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Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes
John 1



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Verse 1

In the beginning. Greek. en (App-104.) arche. Occurs four times in the N.T. (Compare Genesis 1:1). The context will always supply the dependent word (where it is not expressed). Here, and in John 1:2, supply "[of the aions = ages "]; for the Logos then "was", and the aims were prepared by Him (Hebrews 1:2; Hebrews 11:3). In Acts 11:15 supply "[of our ministry" (John 2:4)]. In Philippians 4:15 supply "[the proclamation of] the Gospel". For the combination of arche, with other prepositions, see notes on John 6:64 ("ex arches"); on John 8:44 ("ap" arches"); on Hebrews 1:10 ("kat" arches").

was = was [already pre-existent]. Creation is not mentioned till John 1:3. "The Word had no beginning". See John 1:3; John 17:5. 1 John 1:1. Ephesians 1:4. Proverbs 8:23. Psalms 90:2. Compare John 8:58. Not the same "was "as in John 1:14.

the Word. Greek. Logos. As the spoken word reveals the invisible thought, so the Living Word reveals the invisible God. Compare John 1:18.

and. Note the Figure of speech Polysyndeton. App-6. with. Greek. pros. App-104. Implying personal presence and relation. Compare John 1:18.

God. With the Art. = the revealed God of the Bible. App-98.

the Word was God. This is correct. The Art. designates "the Word" as the subject. The order of the words has to do only with the emphasis, which is thus placed on the predicate, while "the Word "is the subject.

was God. Here "God "is without the Art., because it denotes the conception of God as Infinite, Eternal, Perfect, Almighty, &c. Contrast John 4:24.

Verse 2

The same = This [Word], or He.

Verse 3

All things. Referring to the infinite detail of creation. "

were made = came into being. Not the same word as in John 1:1.

by = through. Greek. dia. App-104. John 1:1. As in Romans 11:36. Colossians 1:16. Hebrews 1:2.

and without, &c. Note the Figure of speech Pleonasm. App-6.

without = apart from.

was = came into being. Not the same word as in John 1:1.

not any thing = not even one thing. Greek oude, compound of ou. App-105.

was made = hath come into being.

Verse 4

life. Greek. zoe. App-170.: i.e. the fountain of life. Hence 1 John 5:11, 1 John 5:12, and Psalms 36:8, manifested (John 1:4); obtained (John 3:16); possessed (John 4:14); sustained (John 6:35); ministered (John 7:38); abounding (John 10:10); resurrection (John 11:24, John 11:25). A characteristic word of this Gospel. See note on p. 1511.

the light. Not a light. Compare John 8:12. Greek phos. App-130. A characteristic word of this Gospel. See note on p. 1511.

men. Greek. Plural of anthropos. App-123.

Verse 5

shineth. Greek. phaino. App-106.

darkness = the darkness. Pre supposing the Fall. Genesis 3:18.

comprehended it. This is direct from the Vulgate. The Greek kata is so rendered only here. It means, overcame or overpowered Him not. See 1 Thessalonians 5:4 (overtake). Mark 9:18. Mark 8:3, Mark 8:4 (take); John 12:35 (come upon hostilely).

it. Referring grammatically to phos, the light (neuter); but logically to the Word. Quoted by Tatian (AD 150-170), Greekt. ad Graecos, xiii. Note the Figure of speech Parechesis (App-6) in the Aramaic (not in the Greek or English), "darkness comprehended". Aramaean. k"bel kabel.

not. Greek. ou. App-105.

Verse 6

There was = There arose. Not the same word as in John 1:1.

sent. Compare Malachi 3:1. Greek apostello (App-174.), whence we have our "Apostle" = one sent. John not only came, but was "sent".

from = from beside. Greek para. App-104. Not "by", but from. Compare John 15:26.

God. No Art. Compare John 1:1. App-98.

John: i.e. John the Baptist; the John of the narrative, not of the Gospel. Occurs twenty times, and is never distinguished by the title "Baptist", as in Matthew, Mark, and Luke.

Verse 7

for a witness: i.e. with a view to bearing witness; not merely to be a witness. That would be martur (mart us, as in Acts 1:8, Acts 1:22, &c.) This is marturia = a bearing witness. Greek. eis. App-104. Not the same word as in John 1:16.

to bear witness = in order that (Greek. hina) he might bear witness. Greek martureo, a characteristic word of this Gospel. See note on p. 1611,

witness. Greek marturia, a characteristic word of this Gospel.

of = concerning. Greek. peri. App-104.

that = in order that. Greek hina. Often found in John.

all: i.e. all, without distinction.

through. Greek dia. App-104. John 1:1.

him. John the Baptist. Compare John 5:33. Acts 10:37; Acts 13:24.

believe. See App-150. A characteristic word of this Gospel. See note on p. 1611.

Verse 8

he = That one. Compare John 2:21.

that Light = the Light. Compare John 9:5; John 12:35.

was sent. Supply "came" from John 1:7.

Verse 9

That, &c. Render: [He] was the true (or very) Light, that which, coming into the world, lighteneth every man (without distinction). We should connect this "coming" with "the Light "(with Revised Version): because "coming into the world" is continually associated with the Lord. See John 3:19; John 6:14; John 9:39; John 11:27; John 12:46; John 16:28; John 18:37. Note esp. John 3:19 and John 12:46. Many lamps found in the tombs at Gezer (1 Kings 9:15-17) have inscribed on them "The light of Messiah shines for all".

true = very. Greek alethinos. App-175. A characteristic word of this Gospel. See note on p. 1511.

every man: i, e. without distinction, as the sun shines on all (Matthew 5:45, &c.) Greek. panta anthropon. Not collectively, but individually and personally. For centuries Israel only had this light, and Gentiles were the exception. Henceforth there was to be no dis tinction. Gentiles were to be blessed with Abraham"s seed in the days of Messiah. Compare Genesis 12:3. Romans 15:8-12.

into. Greek. eis. App-104.

world. Greek. kosmos. App-129. A characteristic word in this Gospel. See note on p. 1511.

Verse 10

was made = came into being.

knew. Greek. ginosko. App-132. One of the characteristic words of this Gospel. See p. 1511.

Verse 11

He came. Denoting the definite historical fact. unto. Greek. eis. App-104.

His own. Neut. plural: i.e. His own things, or posses sions. Supply ktemata (possessions), as in Matthew 19:22. Compare Matthew 21:33-41. What these "possessions" were must be supplied from Matthew 1:1, viz, the land of Abraham, and the throne of David.

His own. Masculine plural: i.e. His own People (Israel).

received = received (to themselves).

Verse 12

as many as: John 1:9 is collective; John 1:12 is individual.

received = accepted (from a giver). Not the same word as in John 1:11.

power = authority. App-172.

the sons = children. Greek. Plural of teknon. Not "sons". In John the word huios = son, is mostly reserved for the Lord Himself. See note 2, p. 1511. In John teknon Occurs only here, John 8:39, and John 11:52. App-108. Paul uses both "children "and "sons, "of believers, but John uses the former only. See note 2 in the book comments for John.

believe = [are] believing. App-150. See note on John 1:7.

on. Greek. eis. App-104.

His name: i.e. Himself. See note on Psalms 20:1.

Verse 13

Which = Who: i.e. those who believe on His name. But antecedent to any ancient MSS., Irenaeus (A.D. 178), Tertullian (A. n. 208), Augustine (A.D. 395), and other Fathers, read "Who was begotten" (Singular, not Plural) The "hos" (= Who) agreeing with "autou" (His name. Greek. onoma autou, name of Him). John 1:14 goes on to speak of the incarnation of Him Who was not begotten by human generation. The Latin Codex Veronensis (before Jerome"s Vulgate) reads, "Qui . . . natus est". Tertullian (De carne Christi, c. 19) says that "believers" could not be intended in this verse, "since all who believe are born of blood", &c. He ascribes the reading of the Received text to the artifice of the Valentinian Gnostics of the second and third cents.) See Encyl. Brit., eleventh (Camb.) edn., vol. 27, pp. 852-7.

born = begotten. See note on Matthew 1:2, and App-179.

of = out of, or from. Greek ek. App-104. Not the same word as in verses: John 7:8, John 7:14, John 7:15, John 7:22, John 7:44, John 7:47.

blood. It is plural (bloods) for emphasis, ace. to Hebrew idiom, as in 2 Samuel 16:7, 2 Samuel 16:8. Psalms 26:9.

nor = nor yet. Greek. oude.

will. Greek. thelema. App-102.

flesh. A characteristic word of this Gospel. See p. 1511.

man. Greek. aner. App-123.

Verse 14

And, &c. Continuing John 1:13, and showing that John 1:13 also relates to the Word.

was made = became, as in John 1:3.

flesh. See note on John 1:13. The new mode of His being. Put by Figure of speech Synecdoche (of the Part), App-6, for His humanity.

dwelt = tabernacled. Occurs only here, Revelation 7:15; Revelation 12:12; Revelation 13:6; Revelation 21:3. See App-179.

among. Greek. en. App-104.

and we, &c. For other similar parenthetical remarks characteristic of this Gospel, See verses: John 1:38, John 1:41, John 1:42, John 38:44; John 2:9; John 2:8, John 2:9, John 2:44, John 2:45; John 5:2; John 6:10, John 6:23; John 7:2, John 7:39, John 7:50; John 9:7; John 11:2; John 19:31; John 21:7, John 21:8.

beheld. Greek. theaomai. App-133. Not the same word as in verses: John 1:29, John 1:36, John 1:42, John 29:47. Compare Luke 9:32. 2 Peter 1:16. 1 John 1:1; 1 John 4:14.

glory. The Shekinah. See Luke 9:32. 2 Peter 1:17. Greek. doxa. One of the characteristic words of this Gospel.

the glory = glory. No Art. Note the Figure of speech Anadiplosis, App-6.

as of = exactly like.

the only begotten = an only begotten [Son]. As applied to Christ it Occurs only here, John 1:18; John 3:16, John 3:18; 1 John 4:9. But it is used of an earthly relationship in Luke 7:12; Luke 8:42; Luke 9:38. Hebrews 11:17. Septuagint for "only One", Psalms 25:16. See note there.

of = from beside: i.e. (sent) from beside. Greek. para. App-104. Not the same word as in verses: John 1:13, John 1:15, John 1:16, John 13:22, John 13:34, John 13:35, John 13:40, John 13:44, John 13:47.

Father. See App-98. A characteristic word of this Gospel. Occurs 121 times.

full = abounding in.

grace and truth. A Hebraism for the sum of Divine revelation. Hebrew. chesed vehemeth. See Genesis 24:27; Genesis 32:10. Exodus 34:6. Psalms 40:10, Psalms 40:11; Psalms 61:7.

truth. A characteristic word of this Gospel.

Verse 15

cried = hath cried aloud. was. As in John 1:1.

after me. In the order of ministry.

is preferred before me = had being before me (as to time).

for = because.

before me = first: i.e. (already) before me.

Verse 16

And. The texts read "For", but not the Syriac.

fulness. Greek pleroma.

all the. The Evangelist speaks here, not the Baptist.

grace for grace = grace in place of grace; new grace, continuous, and unintermitted. Ever fresh grace according to the need.

for = over against. Greek anti. App-104.

Verse 17

Moses. The first of 13 occurances in John (John 1:17, John 1:45; John 3:14; John 5:45, John 5:46; John 6:32; John 7:19, John 7:22, John 7:22, John 7:23; John 8:5; John 9:28, John 9:29). grace and truth. In the days of Moses there was grace (Ex. John 34:6, John 34:7), and the law itself was an exhibition of truth; but when Jesus Christ came, He was Himself the Truth, i.e. the very personification of truth (14. 6), and His life and death were the supreme manifestation of grace.

Jesus Christ. See App-98. d

Verse 18

No man: i.e. no human eye. Greek. oudeis. Compound of ou. App-105.

hath seen. Greek horao. App-133.

the only begotten Son. Lm. Tr. WI. Rm., with the Syriac, read "God (i.e. Christ) only begotten". The readings vary between YC and OC.

Which is = He Who is: like "was" in John 1:1.

in = into. Greek. eis. App-104. This expresses a continued relationship.

bosom. Figure of speech Anthropopatheia. App-6. Compare John 13:23; John 21:20.

he = That One.

hath declared = revealed. Greek exegeomai = to lead the way, make known by expounding. Hence Eng. "exegesis". Only here, Luke 24:35. Acts 10:8;.

Verse 19

record witness. Greek. marturia. See note on John 1:7,

the Jews. A characteristic expression of this Gospel see note on p. 1511), pointing to the consequences of their rejection of Messiah, when they would be Lo Ammi (= not My People): no longer regarded as "Israel", but as "Jews", the name given them by Gentiles.

sent = deputed. App-174.

from = out of. Greek. ek. App-104.

ask. Greek. erotao. App-134.

Verse 20

and denied not. Figure of speech Pleonasm (App-6), for emphasis.

denied. Greek arneomai. In John only here, and John 18:25, John 18:27.

but = and.

the Christ = the Messiah. App-98.

Verse 21

What then? = What then [are we to say]?

Elias = Elijah. Referring to Malachi 4:5.

that prophet = the prophet. Referring to Deuteronomy 18:18, Compare Acts 3:22, Acts 3:23.

No. Greek. ou. App-105.

Verse 22

sent. Greek. pempo. See App-174. A characteristic word in this Gospel. See note on p. 1511.

Verse 23

I am, &c. Quoting from Isaiah 40:3. See App-107.

the = a.

the LORD. App-98.

Esaias = Isaiah. The first of four occurances of his name in John; and this from the latter part of Isaiah, which modern critics say Isaiah did not write. But see the Structure in the Isaiah book comments, and App-79.

Verse 24

were = had been.

Pharisees. App-120.

Verse 25

baptizest . . . ? App-115. They expected baptism, from Ezekiel 86:25.

if. App-118.

Verse 26

baptize with. App-115.

know. Greek. oida. App-132. A characteristic

word of this Gospel. See p. 1511.

Verse 27

Whose shoe"s latchet = the thong of whose sandal.

latchet = a little lace, or thong. O. Fr, lacet, a lace; dim. of lags, from Latin. laqueus.

Verse 28

Bethabara. All the texts read Bethania (with the Syriac) Identified by Conder and Wilson with Makht-Ababarah, near Jericho. Not uncommon then or now for two or more places to have the same name. See on John 11:3.

Verse 29

seeth. Greek. blepo. App-133.

Jesus. App-98.

unto. Greek. pros. App-104.

Behold. Greek. ide. App-133. Sing Addressed to the whole company. the Lamb of God. Referring to "the Lamb" spoken of in Isaiah 53:7, with possible reference to the approaching Passover. This was the title of our Lord for that dispensation.

Lamb. Greek amnos. Occurs only here, John 1:36; Acts 8:32; 1 Peter 1:19. See John 21:15, where it is arnion, which occurs in Revelation twenty-eight times of the Lord, once of the false prophet (John 13:11).

of = provided by. See Genesis 22:8 and App-17.

taketh away = taketh [on Himself to bear] away. Greek airo. Compare Matthew 4:6 (first occurance)

sin. Singular. App-128.

Verse 30

of. All the texts read huper (App-104), instead of peri (App-104).

I said. See verses: John 1:15, John 1:27.

Verse 31

made manifest. Greek. phaneroo. App-106.

therefore = on account of this Greek. dia (App-104. John 1:1). The purpose should be well noted. Compare Romans 15:8.

Verse 32

bare record = bare witness. Compare John 1:19, and see note on John 1:7.

saw = have beheld. Greek. theaomai. App-133.

the Spirit. See App-101.

heaves. Singular, without Art. See note on Matthew 6:9, Matthew 6:10.

like = as it were.

abode. One of the characteristic words of John"s Gospel and Epistles. See list and note 1 in the book comments for John. upon. Greek. epi. App-104.

Verse 33

see. Greek. eidon. App-133.

remaining. Greek. meno, John 1:32.

on = upon, as in John 1:32.

the Holy Ghost = holy spirit. Greek. pneuma hagion. No articles. See App-101.

Verse 34

I saw = I have seen. Greek. horao. App-133.

bare record = have borne witness.

the Son of God. App-98.

Verse 35

stood = was standing.

two. One being Andrew (John 1:40), the other probably John (the Evangelist), as he never mentions himself.

Verse 36

looking upon = having fixed his gaze on. Greek. emblepo. App-133. Occurs in John only here, and John 1:42.

walked = was walking about.

Verse 37

speak = speaking. Greek. laleo.

Verse 38

turned and = having turned.

Rabbi. App-98.

interpreted. Greek. herreneuo. Occurs only here, John 1:42; John 9:7. Hebrews 7:2.

Master = Teacher. App-98. John 1:1.

dwellest = abidest. Greek. meno, as in John 1:32.

Verse 39

see. Greek eidon. App-133., but all the texts read "Ye shall see". Greek. horao. App-133.

with. Greek. para. App-104.

the tenth hour: i.e. of the day, according to Hebrew reckoning. The context must decide whether of the night or day. Here, therefore, 4pm. (Compare the other hours in John: here: John 4:6, John 4:52; John 11:9; John 19:14. See App-165).

Verse 40

heard John speak = heard (this) from (Greek. pare. App-104.) John.

Andrew, Simon. See App-141.

Verse 41

he = This one.

first findeth. Andrew is the first to find his brother, and afterwards John finds his. The Latin Version (Cod. Vercellensis, Cent. 4) must have read Greek. prof = early [in the morning]; not protos, as in the Rec. text. Not primum = first, as in the Vulgate.

the Messias = the Messiah. App-98. Occurs only here, and John 4:25.

Verse 42

brought = led. Greek. apoto. Greek. pros. App-104.

Jona. Aramaic for John. App-94. Cephas. Aramaic. Occurs only in 1 Corinthians 1:12; 1 Corinthians 3:22; 1 Corinthians 9:5; 1 Corinthians 15:5. Galatians 1:2, Galatians 1:9.

A stone = Peter = Greek. Petros. See note on Matthew 16:18.

Verse 43

The day following. The last of these four days of John"s ministry. (Compare verses: John 1:19, John 1:29, John 1:35, John 19:43.)

would = desired to. Greek. thelo. App-102.

Galilee. See App-169.

Philip. App-141.

Verse 44

of = from. Greek. apo. App-104.

the city. Greek. out of (Greek. ek. App-104.) the city.

Verse 45

Nathanael = the gift of God. Hebrew. Nethane"el

; as in Numbers 1:8. 1 Chronicles 2:14. Generally identified with Bartholomew (Aramaic. App-94.)

Law . . . Prophets. See notes on Luke 24:44.

did write = wrote. See App-47. Nazareth. App-169.

the son of Joseph. The words are Philip"s, and expressed the popular belief. Compare App-99.

Verse 46

Can there any, &c. Figure of speech Parcemia.

out of. Greek. ek. App-104.

Verse 47

Israelite: i.e. not a "Jacob". See notes on Genesis 32:28.

indeed = truly. Greek alethos. Adverb of No. 1, App-175.

Verse 48

answered and said. Hebrew idiom. See Deuteronomy 1:41. App-122.

Before. Greek. pro. App-104.

under. Greek. hupo. App-104.

Verse 49

the King of Israel. Thus proclaiming the Person of the Lord, in connexion with the Kingdom.

Verse 50

under = down beneath. Not the same word as in John 1:48.

believest. App-160. See John 1:7.

see. App-133.

Verse 51

Verily, verily. See note on Matthew 5:18. In John always double. Figure of speech Epizeuxis (App-6), for emphasis, twenty-five times (here, John 3:3, John 3:5, John 3:11; John 5:19, John 5:24, John 5:25; John 6:26, John 6:32, John 6:47, John 6:53; John 8:34, John 8:51, John 8:58; John 10:1, John 10:7; John 12:24; John 13:16, John 13:20, John 13:21, John 13:38; John 14:12; John 16:20, John 16:23; John 21:18). See note 3 in the book comments for John.

Hereafter = From henceforth. But omitted by all the texts (not the Syriac) It was conditional on the repentance of the nation, and will yet be seen.

heaven = the heaven. Singular, with Art. See note on Matthew 6:9, Matthew 6:10.

the Son of man. The first occurance in John. App-98and App-99.


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Bibliography Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on John 1:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.

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