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In John 5:37, Jesus clearly tells us that no one has ever heard the voice of God the Father.

John 5:37

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. 

How then does one understand Matthew 3:17?

Matthew 3:17

And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Whose voice was heard?

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In John 5:37, Jesus was speaking to a group of men who sought to kill him, as they were furious that he had healed a man who had been crippled for 38 years. The debate between them starts at verse 10, ending at verse 47. The essence of it was that Jesus was being accused of being a false witness. He claimed John the Baptist as a witness to hearing the voice of the Father (when he baptised Jesus) showing the truth of Jesus claiming to have God as his Father, who sent him. It was at that point in the argument that Jesus told those men, to their faces, that

"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 5:37-38 A.V.

This was not a general "you", but a specific "ye" - that group of men, at that particular time, in that particular place. Obviously, what Jesus said was totally true, and they knew it.

Matthew 3:17 was that very occasion when John the Baptist heard that voice from heaven saying, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

The two passages of scripture are in total harmony regarding the voice of God not having been heard by Jesus' enemies shortly after his baptism, and John the Baptist being a witness to having heard the voice of God approving of his Son.

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There is no conflict here. Jesus statement in John 5:37 was directed at a series of leaders who were not present at Jesus' baptism. Therefore, those people did not hear the voice of the Father as recorded in Matt 3:17.

Therefore, both statements are true.

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  • Correct. The enemy cannot hear His voice because they are deaf and blind in the heart.
    – Joshua B
    Commented May 3 at 13:10

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