John 10

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John 10
Papyrus 44 - Metropolitan Museum of Art 14.1.527.jpg
Fragments of Papyrus 44 (6th/7th-century) containing Matthew 25:8-10; John 10:8-14. Metropolitan Museum of Art 14.1.527, New York City.
BookGospel of John
Christian Bible partNew Testament
Order in the Christian part4

John 10 is the tenth chapter of the Gospel of John in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. The author of the book containing this chapter is anonymous, but early Christian tradition uniformly affirmed that John composed this Gospel.[1] This chapter records the Jesus' description of himself as the "door of the sheep" and the "Good Shepherd", and contains the only mention of Hanukkah, "the Feast of Dedication", in the New Testament.[2]


John 10:1-10 in Papyrus 6, written c. AD 350.

The original text was written in Koine Greek. This chapter is divided into 42 verses.

Textual witnesses

Some early manuscripts containing the text of this chapter are:

Old Testament references


Events recorded in this chapter refer to the following locations:

The true shepherd illustration

In verses 1–5, Jesus uses a parable,[5] illustration[6] or "figure of speech"[7] regarding the manner in which a true shepherd enters his sheepfold, through the door or the gate, unlike the manner of a thief or a stranger. Anglican Bishop Charles Ellicott notes that "the word rendered 'parable' is the wider word (Greek: παροιμία, paroimia) which includes every kind of figurative and proverbial teaching, every kind of speech, as the etymology reminds us, which departs from the usual course (Greek: οἶμος, oimos)".[8] The narrative is introduced "very truly" or "most assuredly".[9] Jesus' audience ("they", verse 6) did not understand.

In this illustration, the true shepherd "enters the sheepfold by the door" and "calls his own sheep by name and leads them out (Greek: ἐξάγει αὐτά)" (John 10:1,3). This is the only occurrence of the word ἐξάγει (exagei) in the New Testament.[10] The Ethiopic version adds "and loves them".[11] The alternative way in taken by the thief or stranger is to "climb up some other way", i.e. to climb over the wall of the sheepfold.[12]

The door of the sheep and the good shepherd

Jesus describes himself in verses 7 and 9 as "the door" and in verses 11 and 14 as "the good shepherd". The word in Greek: θύρα is translated as "door" in the King James Version and the American Standard Version, but as "gate" in the New Revised Standard Version, the Common English Bible and other translations.[13] In verse 7, the Textus Receptus adds that Jesus said to them (Greek: αὐτοῖς) but this addition is generally agreed to be "of doubtful authority".[14]

The Feast of Dedication

Verse 22 refers to Hanukkah:

Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter.[15]

The feast (Greek: τὰ ἐγκαίνια, ta egkainia) recalls the Maccabean purification and re-dedication of the Temple, 1 Maccabees 4:36–51. The narrative moves forward from the Feast of Tabernacles, when the events and teaching from John 7:14 to 10:21 appear to take place.[16] During the intervening two months, there is no account of whether Jesus remained in Jerusalem or not. In John 7:40 we read that Jesus "went away again beyond the Jordan", and German Protestant theologian Heinrich Meyer identifies a number of commentators who have suggested that there was an additional "journey to Galilee or Peraea" before the feast of dedication, although Meyer himself considers that these suggestions are "dictated by harmonistic presuppositions and clumsy combinations, ... and not by the requirements of exegesis".[17]

The believers beyond the Jordan

The chapter ends with Jesus evading Jewish attempts to stone him (John 10:31,39) and then leaving Jerusalem (John 10:40) and traveling "beyond the Jordan to the place where John was baptizing at first" (Perea). Matthew 19:1 and Mark 10:1 similarly record that Jesus traveled "to the region of Judea by the other side of the Jordan", but in the synoptic tradition He had previously been in Capernaum rather than Jerusalem. Perea was a region where many people "came to the decision that He was the Messiah" (John 10:42 in the Living Bible translation).

See also


  1. ^ Holman Illustrated Bible Handbook. Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville, Tennessee. 2012.
  2. ^ Halley, Henry H. Halley's Bible Handbook: an Abbreviated Bible Commentary. 23rd edition. Zondervan Publishing House. 1962.
  3. ^ Aland, Kurt; Aland, Barbara (1995). The Text of the New Testament: An Introduction to the Critical Editions and to the Theory and Practice of Modern Textual Criticism. Erroll F. Rhodes (trans.). Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. p. 96. ISBN 978-0-8028-4098-1.
  4. ^ Kirkpatrick, A. F. (1901). The Book of Psalms: with Introduction and Notes. The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges. Book IV and V: Psalms XC-CL. Cambridge: At the University Press. p. 839. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  5. ^ John 10:6, King James Version and Authorised Version
  6. ^ John 10:6, New King James Version and God's Word Translation
  7. ^ John 10:6, English Standard Version
  8. ^ Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers on John 10, accessed 17 May 2016
  9. ^ John 10:1: NKJV
  10. ^ Englishman's Concordance, accessed 18 May 2016
  11. ^ Gill, J., Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible on John 10, accessed 18 May 2016
  12. ^ John 10:1: Amplified Bible
  13. ^ Translations accessed at
  14. ^ Plummer, A., Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges on John 10, cf. Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers on John 10, both accessed 24 May 2016
  15. ^ John 10:22
  16. ^ Benson, J., Benson's Commentary on John 10, accessed 25 May 2019
  17. ^ Meyer, H. A. W., Meyer's NT Commentary on John 10, accessed 25 May 2019

External links

Preceded by
John 9
Chapters of the Bible
Gospel of John
Succeeded by
John 11
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