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John 7:32

Context

7:32 The Pharisees 1  heard the crowd 2  murmuring these things about Jesus, 3  so the chief priests and the Pharisees sent officers 4  to arrest him. 5 

John 7:45-52

Context
Lack of Belief

7:45 Then the officers 6  returned 7  to the chief priests and Pharisees, 8  who said to them, “Why didn’t you bring him back with you?” 9  7:46 The officers replied, “No one ever spoke like this man!” 7:47 Then the Pharisees answered, 10  “You haven’t been deceived too, have you? 11  7:48 None of the rulers 12  or the Pharisees have believed in him, have they? 13  7:49 But this rabble 14  who do not know the law are accursed!”

7:50 Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus 15  before and who was one of the rulers, 16  said, 17  7:51 “Our law doesn’t condemn 18  a man unless it first hears from him and learns 19  what he is doing, does it?” 20  7:52 They replied, 21  “You aren’t from Galilee too, are you? 22  Investigate carefully and you will see that no prophet 23  comes from Galilee!”

1 sn See the note on Pharisees in 1:24.

2 tn Or “The common people” (as opposed to the religious authorities like the Pharisees).

3 tn Grk “him”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

4 tn Or “servants.” The “chief priests and Pharisees” is a comprehensive term for the groups represented in the ruling council (the Sanhedrin) as in John 7:45; 18:3; Acts 5:22, 26. As “servants” or “officers” of the Sanhedrin their representatives should be distinguished from the Levites serving as temple police (perhaps John 7:30 and 44; also John 8:20; 10:39; 19:6; Acts 4:3). Even when performing “police” duties such as here, their “officers” are doing so only as part of their general tasks (see K. H. Rengstorf, TDNT 8:540).

5 tn Grk “to seize him.” In the context of a deliberate attempt by the servants of the chief priests and Pharisees to detain Jesus, the English verb “arrest” conveys the point more effectively.

6 tn Or “servants.” The “chief priests and Pharisees” is a comprehensive term for the groups represented in the ruling council (the Sanhedrin) as in John 7:45; 18:3; Acts 5:22, 26. As “servants” or “officers” of the Sanhedrin, their representatives should be distinguished from the Levites serving as temple police (perhaps John 7:30 and 44; also John 8:20; 10:39; 19:6; Acts 4:3). Even when performing ‘police’ duties such as here, their “officers” are doing so only as part of their general tasks (See K. H. Rengstorf, TDNT 8:540).

7 tn Grk “came.”

8 sn See the note on Pharisees in 1:24.

9 tn Grk “Why did you not bring him?” The words “back with you” are implied.

10 tn Grk “answered them.”

11 tn Questions prefaced with μή (mh) in Greek anticipate a negative answer. This can sometimes be indicated by using a “tag” at the end in English (here the tag is “have you?”).

12 sn The chief priests and Pharisees (John 7:45) is a comprehensive term for the groups represented in the ruling council (the Sanhedrin) as in John 7:45; 18:3; Acts 5:22, 26. Likewise the term ruler here denotes a member of the Sanhedrin, the highest legal, legislative, and judicial body among the Jews. Note the same word (“ruler”) is used to describe Nicodemus in John 3:1, and Nicodemus also speaks up in this episode (John 7:50).

13 tn Questions prefaced with μή (mh) in Greek anticipate a negative answer. This can sometimes be indicated by using a “tag” at the end in English (here the tag is “have they?”).

14 tn Grk “crowd.” “Rabble” is a good translation here because the remark by the Pharisees is so derogatory.

15 tn Grk “him”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

16 tn Grk “who was one of them”; the referent (the rulers) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

17 tn Grk “said to them.”

18 tn Grk “judge.”

19 tn Grk “knows.”

20 tn Questions prefaced with μή (mh) in Greek anticipate a negative answer. This can sometimes be indicated by using a “tag” at the end in English (here the tag is “does it?”).

21 tn Grk “They answered and said to him.”

22 tn Questions prefaced with μή (mh) in Greek anticipate a negative answer. This can sometimes be indicated by using a “tag” at the end in English (here the tag is “are you?”).

23 tc At least one early and important ms (Ì66*) places the article before “prophet” (ὁ προφήτης, Jo profhths), making this a reference to the “prophet like Moses” mentioned in Deut 18:15.

tn This claim by the leaders presents some difficulty, because Jonah had been from Gath Hepher, in Galilee (2 Kgs 14:25). Also the Babylonian Talmud later stated, “There was not a tribe in Israel from which there did not come prophets” (b. Sukkah 27b). Two explanations are possible: (1) In the heat of anger the members of the Sanhedrin overlooked the facts (this is perhaps the easiest explanation). (2) This anarthrous noun is to be understood as a reference to the prophet of Deut 18:15 (note the reading of Ì66 which is articular), by this time an eschatological figure in popular belief. This would produce in the text of John’s Gospel a high sense of irony indeed, since the religious authorities by their insistence that “the Prophet” could not come from Galilee displayed their true ignorance of where Jesus came from on two levels at once (Bethlehem, his birthplace, the fulfillment of Mic 5:2, but also heaven, from which he was sent by the Father). The author does not even bother to refute the false attestation of Jesus’ place of birth as Galilee (presumably Christians knew all too well where Jesus came from).



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