John 21:23
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Because of this, the rumor spread among the believers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, "If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?"

New Living Translation
So the rumor spread among the community of believers that this disciple wouldn't die. But that isn't what Jesus said at all. He only said, "If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?"

English Standard Version
So the saying spread abroad among the brothers that this disciple was not to die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he was not to die, but, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?”

New American Standard Bible
Therefore this saying went out among the brethren that that disciple would not die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but only, "If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you?"

King James Bible
Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
So this report spread to the brothers that this disciple would not die. Yet Jesus did not tell him that he would not die, but, "If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you?"

International Standard Version
So the rumor spread among the brothers that this disciple wasn't going to die. Yet Jesus didn't say to Peter that he wasn't going to die, but, "If it's my will for him to remain until I come back, how does that concern you?"

NET Bible
So the saying circulated among the brothers and sisters that this disciple was not going to die. But Jesus did not say to him that he was not going to die, but rather, "If I want him to live until I come back, what concern is that of yours?"

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And this saying went forth among the brethren that this disciple would not die. But Yeshua had not said that he would not die, but, “If I want this one to remain until I come to you, what is it to you?”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
So a rumor that that disciple wouldn't die spread among Jesus' followers. But Jesus didn't say that he wouldn't die. What Jesus said was, "If I want him to live until I come again, how does that concern you?"

Jubilee Bible 2000
Then this saying went abroad among the brethren that that disciple should not die; yet Jesus did not say unto him, He shall not die, but, If I will that he tarry until I come, what is that to thee?

King James 2000 Bible
Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to you?

American King James Version
Then went this saying abroad among the brothers, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not to him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to you?

American Standard Version
This saying therefore went forth among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, that he should not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?

Douay-Rheims Bible
This saying therefore went abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die. And Jesus did not say to him: He should not die; but, So I will have him to remain till I come, what is it to thee?

Darby Bible Translation
This word therefore went out among the brethren, That disciple does not die. And Jesus did not say to him, He does not die; but, If I will that he abide until I come, what [is that] to thee?

English Revised Version
This saying therefore went forth among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, that he should not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?

Webster's Bible Translation
Then this saying went abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not to him, He shall not die; but, if I will that he shall tarry till I come, what is that to thee?

Weymouth New Testament
Hence the report spread among the brethren that that disciple would never die. Yet Jesus did not say, "He is not to die," but, "If I desire him to remain till I come, what concern is that of yours?"

World English Bible
This saying therefore went out among the brothers, that this disciple wouldn't die. Yet Jesus didn't say to him that he wouldn't die, but, "If I desire that he stay until I come, what is that to you?"

Young's Literal Translation
yet Jesus did not say to him, that he doth not die, but, 'If him I will to remain till I come, what -- to thee?'
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

21:20-24 Sufferings, pains, and death, will appear formidable even to the experienced Christian; but in the hope to glorify God, to leave a sinful world, and to be present with his Lord, he becomes ready to obey the Redeemer's call, and to follow Him through death to glory. It is the will of Christ that his disciples should mind their own duty, and not be curious about future events, either as to themselves or others. Many things we are apt to be anxious about, which are nothing to us. Other people's affairs are nothing to us, to intermeddle in; we must quietly work, and mind our own business. Many curious questions are put about the counsels of God, and the state of the unseen world, as to which we may say, What is this to us? And if we attend to the duty of following Christ, we shall find neither heart nor time to meddle with that which does not belong to us. How little are any unwritten traditions to be relied upon! Let the Scripture be its own interpreter, and explain itself; as it is, in a great measure, its own evidence, and proves itself, for it is light. See the easy setting right such mistakes by the word of Christ. Scripture language is the safest channel for Scripture truth; the words which the Holy Ghost teaches, 1Co 2:13. Those who cannot agree in the same terms of art, and the application of them, may yet agree in the same Scripture terms, and to love one another.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 23. - We need not be surprised that the sublime meaning of these words, "Wait while I am ever coming to him," should have been misunderstood. Therefore this word went forth to the brethren. The designation, "brethren," only occurs in John 20:17 and Luke 22:32. The more familiar names of "disciples" and "children," "servants" and "apostles," are used in the Gospels. The Acts and Epistles introduce a new group of titles, e.g. "believers" as well as "brethren," "saints" as well as "disciples," "Christians," "slaves and soldiers of Christ," "sons of God," "priests and kings," and "little children;" but now, acting on the Divine hint of the Lord's own words, John speaks of his fellow-disciples who are called into the sacred fellowship as "brethren." The word went forth that that disciple dieth not (ἐκεῖνος, equivalent to "the disciple whom Jesus loved"). This was not an unnatural supposition, as his age advanced, and he was regarded as the "great light of Asia," the depositary of the latest traditions, as the link between the days of our Lord's ministry and two succeeding generations of believers, the seer of mighty visions, the enemy of all unrighteousness, and the apostle of love to the lost. In virtue of this very tradition, three hundred years later it was said that the holy apostle was still sleeping in his tomb at Ephesus, and that the dust moved lightly on his heaving breast (Augustine, 'Tr. on John,' 124:2). Here was the beginning of a genuine myth, which, having no real root in fact, failed to establish itself. "John the Baptist is risen from the dead," exclaimed Herod Antipas, "and therefore mighty powers energize in him." But there was no life and no truth in the story, and even among the disciples of St. John Baptist it did not take any place as a supposed fact. It is interesting to see that here a myth was started without positively bad faith, and based itself upon a recorded saying of the Lord; but it perished! The aged apostle strikes the folly dead with one stroke of his pen. The language is remarkable, as helping to prove that John wrote this chapter as well as the rest of the Gospel. Yet Jesus said not unto him, that he dieth not; but, If I will that he abide while I am ever coming, what is that to thee? Meyer, who always insists on the apostolic idea of the nearness of the παρουσία, thinks that John does not decide here whether the rumor was true or false, and simply says it must, when he wrote, have been left still uncertain and unsettled (so Luther). The tradition is not authoritatively condemned; but it is shown to be a mere inference, one inference out of many, from words partially understood. The Epistles of John show how deeply John pondered the idea, and how much he crowded into the words, "abide in him," until the coming, and before and during and after the various comings of the Lord to him. Mr. Browning, in 'A Death in the Desert,' makes St. John say in his last hours -

"If I live yet, it is for good, more love
Through me to men: be naught but ashes here
That keep awhile my semblance, who was John -
Still when they scatter, there is left on earth."


No one alive who knew (consider this!) -
Saw with his eyes and handled with his hands
That which was from the first, the Word of life.
How will it be when none more saith, 'I saw '?
Such ever was love's way: to rise, it stoops.
Since I, whom Christ's mouth taught, was bidden teach,
I went, for many years, about the world,
Saying, 'It was so; so I heard and saw,'?
Speaking as the ease asked: and men believed.
* * *

"To me that story - ay, that Life and Death
Of which I wrote 'it was' - to me it is; -
Is, here and now: I apprehend naught else.
Yea, and the Resurrection and Uprise
To the right hand of the throne -...
I saw the Power; I see the Love, once weak,
Resume the Power; and in this word 'I see'
Lo, there is recognized the Spirit of both
That moving o'er the spirit of man, unblinds
His eye and bids him look....
Then stand before that fact, that Life and Death,
Stay there at gaze, till it dispart, dispread,
As though a star should open out, all sides,
Grow the world on you, as it is my world."
In ver. 23 we find the significant close of the Fourth Gospel, and there is much to make it highly probable that the two remaining verses were added by the Ephesian elders, as their certificate of its authorship, and their identification of the beloved disciple with the author of the Gospel. It differs from the similar passage, John 19:35, where the writer himself gives his own autoptic testimony to the great miracle of the spear-thrust; and where that testimony is declared by himself to be ἀληθινή, "veritable," i.e. answering to the very idea of testimony. Here the person and verb are plural.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Then went this saying abroad among the brethren,.... It not being rightly understood by some one or more of the disciples present: it was divulged with a wrong sense annexed to it among other persons; who, though not of the eleven, yet were followers of Christ, children of God, that belonged to the same family, and were, in a spiritual relation, brethren to each other, and to the apostles:

that that disciple should not die; but should remain till the second coming of Christ, and be found among them that shall be then alive, and be changed. And such a notion not only was among the ancients; but Beza, in his notes on this text, tells us of a strolling wicked fellow, that gave out that he was the Apostle John; and was encouraged by some, particularly Postellus, a Sorbonic doctor, but was afterwards burnt at Tholouse.

Yet Jesus said not unto him he shall not die, but if I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? These are the words of John himself, the disciple spoken of, who gives a true and just account of Christ's words, freeing them from the false sense that was put upon them; which shows his ingenuous disposition, his integrity and love of truth; being unwilling that such an error should obtain among the disciples, and pass in the world for truth.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

23. Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die—into which they the more easily fell from the prevalent expectation that Christ's second coming was then near at hand.

yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die—The Evangelist is jealous for His Master's honor, which his death might be thought to compromise if such a misunderstanding should not be corrected.

John 21:23 Additional Commentaries
Context
Jesus and the Beloved Apostle
22Jesus said to him, "If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!" 23Therefore this saying went out among the brethren that that disciple would not die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but only, "If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you?" 24This is the disciple who is testifying to these things and wrote these things, and we know that his testimony is true.…
Cross References
Matthew 16:27
For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.

Acts 1:15
In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty)

Acts 6:3
Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them

Acts 28:14
There we found some brothers and sisters who invited us to spend a week with them. And so we came to Rome.

1 Corinthians 4:5
Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.

1 Corinthians 11:26
For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.

James 5:7
Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord's coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains.

Revelation 2:25
except to hold on to what you have until I come.'
Treasury of Scripture

Then went this saying abroad among the brothers, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not to him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to you?

what.

Deuteronomy 29:29 The secret things belong to the LORD our God: but those things which …

Job 28:28 And to man he said, Behold, the fear of the LORD, that is wisdom; …

Job 33:13 Why do you strive against him? for he gives not account of any of his matters.

Daniel 4:35 And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and …

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