John 17
Vincent's Word Studies
These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:
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.

As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
Power (ἐξουσίαν)

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

All flesh

A Hebrew phrase, denoting the whole of humanity in its imperfection. See Genesis 6:12; Psalm 65:2; Isaiah 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.

And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
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 John 17:23; John 10:38; 1 John 5:20; 1 John 4:7, 1 John 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 1 John 3:2, on which see note.

True (ἀληθινὸν)

See on John 1:9. Compare 1 Corinthians 8:4; 1 Timothy 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.

I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
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).

And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
With Thyself (παρὰ σεαυτῷ)

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


Actually possessed.

I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.
Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.
For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.
The words (τὰ ῥήματα)

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

I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.
I pray (ἐρωτῶ)

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

And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.
All mine (τὰ ἐμὰ πάντα)

All things that are mine. So Rev.

And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.
I come (ἔρχομαι)

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

Holy (ἅγιε)

See on saints, Acts 26:10; also see on 1 Peter 1:15. Compare 1 John 2:20, and righteous Father (δίκαιε), John 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 John 17:12. Compare Philippians 2:9, Philippians 2:10; Revelation 2:17; Revelation 19:12; Revelation 22:4.

While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.
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, 1 Peter 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 John 5:47, and see on Mark 12:10.

And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.
I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
From the evil (τοῦ πονηροῦ)

Or, the evil one. This rendering is according to John's usage. See 1 John 2:13, 1 John 2:14; 1 John 3:12; 1 John 5:18, 1 John 5:19; and compare John 12:31; John 14:30; John 16:11. From (ἐκ), literally, out of, means out of the hands of.

They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
Sanctify (ἁγίασον)

Constantly used in the Septuagint to express the entire dedication and consecration of both persons and things to God. See Exodus 29:1, Exodus 29:36; Exodus 40:13; Leviticus 22:2, Leviticus 22:3. Rev., in margin, consecrate. See on John 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 John 15:9.

As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.
Sent (ἀπέστειλας - ἀπέστειλα)

On a mission. See on Matthew 10:16.


See on John 17:17.

And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
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.

That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.


And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
They - whom (οὓς)

The best texts read ὃ, that which. The construction is similar to that in John 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 Matthew 1:19.

My glory

The glory which is mine.

O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.
And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.
Vincent's Word Studies, by Marvin R. Vincent [1886].
Text Courtesy of Internet Sacred Texts Archive.

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