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The Confession of Nathanael (Bartholomew).

John i. 50 (49).


Ἀπεκρίθη Ναθαναὴλ καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ ·

Nathanael answered and saith unto him,

Ῥαββὶ, σὺ εἶ ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ, Rabbi, Thou art the Son of God,

σὺ εἶ ὁ βασιλεὺς τοῦ Ἰσραήλ.

Thou art the King of Israel.


Note.—'King of Israel' is a designation of the Messiah, and an anticipation of the Confession of Peter. Nathanael reasons from the divine character of Christ as revealed in his supernatural knowledge of the heart, to his Messiahship, and returns the commendation, 'Behold an Israelite indeed without guile,' by the acknowledgment, 'Thou art the King of Israel,' and hence my King. The term 'Son of God' was also a designation of the Messiah in his divine nature, derived from Psa. ii. 5,12 (comp. Isa. ix. 6), and is so used by Peter, Matt. xvi. 16; by the disciples in the ship, Matt. xiv. 33; by Martha, John xi. 27; and by the high-priest, Matt. xxvi. 63. The Apostles, before the pentecostal illumination, had no clear insight into the full meaning of the expression; but their faith, based upon the Old Testament and the personal knowledge of our Lord, contained the living germ of the full knowledge.

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