John 21: 15-17
Acquaintance: The Text:
a. Comparison of Translations:
NRSV NJB REB
they had finished breakfast When they had eaten After breakfast
tend my sheep Look after my sheep tend my sheep
b. Textual Variants
v. 15 ‘Iwannou is sometimes replaces by the name Iwna, Some strong ancient witnesses cite this last name: A, C2, Q, Sinaiticus and others.
v. 16 ta arnia has a variant using probata instead, attested by C, D it. Kai legei autw, legei is replaced in some other witnesses by eipon, attested by B, C, f13, Sinaiticus, A, D, W, Q, Y etc.
v. 17 [o Ihsous] According to Nestle-Alan, the nominative singular ‘Jesus’ seems doubtful to belong in this place. It seems a later explanatory addition.
Apart from the variants cited above, there is no major textual critical problems in these three verses.
b. Rough Translation
v.15 When they had broken the fast, to Simon Peter, Jesus (asked):
Simon, of Jonah, do you love (agapaj) me more (than) these?
Yes, Lord, you know that I love (filw) you.
He says to him, Feed the lambs of me.
v.16 He says to him again secondly, Simon of Jonah, do you love (agapaj) me? He says to him, Yes, Lord, You know that I love (filw) you.
He says to him, Shepherd the sheep of me.
v.17 He says to him, thirdly, Simon of Jonah do you love fileij me? was hurt Peter that he said to him thirdly, do you love (fileij) me?
And he said to him, Lord, you all things know, you know that I love you. He said, feed the sheep of me.
a. Genre and how the text says what it say?
These three verses are a unit of question-response alignment. The question that
comes up immediately is three folded, and then the answer is also three folded, why three?
3 questions love-love-love
3 answers love-love-love
3 commissions feed-shepherd-feed
As part of an appearance story, we must remark that the text presents the resurrected Lord questioning Peter. So, this is particularly important because there is obviously a great difference between being questioned by someone whom you know is among the living, to being questioned by someone who has defeated death, and moreover, whom you somehow betrayed before his death.
Is this question-answer dialogue an assurance for Peter who denied Jesus three times?
According to the way the questioning goes, the third time Peter hears the questions, he feels hurt, in Greek the word is eluphqh, meaning that he “grieved” over the third question, why? Was it because Jesus had a doubt in his face/tone of voice? Was it that Peter was reminded of how low he had gone when he denied the Master that once before he swore to defend with his life? Was it that the Greek word are not really exchangeable in meaning and that when Jesus used fileo instead of agape, Peter felt the reproach in the most intimate part of his soul?
Are the commands that Jesus gives to Peter a commissioning to have a special role in the birth and development of the Christian community, kind of a special leadership? Or is it perhaps a compelling way to call people to ministry in the early church? Is it just cheap legendary stuff, propaganda of the Petrine community, which felt especially drawn to Peter for ecclesiastic supremacy in the early church over against other minority groups?
NIV NKJV NASB
18 I tell you truth Most assuredly, I say to Truly, truly, I say to you you
19 Jesus said this to
indicate This He spoke, signifying
Now this He said,
the kind of death by which by what death he would signifying by what kind of
Peter would glorify God. glorify God. death he would glorify
20 This was the one who had , who also had leaned on ; the one who also had
leaned back leaned back on
In verse 18, allos se zwsei (another will dress you) and alloi se zwsousin (others dressing you) are there. In NIV NKJV, and NASB, will dress you and will gird you were used. And oiser opou (he or she will bring where), apoisousin se op (carrying you where), and poihsousin (performing or leading to you) are used. But generally three versions uses future tense and accusative of you like will bring or will carry you.
18: Truly I say to you, when you were young, you dressed yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and bring where you do not wish.
19: Jesus said this, indicating what death would glorify God. And, having spoken, He said to him, “Follow me.”
20: Peter, having been turned around (Epistrofeij), saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following, who also had leaned His chest at the supper and said, “Lord, who is the one who betrays you?”
1) Did Peter really understand what Jesus said in 18?
2) What kind of death was Jesus talked about? Crucifixion or other?
3) Who was the one who had leaned? If we can know who he was, how come?
4) After Jesus said, “Follow me,” Peter did not respond anything for it. “Yes” or “No?”
 Present Active Participle (Dative Masculine Plural)