John 8:44 in context

What is the just interpretation of John 8:44 in a context outside christian anti semitism?

The verse in context is as follows:

39 They answered and said to him, “Our father is Abraham.” Jesus said to them,x “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.”
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.
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.

Jesus is talking to a bunch of people who are claiming that they follow God but are planning to kill him (John 8:40) because they don’t like what he’s saying.

Obviously, claiming you’re the children of God while simultaneously plotting somebody’s murder is a big contradiction, and signifies that you’re doing the devil’s work. Especially when that “somebody” is God’s own son.

With respect to anti-Semitism, it’s understood that we ALL have a hand in rejecting and killing Jesus when we commit sin. Passages about “the Jews” in the Gospels should be understood as referring to ALL of us.

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There’s no such thing in the Scripture.

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John 8:44
You belong to your father the devil and you willingly carry out your father’s desires…

They were trying to do the opposite of God’s will. They were the children of Abraham by flesh. But spiritually they were not the children of Abraham, because they do not believe Jesus comes from God.

It does sounds like as if Jesus condemn exclusively only the Jews who reject Him as the Messiah. However, it turns out John 8:44 also condemns all religious people who claim to believe in God, but want to do the opposite of God’s will.

So, it is not merely apply for the Jews.

Rather, for people who claim to have faith (Abraham is the father of those who receive righteousness through faith), but despite this, their will is murderous, using religion (blesphemy law) to condemn people.

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Not all of us want to condemn people using blesphemy law. Only those who claim to be religious, but plotting to silence Jesus truth.

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I’m sorry, but I don’t understand your comment.

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I’m pretty sure that post #4 is a brief restatement of the longer comment of post #3, also by JoyfulTune.

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@JoyfulTune tries to explain that it is not exactly about ‘all of us killing the Christ’ (which is true — because He died for sins of all human beings).

But in this fragment it’s rather exactly about what @JoyfulTune mentioned in his posts above: Jesus called the Pharisees literally ‘sons of the devil’ because of their lies and plotting to kill Messiah despite all miracles and proof they’ve seen. And especially them, legitimate successors to the Abraham and the priests of God and tradition, should be ashamed of their murderous jealousy and rejection of the truth.

And the final point of @JoyfulTune was that anyone who tries to do the same should feel condemned by Lord in the same way.

Hope I helped!

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Yes. The above is exactly my point.

@Tis_Bearself

John 8:44 not exclusively for the jews who rejected Jesus at the time. Neither it is meant for all people. It is only for those who claims to be religious but are plotting to silence Jesus truth, using blesphemy law, simply because they don’t like the message from the bible, for example

I see. I disagree that it’s only restricted to “blasphemy law”. I think many if not most people have acted like a Pharisee at some point in our life, when we rejected some teaching of Jesus, tried to make it go away because we didn’t like it, or insisted on our own interpretation of it, or when we otherwise acted like a hypocrite. Peter for example was complicit with the Pharisees when he denied Christ 3 times. However, Jesus is willing to lovingly forgive anyone who repents, just as he did Peter.

In addition, even if we accept your argument that it only applies to those who commit a certain sin, we should all pray that we are not put to the test of possibly falling into the same sin.

We can’t ever point to Pharisees and say, “Oh, Jesus just meant them. It doesn’t apply to me because I’m holy and good.”

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True. However please notice that Jesus did not condemn Simon Peter’s failures the same way He condememned those who plotting to silence Him for disliking His message of truth.

I am glad that you realize this

Exactly my point.

He was condemning those particular Jews, not every Jew then living, or that ever lived, or ever will live. The lesson, in any event, is universal.

And, in fact, this is the teaching of the Church:

Vatican II, Nostra Aetate

True, the Jewish authorities and those who followed their lead pressed for the death of Christ;(13) still, what happened in His passion cannot be charged against all the Jews, without distinction, then alive, nor against the Jews of today.

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No anti semitism in John 8 Nehemiah1 (I am not saying YOU think there is, but I don’t want lurkers here thinking that either).

Jesus is talking to THESE GUYS.

They are ecclesiastical leaders gone bad.

Not only do they plot to kill Jesus but (in my understanding anyway) they attack and blaspheme the Blessed Virgin Mary too.

I think Jesus takes the attacks against Himself.
But as soon as these Church leaders begin to attack the Blessed Virgin Mary, Jesus (who before acknowledged they were children of Abraham) is now explicitly calling THEM (not all Jewish people) sons of the devil.

See if this and this might not help in reading John 8 in context.

God bless.

Cathoholic.

.

From my prior posts . . .

Guys like Cerinthus DENIED this doctrine because he knew that it cast aspersions on Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

The Pharisees went further asserting the Blessed Mother was less than chaste (setting Jesus off in the process).

Notice initially Jesus is pretty cool and affirms the Pharasees as descendents of Abraham in John 8.

JOHN 8:31-37a 31 Jesus then said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” 33 They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham, and have never been in bondage to any one. How is it that you say, ‘You will be made free’?” 34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, every one who commits sin is a slave to sin. 35 The slave does not continue in the house for ever; the son continues for ever. 36 So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. 37 I know that you are descendants of Abraham . . .

Jesus then IMPLIES they have the devil as their father because Jesus KNOWS they are plotting to murder Jesus.

JOHN 8:37-41 37 I know that you are descendants of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me, because my word finds no place in you. 38 I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.” 39 They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do what Abraham did, 40 but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth which I heard from God; this is not what Abraham did. 41 You do what your father did.”

Now the Pharisees IMPLY something awful against the Blessed Virgin Mary.

They say to Jesus . . . “WEEEE were not born of fornication!”

What is the subtle but unmistakable implication here?

An attack on the Blessed Virgin Mary.

And NOW look how Jesus responds!

Jesus now tells em outright "Your Father is THE DEVIL!"

WOW!

They set Jesus off on THAT assertion.

Let’s listen in.

JOHN 8:39-44 39 They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do what Abraham did, 40 but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth which I heard from God; this is not what Abraham did. 41 You do what your father did.”
They said to him,
“We were not born of fornication;
we have one Father, even God.”
42 Jesus said to them,
“If God were your Father, you would love me, for I proceeded and came forth from God; I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. 43 Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. 44
You are of your father the devil ,
and your will is to do your father’s desires.
He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

This was one of the five blasphemies against the Blessed Virgin Mary that so outrage our Lord Jesus (as revealed to Sr. Lucia but the ONE that I am discussing is right here in Scripture at least in part implicitly).

These are people who we are told believe in Jesus.

It’s them He’s speaking to.

Jesus then said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham, and have never been in bondage to any one. How is it that you say, ‘You will be made free’?” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, every one who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not continue in the house for ever; the son continues for ever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you are descendants of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me, because my word finds no place in you. I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.”
John 8:31‭-‬38 RSV-CI

Julius_Caesar . . .

It’s them He’s speaking to.

Exactly.

Cathoholic . . .

Jesus is talking to THESE GUYS.

I’m not sure you understand what I’m saying.

Jesus is talking to people who “believed in Him.”

I’m confused because your post uses RSV-CI translation, which is “the Jews who had believed in him” suggesting that they somehow were losing belief in him or had stopped believing in him (“had believed”).

But the NABRE translates that verse of John 8 as

31 Jesus then said to those Jews who believed in him, “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.”

“Who believed in him”, not “Who had believed in him”. There’s a difference.
@Bithynian @BartholomewB what’s the more correct translation?

In any event, the Gospels suggest that a whole lot of Jewish people of that time flip-flopped their opinion on Jesus, given that he was welcomed into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday by a cheering crowd and by the end of the week the same crowd was yelling for him to be crucified. So even if people said they believed in Jesus, they could still be harboring some serious reservations or perfidy.

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Julius_Caesar . .

Jesus is talking to people who “believed in Him.”

Yes. So what?
That just compounds their sin assuming they are among those that believe.

That is hardening their hearts.

I’m not sure you understand what I’m saying.

Maybe you are right. Maybe I don’t know what you are attempting to convey here.

Anything else?

Thank you for tagging me, Tis, but this question is way above my pay grade. I leave it to our real kosher Greek specialists, such as @Bithynian and @OddBird.

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