Would the beloved disciple die? (Jn 21:23-21:23)


The rumor spread

Among the community brothers

That this disciple

Would not die.

Yet Jesus did not say to him

That he would not die.


‘If it is my will

That he should remain

Until I come,

What is that to you?’”

ἐξῆλθεν οὖν οὗτος ὁ λόγος εἰς τοὺς ἀδελφοὺς ὅτι ὁ μαθητὴς ἐκεῖνος οὐκ ἀποθνήσκει· οὐκ εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς ὅτι οὐκ ἀποθνήσκει, ἀλλ’ Ἐὰν αὐτὸν θέλω μένειν ἕως ἔρχομαι, τί πρὸς σέ;

John uniquely indicated that this word (οὗτος ὁ λόγος) or rumor spread (ἐξῆλθεν οὖν) among the brothers (εἰς τοὺς ἀδελφοὺς) in this early Christian community that this disciple (ὅτι ὁ μαθητὴς ἐκεῖνος) would not die (οὐκ ἀποθνήσκει).  However, this author further explained that Jesus (ὁ Ἰησοῦς) did not say to him (οὐκ εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ) that he would not die (ὅτι οὐκ ἀποθνήσκει), but if it was his will (Ἐὰν αὐτὸν θέλω) that he should remain (μένειν) until he came (ἕως ἔρχομαι).  What is that to you (τί πρὸς σέ)?  Apparently, a rumor had spread that this beloved disciple would never die, since in fact he had died by the time of this writing.  Thus, this explanation repeated what was said in the preceding verse.  If it was the will of Jesus, this disciple might remain until the second coming.  However, it was conditional and did not say that he would live forever.  Would you like to live forever?

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