John

John Chapter 1

1:1

Augustus Neander refers to John's gospel as the one "which contains the only consecutive account of the labours of Christ."

Neander, Augustus: The Life of Jesus Christ in Its Historical Connexion and Historical Development: P6

1:6

Referring to John the Baptist, Cunningham Geikie wrote: "a living embodiment of sincerity and self-denial, and in the best position, from his earliest years, to know the age, he was, above all men, fitted to rouse the sleeping conscience of Israel, and to lay bare the self-deceptions and sins of even the religionists of the day." John the Baptist

Geikie, Cunningham: The Life and Words of Christ 1: P378

"The verb [sent] carries the sense of sending an envoy with a special commission. Hence it is used of the mission of the Son of God, and of His apostles; the word apostle being directly derived from it."

Vincent, Marvin R.: Word Studies in the New Testament 1: P387

1:11

"Whatever our growing wisdom learns that is marvelous about the past history of our planet, of the tremendous forces that have been at work upon its structure, and the strange, splendid deeds that men have done upon its surface, this one event in its long life—that God came here, that divine feet trod upon its ground, and a divine voice spoke with its breath—must forever stand out bright and high above everything."

Brooks, Phillips: Sermons: For the Principal Festivals and Fasts of the Church Year: P18

"These words, 'He came unto His own, and His own received Him not,' are an assertion of the awful ultimateness of the power of free will in man. Behind everything else that settles a man's destiny there lies the power of his own decision whether all that is done upon him and done for him shall be effectual or not. How absolute and terrible that power is! Not even God's coming to a soul that belongs to God is so necessarily powerful that the man may not resist and in his obstinacy turn away."free will

Brooks, Phillips: Sermons: For the Principal Festivals and Fasts of the Church Year: P31

1:13

"You may as well expect to be men without being born, as to love God without being born again."

Davies, Samuel: Sermons on Important Subjects, by the Reverend Samuel Davies, A.M., President of the College of New-Jersey, with an Essay on the Life and Times of the Author, by Albert Barnes 2: P460

1:14

Geikie quoted the great eighteenth-century Lutheran scholar Johann Herder as saying: "Jesus Christ is in the noblest, and most perfect sense, the realized ideal of humanity." Jesus

Geikie, Cunningham: The Life and Words of Christ 1: P3

"What speech is to thought, that is the incarnate Son to the invisible Father. Thought is a viewless thing. It can traverse space, and run to and fro through creation, and pass instantaneously from one extreme of the scale of being to the other; and, all the while, there is no power in my fellow-men to discern the careerings of this mysterious agent. But speech is manifested thought. It is thought embodied; made sensible, and palpable, to those who could not apprehend it in its secret and silent expatiations. And precisely what speech thus effects in regard to thought, the incarnate Son effected in regard to the invisible Father. The Son is the manifested Father, and, therefore, fitly termed 'the Word': the relation between the incarnate Son and the Father being accurately that between speech and thought; the one exhibiting and setting forth the other."

Melvill, Henry: Sermons 1: P117

In a December 30, 1679, sermon on this text, Tillotson said:

"It is likewise very probable that the evangelist did purposely chuse the word flesh, which signifies the frail and mortal part of man, to denote to us that the Son of God did assume our nature with all it'sinfirmities, and became subject to the common frailty and mortality ofhuman nature." [it's so spelled in original, as well as purposely and chuse]

Tillotson, John: The Works of the Most Reverend Dr. John Tillotson, Late Lord Archbishop of Canterbury 3: P26

"Retaining all the essential properties of the Word, He entered into a new mode of being, not a new being."

Vincent, Marvin R.: Word Studies in the New Testament 1: P392

"For Christ to be made flesh was more humility than for the angels to be made worms." incarnation

Watson, Thomas: A Body of Divinity: Contained in Sermons upon the Westminster Assembly’s Catechism: P196

1:18

"John's meaning is that the Word revealed or manifested and interpreted the Father to men."

Vincent, Marvin R.: Word Studies in the New Testament 1: P398

1:25

Vincent discussed the meaning of baptize: "In classical Greek the primary meaning is to merse. Thus Polybius (1, 51.6), describing a naval battle of the Romans and Carthaginians, says, 'They sank (ebaptizon) many of the ships.' Josephus (Jewish War, 4, 3,3) says of the crowds which flocked into Jerusalem at the time of the siege, 'They overwhelmed (ebaptisan) the city.' In a metaphorical sense Plato uses it of drunkenness: drowned in drink (bebaptismenoi, Symposium, 176); of a youth overwhelmed (baptizomenon) with the argument of his adversary (Euthydemus, 277).

In the Septuagint the verb occurs four times: Isa. 21:4, Terror hath frighted me. Septuagint, Iniquity baptizes me (baptizei); 2 Kings 5:15, of Naaman’s dipping himself in Jordan (ebaptisato); Judith 12:7, Judith washing herself (ebaptizeto) at the fountain; Sirach 31:25, being baptized (baptizomenos) from a dead body.

The New Testament use of the word to denote submersion for a religious purpose, may be traced back to the Levitical washings. See Levit. 11:32 (of vessels); 11:40 (of clothes); Num. 8:6, 7 (sprinkling with purifying water); Exod. 30:19, 21 (of washing hands and feet). The word appears to have been at that time the technical term for such washings (compare Luke 11:38; Heb. 9:10; Mark 7:4), and could not therefore have been limited to the meaning immerse. Thus the washing of pots and vessels for ceremonial purification could not have been by plunging them in water, which would have rendered impure the whole body of purifying water. The word may be taken in the sense of washing or sprinkling."baptism

Vincent, Marvin R.: Word Studies in the New Testament 1: P108

1:29

"That John understood the full import of his own words we are not bound, or even entitled, to believe. Why should not the utterance be as much a mystery for him as, according to the Apostle Peter [1 Peter 1:10-12], similar utterances by older prophets were to them?"John the Baptist

Bruce, Alexander Balmain: The Training of the Twelve: Or Passages out of the Gospels Exhibiting the Twelve Disciples of Jesus under Discipline for the Apostleship: P9

"We must qualify the term world. The world is taken either in a limited sense, for the world of the elect; or in a larger sense, for both elect and reprobates… Christ died sufficiently for all, not effectually."atonement, limited

Watson, Thomas: A Body of Divinity: Contained in Sermons upon the Westminster Assembly’s Catechism: P101

1:31

"KNEW HIM NOT. Officially, as the Messiah. There is no reference to personal acquaintance. It is inconceivable that, with the intimate relations between the two families, the Baptist should have been personally unacquainted with Jesus."John the Baptist

Vincent, Marvin R.: Word Studies in the New Testament 1: P401

1:35

A. B. Bruce wrote of the five men mentioned in John 1:35-51: "Two of them certainly, all of them probably, had been disciples of the Baptist. This fact is decisive as to their moral earnestness."

Bruce, Alexander Balmain: The Training of the Twelve: Or Passages out of the Gospels Exhibiting the Twelve Disciples of Jesus under Discipline for the Apostleship: P5

1:37

"All beginnings are more or less obscure in appearance, but none were evermore obscure than those Christianity. What an insignificant event in the history of the church, not to say of the world, this first meeting of Jesus of Nazareth with five humble men, Andrew, Peter, Philip, Nathanael, and another unnamed! It actually seems almost too trivial to find a place even in the evangelic narrative."

Bruce, Alexander Balmain: The Training of the Twelve: Or Passages out of the Gospels Exhibiting the Twelve Disciples of Jesus under Discipline for the Apostleship: P1

1:39

"The Jewish method [of reckoning time], employed by the other Evangelists, begins the day at sunrise; so that, according to this, the tenth hour would be four o'clock in the afternoon."

Vincent, Marvin R.: Word Studies in the New Testament 1: P403

1:40

"That John, the writer of the fourth Gospel, really was the fifth unnamed disciple, may be regarded as certain. It is his way throughout his Gospel, when alluding to himself, to use a periphrasis, or to leave, as here, a blank where his name should be."

Bruce, Alexander Balmain: The Training of the Twelve: Or Passages out of the Gospels Exhibiting the Twelve Disciples of Jesus under Discipline for the Apostleship: P2

1:41

The Greek root for "to find" (vv. 41, 43, 45) is heurisko from which we derive our word Eureka. "This has been called the chapter of the Eurekas."

Vincent, Marvin R.: Word Studies in the New Testament 1: P404

1:45

"It is even not quite certain that he [Nathanael] belonged to the circle of the twelve, though the probability is, that he is to be identified with the Bartholomew of the synoptical catalogues [of the apostles]… It is strongly in favor of this supposition that the name Bartholomew comes immediately after Philip in the lists of the apostles." But see the list in Acts 1:13.Nathanael

Bruce, Alexander Balmain: The Training of the Twelve: Or Passages out of the Gospels Exhibiting the Twelve Disciples of Jesus under Discipline for the Apostleship: P6

1:46

"Nathanael's prejudice against Nazareth sprung not from pride, as in the case of the people of Judaea who despised the Galileans in general, but from humility. He was a Galilean himself, and as much an object of Jewish contempt as were the Nazarenes."

Bruce, Alexander Balmain: The Training of the Twelve: Or Passages out of the Gospels Exhibiting the Twelve Disciples of Jesus under Discipline for the Apostleship: P7

Wiclif in his 1380 translation rendered Nathanael's words as a statement, not a question: "of nazareth mai summe good thing be."

English Hexapla: The English Hexapla: Exhibiting the Six Important English Translations of the New Testament Scriptures, Wiclif (1380), Tyndale (1534), Cranmer (1539), Genevan (1557), Anglo-Rhemish (1582), Authorised (1611)

1:47

"Certainly Jacob was in the mind of our Lord, because He made another reference to him presently, about a ladder set up on earth, and reaching to the heavens."

Morgan, G. Campbell: The Gospel according to John: P43

1:48

"The Jewish writings tell of distinguished rabbis who were accustomed to rise early and pursue their studies under the shade of a figtree." rabbi

Vincent, Marvin R.: Word Studies in the New Testament 1: P405

1:49

1:50

The 1611 King James Version rendered Jesus' words as a question: "Because I sayd vnto thee, I saw thee vnder the figtree, beleeuest thou?" Wiclif (1380), Tyndale (1534), and Cranmer (1539) all understood Jesus' words to be a statement and not a question.

English Hexapla: The English Hexapla: Exhibiting the Six Important English Translations of the New Testament Scriptures, Wiclif (1380), Tyndale (1534), Cranmer (1539), Genevan (1557), Anglo-Rhemish (1582), Authorised (1611)

1:51

"By Christ we come to God. He is the true Jacob's ladder." Cf. Genesis 28:12.

Manton, Thomas: The Complete Works of Thomas Manton 2: P258

John Chapter 2

2:1

"A more beautiful country—hill, dale, and lake—could scarcely be imagined than Galilee Proper… Making every allowance for exaggeration, we cannot wholly ignore the account of Josephus about the 240 towns and villages in Galilee, each with not less than 15,000 inhabitants."Galilee

Edersheim, Alfred: The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah 1: P224

"Marriage festivals sometimes lasted a whole week (Gen. 29:27; Judg. 14:15; Tobit 9:12; 10:1)." marriage

Vincent, Marvin R.: Word Studies in the New Testament 1: P408

2:2

2:3

"And so when she told Him of the want that had arisen, it was simply in absolute confidence in her Son, probably without any conscious expectancy of a miracle on His part."

Edersheim, Alfred: The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah 1: P360

On January 23, 1853, Robertson preached on this passage and said:

"There is gentle, womanly tact in those words, 'They have no wine.'"

Robertson, Frederick W: Sermons Preached at Brighton: P384

2:6

"Of stone." "Because less liable to impurity, and therefore prescribed by the Jewish authorities for washing before and after meals."

Vincent, Marvin R.: Word Studies in the New Testament 1: P408

2:13

"This was His first recorded visit to Jerusalem, as Messiah."

Morgan, G. Campbell: The Gospel according to John: P50

"The Synoptists relate no incident of his ministry in Judea, and but for the narrative of John, it could not be positively asserted that Jesus went up to Jerusalem during His public life until the time of his arrest and crucifixion."

Vincent, Marvin R.: Word Studies in the New Testament 1: P409

2:14

The Temple complex "could hold within its gigantic girdle not fewer than 210,000 persons… Altogether it measured a square of about 1,000 feet, or, to give a more exact equivalent of the measurements furnished by the Rabbis, 927 feet."temple

Edersheim, Alfred: The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah 1: P243-44

"These men were there to change Roman coins into Jewish coins, because no coin with the effigy of the emperor could be offered within those Temple courts for any purpose. That would have been a desecration. So, for the convenience of the worshippers, there were men there prepared, at a percentage, to change the money… Everything was conveniently arranged for, in the Temple courts. That is what He found. Religion made easy, and so devitalized."

Morgan, G. Campbell: The Gospel according to John: P51

2:15

2:16

In driving these from the temple, "he taught that the places and the acts of worship are to be kept scrupulously free from the intrusions and distractions of secular things."

Watson, Richard: Sermons and Sketches of Sermons 1: P151

2:17

"The supreme iniquity to the heart of Jesus was that the Hebrew people were failing to function as God intended. His intention was always that they should bless all the nations; but they had now come to that position when they thought only of themselves, and the ease and comfort of their own worship. Gentiles! What did Gentiles matter? Certainly use their courts, and desecrate them."

Morgan, G. Campbell: The Gospel according to John: P52-53

"Zeal is a mixed affection, a compound of love and anger; it carries forth our love to God, and our anger against sin in an intense degree."

Watson, Thomas: A Body of Divinity: Contained in Sermons upon the Westminster Assembly’s Catechism: P16

2:24

Vincent quoted Frederic Godet as saying: "He had no faith in their faith."

Vincent, Marvin R.: Word Studies in the New Testament 1: P411

2:25

"He knew that the flatterers of today would be the accusers of tomorrow."

Robertson, Frederick W: Sermons Preached at Brighton: P410

John Chapter 3

3:1

3:2

One might object to Nicodemus since God is with all his people. But "God was with Christ in another manner than he is with us. He is with us by his love and gracious assistance, as he doth own us, and defend us; but God was with Christ by personal union and inhabitation."

Manton, Thomas: The Complete Works of Thomas Manton 20: P366

3:3

"Do not trust to your own power, or once think you can become new creatures when you please; no, no, doth the child begotten in the womb contribute anything to its own being, or to its conception? O abominate the evil notion of freewill, and strive to exalt God's free-grace."

Keach, Benjamin: An Exposition of the Parables and Express Similitudes of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Wherein Also Many Things Are Doctrinally Handled and Improved by Way of Application 1: P119

3:7

"To be the people of God without regeneration, is as impossible as to be the children of men without generation."regeneration

Baxter, Richard: The Saints' Everlasting Rest: P85

3:8

Wiclif (1380) rendered this, "The spirit brethith where he wole." Tyndale (1534) translated it "The wynde bloweth where he listeth" and the Rheims Bible (1582) put "The spirit breatheth where he will."

English Hexapla: The English Hexapla: Exhibiting the Six Important English Translations of the New Testament Scriptures, Wiclif (1380), Tyndale (1534), Cranmer (1539), Genevan (1557), Anglo-Rhemish (1582), Authorised (1611)

3:13

Some manuscripts, after Son of man, add the clause "who is in heaven." The King James Version followed such a reading and rendered this verse: "And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven." Charnock commented on the meaning of this clause: "Not which was, but which is; he comes from heaven by incarnation, and remains in heaven by his divinity. He was, while he spake to Nicodemus, locally on earth, in regard of his humanity, but in heaven according to his deity, as well as upon earth in the union of his divine and human nature."God, omnipresence

Charnock, Stephen: The Complete Works of Stephen Charnock, B.D. 1: P445

"Gone into heaven" or "ascended into heaven" is "equivalent to hath been in. Jesus says thatno one has been in heaven except the Son of man who came down out of heaven."

Vincent, Marvin R.: Word Studies in the New Testament 1: P417

3:14

Lifted up: "The reference here is to the crucifixion, but beyond that, to the glorification of Christ. It is characteristic of John to blend the two ideas of Christ's passion and glory (8:28; 12:32). Thus, when Judas went out to betray him, Jesus said, 'Now is the Son of man glorified' (13:31)."

Vincent, Marvin R.: Word Studies in the New Testament 1: P417

3:15

In a 1552 sermon Latimer said:

"Whosoever from the bottom of his heart is sorry for his sins, and studies to leave them and to live uprightly, and then believes in our Saviour, confessing that he came into this world to make amends for our sins; this man or woman shall not perish, but have forgiveness of sins, and so obtain everlasting life."

Latimer, Hugh: Select Sermon and Letters of Dr. Hugh Latimer, Bishop of Worcester and Martyr, 1555: P146

3:16

"This opinion off perticuler redemption saith, That God did not so love the World, but he loved some few perticuler persons, as he gave his sonne for them, & they onely shal beleve & shalbe saved: & the greatest part off mankind God loved them not, but hath decreed they shalbe damned, & he hath not given his Sonne for them, but hath left them to perish. Thus denying the greatest parte off the World, to have anie meanes off salvation, & that ther is no Saviour for them."atonement, extent of

Helwys, Thomas: A Short and Plaine Proofe by the Word and Workes off God That Gods Decree Is Not the Cause off Anye Mans Sinne or Condemnation, and That All Men Are Redeemed by Christ As Also That No Infants Are Condemned: PB2v

3:17

3:18

Rashdall, a liberal theologian, wrote in 1920:

"There is one more condition under which alone the doctrine of salvation by Christ, purged of immoral and irrational accretions, can continue to be a part of modern Christianity. It must become in a sense less exclusive than it has sometimes been. We have seen that even of St. Paul's doctrine the theory that all but those who have believed in Christ will be tormented everlastingly formed no part; and it was several centuries before that dark and horrible eschatology became a generally accepted doctrine of the Church. It is a doctrine which is plainly inconsistent with the deepest message of the atonement itself. If God be the sort of Being whose nature is best expressed by a self-sacrificing life and death, He could not have designed everlasting, meaningless, useless torments as the sole destiny in store for the great bulk of His creatures."hell

Rashdall, Hastings: The Idea of Atonement in Christian Theology: Being the Bampton Lectures for 1915: P457-58

3:19

In his poem "Truth," Cowper wrote:


…the partial light men have,

My creed persuades me, well employ’d, may save;

While he that scorns the noonday beam, perverse,

Shall find the blessing, unimprov’d, a curse.revelation, natural

Cowper, William: The Complete Poetical Works of William Cowper: P42

"Sins are more aggravated in times of more full gospel light; for when light is come into the world, and men 'love darkness rather than light,' John 3:19, then to our error there is added stubbornness and obstinacy."light

Manton, Thomas: The Complete Works of Thomas Manton 16: P398

3:21

"The conscience of the masses was roused. It had sunk to sleep under Pharisaic formalism, Roman oppression, and Sadducean indifference. John's voice sounded like a trumpet to alarm them."

Geikie, Cunningham: The Life and Words of Christ 1: P393

3:30

"In uttering these words the Baptist probably had a presentiment that the end of his career was at hand."

Neander, Augustus: The Life of Jesus Christ in Its Historical Connexion and Historical Development: P179

3:31

"There may be even a moral loveliness in man separate from religion; but like that of fruit or of flowers, it is but the loveliness of earth."

Chalmers, Thomas: Sermons and Discourses by Thomas Chalmers, D.D., LL.D.: Now Completed by the Introduction of His Posthumous Sermons 1: P16