Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

John 20:16

Jesus *said to her, "Mary!" She turned and *said to Him in Hebrew, "Rabboni!" (which means, Teacher).
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Friendship;   Jesus, the Christ;   Jesus Continued;   Love;   Mary;   Rabbi;   Trouble;   Women;   Thompson Chain Reference - Dead, the;   Mary;   Mortality-Immortality;   Resurrection;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Rabbabbi;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Mary;   Rabbi;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Angel;   Resurrection;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Rabboni;   Resurrection of Christ;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Rabbi;   Tammuz;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Disciples;   Hour;   John, the Gospel of;   Mary;   Rabbi;   Resurrection of Jesus Christ;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - John, Gospel of;   Rabbi;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Body (2);   Devotion;   Gamaliel ;   Manuscripts;   Mary;   Rabboni ;   Sympathy;   Tears;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Lord;   Mary Magdalene ;   Rabboni ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Chief parables and miracles in the bible;   Smith Bible Dictionary - John, Gospel of;   Rabbi;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Mary;   Rab;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Hebrew;   Master;   Papyrus;   Rabboni;   Scribes;   Text and Manuscripts of the New Testament;  
Devotionals:
Daily Light on the Daily Path - Devotion for May 20;   Every Day Light - Devotion for November 1;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Mary - This word was no doubt spoken with uncommon emphasis; and the usual sound of Christ's voice accompanied it, so as immediately to prove that it must be Jesus. What transports of joy must have filled this woman's heart! Let it be remarked that Mary Magdalene sought Jesus more fervently, and continued more affectionately attached to him than any of the rest: therefore to her first, Jesus is pleased to show himself, and she is made the first herald of the Gospel of a risen Savior.

After Mary's exclamation of Rabboni, and its interpretation by the evangelist, one MS., the later Syriac, Syriac Hieros., and three copies of the Itala, add και προσεδραμεν ἁψασθαι αυτου, And she ran to embrace, or cling to him. Then our Lord's words come in with the reason for them.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on John 20:16". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/john-20.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Jesus saith unto her, Mary - This was spoken, doubtless, in a tone of voice that at once recalled him to her recollection.

Rabboni - This is a Hebrew word denoting, literally, my great master. If was one of the titles given to Jewish teachers. This title was given under three forms:

(a)Rab, or master - the lowest degree of honor.

(b)Rabbi, my master - a title of higher dignity.

(c)Rabboni, my great master the most honorable of all.

This title, among the Jews, was only given to seven persons, all persons of great eminence. As given by Mary to the Saviour, it was at once an expression of her joy, and an acknowledgment of him, as her Lord and Master. It is not improbable that she, filled with joy, was about to cast herself at his feet.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on John 20:16". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/john-20.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

John 20:16

Jesus saith unto her, Mary

Christ’s salutation to the Christian

No one ever used human language so eloquently as Jesus.
Men have spoken with such arguments, rhetoric and passion, as to convince and move multitudes. But no one save Jesus could by simply saying, “Follow Me,” draw any one from his trade, his home, and bind him in life-long devotion. What power in the look He, a helpless prisoner, cast upon His renegade disciple! But I suppose that this word “Mary” surpassed all others

1. In what it revealed of Himself. Those lips were endowed with a new power, as there had passed upon them the change which had glorified His resurrection body. These bodies, as organs through which our souls express themselves, are like poor untuned instruments upon which one would play. It is only by study of the art and long practice that the most skilful can make them reproduce what is in the depths of the heart. But Christ’s resurrection body was perfectly adapted to express all the emotions of His spirit. All the sentiment of His soul was doubtless put into the manner and tone with which He spake that word “Mary.” There must have been a world of revelation and love in it; the infinite thought filling and flowing out from the human word more than the electric light radiates from the bulb of glass which encloses the spark.

2. Because of His choice of an auditor. The import of the occasion was so great, the moment when life and immorality were brought to light, that the earth might well have been assembled while the heavens bowed down to hear the first word of the risen Son of God. But Jesus chooses one auditor. And who is it? A king? A high priest? A prophet with intellect inspired to comprehend the grandeur of His tidings? No; but a simple woman. And why? Because she loved the Saviour most. Very deep the lesson we are to learn from this, that not to the most serviceable even, nor to the most spiritually learned, not to those who were appointed to the highest dignities in the Church by His own designation, the holy apostles, but to her who loved Him most, gave He the most resplendent honour of all. The blessing of Christ will most enwrap us as we come closest to Him. You will learn most of His truth as you give yourself up to feel His affection.

I. WHAT IS THAT WORD WHICH OUR LORD CHOOSES THROUGH WHICH TO REVEAL HIMSELF? There was one word so immense in its meaning, so sacred, that the few would not venture even to pronounce it. How appropriate if those lips which are henceforth to pronounce from the throne of heaven the mandates of the universe had uttered that word in tones of thunder, “I am God!” It would have been in keeping with the guard of angels and the magnitude of the event. But Jesus saith unto her, Mary. He called her name. His sense of His divinity and dominion is no greater than His love and sympathy for one sorrowing human being. “I have called thee by name,” said God to the Old Testament people. Our Saviour emphasizes very beautifully the same truth. “He called His own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.” We cannot lose ourselves in the multitude of the world so as to escape His eye, nor in the multitude of His saints so as to have only a part of His gracious care.

II. MARY RECOGNIZED, NOT ONLY HER OWN NAME, BUT THE VOICE THAT UTTERED IT. At first she did not see that it was Jesus. But the voice penetrated both Jesus’ disguise and her own blindness. That expressed more than the mere presence did. The call which He makes to the heart is beyond all the external evidence for His divinity and presence. A man may through ignorance be unable to answer infidel objections, and yet be unshaken because of the impression Christ has wrought upon his inner experience. What argument could have robbed the dying Wesley of the confidence he uttered, “God is with me”? How that word “Mary” stirred the recollection of the disciple! He said it doubtless just as He used to say it. The word recalled His casting out the seven devils. Such the fulness with which our Saviour’s call to us to-day is laden. It is a reminder of what He has always been to us. His watch over you began long ago. For you He died as truly as for Mary. And His providence and Spirit have hovered over you like the two wings of a mighty angel shadowing you as you have moved down the path of life. Do you remember what He was to you in the hour of your conversion? in the hour of sorrow? Try to think what you would be now had not His goodness kept or guided you. You were never such a friend to yourself as this unseen, mysterious companion has been to you. And as He calls each of us by name--the name mother’s voice so fondly called in our childhood--the name by which dear ones will try in vain to call us back for one moment’s recognition as our souls disappear through the death shades--He condenses into it all the love and good of past years. Our life-long, tried, infinite Friend calls us again.

III. But it was not merely an old-time greeting Mary received. IT WAS A NEW AND MEASURELESS BENEDICTION. That salutation made real to her all she had ever dared to hope. With the other disciples she did once fondly dream that He who gave life to others would Himself always live. But how terrible the disappointment? But now her wildest dream is surpassed by the reality. Oh! if we could only realize what Christ means by His salutation today! Mass all the longings of your heart; they are nothing to be compared with the reality. (J. M. Ludlow, D. D.)

The power of the human voice and ear:

The voice is an instrument more delicate than the finest organ or harp, and capable of expressing emotions more manifold and spiritual than these. The soul within is a player of marvellous subtlety that can so handle this Divine instrument as to translate into articulate sounds (of talk or music), and sometimes into a word, the thousand and one emotions of which the spirit is susceptible. Only one other phenomenon rivals these in strangeness, viz., the capacity which belongs to the intelligence that sits behind the ears of interpreting, with a speed surpassing thought and an accuracy excluding mistake, the thoughts and feelings that another has impressed upon these waves of sound. When Mary, wrapped in sorrow, heard the old voice speak, caught the undefinable “something” that made that voice stand out from all others as pre-eminently dear to her heart, she comprehended the situation without further remark. No voice but one could say “Mary” like that. (T. Whitelaw, D. D.)

She turned herself.

We know from John 20:14 that Mary had already turned once from the grave when Jesus appeared behind her. Here again she “turned herself.” Not recognizing the person who spoke to her, and thinking He had been the gardener, she partially turned away, as a woman naturally would from a strange man, and hardly looked at Him, while she spoke of taking the body away. But the moment the voice of Jesus sounded in her ears, she turned again directly to Him, and made some movement towards Him. Chrysostom says, “It seems to me that after having said, ‘Where hast thou laid Him?’ she turned to the angels to ask why they were astonished; and that then Christ, by calling her by name, turned her back to Himself from them, and revealed Himself by His voice.” (Bp. Ryle.)

And saith unto Him, Rabboni.--This title existed in Jewish schools under a threefold form: Rab, master, the lowest degree of honour; Rabbi, my master, of higher dignity; Rabboni, my great master, the most honourable of all, publicly given to only seven persons, all of the school of Hillel, and of great eminence. (C. S. Robinson.)

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "John 20:16". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/john-20.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turneth herself, and saith unto him in Hebrew, Rabboni; which is to say, Teacher.

The personal greeting of Jesus opened her eyes and thrilled her heart with recognition, and she at once exclaimed, "Rabboni," using the term she had often used before his death.

She turneth herself ... indicates that until the Lord used her name, she had not actually been looking at him. It is false to allege that she looked at him carefully without recognition. When he spoke her name, "There was doubtless a sameness in the expression of her name which went straight to her heart."[5] Mary's response to the sudden knowledge that the Lord was indeed risen from the dead, standing before her, and calling her by name, was spontaneous and natural. She began at once either to embrace him or to fall at his feet and clasp them to herself.

ENDNOTE:

[5] Arno C. Gaebelein, op. cit., p. 388.

Copyright Statement
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 20:16". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/john-20.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Jesus saith unto her, Mary,.... He might alter the tone of his voice, and speak unto her as he used to do, calling her by her name in his usual manner: so Christ has personal knowledge of all his people, and can call them by name; he knows them, and makes himself known to them, before they can know him; and though he may absent himself from them for a while, yet not always:

she turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni, which is to say, Master; it seems, as if she had dropped her conversation with the supposed gardener at once, and scarce waited for an answer from him, but turns herself to the angels again, if she could hear any tidings from them; acting like a person in the utmost distress, hurry and confusion; looking this way and that way, to this or the other person: and now upon Christ's speaking to her, in this plain, familiar manner, she turns herself again; when fully knowing him, she addresses him with the greatest faith and affection, reverence and humility; calling him her Lord and master, and throws herself at his feet: thus when Christ is pleased to manifest himself to his people, there goes a power along with his word, making himself known; and a word from Christ, attended with divine power, will give a soul a turn to him from the most excellent creatures, even angels; and when Christ is known, he will be acknowledged with all love, humility, and obedience. The word Rabboni, is of the Chaldee and Syriac form, and signifies "my Lord, or master"; and is commonly applied to one that has a despotic power over another; though all the Oriental versions say, that she spoke to him in Hebrew. The Syriac and Ethiopic, "Rabboni", but the Arabic and Persic, "Rabbi". The titles of Rab, Rabbi, and Rabban, are frequent with the Jewish doctors; who sayF13Halichot Olam Tract. 1. c. 3. p. 25. , that Rabbi is greater than Rab, and Rabban is greater than Rabbi; and a man's own name greater than Rabban: but the word in the form here used Rabbon, I do not remember ever to have observed applied to any of the doctors; but is frequently used of the Divine Being, who, in their prayers, is often addressed in this manner, רבונו של עולם "Lord of the world"F14T. Bab. Taanith, fol. 20. 1. Sanhedrin, fol. 94. 1. Abot R. Nathan, c. 9. Bereshit Rabba, sect. 8. fol. 6. 4. . I conjecture therefore, that Mary used this word, as expressive of her faith in his power and Godhead, seeing him alive from the dead; though it might be a name she was used to call him by before, being convinced from what he had done to her, and by the miracles she had observed performed by him on others, of his proper deity; as the poor blind man expresses his faith in the power of Christ to cure him, by addressing him in the same language, using the same word, Mark 10:51.

Copyright Statement
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 20:16". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/john-20.html. 1999.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Mary (ΜαριαμMariam). Aramaic form in Aleph B W, though ΜαριαMaria in John 19:25. Clearly the old familiar tone of Jesus was in the pronunciation of her name.

Rabboni (αββουνειRabbounei). Aramaic again for ΔιδασκαλεDidaskale (Teacher), “my Teacher.” In N.T. only here and Mark 10:51 though practically the same as αββιRabbi See John 11:28 for “the Teacher” (Rabbi). These two simple words tell the great fact that Christ is risen and Mary has seen him. One says little in really great moments.

Copyright Statement
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 20:16". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/john-20.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Saith unto Him, Rabboni

Insert, as Rev., after Him, in Hebrew.

Copyright Statement
The text of this work is public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on John 20:16". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/john-20.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.

Jesus saith to her, Mary — With his usual voice and accent.

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.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on John 20:16". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/john-20.html. 1765.

The Fourfold Gospel

Jesus saith unto her, Mary1. She turneth herself, and saith unto him in Hebrew, Rabboni; which is to say, Teacher.

  1. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. Her eyes and ears were no longer held; she knew him. It was the same way he used to speak, the same name by which he used to call her. The grave had glorified and exalted him, but had not changed his love.

  2. She . . . saith unto him in Hebrew, Rabboni. Seasons of greatest joy are marked by little speech. Jesus and Mary each expressed themselves in a single word.

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 20:16". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/john-20.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

Мария. Христос позволил Марии заблуждаться какое-то время, потому что это полезно для утверждения нас в вере. Теперь же Он одним словом рассеивает ее заблуждение. Он говорил с ней и прежде, но это было как бы словом незнакомого человека. Теперь же в качестве Учителя Он по имени зовет Свою ученицу. Подобно тому, как в десятой главе говорится, что добрый пастырь зовет своих овец по имени. Итак, слово Пастыря проникло в душу Марии, открыло ей глаза, пробудило все чувства и соделало ее готовой полностью предаться Христу. Таким образом, мы видим в Марии образ собственного призвания. Ведь достичь истинного познания Христа можно лишь тогда, когда Он Сам прежде признает нас, и затем дружески к Себе приглашает. И не тем общим приглашением, звучащим в ушах всех людей, но тем, которым особо призывает к Себе данных от Отца овец. Поэтому Павел (Гал.4:9) говорит следующее: Когда же вы познали Бога, или лучше, были познаны Богом. Кроме того, действенность слов Христовых видна из того, что Мария сразу же воздала Ему должную честь. Ибо имя «Раввуни» не только почетно, но и содержит готовность повиноваться. Итак, Мария свидетельствует, что является ученицей Христовой и посвящает Ему себя как Учителю. Вот чудесное и тайное обращение человеческой души, когда Бог, просвещая ее Своим Духом, из упорной и полностью слепой неожиданно делает ее совершенно зрячей. Кроме того, пример Марии должен внушать воодушевление. Все, кого Христос приглашает к Себе, сразу же без промедления Ему отвечают. Слово же «Раввуни» халдейское по происхождению, хотя сами халдеи произносят его «Риввони». Ведь слова, переходя в другой язык, обычно меняют произношение. Оно означает: «Господин Мой» или «Мой Учитель». Во время же Христа слова «Равви» или «Раввуни» обычно употреблялись для обозначения Учителя.

 

 

 

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 20:16". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-20.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.

Ver. 16. Jesus saith unto her, Mary] Christ is nearest to such as, with Mary, cannot see him for their tears, if with her in humility they seek after him. He calls her but by her name, and she acknowledgeth him. The ear, we say, is first up in a morning; and nothing so soon awakes us as to be called by our names. How easily can Christ call up our drowsy hearts, when he pleaseth; and (when we are even turned away from him, as Mary here was) make us reciprocate and cry Rabboni? Mary! saith Christ; Master! saith Mary; and presently she clasps about his feet having her heart as near to his heart, as her hands were to his feet. What a meeting of love (saith a divine hereupon) will there be between the new glorified saint and the glorious Redeemer?

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on John 20:16". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/john-20.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

John 20:16. Jesus saith unto her, &c.— Christ had stood by her some time, had spoken to her, and she answered him before she knew him to be Christ; on the contrary, she took him for the gardener; by all which it is manifest, that it was not a spectre of her creating. Her mind, as we have observed in a preceding note, was otherwise engaged; and had it been either at leisure or disposed to raise apparitions, it is most likely she would have called up some person with whom she had more acquaintance and concern than a keeper of a garden, whom probably she had never seen or known before. Besides, Jesus called her by her name, by which she discovered him; for turning immediately about, she accosted him with the respectful title, Rabboni, my Master; and, as may be inferred from the ensuing words of Christ, offered to embrace him. His voice and his countenance convinced her that it was Christ himself.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on John 20:16". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/john-20.html. 1801-1803.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

In the former of these verses, Christ makes himself known to Mary, and calleth her by name. In the latter he gives her a prohibition and injunction.

Observe, 1. The prohibition, Touch me not; together with the reason of it, For I am not yet ascended to my Father. It is concluded by interpreters, that Mary Magdalene was now fallen at Christ's feet, and embraced them; that having found him whom her soul loved, she hugs him now, and hangs about him; but Christ forbids any farther embracing, and rejects such testimonies of her love: as if he had said, although I will allow you as much familiarity as shall satisfactorily convince you of the verity of my resurrection, yet you must not expect to converse with me in the bodily manner which you did before my death; for I am ascending to my Father, and must be enjoyed no longer after a corporeal, but spiritual manner.

Learn hence, that our love to Christ is best shown, not by our human passionate affections to his bodily presence, but by our spiritual communion with him by faith here on earth, in order to an immediate communion with him face to face in heaven. Christ now after his resurrection was advanced to a more spiritual condition, therefore refuses at Mary's hand the offices of human conversation, but expects of her the duties and services of spiritual devotion.

Observe, 2. Christ's injuction: But go to my brethren, and say, I ascend to my Father, and your Father, to my God and your God.

Where note, the endearing title given to the disciples, my brethren. He had before his death called them his servants, his friends, his children; but now, after his resurrection, he calls them his brethren: he became our brother by assuming our nature in his incarnation, he continues our brother by resuming that nature at his resurrection.

Note farther, that Christ calls his disciples, brethren after his exaltation and resurrection; thereby showing, that the change of his condition had wrought no change in his affection towards his poor disciples; but those that were his brethren before, in the time of his humiliation and abasement, are so still, after his exaltation and advancement: Go to my brethren and say, &c. Humility doth not only go before honour, but dwells with honour, and doth evermore accompany it.

Observe, lastly, the good news or message of joy which Christ sends by Mary to his dear disciples; Say, I ascend to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God; as if nature and adoption gave the same interest. Christ calls God his God, and his disciples' God, his Father and their Father; first his and then theirs, and therefore theirs because his.

Learn hence, that God for Christ's sake hath dignified believers with that near and dear relation of his being a Father to them in and through his Son; so that as they ought to carry it towards him like children by obedience, subjection, and resignation, so they may expect that he will retain a fatherly affection towards them, and they may expect from him fatherly compassion, provision, protection, correction, and all things needful.

Lastly, remark from Christ's saying, I go to my God and your God, the false inferences of the Socinians, viz. That because Christ styled God his God, hence, say they, it is evident that Christ is not God: but from these words it only follows, that he was not God according to that nature which ascended. Thus Psalms 45:7 it is said of Christ, God even thy God hath anointed thee: and yet he adds of the same person, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Burkitt, William. "Commentary on John 20:16". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/john-20.html. 1700-1703.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

16.] With one word, and that one word her name, the Lord awakens all the consciousness of His presence: calling her in that tone doubtless in which her soul had been so often summoned to receive divine knowledge and precious comfort.

στραφεῖσα seems to imply that she had not been looking full at Him before.

ῥαββουνί] See ref.: רֵבּוֹנִי, either my Master,—or only Master, the י being merely paragogic; which last appears (from διδάσκαλε) to be the case here.

That she gives way to no impassioned exclamations, but pours out her satisfaction and joy in this one word, is also according to the deepest psychological truth. The addition of και προσέδραμεν ἅψασθαι αὐτοῦ (see digest: so also, but with προέδραμεν, the cursives 13, 346) is an explanatory gloss to μή μου ἅπτου—but doubtless a correct one. “It was the former name with which He called her: His former appellation in which she replied; and now she seeks to renew the former intercourse.” (Luthardt.)

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Alford, Henry. "Commentary on John 20:16". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/john-20.html. 1863-1878.

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

John 20:16. Jesus now calls her by name. Nothing more. By the voice, and by this voice, which utters aloud her name, she was to recognise Him.

στραφεῖσα] She had therefore, after John 20:14, again turned towards the grave.

ῥαββουνί] See on Mark 10:51.

The ʼεβραϊστί is, indeed, matter of course, and in itself is superfluous; but in this circumstantiality there lies a certain solemnity in the delineation of the impressive moment. Note how, on the mention of her name, there follows nothing further on her side also, except that she utters the expressive Rabboni! More she cannot in all the throng of joyful surprise. Thus took place the ἐφάνη πρῶτον ΄αρίᾳ τῇ ΄αγδ., Mark 16:9.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on John 20:16". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/john-20.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

John 20:16. λέγει, saith) with His wonted expression of countenance and accent. [A voice which, as we may suppose, poured such a flood of sweetness on her pious soul!—V. g.]— ἐκείνη, she) believing at once.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on John 20:16". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/john-20.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Christ calleth her by name, making such a sound as he certainly knew she understood. She calleth him Rabboni, which is as much as to say: My Master.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on John 20:16". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/john-20.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

Мария! Каковы бы ни были причины ее неспособности узнать Иисуса, но в момент, когда Он сказал единственное слово «Мария», она тотчас узнала Его. Это напоминает слова Иисуса: «Овцы Мои слушаются голоса моего, и Я знаю их, и они идут за Мною» (10:27; ср. 10:3, 4).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on John 20:16". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/john-20.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

After his resurrection, Christ first showed himself to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils; not to Mary his mother. He would not by word or deed do any thing to countenance the superstitious reverence and idolatrous worship which has since been offered to the Virgin.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on John 20:16". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/john-20.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

16.Saith unto her, Mary—Here are both the voice and the word to startle her mind to new attention! It is this voice that wakes the dead, and it wakens her to a new life.

Turned herself—For her face had not been toward the supposed gardener.

Rabboni—In her ecstasy her native Hebrew dialect comes first to her lips.

 

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on John 20:16". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/john-20.html. 1874-1909.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘Jesus says to her, “Mary”. She turns herself and says to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni”, which is to say “Master.”

Then Jesus broke into her distress. ‘Jesus says to her, “Mary”.’ The well remembered voice brought her up with a jolt. That she had to ‘turn herself’ indicates that she had not been looking at Him properly. Now the name and the voice pierced her veil of tears. Surely, she must have thought, it could not be? No one can be unmoved by the drama of this moment. Suddenly her eyes were opened and she saw Him as He was. We cannot even begin to grasp what that revelation meant to her at that point in time. Her whole being must have been filled with wonder and gratitude and to such an extent that, crying ‘Master’, she flung her arms around Him and would not let Him go.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Pett, Peter. "Commentary on John 20:16". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/john-20.html. 2013.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Mary recognized Jesus when He called her by name (cf. John 10:3-4).

"The Shepherd had called his sheep by name, and the sheep heard and joyfully responded ( John 10:3)." [Note: Beasley-Murray, p375.]

She responded by calling Him by the name she had undoubtedly used to address Him numerous times before. John accommodated his readers by translating the Aramaic word. This title probably did not reflect insight into Jesus" true identity. It simply expressed the joy of a restored relationship that she had concluded had ended. Mary swung from the depths of despair emotionally to the height of joy in one brief second. This is one of the greatest recognition scenes in literature.

"Never was there a one-word utterance more charged with emotion than this." [Note: Tasker, p221.]

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on John 20:16". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/john-20.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

John 20:16. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. That single word completes her present training. Nor is this wonderful. She is calmer now: the intervening conversation has produced this effect. Then again we cannot doubt that there would be more of the old tenderness of Jesus in the pronunciation of her name than in the words as yet spoken to her. The very mark, indeed, of the relation between Jesus and His people, when that relation is conceived of in its most tender form, is that ‘He calleth His own sheep by name’ (chap. John 10:3). We are not to imagine that it is only the sound of the voice that is now recognised by Mary, by the name, by the tone in which the name is uttered, a whole flood of recollections is brought up. All the deepest and most solemn impressions that had been produced upon her by her former intercourse with Jesus are re-awakened in power. She recalls not merely what was most human but what was most Divine in Him. Yet it would seem, from the epithet that she immediately applies to our Lord, that she thinks of Him as standing to her in some at least of the old relations. It is not strange that it should be so: any experience that she had had of resurrections through the power of Christ had been of resurrections to the former conditions of life. But now she is prepared for more, and therefore she shall be taught to know Jesus fully.

She turneth herself, and saith unto Him in Hebrew, Rabboni, which is to say, Teacher. The title thus used by Mary is probably the provincial form Rabban or Rabbi, and it is found in the New Testament only here, and in the Gospel of Mark (chap. Mark 10:51), noted, as is well known, for its use of expressions from the common tongue. It means properly ‘My Master,’ and is thus expressive of love and devotedness as well as of respect and reverence. As Mary uttered the word, she must have endeavoured to fall down at the feet of her Lord, embracing them (comp. Matthew 28:9).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on John 20:16". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/john-20.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

John 20:16. . His uttering her name, , revealed that He was a friend who knew her; and there was also that in the tone which made her instantly turn fully round to search Him with her gaze. Surprise, recognition, relief, joy, utter themselves in her exclamation, , which Buxtorf renders “Domine mi”; but probably the pronominal suffix had ceased to have significance, as in “Monsieur,” etc. Lampe quotes the saying; “Majus est Rabbi quam Rabh, et majus est Rabban quam Rabbi,” cf.Mark 10:51. With the exclamation Mary made a forward movement as if to embrace Him. But this is forbidden.

 

 

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on John 20:16". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/john-20.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Jesus saith to her, Mary. Magdalene, now in grief and tears, knew not Jesus, till he called upon her by her name, and with his usual voice: then with joy, she cried out, Rabboni, Master. And Jesus saith to her, touch me not, &c. The meaning of which words seems to be: I am not yet leaving thee, nor ascending to the Father, so that thou mayest have time enough to embrace my feet afterwards; now go to my disciples, &c. (Witham) --- Magdalene, having inquired where he had placed him, appears to have turned towards the angels, to inquire the cause of the awe and reverence she had observed in them. Upon this, Jesus calls upon her by name, and she, turning again towards him, discovers him by his voice. (St. John Chrysostom, hom. lxxxv. in Joan.)

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on John 20:16". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/john-20.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Rabboni. App-98. Most of the texts add, before Rabboni, "in Hebrew".

Master. Greek. didaskalos. App-98. John 20:1. Compare John 13:13.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on John 20:16". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/john-20.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.

Jesus saith unto her, Mary! It is not now the distant, though respectful "Woman." It is the oft-repeated name, uttered, no doubt, with all the wonted manner, and bringing a rush of unutterable and overpowering associations with it.

She turned herself, and saith unto him [in the Hebrew tongue], Rabboni! which is to say, Master!

[Tischendorf and Tregelles introduce into the text what we have placed in brackets - [ Hebraisti (Greek #1447)] - on what appears to be preponderating evidence. Lachmann brackets it as we have done.] Mary uttered this word in the endeared mother-tongue, and the Evangelist, while perpetuating for all time the very term she used, gives his readers to whom that tongue was unknown the sense of it. But that single word of transported recognition was not enough for woman's full heart. Not knowing the change which had passed upon Him, she hastens to express by her actions what words failed to clothe: but she is checked.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 20:16". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/john-20.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(16) Jesus saith unto her, Mary.—It is to that devoted love that the first words of the risen Lord are spoken. He who knew her whole past, and knew that her devotion to Him had sprung from the freedom from the thraldom of evil which He had wrought for her, is near to that woman weeping by the grave-side, while Apostles, even the true-hearted Peter and the loving John, have gone to their own homes. The voice of God is always most quickly heard by the hearts that love Him; the presence of God is never so truly felt as in the utter helplessness of human woe.

Saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.—The better reading is, saith unto Him in Hebrew, Rabboni . . .—Comp. Notes on John 19:13, and on Mark 10:51, which is the only other passage in the New Testament where “Rabboni” occurs. She had heard in the well-known voice her own name, and it has brought back to her all the old associations. It is the “Master,” or, as the Hebrew word means, “My Master,” and she falls at His feet to embrace Him.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on John 20:16". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/john-20.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.
Mary
10:3; Genesis 22:1,11; Exodus 3:4; 33:17; 1 Samuel 3:6,10; Isaiah 43:1; Luke 10:41; Acts 9:4; 10:3
She
Genesis 45:12; Song of Solomon 2:8-17; 3:4; 5:2; Matthew 14:27
Rabboni
28; 1:38,49; 3:2; 6:25; 11:28; 13:13; Matthew 23:8-10
Reciprocal: Matthew 23:7 - Rabbi;  Matthew 26:18 - The Master;  Mark 14:45 - Master

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on John 20:16". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/john-20.html.

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

Ver. 16. "Jesus saith unto her, Mary! She turned herself, and saith unto Him, Rabboni! which is to say. Master!"

The Mary! which Jesus here spoke went deeper into her heart, and was thus much more fitted to remove all doubt in the reality of the resurrection, than all that was said at the first manifestation. The superscription of this was the "Fear ye not," and its characteristics were strangeness and suddenness. The women ventured to touch His feet and worship Him. But here Mary, in the overmastering love of her heart, would actually embrace Him. The στραφεῖσα here, compared with the ἐστράφη εἰς τὰ ὀπίσω, ver. 14, shows that the former turning was only partial. Now, when she knows Jesus, she turns away entirely from the sepulchre and the angels towards Him. Rabboni, here only and Mark 10:51, is רבון, a dialectical variety of Rabban with the suffix. In process of time the suffix lost its meaning, like the pronoun in the Dutch Mynheer, and the Evangelist rightly omits it in the interpretation he gives. The address Rabboni is in harmony with the place at Jesus' feet which Mary loved; that was the place of a disciple in relation to her Master. It was natural that she who was formerly too masterless and free, should be especially thankful that she had found in Jesus the great Master.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on John 20:16". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/john-20.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

16.Jesus saith to her, Mary! That Christ allowed Mary, a short time, to fall into a mistake, was useful for confirming her faith; but now, by a single word, he corrects her mistake. He had formerly addressed her, but his discourse seemed to be that of an unknown person; he now assumes the character of the Master, and addresses his disciple by name, as we have formerly seen that

the good shepherd calleth to him by name every sheep of his flock,
(
John 10:3.)

That voice of the shepherd, therefore, enters into Mary’s heart, opens her eyes, arouses all her senses, and affects her in such a manner, that she immediately surrenders herself to Christ.

Thus in Mary we have a lively image of our calling; for the only way in which we are admitted to the true knowledge of Christ is, when he first knows us, and then familiarly invites us to himself, not by that ordinary voice which sounds indiscriminately in the ears of all, but by that voice with which he especially calls the sheep which the Father hath given to him. Thus Paul says,

After that you have known God, or rather, after that you have been known by him,
(
Galatians 4:9.)

And said to him, Rabboni! The efficacy of the address is evident from this circumstance, that Mary immediately renders to Christ the honor which is due to him; for the word Rabboni is not only respectful, but involves a profession of obedience. Mary therefore declares, that she is a disciple of Christ, and submits to him as her Master. This is a secret and wonderful change effected on the human understanding, when God, enlightening her by his Spirit, renders her clear-sighted, who formerly was slow of apprehension, and, indeed, altogether blind. Besides, the example of Mary ought to serve the purpose of exhortation, that all whom Christ invites to himself may reply to him without delay.

The word Rabboni is Chaldee, though the Chaldeans pronounce it Ribboni; but it is customary to make a change on words, when they are transferred to a foreign tongue. The meaning is the same as if we were to say, My Lord! or, My Master! But in the time of Christ this mode of expression had gained currency, of using Rabbi and Rabboni instead of Master.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 20:16". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-20.html. 1840-57.