The Book of John-Chapter 1

(1) In the beginning (alluding to Genesis 1.1, the Word was with God, from the creation of all things) was the Word (Davar has the definite article “the” meaning it is THE expression of God. He is as divine as the Father, the exact expression (1.18) and in the bosom of the Father) and the Word was with God (a conscious, personal existence distinct from God, before there were men and angels) and the Word was God (the Word, “davar” in Jewish thought, is often used as the Lord-1 Sam 3.21- and the Messiah is often spoken of as the “Davar” or word-Psa 33.6; Prov 30.4-6. In the Targums, ancient Aramaic paraphrases and explanations of the Scriptures, on Isa 45.12 and Deut 26.17-48, it says that the Word was God). (2) He was in the beginning (of all things) with God. (3) All things came into being by him (the Word has to be God, and his name is Yeshua). (4) In him (the Word) was life; and the life was the light of men. (5) And the light (of understanding the things of God) shines in the darkness (not understanding the things of God because of sin entering the world) and the darkness did not comprehend it (The light shines in darkness. When God, in this case the Word, is said to be “passing by” we do not comprehend it in most cases-Job 9.10-11. We need to ask for understanding-Luke 24.28-32, invite him “into the boat” like in Mark 6.48). (6) There came a man sent from God, whose name was John (Yochanon ha Matvil). (7) He came for a witness (edut), that he might bear witness of the light, that all might believe through him. (8) He (John) was not the light, but came that he might bear witness of the light (“light” is another name for the Messiah-Isa 60.1; Dan 2.22). (9) There was the true light which coming into world, enlightens all men (the natural conscience-Job 25.3; Rom 1.19, 2.15). (10) He was in the world (since it was created), and the world was made through him, and the world did not know him (as their creator). (11) He came to his own (Israel), and those who were his own did not receive him (did not believe him or obey him). (12) But as many as received him (as the Word, the Messiah), to them he gave the right to become children of God (by adopting grace to the elect), to those who believe in his name (the Messiah, the Word, who was revealed to them by the Holy Spirit) (13) who were born (born again), not of blood (natural regeneration, all are of one blood tainted by sin), nor of the will of the flesh (man’s free will, which is corrupt), nor of the will of man (no matter how great a man is, he cannot “will” anyone to be saved), but of God (man’s purpose is to enter into this fellowship when life is imparted to us-John 6.44; Acts 13.48, 16.14; 2 Peter 1.10; Rom 3.9-12, 5.8, 8.26-39; Eph 1.4-9; Matt 11.27). (14) And the Word became flesh and dwelt (“tabernacle”-Yeshua was born at the feast of Tabernacles, or Sukkot) among us, and we beheld is glory (the “kivod” of his divine nature), a glory as of the only begotten of the Father (a glory suitable to him, begotten by the Father in the same nature, which is a concept that is hard for us to comprehend), full of grace and truth (he was grace and truth-John 14.6). (15) John bore witness of him (that is why he was not doubting when he asked Yeshua if there was going to be another in Matt 11.3) and cried out, saying, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for he existed before me (or “pre-existed’). (16) For of his fullness (of grace and truth) we have all received, and grace upon grace (there is no other way a person can receive the light, truth and salvation than by the grace and favor of God, and that in abundance). (17) For the Torah was given through Moses (the Torah was given as a manifestation of God’s grace), grace and truth (the fullness that was received) were realized through Yeshua the Messiah (He is the further, greater manifestation of his grace. The Torah was written by God but Yeshua was the living, breathing manifestation of that Word, because he was the Torah in the flesh-Psa 40.7; Exo 34.6; Luke 24.27). (18) No man has seen God at any time (the Father, or heard his voice or seen his shape. It was the Son, the Word, the Messiah Yeshua that was manifested before them, and to us); the only begotten God (the Syriac and the NASB version has “God” here), who is in the bosom (shows unity of essence and the strong affection between them, acquainted with the Father’s secrets, and as Son of God makes him qualified to speak of the Father in intimate terms), he has explained him. (19) And this is the witness of John (he is the “herald” or the “voice”, of the servant passages in Isaiah 40 and Mal 3), when the Jews (“yehudim” became a term meaning “the rulers”-Jer 32.12; John 7.13, 25-26, 48-49) sent to him priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” (20) And he confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Messiah (at this time, there was a high expectation that the Messiah was coming-Luke 3.15, 2.25-38-based on the prophecies of Daniel). (21) And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” And he said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No (these were eschatological characters that were expected to come. They were asking prophecy questions. He did come in the spirit and power of Elijah, and if they would accept the kingdom of Heaven, then he was Elijah in the sense of fulfilling that role-Matt 11.14. The prophet spoken of here is referring to Deut 18.18).” (22) They said to him, “Who are you, so that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?” (23) He said, “I am a voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘make straight the way of the Lord,’ as Isaiah the prophet said (he is” the voice” or “herald” according to the first century expectation of this character who precedes the Messiah-Isa 40.3-5; Isa 62.10; Mic 2.12-13).” (24) Now they had been sent from the Pharisees (who were very eschatological in their views on prophecy). (25) And they asked him, and said to him, “Why then are you baptizing, if you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet (first of all, notice they didn’t ask him “what is this baptism thing you are doing, we have never seen this before?” That is because baptism, or tevilah, was common and done long before Yeshua came along. And notice they are also asking why he is immersing, if he is not one of these eschatological characters they were expecting. Also notice that immersions were linked to the coming of the Messiah)?” (26) John answered them, saying, “I baptize in water, among you (Messiah is here now, dwelling among them but not personally present at that time) stands one whom you do not know. (27) He who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal I am unworthy to untie.” (28) These things took place in Bethabara (means “house of passage” where many would cross over the Jordan-Josh 15.6-a well known place. There were several places to pass over the Jordan, this was probably east of the Sea of Galilee because Yeshua had a house in Capernaum and John is baptizing up there because two of his talmidim go with Yeshua to see where he was staying (he had a house in Capernaum-Mark 2.1). So, Yeshua and John had to be in the north) beyond the Jordan where John was baptizing. (29) The next day he saw Yeshua coming to him and said, “Behold the lamb of God (In Aramaic, the word for lamb can mean “servant” -“talay ha da’alah” and would make better sense considering John is the “voice” of the “servant” passages from Isaiah 40 through 55, pointing to the Messiah. No male lamb in the temple took away the sins of the world in the Torah. A male lamb is not used as a “korban chata’at”-See “Christology of the New Testament, Oscar Culman, p 71) who takes away the sin of the world! (30) This is he on behalf of whom is said, ‘After me comes a man who is a higher rank than I, for he existed before me.’ (31) And I did not recognize him (they never saw each other before to avoid accusations of a conspiracy or plot), but in order that he might be made manifest to Israel, I came baptizing in water.” (32) And John bore witness saying, “I have beheld the Spirit (the Ruach) descending as a dove (a symbol of Israel) out of heaven; and he remained on him (long enough for John to see it). (33) And I did not recognize him, but he who sent me to baptize in water (Yeshua’s baptism is different than John’s symbolism. Yeshua was “submerged” in death for sin, raised by the Ruach and the Father was well pleased. John’s was for repentance and that is why disciples of John were re-immersed into Yeshua’s baptism in Acts 19.1-7) said to me (either audibly or through his mind by the Ruach), ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon him, this is the one who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.’ (34) And I have seen, and have borne witness that this is the Son of God (John knew the servant passages of Isa 40 through 55 and that the term Son of God is an idiom for “king of Israel, the Messiah”).” (35) Again the next day John was standing, and two of his talmidim; (36) and he looked upon Yeshua as he walked, and said, “Behold, the lamb of God (see verse 29 notes)!” (37) And the two talmidim heard him speak, and they followed Yeshua. (38) And Yeshua turned, and beheld them following, and said to them, “What do you seek?” And they said to him, “Rabbi (which translated means teacher), where are you staying?” (39) He said to them, “Come, and you will see.” They came therefore and saw where he was staying (in Capernaum where he had a house); and stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour (about 4 pm). (40) One of the two who heard John and followed him, was Andrew, Shimon Peter’s brother. (41) He found first his own brother Shimon (means “to hear”), and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which translated means Christ). (42) He brought him to Yeshua. Yeshua looked at him, and said, “You are Shimon, the son of Jonah; you shall be called Cephas (Hebrew “Kefa”)” which translated means rock. (43) The next day he purposed to go forth into Galilee (from where he went to the Jordan, and now he will go into Galilee proper. Galilee means “circle” and is related to the word “Gilgal” where the reproach of Israel was “rolled away” and related to Golgotha, where sin was “rolled away.” Galilee was an idiom for heaven because God sits on the “circle” of the earth), and he found Phillip (he was purposely looking for him, he was chosen by the Lord to be talmid since before the foundation of the world, as were all of them) and Yeshua said to him, “Follow me (a Talmid was not just a learner but he lived, ate, slept and learned everything he could from his rabbi. They were not part-time learners, they watched their rabbi’s every move, how he prayed and what words he used. This was a full-time commitment).” (44) Now Phillip was from Bethsaida (“house of fish” and located on the Sea of Galilee), of the city of Andrew and Peter. (45) Phillip found Nathanael (who was from Cana of Galilee-John 21.1), and said to him, “We have found him whom Moses in the Torah and also the Prophets wrote. Yeshua of Nazareth, the son of Joseph (this was not referring to his foster father Joseph, but it was a messianic title after “Messiah ben Joseph” the suffering servant of the Scriptures. Phillip didn’t know who the father of Yeshua was at this point).” (46) And Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good thing come out of Nazareth (this city was so despised that it was despised even by its neighbors. Being a “Nazarene” was the same as being “despised.” In Matt 2.23 it says that being from Nazareth fulfilled Scripture, but there are no Scriptures that say Messiah shall be from Nazareth or even called a Nazarene, but they do say Messiah will be despised, and this an idiom for a Nazarene, and Nathanael is referring to the low rank Nazarenes had among the people. The Talmud says that people from there were called “despised ones”)?” Phillip said to him, “Come and see.” (47) Yeshua saw Nathanael coming to him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite (a son of Jacob) indeed, in whom is no guile (he had no false estimate of himself, a righteous man, even though he had his faults).” (48) Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Yeshua answered and said to him, “Before Phillip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you (the fig tree is an idiom for “living in peace” from Mic 4.1-4; 1 Kings 4.25 and Zech 3.10 and it was an idiom for the Messianic Kingdom. What Yeshua said was is that he saw Nathanael as a righteous man by faith, and also saw him in the Kingdom of God).” (49) Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God. You are the King of Israel (this is a Hebrew parallelism and these titles merge in Psa 2.6-7. Kings of Israel were seen as adopted sons of God-1 Chr 28.5-7; 2 Sam 7.8-17).” (50) Yeshua answered and said to him, “Because I said to you that I saw you under the fig tree (or the messianic kingdom-Mic 4.1-4) do you believe? You shall see greater things than these.” (51) And he said to him, “Truly, truly (Hebrew “Amen, amen.” Amen is related to the word for faith, which is “emunah” meaning confidence, action) I say to you, you shall see the heavens opened (an idiom meaning “the deeper things of God will now be understood and open to you), and the angels of God (who are entities that carry out the Lord’s will) ascending and descending (from heaven to earth, and back. This is a reference to Jacob’s Ladder in Gen 28.12 That place was called “Bethel”, the house of God. Jacob slept on a stone as a pillow, then anointed it, speaking of the “rock” that was anointed, which is the meaning of Messiah. The “stone” is another name for Messiah-Gen 49.24; Psa 118.22. Torah scrolls were like “ladders” that connected the people to God by the Word. The Hebrew letter “aleph” is a type of ladder (p 54 of “Wisdom of the Hebrew Alphabet” by Artscroll) and the Scriptures, written with the Hebrew alphabet beginning with aleph, where seen as a “link” to God. The Torah was given at Sinai, which has a numeric value of 130, the same numeric value as ladder. Both connect heaven and earth, a “mediator”-1 Tim 2.5. What this is saying is that there would be clear discoveries as to who Yeshua was and it would look as if the heavens were opened and the angels were going back and forth, bringing fresh revelation from God) upon the Son of Man (this is another messianic title from Dan 7.13- “Bar Enosh”).”

Posted in Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Understanding the New Testament, Verse-by-Verse Bible Studies

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