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John 6

The Feeding of the Five Thousand

1 After these [things] Jesus came across the sea of Galilee of Tiberias. 2 Now [a] great crowd followed him, because they were seeing the signs that he did upon the sick. 3 So Jesus went up to the mountain, and sat there with his disciples. 4 Now it was near the passover, the festival of the Jews. 5 So Jesus having lifted up his eyes and having observed that [a] great crowd comes to him, he says to Phillip: Where may we buy bread in order that they eat? 6 But he was saying this testing him. For he knew what he was [about] to be doing. 7 Phillip answered him: Bread from two hundred denarii is not sufficient for them, in order that each receive [a] little. 8 One of his disciples, Andrew the brother of Simon Peter, says to him: 9 [A] boy is here who has five barley bread [loaves] and two small fishes; but what are these to so many?

10 But Jesus said: Have the people sit. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat whose number [was about] five-thousand. 11 So Jesus took the loaves, and having blessed [them] distributed [them] to the disciples, and the disciples1 to those reclining; likewise also of the small fish as much as they wanted. 12 Now when they were filled, he says to his disciples: Gather the excess fragments, in order that none be lost. 13 So they gathered, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley bread [loaves] that they had more than enough for those having eaten.

14 So the men having seen what sign he did were saying that: This is truly the prophet coming into the world. 15 So Jesus having known that they were [about] to be coming and seizing him in order that they may make [him] king, withdrew again to the mountain himself alone.

Walking on Water

16 Now as it became evening, his disciples came down upon the sea, 17 and having embarked in the boat they were going across the sea to Capernaum. And it had become dark, and Jesus was not yet come to them. 18 And [a] great wind blowing, the sea was thoroughly aroused.2 19 So having rowed [about] twenty five or thirty stadions3, they observe Jesus walking upon the sea and coming near the boat, and they were afraid. 20 But he says to them: It [is] I. Be not fearing. 21 So they were wanting to receive him into the boat, and immediately the boat came to be near the land to which they had departed.

22 On the next day the crowd standing on the other side of the sea saw that no other small boat was there except one, and that Jesus had not gone with his disciples into the boat but only his disciples departed; 23 (but other small boats came from Tiberius near the place where they ate the bread having been blessed by the Lord). 24 So when the crowd saw that Jesus is not there nor his disciples, they embarked in the boats and came to Capernaum seeking Jesus.

Jesus' Discourse About the Bread of Life

25 And having found him on the other side of the sea they said to him, Rabbi, when did you come [here]? 26 Jesus answered them and said: Truly truly I say to you, you seek me not because you see signs, but because you ate of the bread and were filled. 27 Be working not for the perishing food, but for the food abiding to eternal zoe-life4 , which the son of man will give to you; for God the father has sealed5 this [one].

28 So they said to him: What should we be doing, in order that we may be working the works of God? 29 Jesus answered and said to them: This is the work of God, that you believe in whom that [one] has sent. 30 So they said to him: So, what sign do you work, in order that we may see and believe in you? What do you work? 31 Our fathers ate manna in the wilderness, just as it is written6,

He gave them bread from heaven to eat.

32 So Jesus said to them: Truly truly I say to you, Moses did not give you bread from heaven, but my father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is the [one] coming down from heaven and giving zoe-life4 to the world. 34 So they said to him: Lord, always give us this bread.

35 Jesus said to them: I am the bread of zoe-life4; the [one] coming to me will not hunger, and the [one] believing in me will not thirst ever. 36 But I said to you that you have seen me and do not believe. 37 All that the father gives me will come to me, and the [one] coming to me I will not cast out. 38 For I am come down from heaven not in order that I do my will, but the will of the [one] having sent me. 39 This is the will of the [one] having sent me, that of all he has given me I not lose7 [any] of it, but raise it up in the last day. 40 For this is the will of my father, that everyone beholding the son and believing in him have zoe-life4 eternal, and I will raise him up in the last day.

41 So the Jews were grumbling concerning him because he said: I am the bread having come down from heaven, 42 and they were saying: Is this not Jesus the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say that he is come down from heaven? 43 Jesus answered and said to them: Be not grumbling8 with each other. 44 No one is able to come to me except the father having sent me pull9 him, and I will raise him up in the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets10,

And they will all be taught by God.

Everyone having heard the father and having learned [from him] comes toward me. 46 Not that anyone has seen the father, except the [one] being from God, this [one] has seen the father. 47 Truly truly I say to you, the [one] believing has eternal zoe-life4. 48 I am the bread of zoe-life4. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread coming down from heaven, in order that anyone who eat of it also not die. 51 I am the zoe-living4 bread having come down out of heaven.11 If anyone eat of this bread, he will zoe-live4 to eternity. But the bread that I will give is my flesh in behalf of the zoe-life4 of the world.

52 So the Jews were arguing with each other saying: How is this [one] able to give to us his flesh to eat? 53 So Jesus said to them: Truly truly I say to you: unless you eat the flesh of the son of man and drink his blood12 you do not have zoe-life4 in yourselves. 54 The [one] gnawing13 my flesh and drinking my blood has zoe-life eternal, and I will raise him up in the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. 56 The [one] gnawing my flesh and drinking my blood abides in me and I in him. 57 Just as the zoe-living4 father sent me and I zoe-live through the father, also the [one] gnawing me will zoe-live through me. 58 This is the bread having come down out of heaven, not just as the fathers ate and died. The [one] gnawing this bread will zoe-live4 to eternity.

Many Disciples Depart

59 This he said in [the] synagogue teaching in Capernaum. 60 So, many of the disciples having heard him said: This word is hard14, who is able to be hearing it? 61 Now Jesus having known in himself that his disciples grumble concerning this, he said to them: Does this stumble15 you? 62 What if you beheld the son of man going up to where he was formerly? 63 The spirit is the [one] making zoe-alive, the flesh profits nothing. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are zoe-life4. 64 But there are some among you who do not believe. For Jesus had known from the beginning who are those not believing and who is the [one] who will deliver him up. 65 And he was saying: Because of this I have said to you that no one is able to come towards me except it has been given to him from the father.

Peter's Confession

66 From this many of his disciples departed back and no longer walked with him. 67 So Jesus said to the twelve: Don't you also want to be going away? 68 Simon Peter answered him: Lord, towards whom will we depart? You have words of eternal zoe-life4. 69 And we have believed and have known that you are the holy [one] of God. 70 Jesus answered them: Did I not choose you twelve? And one [of you] is [a] devil16. 71 But he was speaking of Judas [the son] of Simon Iscariot. For this [one] was [about] to be delivering him up, one of the twelve.

1`to the disciples, and the disciples': KD old syriac; omit: H

2The eastern coast of the normally placid Sea of Galilee is formed by high country split by deep gorges. Sudden changes of weather can tunnel strong winds through the gorges, and create difficult conditions on the lake.

3stadion = 1/8 mile, making this about 3 or 4 miles

4from ZOE "ZOH-ay" (ζωη)—Life 'collectively', interdependent, interconnected. Although it means 'life' in the conventional sense (for example: Matt.9:18, Matt.27:63, Luke.2:36, Acts.25:24, Rom.7:2, 2Cor.1:8, 1Thes.4:17, 1Tim.5:10, Rev.19:20), Jesus uses ZOE exclusively of 'life eternal' (with the possible exceptions of Luke.15:13, Luke.16:25). The other N.T. writers use ZOE in both senses—temporal and eternal, generally clear from the context. The Father is the 'zoe-living God' (see Matt.16:16). The Septuagint (LXX) in Gen.2:7 has "...[God] breathed into his nostrils the breath of zoe-life, and the man became a zoe-living psyche-life" (and see 1Cor.15:45); and Gen.3:20 (LXX) "And Adam called his wife's name ZOE, because she was the mother of all zoe-living." Contrast PSYCHE (ψυχη): an individual manifestation of life/consciousness. See John.12:25 where both ZOE and PSYCHE occur. Greek also has the word BIOS (βιoς ) for 'life' in the sense of biological processes.

5The Jews discussed "the seal of God", e.g. "What is the seal of the Holy, Blessed God? Rabbi Bibai answered, `Truth'. But what is `truth'? Rabbi Bon saith, `the living God and King eternal'. Rabbi Chaninah saith... `truth is the seal of God'." Bab.Talmud, Sanhedr., quoted by Lightfoot, vol.xii p.291 (Pitman's ed.).


7APOLLUMI (απoλλυμι) To lose something that one previously possessed. Can also mean `ruin' or `destroy'—see Rev.9:11 where the angel of the Abyss is named `Apollyon' (same root word).


9ELKUO (ελκυω) `Tug', `draw'; of persons it can mean `compel'. It is used of a magnet (by Eubulos). It is a powerful impulse. It occurs in John.6:44, John.12:32, John.18:10, John.21:11, Acts.16:19

10Isa.54:13, Jer.31:34

11more literally: "I am the bread, the zoe-living4, the [one] having come down from heaven."

12The Old Testament strictly forbade drinking blood (see Lev. 3:17). Also recall the strict Jewish dietary rules about what could be eaten (e.g. pork). Obviously Jesus wasn't telling the disciples to literally eat his flesh and drink his blood. Nevertheless, the metaphor would have been truly shocking to His audience.

13different Greek word here. He changes from ESTHO (εσθω) in the previous verses (which is the usual verb 'to eat' and is always translated that way) to TROGO (τρωγω) in vs.54, which means 'to gnaw' (and is always translated that way). One thought is that when you 'eat', what you are eating goes away, but when you 'gnaw' something it doesn't. Another thought is that `gnawing' is slow eating.

TROGO appears in Matt.24:38, John.6:54, John.6:56, John.6:57, John.6:58, John.13:18.

14SKLEROS (σκληρoς ): `violent', `strong', `harsh', `demanding', `difficult'

15SKANDALIZEI (σκανδαλιζει) `cause to stumble'. See Matt.5:29 and John.16:1

16DIABOLOS (διαβoλoς ) or 'slanderer'