John 5:31
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
"If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true.

New Living Translation
"If I were to testify on my own behalf, my testimony would not be valid.

English Standard Version
If I alone bear witness about myself, my testimony is not true.

Berean Study Bible
If I testify about Myself, My testimony is not valid.

Berean Literal Bible
If I bear witness concerning Myself, My testimony is not true.

New American Standard Bible
"If I alone testify about Myself, My testimony is not true.

King James Bible
If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
"If I testify about Myself, My testimony is not valid.

International Standard Version
"If I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is not trustworthy.

NET Bible
"If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true.

New Heart English Bible
"If I testify about myself, my witness is not valid.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And if I testify about myself, my testimony is not true.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"If I testify on my own behalf, what I say isn't true.

New American Standard 1977
“If I alone bear witness of Myself, My testimony is not true.

Jubilee Bible 2000
If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.

King James 2000 Bible
If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.

American King James Version
If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.

American Standard Version
If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.

Douay-Rheims Bible
If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.

Darby Bible Translation
If I bear witness concerning myself, my witness is not true.

English Revised Version
If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.

Webster's Bible Translation
If I testify concerning myself, my testimony is not true.

Weymouth New Testament
"If I give testimony concerning myself, my testimony cannot be accepted.

World English Bible
"If I testify about myself, my witness is not valid.

Young's Literal Translation
'If I testify concerning myself, my testimony is not true;
Study Bible
Testimonies about Jesus
30I can do nothing by Myself; I judge only as I hear. And My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 31If I testify about Myself, My testimony is not valid. 32There is another who testifies about Me, and I know that His testimony about Me is valid.…
Cross References
John 8:13
So the Pharisees said to Him, "You are testifying about Yourself; Your testimony is not valid."

John 8:14
Jesus replied, "Even if I testify about Myself, My testimony is valid, because I know where I came from and where I am going. But you do not know where I came from or where I am going.
Treasury of Scripture

If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.

John 8:13,14,54 The Pharisees therefore said to him, You bore record of yourself; …

Proverbs 27:2 Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and …

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

(31) If I bear witness of myself.--This verse is the link between the thoughts of Christ's person (John 5:17-30) and the witness to Him (John 5:32-40). He can do nothing of Himself (John 5:30), and does not even bear witness of Himself. If He did, it would be on technical grounds not to be credited. He meets the objection then doubtless in their minds, and soon expressed in their words. (Comp. Notes on John 8:13-18.)

Verse 31. - At this point the Lord proceeds to meet the clamour which most probably arose, the doubt and questioning which broke the silence with which his solemn defence had been received. We can hear between the lines the cries of an excited crowd, declaring that these words are simply his own. Such testimony as this to himself must be sustained and sanctioned. Why and how can this Teacher take such ground as to assert about himself what no prophet, no rabbi, no chief priest of the people, not even the greatest man of men, Moses himself, had ever dared to claim? Christ admits that such assumptions as these need justification and approval over and above his ipse dixit. The words that follow are startling: If I bear witness concerning myself, my witness is not true. At first sight this is in direct contradiction to John 8:14, where, in reply to the Pharisees' "Thou bearest witness concerning thyself; thy witness is nor true," he replied, "Though I bear witness of myself, my witness is true; because I know whence I came, and whither I go." The absolute unison with the Father, which he was not only conscious of, but had also revealed to the Pharisees, lifted his own word to the grandeur of a word of God. The Divine beamed through the human, the infinite through the finite. Here he says, "If I bear - if I and I alone were bearing witness to myself," then - supposing a case, which, as a matter of fact, is impossible - "my witness is not true." If he were acting alone, which is an inconceivable supposition, seeing that in the depths of his consciousness he knew that he was one with the Father, then for his human nature to break away thus from the Father and disdain his testimony would nullify and falsify his witness. He is not bearing witness alone. If I bear witness of myself,.... Which was not allowed any man to do; nor indeed is it proper that a man should be a witness in his own cause: and, according to the Jewish canons, a man might not be a witness for his wife, because she was reckoned as himself.

"An husband is not to be believed in bearing witness for his wife, that had been carried captive, that she is not defiled, , "for no man witness of himself" (k).''

So likewise they say (l),

"a city that is subdued by an army, all the priestesses (or priests' daughters) that are found in it are rejected (from the priesthood, as defiled); but if they have witnesses, whether a servant, or an handmaid, lo, they are to be believed; but no man is to be believed for himself: says R. Zechariah ben Hakatzah, by this habitation (swearing by the temple) her hand was not removed from my hand, from the time the Gentiles entered Jerusalem, till they went out: they replied to him, "no man bears witness of himself".''

Christ reasons here upon their own principles, and according to their sense of things, that should he bear witness of himself; then, says he,

my witness is not true, , not to be believed, or admitted as an authentic testimony: and so the Ethiopic version renders it, "is not credible"; not valid in law, or in such a court of judicature in which Christ now was; for, as according to the Jewish law, no man was admitted a witness for himself, so neither was anything established by a single testimony, but by the mouth of two or three witnesses, Deuteronomy 19:15. Christ's meaning is, that his testimony alone, his single witness, how true soever it was, would stand for nothing in their court; and therefore he would not insist upon it, but drop it; for "true" here, is not opposed to that which is "false", but to that which is not valid in law. Christ's testimony was true in itself; nor could it be any other, it coming from him, who is truth itself, the "Amen", and faithful witness; but being considered as an human testimony, and in his own cause, was not to be admitted as sufficient; and this he allows. From arguments, proving his equality with the Father, he passes to testimonies; and without ranking use of his own, he had enough to produce, and which were valid and authentic, and are as follow.

(k) Maimon. Issure Bia, c. 18. sect. 19. (l) Misn. Cetubot, c. 2. sect. 9. T. Bab. Cetubot, fol. 27. 2. Juchasin, fol. 56. 1.31. If I … witness of myself—standing alone, and setting up any separate interest.5:30-38 Our Lord returns to his declaration of the entire agreement between the Father and the Son, and declared himself the Son of God. He had higher testimony than that of John; his works bore witness to all he had said. But the Divine word had no abiding-place in their hearts, as they refused to believe in Him whom the Father had sent, according to his ancient promises. The voice of God, accompanied by the power of the Holy Ghost, thus made effectual to the conversion of sinners, still proclaims that this is the beloved Son, in whom the Father is well pleased. But when the hearts of men are full of pride, ambition, and the love of the world, there is no room for the word of God to abide in them.
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