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These twelve Ephesian disciples were evidently considered disciples of Christ, rather than of John, since Paul recognized they had "believed." Also, they would surely have been identified specifically as disciples of John had that been the case (compare John 3:22-26). In some way, possibly through some of John's disciples rather than John himself, these disciples had learned of Jesus and had believed on Him. However, what they had learned did not include the coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, and so even though this teaching had been enough to bring them salvation, it was deficient. In fact, John himself had been given the authority "to give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins" (Luke 1:77).

Source:

KJV Defenders Study Bible, by Dr. Henry Morris, Ph.D.
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Language: English
DEF 10 ISBN 0-529-10444-x
DEF 10-1 ISBN 0-529-10445-8


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