John 8:48 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 8:48, NIV: "The Jews answered him, 'Aren't we right in saying that you are a Samaritan and demon-possessed?'"

John 8:48, ESV: "The Jews answered him, “Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?”"

John 8:48, KJV: "Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?"

John 8:48, NASB: "The Jews answered and said to Him, 'Do we not rightly say that You are a Samaritan, and You have a demon?'"

John 8:48, NLT: "The people retorted, 'You Samaritan devil! Didn't we say all along that you were possessed by a demon?'"

John 8:48, CSB: "The Jews responded to him, "Aren't we right in saying that you're a Samaritan and have a demon?""

What does John 8:48 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This conversation between Jesus and the Pharisees dispels any myths that Jesus was weak, passive, or timid. In response to His claims, the religious leaders of Jerusalem have gone so far as to question Jesus' birth. They did this by insinuating that He was "born of sexual immorality," which could actually be seen as an attack on His mother (John 8:41). These same men have also tried to have Jesus arrested (John 7:32) and even killed (John 5:18). All of this is grounded in their refusal to accept His message (John 8:43), which they do not understand specifically because they have no intent to listen.

Here, the men opposing Jesus sink even lower in their approach. The Jewish people saw Samaritans as despised half-breeds. This cultural hatred was a major reason why Jesus' actions in the Samaritan town of Sychar were so controversial (John 4:1–9). Calling Jesus a "Samaritan" combined two insults into one: mocking His birth, and accusing Him of heresy. Referring to someone as demon-possessed was, in that day, equivalent to calling them crazy. Unable to give reasonable answers to His teaching, those opposed to Jesus are resorting to petty insults. Unfortunately, this tactic is still common in debates today, where mocking and slurs take the place of actual discussion.