Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

John 21:8

But the other disciples came in the little boat, for they were not far from the land, but about one hundred yards away, dragging the net full of fish.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Galilee;   Net;   Peter;   Thompson Chain Reference - Bible Stories for Children;   Children;   Home;   Pleasant Sunday Afternoons;   Religion;   Stories for Children;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Fishes;   Ships;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Fish, Fisher;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Fish;   Palestine;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Hospitality;   Miracle;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Fishing, the Art of;   Peter;   Resurrection of Christ;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Net;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Death, Second;   Dragnet;   Fish, Fishing;   John, the Gospel of;   Martha;   Presence of God;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - John, Gospel of;   Peter;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Animals;   Boat (2);   Discourse;   Draught of Fishes;   Fish, Fisher, Fishing;   Luke, Gospel According to;   Manuscripts;   Miracles;   Nets;   Pillow;   Sea of Galilee;   Ship ;   Weights and Measures;   King James Dictionary - Drag;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Miracles;   Weights and Measures;   3 To Draw, Drag;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Chief parables and miracles in the bible;   Handicraft;   Smith Bible Dictionary - John, Gospel of;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Fish;   Thomas;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Jesus of Nazareth;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Andrew;   Baptism (the Baptist Interpretation);   Fishing;   James;   Ships and Boats;   Thomas;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Christianity in Its Relation to Judaism;   New Testament;   Simon Cephas;  
Devotionals:
Every Day Light - Devotion for October 19;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Dragging the net - It is probable that this was that species of fishing in which the net was stretched from the shore out into the sea; the persons who were in the boat, and who shot the net, fetched a compass, and bringing in a hawser, which was attached to the other end of the net, those who were on shore helped them to drag it in. As the net was sunk with weights to the bottom, and the top floated on the water by corks, or pieces of light wood, all the fish that happened to come within the compass of the net were of course dragged to shore. The sovereign power of Christ had in this case miraculously collected the fish to that part where he ordered the disciples to cast the net.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on John 21:8". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/john-21.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Two hundred cubits - About 350 feet, or a little more than 20 rods.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on John 21:8". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/john-21.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

But the other disciples came in the little boat (for they were not far from the land, but about two hundred cubits off), dragging the net full of fishes.

Two hundred cubits ... is a distance of one hundred yards. That this should have been called "not far," in the light of Peter's swimming it, affords an insight into the physical vigor of the apostles. The others preserved the catch by remaining with the boat and dragging the net ashore. The circumstances of the net's not breaking is one of a number of things distinguishing this from another event involving a big catch (Luke 5:1-11).

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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 21:8". "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

And the other disciples came in a little ship,.... The same that they were fishing in, in which they came to Christ as soon as they could, not choosing to expose themselves, as Peter did; nor was it proper that they should leave the ship, and, as it was, might have hands few enough to bring ship and net, so full of fish, safe to shore; and the rather, they did not think fit to do as he did,

for they were not far from land, but, as it were, two hundred cubits; which was about an hundred yards:

dragging the net with fishes: towing the net full of fishes all along in the water, till they came to land; an emblem of laborious Gospel ministers, who being once embarked in the work of the ministry, continue in it to the end, notwithstanding all toil, labour, and difficulties that attend them; and will at last bring the souls with them they have been made useful to, with great satisfaction and joy, to their dear Lord and master.

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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 21:8". "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

the other disciples came in a little ship — by ship.

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

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

In the little boat (τωι πλοιαριωιtōi ploiariōi). Locative case of πλοιαριονploiarion (diminutive) for the larger boat (πλοιονploion John 21:3, John 21:6) could come no closer to shore. But the words seem interchangeable in John 6:17, John 6:19, John 6:21, John 6:22, John 6:24.

About two hundred cubits off (ως απο πηχων διακοσιωνhōs apo pēchōn diakosiōn). For πηχυςpēchus cubit, see Matthew 6:27 and for ως αποhōs apo see John 11:18.

Dragging
(συροντεςsurontes). Present active participle of συρωsurō for which see Acts 8:3.

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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 21:8". "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

A little ship ( τῷ πλοιαρίῳ )

The noun is diminutive. Rev., the little boat. It is hardly probable that this refers to a smaller boat accompanying the vessel. Compare the alternation of πλοῖον and πλοιάριον in John 6:17, John 6:19, John 6:21, John 6:22, John 6:24.

Two hundred cubits

A little over a hundred yards.

With fishes ( τῶν ἰχθύων )

Or, the net of the fishes. So Wyc, Rev., full of fishes.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on John 21:8". "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.

The Fourfold Gospel

But the other disciples came in the little boat (for they were not far from the land, but about two hundred cubits off)2, dragging the net [full] of fishes.

  1. But the other disciples came in the little boat . . . dragging the net [full] of fishes. The other disciples restrained their emotions, and attended to the duties of the hour.

  2. (For they were not far from the land, but about two hundred cubits off). They were about a hundred yards from the land.

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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 21:8". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/john-21.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

8 And the other disciples came in a little ship; (for they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes.

Ver. 8. And the other disciples came, &c.] They came all to Christ, but Peter sooner; he cast away all care of his fish, having the Lord to go to. It is best to be first and forwardest in a good matter; not only to make a shift to get to heaven, but to have an abundant entrance thereinto, to come bravely into the haven, by adding one grace to another, as Peter hath it, 2 Peter 1:2; 2 Peter 1:11. It is a low and unworthy strain in some (saith one) to labour after no more grace than will keep life and soul together, that is, soul and hell asunder. But that man for heaven, and heaven for him, that sets up for his mark, "the resurrection of the dead," Philippians 3:11, that is, by a metonymy of the subject for the adjunct, that perfection of holiness that accompanieth the state of the resurrection. Paul was Insatiabilis Dei cultor, insatiable worrshipper of God, saith Chrysostom.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on John 21:8". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/john-21.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

John 21:8. Two hundred cubits,)— About one hundred yards.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on John 21:8". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/john-21.html. 1801-1803.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

8.] 200 cubits = 100 yards. The lake was about five miles broad—Jos. B. J. iii. 10. 7: according to Stanley (Sinai and Palestine, p. 369), six in the widest part: according to Dr. Thomson (The Land and the Book, p. 400) nine.

ὡς ἀπό] See reff.: a mode of speech peculiar to John.

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on John 21:8". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/john-21.html. 1863-1878.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

John 21:8. γὰρ, for) These latter also (as well as Peter) were able to come quickly.— τὸ δίκτυον, the net) which had been left by Peter.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on John 21:8". 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

The other disciples came in a little fishing boat, dragging the net with fishes; probably, because it was too heavy to be lifted up into the boat.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on John 21:8". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/john-21.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

локтей около двухсот Примерно 300 футов (915 м) от берега.

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on John 21:8". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/john-21.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Two hundred cubits; about twenty rods.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on John 21:8". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/john-21.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

8.Came in a little ship—The little ship or lake-boat in which they were fishing. See note on Luke 5:2. Peter swam and they navigated to the shore.

Two hundred cubits—But a hundred and thirty-two yards.

Dragging the net with fishes—The net was doubtless of that kind which, with the first end attached to the boat, extended in a large circuit into the sea, and coming round, is fastened by the other end to the shore. As the approaches the shore the circle of the net narrows, and the enclosed fish are gradually brought to the shore. The net is sunk at the lower edge by weights, and sustained at the upper edge by corks, so as to form a perpendicular net-work for the fish encompassed by it.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on John 21:8". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/john-21.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The other disciples behaved more normally. John was one of these whom Peter left to struggle with the nets. His record of the distance and the labor involved in this task corroborates his claim to being an eyewitness of these events ( John 21:24).

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on John 21:8". "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 21:8. But the other disciples came in the little boat (for they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits off) dragging the net of fishes. While Peter takes the lead, impetuously dashing into the water (comp. Matthew 14:29), his fellow - disciples reach land more slowly. Yet they do not actually land the net: they only drag it to the shore. The landing is reserved for him who had displayed greatest earnestness and activity. All now proceeds directly towards the culminating point of the narrative,—the meal.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on John 21:8". "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 21:8. The rest came in the little boat, . Bengel correctly explains the , “Celeriter hi quoque venire poterant”. They were not far from the land, , “about one hundred yards”. , says Phrynichus, is ; we must use the form . Observe the unconscious exactness of the eye-witness. For the Hellenistic construction with . cf.John 11:18. The others came , “hauling the net of the fishes,” or “netful of the fishes”; genitive of contents, like , a cup of wine. It is needless, with Lücke, to complete the construction with , cf.John 21:11.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on John 21:8". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/john-21.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

evangelist praises Peter, and excuses the other apostles: all come to Christ; the former leaving his boat, his companions, his nets and prey, arrives more expeditiously; the latter with the impediments of the boat and nets, &c. &c. arrive also, but not so readily; a just figure this of religious, who leave all to go directly to God, and of those who remain in the world, and have to navigate a treacherous element with imminent danger of shipwreck. (Maldonatus) --- The poet Sedulius writes thus on the nets: Pendula fluctivagam traxerunt retia prædam,

Per typicam noscenda viam; nam retia dignis

Lucida sunt præcepta Dei, quibus omnis in illa

Dextra parte manens concluditur, ac simul ulnis

Fertur apostolicis Domini ad vestigia Christi.

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on John 21:8". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/john-21.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

a little ship = the boat. Greek. ploiarion, dim. of ploion, John 21:3; John 21:6. Elsewhere in John 6:22, John 6:23 "boat", Mark 3:9; Mark 4:36.

from. Greek. apo. App-104.

land = the land. Greek. ge. App-129.

two, &c. = about (Greek. apo. App-104.) two, &c.: i.e. one hundred yards. See App-51.

dragging. Greek suro. Only here, Acts 8:3; Acts 14:19; Acts 17:6. Revelation 12:4. Not the same word as in John 21:6.

the net with fishes = the net of fishes.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on John 21:8". "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

And the other disciples came in a little ship; (for they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes.

And (or, 'But') the other disciples came in a little ship, [ too (Greek #3588) ploiarioo (Greek #4142)] - rather, 'in the boat,'

(For they were not far from land, but as it were ('but about') two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with [`the'] fish.

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

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(8) And the other disciples came in a little ship.—Better. . . . in the boat. The two words “ship” and “boat” ( πλοῖον and πλοιάριον) are interchanged here, as in John 6:17 et seq.

For they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits.—That is, about 100 English yards. The shortness of the distance explains how they were able to drag the net in tow. The Greek preposition used with “cubits” (literally, “two hundred cubits off”) is used of distance only by St. John (John 11:18 and Revelation 14:20).

Dragging the net with fishes.—Comp. Note on John 21:6. The Greek is more exactly,. . . . with the (literally, of the) fishes—i.e., those with which the net had been filled (John 21:6).

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on John 21:8". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/john-21.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And the other disciples came in a little ship; (for they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes.
cubits
Deuteronomy 3:11
Reciprocal: Mark 8:7 - fishes

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on John 21:8". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/john-21.html.

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

Ver. 8. "And the other disciples came in a little ship (for they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits), dragging the net with fishes."— γάρ explains and justifies the disciples' having come, without following Peter's example, to shore. So slight was the distance from the land, that the difference between them could not be great. Their justification is completed by the σύροντες, "dragging the net." Peter did right in leaving the ship, and the others did right in remaining. The exact statement of the distance on the lake corresponds to that in ch. John 6:19. John here, as in Revelation 21:17, measures by ells. The peculiar use of ἀπό with the meaning "distance from" is only found in John, in the Gospel and the Apocalypse: comp. on ch. John 11:18; with the "about fifteen furlongs off" corresponds very strictly the "as it were two hundred cubits" here. πλοιάριον is here used; previously πλοῖον. We find the same interchange between the two words in ch. John 6:17 seq.

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on John 21:8". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/john-21.html.