Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
They answered him, "We are Abraham's descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?"
New Living Translation
“But we are descendants of Abraham,” they said. “We have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean, ‘You will be set free’?”
English Standard Version
They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”
Berean Study Bible
“We are Abraham’s descendants,” they answered. “We have never been slaves to anyone. How can You say we will be set free?”
Berean Literal Bible
They answered unto Him, "We are Abraham's seed, and to no one ever have we been under bondage. How do You say, 'You will become free'?"
King James Bible
They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?
New King James Version
They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?”
New American Standard Bible
They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘You will become free’?”
They answered Him, "We are Abraham's descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, 'You will become free '?"
They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s offspring, and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘You shall become free’?”
They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been enslaved to anyone. What do You mean by saying, ‘You will be set free’?”
Christian Standard Bible
“We are descendants of Abraham,” they answered him, “and we have never been enslaved to anyone. How can you say, ‘You will become free’? ”
Holman Christian Standard Bible
We are descendants of Abraham," they answered Him, "and we have never been enslaved to anyone. How can You say, You will become free?"
American Standard Version
They answered unto him, We are Abraham's seed, and have never yet been in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?
Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And they were saying to him, “We are the seed of Abraham, and never have we served in bondage to a man; how do you say, “You shall be children of liberty”?
Contemporary English Version
They answered, "We are Abraham's children! We have never been anyone's slaves. How can you say we will be set free?"
They answered him: We are the seed of Abraham, and we have never been slaves to any man: how sayest thou: you shall be free?
English Revised Version
They answered unto him, We be Abraham's seed, and have never yet been in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?
Good News Translation
"We are the descendants of Abraham," they answered, "and we have never been anybody's slaves. What do you mean, then, by saying, 'You will be free'?"
GOD'S WORD® Translation
They replied to Jesus, "We are Abraham's descendants, and we've never been anyone's slaves. So how can you say that we will be set free?"
International Standard Version
They replied to him, "We are Abraham's descendants and have never been slaves to anybody. So how can you say, 'You will be set free'?"
Literal Standard Version
They answered Him, “We are seed of Abraham; and we have been servants to no one at any time; how do You say—You will become free?”
"We are descendants of Abraham," they replied, "and have never been anyone's slaves! How can you say, 'You will become free'?"
New Heart English Bible
They answered him, "We are Abraham's descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can you say, 'You will be made free?'"
Weymouth New Testament
"We are descendants of Abraham," they answered, "and have never at any time been in slavery to any one. What do those words of yours mean, 'You shall become free'?"
World English Bible
They answered him, "We are Abraham's seed, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How do you say, 'You will be made free?'"
Young's Literal Translation
They answered him, 'Seed of Abraham we are; and to no one have we been servants at any time; how dost thou say -- Ye shall become free?'
Additional Translations ...
ContextThe Truth will Set You Free
…32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33“We are Abraham’s descendants,” they answered. “We have never been slaves to anyone. How can You say we will be set free?” 34Jesus replied, “Truly, truly, I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.…
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.
Produce fruit, then, in keeping with repentance. And do not begin 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.
I know you are Abraham's descendants, but you are trying to kill Me because My word has no place within you.
"Abraham is our father," they replied. "If you were children of Abraham," said Jesus, "you would do the works of Abraham.
Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you are unable to accept My message.
Nor because they are Abraham's descendants are they all his children. On the contrary, "Through Isaac your offspring will be reckoned."
Treasury of Scripture
They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how say you, You shall be made free?
John 8:39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham.
Leviticus 25:42 For they are my servants, which I brought forth out of the land of Egypt: they shall not be sold as bondmen.
Matthew 3:9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
John 19:25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.
Genesis 15:13 And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;
Exodus 1:13,14 And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour: …
They answered him--i.e., the Jews who had believed in Him (John 8:31). There is no indication that this answer was made by others standing near, nor would this supposition have been made but for the difficulty of applying some of the words which follow (John 8:40; John 8:44) to those who had ever professedly been believers; but the explanation is to be found in our Lord's own warning words in John 8:31. He has tested their faith, and they fail in the first steps of discipleship.
We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man.--Their pride misinterprets His words, and expresses itself in a boast which passes the limits of historical truth. It had been promised to Abraham, "I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies" (Genesis 22:17). This seed they were. This promise they interpret of national prosperity. Abraham's seed in bondage! the thought is impossible. As in other cases (comp. John 7:52), they forget part of the facts of history, for they have never learned their lessons. The Egyptian slavery and Babylonian captivity are passed over. That very generation witnessed around them the insignia of Rome, paid taxes to Rome, used the coin of Rome, but it was the policy of the empire to leave to the subject provinces a nominal freedom; and it may be that stress is laid on the words "been in bondage," which occur nowhere else in the Gospels. Those then living may have said with truth that they had never been in actual bondage, and the current expectation of the Messiah at that time may have led them to interpret the promise to Abraham specially of themselves.Verses 33-46. -
(5) The offer of spiritual freedom to the seed of Abraham provoked bitter hostility and misapprehension. Verse 33. - They answered him, We be Abraham's seed - taking the highest position of national grandeur and racial pride. Vast were the pretensions which the Jews often assumed from this lofty ancestry. "They were all children of kings;" "Solomon's feast was not too good for them;" "He was heir of the world;" "They were the inheritors in him of all the nations." They had rung this cry into the ears of John the Baptist, when this last prophet had called upon them for repentance. Their following boast is difficult to understand: We have never yet been enslaved to anyone; and great difference of opinion has prevailed over the meaning cf. these words. It is incredible that John should represent: the Jews as ignorant of their national political history. The first word of their Decalogue included a reference to the "house of bondage" from which Jehovah had delivered the seed of Abraham. Moreover, their political humiliation at the hand of the border kingdoms of Assyria, Babylon, and Syria was the perpetual theme of prophet and psalmist. The terrible reverses that they had subsequently experienced at the hand of Antiochus and of the Roman power, and the galling submission to Rome which at the moment was rousing their fiercest passion, would render any such boast simply preposterous. Godet's suggestion, that they were making a boast of their personal civil freedom, that Abraham's seed were not sold into positive slavery, however mortifying their political servitude had proved, is far fetched and too far away from the facts of the case; neither does it harmonize with the character of this angry retort. Probably a reference is made to the ideal freedom from slavery and from dependence which they had, in their hour of deepest depression from all and every form of tyranny whatsoever, religiously maintained. They did, as their wonderful psalter shows, cherish a conviction that David's throne and Abraham's inheritance ideally stood through all the ages, lustrous and magnificent to the eye of faith. When the holy and beautiful house was burned with fire, when their exile was complete, they still saw all visible things, even "heaven and earth," departing or rolled up like a scroll, while their Creator and redeeming King was seated still on his eternal throne. From St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans, they clearly held that the mere possession of the Law, whether they kept it or not, was their much-prized pledge of independence from all other authority or servitude. If so, they may have been on this occasion boasting of their ideal freedom in virtue of their he reditary privileges, and forgetful of the lessons even of the agelong story of Ishmael and Esau, and the deportation and abolition of Israel as a nation. One can scarcely refrain a momentary thrill of admiration at the hardihood of their eager faith, and the overwhelming strength of confidence they manifested in their destiny as a people. All the spiritual salvation and ideal freedom which they desired they possessed as children of Abraham. How sayest thou - "Upon what possible principle dost thou promise to us that which we already are proud of possessing, viz. glorious liberty?" Is it from the emancipating power of truth? We have the truth; we are the depositaries of infallible truth. We already possess as our birthright what thou art offering to us as the full result of discipleship. How sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?
Parallel Commentaries ...
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 1st Person Plural
Strong's 1510: I am, exist. The first person singular present indicative; a prolonged form of a primary and defective verb; I exist.
Noun - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's 11: Abraham, progenitor of the Hebrew race. Of Hebrew origin; Abraham, the Hebrew patriarch.
Noun - Nominative Neuter Singular
Strong's 4690: From speiro; something sown, i.e. Seed; by implication, offspring; specially, a remnant.
Verb - Aorist Indicative Passive - 3rd Person Plural
Strong's 611: From apo and krino; to conclude for oneself, i.e. to respond; by Hebraism to begin to speak.
“We have never been slaves
Verb - Perfect Indicative Active - 1st Person Plural
Strong's 1398: To be a slave, be subject to, obey, be devoted. From doulos; to be a slave to.
Adjective - Dative Masculine Singular
Strong's 3762: No one, none, nothing.
Strong's 4459: Adverb from the base of pou; an interrogative particle of manner; in what way?; also as exclamation, how much!
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Nominative 2nd Person Singular
Strong's 4771: You. The person pronoun of the second person singular; thou.
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 2nd Person Singular
Strong's 3004: (a) I say, speak; I mean, mention, tell, (b) I call, name, especially in the pass., (c) I tell, command.
[we] will be set
Verb - Future Indicative Middle - 2nd Person Plural
Strong's 1096: A prolongation and middle voice form of a primary verb; to cause to be, i.e. to become, used with great latitude.
Adjective - Nominative Masculine Plural
Strong's 1658: Free, delivered from obligation. Probably from the alternate of erchomai; unrestrained, i.e. not a slave, or exempt.
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NT Gospels: John 8:33 They answered him We are Abraham's seed (Jhn Jo Jn)