Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

John 21:23

Therefore this saying went out among the brethren that that disciple would not die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but only, "If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you?"
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Jesus Continued;   Peter;   Predestination;   Thompson Chain Reference - Brethren;   Church;   Family;   Spiritual;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - John the apostle;   John, gospel of;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Jesus Christ;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Resurrection of Christ;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Canon of the New Testament;   Tradition;   Holman Bible Dictionary - John;   John, the Gospel of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Jesus Christ;   John the Apostle;   John, Gospel of;   Peter;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Day of Judgment;   Discourse;   John (the Apostle);   Smith Bible Dictionary - John, Gospel of;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Chronology of the New Testament;   Parousia;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - New Testament;   Simon Cephas;  

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Then went this saying … - This mistake arose very naturally:

1.From the words of Jesus, which might be easily misunderstood to mean that he should not die; and,

2.It was probably confirmed when it was seen that John survived all the other apostles, had escaped all the dangers of persecution, and was leading a peaceful life at Ephesus. This mistake John deemed it proper to correct before he died, and has thus left on record what Jesus said and what he meant.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on John 21:23". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/john-21.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

This saying therefore went forth among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, that he should not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?

Thus, John laid to rest the tradition that had developed to the effect that the Lord would return in John's lifetime (the propositions being equivalent). At the time he wrote John, the apostle was very old; and it was apparent to him and others that the days of his pilgrimage were drawing to a close; and, in view of the probable event of his death, he did not wish unbelievers to have an excuse for saying that the prophecy of the Lord had failed. He therefore made it clear that no such prophecy had ever been uttered.

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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 21:23". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/john-21.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Then went this saying abroad among the brethren,.... It not being rightly understood by some one or more of the disciples present: it was divulged with a wrong sense annexed to it among other persons; who, though not of the eleven, yet were followers of Christ, children of God, that belonged to the same family, and were, in a spiritual relation, brethren to each other, and to the apostles:

that that disciple should not die; but should remain till the second coming of Christ, and be found among them that shall be then alive, and be changed. And such a notion not only was among the ancients; but Beza, in his notes on this text, tells us of a strolling wicked fellow, that gave out that he was the Apostle John; and was encouraged by some, particularly Postellus, a Sorbonic doctor, but was afterwards burnt at Tholouse.

Yet Jesus said not unto him he shall not die, but if I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? These are the words of John himself, the disciple spoken of, who gives a true and just account of Christ's words, freeing them from the false sense that was put upon them; which shows his ingenuous disposition, his integrity and love of truth; being unwilling that such an error should obtain among the disciples, and pass in the world for truth.

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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 21:23". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/john-21.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die — into which they the more easily fell from the prevalent expectation that Christ‘s second coming was then near at hand.

yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die — The Evangelist is jealous for His Master‘s honor, which his death might be thought to compromise if such a misunderstanding should not be corrected.

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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 21:23". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/john-21.html. 1871-8.

People's New Testament

Went this saying abroad. At the time John wrote these words he did not understand just what the saying might mean.

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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 21:23". "People's New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pnt/john-21.html. 1891.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

That that disciple should not die (οτι ο ματητης εκεινος ουκ αποτνησκειhoti ho mathētēs ekeinos ouk apothnēskei) (present active indicative), because Peter or others misunderstood what Jesus meant as John now carefully explains. He was rebuking Peter‘s curiosity, not affirming that John would live on till the Master returned. John is anxious to set this matter right.

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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 21:23". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/john-21.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Should not die ( οὐκ ἀποθνήσκει )

Literally, dieth not.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on John 21:23". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/john-21.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?

The brethren — That is, the Christians. Our Lord himself taught them that appellation, John 20:17.

Yet Jesus did not say to him, that he should not die — Not expressly. And St. John himself, at the time of writing his Gospel, seems not to have known clearly, whether he should die or not.

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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 21:23". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/john-21.html. 1765.

The Fourfold Gospel

This saying therefore went forth among the brethren, that that disciple should not die1: yet Jesus said not unto him, that he should not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what [is that] to thee?

  1. This saying therefore went forth among the brethren, that that disciple should not die. Our Lord's words were a puzzle when John wrote his Gospel, and to many they are a puzzle still. For an able treatment of the various interpretations of this difficult passage, see W. Johnson's Commentary on John. There is no question that John died. The site of his grave at Ephesus was well known to early Christians. The coming of the Lord for which he tarried was that in the isle of Patmos, of which he tells us in the Book of Revelation. This passage, therefore, shows that John wrote his Gospel before his exile in Patmos.

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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 21:23". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/john-21.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

И пронеслось. Евангелист рассказывает, что из неправильно понятых слов Христа у учеников возникло заблуждение о бессмертии Иоанна. Он имеет в виду учеников, присутствовавших при сказанном, то есть – апостолов. Не потому, что только к ним относится имя братьев, но потому, что они были начатками святого братского единства. Также возможно, что кроме этих одиннадцати имеются в виду и другие, ходившие тогда с ними. Слово же «пронеслось» означает, что заблуждение это рассеялось повсюду. Однако, вероятно, оно не было долгим, но длилось лишь до тех пор, пока просвещенные Святым Духом апостолы не стали яснее думать о царстве Христовом, отбросив все грубые выдумки. Кроме того, рассказанное тогда об апостолах происходит и в наши дни. И не удивительно. Ведь если были обмануты близкие ко Христу ученики, тем более к этому склонны те, кто не учился так долго в Его школе. Однако отметим, откуда именно происходит этот порок. Христос учит нас с пользою, ради назидания, и при том вполне ясно. Но мы превращаем свет во тьму своими превратными выдумками, рождаемыми нашим разумением. Христос не хотел говорить об Иоанне что-либо конкретное. Он хотел лишь утвердить Свою полную власть над Его жизнью и смертью. Так что учение само по себе было простым и полезным. Однако ученики вообразили больше, чем было сказано. Поэтому, чтобы избежать этой опасности, научимся мыслить трезво. Распутство же нашего разума в том, что он всеми силами стремится к суете. Отсюда произошло то, что и это заблуждение, несмотря на прямое предупреждение Евангелиста, возобладало в нашем мире. Ведь люди придумали, будто Иоанн приказал вырыть себе могилу и сам в нее сошел. Спустя же три дня она была найдена пустой. Так что мы видим: заблуждениям не будет предела, если мы, в простоте приняв сказанное Господом, не отбросим все чуждые выдумки.

 

 

 

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 21:23". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-21.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

23 Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?

Ver. 23. Among the brethren] So are all Christians. Sanctior est copula cordis quam corporis.

That that disciple should not die] Some to this day deny that he is dead. Beza tells us of a certain impostor in his remembrance, that gave out at Paris that he was John the Evangelist, and was afterward burnt at Toulouse. Some have fabled, that after he had commanded his grave to be made, and had laid himself down in it, the next day it was found empty, and he raptured up alive into Paradise, whence he shall come together with Enoch and Elias at the last day to confound Antichrist. O quantum est in rebus inane! It is not for us to "follow cunningly devised fables," 2 Peter 1:16, but to attend to that sure word of truth, as unto a light shining, &c., John 21:19, accounting every particle of it precious, since the change of one letter may breed so much error and cause so much contention.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on John 21:23". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/john-21.html. 1865-1868.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Observe here, how strangely our Saviour's words were mistaken and misunderstood by his own disciples; they apprehend presently that John should not die, and so it passed current among them.

From hence we may note, how much the wisdom of God is, and ought to be admired, in giving us a written word, and tying us to it, when we see erroneous traditions so soon on foot in the world, and our Saviour's own speeches so much mistaken, and that by wise and holy men themselves in the purest times. Much more may the words of others be misreported, and wrested contrary to their sense and meaning. How great then is the vanity and uncertainty of oral tradition! Men are naturally prone to mistake, to mistake themselves, and to mistake one another. The more to be admired is their over-daring ignorance, who think they cannot err. Such a haughty opinion of a man's self, concludes him to be neither good nor wise.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on John 21:23". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/john-21.html. 1700-1703.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

23.] τοὺς ἀδελφούς is an expression of later date than any usually occurring in the Gospels. It is however frequent in the Acts. see reff.

ἐξῆλθ. εἰς (see reff.) is more in the manner of the other Gospels.

καὶ οὐκ εἶπ.…] This καί is much in John’s manner, see ch. John 16:32; not meaning but,—rather, and yet.

The following words are to me a proof that this chapter was written during John’s lifetime. If written by another person after John’s death, we should certainly, in the refutation of this error, have read, ἀπέθανεν γάρ, καὶ ἐτάφη, as in Acts 2:29.

This notion of John’s not having died, was prevalent in the early Church,—so that Augustine himself seems almost to credit the story of the earth of John’s tomb heaving with his breath. Tract. cxxiv. 2. “The English sect of the ‘seekers’ under Cromwell expected the reappearance of the Apostle as the forerunner of the coming of Christ,” Tholuck. See Trench on the Miracles, edn. 2, p. 467 note. The simple recapitulation of the words of the Lord shews that their sense remained dark to the writer, who ventured on no explanation of them; merely setting his own side of the apostolic duty over against that of Peter, who probably had already by following his Master through the Cross, glorified God, whereas the beloved disciple was, whatever that meant, to tarry till He came.

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on John 21:23". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/john-21.html. 1863-1878.

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

John 21:23. Hence there went forth (comp. Matthew 9:26), in consequence of this answer of Jesus, the following legend(291) among the brethren (Christians): that disciple dies not (but remains in life until the Parousia, whereupon he experiences, not death, but change, 1 Thessalonians 4:17; 1 Corinthians 15:51-52).

The legend, which correctly took ἔρχομαι in the solemn sense of Maranatha (1 Corinthians 16:22), would with reason have inferred its οὐκ ἀποθνήσκει from the word of Christ, had the latter run categorically: θέλω αὐτὸν ΄ένειν ἕως ἔρχ. From the manner, however, in which Jesus expressed Himself, a categorical judgment was derived from the conditional sentence, and consequently the case supposed by Jesus, the occurrence of which is to be left to the judgment of experience ( ἐάν, not εἰ), was proclaimed as an actually existing relation. This John exposes as an overstepping of the words of Jesus, and hence his observation intimates, that it was straightway asserted, but without reason, on the ground of that saying: this disciple dies not,—that rather the possible occurrence of the case supposed by ἐὰν θέλω must be left over to the experience of the future, without asserting by way of anticipation either the οὐκ ἀποθνήσκει or the opposite. Considering the expected nearness of the Parousia, it is conceivable enough how John himself does not in a general way declare the saying, which was in circulation about him, to be incorrect, and does not refute it (it might in truth be verified through the impending Parousia), but only refers to its conditional character (“leaves it therefore to hang in doubt,” Luther), and places it merely in its historical light, with verbally exact repetition of its source. According to others (see especially Heumann, B. Crusius, Hengstenberg), John would indicate that there is yet another coming of Jesus than that which is to take place at the close of history. But this other the expositors have here first invented, see on John 21:22.

After the death of the apostle, the legend was further expanded, to the effect that he slumbered in the grave, and by his breath moved the earth. See Introd. § 1, and generally Ittig, sel. capita hist. eccl. sec. I. p. 441 ff.

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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on John 21:23". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/john-21.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

John 21:23. λόγος, the saying) See how much more trustworthy is the written letter than a saying. The saying, even among the brethren, was without any fraudulent intention, interpolated: the hand (writing) of the apostles, applies the remedy, and the benefit of it is preserved to us even to the present day. The patrons of traditions are themselves at war both with the ancient and new books of Scripture.— ἀδελφοὺς, brethren) viz. those Seven mentioned in John 21:2, and the remaining brethren of that age, or rather those who were living when John wrote. Otherwise there would have been no need to refute the error at so late a period [as when the apostle wrote this Gospel]: the error seems to be confirmed by the fact of the apostle’s continuing to live so long. They learned the appellation, Brethren, from ch. John 20:17.— ἐκεῖνος, that disciple) This pronoun has the effect of amplifying (giving distinction or eminence to one).— οὐκ ἀποθνήσκει, doth not die) They substitute this for different words, omitting ἐὰν, ἓως, if—until, and extending (straining) too much the antithesis between the following (‘Follow’) and the remaining (‘tarry’). However they recognised the fact, that at the actual coming of the Lord, all mortality shall be abolished. This affords a specimen of the weakness of understanding which remained in the disciples before the coming of the Paraclete; nay more, a specimen of the universal want of dexterity, on the part of men, in understanding the words of Christ, especially those in the Apocalypse, of which there is given in this place a contraction.— καὶ οὐκ, and not) John carefully obviates the explanation, as foreign to the purpose and erroneous, lest an utterance should be attributed to Christ, which was not really His. For when John was dead, one thing might seem to have been foretold to him by the Lord, and a different thing to have come to pass. In the Divine words, all the points are to be precisely held fast; and we must especially guard against making any addition to them: Revelation 22:18. [For by a very slight change of the words, and such a change as may seem to be of no consequence, the genuine sense may be wrested.—V. g.] Such care did John and the other Evangelists employ in reporting the words of Christ, They have not reported all things in just so many and identically the same words; but yet altogether according to the mind (sentiment) of the Lord, so that they may be and ought to be regarded exactly the same as if they had employed just so many and identically the same words.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on John 21:23". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/john-21.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

But the disciples, knowing the particular kindness our Saviour had for John, upon these words, not duly attended to, concluded John should abide upon the earth to the second coming of Christ.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on John 21:23". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/john-21.html. 1685.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Should not die; a tradition from the days of the apostles, which was not true.

If I will that he tarry till I come; it was the business of Christ to direct with regard to the length of John’s life, and the manner of his death, and not the business of Peter. It would do him no good to be informed, and Christ would not encourage him in making useless inquiries.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on John 21:23". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/john-21.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

23.That that disciple should not die—Many in the apostolic Church put upon Jesus’s words the first meaning, namely, his living to the Second Advent; which was the true and yet the mistaken meaning. True, because it truly was not Peter’s concern if that result really took place; and mistaken, because that result did not take place. Thus John’s contemporaries are left by him to interpret the words upon their own responsibilities. They inferred that for John to live to the Advent was to escape death completely. But John, as if to disclaim all false pretensions, and dissipate all false conceptions, publishes the words just as they were uttered, and declines all interpretation. He gives the text and refuses to give any commentary. And that there may be no responsibility on his shoulder, he takes care to repeat the very identical words, and leave the matter with the reader. Did John know? His inspiration is no proof that he did know; for inspiration is as truly, though not as narrowly, limited as natural knowledge. Inspiration only knows so far as is revealed; and who knows that the meaning of these words was revealed to John? Whatever he expected, he lived peacefully at Ephesus until about the close of the first century, nearly if not quite a century old. He was buried in that city, and some of the Fathers profess to have seen his tomb. Many in Augustine’s day fancied that John lived in his own tomb, and that the earth above him heaved with his respiration. Stier tells us that the celebrated Lavater professed to have revelation of the fact, that John still lives on earth!

 

 

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on John 21:23". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/john-21.html. 1874-1909.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘This saying went forth therefore among the brethren that that disciple would not die. Yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but ‘if I will that he tarry until I come what is that to you’.’

As a ressult of this an incorrect assumption arose among some Christians (‘the brethren’) that the second coming would occur before John died. This assumption the writer now corrects by pointing out what Jesus actually did say. How important it is that we are not slipshod in interpreting the word of God.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on John 21:23". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/john-21.html. 2013.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Jesus" statement here led to a rumor that John would not die before Jesus returned. This is one of the earliest instances of people setting a date for the Lord"s return. All such attempts to identify exactly when Jesus will return go beyond Scriptural revelation.

John clarified what Jesus really did say to squelch the rumor, which was evidently circulating when he wrote this Gospel. The clarification was important because when John died some people might have falsely concluded that Jesus had not been faithful to His promise to return. Others might conclude that John"s Gospel was not trustworthy. However, Jesus had spoken of a hypothetical possibility. He had not given a promise.

"In view of the fact that in this Gospel slight variations when statements are repeated are almost universal, it is noteworthy that here the statement is repeated exactly from John 21:22. The precise words used are significant, and the writer is at pains to be accurate." [Note: Morris, p775.]

"The author"s explanation of Jesus" announcement may be taken as evidence that the disciple was still living at the time this Gospel was written and that he was the source of its content. Obviously, if he had died early, the rumor would have had no credence." [Note: Tenney, " John," p203.]

It is interesting and significant that the last words of Jesus that John recorded were about His return. This is the great hope of His believing disciples.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on John 21:23". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/john-21.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

John 21:23. This word therefore went forth among the brethren, That disciple dieth not. Yet Jesus said not unto him, He dieth not; but, If I will that he abide till I come, what is that to thee? Having reported the answer of Jesus, the Evangelist is constrained to correct a misapprehension of its meaning which had prevailed in the Church. At the same time his giving again the words of Jesus in the same form as before shows the great importance which he attached to them, and leads to the belief that something in them had for him a peculiar charm. If so, the words that attracted him could only be ‘till I come.’ It is the thought of this Second Coming that John finds to be the prominent point in the words of his Master. He beholds in them the assurance that there was an end fixed for all toil and suffering incurred in the task of witnessing for Jesus, when the Redeemer whom he loved will come again and take His disciples to Himself, that where He is there they also may be (chap. John 14:3).

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on John 21:23". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/john-21.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

John 21:23. ; “There went forth this saying among the brethren, that that disciple should not die”. John himself, however, has no such belief, because he remembers with exactness the hypothetical form of the Lord’s words, ’ Another instance of the precision with which John recalled some, at least, of the words of Jesus.

In John 21:24, the writer of the gospel is identified with the disciple whom Jesus loved, and a certificate of his truth is added. The whole verse has a strong resemblance to John 19:35, and it seems impossible to say with certainty whether they were or were not written by the evangelist himself. The might seem to imply that several united in this certificate. But who in John’s old age were there, who could so certify the truth of the gospel? They could have no personal, direct knowledge of the facts; and could merely affirm the habitual truthfulness of John. Cf. too the of John 21:25 where a return to the singular is made; but this may be because in the former clause the writer speaks in the name of several others, while in the latter he speaks in his own name. Who these others were, disciples, Ephesian presbyters, friends, Apostles, it is vain to conjecture. and refer to the whole gospel, including chap. 21. Besides the things narrated . The verse re-affirms the statement of John 20:30, adding a hyperbolical estimate of the space required to recount all that Jesus did, if each detail were separately told, .

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on John 21:23". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/john-21.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

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[BIBLIOGRAPHY]

St. Augustine, tract. 124. p. 819. D. Hanc opinionem Joannes ipse abstulit, non hoc dixisse Dominum, aperta contradictione declarans: cur emin subjungeret, non dixit Jesus, non moritur, nisi ne hominum cordibus quod falsum fuerat inhæreret? &c. So St. John Chrysostom says, he spoke this to prevent or correct this mistake. p. 528. Greek: diorthoutai.

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on John 21:23". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/john-21.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

saying. Greek. logos. See on Mark 9:32.

among = unto. Greek eis. App-104.

that. Greek. ekeinos.

should not die = is not dying: i.e. is not going to die.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on John 21:23". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/john-21.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?

Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die - into which they the more easily fell, from the prevalent belief that Christ's Second Coming was there near at hand.

Yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry until I come, what is that to thee? The Evangelist is jealous for His Master's honour, which his death might be thought to compromise if such a misunderstanding should not be corrected.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 21:23". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/john-21.html. 1871-8.

The Bible Study New Testament

23. So a report spread. This shows how precisely John remembered what Jesus had said! There can be no question that John died. His grave at Ephesus was well known among the early Christians.

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on John 21:23". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/john-21.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(23) Then (better, therefore) went this saying abroad among the brethren.—For the word “brethren” comp. Notes on Matthew 23:8 and Acts 9:30. As a general name for the disciples, it is not elsewhere found in the Gospels, but we have the key to it in our Lord’s own words to Mary Magdalene (John 20:17).

Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If. . . .—The mistake of the brethren arose from their not attending to the force of the conditional particle. They took as a statement what had been said as a supposition, and understood it in the then current belief that the Second Advent would come in their own generation. (Comp. 1 Corinthians 15:51-52; 1 Thessalonians 4:17.)

The mistake and its correction are both interesting in their bearing upon the date of the Gospel, and they furnish that kind of evidence which is perfectly natural as a growth, but which cannot possibly be made.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on John 21:23". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/john-21.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?
what
Deuteronomy 29:29; Job 28:28; 33:13; Daniel 4:35
Reciprocal: Mark 9:1 - the kingdom;  Luke 9:27 - some;  Revelation 2:25 - till

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on John 21:23". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/john-21.html.

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

Ver. 23. "Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but. If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?"

The λόγος rested upon the assumption that the coming referred to was the last coming, that with which the παλιγγενεσία was connected, Matthew 19:28 : thus it was as to those then living the period of the great change, 1 Corinthians 15:51-52, and of the rapture into the air, 1 Thessalonians 4:17,—passages which probably had their influence upon the formation of this opinion. The Apostle opposes to this opinion that there was a difference between not dying and surviving till the coming of the Lord; he intimates that there was to be a coming of the Lord before the end of the present world, so that one might live till the coming of the Lord, and then afterwards die. Heumann touches the right point here: "John teaches his readers what return of the Lord was not to be understood here. Since, that is, some Christians supposed that the Lord was speaking of His coming to the general judgment, concerning which an angel said at the ascension, ‘This Jesus will in like manner come again as ye have seen Him go into heaven,' Acts 1:11, and inferred therefore that John would not die, but remain in the world until the last day, and then be taken up with all other surviving believers into heaven,

John here testifies that Jesus had not said that he would not die. He gives it to be understood, that he, like his fellow-Apostles, would die, and consequently not survive to the last day, and the coming of the Lord in judgment; and that they therefore erred who understood the Lord's words of that His final coming."

John describes Christians as "brethren." The bond of brotherhood girded the disciples of Christ from the time that the Lord had termed them His brethren, ch. John 20:17. αὐτῷ: What is said in relation to any one is in a certain sense said to him, although the words were primarily addressed to another. It is after the manner of the Old Testament: comp. e.g. Genesis 20:2, "And Abraham said of Sarah his wife. She is my sister."

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on John 21:23". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/john-21.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

23.Then this saying went forth. The Evangelist relates that, from misunderstanding Christ’s words, an error arose among the disciples, that John would never die. He means those who were present at that conversation, that is, the Apostles; not that the name brethren belongs to them alone, but that they were the first-fruits, as it were, of that holy union. It is also possible, that, besides the eleven, he refers to others who were at that time in company with them; and by the expression, went forth, he means that this error was spread in all directions; yet probably it was not of long duration, but subsisted among them, until, being enlightened by the Holy Spirit, they formed purer and more correct views of the kingdom of Christ, having laid aside carnal and foolish imaginations. (238)

What John relates about the Apostles happens every day, and we ought not to wonder at it; for if Christ’s disciples, who belonged to his family and were intimately acquainted with him, were so egregiously mistaken, how much more are they liable to fall into mistakes, who have not been so familiarly instructed in the school of Christ? But let us also observe whence this fault arises. The teaching of Christ is useful, and for edification; that is, it is plain; but we obscure the light by our wicked inventions, which we bring to it from our own views. Christ had not intended to pronounce any thing certain or definite about John, but only to affirm that he had full power to decide about his life and death; so that the doctrine is simple and useful in itself, but the disciples imagine and contrive more than had been told them. Accordingly, in order that we may be safe from this danger, let us learn to be wise and to think soberly. But such is the wantonness of the human understanding, that it rushes with all its force into foolishness. The consequence was, that this very error, against which the Evangelist had expressly warned them to be on their guard, continued notwithstanding to gain currency in the world; for a fable has been contrived, that he ordered a ditch to be digged for him, and went down into it, and that next day it was found empty. We see, therefore, that we shall never cease to err, unless we unreservedly receive what the Lord hath taught us, and reject all inventions of men.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 21:23". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-21.html. 1840-57.