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Notes & Insights on John 2-4


Moving forward, on the off weeks when we do not have Sunday School at Church I am still going to try and provide a quick glance at the notes and insights I have had this week. I am already doing all this writing in my margins and in the Gospel Library App, why not paste them here for whoever is interested? Admittedly, a lot of this is accumulated notes from previous years of study.


Verses 1-2
"There is no way of knowing from the text whose wedding was being celebrated (there are numerous reasons why it could not have been Jesus' own wedding, as some have suggested), but it was apparently a grand affair lasting for many days." (C. Wilfred Griggs, Studies in Scripture, Vol. 5: The Gospels, ed. by Kent P. Jackson and Robert L. Millet, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1986], 126.)

Verse 4

"The word translated [for] mother is technically woman, but is more polite than the English word suggests." (Jackson and Millet, Studies in Scripture, Vol. 5: The Gospels, 126)

 "The interaction between Jesus and His mother (incidentally, she is never called Mary in the Gospel of John, only “the mother of Jesus”) is interesting. Some commentators have tried to explain Jesus’s address of “Woman,” which sounds harsh to our ears, as a mark of respect or deference to His mother; however, there is no evidence that the Greek gynai was ever used in this sense. Instead, the reference may be symbolic, connecting Mary with Eve, the mother of all living." (Scripture Central, Jackson Abhau)

 Verse 6

"[One firkin equals] about nine gallons. Thus each of the six waterpots contained between twelve and eighteen gallons of water, with the result that Jesus then created some one hundred and fifty gallons of wine-a miracle showing the wedding celebration was one of no small size." (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965-1973], 1: 136.)

 Verse 9

Margaret Barker quotes Philo who says this miracle of wine was not a sign of the Messiah, but a sign of Melchizedek. 

"But let Melchizedek instead of water offer wine, and let him offer souls undiluted wine to drink, so that they become possessed by divine intoxication..." (Philp, Allegorical Interpretation, III:82; See King of the Jews, p. 188-189)

This is consistent with Rabbinical commentary on Luke 4 when Jesus quotes Isaiah 61:1-2 in the synagogue. Those verses are about the coming of Melchizedek and his power. The significance of fulfilling prophecies about Melchizedek is that Jesus is showing forth he is not just the Messiah, but the rightful King of Salem (possibly an ancient and abbreviated form of Jerusalem). It is also important given how Israel had lost Melchezidek's authority which holds the keys to the knowledge of God (see D&C 107:18-19). John is crafting a narrative that would allow those familiar with the scriptures to see Jesus as God becoming King.

Verse 11

'Miracles' is better translated here as 'signs' and is a different word than what the three other gospels use:

"The miracle itself may represent the incarnation, wherein the premortal, divine Jehovah became the mortal Jesus (with the wine standing in for the blood of mortality). This demonstrates a deeper purpose behind the miracles in the Gospel of John. Unlike the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke), which use the word dynamis (a demonstration of power) for Jesus’s miracles, John uses the word sēmeion, which could be translated as a “sign” or “indicator.” The miracles in the Gospel of John are specifically calculated to signal or indicate something about the nature or identity of Jesus, and the Evangelist has carefully selected the stories that he includes for this purpose." (Scripture Central, Jackson Abhau)

Verse 15

Margaret Barker cites mishna writings that describe the sprinkling of the consecrated blood during Yom Kippur. It literally says they would sprinkle it as if they were wielding a whip. This, therefore, is Jesus being the High Priest and reclaiming the sacred space, just like what the Day of Atonement did anciently. (KoJ p. 192)

Verse 18-22
"The Jewish leaders’ request for a sign is ironic, as Jesus had just given His first sign in Cana by turning water into wine (the Greek word used, sēmeion, is the same in both cases). Jesus then gave the enigmatic response, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” His listeners misunderstood, reasonably concluding that He was speaking about the physical temple in which they were currently standing. But the Evangelist makes it clear that Jesus had another meaning in mind, even though His disciples would not fully understand its significance until He had risen from the dead. This is a common theme in the Gospel of John—Jesus’s words will carry a deeper meaning that is not often grasped by His immediate audience. Only with the benefit of hindsight and the inspiration of the Holy Ghost does the true meaning become apparent to us." (Scripture Central, Jackson Abhau)

Barker says that the word John uses here for raise is different than the word Synoptics use. The Synoptics use oikodomō while John uses egeirō. John's word has a double meaning to build or resurrect. (KoJ, p. 196)


Verse 2

Barker suggests the night is symbolic of the wording in verses 19-21 in this chapter. She further suggests he came by night to Jesus because he was afraid of being taught forbidden teaching. In other words, the temple traditions of the first temple period. She cites the Mishna which plainly forbids these kinds of teachings (See King of the Jews, p. 198). These teachings include much of what D&C 107:18-19 teaches. If the Old Testament is read carefully, you see that these things were forbidden during the Second Temple period in Israel.

Verse 3

To See the Kingdom of God is a direct reference to revelation. Compare this to verse 5 which says to enter. To see is also comparable to Facsimile 2 in Abraham. To see the kingdom of God is illustrated by the facsimile looking like an eye. It represents seeing the kingdom of God. Margaret Barker confirms this when she says that seeing the Kingdom is also a reference to seeing the Holy of Holies. (See King of the Jews, p. 199)

Bradshaw also confirms:

"Consistent with Jesus’ expectation that Nicodemus, as a “master of Israel” should have already been familiar with this line of interpretation, there is evidence that “some early Jewish exegetes in the more mystic tradition may have also understood ‘seeing God’s kingdom’ in terms of visionary ascents to heaven, witnessing the enthroned king.” Moreover, the Jewish scholar “Philo, a near contemporary of Jesus Christ, declares that the Sinai revelation worked in Moses a second birth which transformed him from an earthly to a heavenly man; Jesus, by way of contrast, came from above to begin with and grants others a birth ‘from above.’”" ("By the Blood Are Ye Sanctified"; 2016 Temple on Mount Zion Conference)

Verse 5
"It is one thing to see the kingdom of God, and another thing to enter into it. We must have a change of heart to see the kingdom of God, and subscribe the articles of adoption to enter therein." (Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 vols. 6:58)
"This eternal truth settles the question of all men's religion. A man may be saved, after the judgment, in the terrestrial kingdom, or in the telestial kingdom, but he can never see the celestial kingdom of God, without being born of water and the Spirit. He may receive a glory like unto the moon, (i.e. of which the light of the moon is typical), or a star, (i.e. of which the light of the stars is typical), but he can never come unto Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels; to the general assembly and Church of the Firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, unless he becomes as a little child, and is taught by the Spirit of God." (Joseph Smith, History of the Church 1:283.)
Verse 6

This is a great verse to highlight the intended meaning of John 4:24 which says God is Spirit. Man is to be born again of the spirit, but you wouldn't say someone who is born again is "just a spirit".

Verse 7

Bradshaw gives some interesting commentary on this verse:
"That said, Nicodemus’ astonishment at Jesus’ teaching was not an entirely negative thing, since, in later rabbinic literature, “marveling or wondering … formed an important part of the process of gaining knowledge.” For example, it was said of Rabbi Akiba that “his learning began with wonder and culminated with a crown, a symbol of his power … to bring hidden things to light.” Thus, Jesus’ words to Nicodemus that night, “Marvel not,” should not be understood as a peremptory dismissal of his interlocutor’s initial doubts, but rather as a spur to his further faith and inquiry, as also manifested in the Lord’s later directive to the wondering Thomas: “be not faithless, but believing.” (“By the Blood Ye Are Sanctified”, 2016 Temple on Mount Zion Conference)

 Verse 10

Spencer W. Kimball gave a classic talk about Nicodemus in 1958. I quote a lengthy portion here:

"Eternal life is the greatest gift. To obtain it is not easy. The price is high.

"Nicodemus of old inquired the price. The answer perplexed him. Let us interview that good man who came so near and yet evidently missed the mark.

"Your name is Nicodemus? You are a member of the powerful sect of the Pharisees? You are a member of the Jewish Sanhedrin? You knew the person from Nazareth called Jesus Christ? You heard his sermons and witnessed his miracles? You looked into his eyes and heard his voice?

"You are a good man, Nicodemus, honorable and just, for you will yet defend our Lord before your colleagues, asking he be not condemned without a hearing. You are also generous, for you will yet bring one hundred weight of aloes and myrrh to his burial. You have at least some faith, but have you courage enough to face criticism? You are identified as one who came under cover of darkness. In your senatorial seat you and your colleagues have impressive powers, making laws and controlling destinies.

"...You are well versed in the law, Nicodemus, but what of the gospel? To gain eternal life there must be a rebirth, a transformation, and an unburdening self of pride, weaknesses, and prejudice. You must begin as a little child, clean, teachable. You seem not to understand...Is it so complex? Are you afraid of what your brother Pharisees may think of you, fearful of losing your exalted place in the Sanhedrin? Or, do you not see? Certainly a little glimpse has been given you. You acknowledged the miracle worker must be sent from God, but the curtain so slightly opened will close again if you do not act upon the new knowledge being offered you.

"You are highly educated, my good man. Many sit at your feet to learn. Does your superior training blind you? Must a prophet or a God be measured in the test tubes of a physical laboratory? Can you not accept anything you cannot prove by the rules of the schools in which you studied?

"You are not accepting it. The Lord is postulating again the necessary requirements: Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (John 3:3)

"That total answer came in one sentence of thirteen small words. You are wondering, weighing, Mr. Rationalizer. You seem impressed, but you are bound. How much you do not realize! Did you expect it in eloquent, impressive words? Is it frustrating in its simplicity? You are rationalizing, Sir. You cannot weigh this on the scales of your secular knowledge and training. They are too crude, mundane. You need finer mechanism.

'...Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth; so is every one that is born of the Spirit.' (John 3:5-8.)

"How beautiful-how forceful-how positive! Is there excuse to question, to hesitate, to reject? O Nicodemus, this moment of crisis cannot last long. You are on a perilous summit. Your decision can mean the difference between exaltation and a deprivation greater than you know. You had a spark of desire. Why did you extinguish it?

"What made you refer to our Master as 'a teacher come from God'? Do you not believe in prophets? Have you not all your life waited for a Redeemer? After all his sermons, testimonies, and miracles, is he still only an inspired teacher to you? Could he not be the long-awaited Christ? Have you tried to believe and accept, or are you bound down with fetters of tradition, chains of materialism, and handcuffs of losable prestige? O timid one, awaken, exert yourself, draw back the curtains your training and background have hung over the windows of your soul! You are speaking to no ordinary man, no common philosopher, no mere prophet. You are in the presence of the real Messiah, the great physician, the master psychiatrist, the very Christ. You are questioning the maker of heaven and earth, the Son of God.

"Open the curtains, my skeptic brother. Rid yourself of your intellectual conservatism. This is a crucial moment. You are being offered a gift priceless beyond your imagination. Will you let it pass? Talking with Christ, you should be awed to a tremble, quaking in shoeless feet on such holy ground, and on your knees in reverent humility. This is your Lord, your Savior, your Redeemer. Can't you understand, O ye of little faith? Can't you feel his love and kindness and see the sadness and disappointment in those penetrating eyes as he notes your withdrawal? He is saying:

"Set aside your pride and arrogance. Cast from you all worldly burdens. Repent of your transgressions, purify your hands, and mind, and heart, believe that I am the bread of life, the waters from the pure spring. Accept me and my gospel; go down into the waters in proper baptism." - Spencer W. Kimball (Conference Report, April 1958, First Day-Morning Meeting 14.)

Verse 12

"I have always thought that the heavenly things that Jesus spoke of were these wonderful blessings that we receive in the temples of the Lord, and I thank the Lord that temples are reaching out to our people in these far-off lands." - Legrand Richards (Conference Report, October 1959, Afternoon Meeting 35.)

Margaret Barker says this is referring to the Heavenly visions Jesus saw in the wilderness which are compiled into John's Book of Revelation. (See King of the Jews, p. 201; see Revelation 1:1)

Verse 14

Bradshaw gives an interesting commentary on the serpent: 

"To comprehend the double meaning of “lifted up” (from Greek verb hypsoō) in Jesus’ words, we must first realize that, in the story of Moses, both the serpents that bit the Israelites and the figure on the standard that was “lifted up” by Moses were not meant to be seen as ordinary desert snakes. Rather, in the rich symbolism of the Old Testament, they are portrayed as representations of the glorious seraphim, using the same Hebrew terms that are used elsewhere in scripture to describe the angelic attendants of God’s throne. If we fail to identify the seraphim of the heavenly temple with the “fiery flying serpents” that were presented as both the plague and the salvation of the children of Israel, we lack the interpretive key for the entire chapter. Once we realize that in these verses Jesus has compared Himself, as the “Son of Man” or, more explicitly, as the Son of the “Man of Holiness,” meaning the Son of God, to the seraphim that surround, in intimate proximity, the throne of the Father, the meaning of His statement that He was to be “lifted up” becomes apparent. In temple contexts, the essential function of the seraphim was analogous to the role of the cherubim at the entrance of the Garden of Eden: they were to be as sentinels or “keepers of the way,” guarding the portals of the heavenly temple against unauthorized entry, governing subsequent access to increasingly secure compartments, and ultimately assisting in the determination of the fitness of worshipers to enter God’s presence. Thus Jesus, described by Nephi as “the keeper of the gate,” could legitimately and literally assert: “no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”" ("By the Blood Are Ye Sanctified" 2016 Temple on Mount Zion Conference)

Verses 15-17

Instead of saying that those who believe in Jesus will not perish but have everlasting life, N.T. Wright translates it as "everyone who believes in Him should not be lost but should share in the life of God's new age".
His translation of "Everlasting life" or "eternal life" is pretty consistently done the same way through his translation of the New Testament. It should give us pause if we read such phrases and do not think of new creation, new heaven, and new earth. It is evidence of a platonic eschatology in our minds that is in no way biblical but is heavily embedded in our religious and social culture.

The context of this verse is Jesus' night conversation with Nicodemus. Therefore, this whole talk of being born again/born from above is directly connected with this new age or Kingdom. To see it (see John 3:3), according to Margaret Barker is to see the heavenly temple. To Enter it (see John 3:5), if we merge Wright's and Barker's insights, is to become covenant participants in God's new age, new creation, new earth, and new heaven. We make and keep covenants to be a vessel for such, not to qualify for a far and distant reward.

This all makes verse 17 much plainer. 'Saved' in Greek can also mean to heal or rescue. The idea is He did not come into the world to condemn a world full of sinners. He came to claim it as His Kingdom and literally remake it and His people in His image.

Verse 20

A nice cross-reference is John 16:7-8.
"The commentary on light and darkness is particularly important since Nicodemus had come to Jesus “by night,” suggesting that Nicodemus’s seedling discipleship was not yet rooted in the truth; otherwise, he would have come “to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest.” We should not be too hard on Nicodemus, however. He will reappear later in the Gospel of John to defend Jesus against accusation in 7:51. In chapter 8, Jesus will say, “When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he” (8:28). Nicodemus seems to have been paying attention during his interview with Jesus. When he finally saw Jesus “lifted up” on the cross like Moses’s brazen serpent, he recognized his Messiah and brought a gift worthy of a king to embalm Jesus (19:38–40)." (Scripture Central, Jackson Abhau)

 Verses 29-32

 According to various articles from the interpreter foundation, seen & Heard is a phrase that has strong evidence of being used when one has gained entrance into the divine council. I wonder if this refers to Jesus' visionary experiences after his baptism in the wilderness. Barker seems to think this and connects it with the earlier verse when John said that the bridegroom has the bride.

Verse 36

The JST 2nd Transcript, which was never printed but the manuscripts are with the Community of Christ Church, says this:
"He who believeth on the Son hath everlasting life and shall receive of his fullness."
"Notice the verb tenses in verse 36: all the verbs are in the present. This is an example of what we call realized eschatology, wherein the effects of God’s final judgment and vindication are realized in the present (the Greek word eschaton means “the end,” as in “end times” or the “end of days”). The “wrath of God” is not about to come upon the disbeliever; it is already here and “abideth on him.” Conversely, the one who “believeth on the Son” is not going to inherit “everlasting life” at some future time but rather already has it. Realized eschatology has a place in modern revelation as well (see Doctrine and Covenants 132:29), and we should not doubt the Lord’s ability to provide His help, aid, and grace throughout the process of our mortal struggles." (Scripture Central, Jackson Abhau)


 Verse 2

"'Question: Did Jesus himself baptize or did he only instruct his apostles and have them baptize?'

"Answer: The fact is well-established that our Savior held all the keys and authority of the priesthood, and had the divine right to officiate in each and all of the ordinances of the gospel; nor was it beneath his dignity to administer in any capacity whatsoever he desired. Much of his time was taken in administering to the sick, giving eyesight to the blind, raising the dead, healing lepers, and bestowing blessings upon the multitudes who thronged around him. There can be little question as to his authority to do any work that pertained to his ministry. In the third chapter of John, it states definitely that he baptized. In the fourth chapter, as it has come through faulty translations, it states that he did not baptize, or implies as much in most modern translations." (Answers to Gospel Questions, 5 vols. [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1957-1966], 3: 42.)

Verse 4
"The shorter road from Judaea to Galilee led through Samaria (Jos. Life 52); and this...was generally taken by the Galileans on their way to the capital. On the other hand, the Judaeans seem chiefly to have made a [detour] through Peraea, in order to avoid hostile and impure Samaria...Such prejudices in regard to Samaria, as those which affected the ordinary Judaean devotee, would, of course, not influence the conduct of Jesus." (Edersheim, Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, [Hendrickson Publishers, 1993], 273)

"...this 'road was proverbially unsafe for Jewish passengers, either returning from Jerusalem or going to it, for it passed through the border districts where the feuds of the two rival peoples raged most fiercely. The paths among the hills of Akrabbim, leading into Samaria, had often been wet with the blood of Jew or Samaritan, for they were the scene of constant raids and forays. . . . The pilgrims from Galilee to the feasts were often molested, and sometimes even attacked and scattered, with more or less slaughter; each act of violence bringing speedy reprisals from the population of Jerusalem and Judea, on the one side, and of Galilee on the other; the villages of the border districts, as most easily reached, bearing the brunt of the feud, in smoking cottages, and indiscriminate massacre of young and old.' (Geikie, p. 361.)

"Why, then, did Jesus feel compelled to go through Samaria?...We must conclude, however, that Jesus, though merely en route to Galilee for a greater work, chose to utilize his time and to bear witness of his divinity to the Samaritans." - Bruce R. McConkie (The Mortal Messiah: From Bethlehem to Calvary, 4 vols. [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1979-1981], 1: 494.)
Verse 6

It should be noted this is to be compared to the many well and betrothal scenes we have in the old testament.
"There are several points of significance in verse 6. The first item of note is that Jesus, though not truly like other mortals, was subject to physical fatigue just as we are. We should thus stand in greater awe when we consider the superhuman feats that He accomplished on our behalf. In addition, the setting of this scene at the well serves an important literary purpose: it seems to be an important type scene. A type scene is a literary convention that uses familiar themes, settings, characters, and motifs to present narratives in a similar light (for example, a shoot-out at the end of most Western films). In John 4, the reader is invited to draw lessons from the similarities and differences to Old Testament type scenes wherein a man has an encounter with a woman at a well that leads to a betrothal. See, for example, the stories of Abraham’s servant and Rebekah (Genesis 24:10–61), Jacob and Rachel (Genesis 29:1–20), and Moses and the daughters of Reuel (Exodus 2:15–21) as well as the clever twists on the motif in Ruth and in 1 Samuel 9:11–12 with Samuel and Saul. The encounter in John 4 may also be counted as a variety of the betrothal-at-the-well type scene. Jesus did meet a woman at a well, the topic of marriage was brought up, but in the end, the woman entered a different sort of covenantal relationship with Jesus." (Scripture Central, Jackson Abhau)

Verse 14

Some good cross-references for this verse are Ezekiel 47:1-2, Zechariah 14:8, and Revelation 22:1-2. They show how living water was often used in the scriptures to refer to the restored temple or the throne room of God. The spring is to spring forth heaven onto earth.

"How graphically Jesus uses the simple truths of everyday life to teach the eternal spiritual realities of his gospel! For the thirsty and choking traveler in a desert wilderness to find water, is to find life, to find an escape from agonizing death; similarly, the weary pilgrim traveling through the wilderness of mortality saves himself eternally by drinking from the wells of living water found in the gospel.

"Living water is the words of eternal life, the message of salvation, the truths about God and his kingdom; it is the doctrines of the gospel. Those who thirst are invited to come unto Christ and drink. Where there are prophets of God, there will be found rivers of living water, wells filled with eternal truths, springs bubbling forth their life-giving draughts that save from spiritual death." - Bruce R. McConkie (Commentary 1:151-52.)

The scriptures teach us what the living water represents (see 1 Ne. 11:25, Jn. 7:37-39, and DC 63:23). They teach that because of God's great love for his obedient and faithful children, he has given them the Spirit whereby they may know 'the mysteries of the kingdom, and the same shall be in him a well of living water, springing up unto everlasting life' (DC 63:23). Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness can only be filled by the Spirit and the truths taught by the Spirit (3 Ne. 12:6).

It is interesting to consider that N.T. Wright translates everlasting life often as "God's new age". He does so in this verse.

Verse 18

Barker suggests Samaritan tradition could have been similar to Jewish tradition in that this woman could have been divorced because she could not bare a child. Lack of childbearing was grounds for divorce and at least some of her marriages could have been to brothers-in-law when a previous husband passed away. Mixing these two traditions would have set the Widow at the well as one severely misjudged by her society if she was indeed one of a pure heart. What better person for Jesus to personally reveal himself to than a woman who trod her winepress alone?

 On an Allegorical level, Barker also says that the 5 husbands represent the gods of the 5 nations who settled in Samaria. Namely, the people of Babylon, Cuth, Hamath, Avvites, and Sepharvites. (KoJ, 216)

Verse 20

"On the top of Mount Ebal, Joshua placed the stones on which he had written the law. The Samaritans believed the stones were atop Mount Gerizim. On the top of this mountain the Samaritans held their Passover Feast, and the woman of Samaria, years later, said to Jesus at Jacob's Well near the foot of Gerizim: 'Our fathers worshipped in this mountain'; to which Jesus replied: 'Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.' (John 4:20-21.) The Samaritans claimed that to this mountain Abraham came to offer Isaac as a sacrifice." - J. Reuben Clark (Behold the Lamb of God [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1991], 143.)

Verse 22

"Man's capacity for worship is a measure of his comprehension of God. The fuller the acquaintance and the closer the communion between the worshipper and Deity, the more thorough and sincere will be his homage." - James E. Talmage (The Articles of Faith, 395-96.)

 Verse 24

"There are no indefinite articles (“a” or “an”) in ancient Greek, so the passage can be translated “God is a Spirit” or “God is Spirit.” Most modern translations have chosen the latter, because John’s statement “God is Spirit” is parallel to two passages in his first epistle, “God is light” (1 John 1:5) and “God is love” (1 John 4:8). In context, all of these passages seem to be refer- ring to God’s activity toward men rather than to the nature of His “Being,” and of course we would never say that God is “a love” or “a light.” Furthermore, Chris- topher Stead of the Cambridge Divinity School (another non-Mormon scholar) explains how such statements would have been interpreted within ancient Judaism: “By saying that God is spiritual, we do not mean that he has no body ... but rather that he is the source of a mysterious life-giving power and energy that animates the human body, and himself possesses this energy in the fullest measure.” It must always be remembered that the Bible was written by Hebrews, and the New Testament writers were all Jews. We saw at the begin- ning of this article that the Hebrews consistently pic- tured God in human form." - Barry Bickmore

"Those who believe that God is some type of spirit essence point to John 4:24 to support their view. In the King James Bible, this verse reads: "God is a Spirit.” At first glance this may appear to be convincing evidence but one biblical scholar has declared that to translate this passage as “‘God is a Spirit' is the most gross perversion of the meaning” of the Greek text (Charles H. Dodd, The Interpretation of the Fourth Gospel [Cambridge: University Press, 1953], 225). Indeed, this particular translation does not hold up well under close scrutiny. To begin with, the word “is” is italicized because it does not exist in the Greek document from which the translation was made but was added to the sentence by the King James translators (see LDS Bible Dictionary, 708). In addition, some biblical scholars believe a few translations of John 4:24 are correct to omit the indefinite article [ a ] before Spirit … Greek has no such article, and we insert it… in English as the sense requires (Leon Morris, The Gospel According to John [Giand Rapids, Michigan hardpans, 1989]. 271). In other words, the Greek text from which this sentence was created only consists of two words-theos (God) and pneuma (Spirit). Modem biblical scholars recognize that the book of John has been tampered with over time and that some material has been deleted from it (see Urban C. Von Wahide, The Earliest Version of John's Gospel [Wilmington, Delaware: Michael Glazier, 1989], 21)."

 Verse 26

"The woman seems a bit bewildered by all of this and, perhaps, throwing up her arms in futility, uttered a proverbial hope that the Messiah would come to clear up all this confusion. Jesus’s response was brief and powerful. Using the divine name “I AM” announced to Moses (Exodus 3:14), Jesus at once showed Himself to be both the Messiah and Jehovah in the flesh. Shocked by this epiphany, the unnamed woman abandoned her task and ran into the city to spread the word, becoming one of the first Christian missionaries." (Scripture Central, Jackson Abhau)

Other, better, translations note that the Greek here is literally "I Am", which is Jehovah (the self-existing one).

Verse 34

"It is my meditation all the day, and more than my meat and drink, to know how I shall make the Saints of God comprehend the visions that roll like an overflowing surge before my mind." - Joseph Smith (STPJS, pg. 296)

 Verse 48

"Commentators have connected this miracle to the healing of the centurion’s son in Matthew 8:5–13 and Luke 7:1–10, but it is unclear if they are, in fact, different accounts of the same story. As is typical in John, the miracle (or, better, “sign”) signals or indicates something about Jesus’s nature and serves as a catalyst for belief. At the end of the story, the man and his entire household believed; but notice also that the man believed Jesus (John 4:50) before the miracle takes place. The nobleman thus proved himself to be the exception to Jesus’s statement (the verbs are plural, indicating a generalized audience): “Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.”" (Scripture Central, Jackson Abhau)


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