John 8:25
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
"Who are you?" they asked. "Just what I have been telling you from the beginning," Jesus replied.

New Living Translation
"Who are you?" they demanded. Jesus replied, "The one I have always claimed to be.

English Standard Version
So they said to him, “Who are you?” Jesus said to them, “Just what I have been telling you from the beginning.

Berean Study Bible
"Who are You?" they asked. "Just what I have been telling you from the beginning," Jesus replied.

Berean Literal Bible
Therefore they were saying to Him, "Who are You?" Jesus said to them, "Just what I am saying to you from the beginning.

New American Standard Bible
So they were saying to Him, "Who are You?" Jesus said to them, "What have I been saying to you from the beginning?

King James Bible
Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Who are You?" they questioned. "Precisely what I've been telling you from the very beginning," Jesus told them.

International Standard Version
Then they asked him, "Who are you?" Jesus told them, "What have I been telling you all along?

NET Bible
So they said to him, "Who are you?" Jesus replied, "What I have told you from the beginning.

New Heart English Bible
They said therefore to him, "Who are you?" Jesus said to them, "Just what I have been saying to you from the beginning.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
The Judeans were saying, “Who are you?” Yeshua said to them, “Even though I have begun to talk with you,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The Jews asked him, "Who did you say you are?" Jesus told them, "I am who I said I was from the beginning.

New American Standard 1977
And so they were saying to Him, “Who are You?” Jesus said to them, “What have I been saying to you from the beginning?

Jubilee Bible 2000
And said they unto him, Who art thou? Then Jesus said unto them, He that I said unto you also from the beginning.

King James 2000 Bible
Then said they unto him, Who are you? And Jesus said unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning.

American King James Version
Then said they to him, Who are you? And Jesus said to them, Even the same that I said to you from the beginning.

American Standard Version
They said therefore unto him, Who art thou? Jesus said unto them, Even that which I have also spoken unto you from the beginning.

Douay-Rheims Bible
They said therefore to him: Who art thou? Jesus said to them: The beginning, who also speak unto you.

Darby Bible Translation
They said therefore to him, Who art thou? [And] Jesus said to them, Altogether that which I also say to you.

English Revised Version
They said therefore unto him, Who art thou? Jesus said unto them, Even that which I have also spoken unto you from the beginning.

Webster's Bible Translation
Then said they to him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith to them, Even the same that I said to you from the beginning.

Weymouth New Testament
"You--who are you?" they asked. "How is it that I am speaking to you at all?" replied Jesus.

World English Bible
They said therefore to him, "Who are you?" Jesus said to them, "Just what I have been saying to you from the beginning.

Young's Literal Translation
They said, therefore, to him, 'Thou -- who art thou?' and Jesus said to them, 'Even what I did speak of to you at the beginning;
Study Bible
Jesus the Light of the World
24That is why I told you that you would die in your sins. For unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” 25“Who are You?” they asked. “Just what I have been telling you from the beginning, Jesus replied. 26“I have much to say about you and much to judge. But the One who sent Me is truthful, and what I have heard from Him, I tell the world.”…
Cross References
John 8:24
That is why I told you that you would die in your sins. For unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins."

John 8:26
"I have much to say about you and much to judge. But the One who sent Me is truthful, and what I have heard from Him, I tell the world."
Treasury of Scripture

Then said they to him, Who are you? And Jesus said to them, Even the same that I said to you from the beginning.

Who.

John 1:19,22 And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites …

John 10:24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said to him, How long do …

John 19:9 And went again into the judgment hall, and said to Jesus, From where …

Luke 22:67 Are you the Christ? tell us. And he said to them, If I tell you, …

Even.

John 8:12 Then spoke Jesus again to them, saying, I am the light of the world: …

John 5:17 But Jesus answered them, My Father works till now, and I work.

(25) Then said they unto him, Who art thou?--They ask the question in the tone of scorn which they have already expressed in John 8:22. The pronoun is the emphatic word: "Thou, who art thou?" and the phrase was in frequent use to express contempt. He had said, "I am;" but they do not understand the words to be a divine name. Long before this time the name formed from these words, and which is now usually, but wrongly, read "Jehovah," had been regarded as too sacred to be uttered. They appear to take the sentence as though it was incomplete, "I am . . .;" "Well, who art thou?" We have again, as in John 8:19, to note the attempt to draw from Him some definite statement which may be made the ground of a technical charge; but this He again avoids.

And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning.--Almost every word of this answer is in the Greek capable of more than one meaning, and the true interpretation of the whole sentence cannot be decided with certainty. To discuss it with any fulness would be to encumber the page with details which would be unintelligible to the general reader; to discuss it with anything but fulness would be unsatisfactory to the student. There is little room for addition to the investigations which are now accessible. The full notes of Meyer and Stier and Tholuck may be read in English; and Dr. Moulton's addition to his Translation of Winer's Grammar (eighth edition, 1877, pp. 581-2), gives in a few words nearly all that can be said on the grammatical difficulty. After a careful consideration of the whole matter, it is believed, though not without hesitation, that the rendering, which is least liable to objection on any ground, is that which regards the answer as itself a question--"What I from the beginning am also speaking to you?" "You ask who I am. This has formed the substance of My teaching from the beginning, and is the substance of My teaching still." (Comp. John 8:58.) "Can it be that you ask this?"

Verse 25. - Then said they to him - the hostile Jerusalem party - in scornful mockery, Σὺ τίς εϊ; Who art thou? "Define thyself more closely; make thy claims clear and categorical. Give now a direct answer to a plain question." It is very remarkable that the Lord often refuses to respond in the precise form in which his interlocutors demand an answer. He sees the multitudinous sides of every truth, and frequently gives to his questioners the means of answering their question from the ground of deep spiritual conviction, rather than furnishes them with a formula which might easily be abused. Who art thou? How profoundly pathetic! How confirmatory of his own words, "Ye have not known me, nor my Father"! The reply which our Lord gave to the question has occasioned greater variety of interpretation than, perhaps, any other sentence in the Gospel: Τὴν ἀρχὴν ὅτι (or ὅτι,) καὶ λαλῶὑμῖν. The meaning of the words taken separately is disputable; the relation to the context has been very variously understood.

(1) The sentence may be taken interrogatively: τὴν ἀρχὴν regarded adverbially in the sense of "at all," and ὅτι in the sense of "why?" which is perhaps justified by Mark 9:11, 28. So that it might mean, Why do I even speak with you at all? This is the interpretation of the ancient Greek Fathers, Cyril and Chrysostom; is preferred by Lucke ('Comm.,' 2:301-313); and with slight modifications is adopted by Ewald (who gives it more the form of an exclamation, "How is it that I should have to speak to you at all!" [this rendering is put in the margin of R.T.], Westcott and Moulton (see note to Winer, 'Grammar of New Testament,' pp. 581, 582), Matthai, and others. Meyer has differed somewhat in successive editions, but (4th edit.) translates, "What I from the beginning am also speaking to you (do ye ask)?" Can you still be asking concerning that which I have been from the beginning saying to you, viz. "Who I am"? This interpretation is singularly obscure. It turns on the fact that, except in some virtually negative sentences, ἀρχὴν cannot have the force of "at all," and falls back on the conclusion that it must, when used adverbially, have the force of "from the first." Lucke devotes great space to the proof from classical Greek that ἀρχὴν never means ὅλως, or omnino, except in association with a negative sentence, and he discusses the four exceptions to this supposed rule which some grammarians have discovered in secular Greek (Lennep. 'Ap. Phalarid.,' pp. 82, 55, and 92), and thereupon, in a different way from Meyer, endeavours to supply the negative conception. In reply to Meyer, it is fair to say that Christ had not been constantly announcing in categorical terms who he was and is; and further, that the rendering practically introduces a clause, "do ye ask," which is not in the text; moreover, its rendering transforms λαλῶ into λελαλήκα.

(2) Many have advocated an affirmative rendering. Augustine (with Lampe and Fritzsche) takes τὴν ἀρχὴν as the Ἀρχή of the universe, the principium (as Revelation 21:6), and translates," Believe that I am the Principium (the Logos), because I am also speaking with you (because, humbled on your account, I have descended to such words as these)." Chrysostom and Nonnus (who turned the Gospel into Greek hexameters) associate the sentence with what follows; thus: "I, the Ἀρχή, who also speak to you, have many things to say and judge of you." The accusative form is thus set at nought. Calvin takes τὴν ἀρχὴν as equal to ἐξ ἀρχῆς, "from the beginning" (so that the meaning would be, "I did not arise suddenly, but as I was formerly promised, so now I come forth publicly"), "because I also speak with you." In other words, "What I now speak is in accordance with the conditions made in all ages 'from the beginning.' So Delitzsch, Hebrew version of New Testament. Luthardt seems to approach this view, which he makes more difficult by insisting that τὴν ἀρχὴν does not mean "from" but "at the beginning." The view of Winer, Grimm, Alford, Stier, Godet, Thoma, and Plummer, is substantially the same, giving to τὴν ἀρχὴν the sense of omnino. Essentially, wholly, altogether (I am) that which even I am saying to you. The grammatical objection that this use of τὴν ἀρχὴν demands a negative sentence in classic Greek, is not conclusive. This is the only place in the New Testament where the word is used adverbially, and it is in reply to a mocking question which has much virtual negative in it. Green ('Critical Notes') urges that the sense of "altogether" (omnino) was preserved in all kinds of sentences without distinction. He does not prove it, but it is entirely probable that it might have this force in New Testament Greek. The great advantage of the rendering is that it brings the answer into relation with the entire previous discourse, in which Christ's testimony to himself had been disputed because (in the opinion of those who were debating with him) that testimony had not been adequately supported. "I am the Revelation of the Father, the Messenger from heaven, the Bread of God, the Light of the world - essentially that which I am saying to you." Believe my own testimony thus far, and that will answer the query, "Who art thou?" There is no great distinction between this view and that of De Wette: "Von vorne herein (vor allen Dingen) bin ich was ich auch zu euch rede," as Bruckner put it - "From the beginning, from the first, (I am) what I am also saying to you." Winer's view seems to me the best. Grimm thus translates: "Omnino, hoc est sine ulla exceptione sum, quod etiam vobis eloquor, non solum sum, sed etiam vobis, praedico id quod sum." Then said they unto him, who art thou?.... That talks at this rate, and threatens with death, in case of unbelief; this they said with an haughty air, and in a scornful manner:

and Jesus saith unto them, even the same that I said unto you from the beginning; meaning, either of this discourse, as that he was the light of the world, and which he continued to assert; or of his being had before the sanhedrim, when he affirmed that God was his Father, and by many strong arguments proved his divine sonship; or of his ministry, when by miracles, as well as doctrines, he made it to appear that he was he that was to come, the true Messiah; or who spake from the beginning to Moses, saying, I am that I am, hath sent thee, and to the church, and Jewish fathers in the wilderness; and who is that word that was from the beginning with God; and who is called the beginning, the first cause of all things, and of the creation of God; and some think this is intended here. 25. Who art thou?—hoping thus to extort an explicit answer; but they are disappointed.8:21-29 Those that live in unbelief, are for ever undone, if they die in unbelief. The Jews belonged to this present evil world, but Jesus was of a heavenly and Divine nature, so that his doctrine, kingdom, and blessings, would not suit their taste. But the curse of the law is done away to all that submit to the grace of the gospel. Nothing but the doctrine of Christ's grace will be an argument powerful enough, and none but the Spirit of Christ's grace will be an agent powerful enough, to turn us from sin to God; and that Spirit is given, and that doctrine is given, to work upon those only who believe in Christ. Some say, Who is this Jesus? They allow him to have been a Prophet, an excellent Teacher, and even more than a creature; but cannot acknowledge him as over all, God blessed for evermore. Will not this suffice? Jesus here answers the question. Is this to honour him as the Father? Does this admit his being the Light of the world, and the Life of men, one with the Father? All shall know by their conversion, or in their condemnation, that he always spake and did what pleased the Father, even when he claimed the highest honours to himself.
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