corner graphic   Hi,    
ver. 2.0.19.10.21
Finding the new version too difficult to understand? Go to classic.studylight.org/

Bible Commentaries

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary
John 1

 

 

Other Authors
Verse 1

===============================

[BIBLIOGRAPHY]

Et Deus erat Verbum, Greek: kai theos en o logos. Greek: Logos was a word very proper to give all that should believe a right notion of the Messias, and of the true Son of God. Greek: Logos, according to St. Jerome, (Ep. ad Paulinum. tom. iv. part 2, p. 570. Ed. Ben.) signifies divers things; as, the wisdom of the Father, his internal word or conception; and, as it were, the express image of the invisible God. Here it is not taken for any absolute divine attribute or perfection; but for the divine Son, or the second Person, as really distinct from the other two divine Persons. And that by Greek: Logos, was to be understood him that was truly God, the Maker and Creator of all things; the Jews might easily understand, by what they read adn frequently heard in the Chaldaic Paraphrase, or Targum of Jonathan, which was read to them in the time of our Saviour, Christ, and at the time when St. John wrote his gospel. In this Paraphrase they were accustomed to hear that the Hebrew word Memreth, to which corresponded in Greek, Logos, was put for him that was God: as Isaias xlv. 12, I made the earth; in this Targum, I, by my word, made the earth: Isaias xlviii. 13, My hand also hath founded the earth; in this Paraphrase, in my word I founded the earth: Genesis iii. 8, They heard the voice of the Lord God; in the Paraphrase, the voice of the word of God. See Walton, prolog. xii, num. 18, p. 86.; Maldonatus on this place; Petavius, lib. vi. de Trin. chap. 1.; Dr. Pearson on the Creed, p. 11.; Dr. Hammond's note on St. Luke, chap. i, p. 203, &c. However, St. John shews us that he meant him who was the true God, by telling us that the world, and every thing that was made, was made by this word, or Greek: Logos; that in this word was life; that he was in the world, and was the light of the world; that he had glory, as the glory of the only begotten of the Father, &c.


Verse 2

The same was in the beginning with God. In the text is only, "this was in the beginning;" but the sense and construction certainly is, this word was in the beginning. (Witham)


Verse 3

===============================

[BIBLIOGRAPHY]

Omnia per ipsum facta sunt: Greek: panta di autou egeneto: all things were made by him. Let not any one pretend that Greek: di autou, in this verse signifies no more than, that all creatures were made by the Word, or Son of God, ministerially as if he was only the instrument of the eternal Father, the chief and principal cause of all things; of whom the apostle says, Greek: ex ou ta panta, ex ipso omnia. --- Origen unless perhaps his writings were corrupted by the Arians, seems to have given occasion to this Greek: leptalogia, as St. Basil calls it, to groundless quibbling and squabbling about the sense of the prepositions; when he tells us, (tom. ii, in Joan. p. 55. Ed. Huetii.) the Greek: di ou never has the first place, but always the second place, meaning as to dignity: Greek: oudepote ten proten choran echei to di ou deuteran de aei. It is like many other false and unwarrantable assertions in Origen; as when we find in the same commentary on St. John, that he says only God the Father is called Greek: o Theos. Origen may perhaps be excused as to what he writes about Greek: di ou and Greek: ex ou, as if he spoke only with a regard to the divine processions in God, in which the Father is the first person, from whom proceeds even the eternal Son, the second person. But whatever Origen thought, or meant, whom St. Epiphanius calls the father of Arius, whose works, as then extant, were condemned in the fifth General Council; it appears that the Arians, in particular Aetius, of the Eunomian sect, pretended that Greek: ex ou had always a more eminent signification, and was only applied to the Father; the Father, said he, being the true God, the only principal efficient cause of all things; and Greek: di ou was applied to the word, or Son of God, who was not the same true God, to signify his interior and ministerial production, as he was the instrument of the Father. Aetius, without regard to other places in the Scripture, as we read in St. Basil, (lib. de Sp. S. chap. ii. p. 293. Ed Morelli. an. 1637) produced these words of the apostle: (1 Corinthians viii. 6.) Greek: eis Theos, pater, ex ou ta panta ... kai eis kurios, Iesous Christos; di ou panta: unus Deus, Pater, ex quo omnia, ... et unus Dominus Jesus Christus; per quem omnia. He concluded from hence, that as the prepositions were different, so were the natures and substance of the Father and of the Son. --- But that no settled and certain rule can be built on these prepositions, and that Greek: di ou, in this third verse of the first chapter of St. John, has no diminishing signification, so that the Son was equally the proper and principal efficient cause of all things that were made and created, we have the authority of the greatest doctors, and the most learned and exact writers of the Greek Church, who knew both the doctrine of the Catholic Church, and the rules and use of the Greek tongue. --- St. Basil (lib. de Spir. S. chap. iii. et seq.) ridicules this Greek: leptologian, which, he says, had its origin from the vain and profane philosophy of the heathen writers, about the difference of causes. He denies that there is any fixed rule; and brings examples, in which Greek: di ou is applied to the Father, and Greek: ex ou to the Son. --- St. Gregory of Nazianzus denies this difference, (Orat. xxxvii, p. 604. Ed. Morelli. Parisiis, ann. 1630) and affirms that Greek: ex ou, and Greek: di ou, in this verse, has no diminishing nor inferior signification: Greek: ei de to di ou nomizeis elattoseos einai, &c. --- St. Cyril of Alexandria, (lib. i. in Joan. p. 48.) makes the very same remark, and with the like examples. His words are: Quod si existiment (Ariani) per quem, Greek: di ou, substantiam ejus (Filii) de æqualitate cum Patre dejicere, ita ut minister sit potius quam creator, ad se redeant insaui, &c. --- St. Ambrose, a doctor of the Latin Church, (lib. ii. de Sp. S. 10. p. 212. 213. Ed. Par. an. 1586.) confutes, with St. Basil, the groundless and pretended differences of ex quo and per quem. --- I shall only here produce that one passage in Romans, (Chap. xi. 36.) which St. Basil and St. Ambrose make use of, where we read: ex ipso, et per ipsum, et in ipso sunt omnia, (Greek: ex autou, kai di autou, kai eis auton ta panta) et in ipsum omnia. Now either we expound all the three parts of this sentence, as spoken of the Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, (as both St. Basil and St. Ambrose understand them) and then Greek: ex ou is applied to the Son; or we understand them of the Father, and Greek: di ou is applied to the first Person: or, in fine, as St. Augustine observes, (lib. i. de Trin. chap. 6.) we interpret them in such a manner, that the first part be understood of the Father, the second of the Son, the third of the Holy Ghost; and then the words that immediately follow in the singular number, to him be glory for ever, shew that all the three Persons are but one in nature, one God; and to all, and to each of the three Persons, the whole sentence belongs. --- Had I not already said more than may seem necessary on these words, I might add all the Greek bishops in the council of Florence, when they came to an union with the Latin bishops about the procession of the Holy Ghost. After may passages had been quoted out of the ancient Fathers, some of which had said that the Holy Ghost proceeded from the Father and the Son, Greek: ek tou patros, kai ek tou uiou, many others had asserted that he proceeded Greek: ek tou Patros dia tou uiou; Bessarion, the learned Grecian bishop, in a long oration, (Sess. 25.) shewed that Greek: di uiou was the same as Greek: ek tou uiou. The Fathers, said he, shew, Greek: deiknusin isodunamousan te ek ten dia. See tom. xiii. Conc. Lab. p. 435. All the others allowed this to be true, as the emperor John Paleologus observed. (p. 487.) And the patriarch of Constantinople, when he was about to subscribe, declared the same: Greek: esti to dia tou uiou, tauton to ek tou uiou. Can any one imagine that none of these learned Grecians should know the force and use of these two prepositions, in their own language?


Verse 4

In him: i.e. in this word, or Son of God, was life; because he give life to every creature. Or, as Maldonatus expounds it, because he is the author of grace, which is the spiritual life of our souls. --- And the life was the light of men, whether we expound it of a rational soul and understanding, which he gives to all men; or of the spiritual life, and those lights of graces, which he gives to Christians. (Witham)


Verse 5

And the light shineth, or did shine, in darkness. Many understand this, that the light of reason, which God gave to every one, might have brought them to the knowledge of God by the visible effects of his Providence in this world: but the darkness did not comprehend it, because men, blinded by their passions, would not attend to the light of reason. Or we may again understand it, with Maldonatus, of the lights of grace, against which obstinate sinners wilfully shut their eyes. (Witham)


Verse 7

That all men might believe through him; i.e. by John the Baptist's preaching, who was God's instrument to induce them to believe in Jesus the Christ, or the Messias, their only Redeemer. (Witham)


Verse 8

-9

He; that is John the Baptist, was not the true light: but the word was the true light. In the translation, it is necessary to express that the word was the true light, lest any one should think that John the Baptist was this light. (Witham)


Verse 8-9

He; that is John the Baptist, was not the true light: but the word was the true light. In the translation, it is necessary to express that the word was the true light, lest any one should think that John the Baptist was this light. (Witham)


Verse 10

He was in the world, &c. Many of the ancient interpreters understand this verse of Christ as God, who was in the world from its first creation, producing and governing all things: but the blind sinful world did not know and worship him. Others apply these words to the Son of God made man; whom even God's own chosen people, the Jews, at his coming, refused to receive and believe in him. (Witham)


Verse 11

His own. This regards principally the Jews. Jesus came to them as into his own family, but they did not receive him. It may likewise be extended to the Gentiles, who had groaned so long a time in darkness, and only seemed to wait for the rising sun of justice to run to its light. They likewise did not receive him. These words, though apparently general, must be understood with restriction; as there were some, though comparatively few, of both Jews and Gentiles, who embraced the faith. (Calmet)


Verse 12

He gave to them power to be made the adoptive sons of God, and heirs of the kingdom of heaven. They are made the children of God by believing and by a new spiritual birth in the sacrament of baptism, not of blood; (literally, no of bloods) not by the will, and desires of the flesh, not by the will of men, nor by human generation, as children are first born of their natural parents, but of God, by faith and divine grace. (Witham)


Verse 14

===============================

[BIBLIOGRAPHY]

Gloriam quasi Unigeniti, Greek: os monogenous. St. John Chrysostom says, the word quasi, Greek: os, does no ways here diminish, be even confirms and increases the signification; as when we say of a king, that he carries himself like a king. Greek: To de os entauthen ouch omoioseos estin, alla bebaioseos.


Verse 15

===============================

[BIBLIOGRAPHY]

and 27. Aute me factus est, Greek: emprosthen mou gegonen, is preferred before me: St. John Chrysostom says, he is Greek: lamproteros, entimoteros, illustrios, honorabilior.


Verse 16

===============================

[BIBLIOGRAPHY]

Gratiam pro gratia, Greek: charin anti charitos, gratiam; so Job, (ii. 4.) pellem pro pelle, i.e. omnem pellem.

====================


Verse 18

No man hath seen God. No mortal in this life by a perfect union and enjoyment of him. Nor can any creature perfectly comprehend his infinite greatness: none but his only begotten divine Son, who is in the bosom of his Father, not only by an union of grace, but by an union and unity of substance and nature; of which Christ said, (John xiv. 11.) I am in the Father, and the Father in me. (Witham)


Verse 19

The Jews sent, &c. These men, who were priests and Levites, seem to have been sent and deputed by the sanhedrim, or great council at Jerusalem, to ask of John the Baptist, who was then in great esteem and veneration, whether he was not their Messias; who, as they knew by the predictions of the prophets, was to come about that time. John declared to them he was not. To their next question, if he was not Elias? He answered: he was not: because in person he was not; though our Saviour (Matthew xi. 14.) says he was Elias: to wit, in spirit and office only. Their third question was, if he was a prophet? He answered, no. Yet Christ (Matthew xi.) tells us, he was a prophet, and more than a prophet. In the ordinary acceptation only, they were called prophets who foretold things to come: John then, with truth, as well as humility, could say he was not a prophet; not being sent to foretell the coming of the Messias, but to point him out as already come, and present with the Jews. (Witham)


Verse 23

The voice of one crying in the wilderness. See Matthew iii. 3.; Mark i. 3.; Luke iii. 4.; and Isaias xl. 3. by all which John was his immediate precursor. (Witham)


Verse 26

Hath stood. St. John the Baptist, by these words, which he spoke to the priests and Levites, sent to him by the Pharisees, did not mean to tell them, that Jesus was either at the present time standing amongst them, or that he had ever been in the presence of the self same people; but they may be understood two different ways, either with regard to his divinity; an din that sense, Jesus was always by his divine presence amongst them; or in regard to his humanity; either that he lived in the same country, and among their countrymen, or, that he stood actually amongst them, because Jesus was accustomed yearly to go up to Jerusalem on the festival of the Pasch. (Denis the Carthusian)


Verse 29

Behold the Lamb of God. John the Baptist let the Jews know who Jesus was, by divers testimonies. 1st, By telling them he was the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin, or sins of the world, who was come to be their Redeemer, and to free mankind from the slavery of sin; 2ndly, that he was greater than he, and before him, though born after him; 3rdly, that God had revealed to him that Jesus was to baptize in the Holy Ghost; 4thly, that he saw the Spirit descending upon him from heaven, and remaining upon him; 5thly, that he was the Son of God, ver. 34. (Witham) --- Who taketh away. It was only a being like Christ, in whose person the divine and human natures were united, that could effectually take away the sins of the world. As man, hew was enabled to suffer; and as God, his sufferings obtained a value equal to the infinite atonement required. (Haydock)


Verse 39

Staid with him that day. Yet they did not continually remain with him, as his disciples, till he called them, as they were fishing. See the annotations, Matthew iv. 18. (Witham)


Verse 42

Thou art Simon, the son of Jona, or of John. Jesus, who knew all things, knew his name, and at the first meeting told him he should hereafter be called Cephas, or Petrus, a rock, designing to make him the chief or head of his whole Church. See Matthew xvi. 18. (Witham) --- Cephas is a Syriac word, its import is the same as rock or stone. And St. Paul commonly calleth him by this name: whereas others, both Greeks and Latins, call him by the Greek appellation, Peter; which signifies exactly the same thing. Hence St. Cyril saith, that our Saviour, by foretelling that his name should be now no more Simon, but Peter, did by the word itself aptly signify, that on him, as on a rock most firm, he would build his Church. (Lib. ii. chap. 12. in Joan.)


Verse 46

Can any thing of good come from Nazareth? Nathanael did not think it consistent with the predictions of the prophets, that the Messias, who was to be the Son of David, and to be born at Bethlehem, should be of the town of Nazareth; which he did not imagine could be the place of Jesus's birth. But when he came to Jesus, and found that he knew the truth of things done in private, and in his absence, he professed his belief in Jesus in these words: Rabbi, thou art the Son of God, thou art the king of Israel. We may here take notice, with Dr. Pearson, on the second article of the Creed, that the Jews, before the coming of Christ, were convinced that he was to be the Son of God; (though they have denied it since that time) for they interpreted, as foretold of their Messias, these words: (Psalm ii. 7.) The Lord said to me, thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee: and this is what Nathanael here confessed. The same is confirmed by the famous confession of St. Peter, (Matthew xvi. 16.) Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God; by the words of Martha, (John xi. 27.) I have believed that thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God, who art come into the world: In fine, by the question which the Jewish priest put to our Saviour, (Matthew xxvi. 63.) I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ the Son of God. See also John vi. 17. and John xx. 31. (Witham)


Verse 50

Greater things than these. Greater miracles and proofs that I am the Messias, and the true Son of God. (Witham)


Verse 51

You shall see the heaven open, &c. It is not certain when this was to be fulfilled: St. John Chrysostom thinks at Christ's ascension; others refer it to the day of judgment. (Witham)

 


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on John 1:4". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/john-1.html. 1859.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, October 21st, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
ADVERTISEMENT
Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
ADVERTISEMENT
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology