7:50 Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus 1 before and who was one of the rulers, 2 said, 3 7:51 “Our law doesn’t condemn 4 a man unless it first hears from him and learns 5 what he is doing, does it?” 6 7:52 They replied, 7 “You aren’t from Galilee too, are you? 8 Investigate carefully and you will see that no prophet 9 comes from Galilee!”
1 tn Grk “him”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
2 tn Grk “who was one of them”; the referent (the rulers) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
3 tn Grk “said to them.”
4 tn Grk “judge.”
5 tn Grk “knows.”
6 tn Questions prefaced with μή (mh) in Greek anticipate a negative answer. This can sometimes be indicated by using a “tag” at the end in English (here the tag is “does it?”).
7 tn Grk “They answered and said to him.”
8 tn Questions prefaced with μή (mh) in Greek anticipate a negative answer. This can sometimes be indicated by using a “tag” at the end in English (here the tag is “are you?”).
tn This claim by the leaders presents some difficulty, because Jonah had been from Gath Hepher, in Galilee (2 Kgs 14:25). Also the Babylonian Talmud later stated, “There was not a tribe in Israel from which there did not come prophets” (b. Sukkah 27b). Two explanations are possible: (1) In the heat of anger the members of the Sanhedrin overlooked the facts (this is perhaps the easiest explanation). (2) This anarthrous noun is to be understood as a reference to the prophet of Deut 18:15 (note the reading of Ì66 which is articular), by this time an eschatological figure in popular belief. This would produce in the text of John’s Gospel a high sense of irony indeed, since the religious authorities by their insistence that “the Prophet” could not come from Galilee displayed their true ignorance of where Jesus came from on two levels at once (Bethlehem, his birthplace, the fulfillment of Mic 5:2, but also heaven, from which he was sent by the Father). The author does not even bother to refute the false attestation of Jesus’ place of birth as Galilee (presumably Christians knew all too well where Jesus came from).