Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


John 8:41

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Ye do the deeds of your father - You have certainly another father than Abraham - one who has instilled his own malignant nature into you; and, as ye seek to murder me for telling you the truth, ye must be the offspring of him who was a murderer from the beginning, and stood not in the truth, John 8:44.

We be not born of fornication - We are not a mixed, spurious breed - our tribes and families have been kept distinct - we are descended from Abraham by his legal wife Sarah; and we are no idolaters.

We have one Father, even God - In the spiritual sense of father and son, we are not a spurious, that is, an idolatrous race; because we acknowledge none as our spiritual father, and worship none as such, but the true God. See Bishop Pearce.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

The deeds of your father - See John 8:38. Jesus repeats the charge, and yet repeats it as if unwilling to name Satan as their father. He chose that they should infer whom he meant, rather than bring a charge so direct and repelling. When the Saviour delivered an awful or an offensive truth, he always approached the mind so that the truth might make the deepest impression.

We be not born of fornication - The people still professed not to understand him; and since Jesus had denied that they were the children of Abraham, they affected to suppose that he meant they were a mixed, spurious race; that they had no right to the covenant privileges of the Jews; that they were not worshippers of the true God. Hence, they said, We are not thus descended. We have the evidence of our genealogy. We are worshippers of the true God, descended from those who acknowledged him, and we acknowledge no other God and Father than him. To be children of fornication is an expression denoting in the Scriptures idolatry, or the worship of other gods than the true God, Isaiah 1:21; Isaiah 57:3; Hebrews 1:2; Hebrews 2:4. This they denied. They affirmed that they acknowledged no God for their Father but the true God.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Satan prompts men to excesses by which they murder themselves and others, while what he puts into the mind tends to ruin men's souls. He is the great promoter of falsehood of every kind. He is a liar, all his temptations are carried on by his calling evil good, and good evil, and promising freedom in sin. He is the author of all lies; whom liars resemble and obey, with whom all liars shall have their portion for ever. The special lusts of the devil are spiritual wickedness, the lusts of the mind, and corrupt reasonings, pride and envy, wrath and malice, enmity to good, and enticing others to evil. By the truth, here understand the revealed will of God as to the salvation of men by Jesus Christ, the truth Christ was now preaching, and which the Jews opposed.
Ellen G. White
The Desire of Ages, 463-70

This chapter is based on John 8:12-59; John 9.

“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” DA 463.1

Read in context »
Ellen G. White
The Upward Look, 325.3

When Christ was upon this earth, the people flocked to hear Him. So simple and plain were His words that the most unlearned among the people could understand Him, and His hearers listened as if spellbound. This enraged the scribes and Pharisees. They were filled with envy because the people listened so attentively to the words of this new Teacher. They determined to break His hold upon the multitudes. They began by attacking His character, saying that He was born in sin, and that He cast out devils through the prince of the devils. Thus were fulfilled the words “They hated me without a cause” (John 15:25; cf. Psalm 69:4). The Jewish leaders maligned and persecuted the One who is chiefest among ten thousand and altogether lovely. UL 325.3

Read in context »