Do You Know With Certainty


Joh 8:31 begins, “Jesus then said to the Jews who had believed in him…” Thereafter, St. John uses “they” and “Jews.” The Ignatius Catholic Study Bible says these are the Jewish authorities. Are they the same as “the Jews who had believed in Him”? The way it is written, it gives the impression that it’s the same people, which equals out to: The Jews who had believed in Him also were trying to kill Him.


I would say with certainty that it was not the Jews that believed in Jesus who were trying to kill him, in the context of chapter 8 of John’s gospel.

I’ve just read 790 pages of commentary on John’s gospel, and I have the impression that it was the Jewish authorities who were plotting to kill Jesus.


In St. Thomas Acquinas’ Catena Aurea - The Gospel of St. John, it appears as though St. Chrysostom is saying they are the same, saying, “Men who really believed could have borne to be rebuked. But these men began immediately to show anger.” St. Augustine is quoted as saying, “Or it was not those who believed, but the unbelieving multitude that made this answer.” It appears as the Gospel writer wants us to believe that they are the “Jews who had believed in Him.” Perhaps, they believed, and when He starts up with “hard sayings,” they fall back into unbelief. I don’t like to go against St. Augustine, but wouldn’t St. John have let us know if it was a different group? Or is he letting us know how fragile our faith is, that we need outside strength to help us?


I can’t follow your reasoning in that last question.


On our own strength, we are extremely weak. We are in need of Christ and the Sacraments. This is evidenced by those who have fallen away from the Church.


I think he meant that he doesn’t understand your question. You ask ‘do you know with certainly’, but you don’t ask what it is that we may be certain about.

As far as the gospel reading, it is possible some that believed in him once had turned against him. In John 6 a number of his disciples left him when he spoke of the Eucharist.

It seems to me though when read in context it says in verse 30 many put their faith in him. And then it says in verse 31 Jesus spoke to those who had put their faith in him meaning those in verse 30. So it seems Jesus was addressing those who just put their faith in him. As far as those Jesus addresses later as trying to kill him, it would not likely be those who had just put their faith in Jesus. Perhaps that is why the comments say it was the religious leaders. Since they were the ones who eventually plotted to kill Jesus.


Sorry. Can we know with certainty that “the Jews who had believed in Him” were not Jewish authorities? Thank you. Was St. John referring to a different group?


It’s not an impossibility, but the Jews who had believed in him I think is referring to those Jews in verse 30 who had just come to believe. I verse 31 Jesus admonishes them to hold to his teaching so as to become true disciples and free from sin. Some of those present responded back. Who those were we are not certain. We do know it was the religious authorities who eventually plotted to kill Jesus.


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