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Jehovah’s Witnesses

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New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (Study Edition)

According to John 7:1-52

7  After this Jesus continued traveling* about in Galʹi·lee, for he did not want to do so in Ju·deʹa because the Jews were seeking to kill him.+  However, the Jewish Festival of Tabernacles+ was near.  So his brothers+ said to him: “Leave here and go into Ju·deʹa, so that your disciples may also see the works you are doing.  For no one does anything in secret when he seeks to be known publicly. If you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.”  His brothers were, in fact, not exercising faith in him.+  So Jesus said to them: “My time has not yet arrived,+ but your time is always at hand.  The world has no reason to hate you, but it hates me, because I bear witness about it that its works are wicked.+  You go up to the festival; I am not yet going up to this festival, because my time has not yet fully come.”+  So after he told them these things, he remained in Galʹi·lee. 10  But when his brothers had gone up to the festival, then he also went up, not openly but in secret. 11  So the Jews began looking for him at the festival and saying: “Where is that man?” 12  And there was a lot of subdued talk about him among the crowds. Some would say: “He is a good man.” Others would say: “He is not. He misleads the crowd.”+ 13  Of course, no one would speak about him publicly because of fear of the Jews.+ 14  When the festival was half over, Jesus went up into the temple and began teaching. 15  And the Jews were astonished, saying: “How does this man have such a knowledge of the Scriptures+ when he has not studied at the schools?”+ 16  Jesus, in turn, answered them and said: “What I teach is not mine, but belongs to him who sent me.+ 17  If anyone desires to do His will, he will know whether the teaching is from God+ or I speak of my own originality. 18  Whoever speaks of his own originality is seeking his own glory; but whoever seeks the glory of the one who sent him,+ this one is true* and there is no unrighteousness in him. 19  Moses gave you the Law,+ did he not? But not one of you obeys the Law. Why are you seeking to kill me?”+ 20  The crowd answered: “You have a demon.*+ Who is seeking to kill you?” 21  In answer Jesus said to them: “One deed I performed, and you are all surprised. 22  For this reason Moses has given you circumcision+—not that it is from Moses, but it is from the forefathers+—and you circumcise a man on a sabbath. 23  If a man receives circumcision on a sabbath so that the Law of Moses may not be broken, are you violently angry at me because I made a man completely well on a sabbath?+ 24  Stop judging by the outward appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”+ 25  Then some of the inhabitants of Jerusalem began to say: “This is the man they are seeking to kill, is it not?+ 26  And yet see! he is speaking in public, and they say nothing to him. Have the rulers come to know for certain that this is the Christ? 27  On the contrary, we know where this man is from;+ yet when the Christ comes, no one is to know where he is from.” 28  Then as he was teaching in the temple, Jesus called out: “You know me and you know where I am from. And I have not come of my own initiative,+ but the One who sent me is real, and you do not know him.+ 29  I know him,+ because I am a representative from him, and that One sent me.” 30  So they began seeking to get hold of him,+ but no one laid a hand on him, for his hour had not yet come.+ 31  Still, many of the crowd put faith in him,+ and they were saying: “When the Christ comes, he will not perform more signs than this man has done, will he?”+ 32  The Pharisees heard the crowd murmuring these things about him, and the chief priests and the Pharisees sent officers to seize* him. 33  Jesus then said: “I will be with you a little while longer before I go to the One who sent me.+ 34  You will look for me, but you will not find me, and where I am you cannot come.”+ 35  Therefore, the Jews said among themselves: “Where does this man intend to go, so that we will not find him? He does not intend to go to the Jews dispersed among the Greeks and teach the Greeks, does he? 36  What does he mean when he says, ‘You will look for me, but you will not find me, and where I am you cannot come’?” 37  On the last day, the great day of the festival,+ Jesus stood up and he called out: “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.+ 38  Whoever puts faith in me, just as the scripture has said: ‘From deep within him streams of living water will flow.’”+ 39  However, he said this concerning the spirit, which those who put faith in him were about to receive; for as yet there was no spirit,+ because Jesus had not yet been glorified.+ 40  Some in the crowd who heard these words began saying: “This really is the Prophet.”+ 41  Others were saying: “This is the Christ.”+ But some were saying: “The Christ is not coming out of Galʹi·lee, is he?+ 42  Does the scripture not say that the Christ is coming from the offspring of David+ and from Bethʹle·hem,+ the village where David was?”+ 43  So a division over him arose among the crowd. 44  Some of them, though, wanted to seize* him, but no one laid his hands on him. 45  Then the officers went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, and the latter said to them: “Why did you not bring him in?” 46  The officers replied: “Never has any man spoken like this.”+ 47  In turn the Pharisees answered: “You have not been misled also, have you? 48  Not one of the rulers or of the Pharisees has put faith in him, has he?+ 49  But this crowd who do not know the Law are accursed people.” 50  Nic·o·deʹmus, who had come to him previously+ and who was one of them, said to them: 51  “Our Law does not judge a man unless it first hears from him and learns what he is doing, does it?”+ 52  In answer they said to him: “You are not also out of Galʹi·lee, are you? Search and see that no prophet is to be raised up out of Galʹi·lee.”+

Footnotes

Or “walking.”
Or “is truthful.”
Or “You are possessed by a demon; You are demonized.”
Or “arrest.”
Or “arrest.”

Study Notes

the Jews: As used in the Gospel of John, this term conveys different meanings, depending on the context. In addition to referring to Jewish or Judean people in general or to those living in or near Jerusalem, the term may also refer more specifically to Jews who zealously adhered to human traditions connected with the Mosaic Law, which were often contrary to the spirit of that Law. (Mt 15:3-6) Foremost among these “Jews” were the Jewish authorities or religious leaders who were hostile to Jesus. In this passage and in some of the other occurrences of this term in John chapter 7, the context indicates that the Jewish authorities or religious leaders are referred to.—Joh 7:13, 15, 35a.

Festival of Tabernacles: Or “Festival of Booths.” This is the only mention of this festival in the Christian Greek Scriptures. This festival refers to the one observed in the fall of 32 C.E.—See Glossary, “Festival of Booths,” and App. B15.

the Jews: As used in the Gospel of John, this term conveys different meanings, depending on the context. In addition to referring to Jewish or Judean people in general or to those living in or near Jerusalem, the term may also refer more specifically to Jews who zealously adhered to human traditions connected with the Mosaic Law, which were often contrary to the spirit of that Law. (Mt 15:3-6) Foremost among these “Jews” were the Jewish authorities or religious leaders who were hostile to Jesus. In this passage and in some of the other occurrences of this term in John chapter 7, the context indicates that the Jewish authorities or religious leaders are referred to.—Joh 7:13, 15, 35a.

the Jews: Here the term “the Jews” may refer to people in general who were gathering for the Festival of Tabernacles in Jerusalem, although it may also refer to the Jewish religious leaders.—See study note on Joh 7:1.

the Jews: As used in the Gospel of John, this term conveys different meanings, depending on the context. In addition to referring to Jewish or Judean people in general or to those living in or near Jerusalem, the term may also refer more specifically to Jews who zealously adhered to human traditions connected with the Mosaic Law, which were often contrary to the spirit of that Law. (Mt 15:3-6) Foremost among these “Jews” were the Jewish authorities or religious leaders who were hostile to Jesus. In this passage and in some of the other occurrences of this term in John chapter 7, the context indicates that the Jewish authorities or religious leaders are referred to.—Joh 7:13, 15, 35a.

the Jews: Apparently referring to the Jewish authorities or religious leaders.—See study note on Joh 7:1.

the Jews: As used in the Gospel of John, this term conveys different meanings, depending on the context. In addition to referring to Jewish or Judean people in general or to those living in or near Jerusalem, the term may also refer more specifically to Jews who zealously adhered to human traditions connected with the Mosaic Law, which were often contrary to the spirit of that Law. (Mt 15:3-6) Foremost among these “Jews” were the Jewish authorities or religious leaders who were hostile to Jesus. In this passage and in some of the other occurrences of this term in John chapter 7, the context indicates that the Jewish authorities or religious leaders are referred to.—Joh 7:13, 15, 35a.

the Jews: This expression seems to refer to the Jewish authorities or religious leaders, a conclusion that is indicated by Jesus’ question to them in verse 19: “Why are you seeking to kill me?”—See study note on Joh 7:1.

the Scriptures: Or “writings.” Lit., “letters,” that is, units of an alphabet. The expression “know (have a knowledge of) letters” is an idiom meaning “have a knowledge of writings (books, literature).” In this context, it apparently refers to knowledge of the inspired Scriptures.

when he has not studied at the schools: Or “without having been taught.” Lit., “not having learned.” Jesus was not uneducated, but he had not studied at the rabbinic schools of higher learning.

of my own originality: Or “on my own.” Lit., “from myself.” As God’s Chief Representative, Jesus always listens to Jehovah’s voice and speaks what Jehovah directs.

circumcision on a sabbath: Circumcision was a mandatory requirement of the Mosaic Law. (Le 12:2, 3) It was considered so important that even if the eighth day fell on the highly regarded Sabbath, circumcision was to be performed.

the rulers: Here referring to Jewish rulers. In the days of Jesus’ earthly ministry, Israel was under the dual rule of the Roman Empire and the Jewish rulers. The chief body of the Jewish rulers was the Sanhedrin, a council of 71 elders, including the high priest, to which the Roman government granted limited authority over Jewish affairs.—See Glossary, “Sanhedrin.”

I am a representative from him: Lit., “beside him I am.” The use of the preposition pa·raʹ (lit., “beside”) emphasizes not only that Jesus is “from” God but that he is very close, or near, to Jehovah. In this sense, Jesus is a “representative” from God.

officers: That is, guards of the temple in Jerusalem. Likely, they were agents of the Sanhedrin and under the authority of the chief priests. They functioned as religious police.

the Jews: As used in the Gospel of John, this term conveys different meanings, depending on the context. In addition to referring to Jewish or Judean people in general or to those living in or near Jerusalem, the term may also refer more specifically to Jews who zealously adhered to human traditions connected with the Mosaic Law, which were often contrary to the spirit of that Law. (Mt 15:3-6) Foremost among these “Jews” were the Jewish authorities or religious leaders who were hostile to Jesus. In this passage and in some of the other occurrences of this term in John chapter 7, the context indicates that the Jewish authorities or religious leaders are referred to.—Joh 7:13, 15, 35a.

the Jews: In this context where the chief priests and Pharisees are mentioned (Joh 7:32, 45), the designation “the Jews” apparently refers to the Jewish authorities or religious leaders.—See study note on Joh 7:1.

the Jews dispersed: Lit., “the dispersion.” In this context, the Greek word di·a·spo·raʹ refers to Jews living outside Israel. This dispersion, or Diaspora, took place because the Jews were exiled from their homeland when conquered by other nations—first the Assyrians, in 740 B.C.E., and then the Babylonians, prior to and in 607 B.C.E. (2Ki 17:22, 23; 24:12-17; Jer 52:28-30) Only a remnant of the exiles returned to Israel; the rest remained scattered. (Isa 10:21, 22) By the fifth century B.C.E., Jewish communities were apparently found in the 127 provinces of the Persian Empire. (Es 1:1; 3:8) The expression used here at Joh 7:35 refers specifically to those who had been scattered among the Greeks. In the first century, there were Jewish populations in many Greek-speaking communities outside of Israel, for example, in Syria, Asia Minor, and Egypt, as well as in the European part of the Roman Empire, including Greece and Rome. Efforts to win converts to Judaism meant that, in time, a large number of people came to have some knowledge of Jehovah and of the Law that he gave to the Jews. (Mt 23:15) Jews and proselytes from many lands were present in Jerusalem for the Festival of Pentecost in 33 C.E., and they heard the good news about Jesus. Therefore, the dispersion of Jews throughout the Roman Empire contributed to the rapid spread of Christianity.

Festival of Tabernacles: Or “Festival of Booths.” This is the only mention of this festival in the Christian Greek Scriptures. This festival refers to the one observed in the fall of 32 C.E.—See Glossary, “Festival of Booths,” and App. B15.

On the last day: That is, the seventh day of the Festival of Tabernacles, or Booths, Tishri 21. It was called “the great day of the festival.”—De 16:13; see study note on Joh 7:2 and Glossary, “Festival of Booths,” and App. B15.

Festival of Tabernacles: Or “Festival of Booths.” This is the only mention of this festival in the Christian Greek Scriptures. This festival refers to the one observed in the fall of 32 C.E.—See Glossary, “Festival of Booths,” and App. B15.

just as the scripture has said: Jesus does not seem to be quoting a particular verse here but is alluding to such scriptures as Isa 44:3; 58:11; and Zec 14:8. Over two years earlier, when Jesus spoke with the Samaritan woman about living water, he focused on the benefits of receiving this water. (Joh 4:10, 14) But in this verse, Jesus indicates that this “living water” would flow from his followers who put faith in him as they shared it with others. (Joh 7:37-39) The Christian Greek Scriptures provide abundant evidence that Jesus’ followers, after receiving holy spirit beginning at Pentecost 33 C.E., were impelled to impart life-giving water to all who would listen.—Ac 5:28; Col 1:23.

streams of living water will flow: Jesus may here have alluded to a custom followed during the Festival of Tabernacles, or Booths. The custom involved the drawing of water from the pool of Siloam and pouring it from a golden vessel, along with wine, on the altar at the time of the morning sacrifice. (See study note on Joh 7:2; Glossary, “Festival of Booths,” and App. B15.) Though this feature of the festival was not mentioned in the Hebrew Scriptures but was added later, most scholars say that this occurred on seven days of the festival but not on the eighth. On the opening day of the festival, a sabbath, the water that a priest poured out had been brought to the temple from the pool of Siloam on the preceding day. On the subsequent days, the priest would go to the pool of Siloam to collect water in a golden pitcher. He would time his return to the temple so that he arrived just as the priests were ready to lay the pieces of the sacrifice on the altar. As he came through the Water Gate and into the Court of the Priests, his entry was announced by a threefold blast from the priests’ trumpets. The water was then poured out into a basin leading to the base of the altar at the same time that wine was being poured into a different basin. Then the temple music accompanied the singing of the Hallel Psalms (Ps 113-118) while the worshippers waved their palm branches toward the altar. This ceremony may have reminded the joyful celebrants of Isaiah’s prophetic words: “With rejoicing you will draw water from the springs of salvation.”—Isa 12:3.

for as yet there was no spirit: The Greek word for “spirit,” pneuʹma, occurs twice in this verse and refers to God’s holy spirit, or active force. Jesus and those who listened to him knew that God had long used His holy spirit (Ge 1:2, ftn.; 2Sa 23:2; Ac 28:25) and that He had imparted that spirit to His faithful servants, such as Othniel, Jephthah, and Samson (Jg 3:9, 10; 11:29; 15:14). Therefore, John was clearly referring to a new way that the spirit would benefit imperfect humans. None of those earlier servants of God had been called to heavenly life by means of the spirit. At Pentecost 33 C.E., Jesus poured out on his followers the holy spirit that he, as a glorified spirit, had received from Jehovah. (Ac 2:4, 33) This was the first time that imperfect humans were given the hope of spirit life in heaven. Having this anointing, the Christians were able to understand the meaning of many things that they had not understood before.

accursed people: The proud and self-righteous Pharisees and Jewish leaders looked down on the common people who listened to Jesus, calling them “accursed people.” The Greek word used here, e·paʹra·tos, is a term of contempt, which implies that those so described were under a curse from God. The Jewish religious leaders also used a Hebrew term, ʽam ha·ʼaʹrets, or “people of the land,” to express their contempt for the common people. Originally, this was a term of respect for citizens of a specific territory, embracing not only the poor and lowly but also the prominent. (Ge 23:7; 2Ki 23:35; Eze 22:29) By Jesus’ day, however, the term was used of those who were considered ignorant of the Mosaic Law or who failed to observe the smallest details of rabbinic traditions. Later rabbinic writings confirm that attitude. Many religious leaders viewed such people as contemptible, refusing to eat with them, buy from them, or associate with them.

You are not also out of Galilee, are you?: This question apparently reflects the contempt that these Judeans felt toward Galileans. When Nicodemus spoke up in defense of Jesus (Joh 7:51), the Pharisees were, in effect, asking: “Are you defending and supporting him, putting yourself on the level of a backward Galilean?” Since the Sanhedrin and the temple were in Jerusalem, no doubt a great concentration of teachers of the Law was to be found there, which likely gave rise to the Jewish proverb: “Go north [to Galilee] for riches, go south [to Judea] for wisdom.” But evidence indicates that the Galileans were not ignorant of God’s Law. Throughout the cities and villages of Galilee, there were teachers of the Law as well as synagogues that served as educational centers. (Lu 5:17) This arrogant reply to Nicodemus indicates that the Pharisees did not make any effort to learn that Bethlehem was Jesus’ actual birthplace. (Mic 5:2; Joh 7:42) They also failed to discern Isaiah’s prophecy that likened the Messiah’s preaching to “a great light” that would shine in Galilee.—Isa 9:1, 2; Mt 4:13-17.

7:53

The earliest authoritative manuscripts do not have the passage from Joh 7:53 to 8:11. These 12 verses were obviously added to the original text of John’s Gospel. (See App. A3.) They are not found in the two earliest available papyri containing the Gospel of John, Papyrus Bodmer 2 (P66) and Papyrus Bodmer 14, 15 (P75), both from the second century C.E., nor are they found in the Codex Sinaiticus or Codex Vaticanus, both from the fourth century C.E. They first appear in a Greek manuscript from the fifth century (Codex Bezae) but are not found in any other Greek manuscripts until the ninth century C.E. They are omitted by most of the early translations into other languages. One group of Greek manuscripts places the added words at the end of John’s Gospel; another group puts them after Lu 21:38. That this portion appears at different places in different manuscripts supports the conclusion that it is a spurious text. Scholars overwhelmingly agree that these verses were not part of the original text of John.

Greek manuscripts and translations into other languages that include these verses read (with some variations) as follows:

53 So they went each one to his home.

8 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 At daybreak, however, he again presented himself at the temple, and all the people began coming to him, and he sat down and began to teach them. 3 Now the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught at adultery, and, after standing her in their midst, 4 they said to him: “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of committing adultery. 5 In the Law Moses prescribed for us to stone such sort of women. What, really, do you say?” 6 Of course, they were saying this to put him to the test, in order to have something with which to accuse him. But Jesus bent down and began to write with his finger in the ground. 7 When they persisted in asking him, he straightened up and said to them: “Let the one of you that is sinless be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 And bending over again he kept on writing in the ground. 9 But those who heard this began going out, one by one, starting with the older men, and he was left alone, and the woman that was in their midst. 10 Straightening up, Jesus said to her: “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” 11 She said: “No one, sir.” Jesus said: “Neither do I condemn you. Go your way; from now on practice sin no more.”

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