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Vincent's Word Studies, by Marvin R. Vincent, [1886], at

John Chapter 17

John 17:1

joh 17:1

These words (ταῦτα)

Literally, these things. So Rev.


John nowhere says that Jesus prayed, as the other Evangelists do.

Thy Son - thy Son (σοῦ τὸν υἱὸν - ὁ υἱός)

Properly, thy Son - the Son. The second phrase marks a change from the thought of personal relationship to that of the relation in which Jesus manifests the Father's glory.

John 17:2

joh 17:2

Power (ἐξουσίαν)

Rev., rightly, authority. See on Joh 1:12.

All flesh

A Hebrew phrase, denoting the whole of humanity in its imperfection. See Gen 6:12; Psa 65:2; Isa 40:5, etc.

That He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him (ἵνα πᾶν ὃ δέδωκας αὐτῷ, δώσῃ αὐτοῖς ζωὴν αἰώνιον)

Literally, that all that Thou hast given Him, to them He should give eternal life. All (πᾶν), singular number, regards the body of Christian disciples collectively: to them, individually.

John 17:3

joh 17:3

Life eternal

With the article: the life eternal. Defining the words in the previous verse. The life eternal (of which I spoke) is this.

That (ἵνα)

Expressing the aim.

Might know (γινώσκωσι)

Might recognize or perceive. This is striking, that eternal life consists in knowledge, or rather the pursuit of knowledge, since the present tense marks a continuance, a progressive perception of God in Christ. That they might learn to know. Compare Joh 17:23; Joh 10:38; Jo1 5:20; Jo1 4:7, Jo1 4:8.

"I say, the acknowledgment of God in Christ

Accepted by thy reason, solves for thee

All questions in the earth and out of it,

And has so far advanced thee to be wise.

Wouldst thou improve this to reprove the proved?

In life's mere minute, with power to use that proof,

Leave knowledge and revert to how it sprung?

Thou hast it; use it, and forthwith, or die.

For this I say is death, and the sole death,

When a man's loss comes to him from his gain,

Darkness from light, from knowledge ignorance,

And lack of love from love made manifest."

Robert Browning, "A Death in the Desert."

The relation of perception of God to character is stated in Jo1 3:2, on which see note.

True (ἀληθινὸν)

See on Joh 1:9. Compare Co1 8:4; Ti1 6:15.

Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent

The Rev. brings out better the emphasis of the Greek order: and Him whom Thou didst send, even Jesus Christ. Didst send (ἀπέστειλας). The aorist tense, emphasizing the historic fact of Christ's mission.

John 17:4

joh 17:4

I have glorified - I have finished (ἐδόξασα - ἐτελείωσα)

The best texts read, τελειώσας, having finished; the participle defining the manner in which He had glorified the Father upon earth. So Rev.

To do (ἵνα ποιήσω)

Literally, in order that I should do (it).

John 17:5

joh 17:5

With Thyself (παρὰ σεαυτῷ)

In fellowship with Thyself. So with Thee (παρὰ σοί).

I had

Actually possessed.

John 17:8

joh 17:8

The words (τὰ ῥήματα)

Compare thy word (λόγον), Joh 17:6. That signified the gospel message in its entirety. This, the message considered in its constituent parts. See on Luk 1:37. Compare Joh 5:38, Joh 5:47; Joh 6:60, Joh 6:63, Joh 6:68; Joh 8:43, Joh 8:47, Joh 8:51; Joh 12:47, Joh 12:48; Joh 15:3, Joh 15:7.

John 17:9

joh 17:9

I pray (ἐρωτῶ)

More strictly, I make request. See on Joh 16:23. The I is emphatic, as throughout the prayer.

John 17:10

joh 17:10

All mine (τὰ ἐμὰ πάντα)

All things that are mine. So Rev.

John 17:11

joh 17:11

I come (ἔρχομαι)

I am coming. Spoken of His departure to the Father.

Holy (ἅγιε)

See on saints, Act 26:10; also see on Pe1 1:15. Compare Jo1 2:20, and righteous Father (δίκαιε), Joh 17:25. This epithet, now first applied to the Father, contemplates God, the holy One, as the agent of that which Christ desires for His disciples - holiness of heart and life; being kept from this evil world.

Those whom (οὓς)

The correct reading is ᾧ, referring to name. Thy name which Thou hast given me. So in Joh 17:12. Compare Phi 2:9, Phi 2:10; Rev 2:17; Rev 19:12; Rev 22:4.

John 17:12

joh 17:12

In the world


I kept (ἐτήρουν)

Imperfect tense. I continued to keep. The I is emphatic: I kept them, now do Thou keep them.

I kept (ἐτήρουν)

Rev., rightly, I guarded. The A.V. overlooks the distinction between the two words for keeping. The former word means, I preserved them; the latter, I guarded them as a means to their preservation. See on reserved, Pe1 1:4.

Is lost - perdition (ἀπώλετο - ἀπωλείας)

A play of words: "None of them perished, but the son of perishing" (Westcott).

The scripture (ἡ γραφὴ)

See close of note on Joh 5:47, and see on Mar 12:10.

John 17:15

joh 17:15

From the evil (τοῦ πονηροῦ)

Or, the evil one. This rendering is according to John's usage. See Jo1 2:13, Jo1 2:14; Jo1 3:12; Jo1 5:18, Jo1 5:19; and compare Joh 12:31; Joh 14:30; Joh 16:11. From (ἐκ), literally, out of, means out of the hands of.

John 17:17

joh 17:17

Sanctify (ἁγίασον)

Constantly used in the Septuagint to express the entire dedication and consecration of both persons and things to God. See Exo 29:1, Exo 29:36; Exo 40:13; Lev 22:2, Lev 22:3. Rev., in margin, consecrate. See on Joh 10:36.

Through thy truth (ἐν τῇ ἀληθείᾳ σου)

The best texts omit thy. Through (ἐν) is to be rendered literally, in, marking the sphere or element of consecration. Rev., sanctify them in the truth.

Thy word (ὁ λόγος ο σὸς)

Properly, the word which is thine. See on Joh 15:9.

John 17:18

joh 17:18

Sent (ἀπέστειλας - ἀπέστειλα)

On a mission. See on Mat 10:16.


See on Joh 17:17.

John 17:20

joh 17:20

Shall believe (πιστευσόντων)

The best texts read πιστευόντων, the present participle, that believe. The future body of believers is conceived as actually existing.

On me through their word

The Greek order is, believe through their word on me. "Believe through their word" forms a compound idea.

John 17:21

joh 17:21



John 17:24

joh 17:24

They - whom (οὓς)

The best texts read ὃ, that which. The construction is similar to that in Joh 17:2, "that He should give eternal life," etc. Like πᾶν, all, in that passage, that which here refers to the body of believers taken collectively.

I will (θέλω)

See on Mat 1:19.

My glory

The glory which is mine.

Next: John Chapter 18