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Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes
John 21



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Verse 1

After these things. A note of time frequent in John. See John 3:22; John 5:1, John 5:14; John 6:1; John 7:1; John 13:7; John 19:38.

After. Greek. meta. App-104.

Jesus. App-98.

shewed = manifested. Greek. phaneroo. App-106. v; not merely presented Himself, but revealed His power and glory. See John 2:11. Not the same word as John 14:21, John 14:22, which is empitanizo. App-106.

at = upon. Greek. epi. App-104.

on this wise = thus.

Verse 2

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

other. Greek allos. App-124.

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

Verse 3

unto = to.

I go a fishing = I go forth to fish.

with. Greek. sun. App-104.

into. Greek eis. App-104.

a = the; probably that of Matthew 4:21, belonging to Zebedee and his sons.

immediately. All the texts omit.

that night = in (Greek. en. App-104.) that night. caught. Greek. piazo. Used in the Gospels by John only, and always, except here and John 21:10, of "taking" the Lord (John 7:30, John 7:32, John 7:44; John 8:20; John 10:39; John 11:57).

nothing. Greek. oudeis, compound of ou. App-105.

Verse 4

now = already.

on. Greek. eis. App-104.

knew. Greek. oida. App-132.

not. Greek. ou. App-105.

Verse 5

Then = Therefore.

Children. Greek. paidion. App-108.

meat. Greek. prosphagion. Something to eat with (your bread), a relish. Occurs only here.

No. Greek. ou. App-105.

Verse 6

Cast. Greek. ballo, as in John 20:25, John 20:27.

net. A bag or purse net. Greek. diktuon, as in Matthew 4:20. Mark 1:18. Luke 5:2. For other words for "net", see Matthew 4:18; Matthew 13:47.

now they were not = no longer (Greek. ouketi) were they.

draw. Greek. helkuo. See on John 12:32.

for = from. Greek. apo, App-104. This was the eighth sign. See App-176.

Verse 7

loved. Greek. agapao. App-135.

the Lord. App-98.

Now when = Therefore.

heard = having heard.

girt. Greek. diazonnumi. Only here and John 13:4, John 13:5.

his fisher"s coat = the upper garment. Greek. ependutes. Only here in N.T. Used in the Septuagint for the Hebrew meil, robe, in 1 Samuel 18:4. 2 Samuel 13:18.

naked. Greek gumnos. This means he had only his tunic or undergarment on. Compare Mark 14:51. Acts 19:16.

Verse 8

a little ship = the boat. Greek. ploiarion, dim. of ploion, John 21:3; John 21:6. Elsewhere in John 6:22, John 6:23 "boat", Mark 3:9; Mark 4:36.

from. Greek. apo. App-104.

land = the land. Greek. ge. App-129.

two, &c. = about (Greek. apo. App-104.) two, &c.: i.e. one hundred yards. See App-51.

dragging. Greek suro. Only here, Acts 8:3; Acts 14:19; Acts 17:6. Revelation 12:4. Not the same word as in John 21:6.

the net with fishes = the net of fishes.

Verse 9

were come = went forth,

to = unto. Greek. eis. App-104.

saw = see. Greek. blepo. App-133.

fire of coals. Greek. anthrakia. Only here and John 18:18.

fish. Greek. opsarion, dim. of opson, cooked meat, eaten as a relish. in John 6:9, John 6:11, the only other passage where it occurs, it is in the plural as in John 21:10 below. Here it probably means a little fish,

bread = a loaf. One little fish and one loaf to feed eight persons. A beautiful variant of, and supplement to, the widow"s handful of meal and cruse of oil (1Ki 17). It was a type of the food He would supply them with, in the strength of which they would go "many days".

Verse 10

the fish. Here the word is opsarion in the plural. But they were great fishes (John 21:11). So it must be used in a general sense.

Verse 11

went up = went back.

to. Greek. epi. App-104., but all the texts read eis.

Verse 12

dine. Greek. aristao. Only here, John 21:15, and Luke 11:37. The ariston was the morning meal, as contrasted with the afternoon meal, which was called deipnon, translated "supper". Compare Matthew 22:4. Luke 11:38; Luke 11:14, Luke 11:12.

none = no one. Greek. oudeis.

durst = ventured to. Contrast their freedom in questioning Him before. It marks the change in their relationship wrought by the resurrection,

ask = inquire. Only here and Matthew 2:8; Matthew 10:11.

Verse 13

then. All the texts omit.

bread = the loaf.

fish = the fish of John 21:9.

Verse 14

now = already.

His = the.

risen. Greek. egeiro. App-178.

from the dead. Greek. ek nekron. See App-139.

Verse 15

So = Therefore.

Simon. Peter was always addressed by the Lord as Simon except in Luke 22:34. See App-147.

more than these: i.e. than these other disciples do. Referring to his words in Matthew 26:33, Matthew 26:35.

love. Greek phileo. App-135. Note the different words used in these verses. The Lord uses agapao twice and phileo once, Peter always phileo.

Feed: i.e. provide pasture for. Greek. bosko. Save in this passage, always of swine.

lambs. Greek. arnion, a diminutive. Only here and in the Revelation, where it occurs twenty-nine times, always of the Lord, except John 13:11. The other word for "lamb", amnos, only in John 1:29, John 1:36. Acts 8:32. 1 Peter 1:19.

Verse 16

the = a.

Feed = Shepherd. Greek poimaino. Occurs eleven times, translated "rule "in Matthew 2:6. Revelation 2:27; Revelation 12:5; Revelation 19:15. Compare poimen, John 10:2, John 10:11, John 10:12, John 10:14, John 10:16 (Shepherd); Ephesians 4:11 (pastors).

sheep. Greek probaton.

Verse 17

grieved. Greek. lupeo. Elsewhere in John 16:20. Compare 1 Peter 1:6. The noun lupe occurs in John 16:6, John 16:20, John 16:21, John 16:22. Compare 1 Peter 2:19.

knowest. Greek ginosko. App-132.

Verse 18

Verily, verily. Twenty-fifth and last occurance of this double Amen (App-10). See on John 1:51 and p. 1511.

young. Greek. neoteros, younger. The positive neos applied to any one up to thirty. This and John 20:4 gave rise to the tradition that Peter was a middle-aged man. girdedst. Greek. zonnumi. Only here.

wouldest. Greek. thelo. App-102.

carry = lead. Greek. phero. Compare Mark 9:17. Luke 15:23. Acts 14:13.

Verse 19

what = what kind of.

glorify. Greek. doxazo. See p. 1511.

God. App-98.

when He had = having.

Follow. Greek. akoloutheo. Used of soldiers, servants, and pupils. First occurance in John 1:37.

Verse 20

Then. All the texts omit.

turning about = having turned round.

also leaned = leaned also.

on. Greek. epi. App-104.

at. Greek. en. App-104.

which = who. betrayeth. See on John 19:30, "gave up".

Verse 21

seeing. Greek. eidon. App-133.

what, &c.: literally " this one, what?

Verse 22

If. App-118.

tarry. Greek meno, translated abide, remain, &c. See book comments for John.

what, &c. Peter"s curiosity rebuked. Compare Matthew 17:4.

to = with reference to. Greek. pros. App-104.

Verse 23

saying. Greek. logos. See on Mark 9:32.

among = unto. Greek eis. App-104.

that. Greek. ekeinos.

should not die = is not dying: i.e. is not going to die.

Verse 24

testifieth = beareth witness. Greek. martureo. See See book comments for John, note 4.

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

testimony. Greek. marturia. Compare John 19:35, and see book comments for John.

true. Greek alethes. App-175.

Verse 25

also many, &c. = many other things also. See John 20:30.

every one = one by one. Greek. kath" (App-104) en.

I suppose = I think. Greek. oimai, contr. for oiomai, which occurs in Philippians 1:1, Philippians 1:16. James 1:7.

even . . . not. Greek. oude, compound of ou. App-105.

world. Greek. kosmos. App-129.

contain. Greek. choreo. Elsewhere in John: John 2:6; John 8:37 (hath no place). Compare Matthew 19:12.

the books, &c. = the written books. Figure of speech Hyperbole. App-6. Amen. All the texts omit. In that case, only the double "verily" found in John. This chapter is a supplement, of the highest value, to the Gospel formally concluded in John 20:31.

The use of the first person singular in John 21:25, contrasted with the Evangelist"s modest self-effacement elsewhere, has led some to doubt the Johannine authorship of this chapter. But the evidence of the MSS. and Versions, and the attestation clause at John 21:24 is so closely allied to that in John 19:35 as to leave little room for doubt. Note further, the use of many characteristic words (see p. 1511), the expression noted in John 21:1, the double "verily" (John 21:18), and, above all, the eight signs with their wonderful structure and correspondence (see App-176).


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Bibliography Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on John 21:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.

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Monday, October 26th, 2020
the Week of Proper 25 / Ordinary 30
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