John 8:46, NIV;

  1. Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don't you believe me?

John 8:46, NKJV;

  1. Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me?

In Smith Van Dyk Arabic translation it is: يبكتني على خطيئة.

يبكت على=reproach, scold, reprove.

So, what is the accurate translation of the Verb?

Does this Verse need to Textual Criticism?


The word used is the Greek ἐλέγχω (elegchō). This word appears 17 times and the KJV translates in the following manner: reprove (6x), rebuke (5x), convince (4x), tell (one's) fault (1x), convict (1x). The word intends to convey either of following meanings depending on the context

  1. to convict, refute, confute

  2. to find fault with, correct

  3. by deed

Here in particular I prefer the translation of the word if found in BPT09

Qual de vocês pode me acusar de algum pecado? Se estou falando a verdade, porque vocês não creem em mim?

Translating that to English we'd get

Which one of you can accuse me of some sin? If I'm telling the truth, why don't you believe in me?


John 8:46, NIV

Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don't you believe me?

can prove Me guilty
ἐλέγχει (elenchei)
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1651: (a) I reprove, rebuke, discipline, (b) I expose, show to be guilty. Of uncertain affinity; to confute, admonish.

The word does carry a range of meanings from "finding fault with" to "conviction".

Thayer's Greek Lexicon

  1. to convict, refute, confute, generally with a suggestion of the shame of the person convicted ...
  2. to find fault with, correct;
    a. by word; to reprehend severely, chide, admonish, reprove ...
    b. by deed; to chasten, punish

Where in this range of meanings should we apply ἐλέγχει here?

What is the context?

In John 8, Jesus is debating with Pharisees. It is a heated dispute.

13The Pharisees challenged him, “Here you are, appearing as your own witness; your testimony is not valid.”

48The Jews answered him, “Aren’t we right in saying that you are a Samaritan and demon-possessed?”

Finally, anger has flared so much that the Jews try to kill Jesus.

58“Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” 59At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.

This is a serious encounter with two opposing forces. I'd apply the word ἐλέγχει on the serious side of the range: conviction.

in https://biblehub.com/john/8-46.htm, 17 of 26 versions use "convict".

English Standard Version

Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me?

It is not just an accusation because the Jews have accused him of sin to the point that they start to stone him.

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