For a large part of John 8, Jesus is having a discussion with the Jews about who his Father is and who their Father is.

John 8:54 Authorized KJV

Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God

In this verse, who is this "God" of whom Jesus says the Jews claim is the same as his Father?


7 Answers 7


He is the same God who said "I am the Lord... and I will take you for my people, and I will be YOUR God, and you will know that I am the Lord YOUR God" (Exodus ch6 vv6-7). A promise frequently repeated. That word "your" should be enough to identify.


John is clear throughout his writings as to whom the God of the Jews is.

God the Father has never been seen or even heard.

No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. (John 1:18, KJV)

And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. (John 5:37, KJV)

God is a spirit.

God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:24, KJV)

God's spirit (the Father's spirit) dwells in Jesus.

Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. (John 8:28, KJV)

For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. (John 12:49, KJV)

Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. (John 14:10, KJV)

The Father is the only true God.

These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: . . . And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. (John 17:1-3, KJV)

Jesus' Father, and Jesus' God, is both our Father and our God.

Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. (John 20:17, KJV)


John 8:54 is consistent with the rest of John's message which is clear that Jesus' Father is the only true God, and is the God whom we are to worship.

22Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. (John 4:22-23, KJV)

The Jews, according to Jesus, had the correct understanding as to whom they should worship--and Jesus said it was the Father. The Jews who spoke with Jesus were no exception--they knew whom they were worshiping.

  • "They knew whom they were worshipping"? Jesus' assessment is, "Yet ye have not known Him" Jun 26 at 13:14
  • @MikeBorden Indeed. Knowing whom to worship is not the same as knowing the One being worshiped. One might know who the president of the United States is without knowing him; i.e. without having a personal relationship with him. Many think knowing who God is will suffice--it will not.
    – Biblasia
    Jun 26 at 13:41
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    Yep. And the Father cannot be known apart from the Son. Matthew 11:27. Since the Jews stood in rejection of the Son, they couldn't know the One they worshiped. The same is true of us. Jun 26 at 14:51
  • @MikeBorden Agreed. The Son came to show us the Father...but he never once claimed to be the Father. On the contrary, he himself prayed to the Father, calling Him "the only true God" (John 17:3), and said the Father was both his God and our God (John 20:17). Perhaps more to the point of this question, while Jesus said the Jews knew what to worship, it doesn't seem he actually claimed they followed all that they knew to do.
    – Biblasia
    Jun 26 at 16:04
  • I know of no Trinitarians who claim that the Son is the Father. Of course he prayed to the Father: Being found in fashion as a man he humbled himself. Fashion here is a peculiar form of "schema' which (appearing only twice) means an apparent resemblance of something that is essentially different. Jun 27 at 12:22

it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your GodYet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying. - John 8:54b-55

What Jesus is saying here is that the Jews think they know the God that is Jesus' Father but they actually do not. So the answer to the question of who is "your God" in this verse is "something other than the true God who is the Father of Jesus".

Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also. - John 8:19

The Jews is Jesus' day were worshiping something and they thought that something was God the Father but it was not. They did not know Him. If they had known Jesus they would have known the Father also. Instead, the real Father of those standing in rejection of Jesus is the Devil:

Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God. - John 8:42-47

  • @ReadLessPrayMore Actually the discussion starts because Jesus, doing the works of God, refuses to condemn the woman caught in adultery and the Jews did not recognize that work. The God they served was all about condemnation. "We have one Father, even God" - v.41. "You say my Father is your God but you don't know Him." v. 54-55 Jesus' point is that they think they know God but they don't. and they can't and won't until they acknowledge who He is: v. 23-25. Jun 24 at 13:37
  • Jesus is claiming his God is the Jew's God. The Jews are not claiming their God is Jesus's God. Do you see the difference? We can't conflate the two which your answer seems to be doing. YHWH was long established at the Creator during this time. Jesus was claiming THEIR long established God. Jun 24 at 17:48
  • @ReadLessPrayMore "my Father ... of whom ye say, that he is your God" Jesus is saying that they don't know their long established God, who is the Father of the Son. Jun 25 at 12:46
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    Yes I agree. The long established God of Israel, YHWH, is the Father of the Son. They know of Him but they do not "know" Him as the Son knows Him. Jun 25 at 15:34

The God of the Jews is YHWH.

Throughout John 8, both the Jews and Jesus were claiming YHWH as their Father and God.

In Jesus' most important command, he tells us Israel's God is YHWH.

Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, YHWH our Elohim, YHWH is one. And you shall love YHWH your Elohim with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment."*

And in John 17:3 Jesus tells us the one God is his Father. (Jesus speaking to his God and Father)

And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent

Therefore, because Jesus says there is one God and also YHWH is Israel's God, we can conclude that the "God" Jesus spoke of in John 8:54 is YHWH.

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    What of John 20:28 where Thomas says to Jesus, "My Lord and My God"? In John 8:54, it is uncontroversial that "God" refers to the Father. This is essentially required by the Grammar. Are you trying to make a theological point?
    – Dottard
    Apr 12 at 21:11
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    That is the problem - you have not answered your own question but merely made a theological statement - there is no analysis of the text in you question at all. Your answer never references John 8:54 nor its grammar!
    – Dottard
    Apr 12 at 21:20
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    Jesus said "your God" as he was speaking to Jews. The Shema identifies the God of the Jews as YHWH from Jesus' own mouth. Apr 12 at 21:28
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    Your claim that the discussion is about YHVH would be much stronger if either the Jews or Jesus actually used the term. Apr 12 at 22:48
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    @RevelationLad It matters not, how the name is pronounced or that yourself speaks the name of Jesus Christ's God. All the manuscripts contain the name YHWH (though in more ancient characters). This is the name He calls Himself. You are missing the forest for the trees.... focusing on details that do not matter when looking at the broader idea of this question. The God of Israel is the Father of Jesus. Scripture supports this. It tells us the 1 God is YHWH, and that Jesus is the SON of God.... the Son of YHWH. This verse in question is from the mouth of the Son of God and supports this. Apr 14 at 9:00

To make sense of your question I think it's highly important to understand the context of what's going on here. At John 8:51 Jesus says, "Truly, truly I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death."

At vs 52-53, The Jews accuse Jesus of having a demon and they go on to say, "You are not greater than our father Abraham, who died? The prophets died too; whom do You make Yourself out to be?"

Now the verse in question, vs54. "If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing; it is My Father who glorifies Me, of whom you say, "He is our God;" vs55, and you have not come to know Him, but I know Him; and if I say I do not know Him, I shall be a liar like you, but I do know Him, and keep His word."

The Jews from verses 51-52 that Jesus claimed to be far superior to Abraham and the prophets. They died having and keeping the word of God. The Jews believed He was saying that His word was superior to God's word and that He was preeminently above the prophets and Abraham.

At vs 53, Abraham was the founder of their race, how could Jesus be greater than Abraham in their mind was unthinkable. At verse 54 Jesus is defending His statement by calling attention to the glory bestowed on Him by the Father. He denied He was glorifying himself. The Father glorified Jesus by granting the miracles He performed.

The Jews had no evidence that they were the offspring of Abraham. They did not do the works of Abraham, vs39. What the Jews said in words were not validated by their actions. Moving on to vs55, "and you have not come to know Him, but I know Him; and if I say that I do not know Him, I shall be a liar like you, but I do know Him and keep His word."

Now comes the culmination of Jesus' point starting with vs56, "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he say it and was glad," Vs57, "The Jews therefore said to Him, You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?" Vs58, "Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham sprang into existence I am." Vs59, "Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus his Himself, and went out of the temple."

When Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, "Was born" (NASB; genesthai) is an aorist verb marking a historical point in time. Jesus was saying that before Abraham's existence He himself was existing. However, "I am" mean much more than that because He was less than 50 years old. He as a person exists in the ever present now no matter at what point on the time lie one may identify. John 1:1 and 1:30."This is He on behalf of whom I said, "After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for (or because) He existed before me." That's who my God is!

  • Thank you for your answer but it completely fails at answering the question. Instead, you have inserted your own interpretation of other verses so that they deny Jesus' words in John 8:54. Who is "your God" who Jesus says the Jews believe is his Father and God? Apr 16 at 20:14
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    @ReadLessPrayMore I gave you a completely cogent answer according to the context. Your question (obviously) is designed to show Jesus is not God. You "isolated" John 8:54 and disregarded vs55-59 which is the climax of Jesus' point. So, here's two questions for you? What did Jesus say to the Jews that caused them to accuse Him of blasphemy which would result in them wanting to stone Him to death? Secondly, please explain from vs58 what Jesus meant when He said, "before Abraham was born "I am." What did He mean?
    – Mr. Bond
    Apr 18 at 13:47
  • This is the question I asked. If you have other questions (like the ones you are asking me, and of which I can easily answer) then you should post a new q. I'm sorry but you failed to answer the simple question asked here. You ignored the words of Jesus in question. If your explanation for the rest of Jesus' discussion requires you to ignore his words of this single verse, then the rest of your interpretation fails as well. You cannot deny the Master's words. Apr 18 at 17:54
  • ReadLessPray Your the one denying the Master's words. Like I said you "isolated" one verse and based your question on that one verse without any consideration of the context. You quoted John 8:54 and stopped. Look at the first word of vs55, "and." "And" by definition is used to connect words of the same part of speech, clauses, or sentences, THAT ARE TO BE TAKEN JOINTLY. This means you dismissed out of hand what followed which was the main point Jesus was making to the Jews that wanted to see Him dead. In short, Jesus claimed to exists before Abraham was born and in fact Jesus was his creator.
    – Mr. Bond
    Apr 19 at 13:47
  • This question asks essentially which God Jesus claims to be from. The expected answer would not be an Egyptian god nor a Greek god, but the God of Abraham, Moses, and The Prophets, as described throughout the Jewish Scriptures. This answer addresses more about the meaning of the text behind that answer and, quite nicely, why there was even a discussion.
    – Jesse
    Apr 20 at 4:11

Question: Who is "your God" in John 8:54? Answer : Yahweh's word to Jeremiah :"I am Yahweh, the God of all mankind..." (Jeremiah 32:27) and what does Jesus say to Mary in John 20:17, "... I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God." And that God my friend is the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. (Ex. 3:15)


How one interprets ὁ πατήρ μου (the father of me; "my Father" in KJV) in JN 8:54 depends on whether one understands the notions of divinization (Catholic) and apotheosis (EO). Such deification practices (elevation of a person to the status of a god) were not uncommon before, during, and after the time of Jesus. Greeks deified mythological characters; Romans deified their emperors; the Roman Catholic Church similarly deified Jesus of Nazareth to the status of a "God," and post-Colonial era Americans likewise deified George Washington in a painting, viewable to this day, on the rotunda ceiling of the US Capital building.enter image description here

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