John 4:23

But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship him.
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Clement Of Alexandria

AD 215
Or go to the bee, and learn how laborious she is; for she, feeding on the whole meadow, produces one honey-comb. And if "thou prayest in the closet "as the Lord taught, "to worship in spirit"

Cornelius a Lapide

AD 1637
But the hour cometh, &c. Now is the time of the New Law of My Gospel, in which the true worshippers, namely, Christians, whether Jews, or Samaritans, or of other nations, being converted unto Me, shall worship God, not in this mountain, nor Jerusalem only, by the carnal sacrifices of beasts, as the Jews and Samaritans do, but in all places throughout the world in spirit and in truth. In spirit and truth. Observe, the Samaritans ignorantly and falsely worshipped God. But the Jews worshipped the true God indeed, but chiefly by corporeal victims, and other bodily symbols, and in one stated place, Jerusalem: all which things were shadows and types of the spiritual worship which was to he inaugurated by Christ. To both these Christ opposes His faithful Christians, who instead of the body, worship God in spirit; and in truth instead of in falsity, shadows and ignorance. For God is an incorporeal Spirit, most true, and most pure. Spirit therefore here signifies the spiritual worship of faith...

Cyprian of Carthage

AD 258
Already He had foretold that the hour was coming "when the true worshippers should worship the Father in spirit and in truth; "

Cyril of Alexandria

AD 444
He is intimating the time now present of His Own Presence and says that the type shall be transferred to truth and the shadow of the Law to spiritual worship: He tells that through the Gospel teaching the true worshipper, that is, the spiritual man, shall be conducted to a polity well-pleasing unto the Father, hasting unto ownness with God. For God is conceived of as a Spirit, in reference to the embodied nature. Rightly therefore does He accept the spiritual worshipper, who does not in form and type carry in Jewish wise the form of godliness, but in Gospel manner resplendent in the achievements of virtue and in rightness of the Divine doctrines fulfilleth the really true worship.

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
Now is the time approaching, when the true adorers shall adore the Father in spirit and in truth, without being confined to any one temple or place; and chiefly in spirit, without such a multitude of sacrifices and ceremonies as even the Jews now practise. Such adorers God himself (who is a pure spirit) desires, which they shall be taught by the Messias. (Witham) Our Lord foretells her that sacrifices in both these temples should shortly cease, giving her these three instructions: 1. That the true sacrifice should be limited no longer to one spot or nation, but should be offered throughout all nations, according to that of Malachi as; (i. 11.) 2. That the gross and carnal adoration by the flesh and blood of beasts, not having in them grace, spirit, and life, should be taken away, and another sacrifice succeed, which should be in itself invisible, divine, and full of life, spirit, and grace; 3. That this sacrifice should be truth itself, whereof all former sacrifices were but shadows a...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
We, O woman, He says, excel you in the manner of our worship, but even this shall henceforth have an end. Not the places only, but even the manner of serving God shall be changed. And this change is at your very doors. 'For the hour comes, and now is.' 2. For since what the Prophets said they said long before the event, to show that here it is not so, He says, And now is. Think not, He says, that this is a prophecy of such a kind as shall be accomplished after a long time, the fulfillment is already at hand and at your very doors, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth. In saying true, He excludes Jews as well as Samaritans; for although the Jews be better than the Samaritans, yet are they far inferior to those that shall come, as inferior as is the type to the reality. But He speaks of the Church, that she is the true worship, and such as is meet for God. For the Father seeks such to worship Him. If then He in times past sought such as these, He...

Tertullian of Carthage

AD 220
"An hour will come "saith He, "when the true adorers shall adore the Father in spirit and truth. For God is a Spirit, and accordingly requires His adorers to be such."

Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
We Jews have more than you Samaritans regarding the manner of worship; nevertheless, the worship of the Jews will also come to an end. It is not only the places of worship that will change, but the manner of worship itself. This change is at the very doors, and now is, and the practices taught by the prophets will not last much longer. By true worshippers the Lord means those who live according to His own law, who do not confine God to one place, as do the Samaritans, and who do not serve Him with a material, bodily worship, as do the Jews, but who worship Him in spirit and in truth, that is, with their soul and with purity of mind [nous]. Because God is spirit, that is, bodiless, He must be worshipped in a bodiless manner which is in accordance with the soul. This is what it means to worship in spirit, for the soul is both spirit and bodiless. But because there are many who appear to worship Him in accordance with the soul, but do not hold to the Orthodox doctrine concerning Him, such...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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