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  • VINCENT'S NEW TESTAMENT
    WORD STUDIES - JOHN 20

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    CHAPTER XX

    1, 2. Compare Matt. xxviii. 1; Mark xvi. 2-4; Luke xxiv. 1-3.

    1 First day of the week (th mia twn sabbaaton). The Hebrew idiom, day one of the week. See on Luke iv. 31; Acts xx. 7.

    Dark. Matthew says, as it began to dawn; Mark, when the sun was risen; Luke, very early in the morning, or at deep dawn; see on Luke xxiv. 1. Taken away (hrmenon ek). Lifted out of. All the Synoptists have rolled.

    2. Loved (efilei). The word for personal affection. In xiii. 23; xxi. 7, 20, hjgapa is used. See on v. 20.

    We know not. The plural indicates that Mary was not alone, though she alone is mentioned as coming to the tomb. She may have preceded the others.

    3. Came to (hrconto eiv). Wrong. The tense is the imperfect; they were coming. Rev., they went toward.

    4. They ran (etrecon). Still the imperfect, they were running. How much the A.V. loses by its persistent ignoring of the force of this tense. Did outrun (proedrame tacion). Literally, ran on in front more quickly. Dante, addressing the spirit of John in Paradise says:

    "O holy father, spirit who beholdest What thou believedst so that thou o'ercamest, Toward the sepulchre, more youthful feet." "Paradise," xxiv. 124-126.

    5. Stooping down (parakuyav). See on James. i. 25, and compare 1 Peter i. 12. See also Song of Solomon, ii. 9 (Sept.). "He looketh forth (parakuptwn) at the windows."

    Seeth (blepei). Simple sight. Compare the intent gaze of Peter (qewrei), ver. 6, which discovered the napkin, not seen by John.

    7. Napkin (soudarion). See on Luke xix. 20.

    Wrapped together (entetuligmenon). Rev., much better, rolled up. The orderly arrangement of everything in the tomb marks the absence of haste and precipitation in the awakening and rising from the dead.

    8. Believed. This word is explained by what follows. He believed (at length) that Jesus was risen; for up to this time (oudepw) he, with his fellow-disciple (plural, hdeisan) knew not, etc. The singular number, he believed, as Meyer profoundly remarks, "only satisfies the never-to-be-forgotten personal experience of that moment, though it does not exclude the contemporaneous faith of Peter also." On knew (hdeisan), see on ii. 24.

    9. The scripture (thn grafhn). The passage of scripture. See on v. 47. The reference may be to Ps. xvi. 10.

    Must. On this necessity attaching in the divine counsel to the sufferings, death, and resurrection of Jesus, see Matt. xxvi. 54; Mark viii. 31; Luke ix. 22; xvii. 25; xxii. 37; xxiv. 7, 26, 44; John iii. 14; xii. 34; Acts i. 16.

    11-18. Compare Mark xvi. 12, 13; Luke xxiv. 13-35.

    11. Stood. Imperfect, was standing, or continued standing, after the two apostles had gone away.

    12. Seeth (qewrei). Rev., beholdeth. See on ver. 5.

    Angels. Angels are rarely mentioned in John's narrative. See i. 51; xii. 29; xx. 12.

    13. She saith. She is so absorbed in her grief and love that she is not appalled by the supernatural manifestation which, under ordinary circumstances, would have terrified her, but enters into conversation as if addressed by a human being.

    14. Turned herself back. Canon Westcott, with that beautiful subtilty of perception which so eminently characterizes him, remarks: "We can imagine also that she became conscious of another Presence, as we often feel the approach of a visitor without distinctly seeing or hearing him. It may be, too, that the angels, looking toward the Lord, showed some sign of His coming."

    Saw (qewrei). Present tense. Rev., beholdeth. She looks at Him steadfastly and inquiringly as at a stranger. The observance of these distinctions between verbs of seeing, is very important to the perception of the more delicate shading of the narrative.

    Knew not (hdei). Indicating a knowledge based on spiritual fellowship and affinity, an inward, conscious, sure conviction of His identity.

    16. Saith unto Him, Rabboni. Insert, as Rev., after Him, in Hebrew.

    17. Touch me not (mh mou aptou). The verb, primarily, means to fasten to. Hence it implies here, not a mere momentary touch, but a clinging to. Mary thought that the old relations between her Lord and herself were to be renewed; that the old intercourse, by means of sight, sound, and touch, would go on as before. Christ says, "the time for this kind of intercourse is over. Henceforth your communion with me will be by faith through the Spirit. This communion will become possible through my ascending to the Father."

    My Father. The best texts omit the pronoun and read the Father. See on xii. 26. This expression, emphasizing the relation of God to humanity rather than to Christ himself, is explained by what follows - "my Father and your Father."

    My brethren. The word brethren, applied to the disciples, occurs before (vii. 3, 5, 10), but not the phrase my brethren, which follows from my Father and your Father. Compare Matt. xxviii. 10.

    I ascend (anabainw). The present tense is used, not in the sense of the near future, but implying that He had already entered upon that new stage of being which the actual ascension formally inaugurated. The resurrection was really the beginning of the ascension.

    18. Came and told (ercetai aggellousa). Literally, cometh telling.

    19-23. Compare Mark xvi. 14-18; Luke xxiv. 36-49.

    19. Assembled. Omit.

    21. Hath sent (apestalken). Note the distinction between this verb and that applied to the sending of the disciples (pempw). See on i. 6.

    22. Breathed on them (enefushsen). Only here in the New Testament. The act was symbolic, after the manner of the Hebrew prophets. Compare Ezek. xxxvii. 5.

    The Holy Ghost. The article is wanting. The gift bestowed was not that of the personal Holy Spirit, but rather an earnest of that gift; an effusion of the Spirit.

    23. Remit (afhte). Only here in this Gospel in connection with sins. Often in the Synoptists (Matt. vi. 12; ix. 5; Mark ii. 5; Luke v. 23, etc.).

    25. Print (tupon). See on 1 Pet. v. 3.

    Put - thrust (balw). The same verb in both cases. Hence better, as Rev., put for thrust.

    I will not (ou mh). Double negative: in nowise.

    26. Then came Jesus. There is no connecting particle, then, and the verb is in the present tense. The abrupt Jesus cometh is more graphic.

    27. Be not (mh ginou). Literally, become not. Thomas was in a fair way to become unbelieving, through his doubt of the resurrection.

    Faithless - believing (apistov - pistov). There is a correspondence of the words here, to which, perhaps, the nearest approach in English is unbelieving, believing.

    29. Thomas. Omit.

    31. Are written (gegraptai). Have been or stand written. The perfect tense. John's intent was to write a gospel rather than a biography.

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