Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

John 20:31

but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Faith;   Jesus Continued;   Life;   Miracles;   Salvation;   Word of God;   Thompson Chain Reference - Aids to Faith;   Bible, the;   Christ;   Dead, the;   Faith;   Faith-Unbelief;   In Christ's Name;   Life;   Life-Death;   Mortality-Immortality;   Name;   Prayer;   Purpose;   Resurrection;   Saving Faith;   Word;   Word of God;   The Topic Concordance - Belief;   Jesus Christ;   Life;   Name;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Faith;   Miracles;   Scriptures, the;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Miracle;   Word;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Gospels;   Inspiration;   Interpretation;   Jesus christ;   John, gospel of;   John, letters of;   Life;   Mark, gospel of;   Miracles;   Signs;   Son of god;   Work;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Jesus Christ, Name and Titles of;   Knowledge of God;   Easton Bible Dictionary - John, Gospel of;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - John, the Epistles of;   John, the Gospel According to;   Miracles;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Gospel;   John, the Gospel of;   John, the Letters of;   Life;   Sign;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Children (Sons) of God;   Chronology of the New Testament;   Faith;   Gospels;   John, Gospel of;   Logos;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Activity;   Annunciation, the ;   Ebionism (2);   Eternal Punishment;   Faith ;   Gentiles;   Good;   Immortality (2);   Impotence;   John, Gospel of (Ii. Contents);   Life ;   Logos;   Mission;   Names and Titles of Christ;   Preaching Christ;   Quotations (2);   Regeneration;   Righteous, Righteousness;   Sayings (Unwritten);   Writing (2);   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Bethesda;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Chief parables and miracles in the bible;   John the apostle;   Smith Bible Dictionary - John, Gospel of;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Inspiration;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Kingdom or Church of Christ, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Bible, the;   Doctrine;   Gospels, the Synoptic;   John, Gospel of;   Life;   Matthew, the Gospel of;   Name;   Person of Christ;  
Devotionals:
Every Day Light - Devotion for December 8;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

That ye might believe - What is here recorded is to give a full proof of the Divinity of Christ; that he is the promised Messiah; that he really suffered and rose again from the dead; and that through him every believer might have eternal life.

Life - Several MSS., versions, and fathers read eternal life, and this is undoubtedly the meaning of the word, whether the various reading be admitted or not.

Grotius has conjectured that the Gospel, as written by St. John, ended with this chapter, and that the following chapter was added by the Church of Ephesus. This conjecture is supported by nothing in antiquity. It is possible that these two last verses might have formerly been at the conclusion of the last chapter, as they bear a very great similarity to those that are found there; and it is likely that their true place is between the 24th and 25th verses of the succeeding chapter; with the latter of which they in every respect correspond, and with it form a proper conclusion to the book. Except this correspondence, there is no authority for changing their present position.

After reading the Gospel of John, his first Epistle should be next taken up: it is written exactly in the same spirit, and keeps the same object steadily in view. As John's Gospel may be considered a supplement to the other evangelists, so his first Epistle may be considered a supplement and continuation to his own Gospel. In some MSS. the epistles follow this Gospel, not merely because the transcribers wished to have all the works of the same writer together, but because there was such an evident connection between them. The first Epistle is to the Gospel as a pointed and forcible application is to an interesting and impressive sermon.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on John 20:31". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/john-20.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

These are written - Those recorded in this gospel.

That ye might believe … - This is a clue to the design which John had in view in writing this gospel. The whole scope or end of the book is to accomplish two objects:

1.To prove that Jesus was the Messiah; and,

2.That they who looked at the proof might be convinced and have eternal life.

This design is kept in view throughout the book. The miracles, facts, arguments, instructions, and conversations of our Lord all tend to this. This point had not been kept in view so directly by either of the other evangelists, and it was reserved for the last of the apostles to collect those arguments, and make out a connected demonstration that Jesus was the Messiah. If this design of John is kept steadily in view, it will throw much light on the book, and the argument is unanswerable, framed after the strictest rules of reasoning, infinitely beyond the skill of man, and having throughout the clearest evidence of demonstration.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on John 20:31". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/john-20.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

But these are written,..... The several ends of recording what is written in this book, in proof of Christ's resurrection, are as follow: one is,

that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; that Jesus, who was diminutively called Jesus, the son of Mary, the son of Joseph, the carpenter's son, Jesus of Nazareth, and of Galilee, was the Christ, or true Messiah; which signifies anointed, and takes in all his offices of prophet, priest, and King, to which he was anointed; and is an article of faith of the greatest importance; and is to be believed through the signs proving his resurrection, who, according to the Scriptures, was to rise again; and which, by the signs here recorded, it appears he is risen indeed, and therefore must be the true Messiah of the prophets, and also "the Son of God"; which was a known title of the Messiah among the Jews; and is not a name of office, but of nature and relation to God, and designs Christ in his divine nature, or as a divine person; and is an article of great moment, and well attested, by God, by angels, and men; and receives a further confirmation by the resurrection of Christ, who is thereby declared to be the Son of God with power; and with this view did this evangelist write the signs, proving it, herein to be found. And his other end in recording them, is,

and that believing ye might have life through his name: believers have their spiritual and eternal life through Christ; their life of grace, of justification on him, of sanctification from him, and communion with him; the support and maintenance of their spiritual life, and all the comforts of it: and also their life of glory, or eternal life, they have through, or in his name; it lies in his person, it comes to them through him as the procuring cause of it; it is for his sake bestowed upon them, yea, it is in his hands to give it, and who does give it to all that believe: not that believing is the cause of their enjoyment of this life, or is their title to it, which is the name, person, blood, and righteousness of Christ; but faith is the way and means in which they enjoy it; and therefore these signs are written by the evangelist for the encouragement of this faith in Christ, which is of such use in the enjoyment of life, in, through, and from him. Beza's ancient copy, two of Stephens's, the Coptic, Syriac, Arabic, Persic, and Ethiopic versions read, "eternal life".

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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 20:31". "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

But these are written — as sufficient specimens.

the Christ, the Son of God — the one His official, the other His personal, title.

believing  …  may have life — (See on John 6:51-54).

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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.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 20:31". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/john-20.html. 1871-8.

People's New Testament

But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, etc. This is the object of all the gospel histories. They aim to so reveal Christ as to produce faith in him. He is the one object of belief. He is the Christian's creed. Faith in him, a faith that takes him as the Christ, saves the soul. All who have such faith wrought by the word of God will "have life through his name."

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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 20:31". "People's New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pnt/john-20.html. 1891.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Are written (γεγραπταιgegraptai). Perfect passive indicative of γραπωgraphō “have been written” by John.

That ye may believe (ινα πιστευητεhina pisteuēte). Purpose with ιναhina and the present active subjunctive of πιστευωpisteuō “that you may keep on believing.” The book has had precisely this effect of continuous and successive confirmation of faith in Jesus Christ through the ages.

Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God
(Ιησους εστιν ο Χριστος ο υιος του τεουIēsous estin ho Christos ho huios tou theou). The man named Jesus is identical with the Messiah (the Anointed One) as opposed to the Cerinthian separation of the Jesus of history and the Christ (αεονaeon) of theology. And the Docetic notion of a phantom body for Jesus with no actual human body is also false. Jesus is the Son of God with all that this high term implies, the Logos of John 1:1-18 (the Prologue). “Very God of very God,” Incarnate Revealer of God. But there is a further purpose.

And that believing ye may have life in his name
(και ινα πιστευοντες ζωην εχητε εν τωι ονοματι αυτουkai hina pisteuontes zōēn echēte en tōi onomati autou). Note present participle πιστευοντεςpisteuontes (continuing to believe) and the present active subjunctive εχητεechēte (keep on having). “Life” (ζωηνzōēn) is eternal life so often mentioned in this Gospel, life to be found only in the name (and power) of Jesus Christ the Son of God. This verse constitutes a fitting close for this wonderful book and John may at first have intended to stop here. But before he published the work he added the Epilogue (Chapter XXI) which is written in the same style and gives a beautiful picture of the Risen Christ with a sidelight on John and Peter (restored to fellowship).

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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 20:31". "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

Are written ( γέγραπται )

Have been or stand written. The perfect tense. John's intent was to write a gospel rather than a biography.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on John 20:31". "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

But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

But these things are written that ye may believe — That ye may be confirmed in believing. Faith cometh sometimes by reading; though ordinarily by hearing.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on John 20:31". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/john-20.html. 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

Сие же написано. Этими словами Евангелист хочет сказать: он записал то, что должно удовлетворить нас как вполне достаточное для утверждения в вере. Он хотел упредить пустое людское любопытство, ненасытное и страстно себе потакающее. Далее, Иоанн знал о том, что писали другие Евангелисты. Поскольку же у него вовсе не было намерения упразднить их Писания, он никак не отделяет свой рассказ от их повествований. Однако кажется глупым, что вера основывается на чудесах. Ведь ей надлежит покоиться на обетованиях и Слове Божием. Отвечаю: чудесам здесь приписывается лишь подкрепление и помощь вере. Они способны подготовить человеческие души к тому, чтобы больше ценить божественное Слово. Мы знаем, сколь прохладно и медлительно наше внимание, если его не стимулировать извне. Кроме того, они добавляют немалый авторитет уже принятому учению. Через них Бог подкрепляет это учение, словно протягивая с небес Свою десницу. Как говорит Марк (16:20), апостолы учили по содействию Господню и подтверждали свою речь последующими знамениями. Итак, хотя вера, собственно говоря, покоится на Слове Божием и смотрит на Слово, как на свою единственную цель, помощь от чудес все же не является излишней. Лишь бы они также соотносились со Словом, и к Слову же направляли нашу веру. Почему же чудеса называются знамениями, мы говорили в другом месте. Потому что Господь, показывая нечто новое и необычное, побуждает нас размыслить о Его великой силе.

Что Иисус есть Христос. Он имеет в виду Христа, возвещенного в законе и пророках, а именно: Посредника между Богом и людьми, верховного Посланника Отца, единственного восстановителя мира и творца совершенного блаженства. Иоанн говорит не о пустом титуле, украшая им Сына Божия, но под именем Христа разумеет все служение, которое Ему приписывали пророки. Поэтому надо поразмыслить, каким Христос описывается у пророков. А это снова подтверждает сказанное выше: вера не прилепляется к чудесам, но прямо направляется к Слову. Иоанн как бы говорит: чудеса подтвердили то, чему некогда учили пророки. Действительно, мы видим, что евангелисты не останавливались на перечислении чудес, но больше занимались учением. Ведь чудеса сами по себе рождают лишь смутное восхищение. Так что смысл следующий: это написано, чтобы мы верили настолько, насколько вера может подкрепляться чудесами. Иоанн добавляет слова «Сын Божий», поелику никто из обычных людей не годен к столь славным делам: к примирению с нами Отца, к умилостивлению грехов мира, к упразднению смерти, к разрушению царства сатаны, к дарованию нам истинной праведности и спасения. Кроме того, поскольку имя Сына Божия приличествует лишь

Христу, отсюда следует, что Он – Сын не по усыновлению, но по природе. Так что в этом имени содержится вечное божество Христа. Действительно, тот, кто не признает Христа Богом из столь ясных евангельских свидетельств, слепотствует при ярком свете и не достоин даже того, чтобы видеть небо и землю.

Веруя, имели жизнь. Здесь говорится об определенном следствии веры. Она сдерживает людское любопытство, дабы люди не желали знать сверх того, что достаточно для достижения спасения. Какова наглость не довольствоваться вечным спасением и преступать пределы небесного царства! Кроме того, Иоанн повторяет здесь основную мысль своего учения: верою мы достигаем вечной жизни, поскольку, будучи мертвыми вне Христа, мы обретаем жизнь лишь по Его благодати. Об этом мы подробнее говорили выше, в третьей и пятой главе. Указав же на имя Христа, а не на Самого Христа, Иоанн употребляет выражение, истолкованное в первой главе ст. 12. Пусть читатель обратится к этому месту, дабы я, часто повторяя одно и то же, не сильно его утомил.

 

 

 

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 20:31". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-20.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

Ver. 31. These things are written] He speaks this of the writ of the other three evangelists also. Matthew wrote his Gospel eight years after Christ, Mark 10:1-52, Luke 15:1-32, and John 42 {misprint in original text}, in the days of Trajan. He died in the 101st year of his own age.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on John 20:31". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/john-20.html. 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

John 20:31

The Trinity Disclosed in the Structure of St. John's Writings

I. The Gospel of St. John commences with a solemn exposition of the Divinity of the Word and Son of God, considered in His immediate relation to the Deity of the Father, as commissioned to represent His unapproachable glory in the world of time and sense. It is the glory as of the only begotten of the Father. "He is the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, and hath declared Him." But in the influences of the second, a new power is discovered, which all Scripture assigns to a third agent; and thus in the brief preface, the Father, the Word made flesh, the inworking Spirit proceeding from both, are shadowed before us; the opening prologue presents a summary of the whole majestic drama which follows.

II. The great article of faith which the Church commemorates on Trinity Sunday pervades the works of St. John, not only as a separate truth, but as a presiding principle; not only in the phraseology of the parts, but in the structure of the whole. We see that to him, the threefold activity of Father, Son and Spirit, was indeed the abstract of theology; it is a plastic power, working the whole mass of the composition to its peculiar type; somewhat as the vital principle of an organised frame silently gathers the entire aggregate of particles into the definite form appropriate to itself. In making this threefold distinction the basis of his whole scheme of instruction, St. John has taught you not only its absolute truth, but its relative importance. Learning from him the proportion of the faith, we will safely value that most which he thought most precious. If, under those brief but wondrous words—Father, Son and Spirit—he was accustomed to classify all the bright treasures of his inspiration; if into this mould every narrative, every exhortation, naturally flowed; if he was wont to see, in the adoration that bowed before this mysterious Triad of eternal powers, the last and loftiest act of religion; we cannot be wrong in preserving the equilibrium that he has fixed. And if to him this great belief was more than belief, this light was also life. May we also find in the Trinity, the ground of practical devotion, pure and deep, till, quickened by the power of this faith, the Three that bear record in heaven shall bear witness in our hearts.

W. Archer Butler, Sermons Doctrinal and Practical, p. 64.


References: John 20:31.—Contemporary Pulpit, vol. viii., p. 275; Clergyman's Magazine, vol. i., p. 48; vol. iii., p. 289; F. W. Farrar, Church of England Pulpit, vol. xiii., p. 85. John 20—W. Sanday, The Fourth Gospel, p. 258. John 20, John 21—J. Vaughan, Children's Sermons, vol. ii., p. 31.



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Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on John 20:31". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/john-20.html.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

31.] The mere miracle-faith, so often reproved by our Lord, is not that intended here. This is faith in Himself, as the Christ the Son of God: and the Evangelist means, that enough is related in this book to be a ground for such a faith, by shewing us His glory manifested forth (see ch. John 2:11).

πιοτ. ζωὴν ἔχ.] Thus he closes almost in the words of his prologue, ch. John 1:4; John 1:12.

ἐν τῷ ὀν. αὐτ. (see reff. Acts, 1 Cor.) is the whole standing of the faithful man in Christ,—by which and in which he has life eternal.

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on John 20:31". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/john-20.html. 1863-1878.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

REFLECTIONS

Reader! you behold the privileges of God's people. Jesus will reward the humble waiting of his redeemed who seek him. They who went early to the sepulchre, and Mary, who remained there, at length had their full portion of the sight of Jesus. And now, what is it but the same? They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.

And what a very precious encouragement is the first appearing of Christ to Mary Magdalene! She had the first view of Jesus. As if to comfort every poor sinner, that where sin hath abounded, grace shall much more abound. That soul in Christ's family shall have the first glimpse of Jesus, the first kiss of Christ, who most needs him. Precious Lord! let all thy Magdalenes, where Satan hath most cruelly wounded, be first healed!

Oh! dearest Lord Jesus! deal by the Thomas's of thine in the present hour, as thou didst by the Apostle of old. Thou knowest of the sin which doth so easily beset us, and thou knowest the cause. Oh! thou great and Almighty Author and Finisher of faith! keep thy redeemed from the sin of unbelief. Lord! give us to believe, and help thou our unbelief! Amen.

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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on John 20:31". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/john-20.html. 1828.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

John 20:31. ἵνα, that) The scope of the Gospel. These signs, which have been written, when we join to them those also which Matthew, Mark, and Luke, have written, demonstrate, indeed abundantly, the glory of Christ. Look at the synopsis of the miracles which exhibit the omniscience and omnipotence of Jesus Christ in the Harmony of the Gospels, p. 381, 383 (ed. ii., p. 605, 609). [I propose to give here, as I have done heretofore, the following twofold synopsis, for the sake of some readers. I reserve the proofs of His omniscience to ch. John 21:17. He gave proofs of His omnipotence when He converted the water into wine, John 2:6, etc.: Purified the temple, ch. John 2:13, etc.; Mark 11:15, etc.: Removed fever, ch. John 4:47, with which comp John 4:52; Matthew 8:14-15 : Cleansed the leper (Matthew 8:2-3), nay, even ten lepers at the same time, Luke 17:12, etc.: Healed those sick of the palsy, Matthew 8:5, etc., Matthew 9:2, etc.: Restrained and cast out demons, Mark 1:23-24; Matthew 8:28-29; Matthew 9:32-33; Matthew 12:22; Matthew 15:22, etc.; Mark 9:17, etc.; Luke 11:14 : Applied His healing power to diseases of years’ continuance, John 12:18; John 12:38; Matthew 9:20, etc.; Luke 13:11, etc.; John 5:5, etc.: Bestowed sight on the blind (Matthew 9:27-28; Mark 8:22-23; Matthew 20:30-31), nay, even on one born blind (John 9:1, etc.): Restored the withered hand, Matthew 12:10-11 : Commanded the wind and sea (Matthew 8:26; Mark 6:51), also the fishes, Luke 5:4-5; Matthew 17:27; John 21:6 : Fed abundantly at one time five, at another time four, thousand with a few loaves, Matthew 14:18-21; Matthew 15:34-38 : Raised the dead, Matthew 9:18, etc.; Luke 7:11, etc.: John 11:1, etc.: Gave to the disciples also power to perform miracles, Matthew 10:1; Matthew 14:28-29; Luke 10:9; Luke 10:17; Luke 10:19; Mark 16:20. To these are to be added, the cursing of the fig-tree, Matthew 21:18 : The efficacy of His word, I am He—let these go their way (His enemies fell to the ground, John 20:6), John 18:4, etc.: The healing of Malchus, Luke 22:51 : The miraculous feast, John 21:9. Very often crowds of sick persons were healed, Matthew 4:23; Luke 5:17; Matthew 9:35; Matthew 12:15; Mark 6:5 : Matthew 14:11; Mark 6:54, etc.; Matthew 15:30; Matthew 19:2; Matthew 21:14 : demoniacs especially, Matthew 4:24-25; Matthew 8:16; Mark 1:39, Luke 7:21; Luke 8:2. In general, even at once, immediately after the commencement of His ministry, many miracles are recorded, John 2:23. In the person of the Saviour Himself altogether, remarkable ones occur: His fasting, Matthew 4:2 : His going forth out of the hands of His enemies, Luke 4:29-30; John 8:59 : His walking on the sea, Matthew 14:25 : His transfiguration on the mountain. Matthew 17:1, etc.: His death, resurrection, appearances, ascension, Matthew 27; Mark 15; Luke 23; John 19, with the following chapters. Therefore Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.—Harm., l. c.]

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on John 20:31". 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

But he had wrote these to induce his readers to believe that Jesus Christ was the Son of God; a thing of so great concernment to them, that their eternal life depended upon it; for through his name alone eternal life is to be obtained, Acts 4:12.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on John 20:31". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/john-20.html. 1685.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Ye might believe; exercise living faith in Christ, and through this faith be justified, sanctified, and saved. As the object of God in causing his truth to be written and printed was, that men might believe and be saved, all should be taught, and should be disposed to read it. It was given in this form to promote the salvation of men, and is often rendered effectual by the Holy Spirit for this purpose. It should therefore, without hinderance and without delay, be circulated among all people.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on John 20:31". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/john-20.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

This verse unites many of the most important themes in the fourth Gospel. John"s purpose was clearly evangelistic. His Gospel is an excellent portion of Scripture to give to an unbeliever. It is probably the most effective evangelistic tool available. Its impact on the reader is strongest when one reads it through at one sitting, which takes most people less than two hours. This document can also deepen and establish the faith of any believer, and John undoubtedly wrote what he did to accomplish that end as well.

The implication of this primary evangelistic purpose is that John meant unbelievers when he wrote "you." Did he have a particular group of unbelievers in mind, or was he addressing any unbelieving reader? Some commentators have tried to identify a particular audience from statements in the text. Yet it seems more probable that John wrote for a general audience since he did not identify his intended audience specifically. His presentation of Jesus as the divine Son of God certainly has universal application.

"There cannot be any doubt but that John conceived of Jesus as the very incarnation of God." [Note: Morris, p756.]

John"s purpose was not academic; it was not simply that people might believe intellectually that Jesus is the divine Messiah. It was rather that they might believe those foundational truths so they could possess and experience the life of God fully (cf. John 10:10). This divine life affects the whole person, not just the intellect. Moreover it affects him or her forever, not just during that person"s present lifetime.

John"s clear purpose statement concludes the body of this Gospel. I regard John 20:31 as the key verse in John"s Gospel.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on John 20:31". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/john-20.html. 2012.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

these. Emphatic.

are written = have been (and therefore stand) written.

that = in order that. Greek. hina.

might = may.

believe. App-150.

Christ. App-98.

Son of God. App-98.

life. App-170.

through = in. Greek en. App-104.

name. Compare John 1:12. Acts 3:6; Acts 3:4. ] 0, 12; John 10:43. 1 Corinthians 6:11. 1 John 5:13.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on John 20:31". "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

But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

But these are written (as sufficient specimens), that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life - in the sense of John 6:27, etc.,

Through (or rather, 'in') his name. Two things about Jesus the Evangelist says his Gospel was written to establish. First, That He was "THE CHRIST," or 'the Messiah,' the great Hope of all heaven-taught souls from the beginning; and next, that this Messiah was "THE SON OF GOD." The one of these titles was the official one with which all who were looking for the promised Deliverer were familiar; the other is intended to express His Personal dignity and relation to the Father-for claiming which the Jews once and again took up stones to stone Him, and at length put Him to death. Without the Sonship, the Messiahship would be of no avail to sinful men; nor would the Sonship have done anything for us without the Messiahship. But as the two together constitute that "all fullness" which "it hath pleased the Father should dwell in Him," (Colossians 1:19), so in the hallowed phrase, that "Jesus is the Christ the Son of God," we have that full Name which is as ointment poured forth to all that have ever tasted that the Lord is gracious.

Beautiful is the connection between these concluding verses and the last words of the preceding verse, about Thomas: q.d., 'And indeed, as the Lord pronounced them blessed who not having seen Him have yet believed, so for that one end have the whole contents of this Gospel been recorded, that all who read it may believe on Him, and believing, have life in that blessed Name.'

For Remarks on the Resurrection of Christ, see those on Matthew 28:1-15, at the close of that section, and on Luke 24:13-53, Remarks 1 and 5 at the close of that section. But on the distinctive features of the present section we may add the following. Remarks:

(1) Referring to the Remarks already made on Christian womanhood (on Luke 8:1-3, at the close of that section), one cannot but notice how exquisitely Woman's position in relation to Christ and His cause come out in this chapter. Indeed, were one internal evidence of the truth of the Bible, and of the divinity of the religion it discloses, to be demanded-one that should be at once decisive and level to ordinary capacity, perhaps the position which it assigns to Woman might as safely be fixed upon as any other; for whether we take her destination before the fall, her condition under the fall, or what the religion of the Bible has done to lift her out of it, the finger of God is alike clearly seen. But nowhere in the Bible-nowhere in Christianity-is her place more beautiful than here, in looking, before others were astir, for the Saviour so dear to her, receiving from the lips that had fed so many His first word as the Risen One-a word, too, of such familiarity and love-and getting a commission from Him to carry the glad tidings to His disconsolate "brethren." O Woman! self-ruined but dearly ransomed, how much owest thou unto thy Lord! The Lord hath need of thee, not only for all thou hast in common with the other, sex, but, over and above this, for all that sanctified Woman has to render to Him; and that is much. Some of the services of Woman to Christ are recorded in the New Testament for her encouragement in all time, (see the notes at Mark 14:1-11, Remark 2 at the close of that section; and at Romans 16:1-27.) But some of most beautiful specimens of female Christianity will never be heard of until the resurrection-morn.

`Unseen, unfelt their earthly growth, And self-accused of sin and aloth They live and die: their names decay,

Their fragrance passes clean away; Like violets in the freezing blast, No vernal steam around they cast - But they shall flourish from the tomb, The breath of God shall wake them into od'rous bloom'

(KEBLE)

And this should be enough with male or female.

(2) As "PEACE" was the last word which Jesus spoke to His assembled disciples before He suffered (John 16:33), so it was His first word to them as He presented Himself in the midst of them for the first time on the evening of His resurrection day (John 20:19). As this was what His death emphatically procured (Ephesians 2:14-15), so this is what His resurrection emphatically sealed (Hebrews 13:20). Let the peace of God, then, rule in our hearts, to the which also we are called in one body (Colossians 3:15).

(3) Did Jesus, when He was announcing to the Eleven His purpose to send them forth on a high mission into the world, even as His Father had sent Him, breathe on them and say, Receive ye the Holy Spirit? How impressively does this proclaim to all who go forth to preach the Gospel, that their speech and their preaching, if it is to be efficacious at all, must not be with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power! (1 Corinthians 2:4).

(4) Is not a divine seal set upon the faithful exercise of church discipline in John 20:23? (See the note at Matthew 18:18, and Remark 4 at the close of that section.)

(5) As our Lord, in very emphatic terms, exalts those who have not seen and yet have believed, over those who have believed only on the evidence of their senses, and as the miraculous introduction of the Gospel Economy has long ago given place to the noiseless development of it under the ordinary laws of the spiritual kingdom, so there is no reason to expect that this will ever on earth be superseded by the re-erection of a supernatural economy and the re-introduction of palpable contact between heaven and earth. "Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed," is the fitting description of all who have been or ever shall be drawn to the Lord Jesus from the time of His departure until He come again and receive us to Himself, that where He is, we may be also. Even so, Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly!

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 20:31". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/john-20.html. 1871-8.

The Bible Study New Testament

31. These have been written. This is the goal of the Gospels and the entire New Testament! Christ is REVEALED to all, to produce faith. [It is correct to say that the Holy Spirit produces (gives) faith through the witness of the Word (Bible). See John 16:8-11 and notes] Faith is not “something we believe, even though we know it isn’t so.” Faith is believing and responding to the Holy Spirit’s testimony about God’s act in Jesus Christ to set men free. Compare Romans 10:17. Those who choose [follow] this faith of their own free will “have life in his name.”

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on John 20:31". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/john-20.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(31) But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.—We have here the writer’s own statement of his object in writing his narrative, and also the explanation of what seems an abrupt end. His object is that those for whom he writes may become believers, and read in these signs the spiritual truths which lay behind them. He has traced step by step the developments of faith in the Apostles themselves, and this has reached its highest stage in the confession of Thomas. He has recorded the blessedness of those who shall believe without sight, uttered in his Master’s words. In the confession of Thomas, and in the comment of our Lord, the object of the author finds its full expression, and with their words the Gospel finds its fitting close. “Become not faithless, but believing;” “My Lord and my God;” “Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed”—these are the words the author heard and records. “But these are written, that ye may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.” This is the object he had in recording them. On the special meaning of these words as connected with the Gnostic heresies of the time, comp. Introduction, p. 378.

And that believing ye might have life through his name.—Better, . . . in His name. Thus the last words bring us back again to the first. (Comp. Notes on John 1:4; John 1:12.)

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on John 20:31". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/john-20.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
these
28; 1:49; 6:69,70; 9:35-38; Psalms 2:7,12; Matthew 16:16; 27:54; Luke 1:4; Acts 8:37; 9:20; Romans 1:3,4; 1 John 4:15; 5:1,10,20; 2 John 1:9; Revelation 2:18
believing
3:15,16,18,36; 5:24,39,40; 6:40; 10:10; Mark 16:16; 1 Peter 1:9; 1 John 2:23-25; 5:10-13
through
Luke 24:47; Acts 3:16; 10:43; 13:38,39 Reciprocal: Exodus 4:5 - That they;  Deuteronomy 29:29 - revealed;  Psalm 102:18 - This;  Proverbs 22:21 - I;  Ecclesiastes 12:12 - by these;  Isaiah 43:10 - that ye;  Matthew 16:20 - Jesus;  Matthew 26:63 - the Christ;  Mark 1:1 - Christ;  Mark 5:7 - Son;  Mark 9:7 - This;  Luke 1:1 - those;  Luke 1:35 - the Son of God;  Luke 2:11 - which;  Luke 2:26 - the Lord's;  Luke 4:41 - Thou;  Luke 9:20 - The;  John 1:12 - even;  John 1:34 - this;  John 2:11 - and his;  John 5:34 - that;  John 10:36 - I am;  John 11:42 - that they;  John 12:50 - his;  John 19:35 - that ye;  John 21:25 - there;  Acts 11:14 - words;  Acts 16:31 - Believe;  Acts 20:21 - faith;  Romans 5:1 - through;  Romans 6:11 - through;  Romans 10:14 - and how shall;  2 Corinthians 1:19 - the Son;  Galatians 2:16 - we have;  Galatians 3:22 - to;  Colossians 3:4 - our;  1 Timothy 1:16 - believe;  2 Timothy 1:10 - and hath;  Hebrews 10:39 - but;  1 John 5:13 - have I

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on John 20:31". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/john-20.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

31.But these are written, that you may believe. By these words he means, that he committed to writing what ought to satisfy us, because it is abundantly sufficient for confirming our faith; for he intended to reply to the vain curiosity of men, which is insatiable, and allows itself excessive indulgence. Besides, John was well aware of what the other Evangelists had written; and, as nothing was farther from his intention than to set aside their writings, he unquestionably does not separate their narrative from his own.

It may be thought strange, however, that faith is founded on miracles, while it ought to rest exclusively on the promises and word of God. I reply, no other use is here assigned to miracles than to be the aids and supports of faith; for they serve to prepare the minds of men, that they may cherish greater reverence for the word of God, and we know how cold and sluggish our attention is, if we be not excited by something else. Besides, it adds no small authority to the doctrine already received, when, for the purpose of supporting it, he stretches out his mighty hand from heaven; as Mark says that the Apostles taught,

the Lord working with them, and confirming the word by accompanying signs,
(
Mark 16:20.)

Although, therefore, strictly speaking, faith rests on the word of God, and looks to the word as its only end, still the addition of miracles is not superfluous, provided that they be also viewed as relating to the word, and direct faith towards it. Why miracles are called signs we have already explained. It is because, by means of them, the Lord arouses men to contemplate his power, when he exhibits any thing strange and unusual.

That Jesus is the Christ. He means the Christ, such as he had been promised in the Law and the Prophets, as the Mediator between God and men, the Father’s highest Ambassador the only Restorer of the world, and the Author of perfect happiness. For John did not seize upon an empty and unmeaning title to adorn the Son of God, but included, under the name Christ, all the offices which the Prophets ascribe to him. We ought, therefore, to contemplate him such as he is there described. This shows more fully what was said a little ago, that faith does not confine its view to miracles, but carries us direct to the word; for it is as if John had said, that what the Prophets formerly taught by the word has been proved by miracles. And, indeed, we see that the Evangelists themselves do not occupy their whole attention in relating miracles, but dwell more largely on doe-trine, because miracles by themselves would produce nothing but a confused admiration. The meaning of the words therefore is, that these things have been written, that we may believe, so far as faith can be aided by signs.

The Son of God. The Evangelist adds this, because not one of the ordinary rank of men could have been found, who was competent to perform so great undertakings; that is, to reconcile the Father to us, to atone for the sins of the world, to abolish death, to destroy the kingdom of Satan, to bring to us true righteousness and salvation. Besides, as the name, Son of God, belongs only to Christ, it follows that he is a Son, not by adoption, but by nature; and, therefore, under this name is comprehended the eternal Divinity of Christ. And, indeed, he who, after having received those striking proofs, which are to be found in the Gospel, does not perceive Christ to be God, does not deserve to look even at the sun and the earth, for he is blind amidst the brightness of noonday.

That believing, you may have life. This effect of faith was also added, to restrain the foolish longings of men, that they may not desire to know more than what is sufficient for obtaining life. For what obstinacy was it, not to be satisfied with eternal salvation, and to wish to go beyond the limits of the heavenly kingdom? Here John repeats the most important point of his doctrine, that we obtain eternal life by faith, because, while we are out of Christ, we are dead, and we are restored to life by his grace alone. On this subject we have spoken largely enough in our exposition of the Third and Fifth Chapters of this Gospel.

Through his name. As to his saying, through the name of Christ, rather than through Christ, the reason of this form of expression has been assigned by us in our exposition of the twelfth verse of the First Chapter of this Gospel. The reader may consult that passage, if he think proper, that I may not be troubled with repeating the same things frequently. (224)

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 20:31". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-20.html. 1840-57.