Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

John 18:17

Then the slave-girl who kept the door *said to Peter, "You are not also one of this man's disciples, are you?" He *said, "I am not."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Court;   Cowardice;   Doorkeepers;   Jesus, the Christ;   Jesus Continued;   Peter;   Priest;   Prisoners;   Women;   Thompson Chain Reference - Door-Keepers;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Caiaphas;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Endurance;   Persecution;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Door-Keeper;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Caiaphas, Joseph;   John the Apostle;   Peter;   Porch;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Doorkeeper;   Gatekeeper;   John, the Gospel of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - House;   Peter;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Annas ;   Annas (2);   Denial;   Maid;   Mark (John);   Peter;   Trial of Jesus;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Officer;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Dwelling;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Justice;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Damsel;   Doorkeeper;   Peter, Simon;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

The damsel that kept the door - Caezarius, a writer quoted by Calmet, says this portress was named Ballila. It is worthy of remark that women, especially old women, were employed by the ancients as porters. In 2 Samuel 4:6, both the Septuagint and Vulgate make a woman porter to Ishbosheth. Aristophanes, in Vespis, v. 765, mentions them in the same office and calls them Σηκις, Sekis, which seems to signify a common maid-servant: -

Ὁτι την θυραν ανεῳξεν ἡ Σηκις λαθρα .

And Euripides, Troad. brings in Hecuba, complaining that she, who was wont to sit upon a throne, is now reduced to the miserable necessity of becoming a porter, or a nurse, in order to get a morsel of bread. And Plautus, Curcul. Act. i. sc. 1, mentions an old woman who was keeper of the gate: -

Anus hic solet cubitare custos janitrix.

Why they, in preference to men, should be pitched upon for this office, I cannot conceive; but we find the usage was common in all ancient nations. See the notes on Matthew 26:69.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on John 18:17". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/john-18.html. 1832.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

The maid therefore that kept the door saith unto Peter, Art thou also one of this man's disciples? He saith, I am not. Now the servants and the officers were standing there, having made a fire of coals; for it was cold; and they were warming themselves: and Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself.

Art thou also ... indicates that John was openly known as a disciple of Jesus, and there is no evidence that Peter would have suffered any inconvenience by an open admission of his discipleship. However, it should be remembered that Peter had cut off Malchus' ear a little earlier; and, if his identity as the perpetrator of that act had been known, there would have been solid grounds for his arrest. If this entered into Peter's thinking, it would show how one wrong act inevitably leads to another wrong act. For full discussion of Peter's denials, see my Commentary on Matthew, Matthew 26:58.

Warming himself ... at the devil's fire was another circumstance in the chain of events leading to the denial.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
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Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on John 18:17". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/john-18.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Then saith the damsel that kept the door unto Peter,.... She being relieved, either by her father, if porter, or by a fellow servant, had the opportunity of coming into the hall, where Peter was, and was curious to observe him, who he should be, that that person of note should order him to be admitted, when an affair of so much privacy and importance was transacting; and either by Peter's language, or the trouble that appeared in his countenance, or fancying: she had seen him in the temple, or in some part of the city in company With Jesus, addresses him after this manner:

art not thou also one of this man's disciples? She speaks of Christ in the vulgar dialect of the Jews, calling him "this man"; not only esteeming him a mere man, but a worthless man; and knowing he had disciples, challenges him as one of them; when he, all in flight and surprise, not expecting such a question to be put to him, without any further thought, rashly and suddenly

he saith I am not: he never denied that Christ was God or the Son of God, or that he was come in the flesh, or that he was the Messiah and Saviour of sinners; but either that he did not know what the maid said, or the person she spoke of; or, as here, that he was one of his disciples; which was a very great untruth: and many are the aggravations of his fall; which came to pass as soon as ever he was entered almost; and that by the means of a maid, a servant maid, a very inferior one; and at first perhaps they were alone; and the question put to him might not be in a virulent way, nor proceed from malice, but commiseration of him; and yet he had not resolution enough to own himself a disciple of Jesus; which he might have done, and in all likelihood might have gone safe off directly: but he that had so much confidence as to say, though all men deny thee, yet will not I; and had so much courage, as, in the face of a band of soldiers, to draw his sword, and smite one of the high priest's servants, but a few hours before, has not spirit enough in him to own his master before a servant maid!

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on John 18:17". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/john-18.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Then saith the damsel that kept the door — “one of the maids of the high priest,” says Mark (Mark 14:66). “When she saw Peter warming himself, she looked upon him and said” (Mark 14:67). Luke is more graphic (Luke 22:56) - She “beheld him as he sat by the fire (literally, ‹the light‘), and earnestly looked on him (fixed her gaze upon him), and said.” “His demeanor and timidity, which must have vividly showed themselves, as it so generally happens, leading to the recognition of him” [Olshausen].

Art thou not also one of this man‘s disciples? — that is, thou as well as “that other disciple,” whom she knew to be one, but did not challenge, perceiving that he was a privileged person.

He saith, I am not — “He denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest” (Matthew 26:70) - a common form of point blank denial; “I know [supply ‹Him‘] not, neither understand I what thou sayest” (Mark 14:68); “Woman, I know Him not” (Luke 22:57). This was THE FIRST DENIAL. “And he went out into the porch [thinking, perhaps, to steal away], and the cock crew,” (Mark 14:68).

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 18:17". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/john-18.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

The maid (η παιδισκηhē paidiskē). Feminine form of παιδισκοςpaidiskos diminutive of παιςpais See Matthew 26:69. When “the maid the portress” (apposition).

Art thou also? (μη και συ ειmē kai su ei). Expecting the negative answer, though she really believed he was.

This man‘s
(του αντρωπου τουτουtou anthrōpou toutou). Contemptuous use of ουτοςhoutos with a gesture toward Jesus. She made it easy for Peter to say no.

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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
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Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on John 18:17". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/john-18.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

The damsel ( ἡ παιδίσκη )

See on Acts 12:13.

Art thou ( μὴ σὺ )

The question is put in a negative form, as if expecting a negative answer: thou art not, art thou?

Also

Showing that she recognized John as a disciple.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on John 18:17". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/john-18.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Then saith the damsel that kept the door unto Peter, Art not thou also one of this man's disciples? He saith, I am not.

Art thou also — As well as the others, one of this man's disciples - She does not appear to have asked with any design to hurt him.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
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Wesley, John. "Commentary on John 18:17". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/john-18.html. 1765.

The Fourfold Gospel

The maid therefore that kept the door saith unto Peter, Art thou also [one] of this man's disciples? He saith, I am not2.

  1. Art not thou also [one] of this man's disciples? The doorkeeper evidently recognized John as a disciple, and was therefore suspicious of Peter.

  2. He saith, I am not. The cowardly "I am not" of Peter is a sad contrast to the strong "I am" of Jesus (John 18:8).

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. These files were made available by Mr. Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
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J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on John 18:17". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/john-18.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

Раба придверница говорит. Петра вводят во двор первосвященника, но за неправедную мзду: его вынуждают отречься от Христа. И с первого шага, поступив столь гнусно, Петр обнаруживает суетность своих притязаний. Он выдавал себя за воина, способного победить смерть, теперь же смущается и бросает оружие от одного далеко не грозного слова рабыни. Вот пример человеческой силы. Действительно, все, что в людях, есть дым, рассеиваемый от одного дуновения. До сражения мы более чем отважны, но опыт показывает, сколь глупо и напрасно мы надмеваемся. Более того, сатана еще не строит против нас козни, а мы уже выдумываем себе разные пустые страхи, смущающие нас раньше времени. Петр испугался голоса женщины? А что же мы? Разве не трепещем подобно падающему листу? Ложная видимость угрозы смутила Петра, а нас разве не уводят от Христа детские насмешки? Такова наша крепость, готовая пасть и без всякого врага. Так Бог мстит за человеческую гордыню и делает женоподобными самые отважные души. Человек не исполнен сил, но надут воздухом. Он обещает себе легкую победу над миром, однако трепещет, видя тень чертополоха. Посему научимся быть сильными только в Господе.

Нет. Кажется, это не прямое отречение от Христа. Но Петр, испугавшись признать себя его учеником, как бы отрицает, что имеет с Ним что-либо общее. Это надо отметить, дабы кто-то не пытался действовать по-софистски, и не думал, что избежит ответственности, если только косвенно отойдет от веры.

 

 

 

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 18:17". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-18.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

17 Then saith the damsel that kept the door unto Peter, Art not thou also one of this man’s disciples? He saith, I am not.

Ver. 17. He saith, I am not] False dissimulation is true denial. A silly wench is too hard for this stout stickler, who was alway Melius animatus quam armatus, as one observeth of him; Sic Elias fulminator ad Iesebelis minas trepidat, factus seipso imbecillior. "Thou also standest by faith: be not highminded, but fear," Romans 11:20.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on John 18:17". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/john-18.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

John 18:17. Art not thou also one, &c.— It seems the damsel, after having admitted Peter, followed him to the fire, and spake to him there in an angry tone, having been informed that it was he who had cut off her fellow-servant's ear. See John 18:26 and the parallel places.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on John 18:17". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/john-18.html. 1801-1803.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

17.] See the whole subject of Peter’s denials Mark 14:69-72.

This first denial was to all appearance rashly and almost inadvertently made, from a mere feeling of shame. Lücke suggests that Peter may have set himself among the servants of the High Priest to bear out his denial. The μὴ καὶ σύ (John 18:25), as Luthardt remarks, implies that the other disciple had already been recognized as a follower of Jesus, and had escaped annoyance.

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on John 18:17". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/john-18.html. 1863-1878.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

John 18:17. καὶ σὺ,) thou also, as many others, and as thy companion.(382) If the maid had been ignorant of the fact that that other disciple was a disciple, there is no doubt but that she would have questioned him also. Therefore the maid had not asked the question for the sake of injuring him, but lest she herself should come into danger. [She had previously permitted the unnamed disciple to introduce Peter; then at last, fearing that she had admitted in a strange man at an unseasonable time, she went near the light, and having found Peter, who after a brief sitting or lying down (‘accubitum’) had presently after risen up again, she accosted him, thereby causing further questions to be put to him by the other servants also. Peter replied to the maid and the servants in the negative. This was the first denial. The same damsel made the beginning of that inquiry also, which impelled Peter to a second denial, after that he had been in the meantime occupied with warming himself in the palace, and had afterwards gone forth into the hall (‘atrium’). Some of the servants, as naturally happens, were sitting, some were standing; Peter did both by turns. His first denial was whilst sitting; the second, whilst standing. Whilst these things were being done, which are recorded, ch. John 18:19-23, he stood near the fire; for which reason John twice introduces mention of his standing: John 18:18; John 18:25.—Harm., p. 535.] Nor was Peter in greater peril than the other disciple.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on John 18:17". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/john-18.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

This is Peter’s first denial of his Master; between which and his second denial (of which John saith nothing till he comes to John 18:26) the evangelist interposes many things not mentioned by the other evangelists.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on John 18:17". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/john-18.html. 1685.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The servant girl recognized the "other disciple" as one of Jesus" disciples. She asked Peter if he was one too, expecting a negative reply, as the Greek text makes clear. Her question reflected some disdain for Jesus. Peter succumbed to the pressure of the moment and denied his association with Jesus (13:37). Peter denied that he was one of Jesus" disciples, not that Jesus was the Messiah. Perhaps what he had done to Malchus made him more eager to blend into his surroundings.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on John 18:17". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/john-18.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

John 18:17. The damsel therefore that kept the door saith unto Peter, Art thou also one of this man’s disciples? He saith, I am not. The maid knew that John was one of the disciples of Jesus, and the interest taken by him in Peter leads her to suppose that the latter must also be one of them. She asks the question, and the first denial takes place. As Peter enters the court, he says, ‘I am not.’ A little incident is now mentioned which, slight as it seems, must be carefully attended to.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on John 18:17". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/john-18.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

John 18:17. Naturally he concluded from John’s introducing him that Peter was also a disciple, and as a mere innocent and purposeless remark says: ; “Are you also one of this man’s disciples?” He says, , “I am not”.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on John 18:17". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/john-18.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

. John gives here Peter's first denial, which is reunited to the other two by all the preceding evangelists. This is one of the circumstances, which the others may have neglected, to unite three similar facts, and relating to the same object. (Bible de Vence) --- St. Peter, the prince and head of the Church, was permitted to fall, to teach him to treat with more mildness and condescension those, whom he would afterwards have to raise out of the same miserable state of sin. One weak and frail man is placed over another, that seeing him unhappily fallen, he may give him his kind and helping hand, to free him from that unhappy state, in which he knows himself to have been. (St. John Chrysostom) --- Of all which our divine Saviour suffered in the court of Caiphas, nothing so much affected him as the dangerous fall of Peter, the chief of all his apostles, who had received the most signal favours from him. He had boasted that very night, that although all the rest of the disciples should abandon their master, he would never forsake him. Yet, see the weakness and inconstancy of human nature; at the voice of a poor maid, he forthwith denies his master; repeats his denial a second, and a third time, and even swears with an imprecation, that he never knew the man. O what is man, when he confides too much in himself! Let us look to ourselves, and see, that we never fall into the same unfortunate state. But if we have the misfortune to imitate this apostle in his fall, let us likewise imitate him in his speedy repentance: for immediately after his fall, going out, he wept bitterly; a practice which, it is said, he ever after retained, as often as he heard the cock crow. (Butler's Lives of the Saints)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on John 18:17". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/john-18.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

not. Greek. me. App-105.

this Man"s = this fellow"s. Spoken in contempt. Man"s. App-123.

not. Greek ou. App-105.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on John 18:17". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/john-18.html. 1909-1922.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(17) On Peter’s denials, comp. Notes on Matthew 26:69-75, and see in this Gospel John 13:38.

Art not thou also one of this man’s disciples?—i.e., “Thou as well as thy friend, whom I know.” There is no charge brought against him. The words are apparently simply words of recognition, or as furnishing a reason for admitting him with his friend, but Peter is conscious that he had attempted to kill, and had succeeded in wounding, one of the high priest’s servants. He therefore dreads this recognition.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on John 18:17". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/john-18.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Then saith the damsel that kept the door unto Peter, Art not thou also one of this man's disciples? He saith, I am not.
the damsel
16; Matthew 26:69,70; Mark 14:66-68; Luke 22:54,56,57
I am not
5,8; 21:15; Matthew 26:33
Reciprocal: Genesis 18:15 - denied;  Mark 14:30 - before;  Mark 14:69 - a maid;  Luke 22:55 - had;  John 13:38 - The cock;  John 20:6 - GeneralJohn 21:16 - the second;  Acts 1:13 - Peter;  Acts 4:13 - they took

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on John 18:17". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/john-18.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

17.Then the maid that kept the door said to Peter. Peter is introduced into the high priest’s hall; but it cost him very dear, for, as soon as he sets his foot within it, he is constrained to deny Christ. When he stumbles so shamefully at the first step, the foolishness of his boasting is exposed. He had boasted that he would prove to be a valiant champion, and able to meet death with firmness; and now, at the voice of a single maid, and that voice unaccompanied by threatening, he is confounded and throws down his arms. Such is a demonstration of the power of man. Certainly, all the strength that appears to be in men is smoke, which a breath immediately drives away. When we are out of the battle, we are too courageous; but experience shows that our lofty talk is foolish and groundless; and, even when Satan makes no attacks, we contrive for ourselves idle alarms which disturb us before the time. The voice of a feeble woman terrified Peter: and what is the case with us? Do we not continually tremble at the rustling of a falling leaf? A false appearance of danger, which was still distant, made Peter tremble: and are we not every day led away from Christ by childish absurdities? In short, our courage is of such a nature, that, of its own accord, it gives way where there is no enemy; and thus does God revenge the arrogance of men by reducing fierce minds to a state of weakness. A man, filled not with fortitude but with wind, promises that he will obtain an easy victory over the whole world; and yet, no sooner does he see the shadow of a thistle, than he immediately trembles. Let us therefore learn not to be brave in any other than the Lord.

I am not. This does not seem, indeed, to be an absolute denial of Christ; but when Peter is afraid to acknowledge that he is one of Christs disciples, it amounts to an assertion that he has nothing to do with him. This ought to be carefully observed, that no one may imagine that he has escaped by acting the part of a sophist, when it is only in an indirect manner that he shrinks from the confession of his faith.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 18:17". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-18.html. 1840-57.