Craig S. Keener
Jesus' prayer for disciples. 17:1–26
HERE JESUS SHIFTS FROM ADDRESSING the disciples to addressing the Father (17:1–26); after he returns to bestow the Spirit in 20:19–23, the disciples will pray directly to the Father for themselves (16:23–26) because he will have given them a new relationship with the Father (16:27) based on his own (16:28). Nevertheless, this prayer undoubtedly provides a model for their own; disciples concerned with their Lord's agendas ought to place a high priority on unity with other disciples. Just as such unity would have helped them through the crisis imminent during Jesus' prayer (cf. 16:31–32), it would give believers victory in their continuing conflict with the world (16:33; cf. 13:35; 15:18–27). For comments on ancient prayer and believers praying as Jesus' representatives, see 14:13–14; cf. also comment on Jesus' prayer in 11:41–42.
Käsemann emphasizes the testamentary character of ch. 17,9382 but as we have remarked earlier, the testament as a whole begins in ch. 13. Where the testamentary genre is most relevant to ch. 17 is the frequency of blessings and wish-prayers in testaments (e.g., Gen 49; Deut 32–33).9383 That John closes the previous section of the last discourse before opening this prayer (ταΰτα έλάλησεν, 17:1) suggests the prayer's special significance for John's audience.9384 Käsemann rightly notes that much of the Gospel's theology climaxes in this concluding section of Jesus' final discourse in the Gospel,9385 though one should note that many other passages also provide prisms that refract larger cross sections of Johannine theology. As Minear points out, this prayer represents «the decisive turning point between ministry and passion,» viewing the hour of Jesus' glorification «both proleptically and retrospectively.»9386
The chapter also reflects standard Jewish motifs, such as the unity of God's people, their love for God, God's glory, obedience to God's message, the election and setting apart of God's people, and the importance of obeying God's agent (Moses in Jewish tradition). One writer links such motifs specifically to the Cairo Geniza manuscript of the Palestinian Targum to Exod 19–20,9387 another points to parallels with a hymn from Qumran;9388 in short, most of the motifs reflect common Judaism, yet reinterpreted in a christocentric manner and reapplied to the christologically defined community.
Further, to whatever degree John has adapted the discourse and prayer to encourage his audience in their particular situation,9389 it is clear that a prayer of Jesus before his passion already stands in the passion tradition (Mark 14:36).9390 But whereas, in Mark, Jesus prays for the Father to spare him from the passion if possible (Mark 14:36), here he recognizes and accedes to the Father's purpose, requesting the hour of glorification (17:1).9391 John does not deny Jesus' reluctance to face the cross (12:27) but places heavier emphasis on Jesus' obedience.9392
Traditionally some have viewed Jesus' intercession in this passage in terms of the OT role of high priest9393 (Jesus' role in some early Christian traditions; Heb 2:17; 3:1; 4:14–15; 5:10; 6:20; 7:26; 8:1; 9:11); the chapter title «Jesus' High-Priestly Prayer» has circulated since the theologian David Chyträus (1531–1600).9394 But Jewish tradition also emphasized the intercessory role of prophets;9395 more significantly, the probably testamentary character of the final discourse might point to patriarchal blessings,9396 particularly the prayer and blessing of Moses (Deut 32–33),9397 as background. But because the content of these blessings does not parallel John 17 very closely,9398' one мая need to look to the experience of John's audience for more of the content. A variety of backgrounds are possible, but most important within the context of the Fourth Gospel is that Jesus becomes, before his exaltation, the first Paraclete, or intercessor (Rom 8:26; 1 John 2:1; see extended comment on 14:16).9399 This suggests that John 17 models part of the ministry of the Paraclete who would come after Jesus' departure (14:16) and of those who share his ministry (15:26–27).9400 The Fourth Gospel presents the Paraclete especially as an advocate or prosecutor in the disciples' conflict with the world, but Jesus has also been promising them more direct access to the Father in prayer once he goes to the Father (14:13–14; 15:7, 16; 16:26–27).
The setting of the prayer is essentially the same as that of the last discourse, excepting the specific mention of a change in Jesus' posture. «Lifting up» onés «eyes» was a common posture of prayer (11:41; cf. Mark 6:41; 7:34) in early Judaism (1 Esd 4:58; 4 Macc 6:6, 26)9401 and appeared among Gentiles.9402 Because God was envisioned as being in heaven,9403 both Jews9404 and Gentiles9405 regularly lifted their hands in prayer, supplication, or worship.
Reciprocal Glory of Father and Son (17:1–5)
John 17:1–5 alludes back to previous declarations that the hour of glory had come, through which the Father and Son would glorify one another in the cross (12:23–24, 28; 13:31–32).9406 In the context of the entire Gospel, Jesus' return to glory here includes his exaltation but takes place by way of the cross.9407 The reader of the Fourth Gospel is by now prepared for such a statement, but we should not miss the striking offensiveness of the language: glory was partly honor, whereas the cross was one of the greatest humiliations conceivable to the ancient Mediterranean mind.9408 Jesus «looks for glory in the last place» the world would expect it.9409 In this passage as in others, a complex of associations cluster together, including Jesus' glory and love, God's name, and the revealing of God's word;9410 this is the natural outworking of the analogy with Moses introduced in 1:14–18 (see comment there). Thus Jesus' crucifixion and exaltation to the Father is the theophany that will reveal the divine name to the disciples.
Jesus and the narrator had been declaring that his «hour» would «come» from 2onward (7:30; 8:20); from 12they have been declaring that it had finally arrived (12:27; 13:1; 16:32; cf. Mark 14:41). The request that the Father glorify the Son so that the Son might glorify the Father was in effect a request that the Father now hasten the cross (12:23–24; 13:31–32), revealing the Son's love for, and devotion to, the Father.9411 This prayer is strikingly different from Jesus' Gethsemane prayer in the Markan passion tradition, but John undoubtedly intends this prayer to complement Jesus' revulsion to the cross, not to contradict it. It continues the Johannine «Gethsemane» prayer of 12:27–289412 and fits «Your will be done» at the close of Mark 14:36. Jewish literature often declared the eschatological sanctification9413 or glorification of God's name. Jewish literature also recognized that God must be praised or glorified in the present.9414 Because onés «name» involved onés «honor,» it is not surprising that some texts link name and glory.9415
Perhaps lest the accusers of John's audience complain that glorifying Jesus detracted from God's glory, John is at pains to demonstrate that it is the Father himself who glorifies Jesus and that Jesus' costly glory glorifies the Father (7:18; 8:50,54; cf. 1 John 2:23). Jesus is exalted on the basis of his prior submission to suffering for the Father's honor.9416 In Isaiah, God glorified himself in glorifying Israel (Isa 44:23; 46:13; 49:3; 55:5; 60:1–2, 7, 9, 19, 21; 61:3); thus an Amora could remark, for example, that God told Moses to glorify Israel, for Israel's glorification would glorify God.9417
That Jesus rules «all flesh» (17:2) simply means that he rules «all humanity.»9418 This was a role normally attributed to God alone,9419 but the Fourth Gospel reveals that the Father has repeatedly delegated his authority to the Son (3:35; 5:22, 26–27; 13:3);9420 the Father's gifts to the Son (especially disciples; also glory, revelation, and authority) and the Son's gifts to disciples in fact make the present context the Gospel's greatest concentration of δίδωμι (17:2,4,6–9,11–12,14,22,24). That Jesus was authorized to give eternal life to his own would encourage those whose faith was challenged by opponents who claimed to speak for God apart from Jesus (cf. 6:37–40; 10:28–29).
John 17continues the connection between the Father and the Son; eternal life, eschatological life, involves an intimate relationship with the Father and the Son (see discussion of «knowledge» in the introduction, ch. 6).9421 The connection between Jesus and the Father in 17is very close. It is even grammatically possible to construe the dual object as a hendiadys, identifying Jesus Christ with «the only true God,» but this construction is impossible both logically and from the standpoint of Johannine theology.9422 In John's theology, the Son is not the Father, and it is hardly coherent for Jesus to identify himself as the Father he was addressing. The close association, however, places Jesus in the role reserved for the Father (or at least divine Wisdom) in standard Jewish teaching. Besides 1:17, «a legitimate anachronism,» 17is the only instance in the Gospel in which «Christ» appears as part of a proper name and not simply a title.9423
If any ambiguity remains concerning Jesus' identity in 17:3, it vanishes in 17:5, which affirms Jesus' preexistence with the Father in glory.9424 Jesus is not paralleled here primarily with Moses but with God's own revelation, presumably with Wisdom and Torah in early Jewish thought. Greek philosophers could speak of onés spirit returning to its prenatal existence at the body's death,9425 but such an image fits neither the language of this passage nor the worldview of the Gospel as a whole; likewise isolated Jewish examples of God keeping the names of his chosen ones with him9426 do not match the exalted image of this passage nor relate to the Christology of this Gospe1.
The «glory» harks back to its first mention in the Gospel, in 1:14, where Jesus' disciples, like Moses, saw God's glory in Jesus; like Moses with respect to God, they will reveal Jesus' character as they reflect his glory (13:35; 15:8; cf. 2Cor 3–4, esp. 4:6). Jesus' glory in the flesh expands the theology implicit in the Synoptic transfiguration tradition (Mark 9:2–8; Matt 17:1–8; Luke 9:28–36) or perhaps Paul's experience as reported in Acts (Acts 9:3; 22:6; 26:13). Both the transfiguration narratives and Paul's encounter as depicted in Acts reflect the tradition of God's glory revealed to Moses on Mount Sinai.9427
This makes all the more likely that Jesus is here God's word or wisdom, with the disciples taking the place of Moses.
Although the relation between knowledge of God and eternal life (17:3; cf. 1 John 5:20) makes passable sense in a Hellenistic framework,9428 it also fits the covenantal use of «knowing God» in the biblical tradition (Jer 31:34; Hos 2:20).9429 Hellenistic Jewish wisdom had already identified knowing (έπιστασθαί, είδέναι) God and his power with righteousness and immortality (Wis 15:3). More мая hinge on the ϊνα in 17:3; if one takes it in its most frequent (and classical) sense as «in order that,» knowing God would be the result of eternal life. This could be taken as corresponding to the more radical second-century gnostic ideologies, such as Valentinianism, where knowledge «is not only an instrument of salvation but itself the very form in which the goal of salvation, i.e., ultimate perfection, is possessed.»9430 Such a view might, however, still equate knowledge with eternal life, which reading the grammatical construction in this manner would not. Further, a grammatical argument based on the classical force of ϊνα would be misleading; this construction in 17may simply represent a Semitism9431 or, more likely, an example of the broadened use of conjunctions in Koine.9432 In this case it means «that» (e.g., 4:34; 6:29), which is how translators usually take it. Knowing God includes embracing his revelation in Christ, sharing his «things» (16:13–15; 17:14, 17), particularly an intimate relationship of love with him (17:25–26).9433
That Jesus glorified the Father «on the earth» (17:4) refers to the whole of his earthly ministry. Jesus was not «of the earth» (3:31) but spoke in earthly analogies (3:12) and, in a sense, provided, to some degree, an earthly analogy in his incarnate life to explain the character of God in humanly comprehensible form; finally, he would be lifted up from the earth into glory (12:32).9434 In the cross, he finished the work the Father called him to do (cf. 4:34; 19:30), though his followers still need to be «completed» or perfected in unity (17:23).
His request for glorification in 17repeats the thought of 17:1, except that it adds the notion of Jesus' precreation glory. This is no Jewish-Christian adaptation of the Hellenistic concept of apotheosis for heroes;9435 Jesus is not becoming God but returning to the glory he shared with the Father before creation. His preincarnate glory appears in 12:41, but his precreation glory harks back to the very opening of the Gospel (1:1–2), manifested in a way obscure to the people among whom he lived in the Gospel (1:10–11,14).
Prayer for the Disciples (17:6–24)
The prayer is arranged chronologically; after Jesus prays for himself in 17:1–5, he turns to prayer for his disciples.9436 Jesus' prayer for the disciples falls into two primary sections: his prayer for his current disciples (17:6–19, esp. 17:11–19) and his prayer for his future disciples (17:20–24; cf. this concern in 20:29–31). The first prayer primarily concerns protection from the evil one who works in the world into which they are sent but of which they are not a part (17:15); their separation from the world recalls Jesus' own, as in 15:18–25. The second prayer focuses on another issue apparently still paramount in John's day: the unity of believers, that the world might recognize Jesus' activity among them (17:21–23).
1. What Belongs to Jesus and the Father (17:6–10)
Jesus gives the Father's message to the disciples because he has the Father's message (17:6–8); likewise, Jesus has the disciples precisely because they, too, belong to the Father (presumably through divine ordination) and hence have been entrusted to the Son (17:9–10). This paragraph continues the emphasis on the solidarity and (still more so) the mutual sharing of the Father and the Son that is introduced in 17:1–5.
Jesus revealed to the disciples God's «name» (17:6), partly meaning his honor9437 but very probably also implying his character and identity (14:9; 17:26).9438 Acting by God's name could represent dependence on God (e.g., 1QM 11.3). When God acted in history, he often did so for the sanctifying of his name,9439 as he would do also at the final day.9440 God expected his people to sanctify his name (kiddush haShem was central to Jewish ethics), especially by righteous deeds.9441 Some rabbis opined that God's name was hidden in the present age but would be revealed in the coming age;9442 Jesus' revelation of the Father's name is thus consonant with John's emphasis on realized eschatology. Moses sought to know God's «name» to reveal God to the people (Exod 3:13; cf. 33:18; 34:6–7); here Jesus provides his disciples, who are like Moses, with the same privilege.9443 This experience would continue more fully after Jesus' glorification (14:21).
That Jesus' disciples kept the word he gave them (17:6; cf. 8:51; 14:23; 15:20), as Jesus kept the Father's (8:55), мая recall the obedience of Moses but probably reflects more generally the obedience of Israel or a faithful remnant within Israel (Deut 33:3, 9) .9444 Yet in giving them the Father's word (17:6, 8), Jesus is again greater than Moses, who gave the word to Israel; in John's language, the law was given «through» Moses, but the actual giver of the law was God himself (1:17; cf. 6:32); thus the passage again portrays Jesus in a divine role. At the same time, Jesus remains subordinate to the Father, emphasizing that whatever he gave the disciples was from the Father (17:7). Perhaps, in the language of Exodus, Jesus is the «angel of YHWH» (Exod 3:2), but in the language of John (1:1–18) and of the early Jewish context he reflects, Jesus is divine Wisdom, which imparts God's teachings to Moses and all those who will hear (e.g., Wis 7:27; 10:16; 11:1).
The disciples realized that all that the Father had given Jesus was genuinely from the Father (17:7), in this case referring especially to Jesus' message (17:8; cf. 12:47–50; 16:15). That the Father had «given» disciples to Jesus (17:9; also 17:24) reiterates a striking image in the Fourth Gospe1. Early Judaism taught that Israel as a whole was predestined (see comment on 6:43–44), but like some other early Jewish Christian writers (e.g., Rom 9:6–32; Eph 1:4–5), John emphasizes the predestination of individuals in Christ through their faith in Christ. Jesus prays on behalf of the disciples (17:9) in a way that provides a model for how disciples will soon be authorized to pray for themselves in his name (16:26–27).
When Jesus says that «all things» (πάντα, neuter) that are his are also the Father's (17:10), underlining the point of 17:7, he merely repeats the general wisdom of 16:15; the Father and Son are so intimate that they share everything in common. Likewise, the Son by inheritance is a lord over the Father's house (cf. 8:35). In this context, he states this general principle to reinforce the more specific point of 17:9: the disciples for whom Jesus prays already belong to the Father as well as to himself (10:14, 28–29), and hence the Father will surely answer Jesus' prayer. Jesus is glorified in his followers (17:10; cf. 2 Thess 1:12) the same way the Father is: by their fruitfulness (15:8), especially by their love for one another (13:35) expressed in unity (17:21–23). Although the idea is less central to this chapter, he мая also be glorified in their sufferings (21:19) and in their triumph following such sufferings (11:4; cf. 9:3).
2. Guarding His Own in the World (17:11–19)
Though Jesus was leaving the world (17:11), he was sending the disciples into the world just as the Father had sent him into the world (17:18). Nevertheless, because they had his message, they were not of the world (17:14) but were being set apart by that message (17:17) as Jesus was set apart (17:19). Those whom the Father gave Jesus (17:9–10) now are again in the Father's hands (17:11), except for the one destined to be lost (17:12).
2A. Separation from the World (17:11, 14–19)
Although Jesus was leaving, his disciples would remain «in the world» (17:11; cf. 13:1), which carried with it the attendant challenge to be «in the world» yet not «of it» (17:14–18)–a task Israel usually proved unable to fulfill when confronted by pagan practices around it. The address «Holy Father» (17:11) is not unexpected in an early Jewish milieu9445 but specifically fits this context: Jesus has been keeping the disciples separate from the world (17:12), and now the Father will continue to keep them set apart (17:11).9446 God is the measure of holiness (cf. Rev 4:8), and whatever is «holy» is «separated» to him (e.g., Exod 28:36; 30:10, 32, 36–37; 31:14–15; 39:30; Lev 21:6–8). The goal of their being kept from the world is that they мая be «one» (17:11; cf. 10:16; see comment on 17:21–23). Separation from the world naturally produces internal community cohesion (see comment on 15:18–25), but here the idea seems to be that the common unity with the Father and the Son, apart from the world's quite contrary interests, yields unity among Jesus' followers (cf. 17:21–23).
Jesus «kept» the disciples from the world by God's name (17:11). The έν here is probably both locative and instrumental:9447 on the one hand, if the disciples are «in the world,» they must be protected «in God's name»;9448 on the other hand, God protects his people by means of his name. As in Revelation, believers can remain faithful to God's name (e.g., Rev 2:3, 13; 3:8) and are marked off from the world by God's name, his symbol of authority over them (Rev 3:12; 14:1; 22:4; cf. 7:3; 13:17). In the Fourth Gospel, «keeping» (τηρείν) usually refers to God's commandments9449 but in 17:11,12,15 (cf. 1 John 5:18) refers to God keeping those who obey him, perhaps playing on the language of God keeping those who keep his word (cf. Rev 3:10). He keeps them in the face of the world's hostility (John 15:18–25).9450
2B. The Apostate (17:12)
That Jesus lost none of his own in the first generation except one foreknown for apostasy (17:12) might encourage persecuted believers whose community had already expertenced some defections (cf. 1 John 2:19); the point is important enough for John to reiterate it for his audience (18:9; cf. 6:37). Jesus protected them in part by laying down his life to prevent their death (explicitly in 18:8–9; cf. 10:15); given the weakness of the disciples (13:38; 18:25), preventing their arrest at this point мая also have prevented their terminal apostasy. That John elsewhere emphasizes that Jesus had lost no sheep (10:11–12) and that, in fact, no one could seize them from his or his Father's hand (10:28–29) suggest that this was a matter of encouragement John felt his audience needed.
If the reconstruction of the Johannine community most commonly held today is correct in its basic contours, John мая here encourage Jewish believers whose faith has been rendered less stable through the polemic of respected leaders in their synagogue communities. They had never considered that following Jesus might separate them from Israel, the people of God, and their opponents' claims that they had been separated from God's people мая have shaken them. Throughout the Gospel, John therefore reminds them of Jesus' union with the Father, whom their opponents do not personally know; by union with Jesus, his followers are united with the Father and remain the people of God regard-less of the views of some hostile synagogue officials (cf. Rev 3:8–9).
John's audience could be assured that neither those who left the community in John's day (1 John 2:29) nor Judas (6:64) took Jesus by surprise. As «son of destruction,»9451 the betrayer was destined or foreknown for his role (17:12). Jewish wisdom texts could call wicked Sodom «people of destruction» (έθνος απώλειας), that is, «people for destruction» (Sir 16:9). The Dead Sea Scrolls speak of the wicked as «children of the pit» (השחת), that is, those destined for destruction (CD 6.15; 8.14); Jubilees also calls the wicked of past eras «children of destruction.»9452 Perhaps most strikingly, at least one extant witness to early Christian tradition suggests that some Christians had already designated the anticipated «man of lawlessness»9453 as a «son of destruction» (2 Thess 2:3; cf. Rev 17:8). Just as many «antichrists» who opposed the true teaching about Christ could reflect the character of a future anticipated antichrist (1 John 2:18) and just as the Fourth Gospel emphasizes the eschatological condition of the present more frequently than future eschatology, Judas functions as a paradigm for human evi1.9454 Because Judas probably also provides a model for apostate members of the community (cf. 6:66–71; as does the antichrist, 1 John 2:18–19), this association casts apostates in a very negative light (cf. 15:6).
Opponents of John's audience мая have complained about what appeared to them an inconsistency in the gospel tradition: Jesus is omniscient, yet he chose a disciple who ultimately betrayed him. John is at pains to point out that Jesus foreknew the betrayer, whose role was part of God's plan (6:64, 71; 13:21, 26, 27); in support of such a thesis is the point that the only disciple whom Jesus lost was, in fact, the betrayer himself. John reinforces this point by informing his audience that the loss of the betrayer fulfilled Scripture (17:12) and hence was necessary because, as even their opponents recognized, Scripture cannot be broken (10:35). The necessity of a betrayer might be inferred simply from Scripture concerning Jesus' suffering (cf., e.g., 19:24,28,36–37; 20:9), but «Scripture» here probably alludes to the passage already cited in 13about the betrayer. It is not necessary to find a text that directly mentions a «son of destruction.»9455 When John later refers back to this text, however, it is not only that Scripture (the Hebrew Bible or its Greek translations) might be fulfilled but also that the «word» of Jesus might be fulfilled (18:9); for John, both are God's message.
2C. Their Joy мая Be Full (17:13)
As Jesus prepares to leave, he speaks «these things» that their joy might be full (17:13), implying that his words (coupled with the second Paraclete, 14:16–17, 26) function as a surrogate for his bodily presence as the Word among them. At first, one might think that he refers solely to the words of the immediate context, namely, the prayer.9456 But ταΰτα consistently refers to the whole message he has been giving his disciples (13:17, 21; 14:24; 15:17; 16:1,4, 6,25, 33),9457 including in the immediate context (17:1; probably 18:1). Most important, the words that bring fulness of joy (17:13) must include his earlier words to them (15:11).
2D. God Preserves Believers from the Evil One (17:14–17)
Because they, like Jesus, are not from the world (e.g., 8:23), the disciples share with Jesus in being objects of the world's hatred (17:14; 15:18). Because of this, Jesus prays further for the Father to «keep» them, that is, to preserve them, from the evil one (17:15).9458 Such preservation does not involve removal from the world and its hatred (17:15) but protection from succumbing to the designs of the evil one (cf. Matt 6:13).9459 (The substantive use of «evil» often points to Satan.)9460 Other Jewish pietists praised God for «keeping» or «guarding» them from those who would destroy them.9461 Wisdom, too, was said to «keep» or «guard» God's servants (e.g., various forms of φυλάσσω, τηρέω, and their cognates in Wis 9:11; 10:1,5).
Believers must be «kept» because they are «in the world» (17:11, 16), yet they are not «of» the world (17:14).9462 They reflect the character of Jesus rather than that of the world (15:1–17) and hence are in conflict with the world (15:18–25). This is a separation of values, not of geography. Whereas the Qumran community was to remain physically separate from outsiders (1QS 5.18; 9.8–9; CD 13.14–15)–especially practical for the wilderness Essenes– the separation of Johannine believers is an internal rather than a geographical one.9463
That God's «truth» was also his word or law fits early Jewish thought about the law (cf. Ps 119:142,151,160).9464 Jewish tradition recognized that God had sanctified Israel, that is, set Israel apart for himself;9465 some early texts associate this setting apart with God's commandments.9466 Jewish blessings regularly praised God for sanctifying his people through the commandments he had given them; these blessings usually included a reaffirmation of the particular commandment the person was fulfilling.9467 Priests were consecrated to God in a special way, not given land to till (Deut 18:1–5) that they might devote themselves un-distracted to God's work. Most of all, disciples would be set apart like Jesus, who was consecrated wholly for the Father's purposes (10:36), pursuing wholly the agendas from above alien to the world. Jesus'word had set his disciples apart (17:17) and cleansed them (15:3) if they, like those who offered these blessings for God's commandments, obeyed the word in practice (13:17).9468 John мая allude to Jesus himself (cf. 1:1–18) as well as his spoken words as the message through which God would set them apart more fully;9469 his own presence was mediated through his words (12:47–48) and his disciples' witness for him (16:7–15).
This text presupposes that God's word is already set apart.9470 In 10:36, Jesus declares that the Father set him apart before sending him into the world; in 17:19, he consecrates himself again so they мая be consecrated in truth–perhaps meaning in himself (14:6).9471 For God to make his people holy was to make them like himself (17:11; cf. Lev 11:44–45; 1Pet 1:16).9472 John's idea of holiness is not, however, physical separation from the world so much as it is separation from the world's values; like Jesus, the disciples were «sent into the world» (17:18; cf. 20:21).9473
3. Prayer for Unity of Later Disciples (17:20–24)
As Jesus had prayed for his first disciples rather than the world (17:9), now he prayed for his future disciples (17:20)–generations like John's own (cf. 16:2). Others would believe through the first witnesses' message (17:20) and be sanctified through that message (17:17). These subsequent believers should remain united with other believers, particularly the apostolic founders (17:21), so the world might believe (17:21, 23). Jesus' mission was to glorify the Father by the cross (17:1–5); he yearned for his disciples to display God's glory through unity (17:22–24).
The evangelist especially wishes his audience to overhear 17:20: the prayer for unity concerns not merely the first generation but their own generation as well, just as their generation's faith will be rewarded even more than that of the first generation (20:29–31).9474 Subsequent generations would believe through the first generation's «word» (17:20), thus sanctifying them as well (17:17); their «word» was God's own word, Jesus himself mediated through the witness of the disciples (see comment on 16:7–11).9475 The witnesses in the Fourth Gospel, from John the Baptist to the disciples to the Samaritan woman, thus become a bridge to, as well as a paradigm for, the faith of John's audience.
This renders all the more relevant for John's audience Jesus' specific prayer on their behalf: unity for the sake of their witness. Just as the unity of Father and Son was central to John's apologetic (one thus dare not oppose the Son while claiming loyalty to the Father, 10:30), the unity of believers is at the heart of John's vision for believers (10:16; 11:52; 17:11, 21–23). The Fourth Gospel equipped John's audience with an apologetic approach from Scripture but most of all summoned them to invite the open-minded to «come and see» (1:39,46; 4:29,39–42), which in their day must have included the questioning to experience the presence of Jesus living among his followers by the Spirit. This presence of Jesus would be experienced through prophetic proclamation (16:7–11) but also through the mutual love of the disciples, who thus revealed Jesus' character (13:34–35; 15:8–12). The way believers treat one another is an essential component of proclaiming Jesus to the world.9476 Indeed, if one compares this prayer with Jesus' earlier prayer in 11:42, one finds that the unity of believers provides the same kind of witness concerning Jesus' origin as Jesus' raising of Lazarus (ότι συ pe άπέστειλας, 11:42; 17:23).
It is noteworthy that when the prayer turns to generations after those of the first disciples, the mention of unity (17:11) becomes a central emphasis (17:21–23). Whereas the «world» was divided (e.g., 7:43; 9:16; 10:19; 12:42–43), Jesus' followers were to be cohesive (13:34–35; 17:21–23).9477 Disunity characterized the broader culture as a whole.9478 Intercity rivalries, for example, were common.9479 Writers and speakers emphasized the need for unity for the state,9480 for armies,9481 for families,9482 and so forth, and the dangers of disunity;9483 they might praise those who made peace.9484 Personal enmity was standard in partisan politics9485 but also extended to matters such as favored teachers9486 and literary competition.9487 Sometimes, however, enemies could be reconciled.9488
Although a unity rooted in love would address other issues as well, one matter of unity the Gospel surely addresses is ethnic unity. The emphasis on the Samaritans' ready acceptance of Jesus points in this direction (4:39–42), as does Jesus' objective of «one flock,» probably referring to the influx of Gentile Christians to follow (10:16; cf. 11:52). Unity also challenges the secessionists of 1 John.
John 17:22–23 repeats and amplifies the basic thoughts of 17:21: Jesus wants the disciples to be one as he and the Father are one that the world мая recognize the divine origin of both Jesus and his disciples.9489 Beasley-Murray notes that the Qumran community «called themselves the unity» but sought unity between themselves and angelic saints above, whereas in John the unity is rooted in God's work in Christ.9490 The church has already «achieved in Christ» the miracle of unity, as in Gal 3:28, though in practice the early church clearly continued to experience divisions (Acts 6:1; 3 John 9–12);9491 believers must work to keep the unity of the Spirit that Christ established. But in any case, the loving unity between the Father and the Son provides a model for believers, not necessarily a metaphysical, mystical ground for it.9492 Jesus and the Father mutually indwell each other (17:21; also 10:38; 14:10); by Jesus dwelling in them and with the Father dwelling in him (cf. also 14:23), Jesus' followers would experience God's presence in such a way that unity would be the necessary result (17:23). John would probably view the inability of believers to walk in accord with one another as, first of all, a failure to accede to the demands of the divine presence both share.
Jesus receives glory (17:22, 24) and gives it to believers (17:22) that they мая glorify God (cf. 17:21, 23; 15:8);9493 if they are to glorify God as Jesus does, however (17:4), they must love him and one another to the extent that he did, to the point of death (21with 12:32–33). As in Paul's theology, believers who would share Jesus' glory must first share his suffering (Rom 8:18; 2Cor 4:17; cf. Eph 3:13; 2 Thess 1:5–6, 10). Jesus shared with them teaching (17:14) and everything he had received from the Father (15:15), as the Spirit continues to mediate to believers (16:13–15). Now Jesus says that he has shared with his disciples God's «glory» (17:22); this statement directly fulfills 1:14, for the glory that Moses could see only in part the disciples now witness in full (see comment on 1:14–18). The law was given through Moses, but the full revelation of God's character is given to the disciples in Jesus Christ (1:17).9494 Believers who walk in this revelation of God's character cannot divide from one another (17:22).
The great love of the Father and the Son for believers is a staple of early Christianity in general (Rom 8:37) and of the Johannine tradition in particular (e.g., 14:21; 16:27; cf. 1 John 3:1; Rev 3:9). Nevertheless, that the Father loved Jesus' disciples «even as» (καθώς) he loved Jesus (17:23) is one of the most remarkable statements of the Gospel, given the enormity of God's love for his uniquely obedient Son (3:35; 5:20; 10:17).9495 Yet this depiction of the measure of God's love toward believers is consonant with the emphasis that God demonstrated his love for the world by sending his Son to die for it (3:16). Jewish tradition celebrated God's love for Israel, but some Tannaim found inconceivable the notion that God would love Israel more than the first patriarchs.9496 God's love for Jesus' followers is of the same character as his love for his unique Son, Jesus–so that in the end, all of Jesus' true disciples become «belo\red disciples."9497 One might think that «completed» in unity suggests that such unity is a goal rather than a presupposition for believers (cf. 4:34; 17:4); but one might conversely take the perfect tense of the participle to suggest an established reality stemming from the divine indwelling (17:23), so that believers need merely guard a unity already accomplished by Christ (as in Eph 4:3). In either case, the sense would be the same in practice: Christ's indwelling produces the unity among his followers, and believers must therefore walk accordingly.
Jesus wants the disciples to dwell with him where he is (17:24), that is, in the Father's presence (14:3–6).9498 The Father had given Jesus both the disciples and Jesus' own glory (17:24), and Jesus wanted the disciples to dwell in his presence, beholding his glory. The image is eschatological (e.g., Rev 21:11,23) but, in John's emphasis on realized eschatology and especially in light of 14:1–3, emphasizes disciples beholding Jesus' glory in the present. They beheld his préexistent glory (12:41; 17:5)9499 during his earthly ministry (1:14; 2:11; 8:54; 11:4) and would continue to do so through the Spirit (16:14; cf. 7:39). Undoubtedly this means that they would continue to experience his glory through the Spirit's testimony as they continued to recite his acts of glory in the gospel tradition (14:26); it also implies continuing revelation of Jesus to the disciples through the Spirit (16:13–15).9500
Conclusion: Making God Known (17:25–26)
The world had not known God though knowing him was eternal life (17:3); but because Jesus knew the Father and the disciples knew that Jesus represented the Father (17:25), Jesus would make the Father known to the disciples that God might enjoy an intimate, loving relationship with them by Jesus dwelling in them (17:25; cf. 10:14–15).
The «holy» Father (17:11) is also the «righteous» Father (17:25; cf. 1 John 1:9),9501 perfectly just (7:24; 16:8, 10; cf. Rev 15:3), and the one who can put his own people in the right.9502 John climaxes on a summation (17:25–26): Jesus had revealed the Father to them9503 to provide them an intimate, loving relationship with him and one another. As Carson puts it:
Jesus' departure does not have as its goal the abandonment of the disciples to solitary isolation. Far from it: his goal is to sweep up those the Father has given him into the richness of the love that exists among the persons of the triune God.9504
Disciples' intimacy with the Father is mediated through Jesus (14:6), but because of their immediacy with Jesus, they also have immediate contact with the Father (16:26–27). Because their direct relationship with the Father and the Son is a central theme of the final discourse, its centrality for the Gospel as a whole cannot be overestimated. John encourages his community that their very relationship with the God of their ancestors testifies that they, and not their accusers, are heirs of Israel's covenant promises.
* * *
Käsemann, Testament, 4.
Cf. Smith, John (1999), 309; Blomberg, Reliability, 218. Käsemann, Testament, 5, regards it as a proclamation to the Father so the disciples can hear (cf. 11:42), rather than as a prayer; but this claim reflects a modern dichotomy (see, e.g., Ps 22:22, 25; 35:18; 40:9–10; 107:32; 111:1; 149:1).
Cf. Carson, Discourse, 175.
Käsemann, Testament, 3.
Minear, «Audience,» 343.
Even generally conservative commentators usually will not claim that the chapter was intended as a verbatim recollection (Ridderbos, John, 546–47).
E.g., Smalley, John, 189; Bürge, Community, 116 n. 9. On the antiquity of the tradition, see, e.g., Keener, Matthew, 633; Witherington, Christology, 219. Supposed parallels between John 17 and Matt 6:9–13 (Walker, «Prayer»; cf. Dodd, Tradition, 333) are possible but not impressive. Motifs such as «Father,» «Name,» «glorify» or «hallow,» «keep» from «testing,» and «deliver» or «protect» from «the evil one» (Carson, Discourse, 174) were relatively standard fare in early Jewish prayers (Jeremias, Prayers, 104–5; h. Ber. 60b; Sanh. 64a). At most, the sequential parallels мая suggest coherence with extant Jesus tradition (Blomberg, Reliability, 219), which adapts many elements of contemporary Jewish prayer (Keener, Matthew, 215–16).
The aorist implies the perspective of completion, although this need not require the speaker in the story world to speak after the events (Blass, Debrunner, and Funk, Grammar, 171–72). The και νυν of 17may reflect a temporal transition (cf. Laurentin, «Wéattah," on the OT and Lukan usage for reversal) but need not do so (e.g., 1 John 2:28).
As Smith notes (John , 327), John мая know the Gethsemane tradition (12:27; Heb 5:7–8), but John emphasizes Jesus dying intentionally (10:17–18). For distinctives of various early Christian writers on the final prayer, see more fully Dodd, Tradition, 71.
cf. Gordon, «Prayer» (consecrating disciples as priests).
Schulz, Evangelium, 213.
See Minear, «Audience,» 343.
See Schnackenburg, John, 3:198, on their «form and function.»
Also Painter, John, 59.
Appold, Motif, 199, suggests connections «with the worship experiences of the Johannine church» (cf. 4:23–24); but the hymns in Revelation, which differ considerably from this prayer, мая be more revealing.
Also Tob 3:11–12; 4Q213 frg. 1, co1. 1, line 8; 4 Bar. 6:5; Jos. Asen. 11:19/12:1; f. Ber. 3:14; Pesiq. Rab. 3:5; p. Ber. 4:6; Carson, Discourse, 175; see comment on 4:35. Prayer toward Jerusalem was, however, normative as we11: 1 Kgs 8:44; Dan 6:10; 1 Esd 4:58; m. Ber. 4:5–6; t. Ber. 3:14; for standing in prayer, see, e.g., Matt 6:5; Luke 18:11; p. Ber. 1:1, §8; Lachs, Commentary, 210.
Homer /. 7.178, 201; Xenophon Cyr. 6.4.9; Virgil Aen. 2.405–406 (because she could not lift her hands); 12.195; Silius Italicus 1.508; Chariton 8.7.2; cf. some (albeit only some) traditional cultures in Mbiti, Religions, 84. PGM 4.585 reports closing eyes for prayer, but some parts require the eyes to be open (PGM 4.625; cf. Iamblichus V.P. 28.156); the magical papyri require many different magical gestures.
E.g., Judaism frequently associates God with «heaven» (e.g. 1 Esd 4:58; Tob 10:13; Jdt 6:19; 1Macc 3:18, 50, 60; 4:24; 3Macc 7:6; 1 En. 83:9; 91:7). Greeks also sometimes located Zeus in heaven (Achilles Tatius 5.2.2; cf. Seneca Dia1. 12.8.5). As a circumlocution for God, see comment on John 3:3.
Ezra 9:5; Lam 2:19; 3:41; Isa 1:15; 1 En. 84:1; Jub. 25:11; Ps 155:2; 1 Esd 9:47; 2Macc 3:20; 14:34; 15:12, 21; 3Macc 5:25; 4 Macc 4:11; Sib. Or. 3.559–560, 591–593; 4.162–170; Josephus Ant. 3.26,53; 4.40; Ag. Ap. 1.209; 3.26; T. Mos. 4:1; Mek. Pisha 1.38; t. Móed Qat. 2:17. Cf. also 1Tim 2:8; 1 Clem. 29.1; Acts John 43.
E.g., Homer I1. 1.450; 3.275, 318; 5.174; 6.257; 7.130; 8.347; 15.368–372; 19.254; Od. 9.294, 527; 17.239; 20.97; Euripides E1. 592–593; Apollonius of Rhodes 1.248; 4.593,1702; Virgil Aen. 1.93; 4.205; 9.16; 12.195; Ovid Metam. 2.477, 580; 6.261–262; 9.702–703; 11.131; 13.410–411; Diodorus Siculus 14.29.4; Dionysius of Halicarnassus R.A. 3.17.5; 15.9.2; Appian C.W. 2.12.85; R.H. 2.5.5; Livy 7.6.4; Suetonius Nero 41; Arrian Alex. 4.20.3 (a Persian); Epictetus Diatr. 4.10.14; Plutarch Cleverness 17, Mor. 972B; Chariton 3.1.8.
For parallels, see, e.g., Lightfoot, Gospel, 300; Schnackenburg, John, 3:167; Brown, John, 2:740.
E.g., Holwerda, Spirit, 15–16; Käsemann, Testament, 19; comment on 12:23; 13:31–32. Both the emphasis on the cross and and that on préexistent glory refute Smith's comparison with a magical text (PGM 7.504; Magician, 132).
E.g., Diodorus Siculus 34/35.12.1; Epictetus Diatr. 3.26.22; sources in Brown, Death, 946–47; Davies, Paul, 284.
Morris, John, 721.
Käsemann, Testament, 50.
Writers could employ prayers in response to oracles, like oracles themselves, to foreshadow a narrativés direction (e.g., Xenophon Eph. 5.1).
Cf. Beasley-Murray, John, 294.
Isa 5:16; 29:23; Ezek 38:23; 39:7, 27; 1QM 11.15; 4Q176 frg. 12–13, co1. 1, line 15 (Wise, Scrolls, 234); see also the Kaddish.
E.g., 2 Bar. 5:2.
See Carson, Discourse, 178–79.
Pesiq. Rab Kah. 2:7 (R. Judah bar R. Simon). For God «glorifying» Israel, cf. also Tg. Isa. 1:2; he both «sanctified» and «glorified» them in Tg. Isa. 5(cf. John 17:17, 19).
E.g., Gen 6:3, 12–13; Num 16:22; Ps 78:39; 145:21; Isa 40:5–6; 49:26; Jer 25:31; 45:5; Ezek 20:48; 21:4–5; Rom 3:20; Jub. 25:22; 1QS 11.9; CD 1.2; 2.20; 1QH 13.13,16; 1QM 12.12; 4Q511 frg. 35, line 1 (probably); Sir 28:5; T. Jud. 19:4; T. Zeb. 9:7; T. Ab. 7:16B; Γ. Job 27:2/3. It also can include animals (e.g., Gen 9:16; Num 18:15; Ps 136:25; Jub. 5:2). Smith suggests an Isaian allusion, such as to Isa 40(John , 310), though «all flesh» is also common in Gen 6–9 and somewhat in Ezekie1.
E.g., Bel and the Dragon 5.
The Father also delegates some authority to others (see 19:11), but no such statement is comparable to the kinds of authority the Gospel attributes to Jesus. Reigning under God (Gen 1:26; Dan 7:14) is qualitatively different from the reign depicted for Jesus here; on the early Christian portrait of Jesus sharing God's sovereignty in a way granted to not even the highest angels, see Bauckham, God Crucified, 28–29.
The identification of knowing God with immortality also appears in Wis 15(DeSilva, «Wisdom of Solomon,» 1274).
On the possibility but unlikelihood, see also Harris, Jesus as God, 258–59.
Ladd, Theology, 242–43. Some argue that v. 3, which interrupts the thought between the preceding and following verses, мая reflect the author's parenthetical «targumic» commentary on eternal life in 17:2 (Blomberg, Reliability, 219). That it addresses the Father, however, мая leave it unclear whether it is any more «targumic» than its context.
As normally recognized, e.g., Stevens, Theology, 118.
Epictetus Diatr. 2.1.17.
1QM 12.1 (in his כבח־כה, «glorious,» dwelling).
On the transfiguration, see Keener, Matthew, 437; Moses, Transfiguration Story, 84–85.
Philo also identifies eternal life with knowing God (Dodd, Interpretation, 65), albeit in a somewhat different sense.
E.g., Ellis, John, 241–42. Hos 6:2–3 LXX probably even associates knowing God with the time of the resurrection (Dodd, Interpretation, 163); Driver, Scrolls, 545, compares 1QS 2.3.
Jonas, Religion, 35.
Burney, Origin, 69; Black, Approach, 76–79.
Bruce, Books, 66–67.
Countryman, Crossing, 128–32, thinks the goal is to pass beyond mere believing (20:30–31) to knowing (17:3) to union with God. By contrast, the Gospel presents believing as a way to know, and faith as the Gospel's explicit purpose (20:30–31).
That he died «on the earth» (12:24) мая be relevant if John intends a double entendre, but this is not clear.
One мая compare Josephus's adaptation of apotheosis language (cf. Tabor, «Divinity»; Begg, «Disappearance»).
E.g., Carson, John, 557.
People praised God's «name» (e.g., Tob 3:11; 11:14; Rev 15:4).
Cf. Sanders, John, 369; Malina and Rohrbaugh, John, 247–48 (the name representing the person himself); Did. 10.
E.g., 1QM 17.2; Num. Rab. 4:5.
E.g., Num. Rab. 4:6; 8:4; 12:21; Ruth Rab. proem 7; Song Rab. 2:7, §1; cf., e.g., Sipre Deut. 221.6.1; b. Sabb. 89b; p. Sanh. 3:5, §2. See further Urbach, Sages, 1:357–60, 444, 507, 2:283–84; Moore, Judaism, 2:101; Siegal, «Israel,» 107.
Dodd, Interpretation, 96.
Cf. Enz, «Exodus,» 213; Dowd, «Theology,» 334 (comparing Moses and Jesus). Moses declares God's name, glorifying it, in Deut 32(Glasson, Moses, 77).
Glasson, Moses, 77.
Cf. "holy Lord" (J En. 91:7); «holy God» (Sib. Or. 3.478). «Holy Father» became more popular in early Christian circles (Did. 10.2; Odes So1. 31:5).
Westcott, John, 243. On Jesus' holiness, see 6:69; 10:36; 17:19.
With, e.g., Brown, John, 2:759.
Robinson, «Destination,» 122, suggests that John parallels Jesus with Jerusalem, where God's name would dwell (Deut 12:11). While such an observation might fit Johannine theology had one put the question to the author (cf. Rev 21:22), there is no direct indication of such a specific allusion in this text.
See comments in Vellanickal, Sonship, 280–81.
Rhetoricians classified such substitution of descriptive titles as antonomasia (Rowe, «Style,» 128, citing Cicero Consi1. 4.9; Porter, «Paul and Letters,» 579, citing Rom 5:14; Anderson, Glossary, 23, citing Quintilian 8.6.29–30).
Jub. 10:3; 15:26. Greeks and Romans recognized that some offenses, including betrayal (here, of onés people), could merit punishment in the afterlife (Sallust Speech of Gaius Cotta 3).
For discussion of this figure, see, e.g., Keener, Matthew, 573–75.
Many commentators suspect that John adapted this figure to realized eschatology (e.g., Lightfoot, Gospel, 301; Glasson, Moses, 109; Freed, Quotations, 97; Best, Thessalonians, 285), though cf. the correct caution of Quast, Reading, 115.
Pace Freed, Quotations, 97, who therefore cites Prov 24:22a, though (p. 96) he thinks an allusion back to Jesus' own words in 6:70–71 is more likely (despite ή γραφή).
E.g., Carson, Discourse, 192, favors this position, but only very tentatively.
We leave aside uses of ταΰτα in the discourse that refer to others (15:21; 16:3).
Cf. similarly 1 John 5:18; Rev 3:10. Prayers for protection from demons (e.g., Tg. Ps.-J. on Num 6:24) became common, especially as popular demonological speculation grew.
This could echo the close of the Lord's Prayer (e.g., Bury, Logos-Doctrine, 69) but need not do so. On similar Jewish prayers for deliverance in testing, see Jeremias, Prayers, 105.
Jub. 50:5; Matt 13:19, 38; Eph 6:16; 2 Thess 3:3; for rhetorical use of antonomasia, see comment on 17:12. The other Johannine texts (1 John 2:13–14; 3:12; 5:18–19) are particularly relevant.
E.g., 1QM 14.10 (שמרחה').
Diogn. 6 echoes John 17but interprets it in a platonizing direction.
It appears symbolic even in Rev 12:6, where it alludes to the exodus.
E.g., 2 Bar. 44:14; cf. 1 En. 99:2.
E.g., Jub. 22:29; 30:8; 1QS 8.21; 9.6; 1QM 14.12; Wis 18:9; 3Macc 6:3; Exod. Rah 15:24; cf. 1QM 9.8–10; 1Cor 1:2; 1 Clem. 1.1.
E.g., Jub. 2:19, 21; 15:27. Among later texts, see, e.g., b. Ber. 33b.
E.g., t. Ber. 5:22; 6:9, 10,13,14; b. Ber. 51a, bar.; 60b; Pesah. 7b; Sabb. 137b; p. Sukkah 3:4, §3; Pesiq. Rah. 3:2; also noted by many commentators (e.g., Hoskyns, Gospel, 502). Some think «sanctify» here is a verbal link with the Lord's Prayer (e.g., Fenton, John, 176), but it seems to have been a frequent motif in early Jewish prayers.
The sanctification is «worked out in their doing of the truth» (Morris, John, 730).
As Smith, John (1999), 315, notes, the prologue sets the stage for the rest of the Gospel, in-eluding 17:17. Suggit, «LOGOS,» finds a title for Jesus here, citing in support also various early Christian texts.
A later blessing recited before reading Torah praised God for sanctifying Torah (R. Eleazar reports earlier tradition in Pesiq. Rah Kah. Sup. 1:2; cf. Deut. Rab. 11:6); or one praised God again for sanctifying his people by his commandments (b. Ber. lib). God sanctifies the law and delights in those who obey it.
Brown, John, 2:762, parallels Jesus' holiness with the Father (17:11).
Thus Brown, John, 2:761, finds an echo in 17of «holy» Father in 17:11.
As Ridderbos, John, 557, suggests, John's primary dualism is a moral dualism created by the world's alienation from God; yet even then it remains the object of God's saving love.
The emphasis throughout this prayer on the unity of believers probably points to a need for unity among believers in, and in the proximity of, John's audience (cf. Käsemann, Testament, 57).
Cf. Minear, «Audience,» 345, 348.
Robinson, Coming, 179, thinks this the Johannine equivalent of worldwide evangelism in Mark 13:10; Matt 24:14.
Sectarian groups tend to be cohesive; for comparison and contrast between unity here and that in the Qumran Scrolls, see de Wet, «Unity.»
This is not to attribute to Greeks an individualistic concept that transcended group loyalties; see Martin, «Ideology.»
Heraclitus Ep. 9; Babrius 15.5–9; Herodian 3.2.7–8; Yamauchi, Archaeology, 164–65; Ramsay, Cities, 115; cf. Dionysius of Halicarnassus R.A. 1.36.2–3; Rhet. ad Herenn. 3.3.4; Gen. Rah. 34:15.
E.g., Dionysius of Halicarnassus R.A. 7.53.1; Livy 2.33.1; 5.7.10; 24.22.1, 13, 17; Seneca Ep. Luci1. 94.46; Musonius Rufus 8, p. 64.13; Maximus of Tyre Or. 16.3; Menander Rhetor 2.3, 384.23–25; some thinkers even applied this globally (cf. Whitacre, John, 417; Keener, Revelation, 341). In early Christianity, cf. 1Cor 1:10; 11:18–19; Phil 2:1–2; 4:2.
Valerius Maximus 2.6.8 (spoken to children and grandchildren by one about to die, as in testaments).
E.g., Homer I1. 1.255–258; Livy 2.60.4; 3.66.4; Sallust Jug. 73.5; Herodian 8.8.5; Babrius 44.7–8; 47.
E.g., Homer Od. 1.369–371; Iamblichus V.P. 7.34; 9.45.
E.g., Sallust Jug. 73.5; Plutarch Sulla 4.4; 7.1; Aulus Gellius 6.19.6; Cornelius Nepos 7 (Alcibiades), 4.1; 25 (Atticus), 7.1–11.6.
See esp. Winter, Philo and Paul, passim.
E.g., Aulus Gellius 17.4.3–6; Plutarch Cimon 8.7. Note the need for self-defense in most of Terencés prologues (e.g., Lady of Andros 1–27; Self-Tormentor 16–52; Eunuch 1–45; Phormio 1–23; Mother-in-Law 1–57; Brothers 1–25) and in Phaedrus 2.9.7–11; 3.pro1.23; 4.pro1.l5–16.
See Valerius Maximus 4.2 passim.
For the parallelism, see, e.g., Brown, John, 2:769; Appold, Motif, 157, though the alleged parallel between 17and 17is unconvincing.
Beasley-Murray, John, 302.
Pamment, «17:20–23.» Contrast the oneness (unum) of Stoic writers, who tended toward pantheism (Seneca Ep. Luci1. 95.52).
Cf. Kysar, Maverick Gospel, 100.
See esp. Epp, «Wisdom,» 144.
The Father's love for the Son before the «foundation of the world» (17:24) is equivalent to «in the beginning» (1:1–2; cf. 9:32; καταβολή in Matt 13:35; Luke 11:50; Heb 4:3; 9:26; it often appears in the NT in predestinarian contexts, such as Rev 13:8; 17:8; Matt 25:34; Eph 1:4; 1Pet 1:20); they shared glory before the world began (17:5).
With Beck, Paradigm, 132 (following Kurz, «Disciple,» 102), which he rightly takes (pp. 133–36) as evidence for reader identification with the beloved disciple.
This refers to the experience of the Spirit, not merely to heaven after death (pace, e.g., Witherington, Wisdom, 271).
Even Glasson's moderately worded connection with Moses' préexistent mission in As. Mos. 1(Moses, 77; cf. Bernard, John, 2:580, based on a few words) is too far from the mark; the preexistence here is divine (Barrett, John, 514), the sort of préexistent glory attributed to Wisdom and Torah (see comment on 1:1–2).
The long discourse of chs. 13–17 concludes with a note that Jesus had «said these things» (18:1), a familiar way for a narrator to close a discourse (Jub. 32:20; 50:13; Musonius Rufus 8, p. 66.26; Acts 20:36; it becomes standard in Matthew–7:28; 11:1; 13:53; 19:1; 26:1; cf. Keener, Matthew, 256).
Cf. 1 En. 90(«Lord of righteousness,» which could be rendered «righteous Lord»). This was appropriate for a ruler (cf. Prov 20:28; 25:5); cf. the address to Ptolemy (βασιλεΰ δίκαιε) in Let. Arts. 46.
See Painter, John, 61. Cf. Isa 1:27; 56:1; 58:8; 1QS 10.11; 11.2, 5, 9, 12–14; 1QH 4.29–32, 36–37; Przybylski, Righteousness, 37–38; in the LXX and elsewhere, see Stendahl, Paul, 31; Dahl, Paul, 99; Piper, Justification, 90–96; in the rabbis, e.g., Gen. Rab. 33:1; Ruth Rab. proem 1.
Barrett, John and Judaism, 73, notes that «knowledge and the sending of the heavenly emissary,» which appear in 17:25, are «the most significant Gnostic themes»; but they are too common (and the gnostic redeemer too late) for this observation to prove relevant (see our introduction).
Carson, Discourse, 206