearned person, without the formal qualifications to be a teacher.

6 tn Grk “So Jesus answered and said to them.”

7 tn The phrase “the one who sent me” refers to God.

8 tn Grk “his will.”

9 tn Grk “or whether I speak from myself.”

10 tn Grk “who speaks from himself.”

11 tn Or “seeks.”

12 tn Or “praise”; Grk “glory.”

13 tn Or “seeks.”

14 tn Or “praise”; Grk “glory.”

15 tn Or “is truthful”; Grk “is true.”

16 tn Or “accomplishes”; Grk “does.”

17 tn Grk “seek.”

18 tn Or “The common people” (as opposed to the religious authorities mentioned in 7:15).

19 tn Grk “You have a demon!”

20 tn Grk “Who is seeking to kill you?”

sn Who is trying to kill you? Many of the crowd (if they had come in from surrounding regions for the feast) probably were ignorant of any plot. The plot was on the part of the Jewish leaders. Note how carefully John distinguishes between the leadership and the general populace in their respective responses to Jesus.

21 tn Grk “Jesus answered and said to them.”

22 tn Grk “I did one deed.”

23 sn The “one miracle” that caused them all to be amazed was the last previous public miracle in Jerusalem recorded by the author, the healing of the paralyzed man in John 5:1-9 on the Sabbath. (The synoptic gospels record other Sabbath healings, but John does not mention them.)

24 tn Grk “gave you circumcision.”

25 tn Grk “a man.” While the text literally reads “circumcise a man” in actual fact the practice of circumcising male infants on the eighth day after birth (see Phil 3:5) is primarily what is in view here.

26 tn Grk “a man.” See the note on “male child” in the previous verse.

27 tn Grk “receives circumcision.”

28 sn If a male child is circumcised on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses is not broken. The Rabbis counted 248 parts to a man’s body. In the Talmud (b. Yoma 85b) R. Eleazar ben Azariah (ca. a.d. 100) states: “If circumcision, which attaches to one only of the 248 members of the human body, suspends the Sabbath, how much more shall the saving of the whole body suspend the Sabbath?” So absolutely binding did rabbinic Judaism regard the command of Lev 12:3 to circumcise on the eighth day, that in the Mishnah m. Shabbat 18.3; 19.1, 2; and m. Nedarim 3.11 all hold that the command to circumcise overrides the command to observe the Sabbath.

29 tn Or “made an entire man well.”

30 tn Or “based on sight.”

31 tn Or “honest”; Grk “righteous.”

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