John 7:16 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 7:16, NIV: "Jesus answered, 'My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me."

John 7:16, ESV: "So Jesus answered them, “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me."

John 7:16, KJV: "Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me."

John 7:16, NASB: "So Jesus answered them and said, 'My teaching is not My own, but His who sent Me."

John 7:16, NLT: "So Jesus told them, 'My message is not my own; it comes from God who sent me."

John 7:16, CSB: "Jesus answered them, "My teaching isn't mine but is from the one who sent me."

What does John 7:16 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In John 5:17, Jesus claimed to be equal to God in His works. In John 5:30, Jesus claimed to be equal to God in His judgment. Here, Jesus claims to be equal to God in His teaching. Rather than Jesus' knowledge being grounded in some religious school or self-study, His teachings are given directly by God the Father. This is one reason He is able to discuss the Word of God with such skill, despite not being formally trained (John 7:15).

This represents an interesting and important distinction between Jesus' ministry, and that of Christians today. Jesus here claims that His teachings, specifically, are those of God Himself. Since what's written in Scripture is the Word of God, this makes sense. This also provides context for Jesus' later comment that only those who are willing to obey God can successfully determine whether or not these teachings are valid (John 7:17). Christian believers, on the other hand, can only appeal to the spiritual authority of the Bible, and not to our own teachings. While we have the Bible—the Word of God—we don't have the same divine authority which Jesus possessed.