John 20:4
So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre.
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(4) So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter.—This is simply the result of the greater activity of John, who was probably younger than his companion. The thought that love outran doubt or fear, which has often been connected with the words, is not in harmony with the context, for “Peter therefore went forth” as soon as he heard Mary’s words (John 20:3); and Peter it was who first entered into the sepulchre (John 20:6).

20:1-10 If Christ gave his life a ransom, and had not taken it again, it would not have appeared that his giving it was accepted as satisfaction. It was a great trial to Mary, that the body was gone. Weak believers often make that the matter of complaint, which is really just ground of hope, and matter of joy. It is well when those more honoured than others with the privileges of disciples, are more active than others in the duty of disciples; more willing to take pains, and run hazards, in a good work. We must do our best, and neither envy those who can do better, nor despise those who do as well as they can, though they come behind. The disciple whom Jesus loved in a special manner, and who therefore in a special manner loved Jesus, was foremost. The love of Christ will make us to abound in every duty more than any thing else. He that was behind was Peter, who had denied Christ. A sense of guilt hinders us in the service of God. As yet the disciples knew not the Scripture; they Christ must rise again from the dead.For an account of the resurrection of Christ, see the notes at Matthew 28.3-10. Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came first to the sepulchre—These particulars have a singular air of artless truth about them. Mary, in her grief, runs to the two apostles who were soon to be so closely associated in proclaiming the Saviour's resurrection, and they, followed by Mary, hasten to see with their own eyes. The younger disciple outruns the older; love haply supplying swifter wings. He stoops, he gazes in, but enters not the open sepulchre, held back probably by a reverential fear. The bolder Peter, coming up, goes in at once, and is rewarded with bright evidence of what had happened. See Poole on "John 20:3"

So they ran both together,.... At first setting out, and for a while; not content to walk, they ran, being eagerly desirous to know the truth of things:

and that other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre; John was a younger man than Peter, and so more nimble, and swift of foot, and got to the sepulchre before him; and besides, had not that concern of mind to retard him, Peter might have; as, supposing Christ was risen, and he should see him, how he should be able to look him in the face, whom he had so shamefully denied.

So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre.
John 20:4. ἔτρεχον δὲ οἱ δύο ὁμοῦ, “and the two ran together”: equally eager; but ὁ ἄλλος μαθητὴς προέδραμε ταχίον τοῦ Πέτρου, “the other disciple ran on before more quickly than Peter”; probably John was the younger man. [Lampe suggests two other reasons: either Peter’s steps were slower “ob conscientiam culpae,” or “forte via Joanni magis nota erat”.] Consequently John ἦλθε πρῶτος … “came first to the tomb”.

4. So they ran] More exactly, But they began to run.

did outrun] Literally, ran on more quickly than, as being much the younger man. Would a writer of the second century have thought of this in inventing a narrative?

John 20:4. Προέδραμε, did run before) Here there may be sweetly observed the distinguishing characteristics of the two disciples: faith in Peter, and love in John.—τάχιον, more quickly) Greater speed was appropriate in John, the younger of the two; greater gravity (sedateness) was appropriate in Peter, the elder. Neither, in his movements, has regard to the other; the regard of both is directed to the thing itself.

John 20:4They ran (ἔτρεχον)

Still the imperfect, they were running. How much the A.V. loses by its persistent ignoring of the force of this tense.

Did outrun (προέδραμε τάχιον)

Literally, ran on in front more quickly. Dante, addressing the spirit of John in Paradise says:

"O holy father, spirit who beholdest

What thou believedst so that thou o'ercamest,

Toward the sepulchre, more youthful feet."

"Paradise," xxiv., 124-126.

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