The Holy See
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New American Bible

2002 11 11
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Chapter 15


1 2 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.


He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and everyone that does he prunes 3 so that it bears more fruit.


You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you.


Remain in me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me.


I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.


4 Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown out like a branch and wither; people will gather them and throw them into a fire and they will be burned.


If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.


By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.


As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love.


If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and remain in his love.


"I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.


This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.


5 No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends.


You are my friends if you do what I command you.


I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, 6 because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.


It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.


This I command you: love one another.


7 "If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first.


If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you.


Remember the word I spoke to you, 8 'No slave is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.


And they will do all these things to you on account of my name, 9 because they do not know the one who sent me.


If I had not come and spoken 10 to them, they would have no sin; but as it is they have no excuse for their sin.


Whoever hates me also hates my Father.


If I had not done works among them that no one else ever did, they would not have sin; but as it is, they have seen and hated both me and my Father.


But in order that the word written in their law 11 might be fulfilled, 'They hated me without cause.'


"When the Advocate comes whom I will send 12 you from the Father, the Spirit of truth that proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me.


And you also testify, because you have been with me from the beginning.



1 [ 15:1- 16:4] Discourse on the union of Jesus with his disciples. His words become a monologue and go beyond the immediate crisis of the departure of Jesus.

2 [1-17] Like John 10:1-5, this passage resembles a parable. Israel is spoken of as a vineyard at Isaiah 5:1-7; Matthew 21:33-46 and as a vine at Psalm 80:9-17; Jeremiah 2:21; Ezekiel 15:2; 17:5-10; 19:10; Hosea 10:1. The identification of the vine as the Son of Man in Psalm 80:15 and Wisdom's description of herself as a vine in Sirach 24:17 are further background for portrayal of Jesus by this figure. There may be secondary eucharistic symbolism here; cf Mark 14:25 "the fruit of the vine."

3 [2] Takes away . . . prunes: in Greek there is a play on two related verbs.

4 [6] Branches were cut off and dried on the wall of the vineyard for later use as fuel.

5 [13] For one's friends: or: "those whom one loves." In John 15:9-13a, the words for love are related to the Greek agapao. In John 15:13b-15, the words for love are related to the Greek phileo. For John, the two roots seem synonymous and mean "to love"; cf also John 21:15-17. The word philos is used here.

6 [15] Slaves . . . friends: in the Old Testament, Moses ( Deut 34:5), Joshua ( Joshua 24:29), and David ( Psalm 89:21) were called "servants" or "slaves of Yahweh"; only Abraham ( Isaiah 41:8; 2 Chron 20:7; cf James 2:23) was called a "friend of God."

7 [ 15:18- 16:4] The hostile reaction of the world. There are synoptic parallels, predicting persecution, especially at Matthew 10:17-25; 24:9-10.

8 [20] The word I spoke to you: a reference to John 13:16.

9 [21] On account of my name: the idea of persecution for Jesus' name is frequent in the New Testament ( Matthew 10:22; 24:9; Acts 9:14). For John, association with Jesus' name implies union with Jesus.

10 [22,24] Jesus' words (spoken) and deeds )works) are the great motives of credibility. They have seen and hated: probably means that they have seen his works and still have hated; but the Greek can be read: "have seen both me and my Father and still have hated both me and my Father." Works . . . that no one else ever did: so Yahweh in Deut 4:32-33.

11 [25] In their law: law is here used as a larger concept than the Pentateuch, for the reference is to Psalm 35:19 or Psalm 69:5. See the notes on John 10:34; 12:34. Their law reflects the argument of the church with the synagogue.

12 [26] Whom I will send: in John 14:16, 26 the Paraclete is to be sent by the Father, at the request of Jesus. Here the Spirit comes from both Jesus and the Father in mission; there is no reference here to the eternal procession of the Spirit.

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