Vincent Word Studies - John 3:16 - 3:16

Online Resource Library

Commentary Index | Return to

Vincent Word Studies - John 3:16 - 3:16

(Show All Books | Show All Chapters)

This Chapter Verse Commentaries:

The world (κόσμον)

See on Joh 1:9.


Rather than sent; emphasizing the idea of sacrifice.

Only-begotten Son

See on Joh 1:14.


See on Joh 3:15.

This attitude of God toward the world is in suggestive contrast with that in which the gods of paganism are represented.

Thus Juno says to Vulcan:

“Dear son, refrain: it is not well that thus

A God should suffer for the sake of men.”

“Iliad,” xxi., 379, 380.

And Apollo to Neptune:

“Thou would'st not deem me wise, should I contend

With thee, O Neptune, for the sake of men,

Who flourish like the forest-leaves awhile,

And feed upon the fruits of earth, and then

Decay and perish. Let us quit the field,

And leave the combat to the warring hosts.”

“Iliad,” xxi., 461, 467.

Man has no assurance of forgiveness even when he offers the sacrifices in which the gods especially delight. “Man's sin and the divine punishment therefore are certain; forgiveness is uncertain, dependent upon the arbitrary caprice of the gods. Human life is a life without the certainty of grace” (Nagelsbach, “Homerische Theologie”). Mr. Gladstone observes: “No Homeric deity ever will be found to make a personal sacrifice on behalf of a human client” (“Homer and the Homeric Age,” ii., 372).