John 16:8 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 16:8, NIV: "When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment:"

John 16:8, ESV: "And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment:"

John 16:8, KJV: "And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:"

John 16:8, NASB: "'And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment;"

John 16:8, NLT: "And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God's righteousness, and of the coming judgment."

John 16:8, CSB: "When he comes, he will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment:"

What does John 16:8 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The coming of the Holy Spirit has been predicted several times in this discourse (John 14:16–17, 26; 15:26–27; 16:7). In earlier statements, Jesus referred to this "Helper" who assists believers in various ways. Here, He explains another purpose of that Spirit. Christians often speak of conviction in a purely spiritual sense: the conscience-driven sensation of making a moral error. Conviction of the Holy Spirit, in that sense, is only associated with those who are saved (1 Corinthians 2:14–16).

However, the literal Greek term elenxei also means to "rebuke, convince, or accuse." So far as the unbelieving world is concerned, the Holy Spirit will bring accusation and exposure regarding their sin. The example of Christ, and the influence of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers, will point out the truths of sin and righteousness to the entire world (John 13:35; Matthew 5:11–16; 2 Peter 4:3–4; 1 Peter 3:15). This will go beyond the obvious aspects of creation (Romans 1:18–20) and leave those who refuse to seek God with even less excuse (Matthew 7:7–8).

Here, Jesus refers to three specific facets of this conviction: sin, righteousness, and judgment. The following verses will add detail to each.