9:34 They replied, 1 “You were born completely in sinfulness, 2 and yet you presume to teach us?” 3 So they threw him out.
9:40 Some of the Pharisees 4 who were with him heard this 5 and asked him, 6 “We are not blind too, are we?” 7 9:41 Jesus replied, 8 “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin, 9 but now because you claim that you can see, 10 your guilt 11 remains.” 12
1 tn Grk “They answered and said to him.” This has been simplified in the translation to “They replied.”
2 tn Or “From birth you have been evil.” The implication of this insult, in the context of John 9, is that the man whom Jesus caused to see had not previously adhered rigorously to all the conventional requirements of the OT law as interpreted by the Pharisees. Thus he had no right to instruct them about who Jesus was.
3 tn Grk “and are you teaching us?”
5 tn Grk “heard these things.”
6 tn Grk “and said to him.”
7 tn Questions prefaced with μή (mh) in Greek anticipate a negative answer. This can sometimes be indicated by using a “tag” at the end in English (here the tag is “are we?”).
8 tn Grk “Jesus said to them.”
9 tn Grk “you would not have sin.”
10 tn Grk “now because you say, ‘We see…’”
11 tn Or “your sin.”
12 sn Because you claim that you can see, your guilt remains. The blind man received sight physically, and this led him to see spiritually as well. But the Pharisees, who claimed to possess spiritual sight, were spiritually blinded. The reader might recall Jesus’ words to Nicodemus in 3:10, “Are you the teacher of Israel and don’t understand these things?” In other words, to receive Jesus was to receive the light of the world, to reject him was to reject the light, close one’s eyes, and become blind. This is the serious sin of which Jesus had warned before (8:21-24). The blindness of such people was incurable since they had rejected the only cure that exists (cf. 12:39-41).