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Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament

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 Verse 50
Chapter 2

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Additional Resources
 • Adam Clark Commentary
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John 1:51

Verily, Verily (Amhn, amhn).
Hebrew word transliterated into Greek and then into English, our "amen." John always repeats it, not singly as in the Synoptics, and only in the words of Jesus, an illustration of Christ's authoritative manner of speaking as shown also by legw umin (I say unto you). Note plural umin though autwi just before is singular (to him). Jesus addresses thus others besides Nathanael.

The heaven opened (ton ouranon anewigota).
Second perfect active participle of anoigw with double reduplication, standing open. The words remind one of what took place at the baptism of Jesus (Matthew 3:16; Luke 3:21), but the immediate reference is to the opened heaven as the symbol of free intercourse between God and man (Isaiah 64:1) and as it was later illustrated in the death of Stephen (Acts 7:56). There is a quotation from Genesis 28:12, Jacob's vision at Bethel. That was a dream to Jacob, but Christ is himself the bond of fellowship between heaven and earth, between God and man, for Jesus is both "the Son of God" as Nathanael said and "the Son of Man" (epi ton uion tou antrwpou) as Jesus here calls himself. God and man meet in Christ. He is the true Jacob's Ladder. "I am the Way," Jesus will say. He is more than King of Israel, he is the Son of Man (the race). So quickly has this Gospel brought out in the witness of the Baptist, the faith of the first disciples, the claims of Jesus Christ, the fully developed picture of the Logos who is both God and man, moving among men and winning them to his service. At the close of the ministry Christ will tell Caiaphas that he will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of power and coming with the clouds of heaven (Mark 14:62). Here at the start Jesus is conscious of the final culmination and in apocalyptic eschatological language that we do not fully understand he sets forth the dignity and majesty of his Person.


Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright © Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on John 1:51". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". <>. Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960.


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