John 3:11
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony.

New Living Translation
I assure you, we tell you what we know and have seen, and yet you won't believe our testimony.

English Standard Version
Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you do not receive our testimony.

New American Standard Bible
"Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know and testify of what we have seen, and you do not accept our testimony.

King James Bible
Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
"I assure you: We speak what We know and We testify to what We have seen, but you do not accept Our testimony.

International Standard Version
Truly, I tell you emphatically, we know what we're talking about, and we testify about what we've seen. Yet you people do not accept our testimony.

NET Bible
I tell you the solemn truth, we speak about what we know and testify about what we have seen, but you people do not accept our testimony.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Timeless truth I speak to you: The things that We know We are speaking and the things that We see We are testifying, and Our testimony all of you do not accept.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I can guarantee this truth: We know what we're talking about, and we confirm what we've seen. Yet, you don't accept our message.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Verily, verily, I say unto thee that we speak what we know and testify that which we have seen, and ye do not receive our witness.

King James 2000 Bible
Verily, verily, I say unto you, We speak what we do know, and testify what we have seen; and you receive not our witness.

American King James Version
Truly, truly, I say to you, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and you receive not our witness.

American Standard Version
Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that which we know, and bear witness of that which we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Amen, amen I say to thee, that we speak what we know, and we testify what we have seen, and you receive not our testimony.

Darby Bible Translation
Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that which we know, and we bear witness of that which we have seen, and ye receive not our witness.

English Revised Version
Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and bear witness of that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.

Webster's Bible Translation
Verily, verily, I say to thee, We speak what we know, and testify what we have seen; and ye receive not our testimony.

Weymouth New Testament
In most solemn truth I tell you that we speak what we know, and give testimony of that of which we were eye-witnesses, and yet you all reject our testimony.

World English Bible
Most certainly I tell you, we speak that which we know, and testify of that which we have seen, and you don't receive our witness.

Young's Literal Translation
'Verily, verily, I say to thee -- What we have known we speak, and what we have seen we testify, and our testimony ye do not receive;
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

3:1-8 Nicodemus was afraid, or ashamed to be seen with Christ, therefore came in the night. When religion is out of fashion, there are many Nicodemites. But though he came by night, Jesus bid him welcome, and hereby taught us to encourage good beginnings, although weak. And though now he came by night, yet afterward he owned Christ publicly. He did not talk with Christ about state affairs, though he was a ruler, but about the concerns of his own soul and its salvation, and went at once to them. Our Saviour spoke of the necessity and nature of regeneration or the new birth, and at once directed Nicodemus to the source of holiness of the heart. Birth is the beginning of life; to be born again, is to begin to live anew, as those who have lived much amiss, or to little purpose. We must have a new nature, new principles, new affections, new aims. By our first birth we were corrupt, shapen in sin; therefore we must be made new creatures. No stronger expression could have been chosen to signify a great and most remarkable change of state and character. We must be entirely different from what we were before, as that which begins to be at any time, is not, and cannot be the same with that which was before. This new birth is from heaven, ch. 1:13, and its tendency is to heaven. It is a great change made in the heart of a sinner, by the power of the Holy Spirit. It means that something is done in us, and for us, which we cannot do for ourselves. Something is wrong, whereby such a life begins as shall last for ever. We cannot otherwise expect any benefit by Christ; it is necessary to our happiness here and hereafter. What Christ speak, Nicodemus misunderstood, as if there had been no other way of regenerating and new-moulding an immortal soul, than by new-framing the body. But he acknowledged his ignorance, which shows a desire to be better informed. It is then further explained by the Lord Jesus. He shows the Author of this blessed change. It is not wrought by any wisdom or power of our own, but by the power of the blessed Spirit. We are shapen in iniquity, which makes it necessary that our nature be changed. We are not to marvel at this; for, when we consider the holiness of God, the depravity of our nature, and the happiness set before us, we shall not think it strange that so much stress is laid upon this. The regenerating work of the Holy Spirit is compared to water. It is also probable that Christ had reference to the ordinance of baptism. Not that all those, and those only, that are baptized, are saved; but without that new birth which is wrought by the Spirit, and signified by baptism, none shall be subjects of the kingdom of heaven. The same word signifies both the wind and the Spirit. The wind bloweth where it listeth for us; God directs it. The Spirit sends his influences where, and when, on whom, and in what measure and degree, he pleases. Though the causes are hidden, the effects are plain, when the soul is brought to mourn for sin, and to breathe after Christ. Christ's stating of the doctrine and the necessity of regeneration, it should seem, made it not clearer to Nicodemus. Thus the things of the Spirit of God are foolishness to the natural man. Many think that cannot be proved, which they cannot believe. Christ's discourse of gospel truths, ver. 11-13, shows the folly of those who make these things strange unto them; and it recommends us to search them out. Jesus Christ is every way able to reveal the will of God to us; for he came down from heaven, and yet is in heaven. We have here a notice of Christ's two distinct natures in one person, so that while he is the Son of man, yet he is in heaven. God is the HE THAT IS, and heaven is the dwelling-place of his holiness. The knowledge of this must be from above, and can be received by faith alone. Jesus Christ came to save us by healing us, as the children of Israel, stung with fiery serpents, were cured and lived by looking up to the brazen serpent, Nu 21:6-9. In this observe the deadly and destructive nature of sin. Ask awakened consciences, ask damned sinners, they will tell you, that how charming soever the allurements of sin may be, at the last it bites like a serpent. See the powerful remedy against this fatal malady. Christ is plainly set forth to us in the gospel. He whom we offended is our Peace, and the way of applying for a cure is by believing. If any so far slight either their disease by sin, or the method of cure by Christ, as not to receive Christ upon his own terms, their ruin is upon their own heads. He has said, Look and be saved, look and live; lift up the eyes of your faith to Christ crucified. And until we have grace to do this, we shall not be cured, but still are wounded with the stings of Satan, and in a dying state. Jesus Christ came to save us by pardoning us, that we might not die by the sentence of the law. Here is gospel, good news indeed. Here is God's love in giving his Son for the world. God so loved the world; so really, so richly. Behold and wonder, that the great God should love such a worthless world! Here, also, is the great gospel duty, to believe in Jesus Christ. God having given him to be our Prophet, Priest, and King, we must give up ourselves to be ruled, and taught, and saved by him. And here is the great gospel benefit, that whoever believes in Christ, shall not perish, but shall have everlasting life. God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, and so saving it. It could not be saved, but through him; there is no salvation in any other. From all this is shown the happiness of true believers; he that believeth in Christ is not condemned. Though he has been a great sinner, yet he is not dealt with according to what his sins deserve. How great is the sin of unbelievers! God sent One to save us, that was dearest to himself; and shall he not be dearest to us? How great is the misery of unbelievers! they are condemned already; which speaks a certain condemnation; a present condemnation. The wrath of God now fastens upon them; and their own hearts condemn them. There is also a condemnation grounded on their former guilt; they are open to the law for all their sins; because they are not by faith interested in the gospel pardon. Unbelief is a sin against the remedy. It springs from the enmity of the heart of man to God, from love of sin in some form. Read also the doom of those that would not know Christ. Sinful works are works of darkness. The wicked world keep as far from this light as they can, lest their deeds should be reproved. Christ is hated, because sin is loved. If they had not hated saving knowledge, they would not sit down contentedly in condemning ignorance. On the other hand, renewed hearts bid this light welcome. A good man acts truly and sincerely in all he does. He desires to know what the will of God is, and to do it, though against his own worldly interest. A change in his whole character and conduct has taken place. The love of God is shed abroad in his heart by the Holy Ghost, and is become the commanding principle of his actions. So long as he continues under a load of unforgiven guilt, there can be little else than slavish fear of God; but when his doubts are done away, when he sees the righteous ground whereon this forgiveness is built, he rests on it as his own, and is united to God by unfeigned love. Our works are good when the will of God is the rule of them, and the glory of God the end of them; when they are done in his strength, and for his sake; to him, and not to men. Regeneration, or the new birth, is a subject to which the world is very averse; it is, however, the grand concern, in comparison with which every thing else is but trifling. What does it signify though we have food to eat in plenty, and variety of raiment to put on, if we are not born again? if after a few mornings and evenings spent in unthinking mirth, carnal pleasure, and riot, we die in our sins, and lie down in sorrow? What does it signify though we are well able to act our parts in life, in every other respect, if at last we hear from the Supreme Judge, Depart from me, I know you not, ye workers of iniquity?

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 11. - Verily, verily, I say to thee, We speak that which we know, and testify that which we have seen. Lucke and Meyer think that our Lord here merely uses the pluralis majestaticus - uses it as St. Paul does, when clearly he was referring to himself alone. It is difficult to believe this in the curious and impressive change of person here adopted, and the return to the first person singular in ver. 12. There was some reason why Jesus, in making this particular saying, uses the plural.

(1) Luthardt says, "Christ and the Baptist."

(2) Luther and Tholuck, "Christ and the whole prophetic company."

(3) Stier, "The Three Persons of the blessed Trinity" (see Chrysostom, etc.).

(4) Hengstenberg, Godet, Westcott, Moulton, have in various ways recognized the fact that the company of the disciples already called into the spiritual kingdom, and alive to the mighty power of the Spirit in recreating humanity, were present at this interview. They stood there to affirm the reality of the truth of which their Lord was speaking. Nothing in this sentence is incongruous with the experience and practice of those who had appreciated and were already speaking of the necessity of radical change or spiritual regeneration and of genuine repentance. John in his First Epistle (1 John 1:1-4) uses some of the very phraseology of this solemn verse, ο{ ἑωράκαμεν... μαρτυροῦμεν. Our Lord, on this occasion, gave him permission to do so. The knowledge which he spake of, the vision to which he testified, was in its way and to a degree within the compass of any disciple who had been waked up by the Lord's words to crave an entirely new beginning of his life, a birth of the Spirit. And ye receive not our testimony. This melancholy assertion proves that from the very first (as John said in his "prologue" concerning all the ministry of the Logos, and all the testimony of the prophetic Spirit to the reality of the light) "the darkness reeeiveth it not." The first demand which the Divine Lord made was rejected, the first "testimony" was disbelieved. From the beginning the dark shadow of death fell on his path. Nicodemus, or those whom he represented, may have had their curiosity excited, but their entire attitude was non-admission of the fundamental principle, viz. the inward illumination and life he came to supply.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Verily, verily, I say unto thee, we speak that we do know,.... Meaning either himself, and John the Baptist his forerunner, who preached the same doctrine of regeneration, internal sanctification, and evangelical repentance, as well as outward reformation, as necessary to entrance into the kingdom of heaven, or the Gospel dispensation, he declared was just at hand; or his disciples with himself, who were now with him, and whom he had called to preach the same truths he himself did; or the prophets of the Old Testament, who agreed with him in these things; or the Father that was with him, and never left him alone, and the Holy Spirit that was upon him, by whom he was anointed to preach these things, and who spoke them in him; or else he may use the plural number of himself alone, as being one in authority, and speaking with it, as he sometimes did, Mark 4:30, and the rather this seems to be the sense, since he immediately, in the next verse, speaks in the singular number, "if I have told you earthly things", &c. Now Christ must needs thoroughly, and certainly know what he spoke, since he was not only the omniscient God, but, as Mediator, had all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge in him, and the spirit of wisdom and knowledge rested on him:

and testify that we have seen; and therefore ought to have been received as a credible witness, as he was a faithful one; since "seeing" and "knowing" are qualifications in a witness, Leviticus 5:1; and though these were eminently in Christ, the generality of the Jews gave no credit to his testimony:

and ye received not our witness; which was an aggravation of their sin and unbelief; see John 3:32.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

11-13. We speak that we know, and … have seen—that is, by absolute knowledge and immediate vision of God, which "the only-begotten Son in the bosom of the Father" claims as exclusively His own (Joh 1:18). The "we" and "our" are here used, though Himself only is intended, in emphatic contrast, probably, with the opening words of Nicodemus, "Rabbi, we know.", &c.

ye receive not, &c.—referring to the class to which Nicodemus belonged, but from which he was beginning to be separated in spirit.

John 3:11 Additional Commentaries
Context
Jesus and Nicodemus
10Jesus answered and said to him, "Are you the teacher of Israel and do not understand these things? 11"Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know and testify of what we have seen, and you do not accept our testimony. 12"If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?…
Cross References
John 1:18
No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.

John 3:12
I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?

John 3:32
He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony.

John 7:16
Jesus answered, "My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me.

John 8:26
"I have much to say in judgment of you. But he who sent me is trustworthy, and what I have heard from him I tell the world."

John 8:28
So Jesus said, "When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.

John 12:49
For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken.

John 14:24
Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.
Treasury of Scripture

Truly, truly, I say to you, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and you receive not our witness.

verily.

John 3:3,5 Jesus answered and said to him, Truly, truly, I say to you, Except …

We speak.

John 3:13,32-34 And no man has ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from …

John 1:18 No man has seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is …

John 7:16 Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.

John 8:14,28,29,38 Jesus answered and said to them, Though I bear record of myself, …

John 12:49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he …

John 14:24 He that loves me not keeps not my sayings: and the word which you …

Isaiah 55:4 Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and …

Matthew 11:27 All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knows the …

Luke 10:22 All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knows who …

1 John 1:1-3 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we …

1 John 5:6-12 This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by …

Revelation 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first …

Revelation 3:14 And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things …

ye.

John 3:32 And what he has seen and heard, that he testifies; and no man receives …

John 1:11 He came to his own, and his own received him not.

John 5:31-40,43 If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true…

John 12:37,38 But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed …

Isaiah 50:2 Why, when I came, was there no man? when I called, was there none …

Isaiah 53:1 Who has believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?

Isaiah 65:2 I have spread out my hands all the day to a rebellious people, which …

Matthew 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you that kill the prophets, and stone them …

Acts 22:18 And saw him saying to me, Make haste, and get you quickly out of …

Acts 28:23-27 And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into …

2 Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which …

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