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Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament

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Chapter 3
Verse 2
Chapter 5

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John 4:1

When therefore (Hwv oun).
Reference to 3:22. the work of the Baptist and the jealousy of his disciples. Oun is very common in John's Gospel in such transitions.

The Lord (o Kuriov).
So the best manuscripts (Neutral Alexandrian), though the Western class has o Ihsouv. Mark usually has o Ihsouv and Luke often o Kuriov. In the narrative portion of John we have usually o Ihsouv, but o Kuriov in five passages (4:1; 6:23; 11:2; 20:20; 21:12). There is no reason why John should not apply o Kuriov to Jesus in the narrative sections as well as Luke. Bernard argues that these are "explanatory glosses," not in the first draft of the Gospel. But why? When John wrote his Gospel he certainly held Jesus to be Kuriov (Lord) as Luke did earlier when he wrote both Gospel and Acts This is hypercriticism.

Knew (egnw).
Second aorist active indicative of ginwskw. The Pharisees knew this obvious fact. It was easy for Jesus to know the attitude of the Pharisees about it (2:24). Already the Pharisees are suspicious of Jesus.

How that (oti).
Declarative oti (indirect assertion).

Was making and baptizing more disciples than John (pleionav mathtav poiei kai baptizei h Iwanhv).
Present active indicative in both verbs retained in indirect discourse. Recall the tremendous success of John's early ministry (Mark 1:5; Matthew 3:5; Luke 3:7,15) in order to see the significance of this statement that Jesus had forged ahead of him in popular favour. Already the Pharisees had turned violently against John who had called them broods of vipers. It is most likely that they drew John out about the marriage of Herod Antipas and got him involved directly with the tetrarch so as to have him cast into prison (Luke 3:19). Josephus (Ant. XVIII. v. 2) gives a public reason for this act of Herod Antipas, the fear that John would "raise a rebellion," probably the public reason for his private vengeance as given by Luke. Apparently John was cast into prison, though recently still free (John 3:24), before Jesus left for Galilee. The Pharisees, with John out of the way, turn to Jesus with envy and hate.


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 4:1". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". <>. Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960.


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