John 8:37
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
I know that you are Abraham's descendants. Yet you are looking for a way to kill me, because you have no room for my word.

New Living Translation
Yes, I realize that you are descendants of Abraham. And yet some of you are trying to kill me because there's no room in your hearts for my message.

English Standard Version
I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you.

Berean Study Bible
I know you are Abraham's descendants, but you are trying to kill Me because My word has no place within you.

Berean Literal Bible
I know that you are Abraham's seed; but you seek to kill Me because My word receives no place in you.

New American Standard Bible
"I know that you are Abraham's descendants; yet you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you.

King James Bible
I know that ye are Abraham's seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
I know you are descendants of Abraham, but you are trying to kill Me because My word is not welcome among you.

International Standard Version
"I know that you are Abraham's descendants. Yet you are trying to kill me because you've not received what I've told you.

NET Bible
I know that you are Abraham's descendants. But you want to kill me, because my teaching makes no progress among you.

New Heart English Bible
I know that you are Abraham's descendants, yet you seek to kill me, because my word finds no place in you.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
“I know you are the seed of Abraham, but you seek to kill me because you cannot comprehend my word.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I know that you're Abraham's descendants. However, you want to kill me because you don't like what I'm saying.

New American Standard 1977
“I know that you are Abraham’s offspring; yet you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you.

Jubilee Bible 2000
I know that ye are Abraham's seed, but ye seek to kill me because my word has no place in you.

King James 2000 Bible
I know that you are Abraham's descendant; but you seek to kill me, because my word has no place in you.

American King James Version
I know that you are Abraham's seed; but you seek to kill me, because my word has no place in you.

American Standard Version
I know that ye are Abraham's seed: yet ye seek to kill me, because my word hath not free course in you.

Douay-Rheims Bible
I know that you are the children of Abraham: but you seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.

Darby Bible Translation
I know that ye are Abraham's seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word has no entrance in you.

English Revised Version
I know that ye are Abraham's seed; yet ye seek to kill me, because my word hath not free course in you.

Webster's Bible Translation
I know that ye are Abraham's offspring; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.

Weymouth New Testament
You are descendants of Abraham, I know; but you want to kill me, because my teaching gains no ground within you.

World English Bible
I know that you are Abraham's seed, yet you seek to kill me, because my word finds no place in you.

Young's Literal Translation
'I have known that ye are seed of Abraham, but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you;
Study Bible
The Children of the Devil
36So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37I know you are Abraham’s descendants, but you are trying to kill Me because My word has no place within you. 38I speak of what I have seen in the presence of the Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.”…
Cross References
Matthew 3:9
And do not presume to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.

John 7:1
After this, Jesus traveled throughout Galilee. He did not want to travel in Judea, because the Jews there were trying to kill Him.

John 8:33
"We are Abraham's descendants," they answered. "We have never been slaves to anyone. How can You say we will be set free?"

John 8:39
"Abraham is our father," they replied. "If you were children of Abraham," said Jesus, "you would do the works of Abraham.

John 8:40
But now you are trying to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham never did such a thing.

John 8:56
Your father Abraham was overjoyed to see My day. He saw it and was glad."

1 John 2:14
I have written to you, fathers, because you know Him who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.
Treasury of Scripture

I know that you are Abraham's seed; but you seek to kill me, because my word has no place in you.

know.

John 8:33 They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage …

Acts 13:26 Men and brothers, children of the stock of Abraham, and whoever among …

Romans 9:7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: …

but.

John 8:6,40,59 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. …

John 5:16-18 And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, …

John 7:1,19,25 After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk …

John 10:31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.

John 11:53 Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.

because.

John 8:43,45-47 Why do you not understand my speech? even because you cannot hear my word…

John 5:44 How can you believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek …

John 12:39-43 Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again…

Matthew 13:15,19-22 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of …

1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: …

(37) I know that ye are Abraham's seed.--He uses the word which they had used in John 8:33, acknowledging their merely physical descent from Abraham. He has since used the word "Son," but does not apply it to them. In John 8:39 He refuses to acknowledge that they are Abraham's "children."

But ye seek to kill me.--The difficulty of understanding these words to refer to those who believed on Him (John 8:30-31), have led to the opinion that others of the hierarchy answer in John 8:33. This seems unnatural, and is opposed to the words which immediately follow. As a party, they had been, and still were, seeking to kill Him. These believers, by their question in John 8:33, were showing the spirit which declined discipleship, were identifying themselves with His opponents.

Because my word hath no place in you.--Better, makes no progress in you, "does not advance, does not gain ground in you." That meaning is established by undoubted examples, and is in exact agreement with the thought of the context. In John 8:31 the test was, "If ye abide in My word." Their question proves that their faith was momentary. The word had but penetrated the surface of their thoughts, but they had not so received it as to allow it to advance into the mind and influence their conduct.

Verse 37. - I know (οϊδα, I know absolutely, I do not come to know it from your retort) that ye are the seed of Abraham. They belonged to the noble race, "whose are the fathers;" they were the σπέρμα of him who received the promises. Christ admitted the pedigree, but he proceeds to show that mere hereditary descent would be of no avail to them apart from moral considerations. These ideas, these revolutionary conceptions, so far as Judaism was concerned, were not the evolution of Christian ideas in the second century. It is most instructive to see how clearly St. Paul had already grasped them, and woven them into a powerful argument when dealing with the Judaizers in Galatia, many years before this Gospel was written (see the entire argument of Galatians 3, which thus rests on the teaching of the Christ himself). But ye seek to kill me. This charge is certainly difficult to suppose applicable to those who "had come to believe in him" (ver. 31). One of three suppositions must be made - either

(1) the believing Jews were surrounded by angry groups of his bitter enemies, to whom he here addressed himself; or

(2) the Lord spoke here to them as representing the large company of Jerusalem opponents, whom he knew at that moment to be planning his death, and as all orators and debaters are in the habit of dealing with opposing arguments by showing the character they assume in others, who make them their boast; or

(3) those who had come to believe him up to a certain point had as rapidly relapsed, at the first touch of spiritual proof, into disbelief and cruel hostility. This seems the more natural interpretation of the fact, which may, at the same time, have become patent from some angry manifestation of his implacable foes. There is much to be found in the background and scenery of this dramatic colloquy, reported with such extreme brevity, which would, if we exactly knew how to paint it, solve its difficulties. Ye seek to slay me, because my word - the word which is mine - makes no progress - or, advance - in you. Ξωρέω has both transitive and intransitive meanings; thus it means "leave," "depart," "turn," or "come to," with εἰς (2 Peter 3:9, "contain;" John 2:6; John 21:25; Mark 2:2); but it has the force frequently in Plato "to make progress or advance," and it has this force here. So Meyer, Westcott, R.T., etc. (Luthardt and Tholuck suggest "find entrance," which would require εἰς rather than ἐν). Not only did they not continue in Christ's word (ver. 31), but the word itself made no way in their minds; it was barred out by prejudices, and thus choked at its very first working. Christ thus represents his word first as the very atmosphere and home in which his true disciples abide, and then as a powerful influence which grows evermore in power and command as it is pondered. It means more and more to those who abide in it; it implicitly contains a whole universe of truth and reality, of impulse and motive, for those who allow to it "free course" - who are of the truth, and hear his voice. I know that ye are Abraham's seed,.... In answer to the other part of the Jews' objection to Christ, and in favour of themselves, Christ owns that they were the natural seed of Abraham; for truth must be allowed to an adversary. But then this hindered not but they might be, as they were, in moral bondage to sin, and a generation of vipers, as those of them who came to John's baptism were; and might not be the sons of God, for not because they were the natural seed of Abraham, were they all the adopted sons of God; and might be cast out of the house of God, as Ishmael was cast out of Abraham's, though he was his natural seed. And what follows proves them to be under the power, and in the servitude of sin, and that they were the seed of the serpent that was to bruise the heel of the woman's seed, or put the Messiah to death, though they were the natural seed of Abraham:

but ye seek to kill me; which none but such who are under the governing power of sin, are slaves unto it, and the vassals of the devil, would ever do: the reason of which is,

because my word hath no place in you; their hearts were barred and bolted against it, with ignorance, enmity, and unbelief; it had no entrance into them; it did not come with power to their hearts, nor work effectually in them; it had no place at all in them, much less a dwelling; had it had one, it would have produced another effect in them, even love to Christ; which the doctrine of Christ, wherever it comes with power, and takes place in the soul, brings along with it; but where it does not, as here, hatred and indignation, envy and malice, more or less, show themselves. This clause is differently rendered, and so admits of different senses. The Vulgate Latin renders it, "my word does not take in you"; it did not take place in them, nor did it take with them; they could not receive it; in which sense the word is used in Matthew 19:11; for the natural man cannot receive the doctrines of Christ; they are not suited to his taste: they are disagreeable to him. The Syriac version renders it, "ye are not sufficient for my word", to take it in; they were not capable of it; they could not understand it; it requires divine illumination, and a spiritual discerning, which they had not: the Persic version is, "ye are not worthy of my words"; of having the Gospel preached to them, and continued with them; they contradicting and blaspheming it, and rejecting the author of it; see Acts 13:45. The Ethiopic version renders it, "my word does not remain with you"; and to the same purpose the Arabic version, "my word is not firm in you"; as soon as it was heard by them, it was caught away from them by Satan, whose children they were; it made no lasting impressions on them, but was like water spilt upon the ground: it may be rendered, "my word does not enter into you"; it did not make its way and penetrate into their hearts; for though, when attended with the demonstration of the Spirit, and of power, it is quick and powerful, and sharper than a twoedged sword, and enters into the conscience, and penetrates to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and lays open the secret thoughts and intents of the heart; yet of itself is an insufficient means of conversion; it cannot make its own way; there must be an exertion of powerful and efficacious grace; which shows the hardness and obstinacy of the heart of man. 37-41. ye seek to kill me—He had said this to their face before: He now repeats it, and they do not deny it; yet are they held back, as by some marvellous spell—it was the awe which His combined dignity, courage, and benignity struck into them.

because my word hath no place in you—When did ever human prophet so speak of His words? They tell us of "the word of the Lord" coming to them. But here is One who holds up "His word" as that which ought to find entrance and abiding room for itself in the souls of all who hear it.8:37-40 Our Lord opposed the proud and vain confidence of these Jews, showing that their descent from Abraham could not profit those of a contrary spirit to him. Where the word of God has no place, no good is to be expected; room is left there for all wickedness. A sick person who turns from his physician, and will take neither remedies nor food, is past hope of recovery. The truth both heals and nourishes the hearts of those who receive it. The truth taught by philosophers has not this power and effect, but only the truth of God. Those who claim the privileges of Abraham, must do Abraham's works; must be strangers and sojourners in this world; keep up the worship of God in their families, and always walk before God.
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