Vincent's Word Studies, by Marvin R. Vincent, , at sacred-texts.com
The true vine (ἡ ἄμπελος ἡ ἀληθινὴ)
Literally, the vine, the true (vine). True, genuine, answering to the perfect ideal. See on Joh 1:9. The vine was a symbol of the ancient church. See the passages cited above, and Hos 10:1; Mat 21:33; Luk 13:6.
From γῆ, the earth, and ἔργω, to work. The vine-dresser is ἀμπελουργός, occurring only at Luk 13:7; but the office of the vine-dresser is a subordinate one, while γεωργός may indicate the proprietor. See Ch2 26:10 (Sept.), where the word is applied to King Uzziah. So of Noah, Gen 9:20. In Mat 21:33-41, the γεωργοὶ represent the chiefs and leaders of the Jews. Wyc., an earth-tiller.
Occurring only in this chapter. Both this and κλάδος, branch (see on Mat 24:32; see on Mar 11:8) are derived from κλάω, to break. The word emphasizes the ideas of tenderness and flexibility.
Etymologically akin to καθαίρει, purgeth. The Rev. indicates this by rendering καθαίρει, cleanseth.
Of itself (ἀφ' ἑαυτοῦ)
Properly, from itself. See on Joh 7:17.
No more can ye (οὕτως οὐδὲ ὑμεῖς)
Literally, so neither can ye. So Rev.
Without me (χωρὶς ἐμοῦ)
Properly, apart from me. So Rev. Compare Joh 1:3; Eph 2:12.
He is cast forth (ἐβλήθη ἔξω)
The aorist tense. Literally, was cast forth. The aorist, denoting a momentary act, indicates that it was cast forth at the moment it ceased to abide in the vine. Forth signifies from the vineyard; ἔξω, outside.
As a branch (ὠς τὸ κλῆμα)
Strictly, the branch: the unfruitful branch.
Is withered (ἐξηράνθη)
The aorist, as in was cast forth. Wyc, shall wax dry.
Or, as Rev., they gather. Indefinite. Compare Isa 27:11; Eze 15:5.
Ye shall ask (αἰτήσεσθε)
The best texts read the imperative, αἰτήσασθε, ask.
Shall be done unto you (γενήσεται ὑμῖν)
Literally, it shall come to pass for you.
Herein (ἐν τούτῳ)
Commonly referred to what follows. My Father is glorified in this, namely, that ye bear much fruit. It is better to refer it back to Joh 15:7. In the perfect unity of will between the Son and the disciple, which results in the disciple's obtaining whatever he asks, the Father is glorified. To this effect is Joh 14:13, "Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son." The design of this glorification is that (ἴνα) you may bear much fruit. This retrospective reference of ἐν τούτῳ, in this, or herein, occurs in Joh 4:37; Joh 16:30; Jo1 4:17.
Is glorified (ἐδοξάσθη)
The aorist tense; was glorified. As in Joh 15:6, marking the point when the Father's glory was realized in the perfect union of the believer's will with Christ's.
So shall ye be (καὶ γενήσεσθε)
Literally, and ye shall become. Some editors, however, read γένησθε, and connect, in the same construction with the preceding clause, rendering, "Herein is (was) my Father glorified, that ye might bear much fruit and become my disciples." Note that the word is become, not be. Christian discipleship implies progress and growth.
In my love (ἐν τῇ ἀγάπῃ τῇ ἐμῇ)
Literally, in the love, that which is mine. Not only the love of the disciple for Christ, nor the love of Christ for the disciple, but the Christ-principle of love which includes both. See the same form of expression in the joy that is mine, Joh 15:11; Joh 3:29; Joh 17:13; the judgment (Joh 5:30; Joh 8:16); the commandments (Joh 14:15); peace (Joh 14:27).
The joy that is mine; characteristic of me. See on Joh 15:9.
Might remain (μείνῇ)
The best texts read ᾖ, may be.
Might be full (πληρωθῇ)
Rev., more correctly, may be fulfilled. The A.V. loses the distinction between the absolute joy which is Christ's, and the progressive, but finally consummated joy which is the disciple's.
My commandment (ἡ ἐντολὴ ἡ ἐμὴ)
The commandment which is mine.
That ye love (ἵνα)
Indicating not merely the nature of the commandment, but its purport.
Greater love hath no man than this, that (ἵνα)
Some of the more subtle phases of John's thought cannot be apprehended without a careful study of this often-recurring conjunction. It is still claimed by some grammarians that it is used to mark, not only design and end, but also result. But it may fairly be claimed that its predominant sense is intent, purpose, purport, or object. Hence that, as representing ἵνα, is to be taken in the sense of to the end or intent that; in order that. Here the use of the word is very subtle and suggestive, as well as beautiful. No man hath greater love than this (love), which, in its original conception, was intended and designed to reach to the extent of sacrificing life for a friend. Christ, therefore, here gives us more than a mere abstract comparison and more than a merely human gauge of love. He measures love according to its divine, original, far-reaching intent.
Lay down his life
See on Joh 10:11.
I command (ἐντέλλομαι)
Of several words for command in the New Testament, this one is always used of giving a specific injunction or precept. The kindred noun, ἐντολή, means an order, a charge, a precept and hence is used of a separate precept of the law as distinguished from the law as a whole (νόμος). See Mat 22:36, Mat 22:38. It is, however, sometimes used of the whole body of the moral precepts of Christianity. See on Joh 13:34. The sense of specific commands here falls in with the reading of the Rec. Text, ὅσα, whatsoever, literally, as many things as.
Henceforth - not (οὐκέτι)
Rev., better, no longer. No longer servants, as you were under the dispensation of the law. Compare Gal 4:7.
Knoweth not (οὐκ οἶδέ)
Has no instinctive perception. See on Joh 2:24.
The position of the pronoun in the Greek is emphatic: "You I have called friends."
Ye - chosen
The pronoun is emphatic: "It was not ye that chose me."
Rev., appointed is better, because it divests the word of its conventional meaning. Ordain is from the Latin ordinare, and means to set in order. Thus, Robert of Gloucester's "Chronicle:" "He began to ordain his folk," i.e., set his people in order. Hakluyt, "Voyages:" "He ordained a boat made of one tree." The Greek verb means to set, put, or place. Hence of appointing one to service. See Ti1 1:12. Wyc., Mat 24:47 : "Upon all his goods he shall ordain him."
Should go (ὑπάγητε)
Withdraw from His personal society and go out into the world.
That whatsoever, etc. (ἵνα)
Coordinated with the preceding ἵνα, that, as marking another result of their choice and appointment by Christ. He has appointed them that they should bring forth fruit, and that they should obtain such answers to their prayer as would make them fruitful.
All my teachings are to the end that you should love one another.
If the world hate (εἱ μισεῖ)
Literally, hates. The indicative mood with the conditional particle assumes the fact as existing: If the world hates you, as it does.
Ye know (γινώσκετε)
This may also be rendered as imperative: Know ye.
It hated (μεμίσηκεν)
The perfect tense, hath hated. The hatred continues to the present time.
Before it hated you (πρῶτον ὑμῶν)
Literally, first in regard of you. See on Joh 1:15.
Of the world (ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου)
Sprung out of the world. See on of the earth, Joh 3:31.
Would love (ἂν ἐφίλει)
The verb for natural affection. See on Joh 5:20.
The verb means originally to put to flight; thence to run swiftly in order to overtake or attain, as the goal or the competitor in the race. Thus Sophocles ("Electra," 738): "He urged his swift steeds vehemently with shouts that pierced their ears, and makes for him (διώκει)." Compare I follow after (διώκω, Phi 3:12). Hence to pursue with hostile intent, and, generally, to molest, harass, persecute. Persecute is from the equivalent Latin persequor, to follow up, and is used earlier, in the sense of pursue, while pursue, in turn, is used in the sense of persecute. Thus Wyc, Mat 5:44, for men pursuing you. Sir Thomas More ("Utopia"), "Whiles their enemies rejoicing in the victory have persecuted (i.e., pursued) them."
For my name's sake (διὰ τὸ ὄνομά μου)
Literally, on account of my name. The name of Christ represented the faith, the attitude, the claims, and the aim of the disciples. His name was their confession. Luther says: "The name of Christ from your mouth will be to them nothing but poison and death."
Had sin (ἁμαρτίαν εἶχον)
See on Joh 9:41; see on Jo1 1:8.
From πρό, before, in front of, and φημί, to say or affirm. Hence something which is placed in front of the true cause of a thing, a pretext. Compare Th1 2:5; Act 27:30. Pretext carries the same idea, Latin, proetextum, something woven in front, with a view to concealment or deception. Rev., excuse. Wyc, excusation. The A.V. follows Tyndale: nothing to cloke their sin withal. Latimer ("Sermons"): "By such cloaked charity, when thou dost offend before Christ but once, thou hast offended twice herein." The word appears in the low Latin cloca, a bell (compare the French cloche, and English clock), and the name was given to a horseman's cloak because of its resemblance to a bell. The word palliate is from the Latin pallium, a cloak.
Without a cause (δωρεάν)
Gratuitously. Akin to δίδωμι, to give. Their hatred was a voluntary gift.
Shall bear witness (μαρτυρεῖτε)
Present tense, bear witness. So Rev. Or, it may be taken as imperative: bear ye witness.