Craig S. Keener
Jerusalem and its King. 12:12–50
ONCE JESUS ARRIVES IN JERUSALEM (12:12–19), people respond to him in various ways. The Gentiles seek him (12:20–22), provoking his remark that the time for his death had come (12:23–33). His own people, however, whose king he is (12:13–15), remained blind (12:37–43; cf. 9:39–41), unable to see Jesus' glory which Isaiah saw, which is the light (Jesus' discussion of which frames the comment on their blindness–12:34–36,44–50). Yet Jesus remained God's agent and standard for judgment (12:44–50).
The Arrival of Zion's King (12:12–19)
Earlier passages had introduced Jesus as rightful king of Israel (1:49), but also warned that his «own» as a whole did not receive him (1:11; or that they misunderstood his kingship–6:15; cf. 18:36–37). Both themes are present here, but John is careful to emphasize that his people as a whole would have been more open to him (12:17–18), but that it was the leaders who were responsible for their people being led wrongly (12:19).
1. Authenticity of the Core Tradition
That someone would go out to meet with respect an important teacher (11:20), signs worker (12:18) or king (12:13) is not unlikely (see comment on 11:20); that crowds already present loudly welcomed many incoming pilgrims is virtually certain. Yet because Jesus' claim to kingship is often doubted, some are doubtful that the triumphal entry happened. If people hailed Jesus as king, why did the Romans not intervene suddenly?
But the Gospels present the grandness of the event in the light of their theology about Jesus' identity; most of the accounts do not require us to suppose an originally large-scale notice.7803 In the bustle of a city milling with pilgrims, more of whom were arriving throughout the day, the Romans need not have noticed this relatively obscure event.7804 The Roman garrison was concentrated on the Temple Mount, and Jesus was hardly the only Passover pilgrim welcomed by the crowds already present. More importantly, leaders of the municipal aristocracy, normally charged with keeping peace for the Romans, were also concentrated on the Temple Mount at this season (being mainly priests) and had they been notified of the entry in time to stop it–which assumes a much longer period of acclamation than is likely–they preferred not to act in front of the crowd anyway (Mark 11:32; 14:2). In John the leaders, who are now Pharisees, continue to be concerned about the opinions of the crowd (12:19).
That many people would hail the «prophet» from Galilee is likely.7805 (For John, the welcomers surely include Galileans; cf. 11:55.)7806 But many people in first-century Judea wanted to acclaim prophetic figures as kings,7807 and both Markan and Johannine tradition suggest royal acclamation. Already in Mark the acclamation alludes to a psalm in the Hallel (Ps 118:26), employed at Passover, that would most suitably address a king (Mark 11:9–10); that Jesus himself is the king, the son of David, becomes clearer in Matthew (Matt 21:9) and Luke (Luke 19:38).7808 Reminiscences of the Passover Hallel are likely historical;7809 yet if Jesus were greeted simply the way all other Passover pilgrims were greeted, it is doubtful that the disciples would have preserved the account, given more significant events to report and that they must have received the same greetings themselves. Such considerations support the historicity of the event.
2. The Event and Its Significance (12:12–13)
To say that John depends on prior and likely authentic historical tradition here is not to deny that he draws theological capital from the wording; «the one who comes» has already functioned as a messianic title (1:15, 27; 3:31; 6:14; 11:27); Jesus had indeed come «in the name of the Lord,» his Father (5:43; 10:25); and John makes «king of Israel» explicit, echoing 1:49.7810 The entry's primary significance is probably what the Gospels imply: Jesus intended to present himself as a king but–by means of the donkey (12T4–15)7811–to define his kingship as one of peace (cf. 18:36–37).7812
To be sure, the observers might not understand the entry in peaceful terms. Rulers were welcomed with similar fanfare.7813 The palm branches (12:13; only in John) suggest a triumphal entry for a military triumph or a royal acclamation (1Macc 13:51;2Macc 10:7; 14:4);7814 the carrying or waving of branches would also communicate triumph or royal welcome to ancient readers unfamiliar with the specific Maccabean associations known to Mediterranean Jews.7815 We should digress at this point to note that, because such palm branches would have to be brought from Jericho and were normally used at Tabernacles,7816 some have suggested that the original triumphal entry took place at the Feast of Tabernacles.7817 This suggestion is not likely; the abundant details matching Passover in the traditional passion narrative (as emphasized especially by Jeremias) were hardly added simply by later writers, for whose audiences many of the connections would seem meaningless. John could have added palm branches simply to augment the symbolism of messianic acclamation;7818 his probable audience seems familiar with palm branches to symbolize victory or triumphal entry (Rev 7:9). Otherwise his independent tradition probably focuses on and so magnifies the use of a smaller number of palm branches perhaps brought by pilgrims from the vicinity of Jericho (a region where Jesus also ministered), perhaps for constructing temporary shelters during the Passover.7819 Whether one judges the use of palm branches likely will depend on onés prior predisposition toward the historicity of Johannine tradition, but there is in fact nothing historically implausible about the presence of palm branches if Jesus' disciples мая have anticipated a sort of triumphal entry, as some gospel tradition мая suggest (Mark 10:37); according to both the gospel tradition (Mark 10:46) and a likely route for paschal pilgrims from Galilee, Jesus and his followers had just come from the vicinity of Jericho and his followers мая have brought such branches for this very purpose.
The cry «Hosanna!» renders the Hebrew of Ps 118:25,7820 and similar Hebrew cries for salvation could address kings (2Sam 14:4; 2 Kgs 6:26); coupled with the branches (see below), this suggests that the crowds hoped for him as a king or national deliverer.7821 Hence he is «king of Israel,» as Nathanael recognized (1:49). In John's Gospel this royal expectation recalls 6:15, but on this occasion Jesus does not retreat, for his hour of enthronement on the cross is approaching. Ironically, the leaders of his people will claim no king but Caesar (19:15).
3. Scripture Fulfilled (12:14–16)
The disciples did not recognize the allusion to Zech 9:97822 until after Jesus' death and resurrection (12:14–16),7823 obvious as it мая seem in retrospect.7824 If extant later sources мая reflect ideas circulating in the late first century, they suggest that this verse was understood messianically in early Judaism.7825 Most ancient Mediterranean hearers would honor the image of a ruler who was merciful and kind to his enemies.7826 John's special touch is evident even in the details. It was not an unusual practice to abbreviate a narrative by omitting intermediaries,7827 as Matthew seems to do on some occasions (Matt 8/ Luke 7:3–4; Matt 9/ Mark 5:35); thus no one will be alarmed that Jesus himself «finds» the donkey (12:14), in contrast to the fuller version in the probably more widely circulated version of the passion week (Mark 11:1–6).7828 After all, even in that version, Jesus was ultimately responsible for locating the donkey (Mark 11:2). But what is most theologically significant is that in John's language Jesus finds the donkey–just as he gives the sop (13:26) and in other ways shows himself sovereign over the details of the Passion Narrative.
That the disciples did not understand at first fits John's version of the Messianic Secret. After Jesus' glorification, the Spirit would come (7:39) and cause the disciples to remember Jesus' message (14:26); his glorification thus allowed the disciples to recall Jesus' action and understand it in light of Scripture here (12:16). John had earlier offered a similar comment about the disciples after the resurrection remembering Jesus' costly zeal for the temple (2:22). The repetition suggests a key hermeneutical point for John: the biblical record and Jesus' ministry and glorification should be read in light of one another, led by the Spirit who continues his presence.
4. Immediate Responses to Jesus' Entry (12:17–19)
The present description of the report of Lazarus's raising (12:17), like the account of Lazarus's raising itself, somewhat resembles the description of the future resurrection (5:28: μνημείον; φωυή/φωνέω), functioning as a public advance notification of that day.
Those who had believed (11:44) now functioned as witnesses (12:17), which fits John's paradigm for discipleship. The interest of the crowds (12:18) again shows that John recognizes the diverse Jewish responses to Jesus; his «enemies» are not his fellow Jews, but the «Pharisees» (12:19).
That the Pharisees tell one another, «You are doing no good» (12:19), is vintage Johannine irony;7829 they mean, «We have proved ineffective in stopping Jesus» («profit nothing,» as in 6:63), but they actually comment on their own deficit of righteousness. Further, their complaint about «the world» is telling; they мая mean «the rabble,» but their words become an unintended prophecy (cf. 11:51) of Gentiles turning to Jesus (12:20; cf. 11:48),7830 which must have been compounding the offense of Christianity for the enemies of John's audience.7831 As in 11:48, their words are also exaggeration on a literal level even for John; every member of the world follows Jesus no more than every individual already honors the Father (5:23); John is not a universalist. But the word becomes widespread and crosses all boundaries of culture and geography.
Gentiles and the Cross (12:20–36)
The rest of the chapter (12:20–50) moves directly into the passion.7832 The Pharisees had unwittingly prophesied the coming of Gentiles to Jesus (12:19); proleptically this coming begins in 12:20–21. The coming of Gentiles (12:20–21) marks the final prerequisite for the «hour» of Jesus' glorification (12:23).7833
1. The Coming of Gentiles? (12:20–22)
John could intend Diaspora Jews here,7834 perhaps as representatives of the Gentiles.7835 More likely, however, John has Gentile Greeks in view (see comment on 7:35);7836 as Brown points out, nothing less dramatic than «the understanding that the first Gentiles have come to Jesus explains his exclamation that the hour has come» (12:23).7837 Many Diaspora Jews did come to the feasts (Josephus War 5.199), though probably not frequently.7838 But many interested Gentiles would also attend;7839 most of these would have been «God-fearers,» a widely attested class of Gentiles interested in Judaism.7840 Probably a fairly large percentage of the visiting Greeks would be from the region, especially from Syria and the Decapolis.7841
Philip had elsewhere introduced a person to Jesus (1:44–46), but the text does not provide an explicit reason why the Greeks approached Philip first, if not at random (12:21). Unlike the names of many of the disciples, Philip was a popular Greek name (especially after the father of Alexander of Macedon).7842 But more critically if true, some from the Decapolis мая have known of Philip. Philip's Bethsaida (12:21) was technically not in Antipas's «Galilee» but, until 34 C.E., in the tetrarchy of Philip; but people on both sides of the artificial border ignored the regularly changing boundaries.7843 John's explicit Bethsaida «of Galilee» reinforces the connection between Galilee and others distant from the Judean elite.
Like Philip, Andrew (12:22) had introduced someone to Jesus (1:40); he was also from the same town as Philip with possibly the same kinds of connections (1:44). Andrew мая have even known the lad in 6because of contacts on the lake of Galilee.
These Greeks' «desire» to see Jesus (12:21) is not explicitly granted in this text, but the results are clear in light of the whole of John's Gospel; those who «want» to do God's will ultimately recognize the truth of Jesus' teachings (7:17), and no one who comes to Jesus will be cast out (6:37).
2. The Cross and Divine Glory (12:23–34)
The coming of the Greeks (12:20–22) signals the arrival of Jesus' hour (2:4; 13:1; 17:1), when he will glorify God by the cross (12:23–24,27–34); those who follow him must follow the same pattern of glorifying God (12:25–26). Meanwhile, the crowds failed to understand most of Jesus' point (12:29, 34), because they could not believe (12:37–43).
2A. Jesus' Hour of Glory (12:23–24)
When Jesus speaks of his glorification, it is not a matter of ignoring the Greeks nor necessarily a direct refusal;7844 it does not appear that he spoke to them, but whether he did so or not remains unclarified because it is irrelevant to John's point.7845 The event provokes another of the Johannine discourses, many of which do not end a narrative with any explicit narrative conclusions (e.g., 3:21–22; 3:36–4:1; 5:47–6:1), though John does include other narrative interruptions here, emphasizing the unbelief of his own people (12:28–29, 34). Rather than replying to them directly in the text, however, Jesus interprets their presence.7846
This passage clarifies some motifs in the Gospel that would otherwise remain ambiguous until this point for the first-time reader. Jesus' glorification (12:23) includes the cross (12:24; see note on 7:39); along with the double entendre involved in Jesus being «lifted up» on the cross (12:32–33), this image of «glory» and «lifting up» together hark back to the LXX rendering of Isa 52(ό παις μου και ύψωθήσεται και δοξασθήσεται σφόδρα), the beginning of the Servant Song that includes Isa 53.7847 On the one hand Jesus is exalted to a position of honor; on the other hand, he is exalted by way of the cross, there crowned «king of the Jews.»7848 The cross was the epitome of shame in the Roman world; in light of Isaiah, however, this worldly shame becomes Jesus' honor, his «glorification.»7849 God's honor and that of the world prove mutually exclusive (12:43).
The image in various early Christian sources of a grain dying to produce fruit (esp. 1Cor 15:36–38) мая draw on a catechetical tradition,7850 but need not do so; it was a commonplace image (12:24; cf. Mark 4:27–29).7851 Presumably Jesus refers to the seed's «dying» in a nontechnical sense, especially on the level of John's probably urban audience: its death probably is a graphic metaphor for when it falls to the ground or (for any farmers listening) when the shoots begin to sprout from the body of the fallen seed.7852 In the first instance, it refers to Jesus (12:23, 27, 32–33);7853 but the principle must also apply to Jesus' followers (12:25–26). Between Jesus' death and the expansion of early Christianity lay his resurrection, but the saying follows the familiar Semitic format of encompassing a whole by mentioning its beginning and ending.7854 «Fruit» can refer to the produce of a believer's life (15:8) but here refers to the harvest of other lives (4:36).
2B. The Price of Following Jesus (12:25–26)
Ironically, Lazarus had died that Jesus might raise him (11:4), but his new life might paradoxically cost him his death at the hands of the world personified in the Judean authorities (12:10–11). When Jesus speaks here of dying to live (12:25),7855 he sounds like he is speaking Johannine theology; but though the saying is transposed into Johannine idiom, 12:25–26 represents a pre-Johannine saying that appears in the Synoptic tradition.7856 This suggests that Johannine idiom need not indicate that John creates material without the use of sources; rather, he rewrites his sources so thoroughly that we can discern them only where they plainly overlap with Synoptic materials.
Losing onés life in this age would be a small price to preserve it in the eternal age to come, a notion not unfamiliar to Jesus' Jewish contemporaries.7857 Philosophers talked about being ready to face death,7858 as did military historians7859 and an oath of loyalty to the divine emperor.7860 Biographers could praise statesmen who sacrificed their lives for their people.7861 Generals typically warned troops before battle that those who risked their lives ultimately were more apt to preserve them.7862 Some felt that prayer for onés life would demean that person's heroic character (Longinus Sub1. 9.10, on Ajax). Despite similarities in wording, the Fourth Gospel's Jewish audience and sources would probably understand Jesus' words more in line with the biblical tradition of preparedness to suffer for God's honor. Moses, Elijah, Jeremiah, and David suffered for God's honor, but none of them suffered gladly; Jesus likewise suffers, but not because he desires to suffer (12:27). First-century texts frequently portray Jewish people prepared to die for the honor of their ancestral customs,7863 and early Jewish texts speak of loving eternal life more than life in the present world, so enduring the world's hostility (1 En. 108:10).7864
Jesus here provides such a choice between two ways.7865 Johannine literature elsewhere speaks of loving not the world (3:19; 1 John 2:15), its honor (12:43), or onés life even to the point of death (Rev 12:11). Serving Jesus (12:26) demanded seeking humility rather than honor (cf. 12:2) and required following Jesus' model of servanthood, which shortly follows in the narrative (13:5, 14–16).7866 Yet those who shared Jesus' suffering would also share his glory: wherever Jesus would be,7867 there his servants would be as well (12:26), both in death and in the Father's presence (14:3). Those who suffered for Jesus should seek only God's honor (5:23), and themselves would be honored by the Father (12:26) rather than by mortals (5:41,44; 12:43).
2C. Glorifying God by Suffering (12:27–30)
Jesus was «troubled» (12:27) to face death, and prayed accordingly. Throughout the Mediterranean world people considered praiseworthy those heroes who faced suffering bravely, often without tears or signs of sorrow,7868 though stories could also underline the humanity of their heroes by showing them distraught by hostile odds.7869 In other cases one might face death bravely simply because she knew it was fated, hence inevitable.7870 Philosophers exhorted people to «pray simply for the Good and leave the decision to the god,» though the vast majority of people continued to pray simply for what they wanted.7871 The Gospels do not fit such philosophic or sometimes heroic expectations;7872 Jesus would go to the cross to obey his Father's will, but not as if death were not a trauma for him. This is true of John as of the Synoptics.
Those familiar with the passion tradition would now understand the source of John's «hour» (e.g., 2:4; 7:30; 8:20) if they had not recognized it previously: in the passion tradition, Jesus had prayed for his «hour» to pass (Mark 14:35). John here likely echoes–and adapts–the same tradition that independently appears in the Synoptic account of Geth-semane.7873 Whereas the Markan line of tradition, probably dependent on an earlier passion narrative, emphasizes Jesus' trauma at Gethsemane (Mark 14:32–42; Matt 26:36–46; Luke 22:39–46), John brings it forward to 12and turns the prayer into a question ("Shall I say, 'Save me from this hour?'»). («My soul is troubled» likely reflects Ps 41LXX [42:6]; some argue that the immediate context of that verse мая also inform the background of Jesus' Gethsemane prayer in Mark.)7874 John thereby tones down the intensity of Jesus' agony before the cross yet hardly brings Jesus' character into line with Greco-Roman expectations for heroism. In idiomatic language,7875 John emphasizes that Jesus' soul is «troubled» in the face of death (which is shortly to follow; «now» signifies the imminence of Jesus' hour, e.g., 13:1, 31); as in 11:33, this statement contradicts philosophers' de-mands.7876 In contrast to some of his second- and third-century readers, most of John's initial audience were not philosophers or aristocrats and might resonate better with this portrait of one who shared their humanity (1:14).7877
Jesus then prays for the Father's «glory» (12:28), a characteristically Johannine equivalent for the earlier passion tradition's «your will be done» (Mark 14:36). The context has already reminded the reader that Jesus had come in the Father's name (e.g., 12:13) and that the hour had come for Jesus' glory (12:23), which was inseparable from the Father's glory (13:32). This prayer мая represent the nucleus which is continued and developed more fully in Jesus' next and final Johannine prayer in ch. 17, which begins with a prayer for God's glory (17:1–5).
Prayers for God to glorify his name were common7878–for example, the petition for the sanctification of God's name in the Kaddish, after which the Lord's Prayer is probably patterned.7879 In the context of the Fourth Gospel, however, this prayer for «glory» is a prayer for the hastening of the cross (7:39; 12:23–24); as in Mark 14:36, Jesus dislikes his impending death (John 12:27) but he nevertheless submits to his Father's plan (12:28). Responding to Jesus' prayer, a «heavenly voice,» an earlier oracular form the rabbis later called a bat qol, publicly confirms Jesus' mission in 12:28.7880 This heavenly voice appears frequently in later rabbinic texts,7881 but its antiquity seems assured in view of sufficient analogues in a wider range of early Jewish and Mediterranean literature (cf. Dan 4:31).7882 Later rabbis considered the bat kol subordinate to Scripture and prophecy, but its appearance in conjunction with such other revelatory testimonies in the Fourth Gospel provides a corroborating function (as in Mark 1:3–11).7883
Having omitted an audible heavenly voice at Jesus' baptism and transfiguration (because he has omitted both events, making Jesus' whole public ministry a transfiguration of sorts), John мая feel free to introduce a heavenly voice here. But if John has an independent tradition, one cannot argue against authenticity simply on the grounds that «this oracular response conforms to no known type of oracle.»7884 One could as easily argue the opposite; whereas the bat qol did not always conform to oracular form, or God might not be expected to conform only to Greco-Roman oracular forms, one would expect a rhetorically polished writer to conform newly composed oracles to accepted oracular form. In the final analysis, neither direction of argument carries much weight; if John rewords Jesus' teachings and other tradition in his own style, one would expect the same for this bat qo1. Ironically, it is rejection by his opponents (12:19, 33, 37) that provides the context for Jesus' ultimate glorification in this Gospe1.7885
Because God's voice is often identified with thunder,7886 and other heavenly voices could come as thunder (Rev 6:1; 10:3–4;14:2; 19:6), it is not surprising that some bystanders would mistake the heavenly voice for thunder. Pagans also often associated thunder with the supreme deity7887 and believed that the supreme deity sometimes thundered to strike terror into an enemy army,7888 or to encourage a favored mortal or to confirm his prayer.7889 (If an allusion to Sinai were intended,7890 God's confirmation of Jesus' mission of the cross would constitute the new Sinai revelation; but cf. comment on 1:14–18.) On the theological level, however, this merely testifies to the depth of their incomprehension; even when God speaks from heaven, they cannot understand or believe.
Some thought the voice was thunder; others, illustrating the continuing division in the multitude (7:12; 9:16), thought that an angel spoke to him (12:29).7891 Because early Judaism often expected that God responded to prayers through angels,7892 it is also not surprising that some would think that an angel had spoken to him; but while this conclusion represents more insight than assuming mere thunder, it underestimates the direct intimacy between the Father and the Son (8:29; 11:42) and again misunderstands Jesus' identity. By their misinterpretations «they confirm the assertions of Jesus that the 'Jews' know neither him nor his Father (5:37; 8:19, 55; 15:21; 16:3; 17:25) and that they have never heard the voice of the Father (5:37).»7893
One could argue that they thought that Jesus' «Father» (12:28) was an angel, but Jewish prayers typically invoked God as «father» and sought his glory. For that matter, readers would have assumed that even Gentiles should have understood Jesus' point; educated Jews knew that Greeks called Zeus «father» (Josephus Ag. Ap. 2.241). Greek references to the chief deity as «father» are abundant, including in the widely recited literature of the classical past.7894 Greek religion from the earliest written period and Roman religion from an early period recognized Zeus or Jupiter as «father of gods and men,»7895 «father of gods and king of men»;7896 "father of gods";7897 humanity's father by virtue of creation;7898 «father» of all creation as its maker;7899 «omnipotent father»;7900 or simply «the father» or «Zeus father.»7901 Thus both the Olympian deities7902 and mortals7903 frequently addressed him as «father.» In these images, the chief deity is the supreme patriarch and ruler of the cosmos, in the same way as the emperor could be hailed as «father» of the Roman state (Herodian 2.2.9; 2.6.2), «father» on earth as Jupiter was in heaven (Ovid Fasti 2.131).
By Jesus' day, however, a nearer context for a Galilean teacher was certainly early Judaism, and whatever the measure of Greek influence on its preference for the language, its most direct source was the Hebrew Bible. The Hebrew Bible recognized God as Israel's father by adoption in redemption7904 and Jewish literature in general continued this tradition (e.g., Wis 2:16; 3Macc 5:7; 7:6). Jewish literature regularly calls God Israel's (occasonally in Diaspora Judaism, humanity's) «father.»7905 Jewish tradition also employed this biblical image in prayer, though in a relatively restrained manner (3Macc 6:8).7906 The form of synagogue Judaism we know from later rabbinic literature commonly calls God «our Father in heaven,»7907 as scholars conversant in the material regularly point out.7908 But even Jewish texts not intended for corporate use only rarely designate God as personally «my Father,»7909 whereas Jesus nearly ahvays did.7910 Matthew and John, the most explicitly Jewish of the extant gospels, also emphasize Jesus' use of «Father» most frequently. But while «Father» should be clear to John's primarily Jewish audience and its peripheral Gentile adherents, the titlés significance should have been lost on anyone in the story world. For John, their failure to understand emphasizes their denseness, and appears to stem from a failure to believe.
The voice came for their sakes (12:30; cf. 11:42); Jesus did not doubt his own identity (11:42), but they needed testimony and signs to believe (5:34; 10:38). Now the climactic time of Jesus' glorification had come; at the very point where the world system would seem to crush Jesus (12:32–33), the spiritual ruler of the world would be convicted and cast out (12:31).
2D. Judgment on the World's Ruler (12:31)
Jesus came not to judge the world (3:17; 12:47), but the moment of judgment nevertheless arrived in him. The world's judgment was at hand: the context is Jesus going to the cross (12:32–33); that judgment was coming «now» (12:31) revealed the eschatological significance of the cross in history (cf. 12:27; 13:31, 36; 16:5, 22; 17:5, 13). Jesus' death signaled defeat for the «prince of the world» (12:31; cf. 14:30; 16:11). Another document probably circulating in the same circle of believers as this Gospel depicts Satan being «cast out» from heaven in strikingly similar language, at the time of Jesus' exaltation (possibly on the cross; Rev 12:4, 9).
In most Jewish texts God is the ruler of the world.7911 Nevertheless, angels could function as «princes» with delegated authority under God,7912 and a third-century C.E. text could refer to a (good) angel as «the prince of the world.»7913 Much earlier, the Dead Sea Scrolls contrast the Prince of Lights (7914שר האורים ) with Belial, prince of the wicked realm.7915 The Scrolls also present Belial as ruler of the army of the Kittim.7916 Although their date is uncertain, in some texts Beliar is also the angel of sin who rules the world.7917 Pagans applied titles such as «ruler of the world» to prominent deities7918 as well as the emperor.7919 Clearly, early Christians adopted the apocalyptic worldview in which God allowed the devil and his forces considerable activity among the nations in the present age (2Cor 4:4; Eph 2:2; cf. Mark 3:22).7920 Although some later gnostic traditions portrayed Israel's God as an evil «ruler of this world,»7921 nothing analogous provides the background of this passage;7922 whereas the Fourth Gospel denies that the Pharisees know Israel's God, it never distinguishes Jesus' Father from Israel's true God.
At least in some later traditions, opposing the higher courts' right to pronounce sentence constituted a criminal offense;7923 many believed that the earthly court ruled on the authority of heaven.7924 Whatever the antiquity and pervasiveness of such particular traditions, they мая reflect a longstanding respect for earthly courts in mainstream Jewish society. Yet here Jesus pronounces sentence not merely against the earthly courts that oppose him, but against the evil prince that stands behind them. «Casting out» the ruler moves the Johannine Jesus far beyond the level of merely individual earthly exorcisms (as in the Synoptics) to the defeat of Satan in the heavenly realm (Rev 12:9–10).7925
Some Jewish texts that hail God as the world's ultimate ruler contrast his rule with that of earthly kings who seek to usurp such a role (2Macc 7:9). Given the context, this «ruler of the world» мая well be seen as the evil prince who ruled the angels of the nations, in this case at work not only through the political leaders of the world system as a whole but specifically through the leaders («rulers») of Israel (12:42; cf. 7:48). The rulers feared lest they be «cast out» from the synagogue (12:42); the ruler of the world, however, was now being «cast out» from his position for opposing Christ, stripping the opposition of its power in heaven (12:31).
Again the text is laden with John's irony: Satan would be defeated and dislodged from his place of authority (12:31) and Jesus glorified and exalted (12:32) through the cross (12:33).7926 Satan's activity (13:2,27) would undermine the devil himself.
2E. Jesus' Exaltation by the Cross (12:32–34)
God could accomplish his purposes even through acts of human rebellion or folly.7927 It was not through an act of brutal force but through submission to such force, through his death on the cross, that Jesus would «draw» all humanity (12:32).7928 His language refers not to the salvation of all individuals (cf. 3:36), but representatives among all peoples (cf. Rev 5:9; 13:7); the context is the Pharisaic complaint that «the world» was now following him (12:19), and Gentiles were now ready to approach Jesus (12:20). Only the cross could make Jesus available to all by means of the Spirit (7:39; 15:26–27; 16:7; 17:20). This is truly Johannine paradox: «exaltation» and «glorification» in their positive sense hardly fit the shame of the cross, even the thought of which typically evoked horror.7929 An ancient audience would readily grasp the wordplay involved; writers could speak of raising one up on a cross.7930 A writer could also tell that Alexander promised that whoever had killed Darius would be rewarded by being «lifted up»; when the murderers came forward, he fulfilled his words literally by crucifying them.7931 More importantly, the Hebrew Bible already played on the double meaning of exalted or hanged (Gen 40:13, 19–22). On «lifting up,» see comments on 3:14; 8:28; on «drawing,» see comment on 6:43–44.
Jesus used this «lifting up» to «signify» (σημαίνων, function as a sign; cf. 2:18–19) the kind of death which he was going to die (12:33; also 18:32); this language could apply to prophetic or apocalyptic symbolism (Rev 1:1; Acts 11:28),7932 but in the Fourth Gospel (if one accepts our argument that John 21 is part of the Gospel) it applies especially to indicating the manner of impending death, Peter's as well as Jesus' (21:19).
Ironically, the crowds seem to understand in 12that «lifting up» refers to death (12:33; cf. 8:22) and the Son of Man of whom Jesus speaks is the Messiah, but they do not understand who the Son of Man is. Perhaps John intends them to echo Jesus' own promise that the «son» remains forever (8:35), but this makes their demand that Jesus make explicit his identity all the less excusable. That the Messiah could die in some Jewish traditions мая increase the irony,7933 but their view of an eternal Messiah does indeed derive from Scripture7934 (e.g., Isa 9:6;7935 Ps 110:4) and was probably widespread.7936 Thus they are right that the Christ will «remain forever»; they are right to finally recognize that «lifting up» means death; but they cannot comprehend the resurrection.
What makes their claim most ironic is that in this immediate context Jesus had not said that the «Son of Man» would be lifted up, but that he himself would be lifted up (12:32). In applying Jesus' plain self-claim to another figure, they appear to miss what is explicit in Jesus' words, as they had missed what was explicit in the Father's words when they thought that an angel had spoken to him (12:28–29). It is possible that they want him to make explicit what they already believe he is implying (as perhaps in 8:25), having heard him speak earlier about the «Son of Man,» but in this case this solution makes little sense of their substitution of a term he did not at that point say for one that he did. The ill-fitting dialogue мая suggest sloppy redaction of John's sources or careless paraphrase (cf. 13:10–11), but given John's penchant for emphasizing the obduracy of mortals confronted by divine reality in Jesus, obduracy might be closer to the point (12:35–36).
3. Inviting Faith in the Light (12:35–36)
Jesus warns his hearers that the light will be among them only «a little while» longer (12:35; cf. 13:33; 16:16), and they should take advantage of his physical presence while it remained available (as in 12:8). As he himself had walked in the light to avoid stumbling (9:4–5; 11:9–10), now he summons others to do the same. He employs language familiar to readers of the Gospel, about walking in light (8:12; cf. 1 John 1:7; Eph 5:8; eschatologically, Rev 21:24) and about darkness proving unable to overtake those who were of the light (1:5). The conflict between the forces of light and darkness envisioned here fits the language of sectarian Palestinian Judaism, which also spoke of the «children of light» (בני אור; cf. 12:36; Luke 16:8; Eph 5:8; 1 Thess 5:5) versus the «children of darkness.»7937
Again it appears that Jesus does not trust the crowds (cf. 2:23–25), for their misunder-standings (12:29, 34) have proved them unreliable; by continuing to walk in darkness, be-coming ignorant of where they are going (12:35; 1 John 2:11), they show that they have rejected the light of the world (12:46; cf. 8:12; 1 John 1:6). (By contrast, those who are of the light do know their origin and destination; see 3:8; 8:14.) Hence Jesus hides himself (12:36), just as he did when others sought to kill him (8:59).7938 They had failed to believe the light while he was among them (12:36); now where he was going they could not come (8:21–23; 13:33). Nevertheless, his final words to them remained an invitation: they could still become children (cf. 1:12) of light through faith (12:36).
Israel's Unbelief (12:37–43)
In 12:37–50 John concludes the sign section of his Gospel;7939 this passage мая provide a «rhetorical 'braké» preparing the reader for the more detailed depiction of Jesus' passion–the hour of his glorification.7940 Many find in 12:37–43 a theological summary of peoplés responses to Jesus' public ministry, as many find in 12:44–50 an anthology of representative sayings.7941
If Jesus proved unable to trust the crowds (12:36), 12:37–43 show why: they habitually misunderstood (12:29, 34) because they were blind by nature (12:38–40). The signs (12:37) and revelations of glory made sense only to those with eyes to see, like Isaiah the prophet (12:41). Some did believe, but were unwilling to confess him openly (12:42), because in contrast to Isaiah who proclaimed the glory of God that he witnessed (12:41), they loved human glory for themselves rather than God's (12:43).
Isaiah's Revelation (12:37–41)
Jesus' rejection by his own (1:11) is detailed in 1:19–12and explained in 12:37–43.7942 Although John elsewhere sometimes мая prefer eclectic texts, here he follows the LXX of Isa 53(which represents the Hebrew fairly accurately), perhaps in deference to what had become early Christian tradition (John 12:38).7943 The appeal to this Servant Song confirms John's source of imagery for being «lifted up» and «glorified» earlier in the context (12:23, 32; Isa 52LXX).7944
By contrast, John appears to blend Greek and Hebrew versions of Isa 6:9–10 in 12:40,7945 though his quote appears closer to the Hebrew.7946 This text was central to the Jesus tradition and some early Christian missionary preaching, often employed to explain the unbelief of Israel (Mark 4:12; Matt 13:13–15; Acts 28:27).7947 Later rabbis emphasized the note of repentance and consequent restoration in the Isaiah text.7948 lohn points out that Israel's unbelief was promised in Scripture (12:38; cf. Rom 10:16). Significantly, for John such events related to the passion happen that Scripture might be fulfilled (12:38; cf. 13:18; 15:25); Israel's Scripture remains as authoritative for John as for his audiencés opponents. John omits Isaiah's use of the «deafness» image to focus on blindness, which recalls the reader to his earlier explanation in 9:39–41.7949 If John uses literal blindness to teach principles about spiritual blindness (9:39–41), it is likely that he also uses healing the same way in his Gospel, although here he speaks of those who refuse to be «healed» (12:40) and uses the same term elsewhere only in 4and 5:13.7950
Other sources also recognized that sin caused spiritual blindness7951 (12:39–40; see comment on 9:39; introduction, ch. 6, on vision). Texts also spoke of God blinding peopiés hearts to punish their willful transgression.7952 The Qumran sectarians felt that only the true remnant of Israel could hear the voice of the glorious God and see his angels (1QM 10.10–11).7953 Others probably representing related circles felt that idolaters lacked eyes to see (e.g., Jub. 22:18), echoing earlier biblical teachings (Ps 115:4–6; 135:15–18; Isa 46:6–7). Those with faith to see could behold God's glory in Jesus' signs (2:11; 11:40); those who did not demanded signs that they might believe (4:48; 20:25), and sometimes did not develop faith despite the signs (6:30,66). Ironically, whereas Israel as a whole failed to «see» (12:40), the Gentiles came to «see» Jesus (12:21).
Some later Jewish texts expressed Isaiah's vision in the language of respectful circumlocution, noting that Isaiah witnessed God's «glory,» as here.7954 Isaiah was one of the chief prophets after Moses,7955 and in the context of the Fourth Gospel, Isaiah becomes a link between Moses and the apostles, who also witnessed Jesus' glory (1:14–18, alluding to Exod 33–34), as did Abraham (8:56).7956 By contrast, those without spiritual eyes to see could not recognize the glory among them (3:3; 6:30; 9:39–41). The glory revealed to both Moses and Isaiah was rejected by many of their contemporaries; early Christians applied this pattern to many of Jesus' «own» (1:11) rejecting him (cf. Matt 23:31; Luke 11:50; Acts 7:39, 52; 28:25–27; 2Cor 3:13–15; 1 Thess 2:15), though some had seen his glory (1:14–18).7957
Jewish tradition naturally expanded on Isaiah's revelations,7958 and the mystic stream of tradition undoubtedly interpreted Isaiah's vision as including «a visionary ascent to heaven.»7959 Some early Hellenistic Jewish texts adapted Hellenistic motifs concerning visionary ascents; thus, for example, a throne-vision мая have in some sense deified Moses or at least made him God's second in command over creation.7960 Yet Jesus is greater than Moses; as the one who descended from heaven to begin with, he is the supreme revealer (3:11–13). In any case, most of John's audience would know the biblical accounts to which John has alluded, whereas a smaller part of his audience might know these other traditions. (It is difficult to say how early, popular, or geographically widespread such traditions were, but safe to say that the biblical stories themselves would be most accessible to the broadest range of people.) As in other biblical theophanies, not the visionary but the one beheld is the object of worship. In Isaiah the glory belongs to God; here it belongs to Jesus (12in context).7961 As Isa 52is contextually implied in the citation of 53:1, Isa 6 relates to Christ's «glory.»7962
In 12:41, John attributes to Isaiah's revelation of Christ's glory both Isaiah quotations (ancients did not speak of two or more Isaiahs), one about a scene of glory in the temple (12:39–40; Isa 6:1–10) and the other about the servant being glorified and lifted in suffering (12:38; Isa 52:13–53:1). Early Christians would have undoubtedly linked Isa 6with 52:13, because both texts use «exalted and lifted up,» as does 57:15. If so, they would have noticed that 6and 57spoke of God, and мая have concluded that it was actually Jesus' lifting up by crucifixion that revealed his identity as deity (cf. 8:28).7963 This fits 12:23–24 and the place of 1:14–18 in the context of John's whole Gospel: Jesus' death is the ultimate theophany.
2. Preferring Their Own Glory (12:42–43)
But not everyone loved the divine glory that Isaiah saw (12:41); some preferred their own (12:43; cf. 5:41, 44; 7:18), hence feared to confess Jesus openly, though as rulers they could have influenced many people and so brought Jesus glory. Their failure to confess Jesus openly resembles the healed man's parents in 9but contrasts starkly with the boldness of the witness, John the Baptist, in 1:20. «Loving» onés own honor, like loving the world (1 John 2:15) or onés life (John 12:25), demonstrated inadequate love for God and his agent.
The sample «ruler» John has in mind is Nicodemus (3:1), but he would ultimately come out into the open as a disciple of Jesus (19:39); this fact indicates that John still has hope even for some of the leaders of the people who were persecuting the believers. But the price of coming out could be severe, including some sort of excommunication, as here (9:22; 16:2), and potentially death, perhaps from Roman governors (cf. 12:24–26; 16:2). One would clearly have to love God's honor more than onés own. The specific mention of rulers recalls Nicodemus, but мая also respond to and refute the implicit assurance behind the Pharisees earlier question: «Surely none of the rulers or Pharisees has believed in him!» (7:48). (John's use of «ruler» is interesting; some aristocrats мая favor Jesus, but the Pharisees on the whole oppose him. This emphasis мая reflect elements of John's audiencés milieu, appearing opposite of the pre-70 situation depicted in Acts.)7964
Greek δόξα often meant honor. Thus δόξα, reputation, could provide a basis for praise in an encomium (Theon Progymn. 9.18).7965 Yet many thinkers warned that such reputation depended on peoplés whims and was not worth expending much effort.7966 Although some thought the pursuit of honor would lead to noble exploits (in contrast to passions),7967 many thinkers regarded φιλοδοξία, love of glory, as something to be avoided.7968 Cynics, of course, went so far as to refuse human commendations altogether.7969 Stoics could ridicule those concerned with what others thought.7970 In many Jewish texts the righteous who did exploits could be «honored,» sometimes literally «glorified»;7971 they could seek to bring honor to their nation.7972 Other Jewish texts praised those who would not concern themselves with human glory (cf. John 5:41,44),7973 and noted that God would shame those presently honored.7974 Early Christian writers also adopted this virtue of seeking only divine commendation (Rom 2:29; 1Cor 4:3; 2Cor 3:1; 1 Thess 2:6).
Thus Jewish thinkers, like some Greek and Roman thinkers, emphasized the importance of transcending concern for honor. At the same time, honor was a dominant social value in the ancient Mediterranean, strongest among the elite. Pressures for conformity could be great, especially conformity in the name of public religion (e.g., Josephus Life 291).7975 The situation Jesus promised (16:2) and which confronted John's audience was also more severe than mere loss of reputation; unless confessors of Christ within the synagogue achieved sufficient numbers critical mass, they, too, could be expelled with potentially disastrous consequences (see introduction). These who loved human honor more than God's honor acted from fear rather than from courage (cf. 3:2); this behavior merited only shame, not honor, before the one who knows all hearts (2:23–25). Meanwhile, Jesus himself is about to become an example of relinquishing onés own honor (13:1–11), following the example of Mary (12:3–8) and setting an example for his disciples (13:14–17).
Jesus as God's Standard of Judgment (12:44–50)
The closing paragraph of this section, 12:44–50, suggests that, on the story level, Jesus has come out of hiding for one remaining public discourse. This passage is extremely significant, but not because it introduces many new conceptions. Essentially it repeats in typically Johannine language Jesus' teachings from previous discourses, summarizing and epitomizing the message of Jesus in the Gospel to that point.7976 Although some scholars dissent, applying 12:44–50 only to the triumphal entry,7977 most see it as a summary of Jesus' preceding discourses.7978 Whitacre suggests that 12:44–50 emphasizes his words as 12:37–41 emphasized his deeds.7979 Although the summary suits John's theological purposes, he likely draws from traditional materials.7980
Positioned at the end of the narratives that precede the passion and immediately preceding the prologue to the farewell disourse, this unit recapitulates the themes that have preceded and prepares the reader for their fulfillment in the Passion Narrative which follows. Ancient writers frequently recapitulated or summarized themes at the conclusion of a work or, in many cases, a section.7981 This strategic location before the Paraclete sayings and passion мая also suggest that the historic elements of Jesus' mission noted in this pericope are continued in the present by the Paraclete, who continues to mediate Jesus' presence (14:16–17,26; 15:26–27; 16:7–15).
First, Jesus is God's agent (see introduction); believing in him is believing in the Father and is essential to genuine faith in the Father (12:44; cf. 14:1).7982 In this context, the link between believing in Jesus and believing in the Father (again in 14:1) functions as a summons to secret «believers» in the synagogue (12:42): just as one dare not be ashamed to confess God in the Shema, one dare not be ashamed to confess Jesus. The kind of belief Jesus demands pleases God who sent him rather than humans (12:43), hence is not the inoffensive private faith of those unwilling to suffer expulsion from the synagogue or the possibly comcomitant trouble with Roman authorities. Thus, playing on the different levels of faith in his Gospel, John asks of Israel in the language of Isaiah, «Who has [genuinely] believed our report?» (12:38).
Beholding Jesus is beholding the one who sent him (12:45); both John (1:14, 18) and Jesus (14:7, 9; cf. 6:36, 40, 46) elsewhere imply this (see also pp. 310–17, on agency). Thus Jesus is not only the Father's agent but also his image (like divine Wisdom in Jewish tradition). In this context, Isaiah beheld the glory of both and confessed them (12:41), in contrast to the rulers who would not confess him (12:42). Most of Israel did not behold Jesus' glory, however, because they were blinded and could not see (12:40), like the elite who expelled the man whose sight had been restored (9:39–41). The context explains the connection between the claims in 12and 12:45–one could not believe in Jesus (12:38–39) if blinded to his glory (12:40); much of Israel, being blinded, proved incapable of faith (cf. 6:44; 12:32). This passage explains the obduracy of Jesus' «own» (1:11)–undoubtedly an apologetic problem–as a result of God's sovereign purpose (the quote in 12functions more or less the same way it does in Mark 4:12). Paul develops the same idea in Rom 11, but there is more explicit about the eschatological significance of the Gentile mission as a purpose for the hardness (Rom 11:11–14); John 12:20–23 мая imply a connection but John is not explicit about it. These early Christian writers seem to have spoken of their own people being «blinded» (cf. 2Cor 3:14–15; 4:4) because they could fathom no other reason for their peoplés lack of response to a message whose truth appeared obvious to the believers.
The language of revelation here recalls the Moses allusion of the prologue (1:14–18). If Moses, who saw God's glory and was renewed into the same image to a finite degree, could reflect God's glory, how much more the «Son» who bears his Father's likeness, who continually beholds his glory (1:1b; 3:11; 6:46; 8:38)? Disciples would especially «behold» Jesus after the resurrection (14:19; 16:16–17), when he would abide in them (14:23; 17:24). But spiritual vision (1:50–51; 6:40; 9:39–41; 11:40) must exceed merely «signs vision» (cf. 4:48; 6:30, 36; 15:24; 20:25–31), just as discipleship faith must exceed signs-faith. Unbelievers, even some studious in Torah, might fail to genuinely behold God (5:37).
In 12:46, discussion about beholding (12:45) мая recall Jesus' previous declaration that he is the light (12:35–36), another motif in this Gospel (1:4–9; 3:19–21; 5:35; 8:12; 9:5; 11:9–10);7983 his «coming into the world» reinforces the Gospel's testimony to Jesus' incarnation to save the world (cf. 12:47; 1:9; 3:19; 6:14; 9:39; 11:27; 16:28; 18:37; 1Tim 1:15). Jesus is the light who, when seen and believed, delivers his followers from darkness. In this context, John's emphasis on light suggests that those who are not blinded (12:40) can see the light (12:45) of his glory as Isaiah did (12:41), and those who respond in faith will be saved (12:46).
In 12another Johannine motif emerges; though Jesus did not come to condemn (3:17; cf. 8:15), his coming itself constitutes a dividing line of judgment (3:19; 9:39; cf. 12:31), and he will act as God's agent at the judgment (5:22, 24, 27, 29–30; cf. 8:16, 26), whereas his opponents judge inaccurately (7:24, 51; 8:15; 18:31). The image in 12shifts from «seeing» Jesus (12:45) to «hearing» his words (which in this case applies to hearing with or without obeying).7984 Those who reject the light do not require additional judgment from Jesus; they have simply rejected the salvation that would deliver them from the judgment already otherwise theirs (see esp. 3:17–21). Eschatologically, however, they would be judged by his word they had heard; their very opportunity to respond raised the standard of judgment.7985
On the judgment at the last day according to Jesus' word (12:48), see comment on 5:24;7986 they would also be accused by the Father's previous word in the Torah delivered through Moses, which testified to Jesus (5:39,45). Jesus' word (12:48) is in fact the same as the Father's word (cf. 3:34; 5:47; 17:8), for all that he spoke he spoke in obedience to the Father (12:49–50). Jesus' teaching that those who reject him as God's agent reject God himself (12:48) fits Johannine theology (13:20; 14:6; cf. 1 John 2:23) but is plainly earlier Jesus tradition (Mark 9:37; Matt 10:40; Luke 9:48).7987 This word would serve as the criterion for judgment on the «last day» (12:48), a common Johannine expression for the time of the resurrection (6:39, 40, 44, 54; 11:24) of both righteous and unrighteous (5:29).7988
Like the rest of the Fourth Gospel, John here insists that Jewish believers remain faithful to the God of Israel through fidelity to Jesus, not through satisfying the synagogue leadership (12:42–43). This is because Jesus is God's faithful agent; he neither spoke (14:10; cf. 16:13) nor acted (5:30; 8:28, 42) on his own (12:49), but only at the Father's command (12:49; see comment on 5:19).7989 By again reinforcing the portrait of Jesus as God's faithful agent, John reminds his hearers that their opponents who in the name of piety opposed a high view of Jesus were actually opposing the God who appointed him to that role.
«The Father's commandment is eternal life» (12:50) is presumably elliptical for «obedience to the Father's command produces eternal life,» but also fits the identification of the word (1:4), Jesus' words (6:68), and knowing God (17:3) with life. For John, the concept of «command» should not be incompatible with believing in Jesus (6:27; cf. 8:12; 12:25), which is the basis for eternal life (3:15–16; 6:40, 47; 11:25; 20:31); faith involves obedience (3:36; cf. Acts 5:32; Rom 1:5; 2:8; 6:16–17; 15:18; 16:19, 26; 2 Thess 1:8; 1Pet 1:22; 4:17). Jesus always obeys his Father's commands (8:29), including the command to face death (10:18; 14:31); his disciples must follow his model of obedience to his commandments by loving one another sacrificially (13:34; 14:15, 21; 15:10,12).
* * *
Matthew's stirring of «the entire city» (Matt 21:10), however, мая invite the reader to compare this event with an earlier disturbance of Jerusalem (Matt 2:3).
Sanders, Jesus and Judaism, 306; Catchpole, «Entry.» In favor of reliability, see also Losie, «Entry,» 858–59.
In view of ancient patronal social patterns, Jesus' numerous «benefactions» would also produce an entourage, seeking favors, that could potentially double as a political support base, exacerbating his threat to the political elite (DeSilva, Honor, 135).
Also for Matthew (Matt 21:10–11); in Luke those who hail him are disciples (Luke 19:37, 39); even in Mark, where «many» participate, those who go before and after him are probably those who knew of his ministry in Galilee (Mark 11:8–9). This мая represent a very different crowd from the one that condemned him (Matt 27:20–25; Mark 15:11–14; Luke 23:13, 18, 21, 23)–certainly in John, where the condemning «Jews» are the «high priests» (19:6–7, 12–15).
See introduction, pp. 271–72,284–89; comment on 6:15.
Pope, «Hosanna,» suggests a Hebrew original addressed to the son of David in the vocative. The vocative does not seem clear, but its point (that Jesus is son of David) seems implied in any case.
Stendahl, Matthew, 65, thinks early Christian liturgy adapted the language of the Hallel here; in any case, its paschal context suggests that such words were uttered in some form. The Hallel was even more dominant at Tabernacles (m. Sukkah 3:9–10; 4:1, 8) but used at Passover as well (m. Pesah. 5:7; 9:3; 10:7).
Michaels, John, 207. Because the disciples misunderstand (12:16), Painter, «Church,» 362, thinks that for John Jesus is not «King of Israel,» for his kingdom is not from this world (18:36); but the issue here is what kind of king (as Painter agrees), not whose king (1:49–50).
One might expect the eschatological king instead to ride a splendid throne-chariot (cf., e.g., Pesiq. Rab. 36:1).
See Borg, Vision, 174; Sanders, Jesus and Judaism, 308. Asses were of lower status than horses (Babrius 76.18–19).
E.g., Herodian 4.1.3; for governors, see Menander Rhetor 2.3, 381.7–17. Van den Heever, «Socio-rhetorical Reading,» plausibly suggests a challenge to the imperial cult here.
As is regularly noted (Westcott, John, 179; Hoskyns, Gospels, 421; Meeks, Prophet-King, 86; Bruce, «Trial,» 8; Bruce, John, 259; Stauffer, Jesus, 110; Witherington, Christology, 106 n. 279; Moloney, Signs, 184; see esp. Schnackenburg, John, 2:374). Hill, «Βαία,» interestingly but improbably suggests that φοινίκων alludes to the Phoenix myth associated with resurrection.
E.g., Herodian 8.6.5; 8.7.2; suppliants to deities also might hold fresh branches (Aeschylus Supp1. 333–334); or one might carry a branch simply for festivity (p. Péah 1:1, §15). Some cultures used branches as symbols of alliance (Polybius 3.52). Inviting the treading on garments (Mark 11:8) indicated great honor (Aeschylus Agamemnon 906–913, 925, 946–949).
Sanders, John, 287; cf. Pope, «Hosanna.» Gemünden, «Palmensymbolik,» suggests associations with Sukkoth and triumph over death.
Schnackenburg, John, 2:374. He could have even sought to assimilate Passover with Tabernacles to reemphasize his earlier Tabernacles motifs.
On the use of tents in general, see Josephus Ant. 17.213,217.
Noted, e.g., by Jerome Homilies 94. It мая have come to function as a jubilant cry (as some words became in Gentile refrains, e.g., Callimachus Hymns 2 [to Apollo], 21, 25, 97, 103; Catullus 61.117–118,137–138,142–143; Menander Rhetor 2.7,409.11–13); Augustine Tr. Ev.Jo. 51.2 explains it as an interjection.
SeeTalbert, John, 185.
Of the extant gospels, only the two with the most Jewish audiences, Matthew and John, make the Zechariah allusion explicit (Longenecker, Christology, 112). All four gospels include the colt (for breaking a colt, see Xenophon Horsemanship 2.1–5; Maximus of Tyre Or. 1.8).
On «glorification» as including Jesus' passion, see comment on 7:39.
With modifications (cf., e.g., Schuchard, Scripture, 71–84): «Do not fear, Zion» мая derive from Zeph 3(cf. Isa 10:24; 40:9; Smith, John , 236, adds especially Isa 35:4; 40:9), midrashically linked with «Rejoice, daughter of Zion» (Zech 9:9). Menken, «Redaktion,» attributes some changes to Jewish traditions (cf. Gen 49:11). Later rabbis applied the messianic promise of salvation (here omitted) to the suffering Messiah (Pesiq. Rab. 34:2).
B. Sanh. 99a; Gen. Rab. 75:6; Ecc1. Rab. 1:9, §1. A second-century Tanna expected the messianic fulfillment at the time of the templés rebuilding.
E.g., Diodorus Siculus 27.16.2; Dionysius of Halicarnassus R.A. 3.54.2; Polybius 1.72.3; 3.99.7; 39.7.3–6; Arrian Alex. 1.17.12; 4.19.6; Appian R.H. 10.4.24; Cornelius Nepos 8 (Thrasybulus), 2.6; Herodian 1.2.4; cf. also Josephus Life 353; Sipre Deut. 323.4.1; despite Achilles' more commonly vengeful personality, Homer 17. 24.507–508, 665–670; see further Good, King, 47–49.
E.g., Plutarch Conso1. 1, Mor. 608B.
The earlier account мая emphasize Jesus' simplicity (he did not own the donkey), in contrast to traveling charlatans (cf. Mark 6:8–9; 2Cor 2:17; 1 Thess 2:5; Malherbe, «Gentle,» 206–7,14); although «found» allows a contrast here with covetous Judas (John 12:6), John's narrative lacks elaboration of this emphasis here.
«Dramatic» irony, employing speakers whose irony is unintentional (Duke, Irony, 23–24).
E.g., Hunter, John, 123. The world going «after» him мая reflect the language of discipleship (Mark 1:17, 20; 8:34).
Yet in Exodus the wisest of Egypt recognized their state while Pharaoh remained hardened (Exod 10:7); in view of the one greater than Moses, such a comparison portrays the Pharisees as harder than the pagans.
Contrast the reportedly Tannaitic tradition that glory did not dwell in the second temple because Cyrus was responsible for its rebuilding (Pesiq. Rab. 35:1). On appointed times, see comment on 2:4; 7:6.
Robinson, Trust, 88; Strachan, Gospel, 159. Strachan, Gospel, 159, also allows the possibility of proselytes; proselytes clearly went up (Safrai, «Relations,» 199–200; Acts 2:10), but «Greeks» would be an unusual term for them here.
Kossen, «Greeks,» 108, citing Isa 49; Haenchen, John, 2:96; Smith, John (1999), 237–38.
So, e.g., Bernard, John, 2:430; Schnackenburg, John, 2:381; Michaels, John, 214; cf. Regopoulos, «Έλληνβς,» who finds most likely hellenized pagans. Bernard wrongly supposes, however, that this fact supports a Gentile audience (John, 2:429). Yet Matthew, with a clearly Jewish audience, stresses the Gentile mission far more heavily than John does!
Brown, John, 1:466. In the context of «lifting up» and «glorified» (Isa 52LXX in John 12:23, 32), an allusion to Isa 52LXX is not impossible (cf. Beutler, «Greeks»), but it remains unclear.
Sanders, Judaism, 130, arguing that in Josephus only Palestinian Jews were required to come annually (Josephus Ant. 4.203).
E.g., Josephus War 6.427; probably Ant. 3.318–319.
See, e.g., Levinskaya, «Aphrodisias»; pace Kraabel, «Disappearance»; see in greater detail the documentation on John 9:31. Ridderbos, John, 427, suggests Gentiles here.
Morris, Gospel, 591. Given ethnic tensions there, most of those in Alexandria were probably less likely to have been disposed toward Judaism.
Morris suggests (ibid.) that it was because of Philip's Greek name; Andrew (12:22) also had one. Greek names were fairly common (cf. Cohen, «Names»; but Let. Arts. 47–50 probably reflects an Egyptian rather than Palestinian milieu; Williams, «Personal Names,» 109, limits them mainly to the more hellenized urban elite), but far more common among Diaspora Jews (Leon, Jews, 107–8; Acts 6:5; p. Git. 1:1, §3), though the cultural interchange of names in the East was ancient (Astour, «Names»).
Theissen, Gospels, 50.
Schnackenburg, John, 2:382, believes it «a direct refusal» until Jesus undergoes death (12:24).
Haenchen, John, 2:96.
Schnackenburg, John, 2:382. Shedd, «Meanings,» 251, argues that their desire to «see» Jesus (12:21) is fulfilled in Jesus' glorification (12:23).
E.g., Price, «Qumran,» 34; Griffiths, «Deutero-Isaiah,» 360; Lindars, Apologetic, 83, 234; Barrett, John, 214.
Cf. Bruce, Message, 107.
See Neyrey, «Shame of Cross,» 118–19; on its shame, cf., e.g., Cicero Rah. perd. 5.15–16.
Seed must be buried and hidden to produce fruit (Epictetus Diatr. 4.8.36); teachers widely used grains as illustrations (Lucretius Nat. 2.371–373; Epictetus Diatr. 2.6.11). Cf. also the image of dying (albeit metaphorically) to live in b. Tamid 32a. Bury, Logos-Doctrine, 56, improbably appeals to the ear of corn in the Eleusinian Mysteries.
Riley, Fruits, 29, notes that an embryo is already growing in the wheat seed as it falls; usually after two days in moist soil, it breaks through the seed coating.
Barrett, John, 423, suggests that though the article is generic, it might allude to Christ as the specific grain; but this grammatical explanation is not likely.
Jeremias, Parables, 220 n. 58.
Cf. άντεισαγωγή, the rhetorical figure of contrasting thoughts (Anderson, Glossary, 20).
Cf. likewise Schnackenburg, John, 2:384. For a detailed comparison, see Morgen, «Perdre.»
Cf. 1 En. 108:10; 2 Bar. 51:15–16; m. 'Abot 4:17; 'Abot R. Nat. 32, §71B; b. Tamid 32a; Lev. Rab. 3:1; Deut. Rab. 11:10; Ecc1. Rab. 4:6, §1; Daube, Judaism, 137. Boring et a1., Commentary, 106, suggest that the summons of the analogous Matt 16resembles the typical prebattle speech of generals: risking life in battle more often than not yields its preservation (Tyrtaeus frg. 8.11–13).
Cf., e.g., Seneca Ep. Luci1. 12.9, quoting Virgil Aen. 4.653.
E.g., the oath to Augustus and his descendants, 3 B.C.E., in IGRR 3.137; OGIS 532; ILS 8781 (Sherk, Empire, 31); or to Gaius, 37 C.E., in CIL 2.172; ILS 190 (Sherk, Empire, 78).
Lucan C.W 2.380–383.
Xenophon Anab. 3.2.39; also Boring et al, Commentary, 106, citing Tyrtaeus frg. 8.11–13 (seventh century C.E.) and Ps.-Menander. See Publilius Syrus 242.
E.g., Josephus Ag. Ap. 1.212; 1.191; 2.218–219,233–235. Sanders, Judaism, 239, cites Josephus War 2.169–174; Ant. 15.248; 18.262; Ag. Ap. 2.227–228; Philo Embassy 192; cf. Dio Cassius 66.6.3.
Cf. also Deut. Rab. 11:10; Ecc1. Rab. 4:6, §1.
On the two ways in ancient literature, Seneca Ep. Luci1. 8.3; 27.4; Diogenes Ep. 30; Plutarch Demosthenes 26.5; Deut 30:15; Ps 1; 4Q473 frg. 1 (developing Deut 11:26–28; probably also 4Q185 frg. 1–2, co1. 2, lines 1–4); m. 'Abot 2:9; T. Ash. 1:3, 5; Ecc1. Rab. 1:14, §1; Lev. Rab. 30:2; Deut. Rab. 4–3;SongRab. 1:9, §2; Matt 7:13–14; Luke 13:24; Did. 1.1–6.2; Barn. 18.1–21.9; cf. the two roads after death in Virgil Aen. 6.540–543; Cicero Tusc. 1.30.72; 4 Ezra 7:3–16, 60–61; 8:1–3; T. Ab. 11:2–11A; 8:4–16B; 'Abot R. Nat. 25A; b. Ber. 28b; Pesiq. Rab Kah. 27:2; Gen. Rab. 100:2.
Coulot, «Quelqúun,» provides arguments that 12probably stems from Jesus. On serving as following, persevering, and discipleship here, see Cachia, «Servant.»
John мая place the ειμί before the έγώ to avoid inadvertently introducing christological connotations from other contexts (such as 8:58) where they are not the issue (Bernard, John, 2:435).
E.g., Dionysius of Halicarnassus R.A. 7.68.2–3; Josephus Ant. 3.208; 4.322; 6.126–127; Xenophon Mem. 4.8.2; Lysias Or. 2.25, §193; 2.78–79, §198; Epameinondas 2 in Plutarch S.K., Mor. 192C; cf. Dionysius of Halicarnassus Isoc. 5.
Apollonius of Rhodes 2.623.
Cassandra in Aeschylus Agamemnon 1295–1301.
Burkert, Religion, 75.
Neither, however, are they antiheroic, like Abraham's unwillingness to die in T. Ab. passim.
See Brown, Essays, 250–51.
Dodd, Tradition, 71 (cf. also Beasley-Murray, John, 207), traces the form in John 12and Mark 14to Ps 41 and argues for authenticity on the grounds of multiple attestation (cf. Heb 5:7).
Onés spirit or soul being troubled is idiomatic language (έταράχθη ψυχή in Gen 41:8; Ps 6[6LXX]; 42[41LXX]); see comment on 11:33. Jesus' heart was troubled (12:27; 13:21) so those of his disciples need not be (14:1; Carson, Discourse, 43).
From Epicurus (άταραξί,αν in Diogenes Laertius 10.85; cf. 10.144.17) to Stoics (ατάραχος in Epictetus Diatr. 4.8.27).
Such language was not, however, incompatible with deity; see God in Gen 6:6, who was grieved to his heart over humanity (ויתעצב אל־לבו, MT).
E.g.,Tob 3:11; 8:5,15; 11:14.
With, e.g., Jeremias, Prayers, 98; Smith, Parallels, 136; Vermes, Jesus and Judaism, 43; Davies and Allison, Matthew, 1:595; Luz, Matthew, 371; pace, e.g., Meier, Marginal Jew, 1:361–62 n. 36.
With, e.g., Strachan, Gospel, 160–61.
E.g., m. "Abot 6:2; b. B. Bat. 73b; 85b; Mat 23b; cErub. 54b; Sabb. 33b; 88a; Sotah 33a; p. Ber. 1:3, §4; Péah 1:1, §15; Sotah 7:5, §5; Pesiq. Rab Kah. 15:5; Lev. Rab. 19:5–6; Lam. Rab. proem 2, 23; Lam. Rab. 1:16,§50; Ruth Rab. 6:4; Ecc1. Rab. 7:12, §1; Song Rab. 8:9, §3; Pesiq. Rab Kah. 11:16; Tg. Neof. 1 on Gen 22:10; 27:33; 38:25; Num 21:6; Tg. Ps.-J. on Gen 38:26; Num 21:6; Deut 28:15; 34:5.
Josephus Ant. 13.282–283; Artapanus in Eusebius Praep. ev. 9.27.36; Sib. Or. 1.127, 267, 275; outside early Judaism, Plutarch Isis 12, Mor. 355E; Mart. Po1. 9.1; from terrestrial locations in Dionysius of Halicarnassus R.A. 1.56.3; 5.16.2–3; 8.56.2–3; Valerius Maximus 1.8.5; 2.4.5; 7.1.2; Lucan C.W. 1.569–570; Plutarch Camillus 6.1; 14.2; Philostratus Hrk. 18.4; cf. talking serpents in Arrian Alex. 3.3.5. Cf. Johnson, Prayer, 62–63.
See Keener, Matthew, 133–34, on Matt 3:17.
Aune, Prophecy, 272.
So also Whitacre, Polemic, 117.
2Sam 22:14; Job 37:2, 5; 40:9; Ps 18:13; 29:3–7; Sib. Or. 1.219, 323; 2.239; 5.62–63, 344–345. God ruled thunder (e.g., Exod 9:23, 28–29; Josephus Ant. 3.184) and sometimes used it in theophanies (e.g., Exod 19:16; 20:18; Josephus Ant. 3.80; L.A.B. 11:4–5; 19:16; Rev 4:5; 10:3); for delegation to angels, cf., e.g., 1 En. 6:7; Jub. 2:2; Rev 6:1.
As Baal was the thunderer of Canaanite faith, Zeus was «the high-thunderer» (ύψιβρεμέτης) of the Greek pantheon (e.g., Homer Od. 5.4; Pausanias 10.9.11; Pindar O1. 8.44), who produced thunder and lightning (Homer I1. 7.443,454; 8.2–3, 75–77, 133; 9.236–237; 10.5; 13.624; Aristophanes Lys. 773; Apollonius of Rhodes 1.510–511, 730–731; Pausanias 5.22.5; 5.24.9; Apollodorus 1.2.1; Pindar Pyth. 4.23; 6.24; O1. 4.1; 9.7; 13.77; Plutarch Alex. 28.2; Silius Italicus 17.474–478; differently, Pausanias 8.29.1; Pliny Nat. 2.18.82). Greeks and Romans shared with Jews the conception of the highest deity ruling storms (Brown, «Elements»); but for naturalistic explanations, cf., e.g., Pliny Nat. 2.18.82; Plutarch Nat. Q. 4, Mor. 912F-913A.
E.g., Homer ft 8.75–77, 133, 145–150, 167–171; 15.377, 379; 17.594–596; Valerius Maximus 1.6.12; Silius Italicus 12.623–625; cf. Pindar Nem. 9.25; armies facing lightning sometimes persuaded themselves, however, that it was not an omen (e.g., Silius Italicus 12.627–629; Plutarch Alex. 60.2). In Israel, see 1Sam 2:10; 7:10; Isa 29:6; perhaps Judg 5:20; cf. judgment in Sib. Or. 4.113; 5.302–303.
E.g„ Homer Od. 20.101, 103; 21.413; Virgil Aen. 7.141–142; 8.523–526; 9.630–631; Pindar Pyth. 4.197–200; Silius Italicus 15.143–145; Ovid Fasti 3.369; Cicero Cat. 3.8.18; cf. Parthenius LR. 6.6; Catullus 64.202–206; in Jewish tradition, see Exod 19:19; 1Sam 12:17–18; Sir 46:16–17; cf. 1 Kgs 18:36–38,44. In heavenly visions, cf. ΙΕη. 14:8; 17:3; 69:23; 3 En. 29:2; PGM 4.694–696.
Cf., e.g., thunder's role in Exod 19:16; 20:18; L.A.B. 11:4–5.
Cf. the later tradition enshrined in 5:4.
Johnson, Prayer, 63–65.
Nicholson, Death, 130.
E.g., Homer II. 3.276, 320, 350,365; 10.154; 11.56, 80,182,201, 544; 16.253; 17.46; Od. 14.440; 15.341; 16.260; 24.518; Hesiod Op. 169; Euripides Medea 1352; Aristophanes Clouds 1468–1469.
Homer I1. 1.544; 4.68; 5.426; 8.49, 132; 12.445; 15.12, 47; 16.458; 20.56; 22.167; Od. 1.28; Hesiod Theog. 457, 468, 542; Scut. 27; Op. 59; Diodorus Siculus 1.12.1 (following Homer); Ovid Metam. 2.848; 14.807; Epictetus Diatr. 1.19.12; Phaedrus 3.17.10.
Virgil Aen. 1.65; 2.648; 10.2.
Homer Il. 1.503, 534, 578–579; Virgil Aen. 9.495; Ovid Metam. 9.245; Phaedrus 1.2.13.
E.g., Epictetus Diatr. 1.6.40; 1.9.4–7; 1.13.3–4; 3.22.82; Diogenes Laertius 7.147; Acts 17:28.
Plutarch Plat. Q. 2.1, Mor. 1000E; Alexander 15 in Plutarch S.K., Mor. 180D; Γ.Τ. 8.1.3, Mor. 718A; Babrius 142.3; Orphic Hymns 15.7; PGM 22b.l-5 (Jewish); other deities in Martial Epigr. 10.28; Orphic Hymns 4.1; 12.6. «Adonai» is «Father of the World» in PGM 1.305 (apparently as Apollo, 1.298). For the common usage in Philo, see documentation in comment on John 1:12.
Virgil Aen. 1.60; 3.251; 4.25; 6.592; 7.141, 770; 8.398; 10.100; 12.178; Ovid Metam. 1.154; 2.304,401; 3.336; 9.271.
Homer Il. 8.69,245,397; 14.352; 15.637; 16.250; 22.60,209; Od. 12.63; 13.51; Virgil Aen. 2.691; Georg. 1.121, 283, 328, 353; 2.325; Orphic Hymns 19.1. The deity is in a number of cases «father» as «creator» or progenitor (e.g., Sophocles Ajax 387; Epictetus Diatr. 1.3.1; Marcus Aurelius 10.1; see further documentation in comment on John 3:3); most of the Latin references above are to pater, but Jupiter is also called genitor, e.g., Virgil Aen. 12.843. No henotheism is in view; sometimes «father Zeus» is listed alongside Athene and Apollo (e.g., Homer Od. 4.340; 7.311; 17.132; 18.235; 24.376).
Homer Il. 8.31; 22.178; 24.473; Od. 1.45, 81; 5.7; 8.306; 12.377; Aristophanes Wasps 652; even those not descended from him, such as his siblings (Homer I1. 5.757,762; 19.121; Od. 13.128).
Homer Il. 2.371; 7.179, 202, 446; 8.236; 12.164; 13.631; 15.372; 17.19, 645; 19.270; 21.273; 24.461; Od. 12.371; Cleanthes Hymn to Zeus in Stobaeus Ee1. 1.1.12; Sophocles Oed. tyr. 202; Aristophanes Ach. 223–225; Apollonius of Rhodes 4.1673; Plutarch R.Q. 40, Mor. 274B; Longinus Sub1. 9.10.
Jeremias, Prayers, 12.
Jub. 1:25, 28; Wis 11:10; Tob 13:4; later, Jos. Asen. 12MSS; T. Job 33MSS, 9; T. Ab. 16:3; 20:13A; cf. Pr. Jos. 1.
Jeremias, Prayers, 15–16; idem, Message, 14. Chilton, Approaches, 59, cites «Father» as a prayer invocation in T. Job and (probably later) the Targumim. Greeks and Romans мая have employed the title less pervasively than Judaism and in contrast to Judaism applied the image to the deity's power rather than to his intimacy with Israel (cf. Johnson, Prayer, 61).
M. Sotah 9:15; t. Ber. 3:14; B. Qam. 7:6; Hag. 2:1; Péah 4:21; Sipra Qed. pq. 188.8.131.52; Behuq.pq. 8.269.2.15; Sipre Deut. 352.1.2; b. Ber. 30a, bar.; p. Sank 10:2, §8; Pesiq. Rab Kah. 24:9; Lev. Rab. 1:3; 7:1; 35:10; SongRab. 7:11, §1.
Marmorstein, Names, 56–60; Moore, Judaism, 2:204–9; McNamara, Targum, 116–18. Jeremias contends that «Father» is rarely attributed to first-century sages (Prayers, 16–17); but this observation omits some evidence (Vermes, Jesus and Judaism, 40) and fails to take into account the sparseness of rabbinic attributions in general in the earlier period.
Jeremias, Message, 17; cf. idem, Prayers, 29–31.
E.g., Sipre Deut. 27.2.1; 'AbotR. Nat. 24, §51B; cf. Jub. 25(«Lord of the age»). Satan assumes this role (kosmokratör) only in some later texts (e.g., Hoskyns, Gospel, 426, cites Exod. Rab. on 24:7, following Billerbeck). Some gnostics later argued that the Jewish God was the lord of the world, whom they identified with Satan, inviting apologetic (Marmorstein, Names, 64, 99).
E.g., 3 En. 1:4. Michael regularly appears as αρχιστράτηγος or similar titles (Dan 10:13,21; 12:1; 2 En. 22:6J; 33:10; 3 Bar. 11:4,6–8; T. Ab. 1:13; 2:1A; 14:7B; Jos. Asen. 14:7; Gk. Apoc. Ezra 4:24; cf. Raphael in Gk. Apoc. Ezra 1:4).
3 En. 30:2. Cf. Alexander, «3 Enoch,» 243; Segal, «Ruler,» 248.
CD 5.18; «the prince of light» in 1QM 13.10 (Israel's helper).
1QM 17.5–6; Perkins, «John,» 972, cites 1QM 1.1, 5, 13; 4.2; 11.8; 1QS 1.18; 2.19; 3.20–21. Brown, John, 1:468, rightly compares John and the Scrolls here. Cf. repeatedly «Prince Mastema» !.]ub. 17:16; 18:9, 12; 48:2,9,12, 15; though elsewhere sometimes simply «Mastema,» e.g., 49:2); the «Prince of Darkness» (Pesiq. Rab. 20:2; 53:2).
Ascen. Isa. 2(Knibb thinks Ascen. Isa. 1–3 pre-Christian, but I am more skeptical).
E.g., Lucan C.W. 6.742–743; Segal, «Ruler,» 248–49; the Demiurge in Irenaeus Haer. 1.5.4. Pagans did not scruple to speak of even a chthonic deity as «ruler of the earth» (Smith, Magician, 52, citing Lucian Pharsalia 6.697). See demonic «world-rulers» in Eph 6:12; T. So1. 8:2–7 (third century C.E.); in the magical papyri, see Arnold, Ephesians, 65; later astrological powers in MacGregor, «Principalities»; Lee, «Powers,» 60.
Ovid Metam. 15.758–759,859–860; cf. other rulers in p. cAbod. Zar. 3:1, §3; Exod. Rab. 5:14. One might think of a coalescence of imperial and antichrist images if John's emphasis lay here.
On the apocalyptic image, see, e.g., Segal, «Ruler,» 247.
Smith, Magician, 52, citing Hippolytus Haer. 10.14, 15,19,20, 21.
Pace Segal, «Ruler,» 246, 258–59, 262–63,
M. Sank. 11:1–2; sources cited in Stauffer, Jesus, 206.
T.Roš Haš. 1:18; 'Abot R. Nat. 2A; Pesiq. Rab Kah. 5:13; 23:4; p. Roš Haš 1:3, §28; cf. m. Roš Haš. 3:1; p. Roš Haš. 3:1, §17. When earthly courts could not execute a requisite death sentence, the heavenly court would do so (t. Sanh. 14:16; Sanh. Mak. 5:16; 'Abot R. Nat. 25A; p. Ketub. 3:1, §8; Deut. Rab. 5:5; Midr. Pss. 72, §3).
Cf. similar language for the expulsion of Cronus by Zeus at the fall of the Titans (e.g., Cornutus 7.p.7, 20, in Van der Horst, «Cornutus,» 171).
John derives the terms «glorified» and «lifted up» from Isa 52LXX (e.g., Lightfoot, Gospel, 252; see comment on 3:14). The potentially relevant Targum Isaiah, to which some would like to appeal, however, does not predate the NT (Chilton, «John xii34»).
Intelligible also to Greeks, e.g., Homer II. 1.1–2, 5.
E.g., Cicero Rab. perd. 5.15–16 (Boring et a1., Commentary, 157).
Cicero Verr. 184.108.40.206 (sustulit). Despite allegorizing some other matters, ancient commentators typically understood that 12refers in context to the cross (Augustine Tr. Ev. Jo. 52.11.3).
Callisthenes Alex. 2.21.7–11 (Boring et a1., Commentary, 260–61). Because crucifixion involved «exaltation,» a dream about it signified good for a poor man (Artemidorus Om'r. 2.53; Malina and Rohrbaugh, John, 212–13).
Xenophon Mem. 1.1.4 (divine direction); Boring et a1., Commentary, 292–93, cites Plutarch Oracles at Delphi 21.
E.g., 4 Ezra 7(the Messiah dies along with everyone else).
For all Scripture as the «law,» see comment on 10:34. For an eternal reign of the «Son of Man,» see Dan 7:13–14 (also Hoskyns, Gospel, 427). Bampfylde, «Light,» cites Ps 61:6–7, which seems less likely a candidate (not a regular messianic testimonium of early Christians).
McNeil, «Quotation,» and Whitacre, John, 318, also cite Targumic support for a use of Isa 9relevant to this passage, but cf. Chilton, «John xii34.»
E.g., 1 En. 41:1; 2 Bar. 40:3; Midr. Pss. 72:17; cf. Pss. So1. 17:4; see introduction to Christol-ogy; Keener, Matthew, 487–88 and sources cited there.
E.g., 1QS 2.16; 3.13,24,25; 1QM 1.1,9, 11, 13; 3.6; 13.14–15; 4Q176 frg. 12, 13, co1. 1, lines 12, 16; frg. 10–11, 7–9, 20, 26, line 7 (Wise, Scrolls, 235); 4Q298 frg. 1, co1. 1, line 1; 4Q548 lines 10–15. The parallel between Qumran and NT usage (also Luke 16:8; 1 Thess 5:5) is often noted, e.g., Charlesworth, «Comparison,» 414; Vellanickal, Sonship, 36; Wilcox, «Dualism,» 95. The stereotypical expression «sons of light» is the only point at which the Gospel and the Johannine Epistles fail to observe the distinction between Jesus as God's «son» (υιός) and others as his «children» (τέκνα, τεκνία, παιδία; see Snodgrass, «ΠΝΕΥΜΑ,» 197 η. 54).
On the hiding, see comment on 8:59.
Dodd, Interpretation, 379.
Culpepper, Anatomy, 71.
E.g., Evans, John, 139; McPolin, John, 175.
Moloney, Signs, 195.
Cf. Rom 10:16; Lightfoot, Gospel, 253; Barrett, John, 431. Brown, John, 1interprets the ίνα of 12as suggesting that the prophecy produced the unbelief (12:38–39).
With Michaels, John, 218. See comment on 3:14. Tg. Isa. 52:13–53:4, however, speaks of the Messiah's strength (52:13) and of only Israel's sufferings (53:3–4).
Lightfoot, Gospel, 253; Menken, «Zitates.»
Barrett, John, 431, suggesting, probably rightly, that John мая quote loosely from memory.
See Lindars, Apologetic, 159. Other, analogous prophetic texts likewise appear in early Christian apologetic (cf., e.g., in Rom 11:8).
Evans, «Isaiah 6:9–10,» also noting that church fathers found in it a predestinarian emphasis. Hollenbach, «Irony,» suggests that the language is ironic because Isaiah's Judah and John's «Jews» do not wish to turn or see.
Also Beasley-Murray, John, 216.
In the NT as a whole, it appears 26 times, especially in Luke-Acts (15 times); and 61 times in the LXX.
E.g., T. Dan 2:2, 4; T. Jos. 7:5; T. Levi 13(associated with hardness, as here); Seneca Ep. Luci1. 50.3; Benef. 5.25.5–6; Epictetus Diatr. 1.18.4; 2.20.37; 2.24.19; 4.6.18; Marcus Aurelius 4.29. For classical parallels, see Renehan, «Quotations,» 20 (though noting that the NT source is the OT– «Quotations,» 21).
Isa 29:9–10; 44:18; Plato Laws 5.728B; Cicero Tusc. 1.30.72; Epictetus Diatr. 1.12.21f.; Jub. 21:22; Wis 2:21; Josephus War 5.343; Rom 1:24; 2 Thess 2:11–12.
Perhaps referring to Sinai. In 2 En. 65:2, eyes to see and ears to hear constituted part of the divine image in humanity.
In the Targumim (Westcott, John, 185; Dahl, «History,» 131; Schnackenburg, John, 2:416; McNamara, Targum, 100; Boring et a1., Commentary, 294; Kirchhevel, «Children»). On early Jewish premises concerning God's glory, this would be a natural inference from Isa 6:3–4.
Young, «Isaiah,» 221, even more forcefully.
Lightfoot, Gospel, 253.
Isaiah had predicted a new revelation of glory at the new exodus (Isa 40:5; cf. 40:3, cited in John 1:23; Isa 24:23; 35:2; 44:23; 46:13; 49:3; 58:8; 59:19; 60:1–2; 66:18–19; 4Q176 frg. 1–2, co1. 1, lines 4–9).
See Young, «Isaiah,» 216–18.
Dahl, «History,» 131.
Van der Horst, «Vision.»
E.g., Tenney, «Keys,» 303; Schnackenburg, John, 2:416; Boice, Witness, 105.
Hence the implicit midrashic link between the two texts (Doeve, Hermeneutics, 163).
So Bauckham, God Crucified, 49–51, citing the interpretive principle gezerâ shevâ. He also suggests (p. 51) that exaltation to divine glory мая have recalled Ps 110(cf. Acts 2:33; 5:31; combined with Isa 57in Heb 1:3).
See esp. Acts 4:1–2; 5:34–35; 15:5; 21:20; 23:6–8; 26:5. «Rulers» work together with «Pharisees» in 7:26,48; the world «ruler» who мая stand behind earthly rulers is evil in 12:31; 14:30; 16:11; but 12:42, like 3:1, allows for more nuancing. For such nuancing with the Pharisees as well, see 9:16.
Cf. Plutarch Themistocles 1.1; Demosthenes 12.1; Eunapius Lives 465. Alexander reportedly craved praise (Arrian Alex. 7.28.1). Some appreciated reputation but warned that it invited trouble (Babrius 4.7).
Dio Chrysostom Or. 66, On Reputation (LCL 5:86–115); Seneca Ep. Luci1. 123.16; cf. also Porphyry Marc. 15.253 (where, however, the term bears the common nuance of «opinion,» as in, e.g., 17.284). Human mortality also relativized the value of glory (Diogenes Laertius 5.40, citing Theophrastus), and reputation invited trouble (Babrius 4.6–8).
E.g., Xenophon Hiero 7.3 (φιλοτιμία); Philostratus Hrk. 23.23; 45.8; see comment on 5for the appropriate seeking of glory in antiquity.
E.g., Diogenes Laertius 6.1.8 (Socrates); Diogenes Ep. 4; Socrates Ep. 6; cf. Epictetus Diatr. 3.9; Marcus Aurelius 7.34; Philo Spec. Laws 1.281. Diogenes the Cynic reportedly attacked all those who were bound by reputation (ένδοξολογοϋντας, Diogenes Laertius 6.2.47). Cf. condemnations (albeit sometimes qualified) of «self-love» in Epictetus Diatr. 1.19.11; Plutarch Flatterer 1, Mor. 49A; Praising 19, Mor. 546F; Sextus Empiricus Pyr. 1.90; Philo Confusion 128; Worse 32; 2Tim 3:2; Sent. Sext. 138; more favorable in Aristotle N.E. 9.8.1–5, 1168ab; cf. also discussion in Grant, Paul, 41.
E.g., Diogenes Ep. 9.
Musonius Rufus 10, p. 76.30. Epictetus Diatr. 2.21.12–14. The diminutive δοξάριον in Marcus Aurelius 4.2; 8.8 мая also suggest a sort of ridicule.
E.g., 1Macc 11:51 (έδοξάσθησαν); Wis 8:10. The verb could also refer to adorning or beautifying a sanctuary (1Macc 14:15).
E.g., 1 Mace 14:35.
E.g., T. Ben). 6(δόξης ανθρώπων). Competing social groups in the ancient Mediterranean world demanded that one seeking honor determine in which group(s) one should seek it (see DeSilva, «Honor and Shame,» 520).
1QM 14.11–12 (ולנכבדיהם); 4QpNah 2.9 (also mentioning «rulers,» ומוישנלים); cf. 4QpNah 3.9; 4.4; Gen. Rab. 1:5.
It was also not uncommon to charge others with covering unjust personal motives with a veneer of religion (e.g., Josephus Life 75).
On epitomization, see, e.g., Epictetus Enchiridion; Syriac Menander Epitome; and the Qumran Temple Scrol1.
Feuillet, Studies, 145–46.
Odeberg, Gospel, 336; McPolin, John, 177; Grayston, Gospel, 101; Kysar, John, 203; Bruce, John, 273, 276; Quast, Reading, 92; Carson, John, 451; Pryor, John, 54; Moloney, Signs, 198; Smith, John(1999), 245.
Whitacre, John, 326, also suggesting a possible allusion to Moses' summary words in Deut 32:45–47 at the end of his public ministry.
See Sloyan, John, 162–63 (compare 12with Matt 10:40; 12:47 with Matt 7:24–27/Luke 6:47–49 and Mark 8:38; 12with Luke 10:16); Blomberg, Reliability, 185. Some think this section was added to the Gospel before its circulation (MacRae, Invitation, 18).
See, e.g., Rhet. Alex. 22, 1434b.l 1–18; Anderson, Glossary, 85 (s.v. παλιλλογία; cf. also recapitulative techniques, pp. 22, 24, 39, 51); in Paul, e.g., Anderson, Rhetorical Theory, 181–82; for decorative maxims, see Rhet. Alex. 35,1441.20; 144lb. 10–11; Anderson, Glossary, 55; further discussion under John 20:30–31.
Not only Jewish texts concerning agency but also Greco-Roman letters of recommendation typically identified the sender with the one recommended (see Malherbe, Aspects, 102–3); the rhetorical pattern «Whoever does A does not only A but also B» appears elsewhere (e.g., Musonius Rufus 14, p. 93.35–36), including in the Jesus tradition (Mark 9:37).
For ancient views relating light to vision, see Aristotle On Sense and Sensible Objects 2, 438ab; Plutarch T.T. 1.8.4, Mot. 626C; Aulus Gellius 5:16; Diogenes Laertius 9.7.44; Jos. Asen. 6:6/3. Here faith constitutes a prerequisite for true vision (cf. 3:3; 12:44).
Texts often combined their metaphoric use (Aeschylus Prom. 447–448), but the usage in the prophets is especially relevant, most of all in Isa 6:9–10; though omitting the «hearing» part of the quotation in 12:40, he includes it here.
Cf. early Jewish teachings that those who knew most were most accountable; e.g., Amos 3:2; 2 Bar. 15:5–6; b. Sabb. 68ab; Luke 12:47–48; Rom 2:12.
Human judges also appear in both Greek (Homer Od. 11.568–571; Euripides Cyc1. 273; Virgil Aen. 6.431–433, 566–569; Lucian Downward Journey 13, 18, 23–28) and Jewish (T. Ab. 12–13A, esp. 13:4; 11:1–4B; 3 En. 16:1) traditions. In various traditions one could be judged by onés own words or deeds (Cicero Verr. 1.1.2; Num. Rab. 16:21; Matt 12:37; Luke 19:22; 22:71).
Some could distinguish between the messengers and the one who sent them, holding the latter responsible (Homer 17. 1.334–336).
The author makes no allusion to the sort of temporal separation of the resurrections of righteous and unrighteous in Rev 20:4–6, whether that represents an apocalyptic literary device or is intended literally (interim periods appear elsewhere, e.g., 4 Ezra 7:28; 2 Bar. 40:3; Sib. Or. 3.741–759, 767–795; T. Ab. 13A; Sifre Deut. 34.4.3; 310.5.1; b. Sanh. 97ab; cf. 1 En. 91:8–17).
Smith, John (1999), 246, emphasizes John's «subordinationist» Christology here (yet combining it with the incarnation on p. 247).