5:30 I can do nothing on my own initiative. 1 Just as I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, 2 because I do not seek my own will, but the will of the one who sent me. 3
5:31 “If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true. 5:32 There is another 4 who testifies about me, and I know the testimony he testifies about me is true. 5:33 You have sent to John, 5 and he has testified to the truth. 5:34 (I do not accept 6 human testimony, but I say this so that you may be saved.) 5:35 He was a lamp that was burning and shining, 7 and you wanted to rejoice greatly for a short time 8 in his light.
5:36 “But I have a testimony greater than that from John. For the deeds 9 that the Father has assigned me to complete – the deeds 10 I am now doing – testify about me that the Father has sent me. 5:37 And the Father who sent me has himself testified about me. You people 11 have never heard his voice nor seen his form at any time, 12 5:38 nor do you have his word residing in you, because you do not believe the one whom he sent. 5:39 You study the scriptures thoroughly 13 because you think in them you possess eternal life, 14 and it is these same scriptures 15 that testify about me, 5:40 but you are not willing to come to me so that you may have life.
5:41 “I do not accept 16 praise 17 from people, 18 5:42 but I know you, that you do not have the love of God 19 within you. 5:43 I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept 20 me. If someone else comes in his own name, you will accept 21 him. 5:44 How can you believe, if you accept praise 22 from one another and don’t seek the praise 23 that comes from the only God? 24
5:45 “Do not suppose that I will accuse you before the Father. The one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have placed your hope. 25 5:46 If 26 you believed Moses, you would believe me, because he wrote about me. 5:47 But if you do not believe what Moses 27 wrote, how will you believe my words?”
[5:32] 4 sn To whom does another refer? To John the Baptist or to the Father? In the nearer context, v. 33, it would seem to be John the Baptist. But v. 34 seems to indicate that Jesus does not receive testimony from men. Probably it is better to view v. 32 as identical to v. 37, with the comments about the Baptist as a parenthetical digression.
[5:35] 7 sn He was a lamp that was burning and shining. Sir 48:1 states that the word of Elijah was “a flame like a torch.” Because of the connection of John the Baptist with Elijah (see John 1:21 and the note on John’s reply, “I am not”), it was natural for Jesus to apply this description to John.
[5:37] 12 sn You people have never heard his voice nor seen his form at any time. Compare Deut 4:12. Also see Deut 5:24 ff., where the Israelites begged to hear the voice no longer – their request (ironically) has by this time been granted. How ironic this would be if the feast is Pentecost, where by the 1st century
[5:39] 14 sn In them you possess eternal life. Note the following examples from the rabbinic tractate Pirqe Avot (“The Sayings of the Fathers”): Pirqe Avot 2:8, “He who has acquired the words of the law has acquired for himself the life of the world to come”; Pirqe Avot 6:7, “Great is the law for it gives to those who practice it life in this world and in the world to come.”
[5:42] 19 tn The genitive in the phrase τὴν ἀγάπην τοῦ θεοῦ (thn agaphn tou qeou, “the love of God”) could be translated as either a subjective genitive (“God’s love”) or an objective genitive (“love for God”). Either is grammatically possible. This is possibly an instance of a plenary genitive (see ExSyn 119-21; M. Zerwick, Biblical Greek, §§36-39). If so, the emphasis would be on the love God gives which in turn produces love for him, but Jesus’ opponents are lacking any such love inside them.
[5:44] 24 tc Several early and important witnesses (Ì66,75 B W a b sa) lack θεοῦ (qeou, “God”) here, thus reading “the only one,” while most of the rest of the tradition, including some important
[5:45] 25 sn The final condemnation will come from Moses himself – again ironic, since Moses is the very one the Jewish authorities have trusted in (placed your hope). This is again ironic if it is occurring at Pentecost, which at this time was being celebrated as the occasion of the giving of the Torah to Moses on Mt. Sinai. There is evidence that some Jews of the 1st century looked on Moses as their intercessor at the final judgment (see W. A. Meeks, The Prophet King [NovTSup], 161). This would mean the statement Moses, in whom you have placed your hope should be taken literally and relates directly to Jesus’ statements about the final judgment in John 5:28-29.