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John 21:23

23 Because of this, the rumor spread among the believers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”

Read John 21:23 Using Other Translations

Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but,If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?
So the saying spread abroad among the brothers that this disciple was not to die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he was not to die, but, "If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?"
So the rumor spread among the community of believers that this disciple wouldn’t die. But that isn’t what Jesus said at all. He only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”

What does John 21:23 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
John 21:23

Then went this saying abroad among the brethren
It not being rightly understood by some one or more of the disciples present: it was divulged with a wrong sense annexed to it among other persons; who, though not of the eleven, yet were followers of Christ, children of God, that belonged to the same family, and were, in a spiritual relation, brethren to each other, and to the apostles:

that that disciple should not die;
but should remain till the second coming of Christ, and be found among them that shall be then alive, and be changed. And such a notion not only was among the ancients; but Beza, in his notes on this text, tells us of a strolling wicked fellow, that gave out that he was the Apostle John; and was encouraged by some, particularly Postellus, a Sorbonic doctor, but was afterwards burnt at Tholouse.

Yet Jesus said not unto him he shall not die, but if I will that he
tarry till I come, what is that to thee?
These are the words of John himself, the disciple spoken of, who gives a true and just account of Christ's words, freeing them from the false sense that was put upon them; which shows his ingenuous disposition, his integrity and love of truth; being unwilling that such an error should obtain among the disciples, and pass in the world for truth.

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