John 17 is the seventeenth chapter of the Gospel of John in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. It portrays a prayer of Jesus Christ addressed to His Father, placed in context immediately before His betrayal and crucifixion, the events which the gospel often refers to as His glorification.[1] Methodist theologian Joseph Benson calls this prayer "Our Lord’s Intercessory Prayer", because "it is considered as a pattern of the intercession he is now making in heaven for his people".[2] The New King James Version divides this chapter into three sections:

  • Verses 1-5: Jesus Prays for Himself
  • Verses 6-19: Jesus Prays for His Disciples
  • Verses 20-26: Jesus Prays for All Believers.[3]
John 17
P107-Joh-17 1-2-POxy4446-III.jpg
John 17:1-2 on Papyrus 107, written in 3rd century.
BookGospel of John
Christian Bible partNew Testament
Order in the Christian part4

The book containing this chapter is anonymous, but early Christian tradition uniformly affirmed that John composed this Gospel.[4]


John 17:23-24 on Papyrus 108 (2nd/3rd century)

The original text was written in Koine Greek. This chapter is divided into 26 verses.

Textual witnessesEdit

Some early manuscripts containing the text of this chapter are:

Jesus' PrayerEdit

Jesus refers to His Father six times in this chapter, calling God "Father" (Greek: πατηρ, pater), "Holy Father" (Greek: πατηρ ἅγιε, pater hagie, John 17:11) and "Righteous Father" (Greek: πατηρ δικαιε, pater dikaie, John 17:25). These are the only occurrences in the New Testament of the vocative forms αγιε and δικαιε, used in direct address to God.[5]

Verse 1Edit

Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: "Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You".[6]

Alternatively, "After Jesus had spoken these words ..." (to his disciples, in chapter 16),[7] namely:

"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."[8]

Benson suggested that "these words" refers to "the words recorded in the three preceding chapters" (chapters 14 to 16).[2]

Verse 2Edit

"As You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him.[9]

"Over all flesh" (σαρκός, sarkos), from the noun σὰρξ (sarx),[10] becomes "all people" in the New International Version and the Good News Translation. Alfred Plummer argues that "fallen man, man in his frailty, is specially meant".[11]

Verse 12Edit

New King James Version

While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.[12]

The words "in the world" are omitted by the best authorities.[11] Judas' actions fulfill the words of Psalm 41:9:

Even my close friend, someone I trusted, one who shared my bread, has turned against me.[11]

Verse 21Edit

King James Version

that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.[13]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Halley, Henry H. Halley's Bible Handbook: an Abbreviated Bible Commentary. 23rd edition. Zondervan Publishing House. 1962.
  2. ^ a b Benson, J., Benson Commentary on John 17, accessed 6 June 2019
  3. ^ John 17:1-26: New King James Version
  4. ^ Holman Illustrated Bible Handbook. Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville, Tennessee. 2012.
  5. ^ Englishman's Concordance, ἅγιε and δίκαιε
  6. ^ John 17:1: New King James Version
  7. ^ John 17:1 NRSV
  8. ^ John 16:33: NKJV
  9. ^ John 17:2: NKJV
  10. ^ Englishman's Concordance, σὰρξ, accessed 29 November 2020
  11. ^ a b c Plummer, A. (1902), Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges on John 17, accessed 29 November 2020
  12. ^ John 17:12
  13. ^ John 17:21

External linksEdit

Preceded by
John 16
Chapters of the Bible
Gospel of John
Succeeded by
John 18