John 3:11

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benson83

Puritan Board Freshman
Joh 3:11 Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you do not receive our testimony.

Interesting verse. Jesus talking to Nicodemus.

He starts out in the first person saying, "I say to you" then he transitions into, "we speak of what we know."

Who is the "we." Is Jesus referring to himself and the disciples, himself and John the Baptist, himself and the prophets, himself in the plural tense, or is he referring to the Godhead?

Seems commentators are all over the place with this verse. To me it seems that the 'we' cannot be Jesus and the disciples since the disciples were only with him for a short time at this point and how could they give testimony of 'what they have known and seen'?
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
John 3:2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.

Joh 3:11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.

My feeling is, along with some commentators, that Jesus is
1) paralleling Nicodemus' own language. The one claimed to know something, based on limited information and observation, and clouded with sin and prejudice. Jesus claims to speak for another group, separate from Nicodemus and his company.

2) Jesus appeals to the law (Lev. 5:1; Deut. 17:6) as the standard by which he gives official witness to truth. In this, I think he does appeal somewhat to the Trinity, in that he has "come from God," the Father; and he has referenced the Spirit, whom (Jesus implies) has his own will (v.8), and therefore his own witness. And all of the witness is unified.

But I think the basic thrust of Jesus "we" is to separate himself from Nicodemus' "we", to tell him (and them) in no uncertain terms that there are no alliances, nothing agreeable between them. They are not receiving Jesus (or anyone who is on his side, and sharing his witness) in the proper spirit.
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
John 3:2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.

Joh 3:11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.

My feeling is, along with some commentators, that Jesus is
1) paralleling Nicodemus' own language. The one claimed to know something, based on limited information and observation, and clouded with sin and prejudice. Jesus claims to speak for another group, separate from Nicodemus and his company.

2) Jesus appeals to the law (Lev. 5:1; Deut. 17:6) as the standard by which he gives official witness to truth. In this, I think he does appeal somewhat to the Trinity, in that he has "come from God," the Father; and he has referenced the Spirit, whom (Jesus implies) has his own will (v.8), and therefore his own witness. And all of the witness is unified.

But I think the basic thrust of Jesus "we" is to separate himself from Nicodemus' "we", to tell him (and them) in no uncertain terms that there are no alliances, nothing agreeable between them. They are not receiving Jesus (or anyone who is on his side, and sharing his witness) in the proper spirit.

Rev Buchanan, at what point, in chapter 3, do you think Jesus has stopped speaking and John has taken over? (Where should the red letters end?)
 
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