31 If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.
32 There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true.
36 … the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.

John 5:31 – 32, 36  KJV


13 The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true.
14 Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go.
15 Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man.
16 And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me.
17 It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true.
18 I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me.

John 8:13 – 18  KJV
(all further Bible references also in KJV)


SAB Contradiction 253


How do you make a mess of Bible texts. Example: “… and [Judas] departed, and went and hanged himself.” “Go, and do thou likewise!” We should not suppose that we have fit the message of the Bible in the combination of these two texts. Do we? The first one is Matthew 27:5 after Judas had thrown the silver coins of his betrayal in the temple; the second Luke 10:37 was said to the Pharisee to whom Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan. What happened in this mess? Two texts out of their context are combined and given a totally new and abject meaning.


One witness is no witness
This same incorrect mixing of context can happen when interpreting the saying: “If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.” The ultimate meaning of this assertion without further context would be that Jesus’ wanted his hearers to believe that he didn’t speak the truth, when witnessing concerning himself. This is impossible: witnessing is telling what one has seen and heard: the truth. However in public affairs or jurisdictional matters the truth of one individual was not enough, how truthful it might be. A second testimony was necessary (Deuteronomy 19:15 "… at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.").


Hidden, void
In John 5:31, Jesus used a generally accepted rule that one witness was not “true” (not enough, not trustworthy, void). Also the Pharisees made use of this rule (see John 8:13)! The Greek word used for ‘true’ is alèthès, first meaning in Liddle Scott Jones: unconcealed. And that is exactly what is meant here: “… my witness is (not true) concealed, hidden, void, not enough.” HOWEVER, – as is said in the context – there is ANOTHER ONE who is also witnessing about Jesus: God who worked with him together in doing miracles (John 5:36). That made two witnesses (Jesus’ words and God’s wonders) and by that Jesus claimed trustworthiness according to the Law.

So it is absolutely clear that Jesus didn’t want to say that someone who witnessed (about himself), was a liar. And that is what the critic wants to lay on Jesus’ lips.


John 5:31 doesn’t give a sort of absolute meaning: witnessing is lying. No, the connotation is the general rule that one witness is not enough for establishing the truth in public affairs. A second witness is necessary, as in “… God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will.” (Hebrews 2:4).

– John 8:14 gives the explanation that Jesus’ witness was true. He knew through revelation that God was with him and by revelation of the Word he knew from where he came and what his destination was. Moreover God also bore witness by the miracles that happened through Jesus’ words. God as the second witness (8:18!).

The critic has only made an incorrect interpretation of some Bible texts, withdrawn out of context and claims a Bible Contradiction. Shameful!

No Bible Contradiction