Vincent Word Studies - John 4:23 - 4:23

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Vincent Word Studies - John 4:23 - 4:23

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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:

And now is

This could not be added in Joh 4:21, because local worship was not yet abolished; but it was true as regarded the true worship of the Father by His true worshippers, for Jesus was already surrounded by a little band of such, and more were soon to be added (Joh 4:39-42). Bengel says that the words and now is are added lest the woman should think that she must seek a dwelling in Judaea.

True (ἀληθινοὶ)

Real, genuine. See on Joh 1:9.

Worshippers (προσκυνηταὶ)

Only here in the New Testament.

In spirit and in truth (ἐν πνεύματι καὶ ἀηθείᾳ)

Spirit (πνεῦμα) is the highest, deepest, noblest part of our humanity, the point of contact between God and man (Rom 1:9); while soul (ψυχή) is the principle of individuality, the seat of personal impressions, having a side in contact with the material element of humanity as well as with the spiritual element, and being thus the mediating element between the spirit and the body. The phrase in spirit and in truth describes the two essential characteristics of true worship: in spirit, as distinguished from place or form or other sensual limitations (Joh 4:21); in truth, as distinguished from the false conceptions resulting from imperfect knowledge (Joh 4:22). True worship includes a spiritual sense of the object worshipped, and a spiritual communion with it; the manifestation of the moral consciousness in feelings, motions of the will, “moods of elevation, excitements,” etc. It includes also a truthful conception of the object. In Jesus the Father is seen (Joh 14:9) and known (Luk 10:22). Thus the truthful conception is gained. He is the Truth (Joh 14:6). Likewise through Him we come to the Father, and spiritually commune with Him. No man can come in any other way (Joh 14:6). To worship in truth is not merely to worship in sincerity, but with a worship corresponding to the nature of its object.

For the father (καὶ γὰρ ὁ πατὴρ)

The A.V. fails to render καὶ also, and Rev. places it in the margin. It emphasizes the conclusiveness of the reason assigned: “for the Father also, on His part, seeketh,” etc. For a similar use of καὶ, see on Mat 8:9; also see on Mat 26:73; see on Act 19:40.

Seeketh such to worship Him (τοιούτους ζητεῖ τοὺς προσκυνοῦντας αὐτὸν)

A rather peculiar construction. Literally, seeketh such as those worshipping him: as His worshippers. Such: i.e., those who worship in spirit and in truth, and are therefore real (ἀληθινοὶ) worshippers of the real God (ἀληθινὸν Θεὸν).