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John 8:34-36

Context
8:34 Jesus answered them, “I tell you the solemn truth, 1  everyone who practices 2  sin is a slave 3  of sin. 8:35 The slave does not remain in the family 4  forever, but the son remains forever. 5  8:36 So if the son 6  sets you free, you will be really free.

1 tn Grk “Truly, truly, I say to you.”

2 tn Or “who commits.” This could simply be translated, “everyone who sins,” but the Greek is more emphatic, using the participle ποιῶν (poiwn) in a construction with πᾶς (pas), a typical Johannine construction. Here repeated, continuous action is in view. The one whose lifestyle is characterized by repeated, continuous sin is a slave to sin. That one is not free; sin has enslaved him. To break free from this bondage requires outside (divine) intervention. Although the statement is true at the general level (the person who continually practices a lifestyle of sin is enslaved to sin) the particular sin of the Jewish authorities, repeatedly emphasized in the Fourth Gospel, is the sin of unbelief. The present tense in this instance looks at the continuing refusal on the part of the Jewish leaders to acknowledge who Jesus is, in spite of mounting evidence.

3 tn See the note on the word “slaves” in 4:51.

4 tn Or “household.” The Greek work οἰκία (oikia) can denote the family as consisting of relatives by both descent and marriage, as well as slaves and servants, living in the same house (more the concept of an “extended family”).

5 sn Jesus’ point is that while a slave may be part of a family or household, the slave is not guaranteed a permanent place there, while a son, as a descendant or blood relative, will always be guaranteed a place in the family (remains forever).

6 tn Or “Son.” The question is whether “son” is to be understood as a direct reference to Jesus himself, or as an indirect reference (a continuation of the generic illustration begun in the previous verse).



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