John 7:23 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 7:23, NIV: "Now if a boy can be circumcised on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses may not be broken, why are you angry with me for healing a man's whole body on the Sabbath?"

John 7:23, ESV: "If on the Sabbath a man receives circumcision, so that the law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry with me because on the Sabbath I made a man’s whole body well?"

John 7:23, KJV: "If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the sabbath day?"

John 7:23, NASB: "If a man receives circumcision on a Sabbath so that the Law of Moses will not be broken, are you angry at Me because I made an entire man well on a Sabbath?"

John 7:23, NLT: "For if the correct time for circumcising your son falls on the Sabbath, you go ahead and do it so as not to break the law of Moses. So why should you be angry with me for healing a man on the Sabbath?"

John 7:23, CSB: "If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses won't be broken, are you angry at me because I made a man entirely well on the Sabbath?"

What does John 7:23 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Abraham was the first Jewish patriarch to practice circumcision. This symbolic ritual was meant to be a visible, permanent, external sign of the relationship between God and His people: the nation of Israel. Accordingly, a male child was to be circumcised on the eighth day after birth (Genesis 17:12). This command was repeated in the laws given under Moses (Leviticus 12:3). Of course, this meant that some baby boys had to be circumcised on a Sabbath day. Here, Jesus points out that the Pharisees see this as necessary to properly fulfill the law of Moses.

In context, Jesus is referring to the controversy caused when He healed a man on a Sabbath day (John 5:1–9). His point here is that of hypocrisy. If "breaking" the Sabbath to perform a minor ritual was acceptable, why did the Pharisees reject Jesus' healing of a man who'd been crippled for years? As stated in the next verse, the problem is that these religious leaders are being shallow and careless in their judgment.