The Ministry of Messiah, 2:1-12:50

3. Jesus the giver of life, 5:1-47

iii] The evidence of Jesus' authority


In the second part of the discourse on the authority of the Son of God, Jesus calls on three major witness to support the claim of his integral union with God the Father, and then goes on to explain why his fellow Jews find it so difficult to accept this claim.


Jesus' messianic credentials do not just rest on his own testimony, but even so, it is hard for faith to take root in a law-bound mind.


i] Context: See 5:1-18.


ii] Structure: Part II -The evidence of Jesus' authority:

Introduction - A false supposition, v31;

Three witness that support Jesus' messianic authority, v32-40:

John the Baptist, v32-35;

The signs, v36-37a;

The scriptures, v37b-40.

The cause of Israel's unbelief, v41-47.

Vanity, v41-44;

Nomism, v45-47.


iii] Interpretation:

Jesus begins the second part of the discourse with a false supposition which reflects on the dialogue he has just had with the religious authorities. Jesus makes many claims for himself, and as we know, they are true. Yet, from the perspective of the religious authorities, these outrageous claims come from but one man. Why should they believe that they are true? So Jesus addresses their false assumption by providing three witnesses to his messianic authority, and then goes on to explain why Israel finds it so difficult to accept his authority as God's messiah.

The testimony of Jesus alone is enough, but that "you may be saved" Jesus provides three other witnesses to his authority. The first witness is John the Baptist, a witness who had wide acceptance throughout Israel, including many from the religious establishment - "you chose for a time to enjoy his light." The second witness, a witness "weightier than that of John", is "the works that I am doing" - the signs and wonders. The third witness is that of scripture itself, of Jesus' fulfillment of prophecy. As Jesus will go on to explain, religious Israel has used the scriptures as if they provide, through the Law, a systematic means of realizing the promised blessings of the covenant, and yet the function of the law is to bear witness to the Christ, who by his own obedience / faithfulness will realize the promised blessings of the covenant and freely share them as a gift of grace through faith (the faith of Abraham, not the Law of Moses).

Jesus goes on to address the stumbling-blocks which prompt Israel's failure to accept his authority. The first stumbling-block to faith is the human tendency to crave the honor of others rather than God, v41-44. We know well today how powerful this motivator is - there are no accolades to be found affirming Biblical ethics in today's politically correct world. The second stumbling-block to faith is the failure of the religious to properly address the teachings of scripture, primarily the Law of Moses, v45-47. Both stumbling-blocks are likely to reflect the nomistic approach to the Law adopted by second-temple Judaism. As an act of divine grace God may have gathered to himself the people Israel, but it was believed that only through law-obedience could his people fully appropriate the promised blessings of the covenant. This focus on law, rather than grace, enhances the heresy of nomism (sanctification by obedience), with its consequent focus on gnat / insect law (easily complied with, eg., Sabbath regulations), while ignoring the weightier matters of the law (beyond compliance - justice, love, .... ). With such a world-view, the religious tend to honor those with the longest tassel while remaining blind to the grace of God revealed in the scriptures. Their human-centered world cannot abide a messiah who fulfills the law by transcending its requirements with love.

For John, the discourse is not a condemnation of Israel, but a further attempt to shift his fellow religious Jews from a world-view bound by law rather than grace, and in doing so, open them to the possibility that Jesus is Israel's messiah.

Text - 5:31

The evidence for Jesus' authority: i] Witnesses to the claims of the Divine Son, v31-40. Jesus opens with a false supposition, namely, that his testimony is not true because the truth of a matter cannot rest on the evidence of a single witness, in this case Jesus himself. Jesus will go on to explain that he is not the only witness to his messianic authority.

ean + subj. "if" - if, as may be the case, ..... then. The classification of this conditional clause is somewhat fraught. At face value it presents as a 3rd. class conditional clause where the proposed condition has the possibility of coming true, so Harris. Wallace classifies it as a 5th. class conditional clause which expresses a supposition, p470-1. Three possible approaches are worth considering:

What we have here is an invalid conditional proposition / supposition, ie., an ad hominem argument, so Lindars; "if, as may be the case [I testify about myself] then it may be argued that [the testimony of me is not true, but as it turns out there is another who testifies about me]" As we know, Jesus does testify to himself, and his testimony is true, 8:14. His opponents may like to suggest that Jesus' personal testimony is worthless and likely untrue (Mishnah re a marriage dispute: "None may be believed when he testifies to himself", Ketuboth 8:17), but this is not the case for Jesus, a fact that can be verified by other supportive witnesses. "I testify about myself and I know that you suggest that my testimony is not valid, but there is another who testifies in my favor ....."

Another interpretation worth considering is as follows: "If I alone (apart from the Father) bear witness about myself, my testimony is not true", ESV: "It is impossible for Jesus, who acts only in conjunction with the Father, to pose as an independent, self-authenticating authority", Barrett; "If the burden of evidence to support the tremendous claims he has been making exclusively depends on his own self-attestation, his witness must be false. .... He says and does only what the Father wants him to say and do. His witness is therefore not simply his own witness; it is the witness of the Father", Carson.

Brown's take is worth noting, so also Ridderbos, ....: "If I am my own witness, my testimony cannot be verified." Jesus' words reflect a basic principle of law - one witness cannot, by themselves, be taken to determine the truth of a matter, eg., in criminal matters, Deut.17:6, 19:15, Num.35:30, Heb.10:28.

egw pro. "I" - Emphatic by use and position; Possibly, "I alone (and and in fellowship with no other)", Westcott, but note arguments above.

peri + gen. "about [myself]" - about [myself], the witness of me is not true]. Expressing reference / respect, "concerning, about myself", but possibly advantage / representation (used instead of uJper); "on behalf of", so Cassirer.


a) The first supportive witness - John the Baptist, v32-35. There is some debate over whether this verse should be taken with v31, or v33. If it is taken with v31 then the implication is that the alloV, "the other", is the Father. This would support the second of the interpretations provided for the conditional clause in v31, ie., the argument put by Barrett and Carson - v34 and v37 add some weight to this option and is the view held by most modern commentators. If taken with v33 then "the other" is the Baptist, so Chrysostom, Cyprian. Schnackenburg argues that Jesus is not summoning three witnesses, but only one, God the Father, a testimony exercised through the Baptist, through signs and through the scriptures, cf., Beasley-Murray, ...

alloV adj. "[there is] another" - Predicate adjective. The use of this adjective, rather than eJteroV, "another of a different kind", is taken by some to underline the sense "another of the same kind" = a divine kind = the Father. "There is someone else who speaks for me, and I know what he says is true", CEV.

oJ marturwn (marturew) pres. part. "who testifies" - the one testifying. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting the substantive adjective"the other" The present tense, being durative, may indicate ongoing testimony.

peri + gen. "in [my] favor" - about [me]. Normally expressing reference / respect, "concerning, about", but here the NIV opts for advantage, "on behalf of." In the second clause the NIV reverts to "about".

oJti "that" - [and i know] that [the testimony which he testifies about me is true]. Introducing an object clause / dependent statement of perception expressing what Jesus knows.


If "the Jews" (oi Ioudaioi = Israel's religious establishment. Primarily the Jewish religious authorities, but also including the priestly class, Levites, Pharisees, rabbis, ...) need supportive testimony of Jesus' authority they have it in John the Baptist.

uJmeiV "you" - you. Emphatic by position and use, so "you yourselves." "You sent messengers to John", CEV.

apostalkate (apostellw) perf. "have sent" - have sent. Referring to the officials sent from Jerusalem with the task of reporting on the Baptist's preaching, 1:19. The perfect tense of "have sent", as also "has testified", expresses action in the past with ongoing consequences, here more related to an ongoing relevance rather than a state. The Jewish authorities inquired of the Baptist regarding Jesus, and they still possess the Baptist's testimony / witness, which testimony continues to evidence the truth about Jesus - "the testimony still has value", Brown. "You yourselves have a witness to my person, and the truth of that testimony still stands."

proV + acc. "to [John]" - toward [john]. Spacial, expressing movement toward.

th/ alhqeia/ (a) dat. "the truth" - [and he has testified to] the truth. Dative of direct object after the verb "to bear witness to" / dative of the thing testified to; "born witness to the truth", possibly "for the truth." The "truth" being the truth that Jesus is the Son of God / Son of Man, cf., Barrett; "Lamb of God, Spirit-anointed Son of God", Carson. Cf., 1:7.


Since the Son of God is about the Father's business, Jesus needs no supportive witness to his authority, but for the sake of the eternal standing of his audience, he is willing to provide it. "Not that I rely on human testimony, but I remind you of it for your own salvation", REB. As already noted, some commentators are uneasy with the notion that Jesus would give any weight to supportive testimony other than that of the Father - Jesus would not accept the testimony of men because that would mean "there is a commensurable relationship between human and divine standards", Bultmann.

de "-" - but/and [i do not receive the testimony from men]. Transitional; indicating a logical step in the discourse, here as a qualification (Brown suggests a parenthesis; Morris, "a little aside"); "Mind you, not that I need corroborating testimony from a mere mortal."

egw "I" - Emphatic by position and use.

para + gen. "-" - from. Expressing agency, "by", or source, "from".

alla "but [I mention it]" - but [these things i say]. Strong adversative standing in a counterpoint construction, ou ....alla, "not ..... but ...." "But I mention this ......" The touta, "these things", = "John's testimony."

iJna + subj. "that [you may be saved]" - Introducing a final clause expressing purpose, "in order that you may attain salvation."


The Baptist was not the light, but he was a spot-light on the light which was coming into the world - possible ref. to Elijah whose words "burned like a torch", Ecclesiasticus 48:1. The religious authorities accepted that he was a prophet (cf., Mk.11:32), but ultimately rejected his witness to Christ; for them it was a "passing enthusiasm", Brown.

ekeinoV pro. "John [was a lamp]" - that one [was the lamp]. Demonstrative pronoun, emphatic, nominative subject of the verb to-be, backward referencing to "John". Harris argues that that lucnoV, "lamp", takes the article oJ to indicate that it is a specific lamp, "the well-known lamp / the only lamp that really merits this description."

o kaiomenoV (kaiw) pres. mid./pas. part. "that burned" - the one burning / kindled [and shining]. As with "shining", the participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "the lamp." If the passive is read, then "kindled, set aflame" is more likely the sense than "burning"; "John's light is derived from a higher source", Barrett.

hqelhsate (qelw) aor. "[you] chose" - [but you] willed. The aorist probably reflects the idea of a momentary willing further expressed in the prepositional phrase "for an hour" = "for awhile." "You preferred the brief religious excitement of John's ministry to faith in him whom God sent", Barrett. The use of the pronoun uJmeiV, "you", is emphatic.

proV + acc. "for [a time]" - toward [an hour]. Temporal use of the preposition. "For awhile they had been pleased to let themselves be mesmerized by the power with which John announced the arrival of the new dawn for Israel. But in their fickleness they had soon turned away from him", Ridderbos.

agalliaqhnai (agalliaw) aor. pas. inf. "to enjoy" - [but/and you willed] to exalt, rejoice [for a time]. The infinitive introduces an object clause / dependent statement of cause expressing what they willed / chose to do; "you (who investigated John's credentials in the first place) were willing to rejoice in his light", Barclay.

en + dat. "-" - in. local, space, metaphorical, although Novakovic suggests cause.

autou gen. pro. "his [light]" - [the light] of him. The genitive is adjectival, possessive, "his light", as NIV, but possibly verbal, subjective / idiomatic, "the light which he shed."


b) the second supportive witness - the signs, v36-37a. In contrast to the testimony of the Baptist, there is another testimony which outshines it, namely the miraculous works of Jesus. These signs are witness enough to certify Jesus' divine authority. They serve this end because they are a product of the Father's abiding in Christ and are thus of a wondrous order well beyond the ability of any man, cf., 15:24.

de "-" - but/and. Transitional; indicating a logical step in the discourse.

egw pro. "I [have]" - Emphatic by position and use.

tou Iwannou (hV ou) gen. "of John" - [a testimony / witness greater] of the witness of john. An elliptical construction such that the genitive "of the witness" is ablative, of comparison, "greater than the witness = the testimony that John gave for me", and the genitive "of John" is adjectival, either possessive, or verbal, "evidenced by John." "I can produce greater evidence in support of my claims than the evidence of John", Barclay.

gar "for" - Probably serving to introduce a causal clause explaining why Jesus' testimony is weightier than that of John's, namely "because" Jesus' testimony consists of "works" / signs which the Father has given him to accomplish. Possibly just emphatic; "Indeed, the works that the Father has given me ..."

moi dat. pro. "[has given] me" - [the works which the father has given] to me. Dative of indirect object.

iJna + subj. "to finish" - that [i may complete / fulfill them]. Here introducing a final clause expressing purpose, "in order that ...", or a consecutive clause expressing result, "with the result that ...."

auta pro. "the very [works]" - them = these [the works which i do]. Here resumptive, introducing a parenthetical statement, as NIV.

peri + gen. "-" - [they testify] about [me]. Expressing reference / respect; "about, concerning." As is common practice, a singular verb follows a neuter plural subject so "it testifies" = "they (the works) testify."

oJti "that [the Father has sent me]" - Introducing an object clause / dependent statement of indirect speech expressing what the works / signs testify, namely that the Father has sent Jesus.


kai "and" - Here coordinate with a consecutive edge, ie., drawing a logical conclusion from v36; "and so ......", cf., BDF 442[2], BDAG 95. "This is how the Father who sent me has given his own personal testimony to me", ie., the Father has given his testimony through the signs which Jesus performs. This seems to be the intent of v37a, although Kostenberger, Beasley-Murray, ..., link this clause with the following verses - the Father's revelation in scripture. The Father's revelation at Jesus' baptism is suggested by Bruce. Carson, as with Lightfoot, suggests that the statement is a "general reference to all the Father's revealing work"; "the entire revelation of the Father from the beginning", Morris, so also Klink.

pemyaV (pempw) aor. part. "[the Father] who sent [me]" - [and the father] having sent [me]. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "the Father."

ekeinoV pro. "-" - that one [has testified]. The demonstrative pronoun, nominative subject of the verb "to bear witness to", is anaphoric, referring back to "the Father."

peri + gen. "concerning [me]" - about [me]. Expressing reference / respect, "about, concerning", but possibly advantage / representation, "on behalf of me."


c) The third supportive witness - the Scriptures, v37b-40. The scriptures contain the testimony of the Father concerning Jesus. Hearing and seeing God may be impossible, but humanity does have a revelation from him, a revelation Israel has constantly ignored.

oute ...... oute "neither ..... nor" - neither [the voice of him have you ever heard] nor [the visage of him have you seen]. A negated comparative construction. "Visage" means "visible form / outward appearance." "Now, you have never at any time heard the voice of God the Father, nor seen his outward appearance."


kai "nor" - and [you do not have the word of him abiding in you]. Coordinative, as NIV; "and nor have you taken to heart his revealed truths." Addressing the religious authorities, Jesus makes the point that not only have they never heard the voice of God, nor seen his visage, but they have never really assimilated the Father's revelation, ton logon autou, "the word of him" - that "word" is not en, "in", them, indwelling in them, menonta, "abiding", in them. If Jesus' opponents had truly accepted the revealed word of God they would have accepted / believed in Jesus, rather than reject him, so Kostenberger, Ridderbos.

menonta (menw) "dwell [in you]" - abiding, remaining, continuing. The participle serves as an object complement standing in a double accusative constructon, asserting a fact about the direct object "the word."

oJti "for" - because. Introducing a causal clause explaining why the religious authorities have not assimilated God's revealed truths in the scriptures, truths which testify to Christ, "because" they have not put their faith / trust in Jesus.

ekeinoV pro. "-" - [the one whom sent] that one. Likely to be an emphatic use of the demonstrative pronoun, here in a positive sense.

toutw/ pro. "[you do not believe] the one [he sent]" - [you do not believe] this one = him. The demonstrative pronoun serves as a dative of direct object after the verb "to believe." Anaphoric, referring back to "that one", the one sent by the Father; "because you refuse to believe him whom he sent", Barclay.


A rabbi would study the scriptures (do their midrash) to learn the path of obedience for the maintenance of their covenant standing and thus their eternal salvation - "the more study of the law the more life", Hilleil (sanctification by obedience!). This may be the "study" referred to here, in which case the sense is "the function of the Old Testament is precisely the opposite to that which the Jews ascribe to it. So far from being complete and life-giving in itself, it points away from itself to Jesus, exactly as John the Baptist did", Barrett. Yet, on the other hand, it may be study focused on the coming messianic age when God's messiah will act to realize his promised salvation of all Israel. It was for this reason that the gospels (particularly Matthew) went to great lengths to indicate the many prophetic OT texts fulfilled by Jesus. "You always have your heads in the Bible searching out the prophetic texts that point to the messianic age and the salvation of Israel, but you're as blind as bats. All these texts are about me! They point to me the life-giver, and yet you refuse to believe ("come") to me and receive life in all its fullness."

eraunate (eraunaw) pres. "you study [the Scriptures]" - Best read as an indicative - stating a fact. The present tense, being durative, may indicate an ongoing examination; "you pore over the scriptures", Phillips. The presence of the article with "scriptures" may indicate particular passages of scripture, ie., messianic texts concerned with the salvation of Israel.

oJti "because" - Introducing a causal clause explaining why the religious authorities diligently study the scriptures, namely because they believe that in them lies the secret to life. Taken by some to stand in the place of a relative pronoun (Aramaic influence); "you search the scriptures which by them you think to have = find life", cf., Zerwick #424.

ecwin (ecw) pres. inf. "[you think] that .... you have" - [you think] to have [in them eternal life]. The infinitive introduces an object clause / dependent statement of perception expressing what they think they gain in the study of the scriptures; "you think that you have in them ....." The preposition en is probably instrumental, "you think that by the study of them you have = gain life (the eschatological life promised to Israel???)" - the position of the prepositional phrase "in them" is emphatic. Note that "eternal" is missing in some texts - it is a word likely to be added in transcription, rather than dropped.

kai "-" - and. Somewhat adversative, "and yet these are the ones testifying ...", or emphatic, "and indeed."

ekeinai pro. "these [are the] very scriptures" - those (the scriptures) [are]. Nominative subject of the verb to-be. This demonstrative pronoun is used for emphasis, as NIV; "it is these very scriptures which provide you with the evidence about me", Barclay.

aiJ marturousai (marturew) pres. part. "that testify" - the ones testifying. The participle serves as a substantive, predicate nominative of the verb to-be. Novakovic aptly reminds us that without an article the participle would form a periphrasis with the verb to-be.

peri + gen. "about [me]" - Expressing reference / respect, as NIV, but possibly advantage / representation, "on my behalf", Cassirer.


kai "yet" - and. Again with an adversative sense, as NIV.

elqein (ercomai) aor. inf. "[you refuse] to come" - [you do not will] to come [to me]. This infinitive is usually classified as complementary, completing the sense of the verb "to will"; "you are not willing to receive from me the life you say you want", Peterson.

iJna + subj. "to [have life]" - that [you may have life]. Introducing a final clause expressing purpose; "in order that / so that you may have life."


ii] The cause of Israel's unbelief, v41-47. a) Vanity, v41-44. Israel's Bible students are unable to recognize Jesus as Israel's messiah. John now tells us why. The heart of their problem lies in their failure to possess the love of God, their failure to take to themselves the merciful forgiving loving grace of God freely showered on unworthy sinners. Instead of seeking divine grace, they seek the commendation of others. These students of the Bible are more motivated by self-love than divine-love, they are motivated by the quest for personal honors. So, they are well able to "appreciate self-assertion, but not the obedience and self-denial of Jesus", Fenton, v43. "How can you ever come to believe in Jesus as messiah when you spend all your time seeking the approval of others, rather than the approval that comes from God alone?", v44.

dixan (a) "glory" - [I do not receive] glory. As Morris notes, this word has numerous meanings. Here the sense seems to be "approval, esteem, praise, commendation, recognition." "Your approval means nothing to me", NLT.

para "from" - from [men]. Expressing agency, "by", or source, "from". Jesus opens the argument with the statement that he is not swayed by the recognition / commendation of others. By pointing to his own behavior Jesus will expose the behavior of the Jewish elite. "Men's approval or disapproval means nothing to me", Phillips.


alla "but" - but [i have known you from long experience that you do accept glory from people]. Strong adversative in a counterpoint construction / argument although somewhat elliptical; "I don't accept the praise of people, but I know that you do." Note that the verb "to know" is perfect, "I have come to know and still know", Harris / Robertson.

oJti "I know that" - Best taken as introducing an object clause / dependent statement of perception, following an assumed verb "to know", expressing what Jesus knows, as NIV. If we accept the Gk. word order then uJmaV, "you", is the direct object of egnwka, "have known", rather than the object clause introduced by oJti. So, as NIV, rather than the ESV "but I know that you do not have the love of God."

to qeou (oV) gen. "[the love] of God" - The genitive is adjectival, verbal, objective or subjective. This statement serves as the classic example of the enigma caused by the verbal genitive. Here the majority of commentators opt for an objective genitive, namely, that the "Jews" are so self-absorbed that they do not reach out in love toward God; "you do not have, in yourselves, love for God", so Barrett, Morris, Kostenberger, Carson, Lindars, contra Brown It is actually hard to imagine that this would be the case, that their whole religious life is a sham! As a rule of thumb, the objective genitive should be a second choice where possible, so we are best to take this adjectival genitive as subjective / idiomatic; "the love which God freely bestows on us." The love is God's love, his gracious all-forgiving mercy and kindness, a love which is active in that God generously pours it out on even his most unworthy subjects. Had these "Jews" opened themselves to the grace of God instead of burying themselves in law-obedience, had their inner beings been washed with God's enlivening love, then they would have accepted Christ with open arms. As it now stands, they glory in the commendation / approval of one another rather than the commendation / approval of God. "The Jews addressed by Jesus have neither the word of God in them (v38), nor the life of God (in them) (v40), nor the love of God (in them)", Beasley-Murray.

en + dat. "in [your hearts]" - in [yourselves]. Local, space, metaphorical.


egw pro. "I [have come]" - Emphatic by position and use.

en + dat. "in" - in [the name of the father of me and you do not receive me]. Spacial, metaphorical / accompaniment, although Novakovic suggests instrumental, expressing agency / means. "The name" represents the person, a name which carries with it the authority of that person. So, to "come in the name" of someone is to come under / with their authority; "I came with the authority of my Father, and you either dismiss me or avoid me", Peterson.

kai "and" - Probably slightly adversative here; "and yet."

ean + subj. "but if" - if, as may be the case, [another comes in his own name, then that one you will receive, accept]. Introducing a 3rd., class conditional clause where the proposed condition has the possibility of coming true. Again the demonstrative pronoun ekeinon, "that one", is emphatic.


pwV "how" - Interrogative particle.

pisteusai (pisteuw) aor. inf. "[can you] believe" - [are you able] to believe. The infinitive is complementary, completing the sense of the verb "to be able." Note the pronoun uJmeiV, "you", is emphatic by use; "people like you", Harris.

lambanonteV (lambanw) pres. part. "since you accept" - receiving [the glory = approval) from one another]. The participle is adverbial, but its modifying function is not clear. The NIV opts for conditional, "how can you believe if you accept praise from one another", but NIV11 changes it to causal, "since you accept." Berkeley, Barclay, ESV, ... take it as temporal, "how can you believe when you welcome the praise of others." To the 1st. century reader a mixture of all may be in mind. "How on earth can you believe while you are forever looking for each other's approval and not for the glory (= approval???) that comes from the one God", Phillips.

thn "[the glory] that [come from the only God" - [and you do not seek the glory] the [from beside the only god]. The article serves as an adjectivizer turning the prepositional phrase "from beside the only God" into an attributive modifier limiting the noun "glory"; "the glory = approval which is from beside = that comes from the only God."


b) Nomism, v45-50. The second cause for Israel's inability to recognize Jesus as God's messiah relates to their nomism (attention to law-obedience in order to constrain sin and progress righteousness / holiness for the full appropriation of God's promised covenant blessings - the heresy of sanctification by obedience). Jesus states that Moses "wrote about me", but "you do not believe what he wrote", therefore "how are you going to believe what I say?" There is not much in the five books of Moses that directly point to Christ; see Gen.3:15, 49:10, Num.24:17. The one element above all others that points to Christ is the Sinai Law - the Law of Moses. As Paul made clear in his letter to the Galatians, the purpose of the law is "to lead us to Christ", 3:24. The law serves to force the sinner to recognize their sinfulness and thus, their need for a savior, someone to rest on with a faith like Abraham's. The sinner easily recognizes that Jesus fits the bill. Yet, the "Jews", these devoted students of the Bible, had come to see the law as an end in itself and so, in their self-righteous state, were blind to Christ. Jesus will not need to judge them in the last day, the Law of Moses will judge them.

oJti "[do not think]" - [do not think, suppose] that. Introducing an object clause / dependent statement of perception expressing what they should not think. The personal pronoun egw, "I", is emphatic by use. "Don't think that I'm the one who will lay charges against you before the Father."

uJmwn gen. pro. "[I will accuse] you" - [i will accuse] you [toward the father]. Genitive of direct object after the verb "to accuse", and again after the participle "the one accusing you."

oJ kathgorwn (kathgorew) pres. part. "[your] accuser" - the one accusing [you is moses]. The participle serves as a substantive, nominative subject of the verb to-be; "your accuser is Moses." The present tense of the verb to-be may be futuristic; "on the day of judgment you accuser will be Moses."

eiV "on [whom]" - into [whom you have hoped]. The NIV has taken the preposition here as standing in for epi, "on, upon." Possibly used here to express the object of "hope", goal, end-view. Yet eiV is also used to replace en, "in", so: "Moses is your accuser, Moses in whom you place your trust", Barclay. Moses is the advocate and defender of Israel (cf., Exod.32:30-32), but "Moses" is probably being used in the sense of the one who gives the law = "the Law of Moses." The "Jews" think that their attention to the law will serve them well on the day of Judgment, but in fact, it will be their accuser, "for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God."


gar "-" - for. Introducing a causal clause explaining why their accuser will be Moses, "because" they didn't believe what Moses "wrote about me."

ei + ind. an + imperf. ind. "If" - if, as is not the case, [you were believing moses] then [you would have believed me]. Introducing a conditional clause, 2nd. class, where the proposed condition is contrary to fact; "If you had believed Moses, although sadly you have not believed him, then you would have believed me."

Mwusei (hV ewV) dat. "Moses" - Dative of direct object after the verb "to believe in."

emoi dat. pro. "[you would have believed] me" - Dative of direct object after the verb "to believe in." Note that emoi is more emphatic that moi.

gar "for" - Here introducing a causal clause explaining why the "Jews" would have believed in Jesus if they had believed what Moses wrote, namely, "because" Moses' writings point to Christ; "believed" in the sense of accepted, received. As noted above, Moses' writings referred to here are most likely the Sinai law, the Law of Moses. These Bible scholars ignored the intent of the law (to expose sin), choosing the pathway of law-obedience rather than the pathway set by Abraham, namely faith in the mercy of God, and so they were unable to recognize God gracious intent in Christ. They saw the law as an end in itself, busying themselves with gnat law while ignoring the "weightier matters of the law" (law that is beyond doing).

ekeinoV pro. "he" - that one. The use of the demonstrative pronoun here is probably emphatic, although John does often use a demonstrative pronoun for a personal pronoun.

peri + gen. "about [me]" - [wrote] about [me]. Expressing reference / respect, as NIV, but possibly advantage / representation, "on behalf of me."


de "but" - but/and. Usually handled as an adversative here, although it is really transitional, indicating a step in the logic of the argument; what is not the case, v46, what is the case, v47.

ei + ind. "since [you do not believe]" - if, as is the case, [you do not believe] then [how will you believe my words]? Introducing a conditional clause 1st. class, where the proposed condition is assumed to be true. Given de and the fact that "if" in English expresses doubt, the NIV has chosen to express the condition as a causal clause, as TEV, so dispelling all doubt.

grammasin (a atoV) dat. "what [he] wrote" - the writings. Dative of direct object after the verb "to believe in."

ekeinou gen. pro. "he" - of that one. Emphatic use of the demonstrative pronoun. The genitive is probably best viewed as adjectival, possessive, "Moses' writings", or ablative, source / origin, "the writings from Moses."

pwV "how" - how [will you believe]. interrogative particle.

rJhmasin (a atoV) dat. "what [I wrote]" - [my] words, things. Dative of direct object after the verb "to believe." Probably "sayings" = teachings, rather than "things" = deeds, signs and wonders.


John Introduction

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