John 8:13 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 8:13, NIV: "The Pharisees challenged him, 'Here you are, appearing as your own witness; your testimony is not valid.'"

John 8:13, ESV: "So the Pharisees said to him, “You are bearing witness about yourself; your testimony is not true.”"

John 8:13, KJV: "The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true."

John 8:13, NASB: "So the Pharisees said to Him, 'You are testifying about Yourself; Your testimony is not true.'"

John 8:13, NLT: "The Pharisees replied, 'You are making those claims about yourself! Such testimony is not valid.'"

John 8:13, CSB: "So the Pharisees said to him, "You are testifying about yourself. Your testimony is not valid.""

What does John 8:13 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jesus has just made an outrageous claim about Himself: "I am the light of the world." Surrounded by lamps made from the garments of priests, as part of the Feast of Booths, Jesus has laid claim to absolute moral and spiritual truth. This came with a phrasing which echoes God's own words to Moses: "I AM" (Exodus 3:14). This statement sparks a dialogue which continues to escalate, until the Pharisees are enraged enough to attempt to kill Jesus then and there (John 8:59).

Earlier in His ministry, Jesus was challenged by religious leaders for proof of His claims. There, Jesus agreed that it was necessary to have evidence—a person could not simply take someone's word when they made bold claims. In that exchange, not long after healing a man crippled for decades, Jesus offered three separate lines of evidence supporting His ministry (John 5:30–47). In that context, and for those issues, Jesus agreed that other evidence was not only available, but necessary. This is the same basic argument being made here, this time by the Pharisees.

However, the information being discussed here is not the same kind of knowledge for which Jesus offered human evidence. Those were issues such as eyewitness to miracles and the content of the Scriptures. Here, as Jesus will respond in the next verse, only one person has ever actually seen the truths being claimed, so only that person can speak of them.