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John 1:41

Context
1:41 He first 1  found his own brother Simon and told him, “We have found the Messiah!” 2  (which is translated Christ). 3 

John 1:49

Context
1:49 Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king 4  of Israel!” 5 

1 tc Most witnesses (א* L Ws Ï) read πρῶτος (prwtos) here instead of πρῶτον (prwton). The former reading would be a predicate adjective and suggest that Andrew “was the first” person to proselytize another regarding Jesus. The reading preferred, however, is the neuter πρῶτον, used as an adverb (BDAG 893 s.v. πρῶτος 1.a.β.), and it suggests that the first thing that Andrew did was to proselytize Peter. The evidence for this reading is early and weighty: Ì66,75 א2 A B Θ Ψ 083 Ë1,13 892 al lat.

2 sn Naturally part of Andrew’s concept of the Messiah would have been learned from John the Baptist (v. 40). However, there were a number of different messianic expectations in 1st century Palestine (see the note on “Who are you?” in v. 19), and it would be wrong to assume that what Andrew meant here is the same thing the author means in the purpose statement at the end of the Fourth Gospel, 20:31. The issue here is not whether the disciples’ initial faith in Jesus as Messiah was genuine or not, but whether their concept of who Jesus was grew and developed progressively as they spent time following him, until finally after his resurrection it is affirmed in the climactic statement of John’s Gospel, the affirmation of Thomas in 20:28.

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

sn This is a parenthetical note by the author. See the note on Christ in 1:20.

4 tn Although βασιλεύς (basileus) lacks the article it is definite due to contextual and syntactical considerations. See ExSyn 263.

5 sn Nathanael’s confession – You are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel – is best understood as a confession of Jesus’ messiahship. It has strong allusions to Ps 2:6-7, a well-known messianic psalm. What Nathanael’s exact understanding was at this point is hard to determine, but “son of God” was a designation for the Davidic king in the OT, and Nathanael parallels it with King of Israel here.



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