John 21:25 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 21:25, NIV: Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

John 21:25, ESV: Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.

John 21:25, KJV: And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

John 21:25, NASB: But there are also many other things which Jesus did, which, if they were written in detail, I expect that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written.

John 21:25, NLT: Jesus also did many other things. If they were all written down, I suppose the whole world could not contain the books that would be written.

John 21:25, CSB: And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which, if every one of them were written down, I suppose not even the world itself could contain the books that would be written.

What does John 21:25 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Throughout the gospel of John, there have been overtly anonymous references to a particular disciple (John 1:37; 13:23; 18:15–16; 19:26; 21:23). The prior verse seems to confirm this person is John, the author of the entire work (John 21:24). John may have used a secretary to write down his words as he spoke, partly explaining why this writing ends with a specific claim to authorship. There appears to be an additional stamp of approval, possibly from a local church, attached to that statement as well.

Here, the "signature" concludes with the gospel of John's only explicit use of a first-person perspective. It's not entirely clear if this is still John speaking, or if this continues the note of approval which began with the phrase "and we know…" from the prior verse. Either way, it makes the point that Jesus' earthly ministry could not be fully detailed in a single book. Further, to explain or understand those words would require immense effort. The existence of Bible commentaries—such as this very ministry—which are many times longer than the text itself is further proof of this.

The Truth John proclaimed as the very "Word of God" (John 1:1) defies our attempts at perfect explanation (Isaiah 55:8–9; 2 Peter 3:16; Hebrews 5:11). That which God has included in Scripture is not enough to answer every possible question we may ever have. Yet it more than adequately tells us what we must know to be restored with God (John 20:30–31).