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Christ ascendeth to headen,
and the disciples worship him. it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was Jerusalem with great joy: And were conti- 53
parted from them, and carried up into heaven. nually in the temple, praising and blessing God. 52 And they worshipped him, and returned to Amen.
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO
The Gospel by John, according to all antiquity, was composed and published the last of the four; and not long before the beginning of the war with the Romans, which terminated in the destruction of Jerusalem, and the dispersion of the Jews. John uniformly speaks of himself in the third person, or by a perephrasis. His style is simple, and abounds in a peculiar kind of antithesis. There can be little doubt but he had seen the other three Gospels ; and for this reason he has omitted the facts and miracles, which are there recorded. His Gospel may, therefore, be considered, not as a full history of all that Jesus said and did ; but as containing what the others had omitted; and especially what occurred after his baptism by John, and the many interesting discourses which he delivered in answer to the objections of the Scribes and Pharisees. He has given to Jesus the peculiar title of The Logos, or Word,' and ascribes to him the creation of all things. From the manner in which he speaks of the Jews, it is evident that he wrote his Gospel, not in Judea, and among his own people, but in some other country, and the ancients inform us, that he dwelt at Ephesus, and having lived to a great age, he died a natural death, and was buried there, in the reign of the Emperor Trajan. See Introd. p. 6. CHAPTER I.
There was a man sent from God, whose name 6
was John. He came for a testimony, to testify 7 A. D. 34 The divinity, humanity and office of Christ; the testimony of of the Light, so that
of the Light, so that through him all might John ; the calling of Andrew, Peter and other disciples.
believe. He was not that light, but was sent 8 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the to testify of that Light. The true Light, was 9
Word was with God, and the Word was God. that, which, coming into the world, enlighteneth
were made by him; and without him was not world was made by him, yet the world knew 4 any thing made that was made. In him washim not. He came to his own land, and his 11 5 life; and the life was the light of men. And own people received him not. But as many as re- 12
the light shone in darkness; but the darknessceived him, to them he gave the right to become admitted it not.
the children of God, even to those that believed
CHAP. I. 1. The word. John speaks of his Lord in language suitable to his dignity as a divine person. Some think that Jesus was thus called, because God revealed his will by him; but I rather think he is thus called as possessing infinite wisdom, and as being the person described, Prov. viii.&c. He was in the beginning.' He existed before any part of the universe, or from eternity. See Gen, i. l. For surely it would be unworthy of John, or any man, when going to give a history of an individual, to inform his readers that such a person was, or existed, in the beginning of the transactions he was about to relate; nor are the passages, referred to in support of such a sense, at all similar. See note, Socinean Vers.And the word was God. See Is. vii. 14.; ix. 6. Jobn x. 33–36. Rom. ix. 5. Phil. ii. 6. As for the want of the article, on which some lay stress, see Campbell's note.
2. He was in, fe. This reflection, as Newcome observes, is phatical.-With God. John had affirmed he was God, and with God; and he repeats the latter to impress the fact more strongly on the mind. How any consistent and uubiased mind could explain this to mean, he withdrew himself to commune with God, and to receive divine communications, I know not.
cord. Kirch. Its primary sense is to be, to become, &c. Now the first conveys the sense given. “All things were, or existed by him, &c.” See verse 10th, and Heb. xi. 3. Jam. iii. 9. To limit this proposition to all things done in reference to the gospel, is wholly at variance with every principle of just interpretation or sonnd criticism.
4. In him was life, &c. He, as God, possessed the power of bringing / into existence, and giving life by creation. And the life. Or he who had life, was the light of men. He became incarnate, and dwelt among men, to enlighten them and teach them the way of salvation.
5. In darkness. That is ascribed to darkness, which, properly speaking, belongeth to men whose understandings were dark; as in the former verse that is said concerning life, which could only belong to him, in whom this life was.
3. All things were made, &c. It has been asserted, that tyeveto never has the sense here attributed to it; an assertion void of all truth. In the Septuagint it is used for xa and for guy frequently. See Gen. ii. 4. and Con
6-8. To testify of the light. It was the office of John to preach and testify of Jesus the light; and however useful his ministry might be, he assured them that he was not the light, but only as the morning star to usher it in.
9. Was that which, &c. The reasons for thus construing the text may be seen in Campbell's note. -Enlighteneth every, 8e. Affords the means of being instructed, both to Jew and Gentile. 10. The world ras made, c. To get rid of this testimony to the divinity
Incarnation of the Word.
The testimony of John. 13 on his name; Who were born, not of blood, || the Christ.” And they asked him, “Who 21
nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of | then ? Art thou Elijah ?” And he saith, “I am man, but of God.
“ Art thou the prophet.” And he an14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt swered, “ No.” Then said they to him, “ Who 22
among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory art thou ? that we may give an answer to them
as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself ?” 15 grace and truth. John testified of him, and He said, “I am the voice of one crying in the 23
cried, saying, “This is he of whom I spoke, desert, “Make straight the way of the Lord,' as
He that cometh after me is preferred to me: said the prophet Isaiah.” And those who had 24 16 for he was before me. And of his fulness we been sent were of the Pharisees. Then they 25 17 all have received; and grace upon grace. For asked him, and said to him, “Why baptizest
the law was given by Moses, but the grace and thou then, if thou be not the Christ, nor Elijah, 18 the truth came by Jesus the Christ. No man nor the prophet?” John answered them, saying, 26
hath seen God at any time; the only begotten“I baptize with water : but there standeth one Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he among you, whom ye know not; He it is, who 27 hath declared him."
cometh after me [is preferred before me,] whose 19 Now this is the testimony of John, when the shoe latchet I am not worthy to unloose.” These 28
Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem things passed in Bethany" beyond the Jordan, 20 to ask him, “Who art thou ?” And he confes- where John was baptizing.
sed, and denied not; but confessed, “I am not The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto 29
28. * Griesbach,
of our Lord, the verb sytrito must want a participle to explain and limit its signification. “The world was enlightened by him.” None of the old translators, none of the Greek fathers, that I know of, ever made such a discovery as this! They thought that the text was complete, and conveyed a clear and noble sense. Coloss. i. 16.
11. Onn land, &c. I have added, in italic, what the genders of the adnouns clearly signify. Judea is called Immanuel's land, Is. viii. 8, because he was to be born there; and the Jews his people, because, as to his human nature, he was to be one of them.
12, 13. The right, &c. The power or privilege of becoming, &c.Not of blood. They are children of God, not by their natural birth or descent from Abraham -Nor of the will of, $c. I consider these two clauses as nearly synonymous; the first denoting the natural inclination to marry, and the second the will of man choosing and marrying. Some apply these clauses to Jewish proselytism; and Doddridge explains flesh our corrupt principles, and the will of man, the attempts of others to convert and change us. - -But of God, &c. By his spirit and truth. See Ch. iii. &c.
14. The word became, &c. That glorious person, called the Word, «became incarnate,'as Campbell renders, and dwelt in our nature, as in a tent or tabernacle. Beheld his glory, &c. When he was transfigured. Matt. xvii. 1-5, and 2 Pet. i. 17. There was a glory in the human nature, of Christ, answerable to that in the ancient tabernacle, and becoming him, who was "the only begotten of the father.' According to Matt. i. 20. Luke i. 35, Jesus was born into the world in such a manner as no other ever was; and if applied to this circumstance, I see nothing improper in retaining the common version. The term, however, may admit the sense of dearly beloved, or well beloved.' Johu only uses the term in reference to our Lord. The Septuagint use it for 9979 Ps. xxi. 20.; xxii. 20. ; xxxv. 17.; and often render the same word ayoantos "beloved,' Gen. xxii. 1, 12, 16. Jerem. vi. 26. Amos viii. 10. Zech. xii. 10.-Full of grace, &c. He was himself most kind and gracious, and made the most ample discoveries of pardon and grace to men; and was the truth,' as in him the promises were fulfilled, and the typical ceremonies of Moses were realized, he being the substance of them all. *15. John testified, yc. Of the Incarnate Word, and what he said was,
“ He that, &c.” For the vindication of the common version, see Campbell's note here, and John xv. 18.- -He was before me. That is, existed before me; and as this was not true of Jesus as man, (John being the elder) it must be regarded as the Baptist's testimony to his divinity. To render, “he is my principal,” I think a violation of every just rule of sound criticism. See Kypke in Loc.
16. ' of his fulness, &c. Not only did John give his testimony to the superior excellence and dignity of Christ, as full of grace; but the Evangelist adds, And of his fulness, &c. They had received the gifts of the spirit, knowledge, wisdom, power, &c.- Upon grace. For this sense of arti see Pearce's note, who refers to Eccles xxvi. 15, and to the Helen. Euripid. v. 1250, and Thcognis Sent. v. 344, and Philo, as quoted by Wetstein. Jesus had conferred favour upon favour in the freest and fullest manner.
17. The grace and the truth, &c. In the same manner as Moses had been the medium of communicating the law and the knowledge of it to the Israelites, so has Christ, in communicating the doctrines of grace and truth to bis people. Exod. xxxii. 20.
18. No man huth seen, &c. God is invisible to us, his people, but has, at various seasons, made known his will; and Jesus has particularly revealed his character, purposes, &c. And he was well qualified to do it, as his favourite, and most intimately acquainted with all his designs. The allusion is to the most favoured guest, Ch. xiii. 23. Luke xvi. 22, 23.
21. Art thou Elijah? The Jews, from what the prophet Malachi had said, expected Elijah to be raised, aud literally to come again ; and to their question in this sense John truly answers in the negative; for he was not the person of Elijah, but one sent in the power and spirit of that reformer. Matt. xi. 14.- - The prophet, &c. Our translators make this question a repetition of the former, that prophet;' while some render,'a prophet,' to which John replies, no, though a greater had not been. Matt. xi. 11. The last version must be given up; and, with Campbell, I conceive the former is not the sense of the text, but that which I have given. Besides Elijah, they had some expectation of another prophet arising among them, appears from this verse, and from Ch. vi. 40, 41. See Deuter. xviii 15--19.
23. I am the voice, &c. Is. xl. 3.
Christ is the Lamb.of God.
Philip and Nathanael called. him, and saith, “Behold the Lamb of God, Simon, and he said to him, “ We have found 80 who taketh away the sin of the world. This is the Messiah," (which denoteth, the Christ:)
he of whom I said, After me cometh a man And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus 42
who is preferred to me: for he was before me.' beheld him, he said, “ Thou art Simon the son 31 And I knew him not: but to the end that he of Jonah ; thou shalt be called Cephas, whichi
might be made manifest to Israel, therefore am is the same as Peter, [A stone.] 32 I come baptizing with water.” And John tes- The next day Jesus resolved to go into Gali- 43
tified, saying, “I saw the Spirit descending lee, and meeting Philip, said to him, “ Follow
from heaven like a dove; and it abode upon Now Philip was.of Bethsaida, the city of 44 33 him. And I knew him not : but he that sent Andrew and Peter. Philip meeteth Nathanael, 15
me to baptize with water, had said to me, and saith to him, “We have found him of • Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descend- whom Moses in the law, and the prophets also,
ing, and abiding upon him, this is he who wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” 34 baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.' And I saw, Then Nathanael said to him, “Can there any: 46 and testify that this is the Son of God." good thing come out of Nazareth ?” Philip
On the next day John was standing, and two saith to him, « Come and see.” Jesus saw 47 36 of his disciples; And looking upon Jesus as he Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him,
walked, he saith, “ Behold the Lamb of God.” “ Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no 37 And the two disciples heard him speak, and guile!" Nathanael saith to him, “Whence 48 38 followed Jesus. Then Jesus turned, and saw knowest thou me?” Jesus answered and said
them following, and saith to them, “ What to him, “Before Philip called thee, when seek ye?” They said to him, “Rabbi, (which thou wast under the fig-tree, I saw thee.” Na- 49
is, being interpreted, Teacher,) where dwellest thanael answered and said to him, “Rabbi, 39 thou ?" He saith to them, “Come and see.” thou art the Son of God; thou art the king
They went and saw where he dwelt, and abode of Israel.” Jesus answered and said to him, 50
with him that day: for it was about the tenth | Because I said to thee, I saw thee under 40 hour. One of the two who beard John speak, the fig-tree,' believest thou? thou shalt see
and followed Jesus, was Andrew, Simon Peter's greater things than these.” Then he saith to 51 41 brother. The first he met was his own brother him, “ Verily, verily, I say to you, Hereafter
25. Why buptizest thou, 8c..' They thought his baptizing without being pointed for sacrifice. As the lamb was the daily offering in the temple, this the Christ, or Elijah, or the prophet, was assuming authority altogether yn- allusion would be generally understood; and how he could take away sin, but warrantable; to which John replies, that his baptism was introductory to a by expiating it, I cannot conjecture. new dispensation, when men should be baptized with the Holy Spirit, and the 40. Andrer, Simon, &c. It is generally supposed that our Evangelist person who should establish this dispensation was then among them.
was the other disciple; but from modesty he does not mention himself. 28. Bethuny. Griesbach had adopted this reading, as supported by the 42. Cephas, 8c. This is a Syro-Chaldaic term, and means a rock. The best mss. old versions, and fathers. This Bethany is distinguished from that design of this name was to show his firmness and constancy. near Jerusalem, by the explanatory words, “beyond or on the Jordan.' The 45. Nathanael, &c. See note, Luke vi. 14.-Moses in the law, fc. signification of the word is, a house, by a ferry; and Beth-abara is the house According to the opinion of these plain and upright men, both Moses and the of the passage. See Judg. vii. 24. John has given no account of the birth of prophets had written of the Messiah, and that Jesus of Nazareth was he. Christ, or of his temptation in the desert, as these had been related by two of 46. Can any good thing, $c. Pearce supposes that Nathanael may the Evangelists. After his temptation Jesus had returned to the place where allude to Jer. xxxiii. 14, where God engages to perform that 'good thing' John was still baptizing beyond the Jordan, and John relates what occurred which he had promised, to cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto there.
David. In this view Nathanael's question will signify, Is Nazareth the place 29—34. The next day, $c. After John had replied to the questions of the
whence Messiah is to rise ? This is an ingenious, though a very uncertain priests. -Knew him not, &c. That is, as the Messiah, until it was revealed explanation. It is the common opinion, that Nathanael reflects on Nazareth as on whom he should see the Spirit descending, and abiding, the same person
a wicked and ungodly city. was be. John knew Jesus as of the same family, as'a holy man, and probably 48. Under the fig-tree, &c. Where, most probably, Nathanael had been as a prophet, but not as the Christ, until his baptism. Matt. iii. 14. Jobod performing some private act of devotion. , seeing the heavens opened and the Spirit descend, bears his testimony 49. Son of God, &c. He was assured, by what Jesus said, that he posthat Jesus is the son of God, or the Messiah.
sessed supernatural knowledge; kvew both his character and private actions ; 36. Lamb of God. So called from his gentleness, but especially as ap- and Philip might have communicated to him the baptist's testimony, ver.32 -36.
50. Greater things, &c. It was a great thing to know secret actions ; VOL. III. PART XX. U
Marriage feast at Cana.
Water turned to wine. ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of “ Woman, what hast thou to do with me? My God ascending and descending upon the Son hour is not yet come.” His mother saith to the 5 of man.”
servants, “Whatsoever he saith to you, do
it.” Now there were six waterpots of stone, 6 CHAPTER II.
containing two or three baths a piece, placed, : A. D. 30. Water turned into wine; Jesus gerth up to Jerusalum ; and expells
there for the purpose of cleansing according to the buyers and sellers from the temple; furetels his own death and 'works the rite of the Jews. Jesus saith to them, 7 miracles.
“ Fill the waterpots with water.”
And they 1 And the third day there was a marriage-feast filled them up to the brim. Then he saith to 8
in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus them, “ Draw out now, and carry unto the ; 2 was there: And Jesus, and his disciples were governor of the feast.” And they carried it. 3 invited to the marriage-feast. And when the When the governor of the feast had tasted the 9
wine failed, the mother of Jesus saith to him, water which had been made wine, and knew 4 “ They have no wine.” Jesus saith to her, not whence it was : (but the servants who drew;
REFLECTIONS UPON CHAPTER 1. 1. Let us be thankful that office. When asked, Art thou the Christ?' He modestly and truly anour Redeemer is the mighty God, as well as the Prince of peace.
swered, I am not.' He did not claim to be regarded either as Elijah His being and glory were of old, even from everlasting. He was or the prophet whom they expected; bùt refers them to Isaiah for a in the beginning;' and by him was the world and all its inhabitants, description of himself. His office was to be the harbinger of Messiah, the heavens and all their glorious hosts, created. “For thou Lord, in and to prepare his way; and he assures them that this glorious person the beginning laidst the foundation of the earıb : 'and the heavens are was now standing among them. How just must be the account given the works of thine hands. They shall perish; but thou remainest : of Jesus, when the baptist declares that he was not worthy to unloose and they shall all wax old as doth a garment; and as a vesture shalt
the latchet of his shoes! Let us learn not to think of ourselves more thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, highly than we ought; but as christians enteriain and express our adand thy years shall not fail.” Without him was not any thing made miration of the person
of our Lord. that was made ; whether they be thrones, dominions, principalities and 3. We should ever regard Jesus as the lamb of God,' by powers, things visible and intisible, all were created by him and for whose precious blood we are redeemed. He is the propitiation, not him. Yet this glorious being became incarnate, and to accomplish our for our sins only, but also for the sins of the whole world; and let us deliverance dwelt among us, full of grace and truth. He became the look to him by faith that our sins may be taken away, and we enjoy the light and life of men in spiritual darkness and death; and, however comfort of pardon and forgiveness. To this end we should intreat the some might reject him, to those who received him he gave the privilege Head of the Church to impart to us a portion of that'spirit of wisdom, of becoming the children of God. May we receive him, and yield love and power, with which he was so richly anointed ; that so our ourselves to his instructions and grace; and honour the son as we acquaintance with, and conformity to him may increase. Especially honour the father.
let us keep up a private and close intercourse with heaven; and he 2. We learn from the testimony of John, the excellence of his that seeth us in seoret will reward-us openly; Jesus will have his eye own spirit and character, and his faithfulness in the discharge of his upon us, and communicate to us increasing pleasure and consolation.
4. 'Woman, what hast, &c. This was not considered disrespectful in ancient times, as we learn from Zenophon, Dion Cass. &c. As for the idiomatical expression, see Sept. Josh. xxii. 24. Judg. xi. 12, and 2 Sam. xvi. 10.; xix. 22, &c.- My hour is not come. His mother seems to have expected that he would do a miracle ; but by his reply, he assures her that he would not do it to gratify curiosity, but at the proper time, when his hour to do so
but knowledge and miracles, far more wonderful, followed in the course of our Lords ministry.
61. Heaven open, 8c. They should have proofs of an intercourse bea tween him and heaven; and of the ministration of angels unto him. Matt. xvii. 5, &c. John xii. 28. Some have thought that there is an allusion to the vision of Jacob, Gen. xxviii. 42, &c.
CHAP. II. 1. Cana of Galilee. See Josh. xix. 28. This belonged to Asher; and as there was another of that name in Cælosyria, according to Josephus, it is mentioned as being Galilee for the sake of precision. The mother of Jesus, &c. It has been very probably supposed that this marriage was celebrated at the house of Cleopas or Alpheus, whose wife was sister to the mother of our Lord. John xix. 25. This opinion is strengthened by the 12th verse, where we find our Lord's brethren, or nearest kindred, going down with him to Capernaum. Doddridge also supposes that as Mary is spoken of alone, Joseph was now dead.
2. And his disciples, &c. Pearce, from the preceding Ch. Vi ver. 37, &c. thinks they were not more thau four.
5-10. His mother saith, 8c. The occasiou of this miracle, the failure of the wine, might occur from the unexpected number of guests, a part of whom might have come, because Jesus was there; or from the advanced time of the feast, which probably lasted seven days. Gen. xxix. 27. Judg. xiv. 12. In either case, to supply the deficiency, in no way derogates from the honour of our Lord.--Drunk plentifully, 86. This remark of the governor of the feast only shows what was customary; but gives no counienance to intemperance. It implies that it was usual for men to drink more at a feast than on other occasions ; but surely they may do this without being drunkards.