What does John 3:11 mean?
ESV: Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you do not receive our testimony.
NIV: Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony.
NASB: Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know and testify of what we have seen, and you people do not accept our testimony.
CSB: "Truly I tell you, we speak what we know and we testify to what we have seen, but you do not accept our testimony.
NLT: I assure you, we tell you what we know and have seen, and yet you won’t believe our testimony.
KJV: Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.
NKJV: Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness.
Verse Commentary:
In earlier verses, Jesus said one reason people do not understand is because they will not understand. In other words, the problem is not a lack of evidence, or a lack of reason, but a lack of interest. Knowing the truth is not the same as submitting to the truth. The Pharisees know quite a bit about the Old Testament, but they won't submit to the authority of Christ. Jesus was described in John 1:1 as "The Word," from the Greek term Logos. Jesus is the living message of God, and what He says comes from God. Nicodemus recognizes this in Jesus' miracles (John 3:2), but he is still having a hard time seeing the truth. His legalism and traditions are getting in the way.

Here again, Jesus repeats the word amen, which has been kept intact through translations. The term means "believe," or "surely," and is usually used after saying something a person sincerely hopes to be true. This is why we respond with "amen" to something we strongly agree with. Using it at the beginning of a statement implies that the person speaking has first-hand knowledge, and are not relying on anyone else for it. It's a strong claim of knowledge and authority.
Verse Context:
John 2:24–3:15 describes a meeting between Jesus and a Pharisee. The last two verses of chapter two highlight the fact that Jesus knew men better than they knew themselves. Nicodemus was the ancient equivalent of a politician, priest, and professor all rolled into one. Jesus proves that this man doesn’t understand religion as well as he’d like to think. In contrast to the loud, public spectacle of clearing the temple, this encounter is a private, night-time meeting. Their actual conversation was probably longer than the brief summary recorded here.
Chapter Summary:
John chapter 3 is one of the most important in the entire gospel. Many crucial ideas are explained in this passage, including the role of Jesus as Savior. After the loud, public commotion at the temple, John transitions to a quiet, nighttime discussion. These verses make it clear that Christ—and Christ alone—is the means of salvation for the entire world. This text also states that those who reject Jesus are rejecting God.
Chapter Context:
The gospel of John is meant to prove that Jesus is God. Chapter 3 contains some of the most direct, most important concepts in Christianity. The ideas of spiritual rebirth, and the need to believe in Christ, are reinforced by the rest of the information in this gospel. John continues to use contrast, moving from the loud and public temple cleansing to the quiet of this conversation. After Jesus injects humility into a powerful leader, chapter 4 will transition again, as Jesus gives dignity to an outcast stranger.
Book Summary:
The gospel of John was written by the disciple John, decades later than the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. The author assumes that a reader is already familiar with the content of these other works. So, John presents a different perspective, with a greater emphasis on meaning. John uses seven miracles—which he calls “signs”—in order to prove that Jesus is, in fact, God incarnate. Some of the most well-known verses in all of the Bible are found here. None is more famous than the one-sentence summary of the gospel found in John 3:16.
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