John 5:46 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 5:46, NIV: "If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me."

John 5:46, ESV: "For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me."

John 5:46, KJV: "For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me."

John 5:46, NASB: "For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me."

John 5:46, NLT: "If you really believed Moses, you would believe me, because he wrote about me."

John 5:46, CSB: "For if you believed Moses, you would believe me, because he wrote about me."

What does John 5:46 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In Luke 16:19–31 Jesus tells the story of Lazarus and the rich man. At the end, Jesus makes the point that those who reject the written Word of God won't be convinced by anything, even a miracle of resurrection. The same idea is in play here as Jesus responds to His critics (John 5:18). These men have plenty of evidence, including the words of other men (John 5:33) and seeing Jesus' miracles in person (John 5:36).

More importantly, these men are well-trained experts in the Jewish Scriptures. They know the law of Moses. And yet, they reject Jesus and His message. This is not due to ignorance, this is due to a willful refusal to see the truth (John 5:39–40). Jesus is making His criticism of the local religious leaders extremely personal. They claim to believe in the words Moses wrote—Jesus calls their claim a lie. Since the Old Testament predicted Jesus, and the Pharisees refuse to accept Him (John 5:38–40), they don't really want to know the will of God. They are more concerned with the rules and laws of other men (Matthew 15:6–9).