John 8:52 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 8:52, NIV: "At this they exclaimed, 'Now we know that you are demon-possessed! Abraham died and so did the prophets, yet you say that whoever obeys your word will never taste death."

John 8:52, ESV: "The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon! Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.’"

John 8:52, KJV: "Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death."

John 8:52, NASB: "The Jews said to Him, 'Now we know that You have a demon. Abraham died, and the prophets as well; and yet You say, ‘If anyone follows My word, he will never taste of death.’"

John 8:52, NLT: "The people said, 'Now we know you are possessed by a demon. Even Abraham and the prophets died, but you say, 'Anyone who obeys my teaching will never die!'"

John 8:52, CSB: "Then the Jews said, "Now we know you have a demon. Abraham died and so did the prophets. You say, 'If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.'"

What does John 8:52 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jesus' ministry has brought out intense frustration in His critics. The religious leaders of Jerusalem, in particular, are livid over His repeated victories in debate and in the public's eyes. Every time these men have tried to fool, trick, or embarrass Jesus, it has backfired (Matthew 16:1; 19:3; Matthew 22:35; Luke 10:25; 11:54). They've even tried to have Him arrested (John 7:32), or killed (John 5:18), and those attempts have also failed (John 7:45–46). Jesus has been bold in pointing out their hypocrisy and stubbornness. In particular, Jesus has declared that their use of lies and violence proves that they are not really the spiritual children of God (John 8:44). And, Jesus has become more and more direct in His condemnation of their sin.

The responses given by these men have sunk to the level of personal insults, such as implying that Jesus is an illegitimate child, or that He is insane. In this verse, that charge of insanity is repeated, since Jesus has just claimed that those who follow Him will not "taste death" (John 8:51), a comment which the Pharisees and their followers misunderstand. Abraham was a major theme of this conversation, and he is brought up again as one who, though He followed God, still experienced physical death. This is not what Jesus means, however, as the next verses will show.