“Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”


#1

I'm not really sure what “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” at the end of John's gospel means:

Does it mean “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these (love me)?”

Or does it mean “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than (you love) these?”

Or something different maybe?

Thanks in advance!


#2

FWIW:

www-01.sil.org/siljot/2005/2/46693/siljot2005-2-02.pdf


#3

[quote="mark_a, post:1, topic:319503"]
I'm not really sure what “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” at the end of John's gospel means:

Does it mean “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these (love me)?”

Or does it mean “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than (you love) these?”

Or something different maybe?

Thanks in advance!

[/quote]

Here is from the Haydock Commentary: **"Ver. 15. Simon, son of John, lovest thou me more than these? That is, more than any one of these love me. Christ puts this question thrice to St. Peter, that this triple protestation of love, says St. Augustine, might correspond to his triple denial. St. Peter did not answer that he loved him more than the rest did, which he could not know, but modestly said: yea, Lord, thou knowest I love thee: and the third time, thou knowest all things, and the hearts of all men, thou knowest how much I love thee. At each protestation, Jesus answered, feed my lambs; and the third time, feed my sheep. To feed, in the style of the Scriptures, is to guide, rule, and govern. St. Ambrose and some others take notice, as if by the lambs, might be understood the people, and by the sheep, those placed over them, as bishops, priests, &c. but others make no such difference in this place, betwixt lambs and sheep, only as comprehending all the members of Christ's Church, of what condition soever, even the rest of the apostles. For here it was that Christ gave to St. Peter that power which he had promised him, (Matthew xvi. 18.) that is, He now made St. Peter head[1] of his whole Church, as he had insinuated at the first meeting, when St. Andrew brought him to our Saviour, when he changed his name from Simon to Peter: again, when he chose him, and made him the first of his twelve apostles; but particularly, when he said, thou art Peter, (a rock) and upon this rock will I build my Church, &c. Upon this account the Catholic Church, from the very first ages, hath always reverenced, and acknowledged the supreme power of the successors of St. Peter, in spirituals, over all Christian Churches. This appears also by the writings of Tertullian, of St. Irenæus, of St. Cyprian, of the greatest doctors and bishops, both of the west and east, of St. Jerome, St. Augustine, of St. Chrysostom, in several places, of the first general Councils, particularly of the great Council of Chalcedon, &c. (Witham) --- Simon (son) of John. The father's name is here added, to discriminate him from Simon Thaddeus, that every one might know that the chief care of the universal Church was not given to any other apostle but Peter. This Simon of John is the same as Simon Bar-jona. See Matthew xvi. 17. (Menochius) --- St. Peter had three times renounced his master; and Jesus, to give him an opportunity of repairing his fault by a triple confession, three several times demanded of him, if he loved him more than these? That, as St. Augustine remarks, he who had thrice denied through fear might thrice confess through love. (Calmet)

Ver. 16-17. The lambs and the sheep of our Saviour here mean the faithful, who compose his Church, without any distinction of Jew or Gentile. St. Peter, by these words, is appointed to take charge of the whole flock, as being the chief and prince of the apostles. He is, in some manner, the pastor, not of the sheep only, but of the pastors themselves. They have each their own flock to look after; but to him is committed the care of all; he alone is the pastor of all. (Calmet) --- Feed my sheep. Our Lord had promised the spiritual supremacy to St. Peter; (St. Matthew xvi. 19.) and here he fulfils that promise, by charging him with the superintendency of all his sheep, without exception; and consequently of his whole flock, that is, of his whole Church. (Challoner)**

[quote="aemcpa, post:2, topic:319503"]
FWIW:

www-01.sil.org/siljot/2005/2/46693/siljot2005-2-02.pdf

[/quote]

I note that this is an evangelical Christian interpretation.


#4

[quote="mark_a, post:1, topic:319503"]
I'm not really sure what “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” at the end of John's gospel means:

Does it mean “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these (love me)?”

Or does it mean “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than (you love) these?”

Or something different maybe?

Thanks in advance!

[/quote]

It's really open to different interpretations. On the one hand, you could take it to mean as "Do you love me more than you love these boats and fish?" On the other hand, it could also mean, "Do you really love me more than the others do?" In the context of the gospel, Peter had claimed that he loved Jesus more than the others (13:36-38). What is happening is that Jesus is checking him on his earlier pledge, especially since Peter had denied him three times despite his promise.

I should note that there is something that gets lost in translation here:

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love (agapas) me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know (oidas) that I love (philō) you.” He said to him, “Feed (boske) my lambs (ta arnia).”
He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love (agapas) me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know (oidas) that I love (philō) you.” He said to him, “Tend (poimane) my sheep (ta probata).”
He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love (phileis) me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love (phileis) me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know (oidas) everything; you know (ginōskeis) that I love (philō) you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed (boske) my sheep (ta probata).”

In effect, in the first two instances, Jesus uses a different word for "love" than Peter does (agapaō in contrast to Peter's phileō). The third time, Jesus goes on to use the same word Peter used. Also, Peter uses the word oida the first three times, but the final time, he switches to ginōskō.


#5

Francis J. Moloney, S.D.B. in the 'Sacra Pagina' commentary on the Gospel of John says;
'more than these': It is sometimes suggested that the "more than these" might be the tools of the fishing trade. The more likely comparison is between Peter's love of his fellow disciples and his love of Jesus. The question does not ask Peter whether his love for Jesus is superior to the love the other disciples had for Jesus.

The 'Ignatius Catholic Study Bible' says;** more than these?:** Peter is challenged to live up to his own words, since earlier he declared that even if the other disciples should fall away from Christ, his commitment would never falter (Mt 26:33).


#6

[quote="po18guy, post:3, topic:319503"]
I note that this is an evangelical Christian interpretation.

[/quote]

It's an interpretation written by an evangelical Christian. Not necessarily the same thing.


#7

It doesn’t help that the grammatical form of “these” in Greek is genitive plural, which is identical across all three genders :rolleyes:


#8

Thank you everyone!


#9

[quote="DaveBj, post:7, topic:319503"]
It doesn't help that the grammatical form of "these" in Greek is genitive plural,

[/quote]

If you say so :)

which is identical across all three genders :rolleyes:

Three genders? Now I'm really lost!


#10

[quote="mark_a, post:9, topic:319503"]
If you say so :)

Three genders? Now I'm really lost!

[/quote]

Masculine, feminine, and neuter, but don't worry about it. It really doesn't add anything to the discussion, except for a bit of an explanation about why we don't know if Jesus was talking about things or people.

FWIW, I agree with the Ignatius Study Bible note, as cited by CalCatholic. Peter had bragged that he would never leave Jesus, even if all the others left him, and now Jesus was referring back to that statement and asking, "Do you really love me more than these [rest of the disciples]?"


#11

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