John 5:39
Parallel Verses
New International Version
You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me,

King James Bible
Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

Darby Bible Translation
Ye search the scriptures, for ye think that in them ye have life eternal, and they it is which bear witness concerning me;

World English Bible
"You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and these are they which testify about me.

Young's Literal Translation
'Ye search the Writings, because ye think in them to have life age-during, and these are they that are testifying concerning me;

John 5:39 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Search the Scriptures - Ερευνατε τας γραφας. This should be translated, not in the imperative, but in the indicative mood - thus, Ye search the Scriptures diligently. That these words are commonly read in the imperative mood is sufficiently known; but this reading can never accord well with the following verse, nor can the force and energy of the words be perceived by this version.

The rabbins strongly recommend the study of the Scriptures. The Talmud, Tract. Shabbath, fol. 30, brings in God thus addressing David: "I am better pleased with one day in which thou sittest and studiest the law, than I shall be with a thousand sacrifices which thy son Solomon shall offer upon my altar."

Perhaps the Scriptures were never more diligently searched than at that very time: first, because they were in expectation of the immediate appearing of the Messiah; secondly, because they wished to find out allegories in them; (see Philo); and, thirdly, because they found these scriptures to contain the promise of an eternal life. He, said they, who studies daily in the law, is worthy to have a portion in the world to come, Sohar. Genes. fol. 31. Hence we may infer:

1st. That the Jews had the knowledge of a future state before the coming of Christ; and

2ndly. That they got that knowledge from the Old Testament Scriptures.

The word ερευνατε, which might be translated, Ye search diligently, is very expressive. Homer, Il. xviii. l. 321, applies it to a lion deprived of his whelps, who "scours the plains, and traces the footsteps of the man." And in Odyss. xix. l. 436, to dogs tracing their game by the scent of the foot.

In the Septuagint, the verb ερευναω answers to the Hebrew חפש chapash, to search by uncovering; to חקר chakar, to search minutely, to explore; to חשף chashaph, to strip, make bare; and to משש mashash, to feel, search by feeling. It is compounded of ερεω, I seek, and ευνη, a bed; "and is," says St. Chrysostom, "a metaphor taken from those who dig deep, and search for metals in the bowels of the earth. They look for the bed where the metal lies, and break every clod, and sift and examine the whole, in order to discover the ore." Those who read the verse in the imperative mood consider it an exhortation to the diligent study of the Sacred Writings. Search; that is, shake and sift them, as the word also signifies: search narrowly, till the true force and meaning of every sentence, yea, of every word and syllable, nay, of every letter and yod therein, be known and understood. Confer place with place; the scope of one place with that of another; things going before with things coming after: compare word with word, letter with letter, and search the whole thoroughly. See Parkhurst, Mintert, and Leigh.

Leaving every translation of the present passage out of the question, this is the proper method of reading and examining the Scriptures, so as to become wise unto salvation through them.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Search.

John 5:46 For had you believed Moses, you would have believed me; for he wrote of me.

John 7:52 They answered and said to him, Are you also of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee rises no prophet.

Deuteronomy 11:18-20 Therefore shall you lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign on your hand...

Deuteronomy 17:18,19 And it shall be, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom...

Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; but you shall meditate therein day and night...

Psalm 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law does he meditate day and night.

Psalm 119:11,97-99 Your word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against you...

Proverbs 6:23 For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:

Proverbs 8:33,34 Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not...

Isaiah 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

Isaiah 34:16 Seek you out of the book of the LORD, and read: no one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate: for my mouth it has commanded...

Jeremiah 8:9 The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: see, they have rejected the word of the LORD; and what wisdom is in them?

Matthew 22:29 Jesus answered and said to them, You do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.

Mark 12:10 And have you not read this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner:

Luke 16:29,31 Abraham said to him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them...

Acts 8:32-35 The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer...

Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind...

Romans 3:2 Much every way: chiefly, because that to them were committed the oracles of God.

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs...

2 Timothy 3:14-17 But continue you in the things which you have learned and have been assured of, knowing of whom you have learned them...

2 Peter 1:19-21 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto you do well that you take heed, as to a light that shines in a dark place...

ye think.

Deuteronomy 32:47 For it is not a vain thing for you; because it is your life: and through this thing you shall prolong your days in the land...

Psalm 16:11 You will show me the path of life: in your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand there are pleasures for ever more.

Psalm 21:4 He asked life of you, and you gave it him, even length of days for ever and ever.

Psalm 36:9 For with you is the fountain of life: in your light shall we see light.

Psalm 133:3 As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended on the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing...

Daniel 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

Matthew 19:16-20 And, behold, one came and said to him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life...

Luke 10:25-29 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life...

Hebrews 11:16,35 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: why God is not ashamed to be called their God...

they which.

John 5:32,36 There is another that bears witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesses of me is true...

John 1:45 Philip finds Nathanael, and said to him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth...

Deuteronomy 18:15,18 The LORD your God will raise up to you a Prophet from the middle of you, of your brothers, like to me; to him you shall listen...

Acts 26:22,23,27 Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue to this day, witnessing both to small and great...

Romans 1:2 (Which he had promised before by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)

1 Peter 1:10,11 Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come to you...

Revelation 19:10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said to me, See you do it not: I am your fellow servant...

See on

Luke 24:27,44 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself...

Library
Conversion
TEXT: "And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven."--Matt. 18:3. Jesus Christ was the world's greatest teacher and preacher. Multitudes followed him because he taught them, not as the scribes, but as one having authority. He came to them with the deepest truth of God, but couched in such familiar expressions, and told in such a fascinating way, that all men heard him and went their way rejoicing that so
J. Wilbur Chapman—And Judas Iscariot

September 29 Evening
What things soever the Father doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.--JOHN 5:19. The Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.--I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist. Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart.--My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Them that are sanctified by God the Father.--He that sanctifieth and they who are
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path

December 23 Evening
God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.--I JOHN 5:11. As the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself. As the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.--I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. I lay
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path

Sunday after Easter
Text: First John 5, 4-12. 4 For whatsoever is begotten of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that hath overcome the world, even our faith. 5 And who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? 6 This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not with the water only, but with the water and with the blood. 7 And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is the truth. 8 For there are three who bear witness, the Spirit,
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. II

Cross References
Deuteronomy 29:29
The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.

Luke 24:25
He said to them, "How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken!

Luke 24:27
And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

John 5:40
yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

John 7:52
They replied, "Are you from Galilee, too? Look into it, and you will find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee."

Acts 13:27
The people of Jerusalem and their rulers did not recognize Jesus, yet in condemning him they fulfilled the words of the prophets that are read every Sabbath.

Romans 2:17
Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the law and boast in God;

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