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John 9:22-38

9:22 (His parents said these things because they were afraid of the Jewish religious leaders. 1  For the Jewish leaders had already agreed that anyone who confessed Jesus 2  to be the Christ 3  would be put out 4  of the synagogue. 5  9:23 For this reason his parents said, “He is a mature adult, 6  ask him.”) 7 

9:24 Then they summoned 8  the man who used to be blind 9  a second time and said to him, “Promise before God to tell the truth. 10  We know that this man 11  is a sinner.” 9:25 He replied, 12  “I do not know whether he is a sinner. I do know one thing – that although I was blind, now I can see.” 9:26 Then they said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he cause you to see?” 13  9:27 He answered, 14  “I told you already and you didn’t listen. 15  Why do you want to hear it 16  again? You people 17  don’t want to become his disciples too, do you?”

9:28 They 18  heaped insults 19  on him, saying, 20  “You are his disciple! 21  We are disciples of Moses! 9:29 We know that God has spoken to Moses! We do not know where this man 22  comes from!” 9:30 The man replied, 23  “This is a remarkable thing, 24  that you don’t know where he comes from, and yet he caused me to see! 25  9:31 We know that God doesn’t listen to 26  sinners, but if anyone is devout 27  and does his will, God 28  listens to 29  him. 30  9:32 Never before 31  has anyone heard of someone causing a man born blind to see. 32  9:33 If this man 33  were not from God, he could do nothing.” 9:34 They replied, 34  “You were born completely in sinfulness, 35  and yet you presume to teach us?” 36  So they threw him out.

The Man’s Response to Jesus

9:35 Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, so he found the man 37  and said to him, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 38  9:36 The man 39  replied, 40  “And who is he, sir, that 41  I may believe in him?” 9:37 Jesus told him, “You have seen him; he 42  is the one speaking with you.” 43  9:38 [He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him. 44 

1 tn Or “the Jewish religious authorities”; Grk “the Jews.” Twice in this verse the phrase refers to the Pharisees, mentioned by name in John 9:13, 15, 16. The second occurrence is shortened to “the Jewish leaders” for stylistic reasons. See the note on the phrase “the Jewish religious leaders” in v. 18.

2 tn Grk “confessed him.”

3 tn Or “the Messiah” (Both Greek “Christ” and Hebrew and Aramaic “Messiah” mean “one who has been anointed”).

sn See the note on Christ in 1:20.

4 tn Or “would be expelled from.”

5 sn This reference to excommunication from the Jewish synagogue for those who had made some sort of confession about Jesus being the Messiah is dismissed as anachronistic by some (e.g., Barrett) and nonhistorical by others. In later Jewish practice there were at least two forms of excommunication: a temporary ban for thirty days, and a permanent ban. But whether these applied in NT times is far from certain. There is no substantial evidence for a formal ban on Christians until later than this Gospel could possibly have been written. This may be a reference to some form of excommunication adopted as a contingency to deal with those who were proclaiming Jesus to be the Messiah. If so, there is no other record of the procedure than here. It was probably local, limited to the area around Jerusalem. See also the note on synagogue in 6:59.

6 tn Or “he is of age.”

7 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author explaining the parents’ response.

8 tn Grk “they called.”

9 tn Grk “who was blind.”

10 tn Grk “Give glory to God” (an idiomatic formula used in placing someone under oath to tell the truth).

11 tn The phrase “this man” is a reference to Jesus.

12 tn Grk “Then that one answered.”

13 tn Grk “open your eyes” (an idiom referring to restoration of sight).

14 tn Grk “He answered them.” The indirect object αὐτοῖς (autois) has not been translated for stylistic reasons.

15 tn Grk “you did not hear.”

16 tn “It” is not in the Greek text but has been supplied. Direct objects in Greek were often omitted when they were clearly implied in the context.

17 tn The word “people” is supplied in the translation to clarify the plural Greek pronoun and verb.

18 tn Grk “And they.” Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and English style, which generally does not, καί (kai) has not been translated here.

19 tn The Greek word means “to insult strongly” or “slander.”

20 tn Grk “and said.”

21 tn Grk “You are that one’s disciple.”

22 tn Grk “where this one.”

23 tn Grk “The man answered and said to them.” This has been simplified in the translation to “The man replied.”

24 tn Grk “For in this is a remarkable thing.”

25 tn Grk “and he opened my eyes” (an idiom referring to restoration of sight).

26 tn Grk “God does not hear.”

27 tn Or “godly.”

28 tn Grk “he”; the referent (God) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

29 tn Or “hears.”

30 tn Grk “this one.”

31 tn Or “Never from the beginning of time,” Grk “From eternity.”

32 tn Grk “someone opening the eyes of a man born blind” (“opening the eyes” is an idiom referring to restoration of sight).

33 tn Grk “this one.”

34 tn Grk “They answered and said to him.” This has been simplified in the translation to “They replied.”

35 tn Or “From birth you have been evil.” The implication of this insult, in the context of John 9, is that the man whom Jesus caused to see had not previously adhered rigorously to all the conventional requirements of the OT law as interpreted by the Pharisees. Thus he had no right to instruct them about who Jesus was.

36 tn Grk “and are you teaching us?”

37 tn Grk “found him”; the referent (the man) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

38 tc Although most witnesses (A L Θ Ψ 070 0250 Ë1,13 33 Ï lat) have θεοῦ (qeou, “of God”) instead of ἀνθρώπου (anqrwpou, “of man”) here, the better witnesses (Ì66,75 א B D W sys) have ἀνθρώπου. Not only is the external evidence decidedly on the side of ἀνθρώπου, but it is difficult to see such early and diverse witnesses changing θεοῦ to ἀνθρώπου. The wording “Son of Man” is thus virtually certain.

39 tn Grk “That one.”

40 tn Grk answered and said.” This has been simplified in the translation to “replied.”

41 tn Or “And who is he, sir? Tell me so that…” Some translations supply elliptical words like “Tell me” (NIV, NRSV) following the man’s initial question, but the shorter form given in the translation is clear enough.

42 tn Grk “that one.”

43 tn The καίκαί (kaikai) construction would normally be translated “both – and”: “You have both seen him, and he is the one speaking with you.” In this instance the English semicolon was used instead because it produces a smoother and more emphatic effect in English.

44 sn Assuming the authenticity of John 9:38-39a (see the tc note following the bracket in v. 39), the man’s response after Jesus’ statement of v. 37 is extremely significant: He worshiped Jesus. In the Johannine context the word would connote its full sense: This was something due God alone. Note also that Jesus did not prevent the man from doing this. The verb προσκυνέω (proskunew) is used in John 4:20-25 of worshiping God, and again with the same sense in 12:20. This would be the only place in John’s Gospel where anyone is said to have worshiped Jesus using this term. As such, it forms the climax of the story of the man born blind, but the uniqueness of the concept of worshiping Jesus at this point in John's narrative (which reaches its ultimate climax in the confession of Thomas in John 20:28) may suggest it is too early for such a response and it represents a later scribal addition.

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