John 7:49 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 7:49, NIV: "No! But this mob that knows nothing of the law--there is a curse on them.'"

John 7:49, ESV: "But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed.”"

John 7:49, KJV: "But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed."

John 7:49, NASB: "But this crowd that does not know the Law is accursed!'"

John 7:49, NLT: "This foolish crowd follows him, but they are ignorant of the law. God's curse is on them!'"

John 7:49, CSB: "But this crowd, which doesn't know the law, is accursed.""

What does John 7:49 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

According to the Pharisees, only those whom God has blessed will obtain knowledge. Since they, at least in their own minds, hold superior knowledge of God's law, this means all others are "cursed." This makes for an easy, if irrational, excuse to ignore any other perspectives. In the prior verse, the Pharisees openly declared that their judgment, more than anything else, was reason to reject certain ideas. If the Pharisees don't believe it, they seem to say, then it's not worth believing.

This temper tantrum was triggered when men sent to arrest Jesus (John 7:32) came back to comment on His impressive speech, instead (John 7:46). The only possible explanation, for the arrogant Pharisees, is that those who don't reject Jesus are fools—they have been deceived (John 7:47), they lack knowledge (John 7:48), they are backwards people (John 7:52). Unfortunately, we in the modern era can make the same basic mistake when we take our denomination, sect, church, or group to be infallible and reject those who disagree simply because they are not "one of us."