The Divine Lamp

The unfolding of thy words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple…Make thy face shine upon thy servant, and teach me thy statutes

Fathers Nolan’s and Brown’s Commentary on John 15:26-16:4

Posted by Dim Bulb on May 28, 2011

Text in red are my additions.

26. But when the Paraclete cometh, whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceedeth from the Father, he shall give testimony of me.
27. And you shall give testimony, because you are with me from the beginning.

The connection with the preceding is: though the world hate Christ, yet the Holy
Ghost and the Apostles shall bear witness to Him. Here again, in verse 26, we have distinct mention of the Three Persons of the Blessed Trinity. See Jn 14:16, 26.

Though the Holy Ghost is not here said to proceed from the Son as well as from the Father (ex Patre Filioque ), yet this is implied in His being sent by the Son (see above on Jn 14:26), and can be clearly proved against the schismatical
Greeks from other parts of Scripture, as from John 16:13, 14. The Greek rendered you shall give testimony, is ambiguous, and may be either an imperative or an indicative. However, as Christ seems to be speaking of the witnesses who will maintain His cause against the world, and not to be prescribing the duty of the Apostles, the indicative is preferable.

1. These things have I spoken to you, that you may not be scandalized.

His object in foretelling these things was that the Apostles might not be scandalized; i.e., might not waver in the faith amid the trials that were before them. But what are “these things” to which He refers? Some, as St. Aug., understand the reference to be to the promise of the Comforter (Jn 15:26, 27). Others, as Maldonado, to the persecutions that awaited the Apostles, because
the prediction of those persecutions now would prepare the Apostles for them; nay, when those persecutions should come, they would be another proof of the omniscience, and, therefore, of the Divinity of Christ. Others, as Lapide,
combine both the preceding opinions. This appears to us the correct view, for Christ has spoken towards the end of the preceding chapter, both of the persecutions that the Apostles were to endure, and of the Comforter, who was to come to them; and the prediction of both facts was calculated to sustain them when trials should come. On the one hand, they would not become dispirited by unexpected reverses; on the other, they would trust in the Comforter, who had been promised.

2. They will put you out of the synagogues: yea, the hour cometh, that whosoever killeth you, will think that he doth a service to God.

They will put you out of the synagogues (or rather, synagogue) i.e. excommunicate you. Compare Jn 9:22; 12:42. Yea, He continues, the time is approaching when persecution will be so violent that your countrymen will think that they do a service to God by putting you to death. The mention of the synagogue proves that the reference is to Jewish persecutions. No doubt many of the Jews thought, like St. Paul (Acts 26:9; 1 Tim 1:13), that they were pleasing God by persecuting Christians. Their ignorance, however, while it extenuated, did not wholly excuse, their sin, for it was culpable. They ought to have known from Christ s words and works, and from the fulfilment of prophecy in Him, that He was the Messias, to whom, therefore, they were bound to hearken (Deut 18:19), and whose religion was to perfect and supplant their own.

3. And these things will they do to you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.

See above on Jn 15:21. 15:21 reads~But all these things they will do to you for my name s sake: because they know not him that sent me.  The commentary has this: But remember that you shall suffer in a glorious cause; namely, on My account; for they will persecute you because you are My followers, and this because through culpable ignorance they will not recognise
God as My Father nor Me as the Son ot God.

4. But these things I have told you, that when the hour shall come, you may remember that I told you of them.

Eorum  of the Vulgate is to be connected with reminiscamini, on which it depends. The comma ought to be before eorum; the Greek text makes this clear. As we said above on verse 1, the fact that Christ had foretold these persecutions, would be another proof of His Divinity. Moreover, since He knew that these
persecutions were in store, and did not avert them, the Apostles ought to learn from this to bear them with resignation, inasmuch as they were not merely
endured for Him, but permitted by Him.

3 Responses to “Fathers Nolan’s and Brown’s Commentary on John 15:26-16:4”

  1. […] Father’s Nolan and Brown on John 15:26-16:4. Previously posted for a weekday Mass. […]

  2. […] Father’s Nolan and Brown on John 15:26-16:4. Previously posted for a weekday Mass. […]

  3. […] Father’s Nolan and Brown on John 15:26-16:4. Previously posted for a weekday Mass. […]

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