“V. Epilogue (21:1-25)” pp. 665-686.
Carson considers views which have taken John 21 as an epilogue either composed at the time of the rest of the Gospel or at a later time, possibly by another individual. Chapter 21 does bring closure by stating how Christ’s kingdom will continue to spread (Carson 1991, 666). Carson lists a number of other features of the chapter (Carson 1991, 667) and, finally, observes that we do not have any manuscripts which omit chapter 21.
In verses 1-14 Jesus appears by the Sea of Galilee. He is seen there by his disciples (Carson 1991, 668). They have begun fishing. Carson notes that the last instruction they received from Jesus was to return to Galilee. They may well be simply filling their time and providing for their needs (Carson 1991, 669). The count of 153 large fish is interpreted in various ways. Carson considers various suggestions. He leaves the question open for debate (Carson 1991, 673).
In verses 15-24 Jesus restores Peter. He does it in a public setting, since Peter’s denial was in public. He does it three times, corresponding to the three denials. The words used for “love” in the restoration are not significant. They are frequently used as exact synonyms (Carson 1991, 676). Carson does not find Peter exalted as a ruler in the Church at this point. He sees him as a servant leader, like the other apostles (Carson 1991, 678). Responding to Pter’s question about the “beloved disciple” and his long life, Jesus says that is a matter Peter is unrelated to (Carson 1991, 681). The text then claims the authority of an eyewitness as an author. In the final verse, the author states that all the deeds of Jesus would be a great number. The Gospel closes in this way.