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John 1:38

    John 1:38 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou?

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and said to them, What seek you? They said to him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwell you?

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    And Jesus turned, and beheld them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? And they said unto him, Rabbi (which is to say, being interpreted, Teacher), where abideth thou?

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And Jesus, turning round, saw them coming after him and said to them, What are you looking for? They said to him, Rabbi (which is to say, Master), where are you living?

    Webster's Revision

    And Jesus turned, and beheld them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? And they said unto him, Rabbi (which is to say, being interpreted, Teacher), where abideth thou?

    World English Bible

    Jesus turned, and saw them following, and said to them, "What are you looking for?" They said to him, "Rabbi" (which is to say, being interpreted, Teacher), "where are you staying?"

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    And Jesus turned, and beheld them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? And they said unto him, Rabbi (which is to say, being interpreted, Master), where abidest thou?

    Definitions for John 1:38

    Rabbi - Teacher; master.

    Clarke's Commentary on John 1:38

    What seek ye? - These disciples might have felt some embarrassment in addressing our blessed Lord, after hearing the character which the Baptist gave of him; to remove or prevent this, he graciously accosts them, and gives them an opportunity of explaining themselves to him. Such questions, we may conceive, the blessed Jesus still puts to those who in simplicity of heart desire an acquaintance with him. A question of this nature we may profitably ask ourselves: What seek ye? In this place! In the company you frequent? In the conversation you engage in? In the affairs with which you are occupied? In the works which you perform? Do you seek the humiliation, illumination, justification, edification, or sanctification of your soul? The edification of your neighbor? The good of the Church of Christ? Or, The glory of God? Questions of this nature often put to our hearts, in the fear of God, would induce us to do many things which we now leave undone, and to leave undone many things which we now perform.

    Rabbi - Teacher. Behold the modesty of these disciples - we wish to be scholars, we are ignorant - we desire to be taught; we believe thou art a teacher come from God.

    Where dwellest thou? - That we may come and receive thy instructions.

    Barnes' Notes on John 1:38

    What seek ye? - This was not asked to obtain "information." Compare John 1:48. It was not a harsh reproof, forbidding them to follow him. Compare Matthew 11:28-30. It was a kind inquiry respecting their desires; an invitation to lay open their minds, to state their wishes, and to express all their feelings respecting the Messiah and their own salvation. We may learn:

    1. That Jesus regards the first inclinations of the soul to follow him. He "turned" toward these disciples, and he will incline his ear to all who begin to approach him for salvation.

    2. Jesus is ready to hear their requests and to answer them.

    3. Ministers of the gospel, and all other Christians, should be accessible, kind, and tender toward all who are inquiring the way to life. In conformity with their Master, they should be willing to aid all those who look to them for guidance and help in the great work of their salvation.

    Rabbi - This was a Jewish title conferred somewhat as literary degrees now are, and meaning literally "a great one," and was applied to a teacher or master in the Jewish schools. It corresponded with the title "Doctor." Our Saviour solemnly forbade his disciples to wear that title. See the notes at Matthew 23:8. The fact that John "interpreted" this word shows that he wrote his gospel not for the Jews only, but for those who did not understand the Hebrew language. It is supposed to have been written at Ephesus.

    Where dwellest thou? - This question they probably asked him in order to signify their wish to be with him and to be instructed by him. They desired more fully to listen to him than they could now by the wayside. They were unwilling to interrupt him in his traveling. Religion teaches people true politeness, or a disposition to consult the convenience of others, and not improperly to molest them, or to break in upon them when engaged. It also teaches us to "desire to be with Christ;" to seek every opportunity of communion with him, and chiefly to desire "to be with him where he is" when we leave this world. Compare Philippians 1:23.