1:45 Philip found Nathanael 1 and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the law, and the prophets also 2 wrote about – Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” 1:46 Nathanael 3 replied, 4 “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” 5 Philip replied, 6 “Come and see.”
1:49 Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king 7 of Israel!” 8
1 sn Nathanael is traditionally identified with Bartholomew (although John never describes him as such). He appears here after Philip, while in all lists of the twelve except in Acts 1:13, Bartholomew follows Philip. Also, the Aramaic Bar-tolmai means “son of Tolmai,” the surname; the man almost certainly had another name.
2 tn “Also” is not in the Greek text, but is implied.
3 tn Grk “And Nathanael.”
4 tn Grk “said to him.”
5 sn Can anything good come out of Nazareth? may be a local proverb expressing jealousy among the towns.
6 tn Grk “And Philip said to him.”
7 tn Although βασιλεύς (basileus) lacks the article it is definite due to contextual and syntactical considerations. See ExSyn 263.
8 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.