Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

John 2:23

Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name, observing His signs which He was doing.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Faith;   Feasts;   Israel, Prophecies Concerning;   Jesus, the Christ;   Jesus Continued;   Miracles;   Passover;   Scofield Reference Index - Resurrection;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Feast of the Passover, the;   Law of Moses, the;   Miracles;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Nicodemus;   Signs;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - God, Name of;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Marriage;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Miracle;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - John, the Epistles of;   Jordan;   Miracles;   Nicodemus;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Miracles, Signs, Wonders;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Faith;   Jesus Christ;   Marriage;   Mary;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Claim;   Dates (2);   Dispersion ;   Enthusiasm;   Ideas (Leading);   Impotence;   Miracles;   Name (2);   Obedience (2);   Popularity;   Preparation ;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - John, the Gospel by;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Cana;   Passover;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Miracle;   Passover;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Chronology of the New Testament;   Jesus Christ (Part 1 of 2);   Miracle;   Name;   Nicodemus;  
Devotionals:
Every Day Light - Devotion for June 2;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Many believed in his name - They believed him to be the promised Messiah, but did not believe in him to the salvation of their souls: for we find, from the following verse, that their hearts were not at all changed, because our blessed Lord could not trust himself to them.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on John 2:23". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/john-2.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Feast-day - Feast. During the celebration of the Passover, which continued eight days.

Miracles which he did - These miracles are not particularly recorded. Jesus took occasion to work miracles, and to preach at that time, for a great multitude were present from all parts of Judea. It was a favorable opportunity for making known his doctrines and showing the evidence that he was the Christ, and he embraced it. We should always seek and embrace opportunities of doing good, and we should not be “deterred,” but rather “excited,” by the multitude around us to make known our real sentiments on the subject of religion.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on John 2:23". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/john-2.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, during the feast, many believed on his name, beholding the signs which he did.

John means by this that a great many other signs had been wrought by Jesus at this first passover, giving the key to the selectivity of his narrative. From the vast number of Jesus' signs, only seven were selected for this Gospel by its inspired author. There is a sense too in which the cleansing of the temple may be considered a sign. Such a frontal assault upon the entrenched forces of exploitation would have resulted in a sudden burst of popularity, the rabble always being capable of sudden, but not sustained, clamor against authority, especially authority which is abused and exploitive as was that of the temple. A multitude would have gathered quickly around such a defender of righteousness as Jesus showed himself in that episode. However, the view here is that the mention of signs (plural) has reference to many of Jesus' mighty deeds that were omitted from this Gospel and all the Gospels. The cleansing of the temple, though not miraculous, and thus not reckoned among John's seven signs, nevertheless was a dramatic and startling announcement of Jesus as the Messiah who had suddenly come to his temple.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on John 2:23". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/john-2.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover,.... Whither he went, in order to keep it, that being at hand, and now come; see John 2:13;

in the feast day; either on the day the Chagigah was eaten, which was sometimes emphatically called "the feast", as in Numbers 28:16, "and in the fourteenth day of the first month, is the passover of the Lord; and in the fifteenth day of this month, is the feast"; the passover lamb was eaten on the fourteenth day of the month "Nisan", and the "Chagigah" was on the fifteenth; in the former only a lamb was eaten, in the other, cattle out of the herds; hence mention is made, both of flocks and herds, for the keeping the passover, Deuteronomy 16:2. Jarchi's note upon the place is, that the herds were for the Chagigah, with which the TalmudF12Pesachim, fol. 70. 2. agrees; and Jonathan ben Uzziel paraphrases the words thus,

"and ye shall slay the passover before the Lord your God, between the evenings, and the sheep and oxen on the morrow, in that very day, for the joy of the feast;'

for it was observed with great joy and mirth: and the rather this is here meant, since the "Chagigah" is not only called "the feast", but this here is distinguished from the passover, as that is in the passage above cited, Numbers 28:16. For the passover here, seems to be the general name for the whole seven days of the festival; and the feast to be the particular feast of the first day of it, which was the fifteenth; to which may be added, that on this day all the males made their appearance in courtF13Maimon. Hilch. Chagigah, c. 1. sect. 1. ; and so was a very proper time for Christ to work his miracles in, when there were so many spectators: though it may design the whole time of the feast, all the seven days of unleavened bread; during which time Christ was at Jerusalem, and wrought miracles, which had the following effect:

many believed in his name; that he was some great prophet, or the prophet, or the Messiah; they gave an historical assent unto him as such, at least for that time:

when they saw the miracles which he did; for as miracles, according to the prophecies of the Old Testament, were to be performed by the Messiah, such as giving sight to the blind, causing the deaf to hear, the dumb to speak, and the lame to walk, Isaiah 35:5; so they were expected by the ancient Jews, that they would be wrought by him, when he came; wherefore these Jews, seeing such like wonderful things wrought by Jesus, they concluded he must be the Messiah: though the modern ones, in order to shift off the evidence of Jesus being the Messiah, from his miracles, deny that miracles are the characteristic of the Messiah, or will be performed by him; at least, that there is no necessity of them to prove him to be the person. What miracles these were, which were now wrought by Christ, are not recorded by this, or any other evangelist; see John 20:30. However, being surprised at the marvellous things he did, and upon the evidence of these extraordinary works, there were many that concluded he must be come from God; among these it seems as if Nicodemus was one; see John 3:2; great part of these, at least some of them, were only nominal and temporary believers, who were not to be confided in as true disciples, and hearty followers of Christ; and who continued not long in the same mind and profession, as appears by what follows.

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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 2:23". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/john-2.html. 1999.

People's New Testament

Many believed. The miracles wrought that they saw at this time are not recorded. They are alluded to again in John 3:2. These believed that he was a man sent from God, but did not trust in him as the Christ. The nature of their belief is stated in John 3:2.

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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.
Original work done by Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
Bibliographical Information
Johnson, Barton W. "Commentary on John 2:23". "People's New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pnt/john-2.html. 1891.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

In Jerusalem (εν τοις Ιεροσολυμοιςen tois Ierosolumois). The form ΙεροσολυμαIerosoluma as in John 2:13 always in this Gospel and in Mark, and usually in Matthew, though ΙερουσαλημIerousalēm only in Revelation, and both forms by Luke and Paul.

During the feast (εν τηι εορτηιen tēi heortēi). The feast of unleavened bread followed for seven days right after the passover (one day strictly), though το πασχαto pascha is used either for the passover meal or for the whole eight days.

Believed on his name
(επιστευσαν εις το ονομα αυτουepisteusan eis to onoma autou). See note on John 1:12 for this phrase. Only one has to watch for the real import of πιστευωpisteuō

Beholding his signs
(τεωρουντες αυτου τα σημειαtheōrountes autou ta sēmeia). Present active participle (causal use) of τεωρεωtheōreō

Which he did
(α εποιειha epoiei). “Which he was doing” (imperfect tense). He did his first sign in Cana, but now he was doing many in Jerusalem. Already Jesus had become the cynosure of all eyes in Jerusalem at this first visit in his ministry.

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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)
Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on John 2:23". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/john-2.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

At the passover

Note the omission of of the Jews (John 2:13).

In the feast-day ( ἐν τῇ ἑορτῇ )

Rev., during the feast. The feast of unleavened bread, during the seven days succeeding the actual passover (see on Mark 14:1).

Believed on ( ἐπίστευσαν εἰς )

The stronger expression of faith (John 1:12).

His name

See on John 1:12. With the phrase believe on His name, compare believe on Him (John 8:30), which is the stronger expression, indicating a casting of one's self upon Him; while to believe on the name is rather to believe in Him as being that which he claims to be, in this case the Messiah. It is believing recognition rather than appropriation. “Their faith in His name (as that of the Messiah) did not yet amount to any decision of their inner life for Jesus, but was only an opinion produced by the sight of His miracles, that He was the Messiah” (Meyer).

When they saw ( θεωροῦντες )

Rev., literally and rightly, beholding (see on John 1:14, John 1:29).

He did ( ἐποίει )

Better, was doing; the imperfect denoting the wonderful works as in progress.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on John 2:23". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/john-2.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.

Many believed — That he was a teacher sent from God.

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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 2:23". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/john-2.html. 1765.

The Fourfold Gospel

Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, during the feast1, many believed on his name, beholding his signs which he did2.

  1. Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, during the feast. The seven days' feast of unleavened bread (Leviticus 23:5,6).

  2. Many believed on his name, beholding his signs which he did. We have no description of the miracles wrought at this time. See John 4:45; John 20:30.

Copyright Statement
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.
Bibliographical Information
J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on John 2:23". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/john-2.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

Многие ... уверовали. Евангелист вполне уместно присоединяет этот рассказ к тому, что говорил ранее. Христос не сотворил знамение, которого требовали иудеи. Теперь же, когда, сотворив множество чудес, Он смог вызвать в них лишь прохладную и смутную веру, стало ясно, что они и раньше были недостойны выполнения своей просьбы. Чудеса, действительно, дали некий плод, и многие уверовали во Христа, а значит – и в Его имя, исповедуя тем самым желание следовать Его учению (ибо «имя» означает в данном случае авторитет учителя). Это была какая-никакая разновидность веры, пока довольно смутная. Но и она могла перерасти в истинную веру, могла явиться полезным приготовлением к проповеди другим имени Христова. Однако же, как мы говорили, ее причастники были далеки от надлежащего стремления к преуспеванию в делах Божиих.

Кроме того, это была не та разновидность веры, которая желает сообщать себя другим. Ибо уверовавшие были убеждены, что Христос является неким великим пророком. Быть может они даже приписывали Ему честь Мессии, Которого тогда с нетерпением ожидали. Однако, поскольку они не знали о свойственном Мессии служении, вера их была ущербной, привязывалась к земному и мирскому. Кроме того, она представляла собой прохладное и лишенное сердечного чувства убеждение. Ибо лицемеры соглашаются с Евангелием не для того, чтобы посвятить себя Христу, не для того, чтобы с искренним благочестием следовать за призывающим Богом, но лишь потому, что не могут полностью отвергнуть познанную истину, особенно когда нет никакой причины ее отвергать. Они не объявляют открытую войну Богу, но как только чувствуют, что Его учение противно их плоти и порочным желаниям, сразу же ожесточаются и отходят от веры.

Итак, слова Евангелиста об уверовавших я толкую не так, что он говорит о полностью отсутствующей вере, но так, что эти люди были вынуждены неким образом отдать должное Христу. То же, что вера их не была истинной и подлинной, явствует из следующего: Христос исключил их из числа Своих людей, а на Его суд нам следует полагаться. Добавь к этому, что данная вера проистекала лишь из чудес, не имея никакого корня в Евангелии. Так что она не могла быть ни твердой, ни постоянной. Сыны Божии, действительно, получают помощь от чудес, чтобы придти к вере. Однако, когда они, дивясь чудесам Божиим, просто верят в истинность Его учения, но не покоряются ему полностью, это еще не говорит об истинной вере. Посему, когда речь идет о вере вообще, да будем знать, что существует вера, воспринимаемая лишь умом, а после бесследно исчезающая, поскольку не укореняется в сердце. Она – та самая вера, которую апостол Иаков называет мертвой (Иак.2:17, 26), истинная же вера всегда основана на Духе возрождения. Заметь, что дела Божии не на всех производят должное впечатление. Одних они приводят к Богу, других же лишь принуждают обратить внимание на Его могущество, не уводя при этом от суетных помышлений.

 

 

 

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 2:23". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-2.html. 1840-57.

Frédéric Louis Godet - Commentary on Selected Books

Ver. 23. "As he was in Jerusalem, at the Passover, at the feast, many believed on his name, seeing the miracles which he did."

The first clause of the verse contains three designations. One is that of place: in Jerusalem, at the centre of the theocracy, the normal theatre of His work. The second is that of time: at the Passover, in those days when the whole people were assembled in the capital, in greater numbers than on any other occasion in the year. The third designation is that of the mode: at the feast, in the midst of the solemn impressions which the daily ceremonies of that Paschal week awakened. The pronoun πολλοί, many, denotes nothing more than individuals; they form a contrast with the nation which should have collectively believed. Comp. the contrast between οἱ ἴδιοι, His own, and ὅσοι, all those who, John 1:11-12. But a still more sorrowful contrast is pointed out by the evangelist; it is that which existed between the faith of these believers and true faith. Their faith, to the view of Jesus, was not faith. No doubt, it had for its object His revelation as Christ and Son of God (His name); but it rested only upon the external fact of His miracles. The logical relation between this aorist believed and the present participle seeing, is expressed by the conjunction because. This faith had nothing inward and moral; it resulted solely from the impression of astonishment produced upon them by these wonders. Signs may, indeed, strengthen and develop true faith, where it is already formed, by displaying to it fully the riches of its object (John 2:11). They may even, sometimes, excite attention; but not produce real faith. Faith is a moral act which attaches itself to the moral being in Jesus. The last words: which He did, depict, indeed, the nature of this faith; it was the material operation which impressed these persons. These miracles were, undoubtedly, numerous; allusion is made to them in John 4:45. John relates, however, only one of them; so far different is His aim from that of the Synoptics. He wishes only to describe here a spiritual situation.

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Godet, Frédéric Louis. "Commentary on John 2:23". "Frédéric Louis Godet - Commentary on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsc/john-2.html.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.

Ver. 23. Many believed] Fides fair minime fida, quippe historica, ex miraculis nata. These thought they had laid hold on Christ, but they did but as children that think they catch the shadow on the wall. There is a great deal of this false faith abroad. The sorcerers seemed to do as much as Moses.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on John 2:23". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/john-2.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

John 2:23. In the feast-day, At the festival, — εν τη εορτη . Dr. Heylin renders it at the festival of the passover. See on Matthew 26:5. The miracles here spoken of, as well as those Ch. John 3:2 and John 4:45 plainly refer to some miracles wrought by Christ, the particulars of which are not transmitted to us.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on John 2:23". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/john-2.html. 1801-1803.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Observe here, What influence the sight of our Saviour's miracles had upon many of the common people, They believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did; that is, they were convinced by the works which our Saviour wrought that he came from God, and what he said and did was really true, and no imposture. But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men. Our Saviour did not, and would not trust them who yet believed on his name.

Thence note, That a naked assent to the history of the gospel is not sufficient to entitle us to saving faith. We may assent to the truth of all that we find there, and yet be far from the kingdom of God.

Saving faith implies more than the assent of the understanding to the truths of the gospel. We cannot believe or disbelieve what we please, but must needs assent to what is evident to our understanding; so that it is possible for a man to assent to the truth of Christianity and yet remain in a state of of damnation.

If he doth not embrace it as good, as well as assent to it as true; if our faith be not the parent and principle of obedience; if our belief doth not influence our practice; though we pass for believers amongst men, we are no better than unbelievers in the account of Christ.

If we believe Jesus to be the true Messiah, and do not receive him in all his office; if we commit ourselves to his saving mercy, but do not submit ourselves to his ruling power; if we desire him for our Saviour, but disown him for our sovereign; if we expect salvation by him, and do not yield subjection to him; we put a cheat upon ourselves: for he only believes as he should, that lives as he does believe.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on John 2:23". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/john-2.html. 1700-1703.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

23.] As analogous with ἐν τῷ πάσχα ἐν τῇ ἑορτῇ, see ch. John 6:4.

θεωρ. αὐτ. τὰ σημ. ἅ ἐπ.] ἐπίστευον εἰς αὐτόν, ἀλλʼ οὐ βεβαίως. ἐκεῖνοι γὰρ ἀκριβέστερον ἐπίστευον, ὅσοι μὴ διὰ τὰ σημεῖα μόνον, ἀλλὰ καὶ διὰ τὴν διδασκαλίαν αὐτοῦ ἐπίστευον. Euthym(41)

What miracles these were, is not related:—certainly some notable ones, see ch. John 3:2.

The mention of them precludes us from understanding ch. John 4:54, as indicating that the healing of the ruler’s son was absolutely His second miracle.

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on John 2:23". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/john-2.html. 1863-1878.

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

John 2:23. δέ] introducing a characteristic summary statement (to John 2:25) regarding this stay of Jesus at the feast, in order next to give prominence to a special scene, the story of Nicodemus in John 3:1 ff.

ἐν τ. ἱεροσ. ἐν τ. πάσχα ἐν τῇ ἑορτῇ] The latter clause is not added as an explanation for Greek readers (that should have been done at John 2:13), but “He was at Jerusalem during the passover in the feast (engaged in celebrating the feast);” thus the first ἐν is local, the second refers to time, and the third joins on with ἦν, and expresses the surroundings, that in which a person is engaged (versari in aliqua re). See, concerning εἶναι ἐν here, Bernhardy, p. 210; Ast, Lex. Plat. I. 623.

θεωροῦντες, κ. τ. λ.] while they beheld His miracles, etc. αὐτοῦ, comp. Lycurg. 28: ταῦτα ἐμοῦ ἐθεωρήσατε, and Kühner, § 528, ad Xen. Mem. i. 1. 11. Euthymius Zigabenus rightly says: ἐκεῖνοι γὰρ ἀκριβέστερον ἐπίστευον, ὅσοι μὴ διὰ τὰ σημεῖα μόνον, ἀλλὰ καὶ διὰ τὴν διδασκαλίαν αὐτοῦ ἐπίστευον. Their faith in His name (as that of the Messiah) did not yet amount to any decision of their inner life for Jesus, but was only an opinion, produced by the sight of His miracles, that He was the Messiah; comp. John 8:30, John 6:26. Luther calls it “milk faith.” Comp. Matthew 13:20. On τὰ σημεῖα, comp. John 3:2. None of the miracles of this period has been recorded; John 20:30, comp. John 4:45. Consequently, not only the Synoptics, but John also speaks summarily of multitudes of miracles, without relating any of them individually (against Schleiermacher, L. J. p. 201).

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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on John 2:23". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/john-2.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

John 2:23. ἐν τῇ ἑορτῇ, in the feast) the people being collected, ch. John 4:45, “The Galilæans received Him, having seen all the things that He did at Jerusalem at the feast.”— ἐπίστευσαν, believed) as those, concerning whom ch. John 8:30 speaks: “As He spake these words, many believed on Him;” John 12:42, “Among the chief rulers also many believed on Him.”— τὰ σημεῖα, signs) More signs are recorded as having been done by the Evangelists in Galilee, than in Judæa and Jerusalem: John 2:1, and chap. John 4:46 [The miracle of the wine at Cana, and on the nobleman’s son at Capernaum]. For in Galilee He wrought very many: Matthew 11:20, “Then began He to upbraid the cities, wherein most of His mighty works were done:” and those which had been wrought in Jerusalem, were then very well known of themselves.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on John 2:23". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/john-2.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

To believe in Christ’s name, and to believe in Christ himself, are one and the same thing; as it is the same to call upon God, and to call upon the name of God: so Acts 3:16. The meaning is, that they believed the things which were published concerning his person and office: yet the periphrasis,

Believed in his name, is not vain; but declareth a mutual relation between God and the word, by the preaching of which he maketh himself known to the world.

True faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. I think it is to no purpose disputed here by some, whether the faith here mentioned was true faith, yea or no. It appeareth by what followeth, that it was not true justifying faith; but it was true in its kind. To make up true justifying, saving faith, which the apostle calls the faith of God’s elect, three things are required:

1. A knowledge of the proposition of the word revealing Christ: this is acquired by reading, hearing, meditation, &c.

2. The second is assent, which is the act of the understanding, agreeing in the truth of the word revealed, when such an assent is given to a proposition, if merely upon the Divine revelation of it: this is faith, a true faith in its kind.

3. Upon this now (in those who savingly believe) the will closes with Christ as an adequate object; for it receiveth him, accepteth him, relies on him as its Saviour, and moveth by the affections to love, desire, hope, rejoice in him; and commandeth the outward man into an obedience to his law.

Now it is very possible, that, through a common influence of the Holy Spirit of God, men upon the hearing of the word, especially having the advantage of seeing miraculous operations confirming the word, may give a true assent to the proposition of the word, as a proposition of truth, and yet may never receive Christ as their Saviour, close with him, trust in him, desire, love, or obey him; this was the case of these persons, many at least of them. They believed, seeing the miracles which Christ did: they wanted a due knowledge of Christ founded in the word; neither had they any certain, steady, fixed assent, founded in the discerning the truth of the proposition; their assent was sudden, founded only upon the miracles they saw wrought; so as though they might have some confidence in him, as a famous person, and some great prince, from whom they might expect some earthly good, yet this was all, which was far enough from true saving faith.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on John 2:23". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/john-2.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

(2:23-25) Третий способ, которым Иоанн показал Божью природу Христа в описании очищения храма, должен был показать Его способность постижения действительности. Только Бог по-настоящему знает сердца людей.

(2:23, 24)многие... уверовали во имя Его... Но Сам Иисус не вверял Себя им Эти две фразы у Иоанна основаны на том же греческом глаголе, переведенном как «верить». Этот глагол неуловимо открывает истинную природу веры с библейской точки зрения. Многие уверовали в Него потому, что они узнали об Иисусе по Его сверхъестественным знамениям. Однако Иисус не имел привычки от всего сердца «доверять» или «вверять» Себя им, потому что Он знал их сердца. Стих 24 свидетельствует о том, что Иисус ожидал скорее искреннего обращения, а не эффектного и впечатляющего восторга. Последующий стих также оставляет едва различимое сомнение относительно искренности обращения некоторых из них (ср. 8:31, 32). Поэтому явный контраст между стихами 23 и 24 в отношении вида веры показывает, что «вера во имя Его» подразумевала что-то гораздо большее, чем интеллектуальное согласие. Она требовала беззаветного посвящения своей жизни Иисусу и ученичеству у Него (ср. Мф. 10:37; 16:24-26).

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on John 2:23". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/john-2.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

23.Many believed—We have here the net result of our Saviour’s announcement at this first Passover. A party of external, historical believers arose; convinced of his miracles in the head, untouched by his gospel in the heart. They believed that he was a supernatural being, just as they believed that Tiberius was emperor; without any feelings of sin to be by him forgiven, or any love for his holy teaching or character.

Saw the miraclesThey recognized the majesty with which he awed his opponents when he cleansed the temple. What other miracles he performed is not said. Miracles are important as the bases of historical belief. At commencement they prove, and so produce a logical faith. So the reasoning of Nicodemus, who was clearly one of this many, “No man can do these things which thou doest, except God be with him,” was conclusive. But this logical faith alone does not regenerate or save the soul; and Jesus proceeded, therefore, to lead Nicodemus to deeper truths. The hearts of these many believed not on Jesus. They gave themselves not to him; he did not therefore trust himself to them as adherents.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on John 2:23". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/john-2.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Jesus did many signs (significant miracles) while He was in Jerusalem this time. These were probably healings and perhaps exorcisms. The Synoptics record that Jesus ministered this way virtually everywhere He went. Consequently many people believed on Him. As we have seen in the Synoptics, this does not mean that they placed saving faith in Him as the Son of God, however. Often the people who observed His miracles concluded that He was a prophet, but they were not always willing to acknowledge Him as God.

John usually used the dative case when he described faith in a thing (e.g, "they believed the Scripture," John 2:22; cf. John 4:50; John 5:47; John 10:38). When he described faith in a person, he did the same or used the verb "believe" (Gr. pisteuo) plus the preposition "into" or "in" (Gr. eis) and the accusative (e.g, "believed in His name," John 2:23; cf. John 8:30-31). These are synonymous expressions in John. Some interpreters have incorrectly argued that the former case indicates spurious faith and the latter genuine faith. The context must determine this in every instance. [Note: Carson, p183.]

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on John 2:23". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/john-2.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

John 2:23. Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, at the feast, many believed in his name, beholding his signs which he did. In this verse we pass from the public presentation of Jesus to the people and ‘the Jews’ in the house of His Father to His more private ministry in Jerusalem: rejected as the Son of God, He continues His work as a Prophet, doing many ‘signs,’ and by these leading many to faith in His mission. The time spoken of is still the season of the Passover. The remarkable repetition, ‘at the Passover, at the feast,’ may probably be intended to direct our thoughts especially to the very night of the paschal supper. If so, the purification of the temple may have fallen at the very time when every Israelite sought to purify himself and his house for the great festival that was now approaching. The words would also point to our Lord’s observing the feast Himself. It is noticeable that we do not here read ‘the Passover of the Jews:’ the desecration of the festival has been condemned in one of its manifestations, but the festival itself is honoured. John gives us no particulars of the ‘signs’ which Jesus did; comp. chaps, John 21:25, John 6:4, and several passages in the earlier Gospels (e.g. Mark 1:34; Mark 6:55-56). The signs attested His words, which were the description of His ‘name’ (see chap. John 1:12), and, beholding the signs, many became believers in His name, accepting Him as being in truth what He declared Himself to be. The faith was real but not mature; its imperfection is illustrated in the next verse.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on John 2:23". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/john-2.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

John 2:23. Time, place, and circumstance are again given. . The last clause is added with a reference to John 2:13. Then the feast was near, now it had arrived. We are to hear what happened while Jesus resided in Jerusalem during the feast.— , which can scarcely mean less than that they believed He was the Messiah. Nicodemus, however, seems willing only to admit He is “a teacher come from God”. Their belief was founded on the miracles they saw.— , seeing day by day the signs He was doing, and of which John relates none. This faith, resting on miracles, is in this Gospel never commended as the highest kind of faith, although it is by no means despised. It is what Luther calls “milk faith” and may grow into something more trustworthy. Accordingly, although Jesus had at once committed Himself to the men who were attracted without miracle by His personality and the testimony of the Baptist, to these , “Jesus on His part did not commit Himself”. It is necessary to consider not only whether we have faith in Christ but whether Christ has faith in us. Thoroughgoing confidence must always be reciprocal. Christ will commit Himself to the man who thoroughly commits himself to Him. The reason of this reserve is given in a twofold expression: positive, , “because He Himself knew all men”; negative, , “and because He had no need that any one should witness concerning man”. Holtzmann, following Winer, thinks that the article is inserted because reference is made to the individual with whom Jesus had on each occasion to do. This seems quite unnecessary. is here, as in A.V[37], “man,” the ordinary generic use of the article. The reason for this again is given in the closing words, ’ “For He Himself knew what was in man,” knew human nature, the motives, governing ideas, and ways of man. This knowledge was not supernatural. Westcott has an important note on this point, in which he points out that John describes the knowledge of Jesus “both as relative, acquired ( ) and absolute, possessed ( )”. Each constitutes a higher degree of the kind of knowledge found among men. Reynolds says: “There are many other indications of this thought mastery, which the evangelists appear to regard as proofs of divine power; so that I think the real significance of the passage is an ascription to Jesus of Divine power. The supernatural in mind, the superhuman mental processes of Jesus, are part of the proof we have that though He was man He created the irresistible impression that He was more than man.”

[37] Authorised Version.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on John 2:23". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/john-2.html. 1897-1910.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Now when, &c. Note the Figure of speech Pleonasm (App-6) in the triple definitions (for emph.)

at = in. Greek. en. App-104.

believed in. See App-150. Same as John 2:11, denoting a definite act.

in. Greek. eis. App-104.

His name = Him (emph.) See note on Psalms 20:1.

when they saw = beholding. Greek theoreo. App-133.

did = was doing.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on John 2:23". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/john-2.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.

Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover, in the feast [day], [ en (Greek #1722) tee (Greek #3588) heortee (Greek #1859)] - rather, 'during the feast,' which lasted seven days. What is now to be related is not the result of one day, but of the whole period of this festival. The cleansing of the Temple, recorded in the preceding verses, occurred probably before the feast began.

Many believed in his name - see the note at John 1:12. These converts, persuaded that His claims were well founded, reposed trust in Him in that sense, and to that extent "when they saw the miracles which he did."

When they saw the miracles which he did. What these were is not here recorded; nor can we get any light from the other Evangelists, as they speak of no pubic visit to Jerusalem but the last. It is singular that none of these miracles are recorded, since in the very opening of the next chapter Nicodemus refers to the immense force of conviction which they carried (John 3:2), and they are again referred to in John 4:45.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 2:23". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/john-2.html. 1871-8.

The Bible Study New Testament

23. Many believed in him. These “mighty works” are mentioned again in John 3:4, but nothing else is known of them.

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on John 2:23". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/john-2.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(23) In the feast day.—Omit the word “day” after feast. The italics show that there is no word to express it in the Greek, and it gives the impression of one day, whereas the feast extended over a week. The idea of time, moreover, is not expressed by “in the feast.” The sentence means, When He was in the feast (engaged in keeping the feast) at Jerusalem, during the Passover.

Many believed.—The persons are distinct from the official representatives of the nation (John 2:18-19), as the place, Jerusalem, is distinguished from the Temple.

When they saw the miracles.—Better, as before, signs. The original words imply that their faith was dependent upon the signs which they gazed upon, without entering into their deeper meaning. It was the impulsive response of the moment, not based upon a previous preparation, nor resulting in a present deep conviction. It came far short of the faith of the disciples, who passed from a true knowledge of Moses and the Prophets to a true knowledge of Christ without a sign; but it came far above the disbelief of scribes and Pharisees, who after a sign rejected Him. It was not the prepared good ground bringing forth abundantly; but neither was it the hardened wayside which did not receive the seed at all.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on John 2:23". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/john-2.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.
many
3:2; 6:14; 7:31; 8:30,31; 12:42,43; Matthew 13:20,21; Mark 4:16,17; Luke 8:13; Galatians 5:6; Ephesians 3:16,17; James 2:19,20
Reciprocal: Exodus 14:31 - believed;  Deuteronomy 16:7 - in the place;  Matthew 11:5 - blind;  John 1:12 - even;  John 2:13 - passover;  John 4:45 - having;  John 10:42 - GeneralJohn 11:45 - Jews;  Acts 8:13 - believed;  2 Thessalonians 3:2 - for;  1 John 5:13 - believe

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on John 2:23". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/john-2.html.

Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms

Ver. 23. "Now, when He was at Jerusalem at the Passover. in the feast, many believed in His name, when they saw the miracles which He did."

Lampe justly remarks, that the determination of the time shows clearly that the purification of the temple related in the previous verses, like that which pertains to the end of Christ's ministry, occurred before the beginning of the feast. This is in striking accordance with the supposition that the purification of the temple was coincident with the putting away of the leaven, which always preceded the commencement of the feast. Exodus 12:15; 1 Corinthians 5:7. The words, at the Passover, and, in the feast (cf. τὸ πάσχα ἡ ἑορτὴ τῶν ἰουδαίων, John 6:4), are not added without purpose. They indicate that the whole feast is meant, not merely the first day, on which the paschal lamb was eaten. The indication was the more necessary, as in the law the Passover means only the paschal lamb; the whole feast being called only the feast of unleavened bread. Leviticus 23:5-6; Numbers 28:16-17. Elsewhere the "feast of the Passover" is spoken of, John 13:1; Luke 2:41. Most of the miracles were certainly performed on the later days of the feast. John mentions those miracles which evince how earnestly Jesus then already strove to gather the children of Jerusalem, as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings. Matthew 23:37; also in John 4:45. That he does not give a complete account of them, is explained by the circumstance, that they bear a similar character with those concerning which there is a sufficiently full narrative in the three first Gospels.

Those are here spoken of who believed in the name of Jesus. The name stands in close connection with the calling and renown. It is the compendium of the deeds: cf. Isaiah 63:14, "So didst Thou lead Thy people, to make Thyself a glorious name." Though the name remains externally the same with the accession of deeds, its character is essentially altered thereby. The name Jesus receives by the miracles a special emphasis, a different sound. That those persons are here spoken of who stood, like Nicodemus, in a doubtful position, is shown by comparison with John 3:2, the connection of which with our text is by no means accidental. From this passage, and John 4:48, we perceive, that in the words, when they saw, etc., there is an intimation of the superficiality of their faith, which was still too dependent on its outward occasion, and was still too much confined to the sphere of reflection.

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on John 2:23". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/john-2.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

23.Many believed. The Evangelist appropriately connects this narrative with the former. Christ had not given such a sign as the Jews demanded; and now, when he produced no good effect on them by many miracles — except that they entertained a cold faith, which was only the shadow of faith — this event sufficiently proves that they did not deserve that he should comply with their wishes. It was, indeed, some fruit of the signs, that many believed in Christ, and in his name, so as to profess that they wished to follow his doctrine; for name is here put for authority. This appearance of faith, which hitherto was fruitless, might ultimately be changed into true faith, and might be a useful preparation for celebrating the name of Christ among others; and yet what we have said is true, that they were far from having proper feelings, so as to profit by the works of God, as they ought to have done.

Yet this was not a pretended faith by which they wished to gain reputation among men; for they were convinced that Christ was some great Prophet, and perhaps they even ascribed to him the honor of being the Messiah, of whom there was at that time a strong and general expectation. But as they did not understand the peculiar office of the Messiah, their faith was absurd, because it was exclusively directed to the world and earthly things. It was also a cold belief, and unaccompanied by the true feelings of the heart. For hypocrites assent to the Gospel, not that they may devote themselves in obedience to Christ, nor that with sincere piety they may follow Christ when he calls them, but because they do not venture to reject entirely the truth which they have known, and especially when they can find no reason for opposing it. For as they do not voluntarily, or of their own accord, make war with God, so when they perceive that his doctrine is opposed to their flesh and to their perverse desires, they are immediately offended, or at least withdraw from the faith which they had already embraced.

When the Evangelist says, therefore, that those men believed, I do not understand that they counterfeited a faith which did not exist, but that they were in some way constrained to enroll themselves as the followers of Christ; and yet it appears that their faith was not true and genuine, because Christ excludes them from the number of those on whose sentiments reliance might be placed. Besides, that faith depended solely on miracles, and had no root in the Gospel, and therefore could not be steady or permanent. Miracles do indeed assist the children of God in arriving at the truth; but it does not amount to actual believing, when they admire the power of God so as merely to believe that it is true, but not to subject themselves wholly to it. And, therefore, when we speak generally about faith, let us know that there is a kind of faith which is perceived by the understanding only, and afterwards quickly disappears, because it is not fixed in the heart; and that is the faith which James calls dead; but true faith always depends on the Spirit of regeneration, (James 2:17.) Observe, that all do not derive equal profit from the works of God; for some are led by them to God, and others are only driven by a blind impulse, so that, while they perceive indeed the power of God, still they do not cease to wander in their own imaginations.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 2:23". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-2.html. 1840-57.