New English Translation
16 “I have told you all these things so that you will not fall away.[a] 2 They will put you out of[b] the synagogue,[c] yet a time[d] is coming when the one who kills you will think he is offering service to God.[e] 3 They[f] will do these things because they have not known the Father or me.[g]Read full chapter
- John 16:1 tn Grk “so that you will not be caused to stumble.” sn In Johannine thought the verb σκανδαλίζω (skandalizō) means to trip up disciples and cause them to fall away from Jesus’ company (John 6:61, 1 John 2:10). Similar usage is found in Didache 16:5, an early Christian writing from around the beginning of the 2nd century a.d. An example of a disciple who falls away is Judas Iscariot. Here and again in 16:4 Jesus gives the purpose for his telling the disciples about coming persecution: He informs them so that when it happens, the disciples will not fall away, which in this context would refer to the confusion and doubt which they would certainly experience when such persecution began. There may have been a tendency for the disciples to expect immediately after Jesus’ victory over death the institution of the messianic kingdom, particularly in light of the turn of events recorded in the early chapters of Acts. Jesus here forestalls such disillusionment for the disciples by letting them know in advance that they will face persecution and even martyrdom as they seek to carry on his mission in the world after his departure. This material has parallels in the Olivet Discourse (Matt 24-25) and the synoptic parallels.
- John 16:2 tn Or “expel you from.”
- John 16:2 sn See the note on synagogue in 6:59.
- John 16:2 tn Grk “an hour.”
- John 16:2 sn Jesus now refers not to the time of his return to the Father, as he has frequently done up to this point, but to the disciples’ time of persecution. They will be excommunicated from Jewish synagogues. There will even be a time when those who kill Jesus’ disciples will think that they are offering service to God by putting the disciples to death. Because of the reference to service offered to God, it is almost certain that Jewish opposition is intended here in both cases rather than Jewish opposition in the first instance (putting the disciples out of synagogues) and Roman opposition in the second (putting the disciples to death). Such opposition materializes later and is recorded in Acts: The stoning of Stephen in 7:58-60 and the slaying of James the brother of John by Herod Agrippa I in Acts 12:2-3 are notable examples.
- John 16:3 tn Grk “And they.” Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and English style, which generally does not, καί (kai) has not been translated here.
- John 16:3 sn Ignorance of Jesus and ignorance of the Father are also linked in 8:19; to know Jesus would be to know the Father also, but since the world does not know Jesus, neither does it know his Father. The world’s ignorance of the Father is also mentioned in 8:55; 15:21, and 17:25.