John 21:25

And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

And there are also many other things which Jesus did,.... Which refer not to his doctrines and discourses, his sermons and prayers, and the conversation he had with his disciples, and others, on different accounts; but to the signs, and wonders, and miraculous operations, which were done by him, that are neither recorded in this, nor in any of the evangelists:

the which, if they should be written everyone; with all the particular circumstances relating to them:

I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. The Arabic version renders it, "the things written in the books"; and the Syriac, "that the world would not be sufficient for the books that should be written"; and so the Persic, which adds, "and the Scribes of the world would fail, or be deficient"; there would not be Scribes enough in the world to write them; nor could they be read by men, if they were written; the world would be overloaded with them; and therefore the Holy Ghost has not thought fit to lay such a burden on men they could not bear, as to read such numbers of volumes; but has reduced them into a brief compendium, which may be read with ease, delight, and pleasure; and which is abundantly sufficient to attest the truth of Christ's incarnation, miracles, doctrines, obedience, sufferings, death, resurrection, ascension, session at God's right hand, &c. and of the whole of Christianity, and all that appertains to it, or whatever is necessary to be known, for the salvation of men: for this cannot be understood of the carnal and unbelieving part of the world, not receiving and bearing what would be contained in such volumes, were they written; for they are not able to receive and bear what is now written, but reject and despise it as foolishness. Some understand this as an hyperbolical expression; but the sense above given, may be admitted without an hyperbole; though an hyperbole may very well be allowed of; nor, taken literally, will it appear greater than some others used in Scripture; as when the posterity of Abraham are said to be as numerous as the stars of the sky; and especially when said to be as the sand by the sea shore, innumerable, Hebrews 11:12 and when Capernaum is said to be exalted unto heaven, or to reach unto it, Matthew 11:23 and particularly the Jews have no reason to object, as one of them does {g}, to such a way of speaking, whose writings abound in hyperbolical expressions, and in some like to this; as when one of their Rabbins says {h},

"if all the seas were ink, and the bulrushes pens, and the heavens and the earth volumes, and all the children of men Scribes, hrwt bwtkl Nyqypom Nya, "they would not be sufficient to write the law", which have learned, &c.''

and it is commonly said {i} by them, if this, or that, or the other thing was done, lboml amle lyky al, "the world would not be able to bear them". And a later writer {k} of theirs, speaking of the different interpretations given by some of their Rabbins of a certain passage, says, they are so many, that an ass is not able to carry their books. And the intention of this expression, supposing it hyperbolical, is to show, that but a few of the wonderful things done by Christ were recorded by the evangelist, in comparison of the many which he every day did, in all places where he came; for he was continually going about doing good, and healing all manner of diseases; but these that were written are sufficient to prove him to be the true Messiah, and to require faith in him as such. To all which the evangelist sets his "Amen", as attesting and confirming the truth of all he had written; and which may be depended upon, and assented to, as truth, by all that read this Gospel. The Alexandrian copy, and Beza's Cambridge copy, have not the word "Amen"; nor have the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, Arabic, and Persic versions. In some copies the following words are added,

"the Gospel according to John was given out thirty two years after the ascension of Christ;''

which would fall on the year of Christ 66, and so before the destruction of Jerusalem; which is contrary to the common opinion of learned men, some placing it in the year 97, others in the year 99.

(John starts his Gospel by stating: "All things were made by him". If one were to attempt to even summarise the works of creation, there is no way the world could contain the resulting volumes! Editor.)

{g} Jacob Aben ben Amram, porta veritatis, No. 1094. apud Kidder, Demonstration of the Messiah, par. 3. p. 67. Ed. fol.
{h} Shirhashirim Rabba, fol. 4. 2.
{i} Zohar in Exod. fol. 106. 4. & in Lev. fol. 26. 2. & 49. 3. & in Num. fol. 52. 2. & 59. 3. & 63. 3. & 64. 4. & 82. 3, 4.
{k} R. Abraham Seba in Tzeror Hammor, fol. 79. 1.