14:6 Jesus replied, 1 “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. 2 No one comes to the Father except through me.
16:13 But when he, 3 the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide 4 you into all truth. 5 For he will not speak on his own authority, 6 but will speak whatever he hears, and will tell you 7 what is to come. 8
14:26 But the Advocate, 9 the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you 10 everything, 11 and will cause you to remember everything 12 I said to you.
17:17 Set them apart 13 in the truth; your word is truth.
1 tn Grk “Jesus said to him.”
2 tn Or “I am the way, even the truth and the life.”
3 tn Grk “that one.”
4 tn Or “will lead.”
5 sn Three important points must be noted here. (1) When the Holy Spirit comes, he will guide the disciples into all truth. What Jesus had said in 8:31-32, “If you continue to follow my teaching you are really my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free,” will ultimately be realized in the ongoing ministry of the Holy Spirit to the disciples after Jesus’ departure. (2) The things the Holy Spirit speaks to them will not be things which originate from himself (he will not speak on his own authority), but things he has heard. This could be taken to mean that no new revelation is involved, as R. E. Brown does (John [AB], 2:714-15). This is a possible but not a necessary inference. The point here concerns the source of the things the Spirit will say to the disciples and does not specifically exclude originality of content. (3) Part at least of what the Holy Spirit will reveal to the disciples will concern what is to come, not just fuller implications of previous sayings of Jesus and the like. This does seem to indicate that at least some new revelation is involved. But the Spirit is not the source or originator of these things – Jesus is the source, and he will continue to speak to his disciples through the Spirit who has come to indwell them. This does not answer the question, however, whether these words are addressed to all followers of Jesus, or only to his apostles. Different modern commentators will answer this question differently. Since in the context of the Farewell Discourse Jesus is preparing the twelve to carry on his ministry after his departure, it is probably best to take these statements as specifically related only to the twelve. Some of this the Holy Spirit does directly for all believers today; other parts of this statement are fulfilled through the apostles (e.g., in giving the Book of Revelation the Spirit speaks through the apostles to the church today of things to come). One of the implications of this is that a doctrine does not have to be traced back to an explicit teaching of Jesus to be authentic; all that is required is apostolic authority.
6 tn Grk “speak from himself.”
7 tn Or will announce to you.”
8 tn Grk “will tell you the things to come.”
10 tn Grk “that one will teach you.” The words “that one” have been omitted from the translation since they are redundant in English.
11 tn Grk “all things.”
12 tn Grk “all things.”
13 tn Or “Consecrate them” or “Sanctify them.”
sn The Greek word translated set…apart (ἁγιάζω, Jagiazw) is used here in its normal sense of being dedicated, consecrated, or set apart. The sphere in which the disciples are to be set apart is in the truth. In 3:21 the idea of “practicing” (Grk “doing”) the truth was introduced; in 8:32 Jesus told some of his hearers that if they continued in his word they would truly be his disciples, and would know the truth, and the truth would make them free. These disciples who are with Jesus now for the Farewell Discourse have continued in his word (except for Judas Iscariot, who has departed), and they do know the truth about who Jesus is and why he has come into the world (17:8). Thus Jesus can ask the Father to set them apart in this truth as he himself is set apart, so that they might carry on his mission in the world after his departure (note the following verse).