The Meaning of John 6:23 Explained

John 6:23

KJV: (Howbeit there came other boats from Tiberias nigh unto the place where they did eat bread, after that the Lord had given thanks:)

YLT: (and other little boats came from Tiberias, nigh the place where they did eat the bread, the Lord having given thanks),

Darby: (but other little ships out of Tiberias came near to the place where they ate bread after the Lord had given thanks;)

ASV: (howbeit there came boats from Tiberias nigh unto the place where they ate the bread after the Lord had given thanks):

What does John 6:23 Mean?

Context Summary

John 6:22-29 - Insincere Seekers Of Truth
The mention in John 6:23 of Christ's giving thanks, recalls the vivid impression made by that solemn act, and the great importance which those who witnessed it attached to it. When the multitudes, disembarking on the other side of the Lake found Jesus there, though they knew that He had not accompanied His disciples in the one boat that left the farther shore on the previous night, His presence had the effect of an apparition. See John 6:25. Our Lord's answer to the question of the crowd deals with the motive that dictated it. He exposed the spurious and carnal impulses that actuated them, and contrasted the satisfaction of natural hunger, John 6:26, with that true and effectual seeking which leads to the nourishment of the spirit, John 6:27. What a difference between these people, with their gross aspirations and carnal desires, and the spiritual Israel, which could say with the psalmist, "My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God!" All the labor described in John 6:27 is to maintain a pure heart and exercise an appropriating faith. God sealed Christ by His declaration at the water of baptism and the miracles which were wrought through the Father's power, John 14:10. [source]

Chapter Summary: John 6

1  Jesus feeds five thousand men with five loaves and two fishes
15  Thereupon the people would have made him king;
16  but withdrawing himself, he walks on the sea to his disciples;
26  reproves the people flocking after him, and all the fleshly hearers of his word;
32  declares himself to be the bread of life to believers
66  Many disciples depart from him
68  Peter confesses him
70  Judas is a devil

Greek Commentary for John 6:23

Howbeit [αλλα]
John 6:23 is really an explanatory parenthesis in this long sentence. Tiberias, capital of Herod Antipas, diagonally across the lake, is only mentioned in John in the N.T. (John 6:1, John 6:23; John 21:1). Boats Called “little boats” (πλοιαρια — ploiaria) in John 6:24. [source]
Howbeit there came other boats [ἄλλα δὲ ἧλθεν πλοιάρια]
Some editors omit δὲ , howbeit, change ἄλλα , other, into ἀλλὰ , but, and read, but there came boats. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for John 6:23

John 4:1 When therefore [ως ουν]
Reference to John 3:22. the work of the Baptist and the jealousy of his disciples. Ουν — Oun is very common in John‘s Gospel in such transitions. The Lord So the best manuscripts (Neutral Alexandrian), though the Western class has ο Ιησους — ho Iēsous Mark usually has ο Ιησους — ho Iēsous and Luke often ο Κυριος — ho Kurios In the narrative portion of John we have usually ο Ιησους — ho Iēsous but ο Κυριος — ho Kurios in five passages (John 4:1; John 6:23; John 11:2; John 20:20; John 21:12). There is no reason why John should not apply ο Κυριος — ho Kurios to Jesus in the narrative sections as well as Luke. Bernard argues that these are “explanatory glosses,” not in the first draft of the Gospel. But why? When John wrote his Gospel he certainly held Jesus to be Κυριος — Kurios (Lord) as Luke did earlier when he wrote both Gospel and Acts This is hypercriticism. Knew Second aorist active indicative of γινωσκω — ginōskō The Pharisees knew this obvious fact. It was easy for Jesus to know the attitude of the Pharisees about it (John 2:24). Already the Pharisees are suspicious of Jesus. How that Declarative οτι — hoti (indirect assertion). Was making and baptizing more disciples than John Present active indicative in both verbs retained in indirect discourse. Recall the tremendous success of John‘s early ministry (Mark 1:5; Matthew 3:5; Luke 3:7, Luke 3:15) in order to see the significance of this statement that Jesus had forged ahead of him in popular favour. Already the Pharisees had turned violently against John who had called them broods of vipers. It is most likely that they drew John out about the marriage of Herod Antipas and got him involved directly with the tetrarch so as to have him cast into prison (Luke 3:19.). Josephus (Ant. XVIII. v. 2) gives a public reason for this act of Herod Antipas, the fear that John would “raise a rebellion,” probably the public reason for his private vengeance as given by Luke. Apparently John was cast into prison, though recently still free (John 3:24), before Jesus left for Galilee. The Pharisees, with John out of the way, turn to Jesus with envy and hate. [source]
John 6:1 After these things [μετα ταυτα]
A common, but indefinite, note of time in John (John 3:22; John 5:1; John 6:1; John 7:1). The phrase does not mean immediate sequence of events. As a matter of fact, a whole year may intervene between the events of chapter 5 in Jerusalem and those in chapter 6 in Galilee. There is no sufficient reason for believing that chapter 6 originally preceded chapter 5. The feeding of the five thousand is the only event before the last visit to Jerusalem recorded in all Four Gospels (Mark 6:30-44; Matthew 14:13-21; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-13). The disciples have returned from the tour of Galilee and report to Jesus. It was the passover time (John 6:4) just a year before the end. To the other side of the Sea of Galilee The name given in Mark and Matthew. It is called Gennesaret in Luke 5:1 and “Sea of Tiberias” in John 21:1. Here “of Tiberias” (της Τιβεριαδος — tēs Tiberiados) is added as further description. Herod Antipas a.d. 22 built Tiberias to the west of the Sea of Galilee and made it his capital. See John 6:23 for this city. Luke (Luke 9:10) explains that it was the eastern Bethsaida (Julias) to which Jesus took the disciples, not the western Bethsaida of Mark 6:45 in Galilee. [source]
John 6:23 Howbeit [αλλα]
John 6:23 is really an explanatory parenthesis in this long sentence. Tiberias, capital of Herod Antipas, diagonally across the lake, is only mentioned in John in the N.T. (John 6:1, John 6:23; John 21:1). Boats Called “little boats” (πλοιαρια — ploiaria) in John 6:24. [source]

What do the individual words in John 6:23 mean?

but other came boats from Tiberias near the place where they ate the bread having given thanks Lord
ἀλλὰ ἦλθεν πλοιάρια ἐκ Τιβεριάδος ἐγγὺς τοῦ τόπου ὅπου ἔφαγον τὸν ἄρτον εὐχαριστήσαντος Κυρίου

ἀλλὰ  but  other 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: ἀλλά  
Sense: but.
ἦλθεν  came 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: ἔρχομαι  
Sense: to come.
πλοιάρια  boats 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Neuter Plural
Root: πλοιάριον  
Sense: a small vessel, a boat.
Τιβεριάδος  Tiberias 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Feminine Singular
Root: Τιβεριάς  
Sense: a city of Galilee near the Lake of Gennesaret, which Herod Antipas, tetrarch of Galilee, greatly enlarged and beautified, and named Tiberias in honour of Tiberias Caesar.
ἐγγὺς  near 
Parse: Preposition
Root: ἐγγύς  
Sense: near, of place and position.
τόπου  place 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Masculine Singular
Root: τόπος 
Sense: place, any portion or space marked off, as it were from surrounding space.
ὅπου  where 
Parse: Adverb
Root: ὅπου  
Sense: where, whereas.
ἔφαγον  they  ate 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Active, 3rd Person Plural
Root: ἐσθίω  
Sense: to eat.
ἄρτον  bread 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Masculine Singular
Root: ἄρτος  
Sense: food composed of flour mixed with water and baked.
εὐχαριστήσαντος  having  given  thanks 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Participle Active, Genitive Masculine Singular
Root: εὐχαριστέω  
Sense: to be grateful, feel thankful.
Κυρίου  Lord 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Masculine Singular
Root: κύριος  
Sense: he to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has power of deciding; master, lord.

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