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John 7 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Jesus and His Brothers

After this, Jesus traveled around the country of Galilee. He did not want to travel in Judea, because the Jewish leaders there wanted to kill him. It was time for the Jewish Festival of Shelters. So his brothers said to him, “You should leave here and go to the festival in Judea. Then your followers there can see the miracles you do. If you want to be well known, you must not hide what you do. So, if you can do such amazing things, let the whole world see you do them.” Jesus’ brothers said this because even they did not believe in him.

Jesus said to them, “The right time for me has not yet come, but any time is right for you to go. The world cannot hate you. But the world hates me, because I tell the people in the world that they do evil things. So you go to the festival. I will not go now, because the right time for me has not yet come.” After Jesus said this, he stayed in Galilee.

10 So his brothers left to go to the festival. After they left, Jesus went too, but he did not let people see him. 11 At the festival the Jewish leaders were looking for him. They said, “Where is that man?”

12 There was a large group of people there. Many of them were talking secretly to each other about Jesus. Some people said, “He is a good man.” But others said, “No, he fools the people.” 13 But no one was brave enough to talk about him openly. They were afraid of the Jewish leaders.

Jesus Teaches in Jerusalem

14 When the festival was about half finished, Jesus went to the Temple area and began to teach. 15 The Jewish leaders were amazed and said, “How did this man learn so much? He never had the kind of teaching we had!”

16 Jesus answered, “What I teach is not my own. My teaching comes from the one who sent me. 17 People who really want to do what God wants will know that my teaching comes from God. They will know that this teaching is not my own. 18 If I taught my own ideas, I would just be trying to get honor for myself. But if I am trying to bring honor to the one who sent me, I can be trusted. Anyone doing that is not going to lie. 19 Moses gave you the law, right? But you don’t obey that law. If you do, then why are you trying to kill me?”

20 The people answered, “A demon is making you crazy! We are not trying to kill you.”

21 Jesus said to them, “I did one miracle on a Sabbath day, and you were all surprised. 22 But you obey the law Moses gave you about circumcision—and sometimes you do it on a Sabbath day. (Really, Moses is not the one who gave you circumcision. It came from our ancestors who lived before Moses.) Yes, you often circumcise baby boys on a Sabbath day. 23 This shows that someone can be circumcised on a Sabbath day to obey the Law of Moses. So why are you angry with me for healing a person’s whole body on the Sabbath day? 24 Stop judging by the way things look. Be fair and judge by what is really right.”

People Wonder if Jesus Is the Messiah

25 Then some of the people who lived in Jerusalem said, “This is the man they are trying to kill. 26 But he is teaching where everyone can see and hear him. And no one is trying to stop him from teaching. Maybe the leaders have decided that he really is the Messiah. 27 But when the real Messiah comes, no one will know where he comes from. And we know where this man’s home is.”

28 Jesus was still teaching in the Temple area when he said loudly, “Do you really know me and where I am from? I am here, but not by my own decision. I was sent by one who is very real. But you don’t know him. 29 I know him because I am from him. He is the one who sent me.”

30 When Jesus said this, the people tried to grab him. But no one was able even to touch him, because the right time for him had not yet come. 31 But many of the people believed in Jesus. They said, “We are waiting for the Messiah to come. When he comes, will he do more miraculous signs than this man has done?”

The Jewish Leaders Try to Arrest Jesus

32 The Pharisees heard what the people were saying about Jesus. So the leading priests and the Pharisees sent some Temple police to arrest him. 33 Then Jesus said, “I will be with you a little while longer. Then I will go back to the one who sent me. 34 You will look for me, but you will not find me. And you cannot come where I am.”

35 These Jews said to each other, “Where will this man go that we cannot find him? Will he go to the Greek cities where our people live? Will he teach the Greek people there? 36 He says, ‘You will look for me, but you will not find me.’ He also says, ‘You cannot come where I am.’ What does this mean?”

Jesus Talks About the Holy Spirit

37 The last day of the festival came. It was the most important day. On that day Jesus stood up and said loudly, “Whoever is thirsty may come to me and drink. 38 If anyone believes in me, rivers of living water will flow out from their heart. That is what the Scriptures say.” 39 Jesus was talking about the Spirit. The Spirit had not yet been given to people, because Jesus had not yet been raised to glory. But later, those who believed in Jesus would receive the Spirit.

The People Argue About Jesus

40 When the people heard the things that Jesus said, some of them said, “This man really is the Prophet.[a]

41 Other people said, “He is the Messiah.”

And others said, “The Messiah will not come from Galilee. 42 The Scriptures say that the Messiah will come from the family of David. And they say that he will come from Bethlehem, the town where David lived.” 43 So the people did not agree with each other about Jesus. 44 Some of the people wanted to arrest him. But no one tried to do it.

The Jewish Leaders Refuse to Believe

45 The Temple police went back to the leading priests and the Pharisees. The priests and the Pharisees asked, “Why didn’t you bring Jesus?”

46 The Temple police answered, “We have never heard anyone say such amazing things!”

47 The Pharisees answered, “So he has fooled you too! 48 You don’t see any of the leaders or any of us Pharisees believing in him, do you? 49 But those people out there know nothing about the law. They are under God’s curse!”

50 But Nicodemus was there in that group. He was the one who had gone to see Jesus before.[b] He said, 51 “Our law will not let us judge anyone without first hearing them and finding out what they have done.”

52 The Jewish leaders answered, “You must be from Galilee too! Study the Scriptures. You will find nothing about a prophet[c] coming from Galilee.”

A Woman Caught in Adultery

53 Then they all left and went home.


  1. John 7:40 Prophet They probably meant the prophet that God told Moses he would send. See Deut. 18:15-19.
  2. John 7:50 He was the one … before The story about Nicodemus going and talking to Jesus is in Jn. 3:1-21.
  3. John 7:52 a prophet Two early Greek copies have “the Prophet,” which would mean the “prophet like Moses” mentioned in Deut. 18:15. In Acts 3:22 and 7:37 this is understood to be the Messiah, as in verse 40 above.
Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Copyright © 2006 by Bible League International

John 7 New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Goes to the Festival of Tabernacles

After this, Jesus went around in Galilee. He did not want[a] to go about in Judea because the Jewish leaders there were looking for a way to kill him. But when the Jewish Festival of Tabernacles was near, Jesus’ brothers said to him, “Leave Galilee and go to Judea, so that your disciples there may see the works you do. No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.” For even his own brothers did not believe in him.

Therefore Jesus told them, “My time is not yet here; for you any time will do. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that its works are evil. You go to the festival. I am not[b] going up to this festival, because my time has not yet fully come.” After he had said this, he stayed in Galilee.

10 However, after his brothers had left for the festival, he went also, not publicly, but in secret. 11 Now at the festival the Jewish leaders were watching for Jesus and asking, “Where is he?”

12 Among the crowds there was widespread whispering about him. Some said, “He is a good man.”

Others replied, “No, he deceives the people.” 13 But no one would say anything publicly about him for fear of the leaders.

Jesus Teaches at the Festival

14 Not until halfway through the festival did Jesus go up to the temple courts and begin to teach. 15 The Jews there were amazed and asked, “How did this man get such learning without having been taught?”

16 Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me. 17 Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. 18 Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him. 19 Has not Moses given you the law? Yet not one of you keeps the law. Why are you trying to kill me?”

20 “You are demon-possessed,” the crowd answered. “Who is trying to kill you?”

21 Jesus said to them, “I did one miracle, and you are all amazed. 22 Yet, because Moses gave you circumcision (though actually it did not come from Moses, but from the patriarchs), you circumcise a boy on the Sabbath. 23 Now if a boy can be circumcised on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses may not be broken, why are you angry with me for healing a man’s whole body on the Sabbath? 24 Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.”

Division Over Who Jesus Is

25 At that point some of the people of Jerusalem began to ask, “Isn’t this the man they are trying to kill? 26 Here he is, speaking publicly, and they are not saying a word to him. Have the authorities really concluded that he is the Messiah? 27 But we know where this man is from; when the Messiah comes, no one will know where he is from.”

28 Then Jesus, still teaching in the temple courts, cried out, “Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from. I am not here on my own authority, but he who sent me is true. You do not know him, 29 but I know him because I am from him and he sent me.”

30 At this they tried to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come. 31 Still, many in the crowd believed in him. They said, “When the Messiah comes, will he perform more signs than this man?”

32 The Pharisees heard the crowd whispering such things about him. Then the chief priests and the Pharisees sent temple guards to arrest him.

33 Jesus said, “I am with you for only a short time, and then I am going to the one who sent me. 34 You will look for me, but you will not find me; and where I am, you cannot come.”

35 The Jews said to one another, “Where does this man intend to go that we cannot find him? Will he go where our people live scattered among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks? 36 What did he mean when he said, ‘You will look for me, but you will not find me,’ and ‘Where I am, you cannot come’?”

37 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”[c] 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

40 On hearing his words, some of the people said, “Surely this man is the Prophet.”

41 Others said, “He is the Messiah.”

Still others asked, “How can the Messiah come from Galilee? 42 Does not Scripture say that the Messiah will come from David’s descendants and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?” 43 Thus the people were divided because of Jesus. 44 Some wanted to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him.

Unbelief of the Jewish Leaders

45 Finally the temple guards went back to the chief priests and the Pharisees, who asked them, “Why didn’t you bring him in?”

46 “No one ever spoke the way this man does,” the guards replied.

47 “You mean he has deceived you also?” the Pharisees retorted. 48 “Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed in him? 49 No! But this mob that knows nothing of the law—there is a curse on them.”

50 Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus earlier and who was one of their own number, asked, 51 “Does our law condemn a man without first hearing him to find out what he has been doing?”

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

[The earliest manuscripts and many other ancient witnesses do not have John 7:53—8:11. A few manuscripts include these verses, wholly or in part, after John 7:36, John 21:25, Luke 21:38 or Luke 24:53.]

53 Then they all went home,


  1. John 7:1 Some manuscripts not have authority
  2. John 7:8 Some manuscripts not yet
  3. John 7:38 Or me. And let anyone drink 38 who believes in me.” As Scripture has said, “Out of him (or them) will flow rivers of living water.”
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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