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John chapter 20

New International Version

1 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. 2 So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, 'They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don't know where they have put him!'
3 So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. 4 Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7 as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus' head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. 8 Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. 9 (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) 10 Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.
11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus' body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.
13 They asked her, 'Woman, why are you crying?' 'They have taken my Lord away,' she said, 'and I don't know where they have put him.' 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
15 He asked her, 'Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?' Thinking he was the gardener, she said, 'Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.'
16 Jesus said to her, 'Mary.' She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, 'Rabboni!' (which means 'Teacher').
17 Jesus said, 'Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.''
18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: 'I have seen the Lord!' And she told them that he had said these things to her.
19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, 'Peace be with you!' 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
21 Again Jesus said, 'Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.' 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, 'Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone's sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.'
24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came.
25 So the other disciples told him, 'We have seen the Lord!' But he said to them, 'Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.'
26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, 'Peace be with you!' 27 Then he said to Thomas, 'Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.'
28 Thomas said to him, 'My Lord and my God!'
29 Then Jesus told him, 'Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.'
30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
English Standard Version

1 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2 So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” 3 So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. 4 Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9 for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went back to their homes.
11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. 13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” 14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.
19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”
24 Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”
26 Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
King James Version

1 The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. 2 Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him. 3 Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. 4 So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. 5 And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. 6 Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, 7 And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. 8 Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. 9 For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.
11 But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, 12 And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. 13 And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. 14 And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. 16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. 17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. 18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.
19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. 20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. 21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. 24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. 27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. 28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. 29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. 30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
New American Standard Bible

1 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene *came early to the tomb, while it was still dark, and *saw the stone already removed from the tomb. 2 So she *ran and *came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and *said to them, 'They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we do not know where they have put Him.' 3 So Peter and the other disciple left, and they were going to the tomb. 4 The two were running together; and the other disciple ran ahead, faster than Peter, and came to the tomb first; 5 and he stooped to look in, and *saw the linen wrappings lying there; however he did not go in. 6 So Simon Peter also *came, following him, and he entered the tomb; and he *looked at the linen wrappings lying there, 7 and the face-cloth which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings but folded up in a place by itself. 8 So the other disciple who had first come to the tomb also entered then, and he saw and believed. 9 For they did not yet understand the Scripture, that He must rise from the dead. 10 So the disciples went away again to their own homes.
11 But Mary was standing outside the tomb, weeping; so as she wept, she stooped to look into the tomb; 12 and she *saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying. 13 And they *said to her, 'Woman, why are you weeping?' She *said to them, 'Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they put Him.' 14 When she had said this, she turned around and *saw Jesus standing there, and yet she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus *said to her, 'Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?' Thinking that He was the gardener, she *said to Him, 'Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you put Him, and I will take Him away.' 16 Jesus *said to her, 'Mary!' She turned and *said to Him in Hebrew, 'Rabboni!' (which means, Teacher). 17 Jesus *said to her, 'Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.’?' 18 Mary Magdalene *came and announced to the disciples, 'I have seen the Lord,' and that He had said these things to her.
19 Now when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were together due to fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst, and *said to them, 'Peace be to you.' 20 And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples then rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21 So Jesus said to them again, 'Peace be to you; just as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.' 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them and *said to them, 'Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, their sinshave been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.'
24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, who was called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples were saying to him, 'We have seen the Lord!' But he said to them, 'Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.'
26 Eight days later His disciples were again inside, and Thomas was with them. Jesus *came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, 'Peace be to you.' 27 Then He *said to Thomas, 'Place your finger here, and see My hands; and take your hand and put it into My side; and do not continue in disbelief, but be a believer.' 28 Thomas answered and said to Him, 'My Lord and my God!' 29 Jesus *said to him, 'Because you have seen Me, have you now believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.'
30 So then, many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that by believing you may have life in His name.
New Living Translation

1 Early on Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. 2 She ran and found Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved. She said, 'They have taken the Lord's body out of the tomb, and we don't know where they have put him!'
3 Peter and the other disciple started out for the tomb. 4 They were both running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He stooped and looked in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he didn't go in. 6 Then Simon Peter arrived and went inside. He also noticed the linen wrappings lying there, 7 while the cloth that had covered Jesus' head was folded up and lying apart from the other wrappings. 8 Then the disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in, and he saw and believed-- 9 for until then they still hadn't understood the Scriptures that said Jesus must rise from the dead. 10 Then they went home.
11 Mary was standing outside the tomb crying, and as she wept, she stooped and looked in. 12 She saw two white-robed angels, one sitting at the head and the other at the foot of the place where the body of Jesus had been lying.
13 'Dear woman, why are you crying?' the angels asked her. 'Because they have taken away my Lord,' she replied, 'and I don't know where they have put him.'
14 She turned to leave and saw someone standing there. It was Jesus, but she didn't recognize him.
15 'Dear woman, why are you crying?' Jesus asked her. 'Who are you looking for?' She thought he was the gardener. 'Sir,' she said, 'if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.'
16 'Mary!' Jesus said. She turned to him and cried out, 'Rabboni!' (which is Hebrew for 'Teacher').
17 'Don't cling to me,' Jesus said, 'for I haven't yet ascended to the Father. But go find my brothers and tell them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.''
18 Mary Magdalene found the disciples and told them, 'I have seen the Lord!' Then she gave them his message.
19 That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! 'Peace be with you,' he said. 20 As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! 21 Again he said, 'Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.' 22 Then he breathed on them and said, 'Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone's sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.'
24 One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came.
25 They told him, 'We have seen the Lord!' But he replied, 'I won't believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.'
26 Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. 'Peace be with you,' he said. 27 Then he said to Thomas, 'Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don't be faithless any longer. Believe!'
28 'My Lord and my God!' Thomas exclaimed.
29 Then Jesus told him, 'You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.'
30 The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book. 31 But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name.
Christian Standard Bible

1 On the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark. She saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. 2 So she went running to Simon Peter and to the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said to them, "They've taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don't know where they've put him! "
3 At that, Peter and the other disciple went out, heading for the tomb. 4 The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and got to the tomb first. 5 Stooping down, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. 6 Then, following him, Simon Peter also came. He entered the tomb and saw the linen cloths lying there. 7 The wrapping that had been on his head was not lying with the linen cloths but was folded up in a separate place by itself. 8 The other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, then also went in, saw, and believed. 9 For they did not yet understand the Scripture that he must rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples returned to the place where they were staying.
11 But Mary stood outside the tomb, crying. As she was crying, she stooped to look into the tomb. 12 She saw two angels in white sitting where Jesus's body had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet.
13 They said to her, "Woman, why are you crying? ""Because they've taken away my Lord," she told them, "and I don't know where they've put him."
14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know it was Jesus.
15 "Woman," Jesus said to her, "why are you crying? Who is it that you're seeking? "Supposing he was the gardener, she replied, "Sir, if you've carried him away, tell me where you've put him, and I will take him away."
16 Jesus said to her, "Mary."Turning around, she said to him in Aramaic, "Rabboni! "--which means "Teacher."
17 "Don't cling to me," Jesus told her, "since I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them that I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God."
18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord! " And she told them what he had said to her.
19 When it was evening on that first day of the week, the disciples were gathered together with the doors locked because they feared the Jews. Jesus came, stood among them, and said to them, "Peace be with you."
20 Having said this, he showed them his hands and his side. So the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
21 Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, I also send you." 22 After saying this, he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."
24 But Thomas (called "Twin"), one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came.
25 So the other disciples were telling him, "We've seen the Lord! "But he said to them, "If I don't see the mark of the nails in his hands, put my finger into the mark of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will never believe."
26 A week later his disciples were indoors again, and Thomas was with them. Even though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you."
27 Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and look at my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Don't be faithless, but believe."
28 Thomas responded to him, "My Lord and my God! "
29 Jesus said, "Because you have seen me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe."
30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples that are not written in this book. 31 But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

What does John chapter 20 mean?

The last time Jesus was seen in public, He was a mangled corpse being hastily buried in a sealed cave (John 19:1–4, 30, 38–42; Matthew 27:59–66). Despite His predictions (John 2:19–22; Mark 9:31; Luke 18:33) and prior miracles (John 11:43–44), His followers will be hesitant to understand, let alone accept, that He is now alive.

John's account of Jesus' resurrection follows the same pattern as the rest of his gospel. He includes certain details, without repeating every nuance covered in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. These can be challenging to intermingle, but don't present irreconcilable contradictions to each other. John focuses on the experience of Mary Magdalene. She approaches Jesus' tomb on a Sunday morning with the intent of further anointing His body. She sees that the grave is open and empty, suggesting the posted Roman guard (Matthew 28:4, 11) has already left (John 20:1).

The three closest members of Jesus' disciples are Peter, John, and James. Here, John continues to refer to himself anonymously (John 13:23; 19:26). John and Peter race to the tomb. It's likely they are worried that the body has been stolen or is being defiled further by Jesus' enemies. John was most likely much younger than Peter, so he arrives first, but hesitates. Peter proceeds with his usual aggressiveness and enters the crypt. John saw the grave clothes from the outside but doesn't notice the face covering until he follows Peter inside. This cloth is carefully folded, which triggers a realization for John. They leave, however, apparently without sharing their thoughts with Mary (John 20:2–10).

After the men leave, Mary looks deeper into the tomb and sees two men—angels—who ask why she is crying. She is not expecting to see Jesus at all, let alone someone vibrant and healthy. When she turns with blurred eyes and speaks with someone in the dim light, His identity escapes her. When Jesus says her name, she suddenly realizes what has happened. That Jesus chooses to appear to women, first, is significant. This speaks to Jesus' elevation of women as spiritual equals of men, and to the honesty of the gospel accounts. Jesus asks Mary to tell the others what has happened, and she obeys (John 20:11–18).

Despite Jesus' predictions and the eyewitness accounts of people like Mary, it seems the disciples are still resisting the truth. When Jesus miraculously appears inside a secured room, that changes. Jesus echoes God's act of creation (Genesis 2:7) by breathing a partial indwelling of the Holy Spirit on the disciples. As He has done before, Jesus notes their spiritual perspective: it includes the ability to perceive mattes of sin and salvation. The men are not given the power to directly forgive, only the ability to recognize that which has already been forgiven (John 20:19–23).

One of the disciples is especially resistant. Thomas makes an outrageous demand for proof, far beyond what should be necessary. This parallels the modern "skeptic" who insists on unreasonable levels of evidence, only to ask for even more if those requirements are met. Jesus appears and challenges Thomas with his own words, and Thomas responds in faith. Thomas even refers to Jesus as "my God," which Jesus does not dispute. Rather, Jesus notes the blessing of being given extra proof, and the greater measure of faith required by those who will come after (John 20:24–29).

John closes this segment with an aside, pointing out the motive behind his choices as a writer. Not every single detail has been recorded. Some of this is for reasons of space (John 21:25). It's also a matter of focus. John's intent is for those who read to be assured that Jesus is the Messiah, and to accept Him in salvation (John 20:30–31).