John 8:31 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 8:31, NIV: "To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, 'If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples."

John 8:31, ESV: "So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples,"

John 8:31, KJV: "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;"

John 8:31, NASB: "So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, 'If you continue in My word, then you are truly My disciples;"

John 8:31, NLT: "Jesus said to the people who believed in him, 'You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings."

John 8:31, CSB: "Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, "If you continue in my word, you really are my disciples."

What does John 8:31 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

As with verse 30, it is tempting to think that those who "believed" in Jesus were expressing saving faith. However, the Bible distinguishes between those who believe in a shallow, superficial sense from those who express legitimate faith in Christ. This verse explains one of the ways to know the difference: those who truly submit to Christ "abide in [His] word" (John 8:12; John 5:38; 1 John 2:14). Some of Jesus' earlier teachings caused some who claimed to believe in Him to walk away (John 6:65–66). Many of the crowd who find Jesus' words compelling at this moment, will reject Him later.

The terminology used here needs to be understood. "The Jews," as used in the gospel of John, typically refers to the religious leaders of Jerusalem and their followers. This would include the temple Scribes, the Pharisees, and the local residents who agreed with their approach. The conversation Jesus is having now, is still mostly aimed at the Pharisees, but it actually includes all of the hostile crowd which has now gathered.