The Meaning of John 21:24 Explained

John 21:24

KJV: This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true.

YLT: this is the disciple who is testifying concerning these things, and he wrote these things, and we have known that his testimony is true.

Darby: This is the disciple who bears witness concerning these things, and who has written these things; and we know that his witness is true.

ASV: This is the disciple that beareth witness of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his witness is true.

What does John 21:24 Mean?

Verse Meaning

Most careful students of this Gospel have deduced from this and other oblique references in the book that the Apostle John is the writer in view. This description of the writer stresses the reliability of his witness. [1] "These things" probably refers to the whole Gospel, not just what immediately precedes. The statement is general, and it occurs at the end of the book.
The identity of the "we" is less clear. They could be writers who recorded John"s verbal witness as he dictated the material in this Gospel to them. They could be editors of the Gospel. Some scholars view these people as the elders of the Ephesian church where John traditionally served late in his life. [2] Others believe that they were influential men in his church though not necessarily in Ephesus. [3] Another view is that this is an indefinite reference similar to "as is well known." [4] Probably John himself wrote this statement in the plural, as authoritative people sometimes do. It would then be an editorial "we" (cf. John 1:14; John 3:2; John 3:11; John 20:2; 1 John 1:2; 1 John 1:4-7; 3 John 1:12). Since the next verse returns to the first person, this option seems most probable to me.

Context Summary

John 21:20-25 - The Testimony Of A Beloved Follower
Having cautioned Peter, our Lord seems to have moved away, bidding Peter follow-a mandate intended to convey a deeper meaning. John followed some steps in the rear. Hearing footsteps, Peter turned and was seized with curiosity to see how far the future experiences of John and himself would agree. At once, without gratifying his curiosity, our Lord explained that the life-plan of His servants is determined by His will-If I will. It is equally certain that His arrangements for us are carefully adjusted to our nature, our special characteristics, and the service which we are best able to render. Peter was to be the Apostle of the tried and suffering. John was to behold and declare the apocalyptic vision of the Living Church. The one, contrary to his native disposition, wrote the Epistle of patient waiting; the other pictured the triumphant advent of the Son of God.
For Review Questions, see the e-Sword Book Comments [source]

Chapter Summary: John 21

1  Jesus appearing again to his disciples is known of them by the great catch of fish
12  He dines with them;
15  earnestly commands Peter to feed his lambs and sheep;
18  foretells him of his death;
22  rebukes his curiosity
24  The conclusion

Greek Commentary for John 21:24

That is [ουτος εστιν]
The one just mentioned in John 21:20, “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” And wrote these things Here there is a definite statement that the Beloved Disciple wrote this book. We know The plural here seems intentional as the identification and endorsement of a group of disciples who know the author and wish to vouch for his identity and for the truthfulness of his witness. Probably we see here a verse added by a group of elders in Ephesus where John had long laboured. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for John 21:24

John 1:7 For a witness [εἰς μαρτυρίαν]
Revised version of the New Testament, more correctly, for witness: a witness would be, μάρτυρα as Acts 1:8. The sense is for witness-bearing or to bear witness. On the word, see Acts 1:22; 1 Peter 5:1. It is one of John's characteristic words, occurring nearly fifty times in various forms in his Gospel, and thirty or forty times in the Epistles and Revelation. The emphatic development of the idea of witness is peculiar to this Gospel. “It evidently belongs to a time when men had begun to reason about the faith, and to analyze the grounds on which it rested” (Westcott). He develops the idea under the following forms: The witness of the Father (John 5:31, John 5:34, John 5:37); the witness of Christ himself (John 8:14; John 18:37); the witness of works (John 5:17, John 5:36; John 10:25; John 14:11; John 15:24); the witness of Scripture (John 5:39, John 5:40, John 5:46; John 1:46); the witness of the forerunner (John 1:7; John 5:33, John 5:35); the witness of the disciples (John 15:27; John 19:35; John 21:24; 1 John 1:2; 1 John 4:14); the witness of the Spirit (John 15:26; John 16:13, John 16:14; 1 John 5:6). Note the emphasis attached to the idea here, by the twofold form in which it is put: first, generally, for witness, and then by giving the subject of the testimony. [source]
John 13:23 Was at the table reclining in Jesus‘ bosom [ην ανακειμενος εν τωι κολπωι του Ιησου]
No word for “table” in the text. Periphrastic imperfect of ανακειμαι — anakeimai to lie back, to recline. Κολπος — Kolpos usual word for bosom (John 1:18). Whom Jesus loved Imperfect active of αγαπαω — agapaō John‘s description of himself of which he was proud (John 19:26; John 20:2; John 21:7, John 21:20), identified in John 21:24 as the author of the book and necessarily one of the twelve because of the “explicit” (Bernard) language of Mark (Mark 14:17; Luke 22:14). John son of Zebedee and brother of James. At the table John was on the right of Jesus lying obliquely so that his head lay on the bosom of Jesus. The centre, the place of honour, Jesus occupied. The next place in rank was to the left of Jesus, held by Peter (Westcott) or by Judas (Bernard) which one doubts. [source]
John 18:15 Followed [ηκολουτει]
Imperfect active of ακολουτεω — akoloutheō “was following,” picturesque and vivid tense, with associative instrumental case τωι Ιησου — tōi Iēsou Another disciple Correct text without article ο — ho (genuine in John 18:16). Peter‘s companion was the Beloved Disciple, the author of the book (John 21:24). Was known unto the high priest Verbal adjective from γινωσκω — ginōskō to know (Acts 1:19) with dative case. How well known the word does not say, not necessarily a personal friend, well enough known for the portress to admit John. “The account of what happened to Peter might well seem to be told from the point of view of the servants‘ hall” (Sanday, Criticism of the Fourth Gospel, p. 101). Entered in with Jesus Second aorist active indicative of the double compound συνεισερχομαι — suneiserchomai old verb, in N.T. here and John 6:22. With associative instrumental case. Into the court It is not clear that this word ever means the palace itself instead of the courtyard (uncovered enclosure) as always in the papyri (very common). Clearly courtyard in Mark 14:66 (Matthew 26:69; Luke 22:55). Apparently Annas had rooms in the official residence of Caiaphas. [source]
2 Peter 3:1 This is now the second epistle that I write unto you [ταυτην ηδη δευτεραν υμιν γραπω επιστολην]
Literally, “This already a second epistle I am writing to you.” For ηδη — ēdē see John 21:24. It is the predicate use of δευτεραν επιστολην — deuteran epistolēn in apposition with ταυτην — tautēn not “this second epistle.” Reference apparently to 1 Peter.And in both of them (εν αις — en hais). “In which epistles.”I stir up Present active indicative, perhaps conative, “I try to stir up.” See 2 Peter 1:13.Mind (διανοιαν — dianoian). Understanding (Plato) as in 1 Peter 1:13.Sincere Old adjective of doubtful etymology (supposed to be ειλη — heilē sunlight, and κρινω — krinō to judge by it). Plato used it of ethical purity As in 2 Peter 1:13. [source]
1 John 1:1 From the beginning [απ αρχης]
Anarthrous as in John 1:1; John 6:64; John 16:4. See same phrase in 1 John 2:7. The reference goes beyond the Christian dispensation, beyond the Incarnation, to the eternal purpose of God in Christ (John 3:16), “coeval in some sense with creation” (Westcott).That which we have heard (ο ακηκοαμεν — ho akēkoamen). Note fourfold repetition of ο — ho (that which) without connectives (asyndeton). The perfect tense (active indicative of ακουω — akouō) stresses John‘s equipment to speak on this subject so slowly revealed. It is the literary plural unless John associates the elders of Ephesus with himself (Lightfoot) the men who certified the authenticity of the Gospel (John 21:24).That which we have seen Perfect active, again, of οραω — horaō with the same emphasis on the possession of knowledge by John.With our eyes (τοις οπταλμοις ημων — tois ophthalmois hēmōn). Instrumental case and showing it was not imagination on John‘s part, not an optical illusion as the Docetists claimed, for Jesus had an actual human body. He could be heard and seen.That which we beheld Repetition with the aorist middle indicative of τεαομαι — theaomai (the very form in John 1:14), “a spectacle which broke on our astonished vision” (D. Smith).Handled (επσηλαπησαν — epsēlaphēsan). First aorist active indicative of πσηλαπαω — psēlaphaō old and graphic verb (from πσαω — psaō to touch), the very verb used by Jesus to prove that he was not a mere spirit (Luke 24:39). Three senses are here appealed to (hearing, sight, touch) as combining to show the reality of Christ‘s humanity against the Docetic Gnostics and the qualification of John by experience to speak. But he is also “the Word of life” and so God Incarnate. [source]
1 John 1:1 That which we have heard [ο ακηκοαμεν]
Note fourfold repetition of ο — ho (that which) without connectives (asyndeton). The perfect tense (active indicative of ακουω — akouō) stresses John‘s equipment to speak on this subject so slowly revealed. It is the literary plural unless John associates the elders of Ephesus with himself (Lightfoot) the men who certified the authenticity of the Gospel (John 21:24). [source]
3 John 1:12 And of the truth itself [και υπο αυτης της αλητειας]
A second commendation of Demetrius. It is possible, in view of 1 John 5:6 (the Spirit is the truth), that John means the Holy Spirit and not a mere personification of the truth.Yea we also (και ημεις δε — kai hēmeis de). A third witness to Demetrius, that is John himself (literary plural).Thou knowest “The words in John 21:24 sound like an echo of this sentence” (Westcott). John knew Demetrius well in Ephesus. [source]
3 John 1:12 Thou knowest [οιδας]
“The words in John 21:24 sound like an echo of this sentence” (Westcott). John knew Demetrius well in Ephesus. [source]

What do the individual words in John 21:24 mean?

This is the disciple - bearing witness concerning these things and the [one] having written these things we know that TRUE of him the testimony is
Οὗτός ἐστιν μαθητὴς μαρτυρῶν περὶ τούτων καὶ γράψας ταῦτα οἴδαμεν ὅτι ἀληθὴς αὐτοῦ μαρτυρία ἐστίν

Οὗτός  This 
Parse: Demonstrative Pronoun, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: οὗτος  
Sense: this.
μαθητὴς  disciple 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: μαθητής  
Sense: a learner, pupil, disciple.
Parse: Article, Nominative Masculine Singular
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
μαρτυρῶν  bearing  witness 
Parse: Verb, Present Participle Active, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: μαρτυρέω  
Sense: to be a witness, to bear witness, i.e. to affirm that one has seen or heard or experienced something, or that he knows it because taught by divine revelation or inspiration.
περὶ  concerning 
Parse: Preposition
Root: περί 
Sense: about, concerning, on account of, because of, around, near.
τούτων  these  things 
Parse: Demonstrative Pronoun, Genitive Neuter Plural
Root: οὗτος  
Sense: this.
  the  [one] 
Parse: Article, Nominative Masculine Singular
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
γράψας  having  written 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Participle Active, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: γράφω 
Sense: to write, with reference to the form of the letters.
ταῦτα  these  things 
Parse: Demonstrative Pronoun, Accusative Neuter Plural
Root: οὗτος  
Sense: this.
οἴδαμεν  we  know 
Parse: Verb, Perfect Indicative Active, 1st Person Plural
Root: οἶδα  
Sense: to see.
ὅτι  that 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: ὅτι  
Sense: that, because, since.
ἀληθὴς  TRUE 
Parse: Adjective, Nominative Feminine Singular
Root: ἀληθής  
Sense: true.
αὐτοῦ  of  him 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Genitive Masculine 3rd Person Singular
Root: αὐτός  
Sense: himself, herself, themselves, itself.
μαρτυρία  testimony 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Feminine Singular
Root: μαρτυρία  
Sense: a testifying.

What are the major concepts related to John 21:24?

Loading Information...