Beginning in Chapter 5, John details how the Jews wanted to kill Jesus. First, the intent is described: for making Himself equal to God (5:18). Then the manner of death they picked up stones to throw at him (8:59). Finally:

31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. 32 Jesus answered them, “Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?” 33 The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.” (John 10) [ESV]

31 ἐβάστασαν πάλιν λίθους οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι ἵνα λιθάσωσιν αὐτόν 32 ἀπεκρίθη αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς πολλὰ ἔργα καλὰ ἔδειξα ὑμῖν ἐκ τοῦ πατρός διὰ ποῖον αὐτῶν ἔργον ἐμὲ λιθάζετε 33 ἀπεκρίθησαν αὐτῷ οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι περὶ καλοῦ ἔργου οὐ λιθάζομέν σε ἀλλὰ περὶ βλασφημίας καὶ ὅτι σὺ ἄνθρωπος ὢν ποιεῖς σεαυτὸν θεόν

I believe a main point John makes is they picked up stones again πάλιν, and in so doing, the motive behind the first attempt to stone is given. However, I am curious whether John intends the reader to understand two separate reasons:

  1. Blasphemy: referring to Before Abraham was, I am (8:58)
  2. Make yourself God: referring to both My Father is working until now, and I am working. (5:17) and I and the Father are one (10:30).
  • The reasons were the same; the sentences were different.
    – Lucian
    May 10 '21 at 17:05

In John 5, "making himself equal with God" was more subtle. It didn't get the public to pick up stones.

18 This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. (John 5:18, ESV)

In John 8:28 and 8:58 what Jesus said translated ἐγώ εἰμι the public directly understood Jesus claiming to be God so they picked up stones. See What did Jesus likely say in John 8:58?

By that time the Jews did not pronounce the divine name YHWH (consonants with vowels forgotten). When reading scripture they would say Adonai (Lord) when they came to YHWH. Thus, they understood Jesus as claiming to be God.


Leviticus 24:16

anyone who blasphemes the name of the LORD is to be put to death. The entire assembly must stone them. Whether foreigner or native-born, when they blaspheme the Name they are to be put to death.

John 10:

33 The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.”

Are there two separate reasons given for wanting to stone Jesus?

There were a thousand illegal reasons why they wanted to stone Jesus but there was only one legal reason: blasphemy.

  • "There were a thousand reasons..." John speaks of blasphemy and because you make yourself God. That is either 1 or 2. Jun 10 '21 at 16:05
  • Good point. I added.
    – Tony Chan
    Jun 10 '21 at 16:55

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.