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Yohanes 5:31-40

More Testimony About Jesus

5:31 “If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true. 5:32 There is another 1  who testifies about me, and I know the testimony he testifies about me is true. 5:33 You have sent to John, 2  and he has testified to the truth. 5:34 (I do not accept 3  human testimony, but I say this so that you may be saved.) 5:35 He was a lamp that was burning and shining, 4  and you wanted to rejoice greatly for a short time 5  in his light.

5:36 “But I have a testimony greater than that from John. For the deeds 6  that the Father has assigned me to complete – the deeds 7  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 8  have never heard his voice nor seen his form at any time, 9  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 10  because you think in them you possess eternal life, 11  and it is these same scriptures 12  that testify about me, 5:40 but you are not willing to come to me so that you may have life.

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[5:32]  1 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.

[5:33]  2 sn John refers to John the Baptist.

[5:34]  3 tn Or “I do not receive.”

[5:35]  4 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.

[5:35]  5 tn Grk “for an hour.”

[5:36]  6 tn Or “works.”

[5:36]  7 tn Grk “complete, which I am now doing”; the referent of the relative pronoun has been specified by repeating “deeds” from the previous clause.

[5:37]  8 tn The word “people” is not in the Greek text, but is supplied to clarify that the following verbs (“heard,” “seen,” “have residing,” “do not believe”) are second person plural.

[5:37]  9 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 a.d. the giving of the law at Sinai was being celebrated.

[5:39]  10 tn Or “Study the scriptures thoroughly” (an imperative). For the meaning of the verb see G. Delling, TDNT 2:655-57.

[5:39]  11 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.”

[5:39]  12 tn The words “same scriptures” are not in the Greek text, but are supplied to clarify the referent (“these”).

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