Yohanan Jewish New Testament and comments of David H. Stern

chapter 20
1. Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Miryam from Magdala went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb.
Early on the First day of the week, while it was still dark. Here, definitely Sunday morning before dawn; see Mt 28:1&N. 

2. So she came running to Shim‘on Kefa and the other talmid, the one Yeshua loved, and said to them, “They’ve taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they’ve put him!”
3. Then Kefa and the other talmid started for the tomb.
4. They both ran, but the other talmid outran Kefa and reached the tomb first.
5. Stooping down, he saw the linen burial-sheets lying there but did not go in.
6. Then, following him, Shim‘on Kefa arrived, entered the tomb and saw the burial-sheets lying there,
7. also the cloth that had been around his head, lying not with the sheets but in a separate place and still folded up.
8. Then the other talmid, who had arrived at the tomb first, also went in; he saw, and he trusted.
The burial clothes consisted of a shroud around the body and a head-cloth (compare 11:44). Yochanan's painstaking description of their undisturbed location, especially the separate position of the still folded head cloth (v. 7), tells us that Yeshua's body was miraculously loosed from the burial clothes, so that they collapsed in place. This is why the oilier tat in id... saw, and he trusted. 

9. (They had not yet come to understand that the Tanakh teaches that the Messiah has to rise from the dead.)
The Tanakh teaches that the Messiah has to rise from the dead at Isaiah 53:9-12 and Psalm 16:10 (cited at Ac 2:24-32). 

10. So the talmidim returned home,
11. but Miryam stood outside crying. As she cried, she bent down, peered into the tomb,
12. and saw two angels in white sitting where the body of Yeshua had been, one at the head and one at the feet.
13. “Why are you crying?” they asked her. “They took my Lord,” she said to them, “and I don’t know where they have put him.”
14. As she said this, she turned around and saw Yeshua standing there, but she didn’t know it was he.
15. Yeshua said to her, “Lady, why are you crying? Whom are you looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you’re the one who carried him away, just tell me where you put him; and I’ll go and get him myself.”
Thinking he was the gardener. Gardening is the oldest profession — Adam was to be a gardener (Genesis 2:15), Yeshua, the "second Adam" (1С 15:45, Ro 5:12-21), is also perceived as a gardener. 

16. Yeshua said to her, “Miryam!” Turning, she cried out to him in Hebrew, “Rabbani!” (that is, “Teacher!”)
"Rabbani!" (That is, "Teacher!"), literally, "My great one!" or "My teacher!" As a title "rabban" was conferred only on the heads of the central academy and of the Sanhedrin. Gamli'el I, quoted at Ac 5:34-39, is known in Jewish history as Rabhan Gamli'el. Apparently the term was used more broadly in informal conversation. Although there is no evidence that Yeshua was ever ordained a rabbi, it is implied at Mt 23:8 that he and his talmidim regarded him as one. 

17. “Stop holding onto me,” Yeshua said to her, “because I haven’t yet gone back to the Father. But go to my brothers, and tell them that I am going back to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God."
Stop holding onto me, not, as in KJV, "Do not touch me," which suggests a fragility about his post-resurrection physical state contradicted by the rest of Yochanan's gospel. Yeshua had work to do and was not to be kept from it even by Miryam's joyful attention. 

18. Miryam of Magdala went to the talmidim with the news that she had seen the Lord and that he had told her this.
19. In the evening that same day, the first day of the week, when the talmidim were gathered together behind locked doors out of fear of the Judeans, Yeshua came, stood in the middle and said, “Shalom aleikhem!”
The kilmidim were hiding behind locked doors out of fear of the Judeans, concerned that the Judeans would not be satisfied with the death of their leader but would pursue the followers as well. The rendering found in most versions, "for fear of the Jews," besides being misleading in the first-century context (1:19N), reinforces the stereotype of Jews as bogeymen.

Messianic Jews and Christians who are paranoid that if they witness clearly to Jewish people they will be persecuted, who find it easier to remain ghettoized behind locked doors out of fear of "the Jews," would do better to obey the Great Commission (Mt 28:19&N), relying for confidence on God, "our help and our shield" (Psalm 33:20).

Yeshua miraculously appears but greets them in the usual way, "Shalom aleikheml" Yeshua's post-resurrection appearances combine the supernatural with the ordinary in a way that makes the mixture seem normal rather than mysterious and otherworldly. 

20. Having greeted them, he showed them his hands and his side. The talmidim were overjoyed to see the Lord.
21. “Shalom aleikhem!” Yeshua repeated. “Just as the Father sent me, I myself am also sending you.”
I... am sending you into the world with my message of Good News. 

22. Having said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Ruach HaKodesh!
Breathed... the Ruuch HaKodesh. Yeshua's breathing was meaningful (see 3:8N) but symbolic. The lalmidim actually received the Holy Spirit's power a month and a half later, at Shavu'ot(Ac 2:4); see also Lk 24:49, Ac 1:8. 

23. If you forgive someone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you hold them, they are held.”
24. Now T’oma (the name means “twin”), one of the Twelve, was not with them when Yeshua came.
T'oma. See 11:16&N. 

25. When the other talmidim told him, “We have seen the Lord,” he replied, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands, put my finger into the place where the nails were and put my hand into his side, I refuse to believe it.”
26. A week later his talmidim were once more in the room, and this time T’oma was with them. Although the doors were locked, Yeshua came, stood among them and said, “Shalom aleikhem!”
The talmidim came together again eight days later. By Jewish reckoning the first and last days are counted; therefore this was a week later (circumcision "on the eighth day" is performed one week after a male baby is born). Apparently from the very beginning the believers took note of the fact that Yeshua rose from the dead on Yom Rishon ("the first day of the week"), that is, between Saturday sunset and Sunday sunset, which is why Gentile Christians, using a midnight-to-midnight calendar, celebrate Sunday, though not the biblical Sabbath, as a special day in the week. But the Jewish believers evidently met on Saturday nights (Ac 20:7&N, 1С 16:2&N). Also see Rv 1:10N. 

27. Then he said to T’oma, “Put your finger here, look at my hands, take your hand and put it into my side. Don’t be lacking in trust, but have trust!”
28. T’oma answered him, “My Lord and my God!”
My Lord and my God! "Doubting Thomas's" confession is as close as the New Testament comes to asserting that Yeshua "is God" (with the possible exception of Ti 2:13; see note there). Yet it is not a propositionaJ statement, but an exclamation by a talmid who had just seen with his own eyes the opposite of what he had dared hope for, namely, Yeshua resurrected. This is important for Jewish readers for whom the declaration, "Yeshua is God," is unpalatable. It is not that Yeshua "is not God"; rather, the precise way in which Yeshua is regarded as divine is not so simply expressed in the New Testament as "is" or "is not." See 1:1-3, 14, 18, 45; 4:26; 5:17-19; 8:24, 58-59; 10:30,34-36; 11:25; 14:6,9-11. 14.28; 17:1-26; 18:6 and notes in all these places for further elaboration of just how Yeshua is to be identified with God without being any less a human being. In this connection note that the Tanakh prophesies or hints at this identification of the Messiah with God at Isaiah 9:5-6(6-7), Jeremiah 23:5-6, Micah 5:1(2) and Proverbs 30:4. 

29. Yeshua said to him, “Have you trusted because you have seen me? How blessed are those who do not see, but trust anyway!”
30. In the presence of the talmidim Yeshua performed many other miracles which have not been recorded in this book.
Many other, similar kinds of miracles comparable with those recorded, which have not been recorded in this book. Yochanan's gospel differs from those of the Synoptics in many respects. Why? Because his purpose is different. He chooses the incidents he reports to suit his purpose. Also he presumes knowledge of the events reported in the Synoptics; see 6:1-15&N, 11:1&N and 18:10—1 1&N. He could write more (see 21:25N;, but he recognizes the value of brevity (compare Ecclesiastes 12:12). 

31. But these which have been recorded are here so that you may trust that Yeshua is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by this trust you may have life because of who he is.
These verses taken together summarize the purpose of Yochanan's Gospel. There is a textual problem: the phrase in v. 31 rendered "so that you may trust" appears in two forms in the ancient manuscripts. The one means, "so that you may continue trusting" and implies that the book is intended to strengthen and confirm the faith of believers. The other means, "so that you may. at a point in time, come to trust" and implies that the book is for unbelievers. In either case, what is to be trusted in is Yeshua's identity with God and consequent power to give us the blessing of eternal life. 

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