What does John 8:40 mean?
ESV: but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did.
NIV: As it is, you are looking for a way to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things.
NASB: But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do.
CSB: But now you are trying to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do this.
NLT: Instead, you are trying to kill me because I told you the truth, which I heard from God. Abraham never did such a thing.
KJV: But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.
NKJV: But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this.
Verse Commentary:
In this escalating exchange with Jerusalem's religious leaders, Jesus has made claims to spiritual authority. He has given reasons to accept His claims, mostly by repeating the same clear facts He has taught since the beginning of His ministry. Jesus is sent by God the Father, speaks His words, and carries His message (John 8:21–30).

Most recently, His critics responded with their genealogy: they are the descendants of Abraham. This, however, does not make them legitimate children of God. As Jesus has shown, a "true son" of Abraham would do the things which Abraham did (John 8:39). Since Abraham obeyed God, and these hypocrites do not, they cannot claim Abraham as their spiritual father. Instead, their actions suggest that they are following a different example and a different spiritual father. In particular, they seek to murder the One who disagrees with them (John 5:18). This is part of a point towards which Jesus is building: that neither Abraham nor God are the "father" of these men. Instead, their source is someone connected to murder and lies. When Jesus fully reveals this criticism, it will result in outrage (John 8:59).
Verse Context:
John 8:31–59 is a passage which dovetails with John 2:13–22, where Jesus drives corrupt businessmen from the temple. These Scriptures disprove any myths that Jesus was weak, timid, passive, or soft. In this exchange with the Pharisees, Jesus pulls no punches. Jerusalem's religious leaders, and their followers, continue to resist Jesus' preaching. They rely on arrogance and insults, to which Jesus responds with blunt, unfiltered condemnation. This culminates in Jesus making an overt statement of His own divinity, punctuating the debate by declaring ''before Abraham was, I am!''
Chapter Summary:
John chapter 8 includes the story of the adulterous woman, a well-known but controversial passage. Most scholars believe this story is authentic, but not originally found in this exact spot in Scripture. This chapter continues Jesus' preaching during the Feast of Booths, where He once again comes into conflict with local religious leaders. Here, Christ will make His second ''I AM'' statement, using the analogy of light, which is a common theme in Hebrew theology. This conversation will become more and more heated. Eventually, Jesus' opponents are enraged enough to attempt killing Him right then and there.
Chapter Context:
Jesus is attending the Feast of Booths in Jerusalem, and has once again come into conflict with the local religious authorities. In the previous chapter, Jesus referred to Himself as a source of living water, playing off of the festivals' ritual pouring of water in the temple. In this chapter, Jesus will use the imagery of lights, also related to festival traditions. This chapter demonstrates Jesus' willingness to be direct, even aggressive, with His critics. The next few chapters will complete Jesus' public ministry, as He prepares for His impending death.
Book Summary:
The disciple John wrote the gospel of John decades after the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke were written. 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"— to prove that Jesus is, in fact, God incarnate. Some of the most well-known verses in 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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