John 8:13
The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true.
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(13) Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true.—Better, Thou bearest witness of Thyself; Thy witness is not true. (Comp. Note on John 5:31.) The Authorised version here, by a change of word, renders the connection less obvious than it really is. The Pharisees, standing probably in the front of the crowd listening to Him, bring a technical objection to His statement, and one which He had Himself admitted the force of. “According to your own words,” they mean, “what you now say is not valid.” They stand in the light of day, but demand a formal proof that the Sun has risen.

John 8:13-14. The Pharisees, therefore — Namely, some of them who were then present, but different persons from those who had brought in the woman, being enraged at the late disappointment of their brethren; said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself — And therefore, by thine own confession, thy record — Or testimony, rather, as μαρτυρια signifies; is not to be admitted as true — But may rather be suspected of vain glory. They retort upon our Lord his own words, (John 5:31,) If I testify of myself, my testimony is not true. He then added, There is another who testifieth of me. To the same effect he replies here, (John 8:14,) Though I testify of myself, yet my testimony is true — For I am inseparably united to the Father. I know — And from firm and certain knowledge proceeds the most unexceptionable testimony; whence I came, and whither I go — To these two heads may be referred all the doctrine concerning Christ. The former is treated of, John 8:16, &c.; the latter, John 8:21, &c. For I know whence I came — That is, for I came from God, both as God and as man. And I know it, though ye do not.

8:12-16 Christ is the Light of the world. God is light, and Christ is the image of the invisible God. One sun enlightens the whole world; so does one Christ, and there needs no more. What a dark dungeon would the world be without the sun! So would it be without Jesus, by whom light came into the world. Those who follow Christ shall not walk in darkness. They shall not be left without the truths which are necessary to keep them from destroying error, and the directions in the way of duty, necessary to keep them from condemning sin.Thou bearest record of thyself - Thou art a witness for thyself, or in thy own case. See John 5:31. The law required two witnesses in a criminal case, and they alleged that as the only evidence which Jesus had was his own assertion, it could not be entitled to belief.

Is not true - Is not worthy of belief, or is not substantiated by sufficient evidence.

13-19. bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true—How does He meet this specious cavil? Not by disputing the wholesome human maxim that "self-praise is no praise," but by affirming that He was an exception to the rule, or rather, that it had no application to Him. It was a known rule of law, that none ought to be believed upon a testimony given to himself: this is that they object to our Saviour, that though he spake great things of himself, yet he was not to be believed in his own cause.

The Pharisees therefore said unto him,.... On account of his declaring himself the light of the world: these were either the same who went out of the temple, filled with remorse of conscience, and were now returned, and bearing him a grudge, came to take some advantage against him, if they could; or they were others of the same complexion, sent by them, to make their observations on him:

thou bearest record of thyself. The Ethiopic version renders it, "dost thou thyself?" which does not seem so decent and comely; see Proverbs 27:2; though it does not follow, that what a man says of himself is not truth, as these suggest:

thy record is not true; for John testified of himself, that he was not the Christ, nor Elias, nor that prophet; but the voice of one crying in the wilderness; and this testimony he bore of himself, at the importunity of the Jews themselves, John 1:19; and his testimony was true; so was that which Christ bore of himself; but their sense rather seems to be, that it was not firm and authentic, and would not pass in any court of judicature, since no man can be a witness in his own cause.

{5} The Pharisees therefore said unto him, {a} Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true.

(5) Christ is without all exception the best witness of the truth, for he was sent by his Father for that purpose, and his Father showed his approval of him to the world by infinite miracles.

(a) You bear witness of yourself, which is worth nothing in the opinion of all men, and for a man to commend himself is very uncommendable.

John 8:13-14. This great declaration the Pharisees present (οἱ Φαρισ.) cannot leave unchallenged; they, however, cleverly enough, while avoiding dealing with its real substance, bring against it a formal objection; comp. John 5:31. Jesus replies, that the rule of law referred to does not apply to His witness regarding Himself, as He testified concerning Himself, not in His own human individuality, but in the conscious certainty of His having been sent from, and being about to return to, heaven—a relation which is, of course, unknown to His opponents, who therefore reject His testimony. The refutation lies in the fact that God is able, without any departure from truth, to testify concerning Himself.

κἂν ἐγὼ μαρτ., κ.τ.λ.] not: even though I (Lücke), nor: although I, etc. (B. Crusius), for both would require ἐὰν καί; but: even if, i.e. even in case (adeo tum, si), if I for my part (ἐγώ), etc. See Klotz, ad Devar. p. 519; Stallb. ad Plat. Apol. p. 32 A; Baeumlein, Partik. p. 151.

ποῦ ὑπάγω] through death, John 7:33.

ἔρχομαι] ἦλθον was previously used of the historical moment of the past; here, however, the Praes., in using which Jesus means His continuous coming forward as the ambassador of God. Comp. John 3:31. The latter represents it more as a matter of the present.

] not again καί, because the two points are conceived, not as before copulatively, but alternatively (“whether I speak of the one or the other, you do not know it”); comp. 1 Corinthians 11:27. The latter is more expressive, because it is disjunctive.

John 8:13. To this the Pharisees, seeing only self-assertion, reply: Σὺἀληθής. A formal objection; cf. John 5:31. But the attempt to apply it here only shows how far the Pharisees were from even conceiving the conditions of a true revelation. They were still in the region of pedantic rules and external tests.

13. Thou bearest record] Our translators have again been somewhat capricious. The words which in John 8:13-14 they render ‘record’ and ‘bear record,’ they render in John 8:17-18 ‘witness’ and ‘bear witness.’ The latter rendering is to be preferred. The Pharisees attempt to cancel the effect of Christ’s impressive declaration by urging against Him a formal objection, the validity of which He had been heard to admit (John 5:31): Thou bearest witness of Thyself; Thy witness is not true.

John 8:13. Εἶπον, said) with undisguised importunity.—περὶ σεαυτοῦ, concerning Thyself) They bring up against the Lord His own words, comp. ch. John 5:31, “If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true,” but in a perverted sense.—ἀληθής, true) An abbreviated mode of expression. A man can speak the truth concerning himself; but that is not wont to be deemed as a sufficient testimony. But the Jews, in order that they may the more vehemently contradict Him, pretend that the testimony of Jesus is not even true.

Verses 13-19. -

(2) The refusal of the Pharisees to accept this claim on his unsupported testimony, and Christ's reply. Verse 13. - The fact that the Pharisees respond shows that the circumstances of the previous day are changed. They have been the secret and organized opponents of Jesus throughout. The synoptic Gospels show with what perverse ingenuity and doggedness they followed him from place to place, venturing to assail him through his disciples, through his omissions of ritual, and by reason of his Divine freedom in interpreting the sacred Scripture; nor did they refrain from attributing his miracles to the power of the evil one (Matthew 9.). They were the nucleus of the bitter opposition to him current among the rulers in Jerusalem, and they reveal here a reminiscence of the discussion which had taken place in the temple or its neighbourhood after the healing of the impotent man (John 5:31, etc.). There the Lord had said that if he bore witness of himself, without any corroboration, his witness, thus isolated and deprived of evidence, would, on the ordinary grounds of a prima facie testimony, not be true; but be went on to say, further, that his testimony was variously corroborated by the manifest presence and cooperation of the Father. Forgetting thus his own vindication of himself - which many months of varied proof of his personality had confirmed for candid minds - they assail his comparison of himself to the Light of the world, with: Thou bearest witness of thyself; thy witness - according to the canon he had himself admitted and supplemented; but they forgetting the supplement, add - (thy witness) is not true. "If thou art simply making such exalted claims as this, in forgetfulness of the well known maxim about self-witness, we take the liberty to dispute and reject it." John 8:13Thou barest record of thyself

Rev., witness. A technical objection, evading the real purport of Jesus' declaration. The Rabbinical writings declared that no man could give witness for himself.

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