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John 5:35

    John 5:35 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    He was a burning and a shining light: and you were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    He was the lamp that burneth and shineth; and ye were willing to rejoice for a season in his light.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    He was a burning and shining light, and for a time you were ready to be happy in his light.

    Webster's Revision

    He was the lamp that burneth and shineth; and ye were willing to rejoice for a season in his light.

    World English Bible

    He was the burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    He was the lamp that burneth and shineth: and ye were willing to rejoice for a season in his light.

    Clarke's Commentary on John 5:35

    He was a burning and a shining light - Ην ὁ λυχνος ὁ καιομενος και φαινων, should be translated, He was a burning and a shining Lamp. He was not το φως του κοσμου, the light of the world, i.e. the sun; but he was ὁ λυχνος, a lamp, to give a clear and steady light till the sun should arise. It is supposed that John had been cast into prison about four months before this time. See the note on John 4:35. As his light continued no longer to shine, our Lord says he Was.

    The expression of lamp our Lord took from the ordinary custom of the Jews, who termed their eminent doctors the lamps of Israel. A lighted candle is a proper emblem of a minister of God; and, Alteri serviens consumor - "In serving others, I myself destroy:" - a proper motto. There are few who preach the Gospel faithfully that do not lose their lives by it. Burning may refer to the zeal with which John executed his message; and shining may refer to the clearness of the testimony which he bore concerning Christ. Only to shine is but vanity; and to burn without shining will never edify the Church of God. Some shine, and some burn, but few both shine and burn; and many there are who are denominated pastors, who neither shine nor burn. He who wishes to save souls must both burn and shine: the clear light of the knowledge of the sacred records must fill his understanding; and the holy flame of loving zeal must occupy his heart. Zeal without knowledge is continually blundering; and knowledge without zeal makes no converts to Christ.

    For a season - The time between his beginning to preach and his being cast into prison.

    To rejoice - Αγαλλιασθηναι, To jump for joy, as we would express it. They were exceedingly rejoiced to hear that the Messiah was come, because they expected him to deliver them out of the hands of the Romans; but when a spiritual deliverance, of infinitely greater moment was preached to them, they rejected both it and the light which made it manifest.

    Barnes' Notes on John 5:35

    He was - It is probable that John had been cast into prison before this. Hence, his public ministry had ceased, and our Saviour says he was such a light.

    Light - The word in the original properly means a "lamp," and is not the same which in John 1:4-5 is translated "light." That is a word commonly applied to the sun, the fountain of light; this means a lamp, or a light that is lit up or kindled artificially from oil or tallow. A teacher is often called a "light," because he guides or illuminates the minds of others. Romans 2:19; "thou art confident that thou art a guide of the blind, a light of them that sit in darkness;" John 8:12; John 12:46; Matthew 5:14.

    A burning - A lamp lit up that burns with a steady luster.

    Shining - Not dim, not indistinct. The expression means that he was an eminent teacher; that his doctrines were clear, distinct, consistent.

    Ye were willing - You willed, or you chose; you went out voluntarily. This shows that some of those whom Jesus was now addressing were among the great multitudes of Pharisees that came unto John in the wilderness, Matthew 3:7. As they had at one time admitted John to be a prophet, so Jesus might with great propriety adduce his testimony in his favor.

    For a season - In the original, for an "hour" - denoting only a short time. They did it, as many others do, while he was popular, and it was the "fashion" to follow him.

    To rejoice in his light - To rejoice in his doctrines, and in admitting that he was a distinguished prophet; perhaps, also, to rejoice that he professed to be sent to introduce the Messiah, until they found that he bore testimony to Jesus of Nazareth.

    Wesley's Notes on John 5:35

    5:35 He was a burning and a shining light - Inwardly burning with love and zeal, outwardly shining in all holiness. And even ye were willing for a season - A short time only.