What does John 10:22 mean?
ESV: At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter,
NIV: Then came the Festival of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter,
NASB: At that time the Feast of the Dedication took place in Jerusalem;
CSB: Then the Festival of Dedication took place in Jerusalem, and it was winter.
NLT: It was now winter, and Jesus was in Jerusalem at the time of Hanukkah, the Festival of Dedication.
KJV: And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter.
NKJV: Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter.
Verse Commentary:
This verse represents a leap in time. Everything from chapters 7, 8, 9, and so far in chapter 10 occurred in a single sequence at the Feast of Booths. This festival is held in the fall. That narrative ended with the crowd's divided reaction to Jesus' teachings (John 10:19–21). This verse moves John's gospel ahead several months, to the Feast of Dedication, which occurs in early winter. The Feast of Dedication is not one of Israel's mandatory celebrations, but it has become one of its most symbolic. Today, it is more commonly referred to as the Festival of Lights, or Hanukkah.

The general topic of this upcoming passage is very much the same as what Jesus discussed in chapter 10. The conversation here is probably directly inspired by the conflict Jesus created by healing a man born blind (John 9). The hostility of Jesus' religious critics is becoming more overt and more aggressive. In the following verses, they will corner Jesus in a blatantly threatening way, once again attempting to stone Him. This naked violence is one reason Jesus, prior to His arrest, ceased His public preaching and began to focus on preparing the Twelve for what was to come. This encounter marks the last time Jesus will debate these religious leaders prior to His crucifixion.
Verse Context:
John 10:22–42 happens a few months after the controversy described in chapter 9 through the first half of chapter 10. Here, Jesus is cornered, in an overt threat, by the same religious leaders He has been castigating for years. He echoes the metaphors of sheep and shepherd He employed after giving sight to a blind man. Jesus points out that His teachings and miracles are all consistent with predictions of the Messiah, but these men refuse to accept Him. This culminates in another attempt on Jesus' life, which He somehow avoids. This represents the last time Jesus will publicly teach prior to His crucifixion.
Chapter Summary:
This passage continues Jesus' discussion with the religious leaders of Jerusalem, seen in chapter 9. Jesus lays out three separate analogies about His ministry, using the concept of sheep and shepherds. In those statements, Jesus explains why some people refuse to accept Him, declares Himself the only means of salvation, and again predicts His sacrificial death. This leads to controversy. Later, Jesus is cornered by a mob in the temple grounds. They once again try to stone Him as He repeats His divine claims, but He escapes in some way not fully described by the text. After this, Jesus leaves the area and returns to the region where John the Baptist had once preached.
Chapter Context:
Starting in chapter 7, the gospel of John describes Jesus' preaching at the Feast of Booths in Jerusalem. Through chapters 7 and 8, He debates with critics and attempts to explain spiritual truths. On the way out of the city, Jesus gives sight to a man born blind, as shown in chapter 9. That begins an extended debate which continues in this chapter. Jesus gives analogies of His mission using shepherding as a theme. Months later, He repeats those ideas when cornered by an aggressive mob in the temple. This sets the stage for His grandest miracle, the raising of Lazarus, seen in chapter 11.
Book Summary:
The disciple John wrote the gospel of John decades after the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke were written. The author assumes that a reader is already familiar with the content of these other works. So, John presents a different perspective, with a greater emphasis on meaning. John uses seven miracles—which he calls "signs"— to prove that Jesus is, in fact, God incarnate. Some of the most well-known verses in the Bible are found here. None is more famous than the one-sentence summary of the gospel found in John 3:16.
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