Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

John 3:34

For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for He gives the Spirit without measure.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Holy Spirit;   Jesus Continued;   John;   Minister, Christian;   Trinity;   Thompson Chain Reference - John the Baptist;   The Topic Concordance - Jesus Christ;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Christ, the Prophet;   Gift of the Holy Spirit, the;   Prophecies Respecting Christ;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Baptism;   Holy spirit;   Jesus christ;   Trinity;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Holy Spirit;   Mission;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Episcopacy;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Faith;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Baptism;   High Priest;   Holy Spirit, the;   Jesus Christ;   John the Baptist;   John, the Gospel According to;   Oil;   Prophet;   Tradition;   Zechariah, the Book of;   Holman Bible Dictionary - John, the Gospel of;   Obedience;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Gospels;   John, Gospel of;   John, Theology of;   Knowledge;   Mss;   Scribes;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Absolution;   Communion (2);   Consecrate, Consecration (2);   Dates (2);   Force;   Holiness Purity;   Holy Spirit;   Influence;   Inspiration;   James Epistle of;   John, Gospel of (Ii. Contents);   Kenosis;   Law of God;   Pre-Eminence ;   Self-Control;   Sinlessness;   Trinity (2);   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Inspiration;   Jesus, the Lord;   14 Word Words;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Priest;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Measure;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Fulness;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Baptism (Lutheran Doctrine);   Christ, Offices of;   Ephesians, Epistle to the;   Holy Spirit;   Johannine Theology, the;   Word;  
Devotionals:
Daily Light on the Daily Path - Devotion for November 5;   Every Day Light - Devotion for January 30;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

For God giveth not the Spirit by measure - He is the most perfect of all teachers, as having received the Holy Spirit as none before him ever did. Without measure - not for a particular time, people, purpose, etc., but for the whole compass of time, and in reference to all eternity. Former dispensations of the Holy Spirit made partial discoveries of infinite justice and mercy; but now the sum of justice, in requiring such a sacrifice, and the plenitude of mercy, in providing it, shall, by that Spirit with which he baptizes, be made manifest to all the children of men. It is worthy of remark that this was fully done after the outpouring of the Spirit on the day of pentecost, Acts 2:1, etc., as may be clearly seen in all the apostolic epistles. The Jews observe, that the Holy Spirit was given only in certain measures to the prophets; some writing only one book, others two. So Rab. Acba.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on John 3:34". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/john-3.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Whom God hath sent - The Messiah.

Speaketh the words of God - The truth, or commands of God.

For God giveth not the Spirit - The Spirit of God. Though Jesus was God as well as man, yet, as Mediator, God anointed him, or endowed him with the influences of his Spirit, so as to be completely qualified for his great work.

By measure - Not in a small degree, but fully, completely. The prophets were inspired on particular occasions to deliver special messages. The Messiah was continually filled with the Spirit of God. “The Spirit dwelt in him, not as a vessel, but as in a fountain, as in a bottomless ocean (Henry).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on John 3:34". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/john-3.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for he giveth not the Spirit by measure.

John 3:32, above, was a statement that what John the Baptist had seen and heard was that of which the herald had borne witness; but the words were equally applicable to Jesus Christ and his message; and here the same declaration is made in such a manner as to show that Jesus is the one named.

He giveth not the Spirit by measure ... The descent of the dove alighting and remaining on Jesus (John 1:33) is in view here, leading to the conclusion that it was a measureless gift of the Spirit received by Jesus, and the inevitable corollary that Jesus spoke the true words of God. These words further indicate that Jesus was in full possession of God's Spirit, not merely in some manifestation of it, or some portion of it, but to the fullest and total extent. Jesus said to the disciples that "The Holy Spirit abideth with you, and shall be in you," a clear reference to himself as being the perfect embodiment of the Spirit. On the other hand, Christian disciples receive merely "an earnest" of the Holy Spirit, and not even the apostles possessed the Spirit in the total sense that Jesus did.

Copyright Statement
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 3:34". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/john-3.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

For he whom God hath sent,.... Still meaning Christ, who was sent in human nature, in the likeness of sinful flesh, in the fulness of time; to be the Saviour of the world, of that which was lost, of the chief of sinners; and to preach the glad tidings of the Gospel, which is more especially here designed; and for which he was abundantly qualified by the Spirit of God, with which he was anointed:

speaketh the words of God; the words which God gave unto him; the doctrines of grace; the word of truth; the word of faith; the word of righteousness; the word of reconciliation; the words of salvation and eternal life; the whole mind and will of God; and whatever he spoke were as true as the oracles of God, and were such.

For God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him, as he did to the prophets of the Old Testament, and to the apostles of the New; and to the ordinary ministers of the word, who have gifts differing one from another; to one is given one gift of the Spirit; and to another, another gift, as the Spirit pleaseth; and to everyone is given grace, or gifts of grace, according to the measure of the gift of Christ, Ephesians 4:7. To which agrees what the Jews sayF1Vajikra Rabba, sect. 15. fol. 157. 3. of the Holy Spirit, and his gifts.

"Says R. Joden bar R. Simeon, even the waters which descend from above are not given, but, במדה, "in measure".--Says R. Acha, even the Holy Spirit, which dwells upon the prophets, does not dwell, but במשקל, "in weight".'

But the Lord Jesus has every, gift of the Spirit, and the fulness of grace in him: he is anointed with the oil of gladness, with the Holy Ghost above his fellows; and has an immeasurable unction of the holy one; which, like the precious oil poured on Aaron, descends from him to the members of his body.

Copyright Statement
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 3:34". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/john-3.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

for God giveth not the Spirit by measure — Here, again, the sharpest conceivable line of distinction is drawn between Christ and all human-inspired teachers: “They have the Spirit in a limited degree; but God giveth not [to Him] the Spirit by measure.” It means the entire fullness of divine life and divine power. The present tense “giveth,” very aptly points out the permanent communication of the Spirit by the Father to the Son, so that a constant flow and reflow of living power is to be understood (Compare John 1:15) [Olshausen].

Copyright Statement
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 3:34". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/john-3.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

The words of God (τα ρηματα του τεουta rēmata tou theou). God sent his Son (John 3:17) and he speaks God‘s words.

By measure (εκ μετρουek metrou). That is God has put no limit to the Spirit‘s relation to the Son. God has given the Holy Spirit in his fulness to Christ and to no one else in that sense.

Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on John 3:34". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/john-3.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

The words ( τὰ ῥήματα )

Not words, nor individual words, but the words - the complete message of God. See on Luke 1:37.

God giveth

The best texts omit God. Rev., He giveth. Rev., also, rightly, omits the italicized to Him. The personal object of the verb giveth is indefinite. Render, He giveth not the Spirit by measure.

In order to convey the full force of the terms giveth and by measure, it will be necessary to attempt an explanation of the general scope and meaning of this very difficult and much disputed passage. The starting point of the exposition must be John 3:30, the Baptist's noble resignation of his own position, and claims to Jesus: He must increase, but I must decrease. At this point the Evangelist, as we have seen, takes up the discourse. The Baptist's declaration that Jesus “must increase” - that He is a messenger of a transcendently higher character, and with a far larger and more significant message than his own - furnishes the Evangelist with a text. He will show why Jesus “must increase.” He must increase because He comes from above, and is therefore supreme over all (John 3:31). This statement he repeats; defining from above ( ἄνωθεν ) by out of heaven ( ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ ), and emphasizing it by contrast with mere earthly witness ( ὁ ἐκ τῆς γῆς ) whose words bear the stamp of his earthly origin ( ἐκ τῆς γῆς λαλεῖ ). Being from heaven, He testifies of heavenly things, as an eye-and ear-witness. “What He hath seen and heard, of that he beareth witness.” It is indeed true that men reject this testimony. “No man receiveth His witness” (John 3:32). None the less it is worthy of implicit credence as the testimony of God himself. He that has received that testimony has solemnly attested it as God's own witness; “hath set his seal to this, that God is true.” To declare Jesus' testimony untrue is to declare God untrue (John 3:33). For He whom God hath sent utters the whole divine mess age (the words of God, John 3:34).

Thus far the reasoning is directed to the conclusion that Jesus ought to increase, and that His message ought to be received. He is God's own messenger out of heaven, and speaks God's own words.

The common explanation of the succeeding clause is that God bestows the Spirit upon Jesus in His fullness, “not by measure.”

But this is to repeat what has already been more than implied. It would seem to be superfluous to say of one who comes out of heaven, who is supreme over all things, who bears witness of heavenly things which He has seen and heard, and who reveals the whole message of God to men - that God bestows upon Him the Spirit without measure.

Take up, then, the chain of thought from the first clause of John 3:34, and follow it on another line. The Messenger of God speaks the words of God, and thus shows himself worthy of credence, and shows this further, by dispensing the gift of the Spirit in full measure to His disciples. “He giveth not the Spirit by measure.” This interpretation adds a new link to the chain of thought; a new reason why Jesus should increase, and His testimony be received; the reason, namely, that not only is He himself divinely endowed with the Spirit, but that He proves it by dispensing the Spirit in full measure.

Thus John 3:35follows in natural sequence. This dispensing power which attests His claims, is His through the gift of the divine Father's love. “The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.” This latter phrase, into His hand, signifies not only possession, but the power of disposal. See Mark 9:31; Mark 14:41; Luke 23:46; Hebrews 10:31. God has given the Son all things to administer according to His own pleasure and rule. These two ideas of Christ's reception and bestowment of divine gifts are combined in Matthew 11:27. “All things are delivered unto me of my Father; and no man knoweth the Son but the Father, neither knoweth any man the Father save the Son, and He to whomsoever the Son may determine ( βούληται ) to reveal Him.”

Therefore John the Baptist must decrease, and Jesus must increase. A measure of the Spirit was given to the Baptist, sufficient for his preparatory work, but the Baptist himself saw the Spirit descending in a bodily form upon the Son of God, and heard the voice from heaven, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” The Spirit is thus Christ's own. He dispenses, gives it ( δίδωσιν ), in its fullness. Hence Jesus said, later, of the Spirit of truth, “He shall glorify Me, for He shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine; therefore said I that He shall take of mine and shall show it unto you” (John 16:14, John 16:15).

Copyright Statement
The text of this work is public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on John 3:34". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/john-3.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.

God giveth not him the Spirit by measure — As he did to the prophets, but immeasurably. Hence he speaketh the words of God in the most perfect manner.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on John 3:34". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/john-3.html. 1765.

The Fourfold Gospel

For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for he giveth not the Spirit by measure1.

  1. For he giveth not the Spirit by measure. To give anything by measure indicates a partial, scanty bestowal (Ezekiel 4:16). The Spirit of God, even in inspired prophets, was but a partial and intermittent gift (1 Corinthians 7:25; 1 Corinthians 13:9; 1 Peter 1:11; Hebrews 1:1), but in Jesus, the Son of God, the Spirit of God dwelt fully and uninterruptedly (Colossians 1:19). The present tense "giveth" points to a continuous communication of the Spirit. If Christ had received the Spirit "by measure", then his gift of the Spirit might be exhausted.

Copyright Statement
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 3:34". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/john-3.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

By measure; sparingly.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on John 3:34". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/john-3.html. 1878.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

Которого послал Бог. Иоанн подтверждает предыдущую мысль. Он говорит, что, принимая учения Христово, мы имеем дело с Самим Богом. Ведь Христос пришел не откуда-нибудь, а от небесного Отца. Итак, через Него говорит Сам Бог. Действительно, мы слишком мало будем ценить учение Христово, если не признаем его божественности.

Ибо не мерою. Это место толкуется двояким образом. Одни относят сказанное к общему устроению. Бог, по их словам, будучи неисчерпаемым источником всяких благ, никак не опустошает Себя, щедро и обильно изливая Свои дары на людей. Те, кто черпает из какого-либо сосуда, в конце концов достигают дна. Но нет опасности, что то же самое случится с Богом. Какими бы щедрыми ни казались Его дары, Бог, если сочтет нужным, может проявить еще большую щедрость. Это толкование, кажется, имеет под собой смысл, поскольку предложение относится к типу неопределенных. Однако я скорее согласен с Августином, который относит сказанное к Иисусу Христу. Такому пониманию не мешает то, что Христос не упомянут здесь конкретно. Ведь следующая часть предложения устраняет всякую двусмысленность и относит ко Христу то, что иначе могло бы показаться сказанным обо всех. Ведь слова «Отец все дал Сыну, потому что любит Его» несомненно добавлены с целью истолкования предшествующих слов. Поэтому их следует читать в одном контексте. Глагол в настоящем времени обозначает здесь как бы продолжающееся действие. Хотя Дух был дан Христу однажды, и притом в наивысшей степени, Он все же постоянно притекает к Нему, как вода из ручья. Поэтому весьма уместно сказано, что Христос даже сейчас принимает Духа от Отца. Если кто захочет более простого толкования, то время глагола вполне допустимо изменить. Тогда смысл будет совершенно ясным: Дух дан был Христу не мерою, и благодать, пребывающая в Нем, не ограничена в каком-либо отношении. Так же учит и Павел в 1Кор.12:7 и Еф.4:7. Он говорит, что отдельным людям дары раздаются сообразно с мерою. Так что никто не обладает всеми дарами. Ведь между нами имеются взаимные узы братства, и никто по отдельности не достаточен для самого себя, но все нуждаются в помощи друг друга. Христос же отличается от нас в том отношении, что Отец излил на Него безмерное обилие Духа. Действительно, Духу надлежало пребывать без меры в Том, от полноты Которого все мы должны черпать, о чем нас учит первая глава. И об этом же говорит следующая фраза: Отец все дал в руку Его. Этими словами Иоанн не только проповедует превосходство Христа, но показывает, с какой целью Он был наделен таким богатством. Христос, словно поставленный Отцом управитель, каждому дает то, что считает нужным, о чем подробнее говорит Павел, в четвертой главе Послания к Ефесянам, которую я процитировал. Итак, как бы обильно ни одаривал Бог Своих людей, одному Христу присуще иметь все в Собственной руке.

 

 

 

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 3:34". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-3.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

34 For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.

Ver. 34. Speaketh the words of God] This the true believer is convinced of; and therefore sets to his seal, as to an undoubted truth. He is fully persuaded, as St Luke was, Luke 1:1.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on John 3:34". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/john-3.html. 1865-1868.

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

John 3:34. The first γάρ serves to state the reason for the ἐσφράγισεν, ὅτι, etc.; the second, for the τὰ ῥήματα τ. θεοῦ λαλεῖ, so far, that is, as it would be doubtful, if God gave the Spirit ἐκ μέτρου, whether what God’s ambassador spoke was a divine revelation or not; it might in this case be wholly or in part the word of man

ὃν γὰρ ἀπέστ. θεός] not a general statement merely, appropriate to every prophet, but, following John 3:31, to be taken more precisely as a definition of a heavenly ( ἄνωθεν, ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ) mission, and referring strictly to Jesus. This the context demands. But the following οὐ γὰρ ἐκ μέτρου, κ. τ. λ., must be taken as a general statement, because there is no αὐτῷ. Commentators would quite arbitrarily supply αὐτῷ,(177) so as to render it, not by measure or limitation, but without measure and in complete fulness, God gives the Holy Spirit to Christ. This supplement, unsuitable in itself, should have been excluded by the present δίδωσιν, because we must regard Christ as possessing the Spirit long before. The meaning of this general statement is rather: “He does not give the Spirit according to measure” (as if it consequently were out of His power, or He were unwilling to give the Spirit beyond a certain quantitative degree, determined by a definite measure); He proceeds herein independently of any μέτρον, confined and limited by no restricting standard. The way in which this is to be applied to Jesus thus becomes plain, viz. that God must have endowed Him(178) when He sent Him from heaven (John 3:31), in keeping with His nature and destination, with the richest spiritual gifts, namely, with the entire fulness of the Spirit ( πᾶν τὸ πλήρωμα, Colossians 1:19), more richly, therefore, than prophets or any others;—which He could not have done had He been fettered by a measure in the giving of the Spirit.(179)

ἐκ μέτρου] ἐκ used of the rule. See Bernhardy, p. 230; comp. on 1 Corinthians 12:27. Finally, the οὐ γὰρ ἐκ μέτρου must not be regarded as presenting a different view to John 3:32 (comp. Weiss, p. 269); for the Spirit was in Christ the principle whereby He communicated (the λαλεῖν) to men that which He had beheld with God. See on John 6:63-64; Acts 1:2.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on John 3:34". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/john-3.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

John 3:34. ἀπέστειλεν) hath sent from Himself.— οὐ γὰρ ἐκ μέτρου, for not by measure) The giving of the Spirit is one, and that, made to Christ; under which we are contained, to whomsoever a measure is imparted, Ephesians 4:7, “Unto every one of us is given grace, according to the measure of the gift of Christ;” John 1:16, “Of His fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.” In order that we might be able to receive a measure, it was befitting that there should be some one, who would take, and in the first instance receive [the fulness of grace] without measure, being about [being thereby qualified] to baptize all the others with the same Spirit: nay, even we shall hereafter have it without measure: 1 Corinthians 13:10; 1 Corinthians 13:12, “When that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away;—Now I know in part, but then shall I know even as also I am known.” Christopher Cartwright: The Hebrews observe, the Spirit was given to the prophets in measure; Even the Holy Spirit, say they, which rests on the prophets, does not rest save in measure. Even the words of the law, which was given from above, were not given, save in measure. Mellif. Hebr. on this passage. Further, since Christ received the Spirit without measure, he expresses the words of God most perfectly.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on John 3:34". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/john-3.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

He whom God hath sent out of heaven, out of his bosom, not merely authorizing him as a minister, as the prophets and as John were sent, speaketh nothing but the words of God. The prophets and the apostles were sent of God in a sense, but not as Christ was sent; they sometimes spake the words of God, when the Spirit of God came upon them; but they sometimes spake their own words, as Nathan did to David, when he encouraged his thoughts to build a house to the Lord; and Paul, when he said, To the rest speak I, not the Lord; but whatsoever Christ spake was the words of God: for God did not give out the Spirit to him sparingly, (as out of a measure), as he doth to his ministers or saints, who have but their proportion of revelations and graces, as was requisite for their offices to which they were called, and the several periods of time that were gradually illuminated. But in him the fulness of the Godhead dwelt bodily; he was anointed with the oil of gladness above his fellows; he had the spring of all in himself, not the streams only.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on John 3:34". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/john-3.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

не мерою... Духа Бог дал Сыну Духа без всяких ограничений (1:32, 33; Ис. 11:2; 42:1; 61:1).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on John 3:34". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/john-3.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

By measure; John and the apostles received the Holy Spirit only in a certain measure, but Christ without measure.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on John 3:34". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/john-3.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

34.For he—The Baptist here expressly means Jesus.

Not the Spirit by measure—As to the highest of the ancient prophets. In Christ dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

 

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on John 3:34". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/john-3.html. 1874-1909.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

John 3:34. For he whom God sent speaketh the words of God. The last verse rests on the thought that the words of Jesus are the words of God. Here it is shown that this is involved in the very proposition that Jesus is the Sent of God. Strictly, there have been many whom God has sent,-for example, John the Baptist (chap. John 1:6): his words were true, and were words of God. But where one is thus isolated as sent by God (and this is repeatedly done in this Gospel), he is the Sent in a peculiar and pre-eminent sense He speaketh not ‘words of God’ only, but ‘the words of God,’ giving all the revelation that God gives. The enabling power thus to speak is the gift of the Spirit. Every one whom God sends is enabled to speak God’s words—words that, for the portion of the revelation he is commissioned to give, are truly God’s words.

For not by measure giveth he the Spirit. He gives the Spirit not partially, but completely, for the purpose of enabling him who is sent to speak words of God. Rising from the partial and incomplete to that which is full and perfect, we find but One who has thus been sent by God, and but One who receives the Spirit in unmeasured fulness, enabling not for the complete declaration of a part only, but for the perfect revelation of the whole of the words of God.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on John 3:34". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/john-3.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

John 3:34. The reason assigned for the truth and trustworthiness of Christ’s words is scarcely the reason we expect: . John has told us that Christ is to be believed because He testifies of what He hath seen and heard: now, because the Spirit is given without measure to Him. The meaning of the clause is contested. The omission of does not materially affect the sense, for would naturally be supplied as the nominative to from of the preceding clause. There are four interpretations. (1) Augustine, Calvin, Lücke, Alford, suppose the clause means that God, instead of giving occasional and limited supplies of the Spirit as had been given to the prophets, gives to Christ the fulness of the Spirit. (2) Meyer thinks that the primary reference is not to Christ but that the statement is general, that God gives the Spirit freely and abundantly, and does thus dispense it to Christ. (3) Westcott, following Cyril, makes Christ the subject and understands the clause as meaning that He proves His Messiahship by giving the Spirit without measure. (4) Godet makes the subject, not the object, and supposes the meaning to be that the Spirit gives to Christ the words of God without measure. The words of John 3:35 seem to weigh in favour of the rendering of A.V[47]: “God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him”. The R.V[48] is ambiguous. , out of a measure, or, by measure, that is, sparingly. So in Ezekiel 4:11. Wetstein quotes: “R. Achan dixit: etiam Spiritus S. non habitavit super Prophetas nisi mensura quadam: quidam enim librum unum, quidam duos vaticiniorum ediderunt”. The Spirit was given to Jesus not in the restricted and occasional manner in which it had been given to the O.T. prophets, but wholly, fully, constantly. It was by this Spirit His human nature was enlightened and guided to speak things divine; and this Spirit, interposed as it were between the Logos and the human nature of Christ, was as little cumbrous in its operation or perceptible in consciousness as our breath which is interposed between the thinking mind and the words which utter it.

[47] Authorised Version.

[48] Revised Version.

 

 

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on John 3:34". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/john-3.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Doth not give the Spirit by measure. Christ, even as man, has a plenitude of graces. See chapt. i. ver. 14. And all things, all creatures, both in heaven and earth, are given into his hands, and made subject to him, as man. See 1 Corinthians xv. 26. (Witham)

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on John 3:34". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/john-3.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

words. Greek. Plural of rhema. See note on Mark 9:32.

for God, &c. Greek."for the Spirit giveth not [the words of God] by measure [unto Him]".

God. [L] T [Tr. ] A WH R., not Syriac, omit "God" here.

the Spirit. With Art. the Giver, not the gift. App-101. This was by measure unto John, but not unto the Lord. Compare John 15:26; Matthew 11:27. What John saw and heard was limited (verses: John 3:27-30).

by. Greek. ek. App-104.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on John 3:34". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/john-3.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.

For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure [unto him]. Here, again, the sharpest conceivable line of distinction is drawn between Christ and all human inspired teachers: 'They have the Spirit in a limited degree; but God giveth not [to him] the Spirit by measure.' It means, as Olshausen says, the entire fullness of divine life and divine power. The present tense "giveth" [ didoosin (Greek #1325)] very aptly points out the ever-renewed communication of the Spirit by the Father to the Son, so that a constant flow and re-flow of living power is to be understood (see John 1:51).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 3:34". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/john-3.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(34) For he whom God hath sent.—Better, he whom God sent. The acceptance of the witness of things seen and heard is the attestation by the human spirit of the truthfulness of God, for Jesus is as one sent from God to declare Him. It is the divine image in man which recognises divinity. Every human faculty finds its true work, and true satisfaction, and the true object of its being, in Him; and therefore the whole man knows that His words are true, and recognises that He speaks the words of God. (Comp. 1 John 5:10.)

For God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.—The italics will show that the words “unto Him” are added in our version; and it is probable that the word “God,” which has been repeated from the first clause of the verse, should be also omitted here. We have then to read, “For He giveth not the Spirit by measure;” or, possibly, “For the Spirit giveth not by measure.” If, however, we remember that John the Baptist is the speaker, and that he had seen “the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and coming upon Him” (see Note on Matthew 3:16, and comp. such passages as Luke 11:13, and in this Gospel John 14:16; John 15:26), we shall still interpret the words in the sense which our version gives. The words “by measure,” in the sense of limitation, are frequent in the classical and rabbinical writings. The Rabbis seem to have applied the phrase to prophets and teachers, saying that the Spirit dwelt in the prophets only in a certain measure. Comp. 2 Kings 2:9, where Elisha prays for “a double portion,” or, more exactly, a portion of two—the portion of the first-born son (Deuteronomy 21:17)—of the spirit of Elijah. The same thought meets us in St. Paul (himself a pupil of Gamaliel), who speaks of “the self-same Spirit dividing to every man severally as He will” (see 1 Corinthians 12:4-12). The opposite of this thought, then, is before us here. God gives in this case not as in others. The Son who cometh from above is above all. There is no gift of prophet, or of teacher, which is not given to Him. He has the fulness of the spiritual gifts which in part are given to men, and He speaks the very words of God. It will be noted that John is still expounding to his disciples the meaning of his own declaration, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on John 3:34". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/john-3.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.
he
7:16; 8:26-28,40,47
for God
17; 1:16; 5:26; 7:37-39; 15:26; 16:7; Numbers 11:25; 2 Kings 2:9; Psalms 45:7; Isaiah 11:2-5; 59:21; 62:1-3; Romans 8:2; Ephesians 3:8; 4:7-13; Colossians 1:19; 2:9; Revelation 21:6; 22:1,16,17
Reciprocal: Exodus 28:41 - anoint them;  Exodus 29:7 - GeneralExodus 37:29 - he made;  Exodus 40:9 - the anointing oil;  Exodus 40:10 - sanctify;  Exodus 40:12 - GeneralExodus 40:13 - anoint him;  Leviticus 2:4 - wafers;  Leviticus 7:35 - portion;  Leviticus 14:15 - GeneralNumbers 27:18 - a man;  Deuteronomy 34:9 - full of the spirit;  Judges 13:25 - the Spirit;  1 Samuel 16:13 - the Spirit;  Psalm 2:2 - anointed;  Psalm 72:1 - Give;  Psalm 89:20 - GeneralIsaiah 28:6 - for a spirit;  Isaiah 42:1 - I have;  Isaiah 48:16 - the Lord God;  Isaiah 51:16 - I have put;  Isaiah 61:1 - Spirit;  Ezekiel 4:11 - shalt drink;  Daniel 9:24 - and to anoint;  Matthew 3:16 - and he;  Matthew 12:18 - I will;  Matthew 25:4 - oil;  Luke 4:1 - full;  John 1:33 - the same;  John 10:36 - whom;  John 14:24 - and;  John 17:3 - and Jesus;  Acts 1:2 - through;  Acts 10:38 - God;  Romans 8:9 - the Spirit;  Romans 12:3 - according;  1 Corinthians 11:3 - and the head of Christ;  2 Corinthians 1:21 - anointed;  Galatians 4:6 - the Spirit;  Colossians 1:18 - in all;  Hebrews 1:9 - anointed;  Hebrews 9:14 - who;  1 Peter 1:21 - gave;  1 John 4:14 - the Father;  Revelation 3:1 - he that

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on John 3:34". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/john-3.html.

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

Ver. 34. "For He whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure."— ἀπέστειλεν is to be considered as emphatic. It refers to the Old Testament passages concerning the מלאך יהוה. The words, from He whom to of God, do not offer a general proposition; for, thus rendered, they would not be suited to limit the sphere of Christ towards that of the Baptist, who was also sent from God; but they are equivalent to, This person whom God hath sent. Cf. ver. 17. If this is recognised, we are then justified in referring the words, οὐ γὰρ ἐκ μέτρου, κ. τ. λ., likewise to the present case, without supposing an omission of the pronoun.

John proves that Christ speaks the words of God, or is His Revealer, by the fact, of which he had been personally assured by the appearance at the baptism: he had seen that at the baptism the Spirit descended and abode on Christ, John 1:33. As in John 1:34 he draws the conclusion from this fact, that Christ is the Son of God, so here, that He speaks the words of God. He does not, however, refer to that fact as in the past; but, on the ground of it, speaks rather of a continued relation—for God gives in the present case. ἐκ μέτρου is to be considered so that the measure forms the point of issue. All others receive the Spirit only by measure, Romans 12:3 sq. He who does not receive the Spirit by measure, is therefore raised above the grade of created beings; for to have the Spirit without measure is a Divine prerogative.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on John 3:34". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/john-3.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

34.For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God. He confirms the preceding statement, for he shows that we have actually to do with God, when we receive the doctrine of Christ; because Christ proceeded from none else than from the Heavenly Father. It is, therefore, God alone who speaks to us by him; and, indeed, we do not assign to the doctrine of Christ all that it deserves, unless we acknowledge it to be divine.

For God giveth not the Spirit by measure. This passage is explained in two ways. Some extend it to the ordinary dispensation in this manner: that God, who is the inexhaustible fountain of all benefits, does not in the least degree diminish his resources, when he largely and plentifully bestows his gifts on men. They who draw from any vessel what they give to others come at last to the bottom; but there is no danger that any thing of this sort can happen with God, nor will the abundance of his gifts ever be so large that he cannot go beyond it, whenever he shall be pleased to make a new exercise of liberality. This exposition appears to have some plausibility, for the sentence is indefinite; that is, it does not expressly point out any person. (70)

But I am more disposed to follow Augustine, who explains that it was said concerning Christ. Nor is there any force in the objection, that no express mention is made of Christ in this clause, since all ambiguity is removed by the next clause, in which that which might seem to have been said indiscriminately about many is limited to Christ. For these words were unquestionably added for the sake of explanation, that the Father hath given all things into the hand of his Son, because he loveth him, and ought therefore to be read as placed in immediate connection. The verb in the present tense — giveth — denotes, as it were, a continued act; for though Christ was all at once endued with the Spirit in the highest perfection, yet, as he continually flows, as it were, from a source, and is widely diffused, there is no impropriety in saying that Christ now receives him from the Father. But if any one choose to interpret it more simply, it is no unusual thing that there should be a change of tenses in such verbs, and that giveth should be put for hath given (71)

The meaning is now plain, that the Spirit was not given to Christ by measure, as if the power of grace which he possesses were in any way limited; as Paul teaches that

to every one is given according to the measure of the gift,
(
Ephesians 4:7,)

so that there is no one who alone has full abundance. For while this is the mutual bond of brotherly intercourse between us, that no man separately considered has every thing that he needs, but all require the aid of each other, Christ differs from us in this respect, that the Father has poured out upon him an unlimited abundance of his Spirit. And, certainly, it is proper that the Spirit should dwell without measure in him, that we may all draw out of his fullness, as we have seen in the first chapter. And to this relates what immediately follows, that the Father hath given all things into his hand; for by these words John the Baptist not only declares the excellence of Christ, but, at the same time, points out the end and use of the riches with which he is endued; namely, that Christ, having been appointed by the Father to be the administrator, he distributes to every one as he chooses, and as he finds to be necessary; as Paul explains more fully in the fourth chapter of the Epistle to the Ephesians, which I lately quoted. Although God enriches his own people in a variety of ways, this is peculiar to Christ alone, that he has all things in his hand

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 3:34". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-3.html. 1840-57.