The Jews said the Christ is to come from Bethlehem in John 7:42, not knowing that Jesus was born in Bethlehem.

When they heard these words, some of the people said, “This really is the Prophet.” 41 Others said, “This is the Christ.” But some said, “Is the Christ to come from Galilee? 42 Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the offspring of David, and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David was?” 43 So there was a division among the people over him. 44 Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him. (John 7:40–44, ESV)

Here they are arguing over who Jesus is, but when Christ comes from Bethlehem is brought up, no one mentions he was born in Bethlehem.

John wrote his Gospel after the synoptics and seems to avoid repeating what is in the Synoptic Gospels as if expecting his readers to already be familiar to them. (When John refers to what is 'not written', in his gospel account, does he mean, in part at least, the parables of Jesus?) Thus, John would expect his readers to know that Jesus was born in Bethlehem.

Did John point out the mistakes the Jews made related with Jesus and his teachings expecting the reader to catch the mistake?

Another example; are there more?

John 8:33 Why does Jesus not correct the Jews when they said they they were never slaves of anyone?

This style would take up less room on the scroll and engage the reader.


1 Answer 1


OP: This style would take up less room on the scroll and engage the reader.

Right, this style is called dramatic irony. Let's follow the reader's reactions in John 7:

37 On the last and greatest day of the festival,

The reader senses a climax is coming.

Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”

Yes, Jesus is the one! He speaks with authority. At last, he fulfills the ancient Scripture. History has come to life.

39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

John interprets what Jesus has said. The Good News keeps getting better. Now, I have the Spirit personally with me. God is with me.

40 On hearing his words, some of the people said, “Surely this man is the Prophet.”

Yes, but more than that ...

41 Others said, “He is the Messiah.”

Amen! Hallelujah! You've got it. Receive the Good News, brother!

Still others asked, “How can the Messiah come from Galilee?

42 Does not Scripture say that the Messiah will come from David’s descendants and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?”

What?! Are you so ignorant? Do you not know the truth?

This is the irony: The reader knows something that some of these people in the story do not. It engages the reader to read further to find out what would happen to them next. A conflict is created among the people in the story. A conflict is created between the reader and some of the people in the story. These conflicts are looking for resolutions.

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