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John 1:49-50

Context
1:49 Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king 1  of Israel!” 2  1:50 Jesus said to him, 3  “Because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” 4 

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

2 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.

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

4 sn What are the greater things Jesus had in mind? In the narrative this forms an excellent foreshadowing of the miraculous signs which began at Cana of Galilee.



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