J. C. Ryle’s

Expository Thoughts on the Gospel of John with Notes


 J. C. Ryle


“I SEND forth the volume now in the reader’s hands, with much diffidence, and a very deep sense of responsibility. It is no light matter to publish an exposition of any book in the Bible. It is a peculiarly serious undertaking to attempt a Commentary on the Gospel of St. John.

I do not forget that we are all apt to exaggerate the difficulties of our own particular department of literary labour. But I think every intelligent student of Scripture will bear me out when I say, that St. John’s Gospel is pre-eminently full of things “hard to be understood.”  (2 Pet. iii. 16.)  It contains a large portion of our Lord Jesus Christ’s doctrinal teaching. It abounds in “deep things of God,” and “sayings of the King,” which we feel instinctively we have no line to fully fathom, no mind to fully comprehend, no words to fully explain. It must needs be that such a book of Scripture should be difficult. I can truly say that I have commented on many a verse in this Gospel with fear and trembling. I have often said to myself, “Who is sufficient for these things?”—“The place whereon thou standest is holy ground.”  (2 Cor. ii. 16; Exod. iii. 5.)

The nature of the work now published, requires a few words of explanation. It is a continuation of the “Expository Thoughts on the Gospels,” of which four volumes, comprising the first three Gospels, have been already sent forth. Like the volumes on St. Matthew, St. Mark, and St. Luke, the basis of the work is a continuous series of short expositions, intended for family or private reading, or for the use of those who visit the sick and the poor. But, unlike the previous volumes, the work now in the reader’s hands contains full explanatory notes on every verse of the portions expounded, forming, in fact, a complete Commentary.

This “Commentary” is so extensive that it occupies far more space than the “Expository Thoughts,” and is, I must honestly confess, the principal part of the work. To some it may appear far too long and full.But the circumstances of the times are my justification. We live in a day of abounding vagueness and indistinctness on doctrinal subjects in religion. Now, if ever, it is the duty of all advocates of clear, well-defined, sharply-cut theology, to supply proof that their views are thoroughly borne out by Scripture. I have endeavoured to do so in this Commentary. I hold that the Gospel of St. John, rightly interpreted, is the best and simplest answer to those who profess to admire a vague and indistinct Christianity.

The theological standpoint which the writer of this Commentary occupies will be obvious to any intelligent reader. Such an one will see at a glance that I belong to that school in the Church of England which, rightly or wrongly, is called, “Evangelical.”  He will see that I have no sympathy whatever with either Romish or Neologian tendencies. He will see that I hold firmly the distinctive theological views of the Reformers and doctrinal Puritans, and that I totally disapprove the loose and broad theology of some modern schools of divines.—But while I say all this, I must be allowed to add, that in interpreting Scripture, I “call no man master or father.”  I abhor the idea of wresting and warping God’s Word in order to make it support party views. Throughout this Commentary I have endeavoured honestly and conscientiously to find out the real meaning of every sentence on which I have commented. I have evaded no difficulty, and shrunk from no inference. I have simply followed Scripture wherever its words seemed to point, and accepted whatever they seemed to mean. I have never hesitated to express my disagreement from the views of other commentators if occasion required; but when I have done so I have tried to do it with courtesy and respect.” [extract from Ryle’s “Preface” to John’s Gospel, vol. 1.]


VOLUME 1 (of 3)

Preface to Volume I (90k) pdf (170k) zip (37k)

JOHN chapter 1

John 1. 1–5 (212k) pdf (166k) zip (44k)

John 1. 6–13 (173k) pdf (150k) zip (41k)

John 1. 14 (167k) pdf (148k) zip (40k)

John 1. 15–18 (192k) pdf (127k) zip (40k)

John 1. 19–28 (229k) pdf (143k) zip (44k)

John 1. 29–34 (176k) pdf (160k) zip (43k)

John 1. 35–42 (77k) pdf (135k) zip (34k)

John 1. 43–51 (89k) pdf (144k) zip (38k)

JOHN chapter 2

John 2. 1–11 (100k) pdf (164k) zip (40k)

John 2. 12–25 (106k) pdf (166k) zip (44k)

JOHN chapter 3

John 3. 1–8 (256k) pdf (211k) zip (56k)

John 3. 9–21 (349k) pdf (228k) zip (67k)

John 3. 22–36 (338k) pdf (189k) zip (59k)

JOHN chapter 4

John 4. 1–6 (98k) pdf (216k) zip (21k)

John 4. 7-26 (249k) pdf (262k) zip (49k)

John 4. 27–30 (86k) pdf (192k) zip (21k)

John 4. 31–42 (146k) pdf (184k) zip (27k)

John 4. 43–54 (86k) pdf (198k) zip (22k)

JOHN chapter 5

John 5. 1-15 (143k) pdf (206k) zip (26k)

John 5. 16-23 (141k) pdf (179k) zip (22k)

John 5. 24-29 (95k) pdf (186k) zip (22k)

JOHN chapter 6

John 6. 1-14 (133k) pdf (221k) zip (25k)

John 6. 15-21 (129k) pdf (199k) zip (24k)

John 6. 22-27 (141k) pdf (197k) zip (24k)

John 6. 28-34 (130k) pdf (200k) zip (24k)

John 6. 35-40 (133k) pdf (204k) zip (24k)

John 6. 41-51 (122k) pdf (206k) zip (27k)

John 6. 52-59 (160k) pdf (231k) zip (27k)

John 6. 60-65 (92k) pdf (209k) zip (20k)

John 6. 66-71 (106k) pdf (187k) zip (19k)

VOLUME 2 (of 3)

Preface to Volume II (55k) pdf (151k) zip (12k)

JOHN chapter 7

John 7. 1-13 (149k) pdf (229k) zip(27k)

John 7. 14-24 (214k) pdf (235k) zip (30k)

John 7. 25-36 (197k) pdf (220k) zip (28k)

John 7. 37-39 (158k) pdf (188k) zip (26k)

John 7. 40-53 (152k) pdf (191k) zip (25k)


JOHN chapter 8

John 8. 1-11 (193k) pdf (221k) zip (29k)

John 8. 12-20 (211k) pdf (224k) zip (30k)

John 8. 21-30 (226k) pdf (203k) zip (30k)

John 8. 31-36 (107k) pdf (176k) zip (22k)

John 8. 37-47 (223k) pdf (202k) docx (49K) zip (29k)

John 8. 48-59 (193k) pdf (218k) docx (43K) zip (28k)


JOHN chapter 9

John 9. 1-12 (152k) pdf (227k) docx (44K) zip (29k)

John 9. 13-25 (174k) pdf (218k) docx (41K) zip (26k)

John 9. 26-41 (155k) pdf (120k) docx (44K) zip (30k)


JOHN chapter 10

John 10. 1-9 (102k) pdf (113k) docx (38K) zip (25k)

John 10. 10-18 (153k) pdf (117k) docx (45K) zip (30k)

John 10. 19-30 (167k) pdf (112k) docx (45K) zip (29k)

John 10. 31-42 (194k) pdf (111k) docx (45K) zip (29k)


JOHN chapter 11

John 11. 1-6 (192k) pdf (120k) docx (49K) zip (31k)

John 11. 7-16 (124k) pdf (120k) docx (41K) zip (26k)

John 11. 17-29 (185k) pdf (113k) docx (43K) zip (29k)

John 11. 30-37 (151k) pdf (102k) docx (40K) zip (25k)

John 11. 38-46 (185k) pdf (115k) docx (47K) zip (30k)

John 11. 47-57 (191k) pdf (120k) docx (48K) zip (32k)


JOHN chapter 12

John 12. 1-11 (206k) pdf (124k) docx (51K) zip (34k)

John 12. 12-19 (139k) pdf (98k) docx (38K) zip (24k) 

John 12. 27-33 (221k) pdf (120k) docx (48K) zip (34k)

John 12. 34-43 (202k) pdf (116k) docx (48K) zip (31k)

John 12. 44-50 (163k) pdf (105k) docx (42K) zip (27k)


VOLUME 3 (of 3)

Preface to volume III (95k) pdf (81k) docx (30k) zip (19k)


JOHN chapter 13

John 13. 1-5 (161k) pdf (100k) docx (41K) zip (26k)

John 13. 6-15 (161k) pdf (100k) docx (41K) zip (26k)

John 13. 16-20 (168k) pdf (86k) docx (33K) zip (20k)

John 13. 21-30 (224k) pdf (106k) docx (46K) zip (29k)

John 13. 31-38 (180k) pdf (102k) docx (42K) zip (27k)


JOHN chapter 14

John 14. 1-3 (123k) pdf (89k) docx (34K) zip (21k)

John 14. 4-11 (139k) pdf (82k) docx (30K) zip (23k)

John 14. 12-17 (124k) pdf (33k) docx (30K) zip (20k)

John 14. 18-20 (98k) pdf (79k) docx (28K) zip (17k)

John 14. 21-26 (122k) pdf (74k) docx (34K) zip (21k)

John 14. 27-31 (122k) pdf (74k) docx (34K) zip (21k)


JOHN chapter 15

John 15. 1-6 (183k) pdf (85k) docx (41K) zip (26k)

John 15. 7-11 (120k) pdf (71k) docx (32K) zip (26k)

John 15. 12-16 (133k) pdf (70k) docx (42K) zip (27k)

John 15. 17-21 (108k) pdf (51k) docx (29K) zip (18k)

John 15. 22-27 (146k) pdf (58k) docx (34K) zip (22k)

JOHN chapter 16


John 16. 1-7 (149k) pdf (66k) docx (36K) zip (24k)

John 16. 8-15 (144k) pdf (66k) docx (37k) zip (24k)

John 16. 16-24 (200k) pdf (58k) docx (34k) zip (22k)

John 16. 25-33 (137k) pdf (66k) docx (37k) zip (24k)



JOHN chapter 17

John 17.1-8 (206k) pdf (84k) docx (48k) zip (32k)

John 17.9-16 (210k) pdf (83k) docx (44k) zip (32k)

John 17.17-26 (200k) pdf (80k) docx (46k) zip (31k)

JOHN chapter 18

John 18.1-11 (221k) pdf (92k) docx (50k) zip (35k)

John 18.12-27 (258k) pdf (98k) docx (57k) zip (35k)

John 18.28-40 (348k) pdf (121k) docx (69k) zip (50k)

JOHN chapter 19

John 19.1-16 (325k) pdf (138k) docx (81k) zip (54k)

John 19.17-27 (317k) pdf (126k) docx (71k) zip (50k)

John 19.28-37 (264k) pdf (109k) docx (59k) zip (41k)

John 19.38-42 (153k) pdf (80k) docx (43k) zip (29k)

JOHN chapter 20

 John 20.1-10 (240k) pdf (105k) docx (57k) zip (39k)

John 20.11-18 (262k) pdf (112k) docx (61k) zip (43k)

John 20.19-23 (236k) pdf (99k) docx (54k) zip (38k)

John 20.24-31 (233k) pdf (104k) docx (55k) zip (39k)

JOHN chapter 21

John 21.1-14 (243k) pdf (109k) docx (59k) zip (40k)

John 21.15-17 (188k) pdf (79k) docx (44k) zip (30k)

John 21.18-25 (242k) pdf (101k) docx (56k) zip (39k)