Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

John 20:7

and the face-cloth which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

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

Adam Clarke Commentary

Wrapped together in a place by itself - The providence of God ordered these very little matters, so that they became the fullest proofs against the lie of the chief priests, that the body had been stolen away by the disciples. If the body had been stolen away, those who took it would not have stopped to strip the clothes from it, and to wrap them up, and lay them by in separate places.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on John 20:7". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/john-20.html. 1832.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

And the napkin, that was upon his head, not lying with the linen cloths, but rolled up in a place by itself.

Robertson noted that the verb "rolled up" does not mean merely to compress into a roll, but to "wrap in,"[3] thus supporting the interpretation advocated here. The napkin around the head would not have connected with the winding shroud; and that independent placement was preserved in the manner of the linen cloths lying.

ENDNOTE:

[3] A. T. Robertson, Harmony of the Gospels (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1922), p. 310.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on John 20:7". "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 the napkin that was about his head,.... The word σουδαριον, rendered "napkin", is thought to be originally Latin, and signifies an handkerchief, with which the sweat is wiped off the face, and so it is used in Acts 19:12 but Nonnus says it is a common word with the Syrians, and the word סודרא is used in the Syriac version; and which he renders, κεφαλης ζωστηρα, "the girdle, or binding of the head", for with this the head and face of the dead person were bound; see John 11:44. Now Peter, by going into the sepulchre, and looking about him, and examining things more strictly and narrowly, observed that which neither he nor John had taken notice of, when only stooping they looked in: and that is, that this head binder, or napkin, was

not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself: and was plainly the effect of thought, care, and composure; and clearly showed, that the body was not taken away in a hurry, or by thieves, since everything lay in such order and decency; and which was done, either by our Lord himself, or by the angels.

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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 20:7". "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

The napkin (το σουδαριονto soudarion). Already in John 11:44 which see. This napkin for the head was in a separate place.

Rolled up (εντετυλιγμενονentetuligmenon). Perfect passive participle, predicate accusative like κειμενονkeimenon from εντυλισσωentulissō late verb, to wrap in, to roll up, already in Matthew 27:59; Luke 23:53. It was arranged in an orderly fashion. There was no haste.

By itself
(χωριςchōris). Old adverb, “apart,” “separately.”

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 20:7". "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

Napkin ( σουδάριον )

See on Luke 19:20.

Wrapped together ( ἐντετυλιγμένον )

Rev., much better, rolled up. The orderly arrangement of everything in the tomb marks the absence of haste and precipitation in the awakening and rising from the dead.

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The text of this work is public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on John 20:7". "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

Simon Peter therefore also cometh, following him, and entered into the tomb1; and he beholdeth the linen cloths lying2,
    John 20:6,7

  1. Simon Peter therefore also cometh, following him, and entered into the tomb. The impulsive, thoroughgoing nature of Peter was not content with a mere look; he entered the tomb, neither reverence nor awe keeping him out.

  2. And he beholdeth the linen cloths lying. The sight which he saw puzzled him. Why should those who removed the body pause to unswathe it? why should they unswathe it at all? why should they fold the napkin and place it aside so carefully? But Peter left the tomb with these questions unsolved?

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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 20:7". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/john-20.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

7 And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.

Ver. 7. And the napkin that was about his head] These grave clothes were evidences of our Saviour’s resurrection, and are therefore mentioned by the evangelist. But what shift made Paleottus, Archbishop of Bonony, for matter, who wrote a great book of the shadow of Christ’s dead body in the sindon or linen cloth, wherein it was wrapped! This book was also commented upon by the professor of divinity there. Had not these men little to do? Did they not, as one saith,

" Magno conatu magnas nugas agere?

Tenet insanabile multos-Seribendi Cacoethes."

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on John 20:7". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/john-20.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

See Poole on "John 20:6"

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on John 20:7". 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

7.Wrapped’ in a place by itself—That the clothes and napkin were carefully folded and deposited, indicated that there had been no violence or pillage. The whole was as if a sleeper had risen from his couch, arranged the clothes, and departed.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on John 20:7". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/john-20.html. 1874-1909.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

John 20:7. What he saw was significant; the linen wrappings lying, and the napkin which had been on His head not lying with the linen cloths, but separately folded up in a place by itself. The first circumstance was evidence that the body had not been hastily snatched away for burial elsewhere. Had the authorities or any one else taken the body, they would have taken it as it was. The second circumstance gave them even stronger proof that there had been no hurry. The napkin was neatly folded and laid “into one place,” the linens being in another. They felt in the tomb as if they were in a chamber where one had divested himself of one set of garments to assume another. [Euthymius is here interesting and realistic.] , sudarium, from sudo, I sweat.

 

 

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Bibliographical Information
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on John 20:7". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/john-20.html. 1897-1910.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

napkin. See John 11:44.

about = upon. Greek. epi. App-104.

with. Greek. meta. App-104.

wrapped together = rolled, or coiled round and round. Greek. entuliseo. Used elsewhere, only in Matthew 27:59. Luke 23:53, of the linen cloth. Here it implies that the cloth had been folded round the head as a turban is folded, and that it lay still in the form of a turban. The linen clothes also lay exactly as they were when swathed round the body. The Lord had passed out of them, not needing, as Lazarus (John 11:44), to be loosed. It was this sight that convinced John (John 20:8).

in = into. Greek. eis. App-104.

a place by itself = one place apart.

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on John 20:7". "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 the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.

And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes - loosely, as if hastily thrown down, and indicative of a hurried and disorderly removal,

But wrapped ('or folded') together in a place by itself - showing with what grand tranquility "the Living One" had walked forth from "the dead." (See the note at Luke 24:5.) 'Doubtless,' says Bengel, 'the two attendant angels (John 20:12) did this service for the Rising One; the one disposing of the linen clothes, the other of the napkin.' But perhaps they were the acts of the Risen One Himself, calmly laying aside, as of no further use, the garments of His mortality, and indicating the absence of all haste in issuing from the tomb.

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 20:7". "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

(7) And the napkin, that was about his head.—Comp. Note on John 11:44.

Not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together . .—This was not seen from without (John 20:5), but was in a separate place, perhaps on the inner side of the sepulchre. In this description and in this verse the minute knowledge and remembrance of an eye-witness reaches its climax. The very fact that the napkin was folded did not escape the writer’s eye, nor fade from his memory.

Then went in also that other disciple . . .—If the vivid details of this picture impress us with the fact that we are in the presence of an eye-witness, none the less do the traits of character remind us of all that we know from other sources of the actors in the scene. The bold impetuosity of St. Peter, and the gentle reverence of St. John, are represented in him who quickly entered into the sepulchre, and in him who stood gazing into it, and afterwards went in. He went in, “therefore,” as the original exactly means, because he heard from Peter of what he had seen.

And he saw, and believed.—The gentler character was also the more receptive, and this appears to be intimated in this verse. Nothing is said of St. Peter’s faith, but St. John seems to unveil for us the inner history of his own spiritual life. The word for “see” is different from either of those used before in John 20:5-6. (Comp. Luke 10:23.) It is not that he saw, as from a distance, nor yet that he beheld that which was immediately presented to the gaze; it is not that he saw in any merely physical sense, but that he saw with the eye of the mind, and grasped the truth which lay beneath the phenomena around him. He saw, and he who had believed before, found in this fact the stepping-stone to a higher faith. (Comp. Note on John 2:11.)

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Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on John 20:7". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/john-20.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.
11:44
Reciprocal: Luke 24:3 - General

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on John 20:7". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/john-20.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

7.And the napkin which was about his head. When the Evangelist says, that a napkin was wrapped about his head, this refutes the falsehood of the Papists, who pretend that the whole body was sewed up in one linen garment, which they hold out to the wretched populace, calling it “the holy winding-sheet.” (194) I say nothing about their gross ignorance of the Latin language, which led them to suppose that the word napkin denoting what was used for wiping the sweat from the face, such as a handkerchief (195)signified a covering for the whole body; nor do I say any thing about their impudence in boasting that they have this very napkin in five or six different places. But this gross falsehood is intolerable, because it openly contradicts the evangelical history. To this is added a fabulous miracle, which they have contrived, to this effect, that the likeness of Christ’s body continued to be visible in the linen cloth. I appeal to you, if such a miracle had been wrought, would nothing have been said about it by the Evangelist, who is so careful to relate events which were not of so great importance? Let us be satisfied with this simple view of the matter, that Christ, by laying aside the tokens of death, intended to testify that he had clothed himself with a blessed and immortal life.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 20:7". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-20.html. 1840-57.