John 20:30
And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:
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(30) And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples.—More exactly, Yea, and indeed many and other signs did Jesus. (Comp. Note on John 2:11.) We must understand the “signs” not of the proofs of the Resurrection only, but of the works wrought during the whole life. The writer’s narrative is drawing to a close, and he explains the fact that he has recorded so little of a life which contained so much. There were, indeed, many other signs which he, as an eye-witness, remembered, but which it was not within his purpose to relate.

That he refers to the whole work of Christ, and not to the Risen Life only, is clear, because (1) there were not “many other signs” during the forty days; (2) the words “did Jesus” are not applicable to the manifestation to the disciples; (3) the words in this book” refer to all that has preceded.

It would seem to follow from this that these verses (John 20:30 and John 20:31) are the conclusion of the original Gospel, and that John 21 is to be regarded as a postscript or appendix. We shall find reason for believing that, though an appendix, it proceeded from the hand of the Apostle himself.



John 20:30 - John 20:31

It is evident that these words were originally the close of this Gospel, the following chapter being an appendix, subsequently added by the writer himself. In them we have the Evangelist’s own acknowledgment of the incompleteness of his Gospel, and his own statement of the purpose which he had in view in composing it. That purpose was first of all a doctrinal one, and he tells us that in carrying it out he omitted many things that he could have put in if he had chosen. But that doctrinal purpose was subordinate to a still further aim. His object was not only to present the truth that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God, but to present it in such a way as to induce his readers to believe in that Christ. And he desired that they might have faith in order that they might have life.

Now, it is a very good old canon in judging of a book that ‘in every work’ we are to ‘regard the writer’s end,’ and if that simple principle had been applied to this Gospel, a great many of the features in it which have led to some difficulty would have been seen to be naturally explained by the purpose which the Evangelist had in view.

But this text may be applied very much more widely than to John’s Gospel. We may use it to point our thoughts to the strange silences and incompletenesses of the whole of Revelation, and to the explanation of these incompletenesses by the consideration of the purpose which it all had in view. In that sense I desire to look at these words before us.

I. First, then, we have here set forth the incompleteness of Scripture.

Take this Gospel first. Anybody who looks at it can see that it is a fragment. It is not meant to be a biography; it is avowedly a selection, and a selection under the influence, as I shall have to show you presently, of a distinct dogmatic purpose. There is nothing in it about Christ’s birth, nothing in it about His baptism, nor about His selection of His Apostles. There is scarcely anything about the facts of His outward life at all. There is scarcely a word about the whole of His ministry in Galilee. There is not one of His parables, there are only seven of His miracles before the Resurrection, and two of these occur also in the other Evangelists. There is scarcely any of His ethical teaching; there is not a word about the Lord’s Supper.

And so I might go on enumerating many remarkable gaps in this Gospel. Nearly half of it is taken up with the incidents of one week at the end of His life, and the incidents of and after the Resurrection. Of the remainder-by far the larger portion consists of several conversations which are hung upon miracles that seem to be related principally for the sake of these. The whole of the phenomena show us at once the fragmentary character of this Gospel as stamped upon the very surface.

And when we turn to the other three, the same thing is true, though less strikingly so. Why was it that in the Church, after the completion of the Scriptural canon, there sprang up a whole host of Apocryphal Gospels, full of childish stories of events which people felt had been passed over with strange silence, in the teachings of the four Evangelists: stories of His childhood, for instance, and stories about what happened between His death and His resurrection? A great many miracles were added to those that have been told us in Scripture. The condensed hints of the canonical Gospels received a great expansion, which indicated how much their silence about certain points had been felt. What a tiny pamphlet they make! Is it not strange that the greatest event in the world’s history should be told in such brief outline, and that here, too, the mustard seed, ‘less than the least of all seeds,’ should have become such a great tree? Put the four Gospels down by the side of the two thick octavo volumes, which it is the regulation thing to write nowadays, as the biography of any man that has a name at all, and you will feel their incompleteness as biographies. They are but a pen-and-ink drawing of the Sun! And yet, although they be so tiny that you might sit down and read them all in an evening over the fire, is it not strange that they have stamped on the mind of the world an image so deep and so sharp, of such a character as the world never saw elsewhere? They are fragments, but they have left a symmetrical and an unique impression on the consciousness of the whole world.

And then, if you turn to the whole Book, the same thing is true, though in a modified sense there. I have no time to dwell upon that fruitful field, but the silence of Scripture is quite as eloquent as its speech. Think, for instance, of how many things in the Bible are taken for granted which one would not expect to be taken for granted in a book of religious instruction. It takes for granted the being of a God. It takes for granted our relations to Him. It takes for granted our moral nature. In its later portions, at all events, it takes for granted the future life. Look at how the Bible, as a whole, passes by, without one word of explanation or alleviation, a great many of the difficulties which gather round some of its teaching. For instance, we find no attempt to explain the divine nature of our Lord; or the existence of the three Persons in the Godhead. It has not a word to say in explanation of the mystery of prayer; or of the difficulty of reconciling the Omnipotent will of God on the one hand, with our own free will on the other. It has not a word to explain, though many a word to proclaim and enforce, the fact of Christ’s death as the atonement for the sins of the whole world. Observe, too, how scanty the information on points on which the heart craves for more light. How closely, for instance, the veil is kept over the future life! How many questions which are not prompted by mere curiosity, our sorrow and our love ask in vain!

Nor is the incompleteness of Scripture as a historical book less marked. Nations and men appear on its pages abruptly, rending the curtain of oblivion, and striding to the front of the stage for a moment, and then they disappear, swallowed up of night. It has no care to tell the stories of any of its heroes, except for so long as they were the organs of that divine breath, which, breathed through the weakest reed, makes music. The self-revelation of God, not the acts and fortunes of even His noblest servants, is the theme of the Book. It is full of gaps about matters that any sciolist or philosopher or theologian would have filled up for it. There it stands, a Book unique in the world’s history, unique in what it says, and no less unique in what it does not say.

‘Many other things truly did’ that divine Spirit in His march through the ages, ‘which are not written in this book; but these are written that ye might believe.’

II. And so that brings me next to say a word or two about the more immediate purpose which explains all these gaps and incompletenesses.

John’s Gospel, and the other three Gospels, and the whole Bible, New Testament and Old, have this for their purpose, to produce in men’s hearts the faith in Jesus as ‘the Christ’ and as ‘the Son of God.’

I need not speak at length about this one Gospel with any special regard to that thought. I have already said that the Evangelist avows that his work is a selection, that he declares that the purpose that determined his selection was doctrinal, and that he picked out facts which would tend to represent Jesus Christ to us in the twofold capacity,-as the Christ, the Fulfiller of all the expectations and promises of the Old Covenant, and as the Son of God. The one of these titles is a name of office, the other a name of nature; the one declares that He had come to be, and to do, all to which types and prophecies and promises had dimly pointed, and the other declares that He was ‘the Eternal Word,’ which ‘in the beginning was with God and was God,’ and was manifest here upon earth to us.

This was his purpose, and this representation of Jesus Christ is that which shapes all the facts and all the phenomena of this Gospel, from the very first words of it to its close.

And so, although it is wide from my present subject, I may just make one parenthetical remark, to the effect that it is ridiculous in the face of this statement for ‘critics’ to say, as some of them do: ‘The author of the fourth Gospel has not told us this, that, and the other incident in Christ’s life, therefore, he did not know it.’ Then some of them will draw the conclusion that John’s Gospel is not to be trusted in the given case, because he does not give us a certain incident, and others might draw the conclusion that the other three Evangelists are not to be trusted because they do give it us. And the whole fabric is built up upon a blunder, and would have been avoided if people had listened when John said to them: ‘I knew a great many things about Jesus Christ, but I did not put them down here because I was not writing a biography, but preaching a gospel; and what I wanted to proclaim was that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.’

But now we may extend that a great deal further. It is just as true about the whole New Testament. The four Gospels are written to tell us these two facts about Christ. They are none of them merely biographies; as such they are singularly deficient, as we have seen. But they are biographies plus a doctrine; and the biography is told mainly for the sake of carrying this twofold truth into men’s understandings and hearts, that Jesus is, first of all, the Christ, and second, the Son of God.

And then comes the rest of the New Testament, which is nothing more than the working out of the theoretical and practical consequence of these great truths. All the Epistles, the Book of Revelation, and the history of the Church, as embodied in the Acts of the Apostles,-all these are but the consequences of that fundamental truth; and the whole of Scripture in its later portions is but the drawing of the inferences and the presenting of the duties that flow from the facts that ‘Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.’

And what about the Old Testament? Why, this about it: that whatever may be the conclusion as to the date and authorship of any of the books in it,-and I am not careful to contend about these at present;-and whatever a man may believe about the verbal prophecies which most of us recognise there,-there is stamped unmistakably upon the whole system, of which the Old Testament is the record, an onward-looking attitude. It is all anticipatory of ‘good things to come,’ and of a Person who will bring them. Sacrifice, sacred offices, such as priesthood and kingship, and the whole history of Israel, have their faces turned to the future. ‘They that went before, and they that followed after, cried “Hosanna! Blessed be He that cometh in the name of the Lord!”‘ This Christ towers up above the history of the world and the process of revelation, like Mount Everest among the Himalayas. To that great peak all the country on the one side runs upwards, and from it all the valleys on the other descend; and the springs are born there which carry verdure and life over the world.

Christ, the Son of God, is the centre of Scripture; and the Book- whatever be the historical facts about its origin, its authorship, and the date of the several portions of which it is composed-the Book is a unity, because there is driven right through it, like a core of gold, either in the way of prophecy and onward-looking anticipation, or in the way of history and grateful retrospect, the reference to the one ‘Name that is above every name,’ the name of the Christ, the Son of God.

And all its incompleteness, its fragmentariness, its carelessness about persons, are intended, as are the slight parts in a skilful artist’s handiwork, to emphasise the beauty and the sovereignty of that one central Figure on which all lights are concentrated, and on which the painter has lavished all the resources of his art. So God-for God is the Author of the Bible-on this great canvas has painted much in sketchy outline, and left much unfilled in, that every eye may be fixed on the central Figure, the Christ of God, on whose head comes down the Dove, and round whom echoes the divine declaration: ‘This is My Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’

But it is not merely in order to represent Jesus as the Christ of God that these things are written, but it is that that representation may become the object of our faith. If the intention of Scripture had been simply to establish the fact that Jesus was the Christ and the Son of God, it might have been done in a very different fashion. A theological treatise would have been enough to do that. But if the object be that men should not only accept with their understandings the truth concerning Christ’s office and nature, but that their hearts should go out to Him, and that they should rest their sinful souls upon Him as the Son of God and the Christ, then there is no other way to accomplish that, but by the history of His life and the manifestation of His heart. If the object were simply to make us know about Christ, we do not need a Book like this; but if the object is to lead us to put our faith in Him, then we must have what we have here, the infinitely touching and tender Figure of Jesus Christ Himself, set before us in all its sweetness and beauty as He lived and moved and died for us.

And so, dear friends, let me put one last word here about this part of my subject. If this be the purpose of Scripture, then let us learn on the one hand the wretched insufficiency of a mere orthodox creed, and let us learn on the other hand the equal insufficiency of a mere creedless emotion.

If the purpose of Scripture, in these Gospels, and all its parts, is that we should believe ‘that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,’ that purpose is not accomplished when we simply yield our understanding to that truth and accept it as a great many people do. That was much more the fault of the last generation than of this, though many of us may still make the mistake of supposing that we are Christians because we idly assent to-or, at least, do not deny, and so fancy that we accept-Christian truth. But, as Luther says in one of his rough figures, ‘Human nature is like a drunken peasant; if you put him up on the horse on the one side, he is sure to tumble down on the other.’ And so the reaction from the heartless, unpractical orthodoxy of half a century ago has come with a vengeance to-day, when everybody is saying, ‘Oh! give me a Christianity without dogma!’ Well, I say that too, about a great many of the metaphysical subtleties which have been called Doctrinal Christianity. But this doctrine of the nature and office of Jesus Christ cannot be given up, and the Christianity which Christ and His Apostles taught be retained. Do you believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God? Do you trust your soul to Him in these characters? If you do, I think we can shake hands. If you do not, Scripture has failed to do its work on you, and you have not reached the point which all God’s lavish revelation has been expended on the world that you and all men might attain.

III. Now, lastly, notice the ultimate purpose of the whole.

Scripture is not given to us merely to make us know something about God in Christ, nor only in order that we may have faith in the Christ thus revealed to us, but for a further end-great, glorious, but, blessed be His Name! not distant-namely, that we may ‘have life in His name.’ ‘Life’ is deep, mystical, inexplicable by any other words than itself. It includes pardon, holiness, well-being, immortality, Heaven; but it is more than they all.

This life comes into our dead hearts and quickens them by union with God. That which is joined to God lives. Each being according to its nature, is, on condition of the divine power acting upon it. This bit of wood upon which I put my hand, and the hand which I put upon it, would equally crumble into nothingness if they were separated from God.

You can separate your wills and your spiritual nature from Him, and thus separated you are ‘dead in trespasses and in sins.’ And, O brother! the message comes to you: there is life in that great Christ, ‘in His name’; that is to say, in that revealed character of His by which He is made known to us as the Christ and the Son of God.

Union with Him in His Sonship will bring life into dead hearts. He is the true ‘Prometheus’ who has come from Heaven with ‘fire,’ the fire of the divine Life in the ‘reed’ of His humanity, and He imparts it to us all if we will. He lays Himself upon us, as the prophet laid himself on the little child in the upper chamber; and lip to lip, and beating heart to dead heart, He touches our death, and it is quickened into life.

The condition on which that great Name will bring to us life is simply our faith. Do you believe in Him, and trust yourself to Him, as He who came to fulfil all that prophet, priest, and king, sacrifice, altar, and Temple of old times prophesied and looked for? Do you trust in Him as the Son of God who comes down to earth that we in Him might find the immortal life which He is ready to give? If you do, then, dear brethren! the end that God has in view in all His revelation, that Christ had in view in His bitter Passion, has been accomplished for you. If you do not it has not. You may admire Him, you may think loftily of Him, you may be ready to call Him by many great and appreciative names, but Oh! unless you have learned to see in Him the divine Saviour of your souls, you have not seen what God means you to see.

But if you have, then all other questions about this Book, important as they are in their places, may settle themselves as they will; you have got the kernel, the thing that it was meant to bring you. Many an erudite scholar, who has studied the Bible all his life, has missed the purpose for which it was given; and many a poor old woman in her garret has found it. It is not meant to wrangle over, it is not meant to be read as an interesting product of the religious consciousness, it is not to be admired as all that remains of the literature of a nation that had a genius for religion; but it is to be taken as being God’s great Word to the world, the record of the revelation that He has given us in His Son. The Eternal Word is the theme of all the written word. Have you made the jewel which is brought us in that casket your own? Is Jesus to you the Son of the living God, believing on whom you share His life, and become ‘sons of God’ by Him? Can you take on to your thankful lips that triumphant and rapturous confession of the doubting Thomas,-the flag flying on the completed roof-tree of this Gospel-’My Lord and my God’? If you can, you will receive the blessing which Christ then promised to all of us standing beyond the limits of that little group, ‘who have not seen and yet have believed’-even that eternal life which flows into our dead spirits from the Christ, the Son of God, who is the Light of the world, and the Life of men.

John 20:30-31. And many other signs truly did Jesus — That is, Jesus wrought many other miracles; which are not written in this book — In this gospel of John, nor indeed in those of the other evangelists; but these are written that ye might believe — That ye, into whose hands soever this narrative shall fall, may believe, that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ — The true Messiah; the Son of God — In a sense in which no creature, man or angel, can be his son, (see Hebrews 1:4-12,) being not only miraculously begotten, as to his human nature, on which account he is also termed the Son of God, (Luke 1:35,) but that eternal Son, who had glory with his Father, and was beloved by him before the world was, John 17:5; John 17:24; and who was without beginning of days, as well as without end of life, Hebrews 7:3 : and that believing — Applying to, and confiding in, him for salvation, as the only person in and through whom it can be attained, (Acts 4:12,) and receiving him in all his characters and offices, John 1:12 : ye might have life through his name — Spiritual life, the life of grace here, and eternal life, the life of glory, hereafter.

20:30,31 There were other signs and proofs of our Lord's resurrection, but these were committed to writing, that all might believe that Jesus was the promised Messiah, the Saviour of sinners, and the Son of God; that, by this faith, they might obtain eternal life, by his mercy, truth, and power. May we believe that Jesus is the Christ, and believing may we have life through his name.Other signs - Other miracles. Many were recorded by the other evangelists, and many which he performed were never recorded, John 21:25. Joh 20:30, 31. First Close of This Gospel.

The connection of these verses with the last words of Joh 20:29 is beautiful: that is, And indeed, as the Lord pronounced them blessed who not having seen Him have yet believed, so for that one end have the whole contents of this Gospel been recorded, that all who read it may believe on Him, and believing, have life in that blessed name.

30. many other signs—miracles.

This passage plainly refers to whatsoever signs we read of in any part of St. John’s Gospel; and lets us know, that the evangelist could have added abundance more to the history of the miracles which Christ wrought upon the earth.

And many other signs truly did Jesus,.... Besides these wonderful appearances to his disciples once and again, when the doors were shut about them: and which signs refer not to what was done before, but after his resurrection; and which he did,

in the presence of his disciples; for he appeared to, and conversed with no other but them after his resurrection:

which are not written in this book; of John's Gospel; though they may be elsewhere; such as his appearing to the two disciples going to Emmaus, and to the eleven on a mountain in Galilee, and to five hundred brethren at once, which other inspired writers speak of: and many there are which he did; which are not particularly written in this, nor in any other book; for he was seen of his disciples forty days, and showed himself alive, by many infallible proofs; all of which are not recorded.

{9} And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:

(9) To believe in Christ, the Son of God and our only saviour, is the goal of the doctrine of the gospel, and especially of the true account of the resurrection.

John 20:30-31. Conclusion of the entire book (not merely of the main portion of it, as Hengstenberg maintains); for chap, 21 is a supplement.

πολλὰ μὲν οὖν] Multa quidem, igitur.[271] See Klotz, ad Devar. p. 663.

καὶ ἄλλα] On the well-known ΚΑΊ after ΠΟΛΛΆ (et quidem alia), see Baeumlein, Partik. p. 146. Comp. Acts 25:7.

σημεῖα] miraculous signs, by which He has proved Himself to be the Messiah, the Son of God (John 20:31). Comp. John 12:37. To this corresponds in general also the conclusion of the appendix, John 21:25. Correctly so, by way of proposition, Euth. Zigabenus, further Calvin, Jansen, Wolf, Bengel, Lampe, Tholuck, De Wette, Frommann, Maier, B. Crusius, Luthardt, Hilgenfeld, Hengstenberg, Godet, Baeumlein, Scholten, and several others. Justly might John, looking back upon his now finished βιβλίον, adduce as its contents from the beginning of his history down to this conclusion, a potiori, the σημεῖα which Christ had wrought, since these form the distinguishing characteristic in the working of Jesus (comp. John 10:41), and the historical basis, with which the rest of the contents (particularly the discourses) are connected. Others have taken ΣΗΜΕῖΑ in exclusive, or at least, like Schleiermacher, pre-eminent reference to the resurrection: documenta resurrectionis (comp. Acts 1:3). So Chrysostom, Theophylact, Euth. Zigabenus, Ruperti, Luther, Beza, Calovius, Maldonatus, Semler, and several others, including Kuinoel, Lücke, Olshausen, Lange, Baur, Ewald, and several others. But to this corresponds neither the general and absolute σημεῖα in itself, nor the predicate ΠΟΛΛᾺ Κ. ἌΛΛΑ, since Christ, after His resurrection, both in accordance with the accounts in the Gospels, and also with that of 1 Corinthians 15, certainly appeared only a few times; nor, finally, ἘΠΟΊΗΣΕΝ and ἘΝ Τῷ ΒΙΒΛ. ΤΟΎΤῼ, which latter shows that John (for ἘΝΏΠ. Τ. ΜΑΘΗΤ., moreover, does not point to another writer, against Weizsäcker) has in view the contents of his entire Gospel.

ἐνώπ. τ. μαθ.] So that accordingly still many more ΣΗΜΕῖΑ might have been related, as by an eye-witness, by John, who, in truth, belonged to the ΜΑΘΉΤΑΙ; hence this addition is not to be employed as a ground for the interpretation by Chrysostom, etc., of ΣΗΜΕῖΑ, because, that is to say, Jesus performed the signs before His death in the sight of the people, etc. (comp. John 12:37).

ταῦτα δέ] sc. τὰ σημεῖα, namely, those recorded in this book, this selection which composes its contents.

ἽΝΑ ΠΙΣΤΕΎΣ.] refers to the readers, for whom the Gospel was designed. “Scopus evangelii,” Bengel. Comp. Introd. § 5. See also, as regards πιστεύσ., on John 19:35. Of the conversion of the Gentiles (Hilgenfeld) to the faith, there is no mention.

ὁ υἱὸς τ. θεοῦ] in the Johannean sense. Without being this, He would not be the promised Messiah.

πιστεύοντες] in your believing. Thus, then, the ζωὴν ἔχειν is conceived of as a possession already beginning with faith; faith, however, as a subjective principle of life, quite as with Paul, although the latter more sharply separates from one another, as conceptions, justification, and life.[272]

ἐν τῷ ὀνόμ. αὐτοῦ] belongs to ΖΩῊΝ ἜΧ. In the name of Jesus, as the object of faith (John 1:12), the possession of life is causally founded.

Baur, in accordance with false presuppositions, holds John 20:30-31 to be spurious, because the previously-related appearances (which, according to Baur, took place from out of heaven) should in themselves so bring to a close the appearance of the Risen One, that we cannot think of further appearances of this kind (πολλὰ κ. ἄλλα).

[271] It serves as a concluding summary, so as to allow a moment thereby prepared to follow by δέ. Comp. Baeumlein, Partik. p. 178.

[272] Comp. Schmid, Bibl. Theol. II. p. 391.

John 20:30-31. First conclusion of the gospel

30, 31. The Conclusion and Purpose of the Gospel

30. And many other signs truly] The Greek cannot be exactly rendered without awkwardness: Therefore (as might be expected from what has been written here) many and other signs. The context shews that ‘signs’ must not be limited to proofs of the Resurrection: S. John is glancing back over his whole work—‘this book;’ and the ‘signs’ here, as elsewhere in this Gospel, are miracles generally. Comp. especially John 12:37. The expression ‘many and other’ points the same way; many in number and different in kind from those related. The signs of the Resurrection from the nature of the case were all similar in kind.

John 20:30. Πολλὰ, many things) John 2:23; John 3:2; John 6:2; John 7:31, “When Christ cometh, will He do more miracles than these, which this man doeth?”—ἐποίησεν, did) before His passion, and after His resurrection: for there is added, in the presence of His disciples. The disciples saw His signs (miracles) more than others did, before His passion; [in such a way, however, as that (though not seeing all) any one of the disciples was spectator of almost all the signs, and therefore a legitimate witness.—V. g.]: they alone saw them after the resurrection: Both are treated of in this Gospel; but those last mentioned are especially referred to in this summary [Symperasma. See Append.] which appropriately, immediately after the mention of Thomas’ faith, recommends faith to all, as the scope of the book.—τούτῳ, this) book of John. Add, in the books also of the other Evangelists.

Verses 30, 31. -

(6) The conclusion of he argument of the Gospel. Controversy has prevailed from the days of Chrysostom to our own, as to whether these verses are the summary and conclusion of the Gospel as a whole, or have special reference to the record only of the appearances of Jesus after his resurrection. It cannot be doubted that as St. John sums up in John 12. the general teaching of Christ and its effect upon the people, to the termination of his public ministry, so at the close of this chapter, before recording the special bearing of the resurrection-life and spiritual power of Christ on the subsequent condition of the Church - a narrative of peculiar interest in itself, corresponding with the prologue of the entire narrative - he gathers up the general significance of his Gospel and its relation to other books. Verse 30. - Many other signs therefore did Jesus also in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book. The "many" and "other" refer to those signs with which his readers may be familiar from other sources, and, as it seems to us, in other (βιβλία) books. We have seen throughout how thoroughly alive the evangelist is to the minutest details of the synoptic narrative. The word "many" seems most accurately to include more than the few appearances after his resurrection which are not mentioned by John, but which are recorded by the synoptists, and the "other" refers most probably to signs of a different class from those which he has selected. The "signs" written in this book are those central facts which formed the theme and starting-points of his discourses. "Signs" do not necessarily mean miraculous works (ἐργα), but all "indications" or "tokens" of his higher nature and Divine commission, such as his appearance in the synagogue of Nazareth; the cleansing of the temple, which had so powerfully affected the mind of Nicodemus; the repeated assertion of his pre-existence and eternal glory; the feeling of the officers of the Sanhedrin, that "never man spake like this Man;" the effect produced by his lofty claims to be "Lord of the sabbath" and "greater than the temple;" the arrogation of power to forgive sins; the discomfiture of the deputation from chief priests and elders; the collapse of the Roman soldiers; and all other proofs of his supreme authority. All these σημεῖα were not indispensably connected with corresponding τεράτα. "Before the disciples" suggests a special limitation and condition which took powerful hold upon the mind of the evangelist. We hear in one passage that "he could do no mighty works, because of their unbelief." To prepared minds he came with his spiritual revelations and special suggestions of heavenly origin. John sees the memories passing before him, which have already formed the heritage of the Church, and is reminded of "many ethers" which have never found a chronicler. John 20:30
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