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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

John 7:52

They answered him, "You are not also from Galilee, are you? Search, and see that no prophet arises out of Galilee."

Adam Clarke Commentary

Art thou also of Galilee? - They knew very well that he was not; but they spoke this by way of reproach. As if they had said, thou art no better than he is, as thou takest his part. Many of the Galileans had believed on him, Which the Jews considered to be a reproach. Art thou his disciple, as the Galileans are?

Search, and look - Examine the Scriptures, search the public registers, and thou wilt see that out of Galilee there ariseth no prophet. Neither the Messiah, nor any other prophet, has ever proceeded from Galilee, nor ever can. This conclusion, says Calmet, was false and impertinent: false, because Jonah was of Gathheper, in Galilee: see 2 Kings 14:25, compared with Joshua 19:13. The Prophet Nahum was also a Galilean, for he was of the tribe of Simeon; and some suppose that Malachi was of the same place. The conclusion was false, because there not having been a prophet from any particular place was no argument that there never could be one, as the place had not been proscribed.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on John 7:52". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/john-7.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Art thou also of Galilee? - Here is another expression of contempt. To be a Galilean was a term of the highest reproach. They knew well that he was not of Galilee, but they meant to ask whether he also had become a follower of the despised Galilean. Ridicule is not argument, and there is no demonstration in a gibe; but, unhappily, this is the only weapon which the proud and haughty often use in opposing religion.

Ariseth no prophet - That is, there is no prediction that any prophet should come out of Galilee, and especially no prophet that was to attend or precede the Messiah. Compare John 1:46. They assumed, therefore, that Jesus could not be the Christ.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on John 7:52". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/john-7.html. 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and see that out of Galilee ariseth no prophet.

Religious error must defend itself; and, even if no honest defense exists, a shouted lie will serve well enough for the hardened heart. Those bigots demanded that Nicodemus search the Scriptures; and such a demand sounded like they knew what they were talking about; but this whole ploy was a bold unqualified lie, an unscrupulous bluff, the same being one of Satan's favorite disguises, that of a "roaring lion." If Nicodemus knew the answer to their lie, he did not have the courage to reply.

Out of Galilee ariseth no prophet ... The first of the prophets was Jonah; and he had come out of Galilee, having come from Gath-Hepher which was only three and one-half miles from Nazareth! But that is not all. The one prophet whom God made a type of the Messiah was this same Jonah. Christ himself had spoken to the multitudes regarding the "sign of the prophet Jonah" (Matthew 12:38-41), making it absolutely certain that Jesus appealed to Jonah as a type of himself. It continues to be an amazement that religious literature gives so little space to the typical importance of Jonah. Note the following:

Both Jesus and Jonah were asleep in a ship at sea in a storm.

Both were awakened, Jesus by the disciples, Jonah by the captain.

Both were involved in the ship's security, Jesus for safety, and Jonah for peril.

Both freely gave themselves to save others, Jesus to save all men, Jonah to save the sailors.

Both produced a great calm, Jesus by fiat, Jonah by being cast into the sea.

Both passed through that "three days and three nights" experience mentioned by Christ (Matthew 12:38-41).

Both converted Gentiles, Jesus through the apostles, Jonah by his preaching at Nineveh.

Both were from Galilee (2 Kings 14:25).SIZE>

Despite all this, they shouted Nicodemus down with the lie that no prophet ariseth out of Galilee. No prophet? Well, only the Messiah(!), that great prophet like unto Moses, whose coming out of Galilee was typified by Jonah, the first of all the prophets and a type of Christ!


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James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on John 7:52". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/john-7.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

They answered and said unto him,.... Being displeased with him, and as reproaching him, though they could not deny, or refute what he said:

art thou also of Galilee? a follower of Jesus of Galilee, whom, by way of contempt, they called the Galilean, and his followers Galilaeans, as Julian the apostate after them did; for otherwise they knew that Nicodemus was not of the country of Galilee;

search and look; into the histories of former times, and especially the Scriptures:

for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet; but this is false, for Jonah the prophet was of Gathhepher, which was in the tribe of Zebulun, which tribe was in Galilee; see 2 Kings 14:25. And the JewsF26T. Hieros. Succa, fol. 55. 1, themselves say, that Jonah, the son of Amittai, was, מזבולון, of "Zebulun", and that his father was of Zebulun, and his mother was of AsherF1Bereshit Rabba, sect. 98. fol. 85. 4. ; both which tribes were in Galilee: and if no prophet had, as yet, arose from thence, it did not follow that no one should arise: besides, there is a prophecy in which it was foretold, that a prophet, and even the Messiah, the great light, should arise in Galilee; see Isaiah 9:1; and they themselves say, that the Messiah should be revealed in Galilee; See Gill on John 7:41.


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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 Rightes 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

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on John 7:52". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/john-7.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

thou of Galilee — in this taunt expressing their scorn of the party. Even a word of caution, or the gentlest proposal to inquire before condemning, was with them equivalent to an espousal of the hated One.

Search … out of Galilee … no prophet — Strange! For had not Jonah (of Gath-hepher) and even Elijah (of Thisbe) arisen out of Galilee? And there it may be more, of whom we have no record. But rage is blind, and deep prejudice distorts all facts. Yet it looks as if they were afraid of losing Nicodemus, when they take the trouble to reason the point at all. It was just because he had “searched,” as they advised him, that he went the length even that he did.


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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.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 7:52". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/john-7.html. 1871-8.

John Lightfoot's Commentary on the Gospels

52. They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet.

[Art thou also of Galilee?] It seems to be spoken scoffingly: "Art thou of those Galileans that believe in this Galilean?"

Expositors, almost with one consent, do note that this story of the woman taken in adultery, was not in some ancient copies; and whiles I am considering upon what accident this should be, there are two little stories in Eusebius that come to mind. The one we have in these words, He [Papias] tells us also another history concerning a woman accused of many crimes before our Lord, which history indeed the Gospel according to the Hebrews makes mention of. All that do cite that story do suppose he means this adulteress. The other story he tells us in his Life of Constantine: he brings in Constantine writing thus to him: "I think good to signify to your prudence, that you would take care that fifty volumes of those Scriptures, whose preparation and use you know so necessary for the church, and which beside may be easily read and carried about, may, by very skilful penmen, be written out in fair parchment."

So indeed the Latin interpreter: but may we not by the word volumes of those Scriptures understand the Gospels compacted into one body by way of harmony? The reason of this conjecture is twofold: partly those Eusebian canons formed into such a kind of harmony; partly because, cap. 37, he tells us that, having finished his work, he sent to the emperor threes and fours: which words if they are not to be understood of the evangelists, sometimes three, sometimes four, (the greater number including the less,) embodied together by such a harmony, I confess I cannot tell what to make of them.

But be it so that it must not be understood of such a harmony; and grant we further that the Latin interpreter hits him right, when he supposes Eusebius to have picked out here and there, according to his pleasure and judgment, some parts of the Holy Scriptures to be transcribed; surely he would never have omitted the evangelists, the noblest and the most profitable part of the New Testament.

If therefore he ascribed this story of the adulteress to the trifler Papias, or at least to the Gospel according to the Hebrews only, without doubt he would never insert it in copies transcribed by him. Hence possibly might arise the omission of it in some copies after Eusebius' times. It is in copies before his age, viz. in Ammonius, Tatianus, &c.


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Bibliography
Lightfoot, John. "Commentary on John 7:52". "John Lightfoot Commentary on the Gospels". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jlc/john-7.html. 1675.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Art thou also of Galilee? (Μη και συ εκ της Γαλιλαιας ειMē kai su ek tēs Galilaias ei). Formally negative answer expected by μηmē but really they mean to imply that Nicodemus from local feeling or prejudice has lined himself up with this Galilean mob (οχλοςochlos) of sympathizers with Jesus and is like Jesus himself a Galilean. “These aristocrats of Jerusalem had a scornful contempt for the rural Galileans” (Bernard).

That out of Galilee ariseth no prophet (οτι εκ της Γαλιλαιας προπητης ουκ εγειρεταιhoti ek tēs Galilaias prophētēs ouk egeiretai). As a matter of fact Jonah, Hosea, Nahum, possibly also Elijah, Elisha, and Amos were from Galilee. It was simply the rage of the Sanhedrin against Jesus regardless of the facts. Westcott suggests that they may have reference to the future, but that is a mere excuse for them.


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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)

Bibliography
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on John 7:52". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/john-7.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Search

Compare John 5:39.

Look ( ἴδε )

Some render see, and translate the following ὅτι , that, instead of for. So Rev. The difference is unimportant.


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Bibliography
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on John 7:52". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/john-7.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet.

They answered — By personal reflection; the argument they could not answer, and therefore did not attempt it.

Art thou also a Galilean? — One of his party? Out of Galilee ariseth no prophet - They could not but know the contrary. They knew Jonah arose out of Gethhepher; and Nahum from another village in Galilee. Yea, and Thisbe, the town of Elijah, the Tishbite, was in Galilee also. They might likewise have known that Jesus was not born in Galilee, but at Bethlehem, even from the public register there, and from the genealogies of the family of David. They were conscious this poor answer would not bear examination, and so took care to prevent a reply.


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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.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on John 7:52". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/john-7.html. 1765.

The Fourfold Gospel

They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee1? Search, and see that out of Galilee ariseth no prophet2.

  1. Art thou also of Galilee? They laid the lash to the pride of Nicodemus by classing him with the Galileans who formed the main body of Jesus' disciples, thus separating him from the true Jews.

  2. Search, and see that out of Galilee ariseth no prophet. There is no clear evidence that any of the prophets save Jonah was from the district at this time called Galilee, and this fact would justify the hasty demand of the objectors, who were not very scrupulous as to accuracy.


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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.

Bibliography
J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on John 7:52". "The Fourfold Gospel". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/john-7.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

Ariseth no prophet; no prophet has ever arisen.


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Bibliography
Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on John 7:52". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/john-7.html. 1878.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

52.Art thou also from Galilee? They say that all who favor Christ are from Galilee, and this is spoken reproachfully, as if he could not have any person among his followers except from the small and unknown corner of Galilee (205) The extreme violence to which they are excited against Nicodemus, shows with what furious hatred they burned against Christ; for he had not avowedly undertaken to defend Christ, but had only said that he ought not to be condemned before he was heard Thus among the Papists in our own day, no man can show the slightest token of candour that the Gospel may not be oppressed, but immediately the enemies fly into a passion, and exclaim that he is a heretic.


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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 7:52". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-7.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

52 They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet.

Ver. 52. Art thou also of Galilee?] They thought to mock him out of his religion, as the devil doth many at this day. But Nicodemus was well resolved; and if we can bear reproach for Christ, it is an argument we mean to stick to him; as the servant in the law, that was brought to be bored in the ear. And Cajetan gives the reason, Ut si non horreret servitutem, horreret saltem ignominiam publicam, ut multos habeat inspectores et testes.


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Trapp, John. "Commentary on John 7:52". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/john-7.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

John 7:52. They answered—art thou also of Galilee? Finding Nicodemus thus condemning their conduct, and speaking favourably of Jesus, they asked him with an air of disdain and surprize, mixed with fierceness, Art thou also of Galilee? "Art thou one of the ignorant low faction, which has leagued to support a Galilean Messiah, in opposition to the law, which has determined the Messiah's nativity to Bethlehem? Search and look; for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet." They meant no Messiah, the prophet foretold by Moses in their law; for they could not but know that Jonah was of Gath-hepher in Galilee, 2 Kings 14:25 that Nahum also was probably a Galilean; and that Tishbe, the town of Elijah the Tishbite, was likewise in Galilee; unless they were as ignorant of the scriptures as they said the common people were, John 7:48. Be this as it may, such blind judges were these masters of law and learning, that an argument which had no force against Jesus, who was actually born at Bethlehem, weighed a great deal more with them, than all the solid proofs by which he so fully established his divine mission.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on John 7:52". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/john-7.html. 1801-1803.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

52.] They taunt him with being disposed to join those (mostly Galilæans) who had attached themselves to Jesus. Whether we read ἐγείρεται or ἐγήγερται, the assertion is much the same: for προφ. cannot mean the Prophet, or the Messiah. It was not historically true;—for two Prophets at least had arisen from Galilee: Jonah of Gathhepher, and the greatest of the Prophets, Elijah of Thisbe; and perhaps also Nahum and Hosea. Their contempt for Galilee made them lose sight of historical accuracy. (Bretschneider absurdly lays the inaccuracy to the charge of the Evangelist.)


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Bibliography
Alford, Henry. "Commentary on John 7:52". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/john-7.html. 1863-1878.

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

John 7:52. Thou art not surely (like Jesus) from Galilee, so that your sympathy with Him is that of a fellow-countryman?

ὅτι προφήτης, κ. τ. λ.] a prophet; not; “no very distinguished prophet, nor any great number of prophets” (Hengstenberg); nor again: “a prophet has not appeared in Galilee in the person of Jesus” (Godet); but the appearance of any prophet out of Galiles is, in a general way, denied as a matter of history; hence also the Perfect. The plain words can have no other meaning. To Godet’s altogether groundless objection, that John must in this case have written οὐδεὶς προφ., the reference to John 4:44 is itself a sufficient answer. Inconsiderate zeal led the members of the Sanhedrim into historical erro; for, apart from the unknown birth-places of many prophets, Jonah at least, according to 2 Kings 14:25, was of Galilee.(274) This error cannot be removed by any expedient either ertical(275) or exegetical; still it cannot be used as an argument aginst the genunieness of the Gospel (Bretschneider), for there was all the less need to add a correction of it, seeing that it did not apply to Jesus, who was not out of Galilee. This also tells against Baur, p. 169. The argument in ὅτι προφ., κ. τ. λ. is from the general to the particular (“to say nothing of the Messiah!”), and is a conclusion from a negative induction.


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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on John 7:52". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/john-7.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

John 7:52. ΄ή, whether) They feel sensible of the equity of his address to them; for which reason they make no reply to it: they only out of the conclusion itself create odium against Nicodemus, and they assail him, as though all the disciples of Jesus were Galileans, and as if He had none from any other quarter.— μὴ καὶ σὺ γαλιλαῖος εἶ;) So the Lat. [Vulg.]: and that according to the mind of the Pharisees. The more modern Greek copies seem to have fastened on ἐκ τῆς γαλιλαίας, instead of γαλιλαῖος, from the words following immediately after. [Vulg. and (212)(213) have ‘Galilæus.’ But (214)(215)(216) confirm the Rec. Text, ἐκ τῆς γαλιλαίας.]— καὶ ἴδε) and see, i.e. you will see most easily. They appeal to experience, which however was not universal. [The hackneyed formula recurs to them afresh (comp. John 7:27, “When Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence He is”); which, however unimportant it might seen to be, when employed for sinister ends, was the occasion of causing them signal injury. Out of the amazing multitude of those who perish, you would hardly find any one who does not put a drag on the effectual working of saving truth in himself, owing to his being carried away by one or other πρώτῳ ψεύδει (falsehood at the outset).—V. g.]


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Bibliography
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on John 7:52". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/john-7.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Art thou also of Galilee; not that they thought Nicodemus was a Galilean; they knew him well enough; but they take up this as a term of reproach against him, for that he would offer to speak one word (though never so just) on the behalf of one against whom they had such a perfect hatred.

Search (say they) the Scriptures, and look if ever there came a prophet out of Galilee. Suppose this had been truth; yet,

1. What did this concern our Saviour? Who was not born in Galilee, but in Judea, in Bethlehem, the city of David, Luke 2:4.

2. Could not God when he pleased influence one of Galilee with the Spirit of prophecy? But,

3. Neither was it true; for Nahum and Jonah were both Galilaeans, 2 Kings 14:25, compared with Joshua 19:13, (for the tribe of Zebulun had their lot in Galilee), Isaiah 9:1.


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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on John 7:52". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/john-7.html. 1685.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Of Galilee; this was an expression of contempt, as Galilee was a despised country. They knew that Nicodemus was not from Galilee, but they meant to reproach him for favoring a Galilean.


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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on John 7:52". "Family Bible New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/john-7.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges

52. μὴ καὶ σύ. ‘Surely thou dost not sympathize with Him as being a fellow-countryman?’ They share the popular belief that Jesus was by birth a Galilean (see on John 7:41).

ἐρ. κ. ἴδε. Search and see; i.e. search and thou wilt see: like Divide et impera. The ὅτι may be either ‘that’ after ‘see,’ or ‘because:’ the former seems better.

ἐκ τ. Γαλ. οὐκ ἐγείρεται. Jonah of Gath-hepher (2 Kings 14:25) was certainly of Galilee; Nahum of Elkosh may have been, but the situation of Elkosh is uncertain; Hosea was of the northern kingdom, but whether of Galilee or not is unknown; Abelmeholah, whence Elisha came, was in the north part of the Jordan valley, possibly in Galilee. Anyhow, their statement is only a slight and very natural exaggeration (comp. John 4:29). Moreover they speak of the present and future, rather than of the past; ἐγείρεται, not (as T. R.) ἐγήγερται. Judging from the past, Galilee was not very likely to produce a prophet, much less the Messiah.

Of the various questions which arise respecting the paragraph that follows (John 7:53 to John 8:11) one at least may be answered with something like certainty,—that it is no part of the Gospel of S. John. [1] In both tone and style it is very unlike his writings. His favourite words and expressions are wanting; others that he rarely or never uses are found. [2] It breaks the course of the narrative by severing the two closely connected declarations of Christ, Ἐάν τις διψᾷ κ.τ.λ. and Ἐγώ εἰμι τὸ φῶς τ. κόσμου, with the two equally closely connected promises, ὁ πιστεύων εἰς ἐμὲ κ.τ.λ. and ὁ ἀκολουθῶν μοι κ.τ.λ. (John 7:37-38, John 8:12); and hence a few of the MSS. which contain it place it at the end of the Gospel, and one places it after John 7:36. [3] All the very serious amount of external evidence (see Appendix D.) which tells against the passage being part of the Gospel narrative at all of course tells against its being by S. John, and in this respect is not counterbalanced by other considerations. So that the internal and external evidence when put together is overwhelmingly against the paragraph being part of the Fourth Gospel.

With regard to the question whether the section is a genuine portion of the Gospel history, the internal evidence is wholly in favour of its being so, while the balance of external testimony is decidedly on the same side. [1] The style is similar to the Synoptic Gospels, especially to S. Luke; and four inferior MSS. insert the passage at the end of Luke 21, the place in the history into which it fits best. [2] It bears the impress of truth and is fully in harmony with Christ’s conduct on other occasions; yet it is quite original and cannot be a divergent account of any other incident in the Gospels. [3] It is easy to see how prudential reasons might in some cases have caused its omission (the fear of giving, as S. Augustine says, peccandi impunitatem mulieribus); difficult to see what, excepting its truth, can have caused its insertion. But “the utmost licence of the boldest transcribers never makes even a remote approach to the excision of a complete narrative from the Gospels” (W. and H.). [4] Though it is found in no Greek MS. earlier than the sixth century, nor in the earliest versions, nor is quoted as by S. John until late in the fourth century, yet Jerome says that in his time it was contained ‘in many Greek and Latin MSS.’ (Adv. Pelag. II. 17). But if it be thought that these must have been as good as the best MSS. which we now possess, we must remember that most of the worst corruptions of the text were already in existence in Jerome’s time.

The question as to who is the author, cannot be answered. There is not sufficient material for a satisfactory conjecture, and mere guesswork is worthless. The extraordinary number of various readings (80 in 183 words) points to more than one source.

One more question remains. How is it that nearly all the MSS. that do contain it (several uncials, including the Cambridge MS., and more than 300 cursives) agree in inserting it here? This cannot be answered with certainty. Similarity of matter may have caused it to have been placed in the margin in one copy, and thence it may have passed, as other things have done, into the text of the Cambridge and other MSS. In chap. 7 we have an unsuccessful attempt to ruin Jesus: this paragraph contains the history of another attempt, equally unsuccessful. Or, the incident may have been inserted in the margin (very possibly from Papias) in illustration of John 8:15, and hence have got into the text.


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Bibliography
"Commentary on John 7:52". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cgt/john-7.html. 1896.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

52. Thou… of Galilee?—It was easier to assail him with personality than to meet his plea. Nicodemus was doubtless a Jerusalemite, but as a taunt they make him a Galilean.

Search and look—Into the records of Scripture or later history.

No prophet—So that Jesus can make no claim to the prophetic character. This sounds very much like a proverb aptly quoted as authority in the case. As a proverb it was admissibly true; for though some five or six ancient prophets were natives of that territory, none had there arisen since it became Galilee. It is to be noted that they use the present tense. As to the older history, John is not responsible for the accuracy of these angry Pharisees, who were in a mood to stretch the truth to gain a point.


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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on John 7:52". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/john-7.html. 1874-1909.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘They answered and said to him, “Are you also from Galilee? Search and discover that no prophet arises from Galilee”.’

The reply tells us all we need to know about the genuineness of these particular Pharisees. What Nicodemus had suggested was basic justice and in accord with the law of Moses. But they dismissed it with the contempt of men who were not even prepared to consider the truth of Jesus’ claims. And they soon revealed one of the roots of their prejudice. ‘Are you also from Galilee? Search and you will see that no prophet is to arise in Galilee’. Why, who but a Galilean could suggest such a thing? Was Nicodemus then a Galilean?

In fact, of course, Jonah had been from Galilee but they were thinking rather of a future prophet. To them Galilee was now outside the pale. Galileans were only to be seen as second rate. Their antecedents were mixed, and they did not always follow Judean practises. By this these men overlooked Isaiah 9:1-6 to their cost.

Of course, if they had followed Nicodemus’ advice they would soon have discovered that Jesus was born in Bethlehem. But ignoring any such thing, their contempt for the Galileans showed the very nature of their attitudes. They were bigoted, arrogant and contemptible. They came under their own condemnation, ‘these who do not know the law are accursed’. It was clear that Jesus would not get a fair hearing from them.

The whole of this chapter demonstrates a typical Jewish background, and the incidents and questions are what might be expected among the Jerusalem crowds during one of the great feasts. The whole chapter wreaks of historicity.


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Bibliography
Pett, Peter. "Commentary on John 7:52". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/john-7.html. 2013.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Nicodemus" colleagues did not reply rationally but emotionally. They had already decided Jesus" case without hearing Him. They did not want to listen to any information that might prove that He was who He claimed to be. They replied to Nicodemus" challenge with contempt and accused him of being a despised Galilean himself since he sought to defend a Galilean. Unable to refute the logic of Nicodemus" argument they attacked his person, an old debating tactic designed to win an argument but not necessarily to arrive at the truth.

It is unclear if they meant that no prophet ever came from Galilee or that the Prophet ( Deuteronomy 18:15) would not come from there. Obviously Jonah and Nahum had come from Galilee, so it seems unlikely that they meant that. Moses did not predict where the Prophet would come from. As mentioned above, the Jews of Jesus" day seem to have regarded the Prophet and Messiah as two different individuals. The messianic Son of David would come from Bethlehem, but where would the Prophet come from? If the Sanhedrin had taken the trouble to investigate Jesus" origins thoroughly, they would have discovered than He had not come from Galilee originally.

People still let prejudice (prejudging) and superficial evaluation blind them to the truth.


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Bibliography
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on John 7:52". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/john-7.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

John 7:52. They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search and see that out of Galilee ariseth no prophet. No answer to the argument was possible: they can but turn on Nicodemus himself. They assume that no one but a Galilean can take the side of Jesus. The last words are difficult, because at least one of the ancient prophets (Jonah) was of Galilee. But the words do not seem to be intended to include all the past, so much as to express what Jews held to be, and to have long been, a stated rule of Divine Providence: in their scorn of Galilee, and their arrogant assumption of complete knowledge of the law,’ they regard it as impossible that out of that land any prophet should arise; least of all can it be the birthplace of the Messiah.


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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on John 7:52". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/john-7.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

John 7:52. This remonstrance is exasperatingly true, and turns the bitterness of the Pharisaic party on Nicod mus, μὴ καὶἐγήγερται. “Art thou also, as well as Jesus, from Galilee, and thus disposed to befriend your countryman?” Cf. Mark 14:70. By this they betray that their own hostility was a merely personal matter, and not founded on careful examination. “Search and see, because [or ‘that’] out of Galilee there arises no prophet.” That is, as Westcott interprets, “Galilee is not the true country of the prophets: we cannot look for Messiah to come from thence”. They overlooked the circumstance that one or two exceptions to this rule existed.


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Bibliography
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on John 7:52". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/john-7.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

say to Nicodemus: Art thou also a Galilean, who defendest this Galilean, whereas no prophet, nor especially the Messias, comes from Galilee? (Witham) --- A prophet, properly the prophet: for they could not be ignorant that the prophet Jonas was from Galilee. We have not indeed the article the in this verse, but we find it in ver. 40, with which this appears to correspond. (Haydock)

====================


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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on John 7:52". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/john-7.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Search = Search [the Scriptures], as in John 5:39.

look = see. App-133. If they had looked, they would have found that Jonah and Hosea arose out of Galilee, and perhaps Elijah, Elisha, and Amos.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on John 7:52". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/john-7.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet.

They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? - in this taunt expressing their scorn of the party. Even a word of caution, or the gentlest proposal to inquire before condemning, was with them equivalent to an espousal of the hated One.

Search, and look: for, [ kai (G2532) ide (G2396) hoti (G3754), or better, 'Search and see that'] out of Galilee ariseth no prophet. Strange! For had not Jonah, of Gathhepher, and even Elijah, so far as appears, arisen out of Galilee? and it may be more, of whom we have no record. But rage is blind, and deep prejudice distorts all facts. Yet it looks as if they were afraid of losing Nicodemus, when they take the trouble to reason the point at all. It was just because he had "searched," as they advised him, that he went the length even that he did.


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 7:52". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/john-7.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(52) Art thou also of Galilee?—They seek to avoid his question, to which there could have been but one answer, by a counter-question expressing their surprise at the position he is taking: “Surely thou art not also of Galilee?” “Thou art not His countryman, as many of this multitude are?” They imply that Nicodemus could not have asked a question which claimed for Jesus the simple justice of the Law itself, without being, like Him, a Galilean.

Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet.—The words mean, “Search the records, examine, scrutinize the authorities.” (Comp. John 5:39.) They seek to pass from the matter of fact immediately before them to the question of authority. Their generalisation includes an historical error which cannot be explained away. Jonah is described in 2 Kings 14:25 as of Gathhepher, which was a town of Zebulun, in Lower Galilee. Possibly Elkosh, the birthplace of Nahum, was also in Galilee, and Hosea was certainly a prophet of the Northern Kingdom, though not necessarily of Galilee. Adverse criticism would lay this error also to the charge of the Evangelist. (Comp. Notes on John 7:42, and John 1:45; John 8:33.) But the obvious explanation is, that the Sanhedrin, in their zeal to press their foregone conclusion that Jesus is not a prophet, are not bound by strict accuracy; and it is not unlikely that, in the general contempt of Judæans for Galilee, this assertion had become a by-word, especially with men with so little of the historical sense as the later Rabbis. As compared with Judæa, it was true that Galilee was not a country of prophets, and by-words of this kind often rest on imperfect generalisations. We have seen that of the great prophets of Christianity all were Galileans. Judas Iscariot alone, of the Twelve Apostles, was probably a Judæan (Note on John 6:71).


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on John 7:52". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/john-7.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet.
Art
9:34; Genesis 19:9; Exodus 2:14; 1 Kings 22:24; Proverbs 9:7,8
Search
41; 1:46; Isaiah 9:1,2; Matthew 4:15,16

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on John 7:52". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/john-7.html.

Ver. 52. "They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet."

Much has been very wrongly said about the "almost incomprehensible errors of the Sanhedrim." They only express themselves in a lively manner, as men do in common life, and when out of the schools. Their meaning was, that no prophet of any high mark, and no great number of prophets, had arisen in Galilee. The only prophet whose Galilean origin was generally acknowledged was Jonah of Gathhepher, 2 Kings 14:25. But if this had been objected to the council, they would have been but little embarrassed by it. They would have replied by some such proverb as our "one swallow does not make spring." The Galilean origin of Nahum would not have been admitted as of any force. Why he, in his superscription, is called the Elkoshite, is a point controverted to the present day. The supposition that he was so called after some town in Galilee, rests simply and alone upon a statement of Jerome: Helcesi usque hodie in Galilaea viculus. Even should this supposition be right, there is nothing to prove that it was the current one in the days of our Lord. The witness nearest to that age, Jonathan, paraphrases the words in the prophet thus: "Nahum, of the family of Koschi." Jerome says: Quidam putant Helcesaeum patrem esse et secundum Hebraeam traditionem etiam ipsum prophetam fuisse. Abenesra and Kimchi are not certain whether the denomination Elkoshite referred to his stock, or to his father, or to his country. Even if we assume the last, it is still doubtful whether Elkosh lay in Galilee. Finally, it is maintained by many that Elias sprang from Galilee. Had this been so, the supreme importance of that prophet—who in both Testaments always appears as the Coryphaeus of the collective prophets: comp. Malachi 4:5—might justify what has been said about the "almost incomprehensible error of the members of the Sanhedrim." But the Galilean origin of Elijah cannot be demonstrated by the only passage that has been adduced to establish it, 1 Kings 17:1 : comp. with Tobit 1:2. Elijah being there called "the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead," the Septuagint regarded Tishbi as a place in Gilead. It translated: ὁ ἐκ θεσβων τῆς γαλααδ. So also Epiphanius: ἐκ θεσβῶν ἐκ τῆς γῆς ἀράβων. Tisbi is indicated by the clause, "of the inhabitants of Gilead," to have been situated in Gilead; not that the prophet had the position of a citizen there, but dwelt m that place as a man without a home: his forefathers had immigrated to it. This explanation is favoured by the alliteration between Tishbi and Toshbi, תושב not being written plene, as it is everywhere else, for the sake of it. The interpretation, "born at Tishbe, but dwelling in Gilead," robs this alliteration of its significance; and it is opposed by what Keil refers to: "Had Elijah been born in Galilee, the mention of his birth-place would have been a sufficient indication for any Israelite; and the remark that he belonged to the inhabitants of Gilead would have been superfluous, since the object was not to furnish a chronological memoir of his life:" and. with this Thenius agrees. It is not easy to understand why it was that, whereas the birth-place of most of the rest of the prophets is mentioned, the place of residence also is given in the case of Elijah, and a place, moreover," which is not alluded to distinctively anywhere in the narrative. The objection of the Pharisees was not altogether an imaginary one. Judea is, throughout the Old Testament, in all respects the land pre-eminently; while Galilee of the Gentiles, Isa. 8:23 , has only a corner-place assigned to it. The temple in Jerusalem, the spiritual dwelling-place of the collective nation, is the centre of all prophetical operation. These facts established so much at least, that the labours of Jesus might not be restricted to Galilee; and this our Saviour admitted always in act. He had just before been teaching the people in the temple. But the Pharisees, in going beyond this, altogether failed to perceive that Galilee of the Gentiles was precisely the most congenial starting-point for Him who was come to seek the lost; and that, according to the prophecy of Isaiah, it was the dense darkness of this region which was so pre-eminently enlightened by the outgoings of the great Light. They acted like those who in all ages, and in this age, hide behind the fig-leaves of solemn arguments the rebellion which has its root in a perverted heart. With perfect right Bengel remarks: Ex stupenda eorum multitudine, qui pereunt, vix quenquam invenias, qui non uno alterove hujus generis πρώτῳ ψεύδει abreptus, veritatis salutaris efficaciam in se sufflaminet. The human heart is inexhaustible in the invention of such specious arguments, when the light from above shines into the darkness of his old nature. Instead of ἐγήγερται, Lachmann and Tischendorf read ἐγείρεται. This reading was an intentional correction, designed to set aside the historical difficulty, the "almost incomprehensible error of the Sanhedrim."

The Section of the Adulteress

There can be no reasonable doubt that this section was not a component part of the original Gospel, but that it was introduced into it by another hand. It is wanting in so many and so important Codd. and MSS., that this of itself might be considered proof enough of its being spurious. We cannot, indeed, altogether and unconditionally agree with Bleek, when he says: "It is not to be thought of, that anxiety lest the Redeemers gentleness towards the adulteress might be abused by the unintelligent and thoughtless, was a sufficient reason why an entire genuine section of this Gospel should have been for many centuries, and in all parts of the Church, passed over in perfect silence, or actually struck out of the text of biblical manuscripts." The supposed offence,—to which Augustine, although, indeed, with an "I suppose," referred,—is so great, that the impossibility of thus explaining the omission cannot be maintained with absolute confidence: especially as we know that dogmatical objections have availed to the omission of other passages from the manuscripts: comp. on ch. John 5:3 seq. Meanwhile, what is given with the one hand is retracted with the other. Only well-grounded objection and offence could have had so pervasive an influence; and a narrative which furnishes such a stumblingblock could not possibly have proceeded from the Evangelist himself; and our exposition will make it plain that there is in the account a stumblingblock which no explanation will explain away.

Internal reasons tend in the same direction as the external. We find none of the peculiarities of John's style in the narrative; on the other hand, every verse of it presents, as our exposition will show, something decidedly alien to his style. It is very suspicious, for instance, that the δέ occurs in this short section no less than eleven times, heaped together in a manner of which there is no example elsewhere in his writings; while, on the contrary, his favourite οὖν is found only once. Moreover, all is at the very first glance intelligible and straightforward; we have none of that mystical dark-in-bright which everywhere characterizes John's style, and none of that necessity to master the meaning of the writer by thoughtful reflection and pondering that we are accustomed to in his genuine productions. Nor is it without significance that the narrative interrupts the connection. Both before it and after it we have matter which directly refers to the question whether Jesus were the Christ, the Son of God. Then, again, John's authorship is contradicted by the fact, that while the beginning of the account is borrowed from Luke, the motive of it was furnished by Paul. We have the starting-point in Romans 2:1, where the Apostle says to the Jews: "Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things:" comp. vers. 22 , 23 , ch. John 3:23 : "For there is no difference; for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." These statements of the Apostle have here put on an historical vestment. Lampe cannot help observing that our narrative presents much similarity to the parable of the prodigal son. Expositors of the middle ages declare plainly that the woman here represented heathenism, to which the grace of God, slighted by the Jews, was assigned by Christ. The last and strongest argument is the offence we have already touched upon. If we look at the element of mercy in it, the narrative makes good what Lyser says: Tota historia est mirifice consolatoria afflictis conscientiis, si quidem vident, ne infamem quidem adulteram a Christo rejici, modo agat poenitentiam. The Saviour's love to poor sinners meets us in a most attractive form; and the delight in judging others is most effectually condemned.

But then, on the other hand, if we regard the account as history (and it must be so regarded if we receive it as from John), it does offer a very real and palpable stumblingblock; indeed, it is no less than offensive. Thinking only of his point, the author never reflected that what he gives in the form of history, must in that form awaken mistrust. "The narrative," Hase strikingly remarks, "bears the ordinary stamp of the better apocryphal writers, who give one side of our Lord's character aright,—indeed, display it gloriously,—but are wanting in that all-sided truth, which most effectually distinguishes between the actual occurrences of fact and the imagined incidents of fiction."

There can be no doubt that our narrative was originally written with the express purpose of being interpolated into the Gospel of John. We find the simple evidence of this in the verses, chap. John 7:53 to John 8:12, which obviously serve no other purpose than to connect this supposed fact with what precedes, and to insert it fairly in the Gospel. How diligently and skilfully the writer accomplished this task, is proved by the fact, that several manuscripts which treat the section itself as spurious or suspicious, nevertheless acknowledge these verses as the Evangelists; that Beza, who clearly perceived the spuriousness of the section, decided that these verses should be retained; and that Wieseler, with others, defends them still. It is going altogether on a wrong track to seek traces of the recognition of this passage elsewhere; for instance, in what Eusebius, Eccl. Hist. iii. 39 , records of Papias: "He tells us also another history of a woman who was traduced before our Lord, as having committed many sins, which was contained in the Gospel secundum Hebroeos." That narrative has nothing in common with ours. The Gentile-Christian tendency of the latter would be quite out of harmony with the Gospel of the Hebrews. The "many sins "there, and the one offence here, are clearly distinct and discordant. The διαβλήθεισα leads us to think of a penitent sinner, like her of Luke 7:36 seq., against whom her past forsaken and forgiven sins were wrongfully alleged. It could refer to no other charge than an unwarranted one.

It is the mistake of an unscientific and partial criticism, to say that our narrative was "a morsel of oral tradition, which had an actual fact in our Saviour's life for a foundation." There is but one plain alternative: either John's authorship, or a symbolical fiction which sought to gain authority by obtaining insertion in the Gospel of John. We have felt obliged to declare decidedly for the latter. If we take the design of the fiction into consideration, we must assign the date of it to a period in which the conflict with Jews and Jewish Christians was in full vigour. Only the most vivid polemical interest could have tempted any one to the bold expedient of usurping the apostolical authority, and putting interpolations into one of the holy Gospels. This requires us to keep within the limits of the second century, in which the conflict that gendered the pia fraus was most excited: comp. Graul's "Christian Church on the Border of the Age of Irenaeus." The fact that the interpolation found so much acceptance, points to a similarly early era. The Apostolical Constitutions towards the end of the third century, are familiar with our narrative in its integrity (John 1:2; John 1:24); and this is all the more significant, from the fact already demonstrated, that it was originally written in order that it might be incorporated with the Gospel in the very place which it now occupies, and that it never had an independent existence. Wherever it has been given in any other connection, it has been certainly detached from its original place.


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Bibliography
Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on John 7:52". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/john-7.html.

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