John 8:23 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 8:23, NIV: "But he continued, 'You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world."

John 8:23, ESV: "He said to them, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world."

John 8:23, KJV: "And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world."

John 8:23, NASB: "And He was saying to them, 'You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world."

John 8:23, NLT: "Jesus continued, 'You are from below; I am from above. You belong to this world; I do not."

John 8:23, CSB: ""You are from below," he told them, "I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world."

What does John 8:23 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In this passage, Jesus not only makes grand claims about Himself, He also directly attacks the spirituality of the Pharisees, His primary critics. This conversation will continue to escalate, with Jesus making His claims more outrageous, and His attacks more pointed. The Pharisees will counter with insults and accusations of insanity, before once again attempting to have Jesus stoned for blasphemy.

Jesus has recently referred to Himself as "the light of the world," which implies that He is the one, single source of spiritual truth. Jesus has also claimed to have been sent by God the Father (John 8:16), as evidenced by miracles. For this reason, Jesus claims to be able to speak of things which others on earth have never seen. Here, He makes a similar remark. The men attacking Him are part of the "the world," which carries a dual meaning in Scripture. "The world" can refer to the human, fallen, sinful mindset. It can also mean this physical realm. Both descriptions apply to the men Jesus is debating, but primarily, He means that this lowly place is where these men are from—where they were born. Jesus has His home in heaven, and is not bound by the sins and errors of His detractors (Hebrews 4:15).