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John 8:33

    John 8:33 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how say you, You shall be made free?

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    They answered unto him, We are Abraham's seed, and have never yet been in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    They said to him in answer, We are Abraham's seed and have never been any man's servant: why do you say, You will become free?

    Webster's Revision

    They answered unto him, We are Abraham's seed, and have never yet been in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?

    World English Bible

    They answered him, "We are Abraham's seed, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How do you say, 'You will be made free?'"

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    They answered unto him, We be Abraham's seed, and have never yet been in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?

    Clarke's Commentary on John 8:33

    They answered - That is, the other Jews who had not believed - the carping, cavilling Pharisees already mentioned; for the words cannot be spoken of the simple people who had already believed. See John 8:30.

    Were never in bondage to any man - This assertion was not only false, but it was ridiculous in the extreme; seeing their whole history, sacred and profane, is full of recitals of their servitude in Egypt, in Chaldea, under the Persians, under the Macedonians, and under the Romans. But those who are not under the influence of the truth of God will speak and act according to the influence of the spirit of falsehood and error. If the words are to be restrained to themselves alone, they may be understood thus: We are Abraham's seed: and we were never in bondage. Both these propositions had a faint shadow of truth.

    Barnes' Notes on John 8:33

    They answered him - Not those who believed on him, but some who stood by and heard him.

    We be Abraham's seed - We are the children or descendants of Abraham. Abraham was not a slave, and they pretended that they were his real descendants, inheriting his freedom as well as his spirit. They meant that they were the direct descendants of Abraham by Isaac, his heir. Ishmael, also Abraham's son, was the son of a bondwoman Galatians 4:21-23, but they were descended in a direct line from the acknowledged heir of Abraham.

    Were never in bondage to any, man - This is a most remarkable declaration, and one evidently false. Their fathers had been slaves in Egypt; their nation had been enslaved in Babylon; it had repeatedly been subject to the Assyrians; it was enslaved by Herod the Great; and was, at the very time they spoke, groaning under the grievous and insupportable bondage of the Romans. But we see here:

    1. That Jesus was right when he said John 8:44, "Ye are of your father the devil; he is a liar, and the father of it."

    2. People will say anything, however false or ridiculous, to avoid and oppose the truth.

    3. People groaning under the most oppressive bondage are often unwilling to acknowledge it in any manner, and are indignant at being charged with it. This is the case with all sinners.

    4. Sin, and the bondage to sin, produces passion, irritation, and a troubled soul; and a person under the influence of passion regards little what he says, and is often a liar.

    5. There is need of the gospel. That only can make people free, calm, collected, meek, and lovers of truth; and since every person is by nature the servant of sin, he should without delay seek an interest in that gospel which can alone make him free.

    Wesley's Notes on John 8:33

    8:33 They - The other Jews that were by, (not those that believed,) as appears by the whole tenor of the conversation. We were never enslaved to any man - A bold, notorious untruth. At that very time they were enslaved to the Romans.