New American Bible (Revised Edition)
24 That is why I told you that you will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I AM,[a] you will die in your sins.”(A) 25 [b]So they said to him, “Who are you?”(B) Jesus said to them, “What I told you from the beginning. 26 I have much to say about you in condemnation. But the one who sent me is true, and what I heard from him I tell the world.”(C) 27 They did not realize that he was speaking to them of the Father. 28 So Jesus said [to them], “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I AM, and that I do nothing on my own, but I say only what the Father taught me.(D) 29 The one who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, because I always do what is pleasing to him.” 30 Because he spoke this way, many came to believe in him.
Jesus and Abraham.[c] 31 Jesus then said to those Jews who believed in him,[d] “If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”(E) 33 They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone.[e] How can you say, ‘You will become free’?”(F) 34 Jesus answered them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin.(G) 35 A slave does not remain in a household forever, but a son[f] always remains.(H) 36 So if a son frees you, then you will truly be free. 37 I know that you are descendants of Abraham. But you are trying to kill me, because my word has no room among you. 38 [g]I tell you what I have seen in the Father’s presence; then do what you have heard from the Father.”
39 [h]They answered and said to him, “Our father is Abraham.” Jesus said to them,(I) “If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works of Abraham. 40 But now you are trying to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God; Abraham did not do this. 41 You are doing the works of your father!” [So] they said to him, “We are not illegitimate. We have one Father, God.”(J) 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and am here; I did not come on my own, but he sent me.(K) 43 Why do you not understand what I am saying? Because you cannot bear to hear my word. 44 You belong to your father the devil and you willingly carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks in character, because he is a liar and the father of lies.(L) 45 But because I speak the truth, you do not believe me. 46 Can any of you charge me with sin? If I am telling the truth, why do you not believe me?(M) 47 Whoever belongs to God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not listen, because you do not belong to God.”(N)
48 The Jews answered and said to him, “Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan[i] and are possessed?” 49 Jesus answered, “I am not possessed; I honor my Father, but you dishonor me. 50 I do not seek my own glory; there is one who seeks it and he is the one who judges.(O) 51 Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever keeps my word will never see death.”(P) 52 [So] the Jews said to him, “Now we are sure that you are possessed. Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘Whoever keeps my word will never taste death.’ 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham,[j] who died? Or the prophets, who died? Who do you make yourself out to be?”(Q) 54 Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is worth nothing; but it is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ 55 You do not know him, but I know him. And if I should say that I do not know him, I would be like you a liar. But I do know him and I keep his word.(R) 56 Abraham your father rejoiced to see my day; he saw it[k] and was glad.(S) 57 So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old and you have seen Abraham?”[l] 58 [m]Jesus said to them,(T) “Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham came to be, I AM.”Read full chapter
- 8:24, 28 I AM: an expression that late Jewish tradition understood as Yahweh’s own self-designation (Is 43:10); see note on Jn 4:26. Jesus is here placed on a par with Yahweh.
- 8:25 What I told you from the beginning: this verse seems textually corrupt, with several other possible translations: “(I am) what I say to you”; “Why do I speak to you at all?” The earliest attested reading (Bodmer Papyrus P66) has (in a second hand), “I told you at the beginning what I am also telling you (now).” The answer here (cf. Prv 8:22) seems to hinge on a misunderstanding of Jn 8:24 “that I AM” as “what I am.”
- 8:31–59 Jesus’ origin (“before Abraham”) and destiny are developed; the truth will free them from sin (Jn 8:34) and death (Jn 8:51).
- 8:31 Those Jews who believed in him: a rough editorial suture, since in Jn 8:37 they are described as trying to kill Jesus.
- 8:33 Have never been enslaved to anyone: since, historically, the Jews were enslaved almost continuously, this verse is probably Johannine irony, about slavery to sin.
- 8:35 A slave…a son: an allusion to Ishmael and Isaac (Gn 16; 21), or to the release of a slave after six years (Ex 21:2; Dt 15:12).
- 8:38 The Father: i.e., God. It is also possible, however, to understand the second part of the verse as a sarcastic reference to descent of the Jews from the devil (Jn 8:44), “You do what you have heard from [your] father.”
- 8:39 The works of Abraham: Abraham believed; cf. Rom 4:11–17; Jas 2:21–23.
- 8:48 Samaritan: therefore interested in magical powers; cf. Acts 7:14–24.
- 8:53 Are you greater than our father Abraham?: cf. Jn 4:12.
- 8:56 He saw it: this seems a reference to the birth of Isaac (Gn 17:7; 21:6), the beginning of the fulfillment of promises about Abraham’s seed.
- 8:57 The evidence of the third-century Bodmer Papyrus P75 and the first hand of Codex Sinaiticus indicates that the text originally read: “How can Abraham have seen you?”
- 8:58 Came to be, I AM: the Greek word used for “came to be” is the one used of all creation in the prologue, while the word used for “am” is the one reserved for the Logos.
Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.