Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

John 20:8

So the other disciple who had first come to the tomb then also entered, and he saw and believed.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Faith;   Jesus, the Christ;   Jesus Continued;   John;   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 Gospel According to;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Beloved Disciple;   History;   Hour;   John;   John, the Gospel of;   Mary;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - John, Gospel of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Cave ;   Faith ;   Peter;   Sergius Paulus;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Grave;   Mary Magdalene ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Chief parables and miracles in the bible;   Smith Bible Dictionary - John, Gospel of;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Peter, Simon;  
Devotionals:
Every Day Light - Devotion for October 20;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

That other disciple - John.

Saw - That the body was not there.

And believed - That it had been taken away, as Mary had said; but he did not believe that he was risen from the dead. See what follows.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on John 20:8". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/john-20.html. 1832.

The Biblical Illustrator

John 20:8

Then went in also that other disciple

I.
ZEALOUS PURSUIT.

II. ENLARGED KNOWLEGE

III. INCREASED FAITH. (S. S. Times.)

Unconscious influence:

In this slight turn of history we see that men are ever touching unconsciously the springs of motion in each other. Little does Peter think, as he goes straight in, that he is drawing in his brother; and as little does John think that he is following his brother. We overrun the boundaries of our personality--we flow together. There are two sorts of influence, active or voluntary, and that which is unconscious. The importance and obligation of our efforts to do good, that is, of our voluntary influence, are often insisted on; but there needs a more thorough appreciation of the influence which is insensibly exerted.

I. EXPEL THE COMMON PREJUDICE THAT THERE CAN BE NOTHING OF CONSEQUENCE IN UNCONSCIOUS INFLUENCES, BECAUSE THEY MAKE NO REPORT, AND FALL ON THE WORLD UNOBSERVED.

1. Histories and biographies tell how men have led armies, established empires, enacted laws, &c., i.e., what they do with a purpose. But what they do without a purpose they seldom even mention. So also the public laws make men responsible only for what they do with a purpose, and take no account of the mischiefs or benefits that are communicated by their example. The same is true in the discipline of families, churches, and schools; because no human government can trace such influences with sufficient certainty to make their authors responsible.

2. But you must not conclude that they are therefore insignificant.

II. THE TWOFOLD POWERS OF EFFECT AND EXPRESSION BY WHICH MAN CONNECTS WITH HIS FELLOW-MAN.

1. If we distinguish man as a creature of language, there are in him two sets or kinds of language--voluntary and involuntary; that of speech in the literal sense, and that expression of the eye, the face, the look, the gait, the tone. Speech, or voluntary language, is a door to the soul, that we may open or shut at will; the other is a door that stands open evermore.

2. Then if we go over to the subjects of influence, we find every man endowed with two inlets of impression; the ear and the understanding for the reception of speech, and the sympathetic powers for tinder to those sparks of emotion revealed by looks, tones, manners, &c. And these sympathetic powers are inlets, open on all sides to the understanding and character. Many have gone so far as to maintain that the look or expression, and even the very features of children are often changed by exclusive intercourse with nurses and attendants; but we shall find it scarcely possible to doubt that simply to look on bad and malignant faces, to become familiarized to them, is enough permanently to affect the character of persons of mature age. How dangerous, e.g., for a man to become accustomed to sights of cruelty! No more is it a thing of indifference to become accustomed to look on the manners, and receive the bad expression of any kind of sin. The door of involuntary communication is always open. But how very seldom, in comparison, do we undertake by means of speech to influence others!

3. It is by one of these modes of communication that we are constituted members of voluntary society, and by the other, parts of a general mass, or members of involuntary society. You are all, in a certain view, individuals; you are also, in another view, parts of a common body--be it the family, the Church, the state. And observe how far this involuntary communication and sympathy results in what we call the national or family spirit.

Sometimes this spirit takes a religious or an irreligious character. What was the national spirit of France--e.g., at a certain time, but a spirit of infidelity? What is the religious spirit of Spain but a spirit of bigotry? What is the family spirit in many a house but the spirit of gain or pleasure? Far down in the secret foundations of life and society, there lie concealed great laws and channels of influence, which often escape our notice altogether, but which are as gravity to the general system of God’s works.

4. But these are general considerations. I now proceed to add some proofs of a more particular nature.

III. THE ACTIVE INFLUENCE OF MEN IS DUE, IN A PRINCIPAL DEGREE, TO THAT INSENSIBLE INFLUENCE by which their arguments, reproofs, and persuasions are secretly invigorated.

1. It is not mere words which turn men; it is the heart mounting uncalled into the expression of the features; the look beaming with goodness; the tone, the moral character of the man that speaks is likely to be well represented in his manner. If without heart or interest you attempt to move another, the involuntary man tells what you are doing in a hundred ways at once. A hypocrite, endeavouring to exert a good influence, only tries to convey by words what the lying look, and the faithless affectation, or dry exaggeration of his manner perpetually resist.

2. Men dislike to be swayed by direct, voluntary influence, and are, therefore, best approached by conduct and feeling, and the authority of simple worth, which seem to make no purposed onset. Now, it is on this side of human nature that Christ visits us, preparing lust that kind of influence which the Spirit of truth may wield with the most persuasive and subduing effect. It is the grandeur of His character which constitutes the chief power of His ministry, not His miracles or teachings apart from His character. The Scripture writers have much to say in this connection of the image of God; and an image, you know, is that which simply represents, not that which acts, or reasons, or persuades. And here is the power of Christ--it is what of God’s beauty, love, truth, and justice shines through Him.

IV. INFERENCES.

1. That it is impossible to live in this world and escape responsibility. You cannot live without exerting influence. If you had the seeds of a pestilence in your body, you would not have a more active contagion than you have in your tempers, tastes, and principles. You say that you mean well; that you mean to injure no one. Is your example harmless? Is it ever on the side of God and duty? You cannot doubt that others are continually receiving impressions from your character. As little can you doubt that you must answer for these impressions. By a mere look or glance, you are conveying the influence that shall turn the scale of some one’s immortality.

2. The true philosophy or method of doing good. It is, first of all and principally, to be good--to have a character that will of itself communicate good. It is a mistake, sad or ridiculous, to make mere stir synonymous with doing good. The Christian is called a light, not lightning.

3. Our doctrine shows how the preaching of Christ is often so unfruitful, and especially in times of spiritual coldness. It is not because truth ceases to be truth, nor of necessity, because it is preached in a less vivid manner, but because there are so many influences preaching against the preacher. He is one--the people are many; his attempt to convince and persuade is a voluntary influence. Their lives are so many unconscious influences. He preaches the truth, and they are preaching the truth down; and how can he prevail against so many, and by a kind of influence so unequal? When the people of God are glowing with spiritual devotion to Him and love to men the case is different. Then they are all preaching with the preacher, and making an atmosphere of warmth for his words to fall in. Great is the company of them that publish the truth, and proportionally great its power. (H. Bushnell, D. D.)

Unconscious influence:

A young man, away from home, slept in the same room with another young man, a stranger. Before retiring for the night, he knelt down, as was his wont, and silently prayed. His companion had long resisted the grace of God; but this noble example aroused him, and was the means of his awakening. In old age he testified, after a life of rare usefulnesss--“Nearly half a century has rolled away, with all its multitudinous events, since then; but that little chamber, that humble couch, that silent, praying youth, are still present to my imagination, and will never be forgotten amid the splendours of heaven and through the ages of eternity.” (Pulpit Treasury.)

Incidental results:

It is told of Thorwaldsen, the Danish sculptor, that when he returned to his native land with those rare works of art which have made his name immortal, the servants, who unpacked the statuary, scattered upon the ground the straw which was wrapped around the marble works. There were unseen seeds in that straw, and soon there were flowers from the gardens of Rome blooming in the gardens of Copenhagen. The artist, while pursuing his glorious purpose and leaving magnificent results in marble, was unconsciously scattering sweet flowers, whose beauty and perfume were to refresh and gladden his native city years after his hand was as cold as the chisel it once so magically moved. (Pulpit Treasury.)

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Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "John 20:8". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/john-20.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

Then entered in therefore the other disciple also, who came first to the tomb, and he saw, and believed.

This is the climax of the whole paragraph regarding fine cloths. It resulted in John's everlasting faith that Jesus had risen from the dead. There were three elements of this convincing sign: the open grave, the absence of the body, and the undisturbed linen cloths. As for the reason why the stone was removed (supernaturally), it cannot be viewed as a means of letting the Lord out, but as a means of letting his disciples in for the purpose of beholding and being convinced of his resurrection.

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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 20:8". "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

Then went in also the other disciple,.... John, being animated by the example of Peter, went down into the sepulchre likewise; whither Peter also might beckon, or call him, to be witness with him of the order and situation in which things lay:

which came first to the sepulchre; yet went last into it; so it was, that the first was last, and the last first:

and he saw; the linen clothes lie in one place, and the napkin folded up in order, lying by itself in another:

and believed; that the body was not there, but either was taken away, or was raised from the dead; but whether as yet he believed the latter is doubtful, by what follows; unless what follows is considered as an illustration, especially of the faith of John, that he should believe the resurrection of Christ, though till now he did not know nor understand the Scriptures that spake of it.

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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 20:8". "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

Then went in … that other disciple which came first to the sepulchre — The repetition of this, in connection with his not having gone in till after Peter, seems to show that at the moment of penning these words the advantage which each of these loving disciples had of the other was present to his mind.

and he saw and believed — Probably he means, though he does not say, that he believed in his Lord‘s resurrection more immediately and certainly than Peter.

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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 20:8". "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

Then therefore (τοτε ουνtote oun). After Peter in time and influenced by the boldness of Peter.

And he saw and believed (και ειδεν και επιστευσενkai eiden kai episteusen). Both aorist active indicative (second and first). Peter saw more after he entered than John did in his first glance, but John saw into the meaning of it all better than Peter. Peter had more sight, John more insight. John was the first to believe that Jesus was risen from the tomb even before he saw him. According to Luke 24:12 Peter went away “wondering” still. The Sinaitic Syriac and 69 and 124 wrongly read here “they believed.” John was evidently proud to be able to record this great moment when he believed without seeing in contrast to Thomas (John 20:29). Peter and John did not see the angels.

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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 20:8". "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

Believed

This word is explained by what follows. He believed (at length) that Jesus was risen; for up to this time ( οὐδέπω ) he, with his fellow-disciple (plural, ᾔδεισαν ) knew not, etc. The singular number, he believed, as Meyer profoundly remarks, “only satisfies the never-to-be-forgotten personal experience of that moment, though it does not exclude the contemporaneous faith of Peter also.” On knew ( ᾔδεισαν ), see on John 2:24.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on John 20:8". "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

Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed.

He saw — That the body was not there, and believed - That they had taken it away as Mary said.

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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.
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Wesley, John. "Commentary on John 20:8". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/john-20.html. 1765.

The Fourfold Gospel

Then entered in therefore the other disciple also, who came first to the tomb1, and he saw, and believed2.

  1. Then entered in therefore the other disciple also, who came first to the tomb. Assured that the grave was now empty, and emboldened by the example of Peter, John now entered it.

  2. And he saw, and believed. As he looked upon its evidences of quietude and order, the truth flashed upon his mind that Jesus himself had removed the bandages, and had himself departed from the tomb, as the firstborn from the dead. Here, then, was the first belief and the first believer in the resurrection.

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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 20:8". "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, и уверовал. Некоторые толкуют это весьма бездушно: Иоанн уверовал в то, что услышал от Марии. А именно: что тело Христово кто-то унес. Но слово «уверовал», особенно когда оно употребляется без добавлений, никогда не несет такого смысла. И не мешает то, что Иоанн и Петр вернулись домой, еще пребывая в сомнениях. Ведь несколько выше Иоанн воспользовался этим выражением, означая их возрастание в вере. Лука так же говорит, что Петр поразился, увидев могилу в таком состоянии. Он хочет сказать, что ему на ум пришло нечто больше того, о чем рассказала Мария. Они часто слышали из уст Христовых то, что увидели теперь своими глазами, однако раньше это ускользало из их душ. Теперь же, увидев нечто новое, они начали думать о Христе в божеском смысле, хотя были еще далеки от чистой и твердой веры. Итак, Иоанн обвиняет самого себя и признается, что начал верить лишь тогда, когда увидел знаки Христова воскресения. К тому же, он попрекает себя и братьев в том, что не только забыл Христовы слова, но еще и не знал Писаний. Недостаток веры он приписывает именно этому незнанию. Отсюда можно вывести полезное наставление: когда познание о Христе от нас сокрыто, обвинять нужно нашу собственную вялость. Ведь мы не как подобает преуспеваем в Писании, являющем силу и величие Христово.

Чтобы не делать ненужных обобщений, отметим: воскресение Христово обозначено неясно и как бы скрытно. Однако для внимательных читателей свидетельств вполне достаточно. Павел доказывает в Деяниях (13:34): Христос должен был воскреснуть, поскольку Бог возвестил через Исаию (55:3): в Его Царстве утвердится обещанная Давиду милость. Неопытные люди думают, будто это сказано не к месту. Однако всякий, знающий начала веры и образованный в Писании, легко признает, что рассуждение здесь вполне правильно. Ведь Христос должен навеки утвердить для нас благодать Божию, следовательно, Ему Самому надлежит жить вечно.

Имеется множество подобных мест, которые здесь не стоит цитировать. Так что ограничимся лишь тремя. В Пс.15:10 сказано: не позволишь Святому Твоему увидеть тление. Это пророчество Петр и Павел относят ко Христу. И заслуженно, поскольку никто из сынов Адама не избежал этого тления. Итак, здесь утверждается бессмертие Христово. Не подлежит сомнению, что ко Христу относится и следующий отрывок: Сказал Господь Господу моему, сиди одесную Меня, доколе положу врагов Твоих в подножие ног Твоих (Пс.109:1). Смерть же будет уничтожена только в последний день. Значит Христу приписывается царство до скончания века, а этого не могло бы быть, если бы Он Сам не жил вечно. Но яснее всех говорит Исаия, который, предсказав смерть Христову, затем добавляет: род Его неизъясним (53:8). В итоге, следует верить: учение Писания настолько полно и совершенно, что лишь его незнанию надо приписывать недостаток нашей веры.

 

 

 

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 20:8". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-20.html. 1840-57.

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

EASTER THOUGHTS

‘Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed.’

John 20:8

We have sung in faith and with joy our Easter hymn, ‘Jesus Christ is risen to-day; our triumphant holy day, Alleluia.’

What, then, are our lessons?

I. The Risen Christ is the giver of pardon.—‘He died for our sins, and was raised again for our justification,’ and we cannot receive His grace of life and joy till we have received His grace of forgiveness. This is the true order in the teaching of the Scriptures, and therefore in the teaching of the Church.

II. The Risen Christ is the giver of joy.—This should follow on pardon, and this Christ would bring to us on Easter Day. Does a gloomy Christian commend the religion of Him Who brought Easter gladness to His people?

III. The Risen Christ is the giver of life through His Spirit.—What do we understand by the life Christ brought? ‘This is life eternal’—the Divine life—the spiritual life—begun here, perfected hereafter—‘to know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ Whom Thou hast sent.’

IV. The Risen Christ has a message for mourners and for those who draw near the dark valley.

—Bishop R. F. L. Blunt.

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Nisbet, James. "Commentary on John 20:8". Church Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/john-20.html. 1876.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

8 Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed.

Ver. 8. And he saw and believed] i.e. He believed his own eyes, that the Lord’s body was not in the sepulchre; but, as Mary Magdalene had told them, so they misbelieved, that it was taken away to some other place, further from Calvary, for honour’s sake, that he might not lie buried with the wicked. Hence it is that in the next verse it is added, that "as yet they knew not the Scripture."

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on John 20:8". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/john-20.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

John 20:8. And believed. The plain interpretation of this passage seems to be, that John entering into the sepulchre, saw every thing as above related, and consequently believed, not that Christ was risen, but that the body was taken away, as Mary Magdalene had informed them: for the apology which he immediately subjoins, evidently proves that a belief in the resurrection could not be meant; because St. John declares that they knew not, they had not the least idea of those scriptures which foretold his resurrection from the dead. See the note on Luke 24:11.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on John 20:8". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/john-20.html. 1801-1803.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

8. ἐπίστευσεν] Nothing is said of Peter—did he believe too? I think not;—and that John modestly suppresses it. But what did John believe? Was it merely, “corpus fuisse translatum, ut dixerat Maria?” (Bengel, so August., Erasm., Grot., Stier, Ebrard.) Surely not; the facts which he saw would prevent this conclusion: nor does John so use the word πιστεύειν. He believed that Jesus was risen from the dead. He received into his mind, embraced with his assent, THE FACT OF THE RESURRECTION, for the first time. He did this, on the ocular testimony before him; for as yet neither of them knew the Scripture, so as to be à priori convinced of the certainty that it would be so. But (see above) Peter does not seem to have as yet received this fact;—accounting probably for what he saw as Mary had done. Lampe beautifully says “Concludimus, ab hoc momento in ipsis monumenti tenebris animum Joannis fide salvifica resurrectionis Jesu, tanquam novo quodam orti solis justitiæ radio, collustratum fuisse.”

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on John 20:8". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/john-20.html. 1863-1878.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

John 20:8. εἶδε, καὶ ἐπίστευσεν, saw, and believed) He saw that the body of Jesus was not there, and he believed that it had been removed elsewhere, as Mary Magdalene had said, John 20:2, [not, he believed in the resurrection of Jesus]: comp. the following verse, “For as yet they knew not the Scripture, that He must rise again.”

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on John 20:8". 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 seeing Peter adventure in, adventures also, and seeth the same things, and believeth that Christ was risen from the dead; or (as some think) that, as the women had said, somebody had taken him away.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on John 20:8". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/john-20.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

другой ученик Иоанн увидел погребальные одежды и убедился, что Иисус воскрес.

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on John 20:8". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/john-20.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

He saw, and believed; that Jesus was risen from the dead. The fact that the grave-clothes had all been left in the tomb, arranged in orderly manner, convinced him that the body of Jesus had not been taken away by friends or foes.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on John 20:8". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/john-20.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

8.He saw, and believed—Believed what? Some say he believed just what he saw, namely, that the sepulchre was empty by the absence of the body. But this is making the apostle say a very insipid thing. The word believe is often used by the apostle without an object expressed, to designate some advance in embracing the main truths of Christianity. See notes on John 2:11; John 2:22; John 14:29. That he was fully convinced of the resurrection of Christ by what he saw, as he had not previously been by the understanding of the Scriptures, is clearly implied by the next verse. But while John was convinced, Peter, though John does not say it, is amazed and sorely perplexed at the strange concurrence of events. See Luke 24:12.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on John 20:8". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/john-20.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Encouraged by Peter"s boldness John also proceeded into the tomb. There he saw (Gr. eiden, perceived intelligently) this evidence and believed what it implied. He believed that Jesus was alive. In this chapter, John carefully recorded that disciples who saw the resurrected Jesus believed on Him (cf. John 20:16; John 20:20; John 20:25; John 20:29). The writer did not explain what John believed here, but in the context of this chapter it seems clear that he believed that Jesus was alive (cf. John 2:22; John 11:25; John 16:22). The evidence of Jesus" resurrection convinced John even before he met the risen Jesus. Disciples since John can believe in Him because of this evidence too even though we have not yet seen the risen Jesus (cf. John 20:29; 1 John 1:1-4).

The writer did not say that Peter also believed. This omission does not necessarily mean that Peter failed to believe. The writer was simply confessing his own belief, not contrasting it with Peter"s reaction. Nevertheless John seems to have understood the significance of the empty tomb and the orderly grave clothes better than Peter did (cf. Luke 24:12). He evidently did not confess his belief to others then (cf. John 20:10-18).

Jesus had passed through the grave clothes and through the rocky tomb. The angel opened the tomb to admit the disciples, not to release Jesus ( Matthew 28:2).

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on John 20:8". "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 20:8. Then went in therefore the other disciple also, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw and believed. It is certainly not a belief of the statement of Mary that is expressed in this last word. As John stood gazing on the signs which bore their silent witness that the body of Jesus had not been taken away by violent hands, the truth revealed itself to him,—that Jesus had of Himself left the tomb. But even more than this is probably intended by the word ‘believed.’ To receive the truth of the Resurrection was to be led to a deeper and more real faith in Jesus Himself. The uncertainties, doubts, and difficulties occasioned by the events of the days just passed disappeared from John’s mind. He ‘believed’ in Jesus as being what He truly was, the Son of God, the Saviour of man. The words which follow are the reflection of the Evangelist upon the ignorance manifested by himself and by Peter as to the meaning of the prophetic word. Certainly the disciples’ belief in a risen Saviour was not the result of any assured conviction that the Resurrection was foretold in Scripture.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on John 20:8". "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 20:8. On Peter reporting what he saw . “then entered accordingly the other disciple also, who had first arrived at the tomb, and he saw and believed”. Standing and gazing at the folded napkin, John saw the truth. Jesus has Himself risen, and disencumbered Himself of these wrappings. Cf.John 11:44. It was enough for John; . He visited no other tomb; he questioned no one.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on John 20:8". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/john-20.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

He saw and believed. He did not yet believe that Jesus was risen from the dead, because he was still ignorant that he was to rise from the dead. For although the apostles had so often heard their divine Master speak in the most plain terms of his resurrection, still being so much accustomed to parables, they did not understand, and imagined something else was meant by these words. (St. Augustine, tract. 120. in Joan.)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on John 20:8". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/john-20.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

also, &c. = that other disciple also. which who.

saw. Greek. eidon. App-133.

believed (App-150.): i, e. believed that He was risen. All that He had said about rising again the third day had fallen upon dull ears. The chief priests had taken note of His words (Matthew 27:63), but the disciples had not.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on John 20:8". "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

Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed.

Then went in also that (or 'the') other disciple which came first to the sepulchre. The repetition of this, in connection with his not having gone in until after Peter, seems to show that at the moment of penning these words the advantage which each of these loving disciples had of the other was present to his mind.

And he saw and believed. Probably he means, though he does not say, that Ha believed in his Lord's resurrection more immediately and certainly than Peter.

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

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed.
and he
25,29; 1:50
Reciprocal: Mark 16:5 - entering;  Mark 16:13 - neither;  John 2:22 - and they

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on John 20:8". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/john-20.html.

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

Ver. 8. "Then went in also that other disciple which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw and believed."

We must not interpret, "He believed what Mary had said about the emptiness of the grave," as, strangely enough, Augustin, Luther, and Bengel do. (Augustin: "What did he see, what did he believe? He saw the empty sepulchre, and believed what the woman had said, that He was taken away from the sepulchre.") For that would have required to be more specifically stated; it is opposed to the emphatic meaning of the term believe, especially in the writings of John (comp. on John 19:35); and it is not in keeping with the parallel words of Luke concerning Peter, "wondering in himself at that which was come to pass," θαυμάζων τὸ γεγονός,—wherein there was at least a dawn of faith, and which shows, as Calvin says, that something greater and higher came into his mind than mere wonder. But we must not at once explain, "He saw and believed that Jesus was risen." That also would have required to be more expressly declared. The faith here meant must needs be a faith in Christ absolutely, in the same general sense as the word πιστεύειν is used also in ver. 25. The faith developed here was faith that Jesus was the Christ the Son of God, ver. 31, and that which Thomas avowed, ver. 28, "My Lord and my God:" comp. the πεπίστευκας, in ver. 29, which is based upon this word of Thomas. Faith in the resurrection was involved in this broader faith; it was a part of the whole.

Faith in Christ is an empty delusion, if there is no faith in His resurrection, which is the immediate effect and evidence of His Messianic dignity and Divine Sonship.

That so slender a circumstance evoked faith in John, is explained by the fact, that this event had in a variety of ways been prepared for:—by the intelligence of Mary Magdalene; by all his experiences of the Divine dignity of Christ; by decisive foreannouncements of His own resurrection; by all that which in the Old Testament was predicted (as in Psalms 110; Isaiah 53; Zechariah 9:9-10) concerning Christ, as the Ruler over all His enemies, as entering through sufferings into His glory, as dividing the prey with the strong, as attaining a dominion over the earth, extending to its utmost bounds. Had not these solid grounds been existing, John might have been charged with the reproach of credulity. So also he would have been amenable to the charge of incredulity if he had not believed: compare what Jesus says, Luke 24:25, to the disciples of Emmaus, "O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken." In ver. 9, the Apostle himself points to these foundations of his faith. If we compare "He saw and believed" with the words to Thomas, "Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed"—to which they have an undeniable allusion—we must perceive in them the Apostle's self-accusation, that he believed not altogether without seeing, that he still required some small hold on the visible, and that for a season he had still doubted whether the Divine nature of his Lord would declare itself in the resurrection. We might draw from this self-accusation of the Apostle the conclusion that, apart from the Apostle's hardness to believe, the manifestations of the risen Lord would have been altogether needless. But, even as it was becoming that the Apostles should believe in the resurrection without these appearances of the risen Redeemer, it seemed, on the other hand, good to Him to confirm this faith by actual evidence, and thus to give it such mighty power as to overcome the world, so that the Apostles, strong in its strength, might go forth and convince all men. So is it ever with faith generally. It must be present before experience; but if it were not surely and variously confirmed by experience, it would soon become feeble, and die by degrees. "The singular ἐπίστευσε," observes Meyer, "serves to satisfy his own personal experience, never to be forgotten, of that crisis; but it is not to be regarded as excluding Simon Peter's simultaneous faith." But this singular concurs with another singular, the θαυμάζων which Luke says of Peter: he attained to a developed faith, while Peter went no further than wonder. "He believed" gives probably a key to the fact, that the disciple whom Jesus loved had no specific manifestation vouchsafed to him, while one was vouchsafed to Peter. We may, however, seek it in the pre-eminence of Peter himself.

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on John 20:8". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/john-20.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

8.And he saw and believed. It is a poor exposition which some give of these words, that John believed what he had heard Mary say, namely, that Christ’s body had been carried away; for there is no passage in which the word believe bears this meaning, especially when it is used simply and without any addition. Nor is this inconsistent with the fact, that Peter and John return home, while they are still in doubt and perplexity; for in some passages John had employed this phraseology, when lie intended to describe the increase of faith. Besides, Luke 24:12 relates that Peter wondered at seeing the sepulcher in such good order; meaning by this, that Peter thought of something greater and loftier than what Mary had told him.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 20:8". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-20.html. 1840-57.