John 7:52 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 7:52, NIV: "They replied, 'Are you from Galilee, too? Look into it, and you will find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee.'"

John 7:52, ESV: "They replied, “Are you from Galilee too? Search and see that no prophet arises from Galilee.”"

John 7:52, KJV: "They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet."

John 7:52, NASB: "They answered and said to him, 'You are not from Galilee as well, are you? Examine the Scriptures, and see that no prophet arises out of Galilee.'"

John 7:52, NLT: "They replied, 'Are you from Galilee, too? Search the Scriptures and see for yourself--no prophet ever comes from Galilee!'"

John 7:52, CSB: ""You aren't from Galilee too, are you? " they replied. "Investigate and you will see that no prophet arises from Galilee.""

What does John 7:52 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The Pharisees have attempted to have Jesus arrested (John 7:32). However, the men sent on this mission came back commenting on how unique Jesus' words were (John 7:46). This sends the Pharisees into a rage—they are incensed at the idea that anyone could doubt their opinions. In more or less direct terms, these religious authorities claim that anyone who disagrees with them must, by definition, be wrong (John 7:48). And, those who lack their level of knowledge are cursed into spiritual error (John 7:49). However, one of their own, Nicodemus (John 3:1–2), points out that Jesus should be given a fair hearing before being dismissed as a fraud (John 7:51). Rather than accepting their own law, which makes that very demand (Exodus 23:1; Deuteronomy 1:16–17; Proverbs 18:13), the other Pharisees turn on him.

The comment about Nicodemus being from Galilee is meant to be an insult. As prior verses showed, the Pharisees considered themselves well above the common people, mostly by virtue of their education. However, there was a cultural basis to this, as well. Most of the Pharisees were from the (relatively) urban Jerusalem, and they instinctively saw people from the surrounding (relatively) rural areas as backwards, low-class hicks. Suggesting that Nicodemus is "from Galilee, too," is the equivalent of calling him a rube or insulting his family. This is how hatefully arrogant the Pharisees are with respect to Jesus: they are willing to ignore their own laws while calling each other names.

Also, it should be noted that Scripture does, in fact, refer to a prophet from Galilee. Jonah, according to traditional accounts, was from that region. Jesus has already pointed out that the Scriptures point to Him as the Messiah (John 5:39–47), but those who are determined not to believe will never be convinced by evidence (John 7:17).