What does John 20:2 mean?
ESV: 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.”
NIV: 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!'
NASB: 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.'
CSB: 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! "
NLT: 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!'
KJV: 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.
NKJV: Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.”
Verse Commentary:
Mary's first reaction to seeing Jesus' tomb open is natural: she assumes the body has been stolen (John 20:1). She was there when He was buried (Matthew 27:61), but it's not clear if she'd already seen the Roman soldiers sealing the grave site (Matthew 27:62–66). It's even possible that when she says, "they have taken," she might have thought it was the Romans. The fact that women—including those who come later (Matthew 28:8–10)—are the first to proclaim Jesus' resurrection is a significant detail.

Here, again, John refers to himself as the "disciple…Jesus loved" (John 13:23). This indirect mention was a common technique in ancient writing. Peter, James, and John were the closest of Jesus' followers (Matthew 17:1; 26:37). Why James was not included here is not stated. It's likely he simply wasn't there when Mary broke the news to John and Peter, and they weren't waiting to investigate.
Verse Context:
John 20:1–10 includes the first moments in which Jesus' followers realize He has been resurrected. Mary Magdalene brings Peter and John to the grave after finding it open. John sees the empty grave wrappings and realizes what has happened. Mary will remain behind and encounter a pair of angels, as well as Jesus, soon after. John's chosen details complement those found in Matthew 28:1–10, Mark 16:1–8, and Luke 24:1–12.
Chapter Summary:
Peter and John get a report from Mary Magdalene that Jesus' body is gone. They arrive to find an open grave, and empty grave clothes, along with a folded face cloth. When the two men leave, Mary remains and suddenly encounters a resurrected Jesus. Though she tells the others, they resist believing until they see Jesus in person. Thomas is especially stubborn, and Jesus remarks on how blessed they are to have been given so much proof. John points out that his writing is meant to prove that Jesus is the Messiah, arranged to encourage those who read to come to faith.
Chapter Context:
Most of Jesus' disciples scattered and hid when He was arrested (Matthew 26:56). Only John and some women were present to see His death and burial (John 19:26–30, 41–42; Matthew 27:60–61). When Jesus' tomb is seen empty, there is further confusion. Jesus appears to His followers, proving that He is alive, and remarking that they are blessed to have so much proof. John will complete his account in the next chapter with another encounter and more reminders about the nature of his writing.
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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