The King James Version of John 20:17 has “Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father”

Modern versions have “hold on to me” or “cling to me”:

  • Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me (NIV)
  • Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me (ESV)

except that to lay hold on someone is normally κρατέω not touch.

The Greek is Μή μου ἅπτου – where the verb is Present Middle Imperative, the same as 2 Corinthians 6:17  μ ἅπτεσθε don’t touch the unclean thing – also Present Middle Imperative.

Note that this is slightly different from instructions such as Genesis 3:3 in the Greek Old Testament –  μ ἅψησθε αὐτοῦ – do not you plural touch it (the fruit). Aorist Middle Subjunctive

Colossians 2:21  Μὴ ἅψῃ μηδὲ γεύσῃ μηδὲ θίγῃς Aorist Middle Subjunctive 

For comparison in Luke 24:39  Jesus tells them ψηλαφήσατέ με handle me.

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