|New International Version (©2011)|
The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you--they are full of the Spirit and life.
New Living Translation (©2007)
The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.
English Standard Version (©2001)
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
"It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.
King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (©2009)
The Spirit is the One who gives life. The flesh doesn't help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.
International Standard Version (©2012)
It's the Spirit who gives life; the flesh accomplishes nothing. The words that I've spoken to you are spirit and life.
NET Bible (©2006)
The Spirit is the one who gives life; human nature is of no help! The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.
Aramaic Bible in Plain English (©2010)
“The Spirit is The Life Giver; the body does not benefit anything. The words that I speak with you are spirit and life.”
GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
Life is spiritual. Your physical existence doesn't contribute to that life. The words that I have spoken to you are spiritual. They are life.
King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh profits nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
American King James Version
It is the spirit that vivifies; the flesh profits nothing: the words that I speak to you, they are spirit, and they are life.
American Standard Version
It is the spirit that giveth life; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I have spoken unto you are spirit, are are life.
It is the spirit that quickeneth: the flesh profiteth nothing. The words that I have spoken to you, are spirit and life.
Darby Bible Translation
It is the Spirit which quickens, the flesh profits nothing: the words which I have spoken unto you are spirit and are life.
English Revised Version
It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I have spoken unto you are spirit, and are life.
Webster's Bible Translation
It is the spirit that reviveth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak to you, they are spirit, and they are life.
Weymouth New Testament
It is the spirit which gives Life. The flesh confers no benefit whatever. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and are Life.
World English Bible
It is the spirit who gives life. The flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and are life.
Young's Literal Translation
the spirit it is that is giving life; the flesh doth not profit anything; the sayings that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life;
|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
6:60-65 The human nature of Christ had not before been in heaven, but being God and man, that wondrous Person was truly said to have come down from heaven. The Messiah's kingdom was not of this world; and they were to understand by faith, what he had said of a spiritual living upon him, and his fulness. As without the soul of man the flesh is of no value, so without the quickening Spirit of God all forms of religion are dead and worthless. He who made this provision for our souls, alone can teach us these things, and draw us unto Christ, that we may live by faith in him. Let us apply to Christ, thankful that it is declared that every one who is willing to come unto him shall be made welcome.
Verse 63. - It is the spirit that quickeneth (the τὸ, though omitted by אָ, is retained by all the principal editors); the flesh profiteth nothing; i.e. the "flesh" taken by itself, and apart from the life-giving Spirit which is its principium. The antithesis between "flesh" and "spirit" occurs frequently in the Gospel, and is one of the great points of Pauline doctrine. The Lord does not introduce the pronoun μου to τὸ πνεῦμα or ἡ σάρξ. The statement is generalized, though having special reference to himself, or to the spirit and flesh of the Son of man. "Flesh," in neither St. Paul nor St. John, means the sensuous nature as opposed to the intellectual nature; nor does it mean the "body" as antithetic to the "soul" - the organized material frame, to which the Jews were attributing so much and felt to be the guarantee and seal of his spiritual efficiency (Meyer) - but the "creaturely nature," the "humanity" per se in all its parts. "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." Christ qua his humanity was fashioned by the Spirit, and the Spirit dwelt upon him with iron measurable potence. "The Logos became flesh," but that flesh itself was so ordered and prepared by the Holy Spirit as that it should sustain this lofty companionship. Christ's own flesh, his nature, his humanity per se, and apart from the fulness of the Spirit, profiteth nothing. The mere human life, however spotless and ideal, could not be "eaten," i.e. could not be assimilated, though to some extent it might be imitated; but imitation is not faith. The "glory" that the apostles saw "of the Only Begotten of the Father, the fulness of grace and truth," in and through that wondrous life of Christ, was the glory given to his humanity by the creative Spirit. Apart from this consideration, a manducation of his flesh, even were it physically possible, was useless. It was not possible to participate in his humanity save through the Holy Spirit which generated him and regenerates us. The sentence doubtless points back to the original constitution of man, the specialty of whose life is that it was inbreathed by the Lord God himself. The use of the saying here was to make it still more clear that he gave his flesh to eat, not through any physical process, not through any sacramental rite, but through the Spirit to our spirit. Mr. Sadler, who takes the strong sacramental view of the entire passage, says, however, wisely and forcibly here, "Even flesh cannot be given to a corpse." We receive the gift, we know the love of God, whether sacramentally or not, through the Spirit. Christ does not deny or retract the statement, "Except ye eat the flesh," etc. He simply shows in what sense he meant the whole mutual indwelling of himself and his people to be understood. The Spirit is the Quickener. The Spirit is the life-fashioning, life-pre-serving Energy. The flesh, the human manifestation, apart from the Spirit which makes that human life the centre of Divine effluence, the focus for its Divine energy, profiteth nothing. Some have taken these words (like Chrysostom) as a contrast between a spiritual and literal interpretation of Christ's words. Luther and many Lutherans have urged the contrast between a right celebration and a merely material use of the sacrament. So more or less Augustine and Olshausen. Canon Westcott seems to limit the original meaning of "flesh" and "spirit," the one to the visible, temporal, corporeal only, and the other to the unseen eternal order of things, and he does not give to "flesh" here the fulness of meaning which it bears in the New Testament; but he says that this utterance is not limited to either of the views just referred to, though it may include them. Archdeacon Watkins remarks, "They think of a physical eating of his flesh, and this offends them; but what if they, who have thought of bread descending from heaven, see his body ascending into heaven? They will know then he cannot have meant this. The descent of the Spirit will follow the ascent of the Son." The words that I have spoken unto you are spirit and are life. The words which I have now uttered, these teachings of mine concerning myself, are (not merely "spiritual" or "life-giving," but) spirit and life, i.e. the way and method in which the Spirit can convey to you the life eternal. The words which I have spoken at all times have been the effulgence of my glory, the effluence of my Spirit. The seed of the kingdom is the Word of God. The contact of the Divine Spirit with the human spirit is not through teeth and palate, but through mental and moral processes. "Thou hast the words of eternal life," said Peter (ver. 68). Christ thus works his way back again to the receptivity of the mind and heart of his disciples. Believing is not only "coming," but, as he has before implied, it is the identical process which he has called "eating his flesh and drinking his blood." Christ's words are the ministry of himself, because the chief method of communicating his life-giving Spirit. In John 15:4, 7 the Lord used both expressions, "I" and "my words," in identical relations: "Abide in me, and I in you;" "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you," etc.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
It is the Spirit that quickeneth,.... It is the spirit of man that quickens him; or which being breathed into him, he becomes a living soul; for the body, without the spirit, is dead; it is a lifeless lump: and it is the Spirit of God that quickens dead sinners, by entering into them as the spirit of life, and causing them to live: and it is spiritual eating, or eating the flesh, and drinking the blood of Christ in a spiritual sense, which quickens, refreshes, and comforts the minds of believers; it is that by, and on which they live, and by which their spiritual strength is renewed: unless, by spirit, is meant the divine nature of Christ, by which he was quickened and raised from the dead, and ascended up into heaven, and was declared to be the Son of God with power:
the flesh profiteth nothing; the human nature of Christ, though profitable, as in union with the Son of God, to be given for the life of his people, and to be an offering, and a sacrifice for their sins, yet not as alone, or as abstracted from the divine nature; nor would his flesh and blood, corporeally eaten, could, or should it be done, be of any avail to eternal life; nor is any other flesh, literally understood, profitable of itself for life; for man lives not by bread, or meat, or flesh alone, but by the word and blessing of God upon it, and along with it; nor flesh, in a figurative sense, as creature acts and performances, self-righteousness, obedience to the ceremonial law, carnal descent, and birth privileges:
the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life; the doctrines which Christ had then been delivering concerning himself, his flesh and blood, being spiritually understood, are the means of quickening souls. The Gospel, and the truths of it, which are the wholesome words of our Lord Jesus Christ, are the means of conveying the Spirit of God, as a spirit of illumination and sanctification, into the hearts of men, and of quickening sinners dead in trespasses and sins: the Gospel is the Spirit that giveth life, and is the savour of life unto life, when it comes not in word only, or in the bare ministry of it, but with the energy of the Holy Ghost, and the power of divine grace.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
63. the flesh profiteth nothing—Much of His discourse was about "flesh"; but flesh as such, mere flesh, could profit nothing, much less impart that life which the Holy Spirit alone communicates to the soul.
the words that I speak … are spirit and … life—The whole burden of the discourse is "spirit," not mere flesh, and "life" in its highest, not its lowest sense, and the words I have employed are to be interpreted solely in that sense.
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