John 14:9 Literal Standard Version

Jesus says to him, “Such [a] long time am I with you, and you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; and how do you say, Show to us the Father?

John 5:37 Literal Standard Version

And the Father who sent Me has testified Himself concerning Me; you have neither heard His voice at any time, nor have you seen His appearance; [bold mine]

  • How anyone might find either quote acceptably translated to English from Aramaic, Greek, Hebrew, Latin or any 'Biblical' language? Why does 'garbage out' not mean at least 'garbage intermediary' if not simply 'garbage in'? At best, neither of those quotes is Good English. Why would anyone trust either translator or even original? Nov 30, 2023 at 0:22

7 Answers 7


John 5:37 is addressed to the 'Jews' who 'persecuted' Jesus and 'sought to slay him'. They had never heard God or seen anything of him.

John 14:9 is addressed to Philip who had repented and followed Jesus for a long time.

He wanted to see the Father. And Jesus tells him, that he has already seen him.

For Jesus said, in another place, 'I and the Father are one'

And, in yet another :

... No man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. [Matthew 11:27 KJV]

  • What relevance does "I and the Father are one" have with the question? Nov 28, 2023 at 11:50

Jesus is NOT the Father and the Father is NOT Jesus. However, we have the clear statement in Col 1:15

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

Thus, if Jesus is the image of the Father, then Jesus could correctly assert that

John 14:9 - He who has seen Me has seen the Father; and how do you say, Show to us the Father?

All that we need to know about God is revealed in Jesus Christ. Again, this is taught in -

John 1:18 - No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.

  • Does image mean the actual person? Does John 14: 9 make the invisible (Colossians 1:15) God visible? Nov 28, 2023 at 13:31
  • Hebrews Ch. 1 says Jesus is the express image of God . Like two identical coins molded and stamped from the same mold and die. Being "one" with Jesus is a spiritual marriage like unto Adam and Eve becoming one flesh, but spiritual .
    – RHPclass79
    Nov 28, 2023 at 16:02
  • @RHPclass79. Can you elaborate more on your comment.. Are you saying one is a compound one? If Jesus is the image of God is he actually God and thus saying God is visible? Nov 28, 2023 at 23:59
  • @AlexBalilo - in a word, "Yes" - Jesus makes the invisible God visible! See my quote from John 1:18.
    – Dottard
    Nov 29, 2023 at 0:15
  • 2
    One more verse is 1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh,justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles,believed on in the world, received up into glory. Jesus was God manifested in human form
    – RHPclass79
    Nov 29, 2023 at 1:08

Consider Jesus' statement:

Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. (John 6:26, ESV)

See How should we interpret “not because you saw signs” (οὐχ ὅτι εἴδετε σημεῖα) in John 6:26?

The crowd had physically seen Jesus' signs, but Jesus used see like when someone says "I see" meaning "I understand."

Also note Jesus' statements:

Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.”  Some of the Pharisees near him heard these things, and said to him, “Are we also blind?”  Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains. (John 9:39–41, ESV)

Thus, in John 14:9 Jesus used seen to mean understand Jesus' revelation of the Father, which is the best that we can see God. Thus, John ended the prolegomena with:

No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known. (John 1:18, ESV)


Let me address the second part of your question first. Your referencing John 5:37, "And the Father who sent Me. (Notice Jesus was sent and not created which means if one is sent they have to already exist.)

You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form." No direct means of testimony person to person was possible by the Father. The voice from heaven was heard by believers at John 12:29. The unbelievers thought they heard thunder.

The first point regarding John 14:9 is that Jesus is not saying He is God the Father. He is explaining that the Father has no separate manifestation from the Son. The Son is the only manifestation and revelation of the Father. What is known of the Father is revealed through the Son. To see the Son is to see the essence of the Father, (John 1:1,18, John 10:30; John 12:45, Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 1:3).

Now, Nigel brought up John 10:30, "I and My Father are one," The verse literally states in the Greek "I and the Father WE are one, (hen). It is a neuter number to indicate equality of essence, attributes, design, will, and work. "One" (meaning "one thing").

Jesus distinguishes the "I" from the "Father" and uses the plural verb "are" denoting "we are." Thus these words separate the persons withing the Godhead, but "one" asserts their unity of essence or nature as identical. It's already a given that the Father and the Son are one in unity or purpose.

Please notice the context of the verses that follow John 10:30 and how the Jews react. Vs31, "The Jews took up stones again to stone Him." Vs32, "Jesus answered them, "I showed you many good works from the Father, for which of them are you stoning Me.?"

Vs33, "The Jews answered Him, "For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man Make Yourself out to be God." This proves the Jews are not wanting to kill Him for being one in purpose or unity. In fact, Jesus Himself brings up Psalm 82:6, (which is the subject of Gods), not purpose or unity. I'm going to leave the following question open which is why did Jesus bring up Psalm 82:6? What point is Jesus trying to make from John 10, verses 33-38?

All of this is pretty clear cut and not hard to understand. If your close minded and have already set in your mind that Jesus is a created being your never going to know how to reconcile what APPEARS to be contradictions with these types of questions?

  • Bond. A point of grammar: "If you are close minded"="If you're close minded" and "If your mind is closed" is also good. "If your closed mind is already set" also works. Similarly "created being your're never etc:"
    – C. Stroud
    Nov 30, 2023 at 17:07

The simple answer is that in the gospel of John, who typically contrasts the spiritual with the physical, to see the Father by seeing the Son is as regards the uniquely Divine character, attributes, and glory of God that the Son reveals if veiled in flesh.

This is what John 14:9 refers to, and which the Jews of John 5:37 did not perceive.


John 5:37-38

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. And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.

John 12:40-41

He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. These things said Esaias [read Isaiah 6:1-10], when he saw his glory [the Son in glory], and spake of him.

John 12:44-45

Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me. And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.

John 1:14,17-18

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. ...For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

Hebrews 1:3

Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

1 Corinthians 13:10,12

When that [revelation] which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. ...For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

1 Timothy 6:16

Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.

1 John 3:2

Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

Revelation 22:4

And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.

Matthew 5:8

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

Thus John, by the Spirit, also reveals that in the full perfect revelation of Heaven and the glorification of the redeemed, they shall see the face of God, which Moses was told would result in death, while at present this full revelation must await, even though believers are with the Lord at death. (Philippians 1:23; 2 Corinthians 5:8 [“we”]; Hebrews 12:22,23; 1 Corinthians 15:51ff; 1 Thessalonians 4:17)

But we can see that there are variations of meaning for "see" in the Bible as there are today. For instance, I can plainly see someone close up, in 3D, in person, or as somewhat distant and or veiled, or in a representation, and see someone as regards what they resemble or manifest in character and attributes (when I see you I see dad), and or see someone or something as in compression. I hope you will see what I mean

And which variations the Biblical speakers and writers knew, and as applies to statements regarding seeing God.


Genesis 32:24,28,30

And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day... And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed...And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.

Exodus 24:11

And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also they saw God, and did eat and drink.

Exodus 33:20-22

And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. And the Lord said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by:

R.A. Torrey comments here, first quoting Rabbi Jehudah, in Sepher Cosri, (P. iv. 3.)

Of that divine glory mentioned in the Scripture, there is one degree which the eyes of the prophets were able to explore; another which all the Israelites saw, as the cloud and consuming fire; the third is so bright, and so dazzling, that no mortal is able to comprehend it; but should anyone venture to look on it, his whole frame would be dissolved.

In such inconceivable splendour is the Divine Majesty revealed to the inhabitants of the celestial world, where he is said to "dwell in the light which no man can approach unto." (1 Ti 6:16.) By the "face of God," therefore, we are to understand that light inaccessible before which angels may stand, but which would be so insufferable to mortal eyes, that no man could see it and live.

1 Timothy 6:16

Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.

Exodus 3:6

And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. (Exodus 3:2)...Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.

Judges 13:21-22

But the angel of the Lord did no more appear to Manoah and to his wife. Then Manoah knew that he was an angel of the Lord. And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God.

Job 42:5-6

I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.

  • I read all of your post. and read some on your website. I'm also well aware of the many ways in which God can be seen from verses that say He cannot be seen. For me the context determines how He was seen or how He cannot be scene. Also, the definition of Hebrew and Greek words play a part. I have a couple of questions for you. Please read Genesis 16 and tell me who Hagar saw? Genesis 17:1-3 and tell me how God appeared to Abraham? Read Genesis 18:1, how did the Lord appear to Abraham? Lastly, read John 12;41 where he references Isaiah 6:1-5, who does John see and how did he see him?
    – Mr. Bond
    Nov 30, 2023 at 21:39
  • Yes, who Hagar saw corresponds to Genesis 32:24,28,30 and Judges 13:21-22 which I included, and corresponds to the [url=versebyverseministry.org/bible-answers/… of the Lord being the Son of God, [/url] Dec 3, 2023 at 17:08
  • As for "John 12;41 where he references Isaiah 6:1-5," I also mentioned that, adding, [read Isaiah 6:1-10], when he saw his glory [the Son in glory], for indeed, the Spirit of God reveals that when Isaiah saw the Lord 'ădônây sitting upon a throne in His glory, with the angelic beings crying "Holy, holy, holy, yehôvâh of hosts" and which Lord 'ădônây asked, "who will go for US," which command which John invokes in fulfilled sense, then Isaiah was seeing the Son of God. Who is "the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person," as the express Word of God Dec 3, 2023 at 17:09
  • I appreciate your answers and agree. The point I was making is based on you saying the various ways of seeing. This is why I gave you references and wanted to know in what respect did these OT saints see? Was it a vision, with their actually eyes, in a dream etc. Hagar actually saw with her eyes the person of the angel of the Lord who is actually the preincarnate Jesus Christ. John who referenced Isaiah 6:1-5 that Isaiah saw Jesus Christ with his physical eyes. This is confirmed at vs5. At Genesis 17:1-2 and Genesis 18:1 God appeared physically to Abraham as the angel of the Lord.
    – Mr. Bond
    Dec 3, 2023 at 20:53

Those who have eyes to see and ears to hear...

Jesus was the Messiah sent to fulfill the prophecy, yet he was denied. proving that the tribe of Judah had grown too proud to give up the immense control they had over their own lives as well as the leaders having the power over the less intellectual and less privileged.

It would not have mattered who God was or how he manifested himself. Humanity is not ready to give itself up. Thats the lesson the Jews have taught and continue to. Jews don't come to you, they don't ask for more than they earn, their desire is of the Father in Heaven, not the so called "fathers" in the pope's hierarchy of sinners. The list can go on. But there is a difference between Jews and Israelis much in the same as there were differences back thousands of years ago. Some are believers, many are not. Palestinians are Jews that gave up on being hammered and taken over and brought into slavery time after time because their leaders became jaded and complacent. Much of it being attributed to performance against Gods expectations and desires.

The Jews had consistently seen God and his power and sovereign majesty. Yet still denied him and went back to sin and treachery. Why is that? And then you give them a Messiah that could not have been logically denied and many actually saw the miracles. Still, Nothing. Instead, they killed him and blamed it on God's word. How long do you think God would want to punish humanity for that? Not including all the work, time, and effort put in to trying to lead humanity to correct original sin.

There's an immense amount of Hermeneutics for you to run back and forth on.

Believe because you believe otherwise maybe you weren't meant to and thats some truth not many give to ya. The other part is read the Bible from a context of wisdom brought forth from many generations of civilizations and very long period of time. Each verse can be like and onion of layers of new wisdom placed in different circumstances. Let the supernatural stuff go for a bit and allow the wisdom and poetry of the Bible to render itself to you. The message will become clearer the more you read it. It takes practice and time every day sometimes. Over and over but don't push it too much. If you begin to believe in the supernatural then great, wonderful, you are on your path. Remember there have been a lot more people and writings than just the canonized Holy Bible. If someone comes to you in a crowd and says come to our group. Upon entry to their place, they tell you here is a statement of faith you have to say and believe this as the only basis of being a part of this group. Remembering all are prayed for but not all prayers are answered. Then they say here's the book and the only book you can believe no other...

That's a cult there's no other answer.

The Church as it stands right now has lost itself and is losing many to doctrines they created because that's how they interpret God to desire from us. Through the lenses of what they want their society to be. Absolutely the wrong way folks. Church is not in a building where everyone gets to show themselves and pray out loud proving to be the "Best Christian" and follower of God. It's out and about being in the world but not of it so people will see your example and come to you about what your motivation and desires are. Serving God and his purpose. Questions about what came first, Gods message in our DNA or did we just eventually learn to become more civil because it just seemed like the right thing to do. Foolish questions only meant to sideline Gods word. Yet the Jewish tribes before the Babylonian and subsequently Roman take over and placed into slavery... Again.

If we are Gods children then we are to him like ours are to us. Lost and without a clue but yet there is some wisdom and trails knowledge that leads us to the best thing we can possibly do for ourselves and others. Love, hope, peace, freedom from the slavery of sin. God has given his word not mans. God didn't say a whole lot but he allowed there to be plenty of examples. The entire Old Testament is full of them. The key to the entire Bible is in Genesis only. But beware there has only been 2 spoken of that figured it out inside of their natural life. God took them back. That's my believe on that part. You can't get the first book without reading the rest. You can never understand the rest without truly getting the first. Read for yourself do not allow others to lead you into the pit of false believe just because they make sense or others confirm that they are competent and knowledgeable. You do the work, read for yourself and do not be afraid to let yourself wander through many other writings that can help. This is my belief and my testament take it for what it could be worth and always leaving the possibility none at all.

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    Nov 29, 2023 at 4:54

Jesus was talking to two different audiences, so both verses must be read in the context of who He was speaking to.

John 5:18-19 shows that Jesus was addressing the Jews, who were trying to kill him. They even said He was making himself equal with God, which was false, because Jesus goes on to explain that He is unable to do anything apart from the Father that is explained in more detail in versus 18 through 23.

Because of this, the Jews tried all the harder to kill Him. Not only was He breaking the Sabbath, but He was even calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.

So Jesus replied, “Truly, truly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing by Himself, unless He sees the Father doing it. For whatever the Father does, the Son also does. Jesus claimed he was not equal to God.

Jesus, then bears witness, that these Jews have never heard the Father's voice at any time, nor seen His appearance. Their ears were unopened to God the Father's word spoken through Jesus. Had they ""heard" they would've believed that God had sent Jesus to them. Jesus healing a man who had been unable to walk for 38 years had been healed on the Sabbath. They did not realize the Sabbath had been made for man. Jesus's Father was working on the Sabbath so Jesus also was working out the Father's will by speaking the Father's word out loud to the man and heard the voice of God through Jesus's voice. The man picked up his pallet and walked. The infirm was healed and had no idea who Jesus was.

The other verse in question is John 14:9 where Jesus is addressing His own that starts in 13:1

It was now just before the Passover Feast, and Jesus knew that His hour had come to leave this world and return to the Father. Having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the very end.

It is to this group of people that He says to Philip who is among His own, "He who has seen me, has seen the Father"

Jesus then goes on to explain that it is the Father that is doing the works through Him in verse 10.

The words I say to you, I do not speak on My own. Instead, it is the Father dwelling in Me, performing His works.

Conclusion, those who had eyes and ears to see Jesus and believe in Him, actually saw the Father being manifested through Jesus, through everything He spoke, and did.

Those who did not believe in Jesus, never heard God's word, nor saw Him because they did not believe Jesus, who was God's son sent to them and therefore did not believe in the true God.

  • You made this statement: "They even said He was making himself equal with God, which was false," It was not false. At John 5:17 Jesus called God His own Father. Jesus said the same thing at Luke 2:49 when He was 12. At John 8:58 Jesus claimed to exist before Abraham was born. At vs59 they want to stone Him. At John 10:30 Jesus said, "I and My Father, We are one." They are one in essence or nature. The Jews again wanted to kill Him at vs33. The subject is "Gods" in this context because Jesus Himself brings it up when He quoted Psalm 82:6, why Sherrie? The trial of Jesus, continued.
    – Mr. Bond
    Dec 2, 2023 at 20:59
  • continued. The trial of Jesus at Matthew 26:57-66. The high priest Caiaphas specifically ask Jesus to swear as to His identity. Vs63, "But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest said to Him, "I adjure/swear You by the living God, that You tell us (whether means to introduce a clause and express a doubt or choice between alternatives.). The high priest, "whether you are (1) the Christ/Messiah, and (2) the Son of God." At Luke 22:70, Jesus says, "Yes, I am." So Sherrie, why is the high priest asking Jesus if He is the Son of God since the Jews claim to be the sons of God as well?
    – Mr. Bond
    Dec 2, 2023 at 21:07
  • 1
    @Mr Bond, it may be helpful to first look at the definition of the word equal. If two things are equal or if one thing is equal to another, they are the same in size, number, standard, or value. God the Father is greater than His Son so that does not seem identical, or equal since they are not exactly the same. God is Spirit and invisible where the Son can be seen and represents God in a created form. Of course the Son is the exact representation of God, the spirit, and therefore they are one.
    – Sherrie
    Dec 2, 2023 at 23:56
  • In fact, God, the Father calls His son God when God the Father is talking about His Son's throne for the eon of the eon. (Hebrews 1:8) The OP's question had to do with seeing God, and hearing God. God could only be seen and heard in His Son. Some could not see, or hear where others finally were beginning to understand that, knowing Jesus was knowing His Father and seeing Him as well.
    – Sherrie
    Dec 2, 2023 at 23:57

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