Jesus referred to his quote from Psalm 35:19 as "written in their Law" (ὁ ⸂ἐν τῷ νόμῳ αὐτῶν γεγραμμένος, NA28). Why did Jesus refer to the scriptures as their law instead of God's.

But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’ (John 15:25, ESV)

  Let not those rejoice over me 
  who are wrongfully my foes, 
              and let not those wink the eye 
  who hate me without cause. (Psalm 35:19, ESV)

Jesus was not talking to disciples who did not accept the complete Tanakh as authoritative.

Although he doesn't directly address why Jesus used "their," this is how Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg addresses this subject:

21 But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. 25 But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’

It is still clear that these particular words of Jesus belong in a particular historical setting. The opposition by the Ioudaioi [Jewish leadership] and in particular, by those in leadership, the evil shepherds of Israel, is clearly in view. The summarizing phrase in verse 25: “they hated me without a cause,” referring to the persecution and suffering of Jesus, is a direct reference to several of the Psalms of Lament. In Psalm 35: 1-8 we read:

“Contend, O LORD, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me! …Say to my soul, “I am your salvation!” Let them be put to shame and dishonor who seek after my life! …Let their way be dark and slippery, with the angel of the LORD pursuing them! For without cause they hid their net for me; without cause they dug a pit for my life.”

While in Psalm 69: 1-4 we read:

“Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters, and the flood sweeps over me. I am weary with my crying out; my throat is parched. My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God. More in number than the hairs of my head are those who hate me without cause…”

This is the case throughout the Gospel of John. The Ioudaioi launched a full attack against Jesus, hating him without a justified cause. And this is the case with the world - it has no justified reason to oppose God, but it hates Him and everyone who belongs to Him. -- Lizorkin-Eyzenberg, Eli. The Jewish Gospel of John: Discovering Jesus, King of All Israel (pp. 219-221). Jewish Studies for Christians. Kindle Edition.

  • Quoting that psalm as if that was certain passage to which he referred is not a given; there are others in the actual law of Moses itself which in the least you may have referenced(Num. 16:11).
    – user21676
    Aug 1, 2021 at 0:38
  • @user21676: This question deals with your statement: hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/36094/…
    – Perry Webb
    Aug 1, 2021 at 0:49
  • 1
    Because, countless times, He deeply disagreed with their (mis)interpretation of it.
    – Lucian
    Aug 1, 2021 at 3:38
  • 3
    Does this answer your question? Are we missing something in John 10:34?
    – Michael16
    Aug 1, 2021 at 17:34
  • phrase hating without cause can be alluded to any innocent in such a situation, it is irrelevant. Search for "your law", I found two questions and listed one of them as the duplicate which answers your question perfectly. The "your law, their law, "acc to my gospel" , "my god", are emphatic phrases. They don't imply their law is different from God's law, but emphatically reminding them, that they are the teachers/judges of the law on which they base their authority. It doesn't mean in a derogatory pejorative way, but mere emphasis.
    – Michael16
    Aug 1, 2021 at 17:42

2 Answers 2


1. LAW

While the vast bulk of uses of the word "nomos" in the NT refer to the Torah/Pentateuch (eg, Matt 12:5, 22:36, Luke 10:26, 16:17, John 7:51, 8:17, 18:31, 19:7, Acts 6:13, 7:53, 18:15, 21:20, 24, 28, 22:3, 12, 23:3, 29, 25:8, Rom 2:12, 13, 17-20, 23-27, 3:19-21, 28, 4:13-16, 5:20, 6:14, 15, 7:1-9, 8:3, 4, 10:4, 5, 13:8, 10, 1 Cor 9:8, 20, 14:34, 15:56, Gal 2:16, 19, 21, 3:2, 5, 10-13, 17-19, 21, 23, 4:4, 5, 21, 5:3,4, 6:13, Eph 2:15, Phil 3:5, 6, 9, 1 Tim 1:8, 9, Heb 7:5, 12, 16, 19, 28, 8:4, 10, 9:22, 10:1, 8, 16, James 2:9-11, 4:11), there are other uses as well such as:

  • “Law” is sometimes used as part of the hendiadys (which see) “law and the prophets” denoting the entire Old Testament (Matt 5:17, 7:12, 11:13, 22:40, 23:23, Luke 24:44 (this includes “and the Psalms”), John 1:45, Acts 13:15, 24:14, 28:23, Rom 3:21).
  • In some cases “the law” is an abbreviation of “the law and the prophets” and thus refers to the entire Old Testament (John 10:34, 12:34, 15:25, 1 Cor 14:21).

Thus, I would argue that "law" in John 15:25 is an abbreviation of "Law and the Prophets" which includes the Psalms which which the quote appears to be taken, namely, Ps 35:19, 38:19, 69:4.

2. Their Law

The Gospel of God portrays a growing "us and them" attitude toward the Jewish world. John frequently describes the Jewish leadership as simply "the Jews" (John was also a Jew by birth and upbringing!) as if the "Jews" are a completely separate group from the disciple and himself.

Therefore, when writing in the late 1st century when the distinction between Jews (and their fastidious observance of Torahanic minutae) vs Christians who are "free", it is little wonder that John refers to "their law".

This is NOT to suggest that John did not value the OT writings - he did; BUT it was still produced by Jews and belonged to them (Rom 3:2, 9:4, 5) and thus it was "theirs" and they should have been aware of the laws contained therein!

Recall that in Paul's travels and missionary journeys, it was the Jews who provided the most trouble for Paul and Jesus effectively quotes the Jews own Scripture to them (which Christians adopted) and thus, the Jews were more culpable.

  • 1
    Your quote of 1Cr 14:21 is really the only power of your argument, because scripturally it is borderline on the absurd. Yet even there the context of Isaiah 28:9-13 shows the law to have been part of the thinking of the author('precept upon precept'), most likely derived/redacted out of Deu. 28:49 in 'homily'. The other thing is that despite quoting many of the instances of 'law and prophets' not once do you acknowledge the contrast it is making between them. Facts should determine the interpretation not supposition, no matter how compelling.
    – user21676
    Aug 1, 2021 at 17:31

Because He is the son of God and listen directly to father's commands as He says in John. The law was transmitted by angels.

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