But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that you might be saved.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)But I receive not testimony . . .—There is no reason for changing the word. The substantive, and verbs from John 5:31, have been rendered by “witness,” and it is better to keep it here. The English also fails to give the article, and is therefore misleading. He did receive witness from men—had received witness from John—but this was not the witness upon which all was based. Its purpose was to lead them to Christ Himself, and He now refers to it, to show them its true position, that that purpose might be fulfilled.
But these things I say, that ye might be saved.—The emphasis of the clause should be placed upon the pronoun “ye.” The thought is, that our Lord does not refer to John’s witness for His own sake, but in order that they might be saved. He had a greater witness than that of John, but this they were not yet prepared to receive. They had received John for a season, and had rejoiced in his light. He refers to him now that that light may lead them to the true Source of Light. Some of those who had sent to the Baptist may now understand his words in a deeper sense than any which had come to them before, and may find in them words leading to salvation.
But these things ... - "This testimony of John I adduce that you might be convinced. It was evidence of your own seeking. It was clear, full, explicited You 'sent' to make inquiry, and he gave you a candid and satisfactory answer. Had you believed that, you would have believed in the Messiah and been saved." Men are often dissatisfied with the very evidence of the truth of religion which they sought, and on which they professed themselves willing to rely.
receive not testimony … from man—that is, depend not on human testimony.
but … that ye might be saved—"I refer to him merely to aid your salvation."I receive not testimony from man, that is, not for my own sake; for otherwise he did receive testimony from man, John 15:27 Acts 1:8. That must be truth, to which any one can give a true testimony. John by his testimony added nothing to me. I was what I am before John testified concerning me. I only spake of John’s testimony for your sake, that you might believe, and be saved.
but these things I say, that ye might be saved; that is, he produced this testimony of John, who was a person of so great a character among them, that they might be induced by it to believe in him as the Messiah; and so be saved from that ruin and destruction, that would come upon their nation, city, and temple, for their rejection and disbelief of him.But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)John 5:34. ἐγὼ δὲ οὐ … but for my part I do not depend upon a man’s testimony. In what sense is this to be taken? In John 3:11 λαμβάνειν τὴν μαρτυρίαν means “to credit testimony,” but this sense does not satisfy the present use. Grotius says, “Hic λαμβάνω est requiro, ut infra 41, 44, ubi in opposito membro ponitur ζητεῖν ut idem valens”. So too Lücke. Godet and Westcott prefer to emphasise the article, “the testimony,” “the only real, infallible, unexceptionable testimony,” I do not accept from man. The sense is: You sent to John and he testified to the truth; but the testimony which! for my part accept and rely upon is not that of a man. The testimony which confirms Him in the consciousness that He is God’s messenger is not a human but a Divine testimony.—ἀλλὰ ταῦτα λέγω but this I say, that is, this regarding the truth of John’s testimony I now mention ἵνα ὑμεῖς σωθῆτε, for your sakes, not for my own, that even on a man’s testimony you may be induced to believe.John 5:34. Παρὰ ἀνθρώπου, from man) even though it be John. [The matter is not to be referred to man, as the ultimate arbiter. Whatever I am, I am so, independently of the favour of human authority.—V. g.]—τὴν μαρτυρίαν, testimony) doing Me honour (comp. John 5:41, “I receive not honour from men”), in regard to you.—ταῦτα, these things) concerning John.—ἵνα, that) His earnest will regarding the salvation of men is hereby expressed.—ὑμεῖς, ye) who made so much of John. In antithesis to, I; it is your own interest which is at stake.Verse 34. - But I for my part receive not the witness which affirms my Sonship from a man; or, yet the witness which I receive is not from man. Some have given the stronger meaning of "take hold," or "snatch," or "strive after," to λαμβάνω. But this is unnecessary, for emphasis is laid on the article, "the witness," which is real, infallible, convincing, commanding, must come from the highest source of all. Yet, though Christ cannot depend upon John's testimony, it ought to have had weight with his hearers. It called them to repentance, to holy living, to faith in the Coming One. It discounted their pride in Abrahamic birth, and their false notions of race purity; it made personal and individual that which had been looked at as a national monopoly of privilege. Nay, more, it had testified that he was the "Lamb of God" and the "Son of God" and the "Bridegroom of the Church." Therefore he continued: Howbeit, these things I say - I call attention to the sum total of his message, the testimony he bore to truth - that ye may be saved; for all that John said was true. "John did no miracle: but all things that he said concerning Jesus were true" (John 10:41; see notes). If the Jews had accepted the testimony of John, they wound not now be cherishing angry and rebellious thought, and have been so blinded to the truth and reality of things.
Emphatic, in contrast with ye (John 5:33).
See on John 3:32.
Testimony (τὴν μαρτυρίαν)
Rev., properly the witness. The restoration of the article is important. It has the force of my, marking the witness as characteristic of Christ's work. The only testimony which I accept as proof.
Or from a man, with a primary reference to the Baptist. Rev. renders, the witness which I receive is not from man.
With reference to the Baptist.
Ye may be saved
The ye (ὑμεῖς), marking them as those who might be influenced by the inferior, human testimony; though they did not apprehend the divine testimony.
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