Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

John 20:18

Mary Magdalene *came, announcing to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord," and that He had said these things to her.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Friendship;   Jesus, the Christ;   Jesus Continued;   Love;   Mary;   Women;   Thompson Chain Reference - Dead, the;   Mary;   Mortality-Immortality;   Resurrection;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Resurrection of Christ, the;  
Dictionaries:
Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Resurrection;   Woman;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Resurrection of Christ;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Hour;   John, the Gospel of;   Mary;   Resurrection of Jesus Christ;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - John, Gospel of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Considerateness;   Mary;   Sisters;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Mary Magdalene ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Chief parables and miracles in the bible;   Smith Bible Dictionary - John, Gospel of;  
Devotionals:
Every Day Light - Devotion for November 1;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Told the disciples - that he had spoken these things - St. Mark says, Mark 16:11, that the afflicted apostles could not believe what she had said. They seem to have considered it as an effect of her troubled imagination.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on John 20:18". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/john-20.html. 1832.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Mary Magdalene came,.... Directly and immediately, being ready and willing to obey the commends of her Lord, with the utmost cheerfulness; and glad to go on such an errand, and carry such news to his disciples, even though her private interest and personal affection might have inclined her to desire to stay with Christ:

and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord; not only that he was risen from the dead, and she had been told so by the angels, but she had seen him herself, and was an eyewitness of his resurrection, and which she firmly believed; this she said, not only with all the marks of pleasure, joy and transport, but with an air of assurance and confidence:

and that he had spoken these things unto her; as that he called them brethren, and bid her go unto them, and acquaint them, that as he was risen, he should in a short time ascend to his Father and theirs, to his God and theirs; all which she faithfully related to them.

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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 20:18". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/john-20.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto herTo a woman was this honor given to be the first that saw the risen Redeemer, and that woman was not His mother. (See on Mark 16:9).

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 20:18". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/john-20.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

And telleth (αγγελλουσαaggellousa). Present active participle, “announcing.”

I have seen the Lord (εωρακα τον κυριονHeōraka ton kurion). Perfect active indicative of οραωhoraō She will always carry in her heart that vision (picture) of the Risen Christ. She tells this fact before she delivers Christ‘s message to the brethren of Christ.

How that
. No word in the Greek, but a conjunction like ωςhōs is implied. οτιHoti here is recitative. The disciples (brethren) did not believe Mary‘s story nor that of the other women (Luke 24:11; Mark 16:11). Paul does not mention the vision to Mary or the women in 1 Corinthians 15:5-7. But Mary Magdalene was the first one to see the Risen Lord.

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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 20:18". "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

Came and told ( ἔρχεται ἀγγέλλουσα )

Literally, cometh telling.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on John 20:18". "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.

The Fourfold Gospel

Jesus saith to her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended unto the Father1: but go unto my brethren, and say to them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and my God and your God2.

  1. Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended unto the Father. This passage is one of well-known difficulty, and Meyer or Ryle may be consulted by those wishing to see how various commentators have interpreted it. We would explain it by the following paraphrase: "Do not lay hold on me and detain yourself and me; I have not yet ascended; this is no brief, passing vision; I am yet in the world, and will be for some time, and there will be other opportunities to see me; the duty of the moment is to go and tell my sorrowing disciples that I have risen, and shall ascend to my Father". See for comparison.

  2. But go unto my brethren, and say to them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and my God and your God. Jesus does not say "our Father". Our relation to God is not the same as his. While, however, our Lord's language recognizes the difference between his divine and our human relationship to the Father, his words are intended to show us our exaltation. We have reason to believe that next to our Lord's title as Son, our title as sons of God by adoption is as high in honor as any in the universe.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. These files were made available by Mr. Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
Bibliographical Information
J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on John 20:18". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/john-20.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

As has already been remarked, several hypotheses have been framed, by ingenious scholars, to combine the various incidents related by the different evangelists, as having occurred in the vicinity of the sepulchre on the morning of the resurrection, into one harmonious narrative. These hypotheses are all framed on the supposition that the scene was one of great excitement; that many persons must have been going and returning in different groups and parties,--some, perhaps visiting the sepulchre several times,--and that, consequently, a considerable number and variety of incidents would occur there; and that each of the evangelists, instead of describing fully what took place, has only related such incidents as were particularly reported to him. On this view of the subject, it has not been found difficult to frame hypotheses by which the various incidents related are combined into one connected narrative, the seeming omissions and connecting links being supplied by conjecture. These hypotheses are, however, of little value, except to show that the accounts can be reconciled, and so are not inconsistent. Farther than this, there can be no valuable end attained by framing hypotheses, which rest, of course, wholly on conjecture.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on John 20:18". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/john-20.html. 1878.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.

Ver. 18. Mary Magdalene came and told] She had told them and troubled them before with a conceit that they had (but to what end, or whither, she knew not) removed the Lord’s body; fitly therefore is she sent to assure them of the resurrection. And though loth to depart, yet she bridles her affections, though never so impetuous, and brings them to be wholly at Christ’s beck and check.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on John 20:18". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/john-20.html. 1865-1868.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Our blessed Saviour's first appearing after his resurrection having been to Mary Magdalene, as the former verses acquainted us, the same day at evening, when the doors were shut for fear of the Jews, Jesus miraculously, and, as to the disciples, insensibly opens the door, and stands in the midst of them, and says, Peace be unto you: and shows them his hands and his side.

Where not, 1. That it has been no strange thing in the church, that the best members of it have been put to frequent their assemblies with great fear, and been forced to meet in the night with great caution, because of the fury of the persecutors: here Christ's own disciples were forced to meet together in the night the doors kept shut, for fear of the Jews.

Note, 2. Let Christ's disciples meet together never so privately, and with never so much hazard and jeopardy, they shall have Christ's company with them; neither bolts, nor locks, nor fastened doors, shall hold Christ from them; When the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood in the midst of them.

Observe lastly, the evidence which our Saviour offers to evince and prove the certainty of his resurrection: He shewed his disciples his hands and side. Christ appealed to, and admitted of, the judgment of their senses, to assure them that was the real body. And if we must not be allowed to believe our senses, (as the Romish synagogue would persuade us,) we shall want the best external evidence we can have to prove the truth of the Christian religion; namely the miracles of our Saviour; for how can we be assured those miracles were true, but by the judgment of our senses? Now as our senses tell us that Christ's miracles were true, so they assure us that the popish doctrine of transubstantiation is false.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on John 20:18". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/john-20.html. 1700-1703.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

This was that first appearance of our Lord after his resurrection to Mary Magdalene, after that he was risen from the dead, mentioned Mark 16:9,10, which she reported to the disciples; but Mark saith, they believed her not, John 20:11. Matthew tells us of another appearance of his, Matthew 28:9, to the women as they went from the sepulchre, when they held him by the feet, and worshipped him. Luke tells us of a third appearance to the two disciples as they were going to Emmaus; which is also shortly touched by Mark, Mark 16:12,13; but it is there said that they believed them not. John mentions neither of these. These were all the same day that he rose, so was also the next, which is mentioned by our evangelist in the following verses.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on John 20:18". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/john-20.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

18.Came and told the disciples—And so formed one of the band of female witnesses, summed up by Luke 24:10, who testified only to be disbelieved. Such was the contrast between her faith and theirs.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on John 20:18". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/john-20.html. 1874-1909.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘Mary Magdalene comes and tells the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”, and how he had said these things to her.’

Mary then went to the disciple and faithfully reported what she had experienced to all the disciples. Note how in this chapter Jesus is constantly referred to as ‘the Lord’. There was a distinct change in attitude towards Him. Mary had learned her lesson from His words. But though she spoke so fervently and was so excited they did not believe her (Mark 16:11).

We do not know exactly how this ties in with the appearance of the other women at the tomb. No one was trying to piece the incidents together. On the whole they were summarised and telescoped together (Matthew 28:5-6; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-9). All had been in the original party of women who had planned to visit the tomb and had sent the two Marys on ahead. All came to the tomb at one time or another and heard what the angels had to say, and returned to tell the disciples. It was the message that was important not the detail.

And in all cases the message was disbelieved. The disciples were in no state to accept the testimony of a bunch of women. Everyone knew what women were with their vivid imaginations and unreliable ideas. They even probably thought that Peter and John had got it wrong, although they at least did not claim to have seen Jesus at the tomb. But it was different when Peter himself claimed to have seen Jesus (Luke 24:34; 1 Corinthians 15:5). Light was gradually dawning.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on John 20:18". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/john-20.html. 2013.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

As an obedient disciple, Mary went to the other disciples and told them that Jesus was alive plus the message that Jesus had given her. Again "the Lord" probably meant "Jesus" to her at this time, but she spoke better than she knew. Later she would understand more about the implications of that title. Mark mentioned that the disciples were weeping and mourning when Mary met them, and they failed to believe that Jesus was alive ( Mark 16:10-11).

John did not mention Jesus" appearance to the other women that followed His appearance to Mary Magdalene ( Matthew 28:9-10). He also omitted Matthew"s account of how the guards at Jesus" tomb reported to the Jewish rulers that it was empty ( Matthew 28:11-15). Likewise he passed over Jesus" appearances to the two disciples on the Emmaus road ( Mark 16:12-13; Luke 24:13-32) and to Peter ( Luke 24:33-35; cf. 1 Corinthians 15:5).

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on John 20:18". "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 20:18. Mary Magdalene cometh, bringing word to the disciples, I have seen the Lord, and that he said these things unto her. Mary has now recognized her Lord. We have seen her longing, with weeping eyes and breaking heart, for the Friend whom she had loved on earth. She was prepared for more, and more was given. Her Master was revealed to her, not as the human Friend alone, but in all that awakened at the same time her reverence and awe, in all that reminded her of the Divine in Him. Thus she was ready for another step, and she was led that step forward. She saw before her the risen and glorified Lord; and she could look forward to the future, inviting at the same time the disciples to join her in the prospect, as a future in which He who is for ever with the Father should be for ever, by His Spirit, with her and them, weeping changed into joy, and defeat into victory). With a message of this kind she goes to the disciples, and they are prepared for what is now to follow.

The relation between the appearance of Jesus to Mary and that to the women spoken of in Matthew 28:9, can hardly be discussed here. The question belongs to the First Gospel, involving, as it does, considerations connected with the general structure of that Gospel upon which we are not able here to enter. It may be enough to say that we cannot regard the two appearances as identical: they differ in almost every circumstance.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on John 20:18". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/john-20.html. 1879-90.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

John 20:18. Mary Magdalene came — With the other women; and told the disciples — As they mourned and wept for the loss of their beloved Master, (Mark 16:10,) that she had seen the Lord, &c. — That he had indeed appeared to her, and that he had spoken these gracious things mentioned above. Peter and John had left Mary seeking their common Lord carefully with tears, and would not stay to seek him with her; and now she comes to tell them that she had found him, and to rectify the mistake she had led them into by inquiring after the dead body; for she now found it was a living body, and a glorified one; so that she found what she sought, and, what was infinitely better, she had the happiness of having seen the Master, and was willing to communicate of her joy to them, for she knew it would be good news to them. And, as she told them what she had seen, so also what she had heard: she had seen the Lord alive by this token, that he had spoken these things unto her as a message to be delivered to them, and she delivered it faithfully. Observe, reader, when God comforts us, it is with this design, that we should comfort others. And they that are acquainted with the word of Christ themselves, should communicate their knowledge for the good of others, and not grudge that others should know as much as they do.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on John 20:18". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/john-20.html. 1857.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

came = cometh.

and told = telling. Greek. apangello. See John 4:51. Matthew 2:8. Compare App-121.:6.

seen. Greek. horao. App-133.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on John 20:18". "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

Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.

Mary Magdalene came and told, [ erchetai (G2064) apangellousa (G518), rather, 'cometh and telleth'] the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her. To a woman was this honour given, to be the first that saw the risen Redeemer, and that woman was not his mother.

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 20:18". "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

(18) Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples.—Better, Mary Magdalene cometh, and announceth to the disciples. The coming is described from the point of view of the writer, who was one of the disciples.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on John 20:18". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/john-20.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.
came
Matthew 28:10; Mark 16:10-13; Luke 24:10
Reciprocal: Daniel 6:22 - My God;  Matthew 27:56 - Mary Magdalene;  Matthew 28:7 - go;  Luke 24:22 - General

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on John 20:18". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/john-20.html.

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

Ver. 18. "Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things unto her."—Compare Mark 16:10

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on John 20:18". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/john-20.html.