Page images
PDF
EPUB

Nicodemus pleads the cause of

ST. JOHN.

Christ, and the council breaks up. A.M. 4033 50 Nicodemus saith unto them, (a he! 52 They

52 They answered and said unto A. M.4038. A. D. 29. An. Olymp. that came b'to Jesus by night, being him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search, An. Olymp. CCII. 1.

CCIL 1. one of them,)

and look : for out of Galilee ariseth 51 Doth our law judge any man, before it no prophet. hear him, and know what he doeth ?

53 And every man went unto his own house.

a Ch. 3. 2.

6 Gr. to him.

-c Deut. 1. 17. & 17. 8, &c. & 19. 15.

Isai. 9. 1, 2. Matt. 4. 15. ch. 1. 46.

ver. 41.

reign contempt, they were termed pnxn by âm ha-arels, This verse and the first eleven verses of the following chappeople of the earth; and were not thought worthy to have a ter are wanting in several MSS. Some of those which retain resurrection to eternal life. Wagenseil and Schoetgen hare the paragraph mark it with obelisks, as a proof of spuriousgiven many proofs of the contempt in which the common ness. Those which do retain it, have it with such a rariety of people were held by the Pharisees. Those who were disciples reading as is no where else found in the sacred writings. Proof any of the Rabbins, were considered as being in a much fessor Griesbach leaves the whole paragraph in the text with better state. When they paid well, they purchased their notes of doubtfulness. Most of the modern critics consider it masters' good opinion.

as resting on no solid authority. Verse 50. Nicodemus-being one of them] That is, a The following in the left-hand column, is a literal translation Pharisee, and a ruler of the Jews: see on chap. iii. 1.

of the whole as it stands in the Coder Bezæ, That on the Verse 51. Doth our law judge any man] Tov ordqwToy, the right, is a connected view of it from other manuscripts. man, i. e. who is accused. Perhaps Nicodemus did not refer

John, chap. vii. 53. viii, 1-11. so much to any thing in the law of Moses, as to what was

From the Codex Bezæ. common'y practised among them. Josephus says, Ant. b.

From other MSS. xiv. c. 9. s. 3. That the law has forbidden any man to be put Chap. vii. 53. And every 53. And every one went to death, though wicked, unless he be first condemned to die by one went to his own house. away to his own people (72 the Sanhedrin. It was probably to this law, which is not ex

diz avrov) Al. place. pressly mentioned in the five books of Moses, that Nicodemus

Chap. viii. 1. And Jesus 1. And Jesus went out to here alludes. See laws relative to this point, Deut. xvii. 8, went to the mount of Olives. the mount of Olives. &c. xix. 15.

2. But he came again early 2. But very early in the Verse 52. Art thou also of Galilee ?] They knew very well | into the temple, and all the morning Jesus came again into that he was not ; but they spoke this by way of reproach. As people came unto him. the temple, and all the people if they had said, thou art no better than he is, as thou takest

came; and having sat down be his part. Many of the Galileans had believed on him, which

taught them. the Jews considered to be a reproach. Art thou his disciple, 3. And the Scribes and Pha- 3. And the chief priests, as the Galileans are ?

risees brought a woman unto and the Pharisees bring unto Search, and look] Examine the scriptures, search the him, taken in sin; and setting him a woman taken in adulpublic registers, and thou will see that out of Galilee there | her in the midst,

tery; and having set her in ariseth no prophet. Neither the Messiah, nor any other

pro

the midst, phet, has ever proceeded from Galilee, nor ever can. This 4. The priests say unto him, 4. They spoke, tempting conclusion, says Calmet, was false and impertinent: false, tempting him, that they might him, Teacher, we found this because Jonah was of Gathheper, in Galilee : see 2 Kings xiv. have an accnsation against him, one committing adultery, in 25. compared with Josh. xix. 13. The prophet Nahum was 'Teacher, this woman was taken the very act. also a Galilean, for he was of the tribe of Simeon : and some committing adultery, in the suppose that Malachi was of the same place. The conclusion

very act: was false, because there not having been a prophet from any 5. Now Moses, in the law, 5. And in the law Moses particular place, was no argument that there never could be gave orders to stone such : but commanded us to stone such: one; as the place had not been proscribed.

what dost thou say now? What dost thou say concernVerse 53. And every man went, &c.] The authority and influence of Nicodemus in this case was so great, that the 6. But Jesus having stooped 6. But this they spoke Sanhedrin broke up without being able to conclude any thing down, wrote with his finger tempting him, that they might As the feast was now ended, they were not obliged to continue

find an accusation against him: any longer in or about Jerusalem; and therefore all returned

upon the ground.

but he, knowing it, stooped to their respective dwellings.

down, (Al. bowed down) and

ing her?

Account of the woman

CHAP. VIII.

taken in adultery.

From the Codex Bezæ.

From other MSS.
From the Codex Bezæ.

From other MSS.
wrote with his finger upon the oldest, so that all went out: these things they departed one
ground, seeming as if he did

he did and he was left alone, the wo- by one) beginning from the

not hear. (Al. pretending.) man being in the midst. oldest: and Jesus was left 7. But as they continued 7. But as they continued

alone, and the woman in the asking he lifted up himself, asking him, having looked up,

midst of them. and said unto them, Let him he saith, Let him who is with- 10. And Jesus lifting up

10. Jesus therefore looking 'who is without sin among you, out sin among you, first cast himself, said to the woman, up, saw her, and said, Woman, first cast a stone at her. a stone at her.

Where are they? Hath no where are thy accusers ? Hath 8. And stooping down a- 8. And stooping down a- one condemned thee?

no one condemned thee? gain, he wrote with his finger gain, he wrote with his finger 11. Then she said unto him, 11. Then she said, No one, upon the ground.

upon the ground (the sins of No one, sir. Then he said, sir. And Jesus said, Neither every one of them.)

Neither do I condemn thee; will I judge thee; go away, 9. And each of the Jews 9. And each one of them go, and from this time sin no and henceforth sin no more. went out, beginning from the went out, (Al. and hearing | more.See the notes on this account in the following chapter.

CHAPTER VIII. The story of the woman taken in adultery, 1-1). Jesus declares himself the light of the world, 12. The Pharisees

cavil, 13. Jesus answers, and shexs his authority, 14–20. He delivers a second discourse, in which he convicts them of sin, and foretells their dying in it, because of their unbelief, 21–24. They question him; he answers, und foretells his own death, 25-29. Many believe on him, in consequence of this last discourse, 30. To whom he gires suitable advice, 31, 32. The Jews again caril, and plead the nobility and advantages of their birth, 35. Jesus shews the tanity of their pretensions, and the wickedness of their hearts, 54—37. They blaspheme, and Christ convicts and reproves them, and asserts his divine nature, 48—58. They attempt to stone him, 59.

ESUS went unto the mount of unto him a woman taken in adultery;
An. Olymp.
Olives.

and when they had set her in the An. Olymp. 2 And early in the morning he came midst, again into the temple, and all the people came 4 They say unto him, Master, this woman unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. was taken in adultery, in the very act. 3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought 5 Now Moses in the law commanded us,

A.M. 4033.
A.D. 29.

J

of]

A. M. 4053
A. D. 29.

CCII, 1.

CCII. 1.

* Matt. 21. 1. & 24. 3. Mark 11. 1.

Lev. 20. 10. Deut. 22. 22.

NOTES ON CHAP. VIII.

waters of jealousy in the notes on Num. v. 14, &c. and see at Verse 3. A woman taken in adultery] Some of the popish the end of chap. xviii. writers say that her name was Susanna ; that she was espoused Verse 5. That such should be stoned] It is not strictly true to an old decrepid man, named Manusseh; that she died a that Moses ordered adultery in general, to be punished by saint in Spain, whither she had followed St. James. These stoning. The law simply says, that the adulterer and adultress accounts the judicious Calmet properly terms fables.

shall be put to death. Lev. xx. 10. Deut. xxii. 22. The It is allowed that adultery was exceedingly common at this Rabbins say they were strangled. This they affirm was the time, so common that they had ceased to put the law in force ordinary mode of punishment, where the species of death was against it. The waters of jealousy were no longer drunk, not marked in the law. If the person guilty of an act of this the culprits, or those suspected of this crime, being so very kind, had been betrothed, but not married, she was to be numerous ; and the men who were guilty themselves, dared stoned: Deut. xxii. 23. But if she was the daughter of a not try their suspected wives, as it was believed the waters | priest, she was to be burned alive : Levit. xxi. 9. It appears would have no evil effect upon the wife, if the husband him- || from Ezek. xvi. 38, 40. that adultresses in the time of that self had been criminal. See the whole of the process on the il prophet were stoned, and pierced with a sword.

Account of the woman

Sr. JOHN.

taken in adultery.

A. D. .

CCIL 1.

A.M. 403. that such should be stoned: but what 9 And they which heard it, being A M. 406.
A. D. 29.
An. Olymp. sayest thou?

convicted by their own conscience, An. Olymp. CCII. 1.

6 This they said, tempting him, that went out one by one, beginning at the they might have to accuse him. But Jesus eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the alone, and the woman standing in the midst. ground, as though he heard them not.

10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and 7 So when they continued asking him, he saw none but the woman, he said unto her, lifted up himself, and said unto them, He Woman, where are those thine accusers ? hath that is without sin among you, let him first cast no man condemned thee? a stone at her.

11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said 8 And again he stooped down, and wrote unto her, “Neither do I condemn thee: go, on the ground.

and d sin no more.

a Deut. 17. 7. Rom. 2. 1.

Rom. 2. 29.- Luke 9. 56. & 12. 14. ch. 3. 17.ch. 5. 14.

Selden and Fagius suppose that this woman's case was the is necessary or useful; to do it with humility and modesty; same with that mentioned, Deut. xxii. 23. If a damsel that is and to do it on a principle of charity. How widely does al virgin be betrothed unto a husband, and a man find her in Christ differ from men. He writes his divine thoughts in the the city, und lie with her : then ye shall stone them with stones | dust: they wish to have theirs cut in marble, and engraved that they die, the damsel lecause she cried not, and the man on brass." because he hath humbled his neighbour's wife. As the Phari- Verse 7. He that is without sin] Avqusçntos, meaning the sees spoke of stoning the woman, it is possible this was same kind of sin; adultery, fornication, &c. Kypke bas her case; and some suppose that the apparent indulgence largely proved that the verb apsegtaveur is used in this sense by with which our Lord treated her, insinuates that she had the best Greek writers. suffered some sort of violence, though not entirely inno- Let him first cust a stone at her.] Or, upon her, ez' XUT*. The cent. Therefore he said, I do not condemn thee, i. e. to death, Jewish method of stoning, according to the Rabbins, was as because riolence had been used. Sin no more. Nevertheless follows: The culprit, half naked, the hands tied behind the thou art in certain respects guilty; thou mightest have made back, was placed on a scaffold, ten or twelve feet high; the more resistance.

witnesses, who stood with her, pushed her off with great force: Verse 6. That they might have to accuse him.) Had our if she was killed by the fall there was nothing farther done : Lord condemned the woman to death, they might have ac- but if she was not, one of the witnesses took up a very large cused him to Pilate, as arrogating to himself the power of life stone, and dashed it upon her breast, which generally was the and death, which the Romans had taken away from the Jews; coup de grace, or finishing stroke. This mode of punishment besides, the Roman laws did not condemn an adultress to be seems referred to, Matt. xxi. 44. However, this procedure pul to death. On the other hand, if he had said she should does not appear to have been always attended to. See Lev. not be put to deatlı, they might have represented him to the xxiv. 16. and verse 59 of this chapter. people as one who decided contrary to the law, and favoured Verse 9. Being convicted by their own conscience] So it is the crime of which the woman was accused.

likely they were all guilty of similar crimes. With his finger wrote] Several MSS. add, their sins who Beginning at the eldest, even unto the last] Ato muy agesBurucea accused her, and the sins of all men. There are many idle WS TWY EXOTW, from the most honourable to those of the least reconjectures concerning what our Lord wrote on the ground, pute. In this sense the words are undoubtedly to be understood. several of which may be seen in Calmet.

The woman standing in the midst.] But if they all went We never find that Christ wrote any thing before or after out, how could she be in the midst? It is not said that all this: and what he wrote at this time, we know not. On this the people, whom our Lord had been instructing, went out, the pious Quesnel makes the following reflections.

but only her accusers : see ver. 11. The rest undoubtedly 1. Since Jesus Christ never wrote but once that we hear continued with their Teacher. of, in his whole life. 2. Since he did it only in the dust. Verse 11. Neither do I condemn thee). Bishop Pearce says, 3. Since it was only to avoid condemning a sinner: and “ It would have been strange if Jesus, when he was not a 4. since he would not have that which he wrote so much as magistrate, and had not the witnesses before him to examine known; let men learn from hence never to write but when it | them; and when she had not been tried and condemned by

[ocr errors]

Christ proclaims himself

CHAP. VIII.

the light of the world.

4.M. 4033. A.D. 29.

12 | Then spake Jesus again unto | walk in darkness, but shall have the 4.1.4003 An. Olymp. them, saying, I am the light of the light of life.

world : he that followeth me shall not 13 The Pharisees therefore said un

... D. 29. An. Olymp. CCII. 1.

CCII. 1.

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

ence.

the law and legal judges, should have taken upon him to con- of the universe, thou commandest us to light lamps to thee, yet demn her. This being the case, it appears, why Jesus avoid- thou art The ligur of the world; and with thee the light ed giving an answer to the question of the Scribes and Phari-| dwelleth.” Our Lord therefore assumes here, a well known sees; and also how little reason there is to conclude from character of the Supreme Being; and with this, we find the hence, that Christ seems in this case not enough to have dis- | Jews were greatly offended. couraged adultery, though he called it a sin. And yet this Shall not walk in darkness] He shall be saved from ignoopinion took place so early among the Christians, that therance, infidelity, and sin. If he follow me, become my disreading of this story was industriously avoided in the lessons | ciple, and believe on my name, he shall have my Spirit to recited out of the Gospels, in the public service of the bear witness with his, that he is a child of God. He shall churches; as if Jesus's saying, I do not condemn thee, had have the light of life--such a light as brings and supports given too much countenance to women guilty of that crime. | life. The sun, the fountain of light, is also the fountain of In consequence of this, as it was never read in the churches, | life: by his vivifying influences, all things live-neither aniand is now not to be found in any of the Evangelistaria, and mal nor vegetative life could exist, were it not for his influas it was probably marked in the MSS. as a portion not to be Jesus, the sun of righteousness, Mal. iv. 2. is the read there ; this whole story, from ver. 1. to ver. 11. inclu- fountain of all spiritual and eternal life. Flis light brings sive, came, in length of time, to be left out in some Mss. life with it, and they who walk in his light, live in his life. though in the greater part it is still remaining.” Thus far This sentiment is beautifully expressed and illustrated in the the judicious and learned Bishop. How the passage stands following inimitable verse (all monosyllables except one word) in all the MSS. hitherto collated, may be seen in Wetstein of that second Spencer, Phineas Fletcher : speaking of the and Griesbach. After weighing what has been adduced in conversion of a soul to God, he

says: favour of its authenticity, and seriously considering its state “ New Light new love, new love new life hath bred; in the MSS. as exhibited in the Var. Lect, of Griesbach, I A life that lives by love, and loves by light: must confess, the evidence in its favour does not appear to A love to him, to whom all loves are wed; me to be striking. Yet I by no means would have it ex. A light, to whom the sun is darkest night : punged from the text. Its absence from many MSS. and the Eye's Light, heart's LOVE, soul's only life he is : confused manner in which it appears in others, may be readily Life, soul, love, heart, Light, eye, and all are his : accounted for on the principles laid down by Bishop Pearce He eye, Light, heart, love, soul ; He all my joy and bliss.” above. It may however be necessary to observe, that a very

Purple ISLAND, Can. I. v. 7. perfect connection subsists between ver. 52, of chap. vii. and Some suppose our Lord alludes to the custorn of lighting ver. 12. of this chapter-all the intermediate verses having lamps or torches, on the first day of the feast of Tabernacles. been omitted by MSS. of the first antiquity and authority. But as these words seem to have been spoken the day after In some MSS. it is found at the end of this Gospel ; in others that last and great day of the feast, mentioned chap. vii. 37. a vacant place is left in this chapter; and in others it is placed, they may rather be considered as referring to the following after the 21st chapter of Luke. See at the end of this chapter. custom : It has already been observed, that the Jews added a

Verse 12. Then spake Jesus again unto them] Allowing the ninth day to this feast, which day they termed, The feast of story about the woman taken in adultery to be authentic, and joy for the law; and on that day they were accustomed to to stand here in its proper place; we may consider that our lake all the sacred books out of the chest where they had Lord having begun to teach the people in the temple, was in-been deposited, and put a lighted candle in their place, in terrupted by the introduction of this woman by the Scribes allusion to Prov. vi. 23. For the commandment is a LAMP, (or and Pharisees ; and now having dismissed them and the wo-CANDLE) and the law is life: or to Psal. cxix. 115. Thy word man also, he resumes his discourse.

is a lamp unto my feet, and a Light unto my path. If this I am the light of the world] The fountain, whence all in- | custom existed in the time of our Lord, it is most likely that tellectual light and spiritual understanding proceed : without it is to it be here alludes; as it must have happened about the me all is darkness, misery, and death. The Divine Being saine time in which these words were spoken.

See Buxtorf. was, by the Rabbins, denominated, the light of the world. Synagog. Jud. c. xxi. So in Bamidbar Rabba, “ The Israelites said to God, O Lord As the Messiah was frequently spoken of by the prophets

[ocr errors]

The Jews cavil, and

ST. JOHN.

Christ confutes them ;

A. D. 29.

D. .

CCII. 1.

CCII.1.

A.M.4033. to him, * Thou bearest record of thy- 17 'It is also written in your law, A. 1,403 An. Olymp. self; thy record is not true.

that the testimony of two men is An. Olymp. 14 Jesus answered and said unto true. them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my 18 I am one that bear witness of myself; record is true : for I know whence I came, and and s the Father that sent me beareth witness whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence Iof me. come, and whither I go.

19 Then said they unto him, Where is thy Fa15 ‘Ye judge after the flesh ; "I judge nother? Jesus answered, “Ye neither know me, man.

nor my Father: 'if ye had known me, ye should 16 And yet if I judge, my judgment is true : have known my Father also. for · I am not alone, but I and the Father that 20 These words spake Jesus in " the treasury, sent me.

as he taught in the temple : and 'no man laid

2 Ch. 5. 31. See ch. 7. 28. & 9. 29.ch. 7. 24.-_ch. 3. 17. & 12. 47. & 18. 36. - ver. 29. ch. 16. 32.- Deut. 17. 6. & 19. 15.

Matt. 13. 16. 2 Cor. 13. 1. Heb. 10. 28.- –6 ch, 5. 37.25 rer. 55. ch. 16. 3.-ich. 14, 7.-k Mark 1. 41. clı. 7. SI.

under the emblem of light, see Isai. Ix. 1. xlix. 6. ix. 2. the am but a mere man-pay attention to my teaching and mira. Pharisees must at once perceive, that he intended to recom-cles

, and ye shall then see, that nothing less than infinite wismend himself to the people as the Messiah, when he said, 1|| dom and unlimited power could teach and do, what I have am the light of the world.

taught and performed. Our Lord speaks here exactly in the The Rabbins think that the Messiah is intended in Gen. character of an ambassador. Such a person does not bring a i. 4. And God said, Let there be light, and there was light. second with him to vouch his truth; his credentials from his “ From this we may learn, that the holy and blessed God saw king ascertain his character: he represents the king's person. the light of the Messiah and his works, before the world was So our Lord represents the Father as bearing witness with created : and reserved it for the Messiah and his generation, him. The miracles which he wrought, were the proof from under the throne of his glory. Satan said to the holy and leaven that he was the promised Messiah : these were the blessed God, For whom dost thou reserve that light which is great seal of all his pretensions. under the throne of thy glory? God answered, For him Verse 19. Ye neither know me, &c.] Ye know neither the who shall subdue thee, and overwhelm thee with confusion. | Messiah, nor the God that sent him. Satan rejoined, Lord of the universe, shew that person to me. If ye had known me If ye had received my teaching, ye God said, Come and see him. When he saw him, he was would have got such an acquaintance with the nature and atgreatly agitated, and fell upon his face, saying, Truly this is tributes of God, as ye never could have had, and never can the Messiah, who shall cast me and idolaters into hell.” Yal- have any other way. That is a true saying, No man hath scen eut Rubeni, fol. 6. This is a very remarkable saying: and as God at any time : the only begotten Son, who lay in the bosom it might have existed in the time of onr Lord, to it' he might of the Father, he hath DECLARED him. The nature and perhave alluded in the verse before us. The thing itself is true : fections of God never can be properly known, but in the the Messiah is the light of the world, and by him Satan's light of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is worthy of remark, empire of idolatry is destroyed in the world, and the king that in all this discourse, our blessed Lord ever speaks of the dom of light and life established. See several similar testi- ||Father and himself as two distinct persons. Therefore, the monies in Schoetgen.

Father is not the Son, nor the Son the Father, as some perVerse 13. Thou: bearest' record] As if they had said, Dost sons vainly imagine; though it is plain enough that the comthou imagine, that we shall believe thee in a matter so im- || pletest unity and equality subsist between them. portant, on thy bare assertion? Had these people attended Verse 20. The treasury] Lightfoot observes from the Rabto the teaching and miracles of Christ, they would have seen bins, that the treasury was in what was called the court of the that his pretensions' to the Messiahship, were supported by women

n—that there were thirteen chests in it; in the thirteenth the most irrefragable testimony.

only the women were permitted to put their offerings. ProVerse 14. I know whence I came) I came from God, and bably the other twelve were placed there in reference to the am going to God, and can neither do, nor say any thing, but twelve tribes; each perhaps inscribed with the name of one what leads to, and glorifies him.

of Jacob's twelve sons. Verse 15. Ye judge after the flesh] Because I appear in It seems that our Lord sometimes sat in this court to teach the form of man, judging from this appearance, ye think I l the people. See Mark xii. 41, &c.

« PreviousContinue »