Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

John 20:5

and stooping and looking in, he *saw the linen wrappings lying there; but he did not go in.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Jesus, the Christ;   Jesus Continued;   John;   Linen;   Love;   Peter;   Thompson Chain Reference - Dead, the;   Mortality-Immortality;   Resurrection;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - John the apostle;   Mary;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Burial;   Grave;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Peter;   Resurrection of Christ;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - John the Apostle;   John, the Gospel According to;   Linen;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Footwashing;   Hour;   John;   John, the Gospel of;   Mary;   Tomb of Jesus;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - John, Gospel of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Cave ;   Dress (2);   Linen (2);   Peter;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Grave;   Mary Magdalene ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Chief parables and miracles in the bible;   Smith Bible Dictionary - John the Apostle;   John, Gospel of;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Linen;   Peter, Simon;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Burial and sepulchers;  
Devotionals:
Every Day Light - Devotion for October 20;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Went he not in - Why? Because he was fully satisfied that the body was not there. But why did he not seize upon the linen clothes, and keep them as a most precious relic? Because he had too much religion and too much sense; and the time of superstition and nonsense was not yet arrived, in which bits of rotten wood, rags of rotten cloth, decayed bones (to whom originally belonging no one knows) and bramble bushes, should become objects of religious adoration.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on John 20:5". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/john-20.html. 1832.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

And stooping and looking in, he seeth the linen cloths lying; yet entered he not in.

In addition to the deference to Peter, evident throughout in this passage, there was another deterrent to John's entering that tomb. "He seeth the linen cloths lying!" There is no marvel why John hesitated. Those linen cloths remained in the exact position AS IF THE LORD HAD STILL BEEN WOUND THEREIN. The impact on John was the same as if he had seen the linen cloths WALKING! The position of those medical bandages in which the body was wrapped absolutely demanded the conclusion that Jesus had risen THROUGH THEM, even as he had risen THROUGH the tomb, leaving them undisturbed, as if he had still been in them. The miracle of those undisturbed cloths was the clincher in John's mind, proving that Jesus had risen from the dead. John gave this evidence in his Gospel, because it was the evidence which convinced him. See under John 19:40 for notes on the medical bandages. They had not been ripped off; and, if any man had taken them off, it would have been impossible to have restored their position, Even the napkin, to be mentioned later, still held the position it had when Jesus' head was in it. It had not even collapsed! It should be remembered that the angel who (presumably) rolled the stone away from the grave did so, not to let the Lord out, but to let the witnesses in. He rose through the tomb exactly as he did through the bandages.

For fuller study of this miracle in the context of five others surrounding and corroborating the even greater miracle of the resurrection, see article, PHENOMENA ATTENDING THE CRUCIFIXION AND RESURRECTION, in my Commentary on Matthew, Matthew 27:51ff.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
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Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on John 20:5". "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

And he stooping down and looking in,.... That is, John; when he came to the sepulchre, stooped down to look into it, and see what he could see; he only went into the court, or stood upon the floor, where the bearers used to set down the bier, before they put the corpse into one of the graves in the sepulchre, which were four cubits lower; See Gill on Mark 16:5. Hence he was obliged to stoop down, ere he could see anything within: when he

saw the linen clothes lying; in which the body had been wrapped, but that itself not there:

yet went he not in; to the sepulchre itself, but waited in the court or porch, till Peter came; and perhaps might be timorous and fearful of going into such a place alone; the Arabic version reads it, "he dared not go in".

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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
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Gill, John. "Commentary on John 20:5". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/john-20.html. 1999.

John Lightfoot's Commentary on the Gospels

5. And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in.

[He stooping down, &c.] Standing within the cave, he bowed himself to look down into the place where the body was laid, which was four cubits lower than the floor of the cave itself. See Bava Bathra about places of burial; which place I have quoted and explained, Century Chorograph.

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Lightfoot, John. "Commentary on John 20:5". "John Lightfoot Commentary on the Gospels". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jlc/john-20.html. 1675.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Stooping and looking in (παρακυπσαςparakupsas). Originally to stoop and look, but in the lxx (Gen 26:8; Judges 5:28; 1Kings 6:4, etc.) and the papyri rather just to peep in and so Field (Ot. Norv.) urges here. See also John 20:11; Luke 24:12 (the verse bracketed by Westcott and Hort). For οτονιαothonia (linen cloth) see John 19:40.

Lying (κειμεναkeimena). Present middle participle of κειμαιkeimai predicative accusative. John notices this fact at once. If the body had been removed, these clothes would have gone also. John‘s timid nature made him pause (yet, μεντοιmentoi however).

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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
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Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on John 20:5". "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

Stooping down ( παρακύψας )

See on James 1:25, and compare 1 Peter 1:12. See also Song of Solomon, Song of Solomon 2:9(Sept.). “He looketh forth ( παρακύπτων ) at the windows.”

Seeth ( βλέπει )

Simple sight. Compare the intent gaze of Peter ( θεωρεῖ ), John 20:6, which discovered the napkin, not seen by John.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on John 20:5". "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

And they ran both together: and the other disciple outran Peter, and came first to the tomb1;

  1. And they ran both together: and the other disciple outran Peter, and came first to the tomb. It is generally accepted that John was younger, and hence more active than Peter.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. These files were made available by Mr. Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
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J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on John 20:5". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/john-20.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

Увидел лежащие пелены. Пелены были как бы оставленным коконом, удостоверявшим воскресение Христово. Невероятно, чтобы тело обнажили, чтобы перенести в другое место. Так не сделал бы ни враг, ни друг. Говоря же о платке, покрывавшем голову Иисуса, Евангелист опровергает суеверие папистов, думающих, что тело было завернуто в одну пелену, которую они выставляют для поклонения несчастному простолюдью. Не говорю уже о незнании латинского языка, из-за которого они телесным покрывалам присвоили имя полотенца, которым отирают с лица пот. Не говорю об их бесстыдстве, когда они претендуют, что в пяти или шести местах находится один и тот же платок. Но этот грубый обман тем более нетерпим, что прямо опровергается евангельской историей. Сюда же относится и баснословное чудо о том, что тело Христово отобразилось на погребальных пеленах. Заклинаю вас, если действительно произошло бы такое чудо, разве Евангелист покрыл бы его молчанием? А ведь он столь старательно упоминает и боле мелкие детали. Итак, нам достаточно и того, что Христос, отбросив символы смерти, засвидетельствовал тем самым, что вошел в блаженную и бессмертную жизнь.

 

 

 

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 20:5". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-20.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

5 And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in.

Ver. 5. Yet went he not in] He dared not; so some fearful are afraid of every step, saying, as Caesar at Rubicon, Yet we may go back; and as the king of Navarre told Beza, that he would launch no further into the sea, than he might be sure to return safe to the haven. Petago se non ira commissurus esset quin, quando liberet, pedem referre posset.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on John 20:5". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/john-20.html. 1865-1868.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

John 20:5. οὐ μέντοι εἰσῆλθεν, he did not however go in) and on this account did not see the napkin (sudarium), etc. He seems to have been kept back through fear.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on John 20:5". 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

John stooped down and looked into the sepulchre, and saw the linen clothes lying, but he would not adventure to go in.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on John 20:5". 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

5.Went he not in—The younger disciple was too fleet a runner for the elder, and he paused at the end of the race. Some suppose that he went not in from juvenile inattention, others from fear of pollution. More probably it was from reverence.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on John 20:5". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/john-20.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

John saw (Gr. blepei, cf. John 20:1) the linen strips (ta othonia, cf. John 19:40) that had formerly covered Jesus" body lying in the tomb. If grave robbers had removed the body, they would have undoubtedly taken the expensive cloth with which Joseph and Nicodemus had prepared it for burial. John may have assumed that Jesus" body was still there if the light was bad at that hour. Perhaps John did not enter the tomb because he did not want to violate its sanctity or incur ritual defilement.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on John 20:5". "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 20:5. And stooping down, and looking in, he seeth the linen cloths lying; yet went he not in. A feeling of awe and mystery in all probability possessed him. He was afraid to enter. It was not so with Peter.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on John 20:5". "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 20:5. ’ The R.V[94] renders by “stooping and looking in,” A.V[95] has merely “stooping down”; the Vulgate “cum se inclinasset,” Weizsäcker “beugte sich vor”. Field (Otium Norvic. on Luke 24:12) prefers “looking in,” although, he says, “peep in” would more accurately define the word . He quotes Casaubon’s opinion that the word implies “protensionem colli cum modica corporis incurvatione”. See also Kypke on Luke 24:12, and Lid. and Scott Lex. are the strips of linen used for swathing the dead; the cerecloths. is frequent in Homer (Il., 3, 141; 18, 595) to denote the fine material of women’s dress; in Lucian and Herodian of sails; in Acts 10:11 of a sheet. is the word used by Luke (Luke 23:53); so Herodotus, ii. 86. , “he did not however enter,” withheld by dread of pollution, according to Wetstein; by terror, according to Meyer. It is enough to suppose that it did not occur to John to enter the tomb, or that he was withheld by a feeling of reverence or delicacy.

[94] Revised Version.

[95] Authorised Version.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on John 20:5". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/john-20.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

He saw the linen cloths lying. St. John Chrysostom takes notice, that Christ's body being buried with myrrh, the linen would stick as fast to the body as pitch, so that it would be impossible to steal, or take away the body without the linen cloths. (Witham)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on John 20:5". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/john-20.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

stooping down. Greek. parakupto. The word implies bending down to see more clearly. Compare the other occurance: John 20:11. Luke 24:12. James 1:25. 1 Peter 1:12.

saw. Greek. blepo. App-133.

linen clothes. See John 19:40.

yet went he = however he went.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on John 20:5". "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

And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in.

And he stooping down, [and looking in]. The supplement here should not be printed in Italics, as the one Greek word [ parakupsas (Greek #3879)] denotes both the stooping and the looking, as in John 20:11, and in 1 Peter 1:12 ('desire,' or 'stoop down, to look' into):

Saw (rather, 'seeth' [ blepei (G991)]) the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in - held back probably by a reverential fear.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 20:5". "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

(5) And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying.—Better, . . . seeth the linen clothes lying. The tense still describes the scene as it actually occurred. The words “looking in” rightly complete the meaning. (Comp. Note on John 11:38, and for the word, Note on Luke 24:12.) It is used again in the New Testament only in John 20:11, James 1:25, and 1 Peter 1:12. It meant, originally, to stoop sideways, and was used, e.g., of a harp-player; then, to stoop over, peer into, inquire into. For the “linen clothes,” comp. John 19:40.

Yet went he not in.—He is restrained by wonder, not unaccompanied, perhaps, by fear, at what he sees, and waits for his friend and companion.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on John 20:5". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/john-20.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in.
saw
11:44; 19:40
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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on John 20:5". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/john-20.html.

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

Ver. 5. "And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in."

Luke had used the words, "And stooping down, he beheld," etc., of Peter. John., taking up the same narrative, does not purpose to correct Luke: that would have been contrary to all analogy. He simply intimates that this was what was common to him and Peter; and then, in ver. 6, introduces supplementarily the statement of that in which Peter anticipated him. Peter, too, had naturally first looked into the sepulchre, and had then entered into it, in order to investigate the matter more closely. The ὀθόνια, linen clothes, with which the whole body was swathed: comp. on John 19:40.

Why did not John go at once into the sepulchre? His tender feeling, the gentle inwardness of his love to Christ, feared a shock. He left it to the stronger and bolder Peter to make the first essay. As soon as this gave a satisfactory result, he followed after. John here records his own weakness with the same openness as, in ver. 4, he records his strength.

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on John 20:5". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/john-20.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

5.And seeth the linen clothes lying. The linen clothes might be regarded as the spoils, intended to lead to the belief of Christ’s resurrection; for it was not probable that his body had been stripped naked, in order that it might be removed to another place. This would not have been done by a friend, nor even by an enemy.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 20:5". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-20.html. 1840-57.