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him*; and without him was not any thing done 4 hath been done. By him was lifet; and the life was the 5 light of men, And the light shone in darkness; and the darkness overspread it not‡.
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was 7 John. This man came for a testimony, to testify of the 8 Light; so that through him all might believe. He was 9 not that Light, but was sent to testify of that Light.
was the true Light, which having come into the world is 10 enlightening every man. He was in the world, and the world was enlightened by him**, and yet the world knew
*All things were done by him] "All things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made." Newcome: who explains it of the creation of the visible material world by Christ, as the agent and instrument of God. See his notes on ver. 3 and 10. But this is a sense which the word "EVETO will not admit. Tivoμas occurs upwards of seven hundred times in the New Testament, but never in the sense of create. It signifies in this gospel, (where it occurs fifty-three times.) to be, to come, to become, to come to pass: also, to be done or transacted, chap. xv. 7; xix. 36. It has the latter sense, Matt. v. 18; vi. 8; xxi. 42; xxvi. 6. All things in the christian dispensation were done by Christ, i. e. by his authority, and according to his direction; and in the ministry committed to his apostles, nothing has been done without his warrant. See John xv. 4, 5, "Without me ye can do nothing." Compare ver. 7, 10, 16; John xvii. 8; Col. i. 16, 17. Cappe, ibid.
+ By him was life.] "In him was life," Newcome. Christ was the revealer of life. "With him were the words of eternal life;" John vi. 68; 1 John v. 11. Hence he is called the Word of Life," 1 John i. 1. "This Life," (i. e. Jesus, who is now called the Life, as he was before called the Word,)" was the light of men," the great instruc ter of mankind.
the darkness overspread it not.] See ch. xii. 35. the darkness which surrounded it," Newcome. Or, See ver. 10-12; ch. iii. 19.
"Its lustre was not impaired by
the darkness admitted it not."
a man sent from God.] This illustrates ver. 1, 2. To be sent from God implies that he had been first with God. Cappe, ibid. p. 23. which coming into the world is enlightening every man.] "which enlighteneth every man coming into the world," Newcome: but in his notes he gives the former interpretation; and refers to ch. iii. 19; xii. 46. This light is enlightening every man, not every individual, but every one who is willing to improve it: or rather is diffusing light without distinction, both over the Jewish and the Heathen world. Matt. xxviii. 19; John xii. 32; Col. i. 23; Rom. ii. 10; 1 Tim. ii. 4. Cappe, ibid. p. 48.
He was in the world.] He appeared in public as the prophet and messenger of God. John xvii. 18; xviii. 37.
** and the world was enlightened by him.] ó nocμoç di' avty EYEVETO. The common version, adopted by Abp. Newcome, is, "the world was made by him," meaning that "the visible material world was created by him." But this, as was observed before in the note on verse 3, is inadmissible, as the word EYEVET never bears that
11 him not. He came to his own; and yet those who 12 were his own received him not*. But as many as received him, to them he gave authority to be the children 13 of Godt, even to them who believe in his name: who were borntt, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, 14 [nor of the will of man,] but of God. And the Word was flesh, and full of kindness and truth he dwelt among us and we beheld his glory¶, the glory as of the
sense. In the present version TEOWTIMEvo, enlightened, is understood after EYEVETO, as best connecting with the preceding verse. So ver. 7, a man was sent from God, εγένετο απέςαλμενος. And Matt. xxiii. 15. προσήλυτος is understood after γενηται. Mr. Cappe translates the words, "the world was made for him;" understanding by the world, the Jewish dispensation, Gal. iv. 3; Col. ii. 8, 20, and taking dia with a genitive to express the final cause: of which he has produced several remarkable instances. Cappe, ibid. p. 50. The reader will judge which of these interpretations is to be preferred.
He came to his own, &c.] Mr. Cappe's version is, "He came into his own country, and his countrymen received him not," This is, no doubt, the true meaning; but the evangelist's elliptical phraseology seems more eligible in a literal translation.
† gave authority to be the children of God.] to participate of spiritual gifts. Gal. iv. 6; Rom. viii. 16. to be admitted to the privileges of children, to be partakers of a divine. nature, to be heirs of better promises, to rejoice in hope of eternal life. Cappe.
believe in his name.] received him; believed in him, and honoured him as the word of God. A person's name is a Hebraism to express a person himself. Jer. xxxiii. 9 ; Rev. xi. 13; Psalin xx. 1. Cappe.
tt who were born, &c.] to which privileges they were born; not by natural descent nor by proselytism, nor in any way which under the Jewish dispensation entitled to the privilege of that peculiarity, but the pure good-will of God. Cappe. The clause, "nor of the will of man," is omitted in the text of the Vatican manuscript; and has the appearance of a marginal gloss. Newcome. Griesbach.
Or, Nevertheless, the Word was flesh. "Though this first preacher of the gospel was honoured with such signal tokens of divine confidence and favour, though he was invested with so high an office, he was, nevertheless, a mortal man." Cappe. In this sense the word flesh is used in the preceding verse. "Flesh," says Mr. Lindsey, Sequel to the Apology, p. 136, "is frequently put for man." Psalm lxv. 2; Rom. iii. 20. But it frequently and peculiarly stands for man as mortal; subject to infirmities and sufferings and as such is particularly appropriated to Christ here, and in other places. 1 Tim. iii. 16; Rom. i. 3; ix. 5; 1 Pet. iii. 18; iv. 1. ‘O AOYOG FUGĘ EYEVETO, the Word was flesh; not became flesh, which is Newcome's translation; or, was made flesh, which is the common version. The most usual meaning of yivoμal is, to be. In this sense EYEVETO is used in this chapter, ver. 6; also in Luke xxiv. 19. The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, os EYEVETO; who was, not who became, a prophet. See Cappe, p. 86; and Socinus in loc.
¶ we beheld his glory.] we were witnesses to his miracles, his resurrection, the descent of the holy spirit, etc. John xvii. 1, 4, 5 ; xii. 16; xvi. 14; Acts iii. 12, 13. Compare 1 John i. 1.
16 only son who came from the Father; for † of his fulness 17 we have all received; and favour for favour. For the
law was given by Moses; but favour and truth were by 18 Jesus Christ. No man hath seen God at any time; the only [Son] that is in the bosom of the Fathertt, he hath declared him ¶.
* as of the only son.] “only begotten,” N. This expression does not refer to any peculiar mode of derivation of existence, but is used to express merely a higher degree of affection. It is applied to Isaac, Heb. xi. 17, though Abraham had other sons. The same word in the Hebrew is translated indifferently μovory vs and ayates. This word is applied to Christ by the evangelist John four times in the gospel, and once in his epis tle: and by no other writer of the New Testament. In the epistle to the Hebrews it unquestionably signifies beloved or most beloved: and in this sense it is used by John, ch. i. 14, 18; iii. 16, 18; 1 John iv. 9. “He seems to adopt it," says Mr. Lindsey, (Seq. p. 139) on all occasions where the other sacred writers would have said ayanɣtos.” Compare Matt. iii. 17; xvii. 5; Mark i. 11; ix. 7; xii. 6; Luke iii. 22; ix. 35. See Cappe, ibid. p. 94, and Grotius in loc. Mr. Lindsey observes, that “only begotten is most gross and improper language to be used in English, especially with respect to Deity." List of Wrong Translations, p. 46.
† And, R. T. and N. See Griesbach.
↑ and favour for favour.] xagis avti xagitos, the free gift of the gospel in the place of that of the law, as the evangelist himself explains it in the following verse. The law came by Moses, but favour and truth, (that is, true favour, the best and most excellent gift) came by Jesus Christ. Compare ver. 9. See Beza and Castalio on the text, and Theolog. Repos. vol. i. p. 51. Abp. Newcome, with the generality of interpreters, renders the passage "favour upon favour;" explaining it of abundant graciousness, or benignity. But he justly adds, that a clear instance of avσ in this sense is wanted. the only Son.] "only begotten Son," N. See above, ver. 14. Mr. Lindsey observes (Sequel, p. 139,) that it has been conjectured by interpreters of great note, that our apostle made choice of this word μavoy, to confute the strange chimerical notions which some mystic christians fell into very early. They pretended to be acquainted with a variety of emanations or intelligences issuing from the Supreme: of these, Monogenes, or only begotten, was one; and Monogenes produced Logos, the Word (Christ) and Life; which were the parents of all things produced after them.
that is in the bosom of the Father.] "who is his beloved Son," Matt. iii. 17; Col. i. 13. Newcome. Rather, who was in the beginning with God, v. 1,2; to derive in struction, and to receive authority from him. Who has now finished his mission and ministry, and is returned to God, John xiii. 1; and is admitted to such communion with the Father, and honoured with such tokens of his favour, as have never been enjoyed by any of the sons of men." Cappe, p. 116. There is an allusion to the situation of the most honoured guests at an entertainment, according to the ancient custom of reclining at table. See John xiii 23. The beloved disciple reclined on the bosom of Jesus: and Lazarus is represented as in Abraham's bosom, Luke xvi. 22, 23.
¶ Many very eminent interpreters have given a different turn to this whole paragraph. The following is Mr. Lindsey's version, as it appears in his List of False Readings and Mistranslations, p. 40.
"In the beginning was Wisdom, and Wisdom was with God; and God was Wisdom.
John bare witness of him and cried, saying, "This is he of whom I said, 'He who cometh after me †, is before me, for he is my chief.""‡
And this is the witness of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem, to ask him, "Who 20 art thou?" and he confessed, and denied not, but con21 fessed, "I am not the Christ." And they asked him, "What then? Art thou Elijah?" and he saith, "I am not." "Art thou the prophet?" and he answered,
The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by it, and without it was nothing made. In it was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not.
"There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness to bear witness of the light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that light, but was sent to bear witness of that light. That was the true light, which came into the world, and enlighteneth every man.
“It (divine Wisdom) was in the world, and the world was made by it, and the world knew it not. It came to its own land, and its own people received it not. But as many as received it, to them it gave power to become the sons of God; even to them who believe on its name. Who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man; but of God.
"And Wisdom became man, and dwelt among us, and we beheld its glory; the glory as of the well-beloved of the Father, full of grace and truth.
"John bare witness of him, saying, This is he of whom I spake. He that cometh after me is preferred before me, for he was greater than me (I).”
This sense of the passage is approved by Dr. Lardner, Dr. Priestley, Mr. Wakefield, and others. It is supposed to be countenanced by Solomon's description, Prov. viii. by the custom of the Chaldee paraphrasts in using the word of God for God himself. See Isa. xlv. 12; xlviii. 13; Gen. i. 27; iii. 8. Lindsey's Seq. p. 380; and by the use of the word Aoyos by Philo and other philosophers in or near the apostolic age, to personify the wisdom and the power of God. Λογοςε ςιν εικων Θε8, δι' δ σύμπας ὁ KOTμos EdnμixgYEITO. Phil. Jud. p. 823. ed. Lut. See Wakefield's notes on John i. and his Enquiry into Early Opinions, p. 102, etc.
*This is he of whom I said.] “ This was he of whom I spake," N. "He who cometh after me in point of time, goeth before me; taketh precedency of me, as the more bonourable;" Newcome. "For he is my principal. The great object of my ministry, to prepare whose way I have been sent forth," Cappe, ibid. p. 13. The word gwTos is used in the sense of a chief or principal. Mark vi. 21; Luke xix. 47; 1 Tim. i. 15, 16. Compare Matt. iii. 11; Mark i. 8; Luke iii. 16. "He that cometh after me is mightier than I." The common version of this clause, which Abp. Newcome adopts, is, "for he was before me;" that is, as usually interpreted, he existed before me.
+ N. m. goeth, N. t.
The connection requires that the fifteenth verse should be placed between the eighteenth and nineteenth. See Bowyer's Conjectures, and Wakefield in loc.
I a prophet? N.
22 "No." Then they said unto him, "Who art thou? that we may give an answer to those who sent us. What 23 sayest thou of thyself?" He said, "I am the voice of one crying in the desert, Make straight the way of the 24 Lord' as said the prophet Isaiah." Now those who 25 had been sent were of the Pharisees.
Then they asked
him, and said unto him, "Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?" 26 John answered them, saying, "I baptize with water:
but there standeth one amidst you, whom ye know not; 27 even he who cometh after me*; the latchet of whose san28 dal I am not worthy to unloose." These things passed in Bethany + beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.
The next day John beholdeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, "See, the Lamb of God, who taketh away the 30 sin of the world. This is he of whom I said, 'After me cometh a man, who is before me; for he is my princi31 pal||.' And I knew him him not: but I therefore came baptizing with water, that he might be made manifest to 32 Israel." John also bare witness, saying, "I saw the spi
rit coming down from heaven as a dove; and it abode 33 upon him. And I knew him not then: but he who sent
me to baptize with water, had said unto me,' Upon whom thou shalt see the spirit coming down and abiding, this 34 is he who baptizeth with the holy spirit.'
And I saw,
and bare witness that this is the Son of God."
On the next day, John was again standing, and two 36 of his disciples: and he looked on Jesus who was walk37 ing, and saith, "Behold the Lamb of God." And the 38 two disciples heard him speak, and followed Jesus. Then Jesus turned, and saw them following; and saith unto them, "What seek ye?" And they said unto him, "Rabbi, (which signifieth, being interpreted, Teach
* He it is, who, coming after me, is preferred before me, R. T.
"he was before me," N. See v. 15.