Did Jesus Say that the Jews were Children of the Devil?

Jesus Says They Were Acting Like the Devil

Many people are confused over Jesus’ condemnation of the Jewish leaders by referring to them as being offspring related to the devil – 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 (John 8:44).

A general hermeneutical principle of interpretation is to determine who is speaking and to whom the words are spoken. Therefore, in the subject passage of John 8:44, Jesus refutes the religious leaders of the Jewish community of Jerusalem. These individuals claimed Abraham as their father. However, these same people wanted to kill Christ. Such works were not characteristic of Abraham; consequently, these people were not Abraham’s children. Their lack of spiritual understanding, that Jesus Christ was the Son of God and thus their Messiah, was attributed to the fact that they could not hear nor understand His words. They could not because they had totally rejected Him as their Messiah.

He came unto his own, and his own received him not. John 1:11

Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist… 1 John 4:2-3

In the subject passage of John 8:44-45, Christ identified the Jewish leaders’ true father–the Devil. Physically, they were Abraham’s children, but spiritually, they were the Devil’s children. They were acting like the Devil. He was a murderer and they wanted to murder Christ. He abode not in the truth and they had rejected the truth. He (the Devil) is the father of lies. Since these Jewish leaders were the-sons of a liar, they rejected the truth – Jesus Christ. (Liberty Bible Commentary, Vol. II, pp. 231-232).

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Dr. Elmer Towns is a college and seminary professor, an author of popular and scholarly works (the editor of two encyclopedias), a popular seminar lecturer, and dedicated worker in Sunday school, and has developed over 20 resource packets for leadership education.His personal education includes a B.S. from Northwestern College in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a M.A. from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, a Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary also in Dallas, a MRE from Garrett Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois, and a D.Min. from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California.He is co-founder of Liberty University, with Jerry Falwell, in 1971, and was the only full-time teacher in the first year of Liberty’s existence. Today, the University has over 11,400 students on campus with 39,000 in the Distance Learning Program (now Liberty University Online), and he is the Dean of the School of Religion.Dr. Towns has given theological lectures and taught intensive seminars at over 50 theological seminaries in America and abroad. He holds visiting professorship rank in five seminaries. He has written over 2,000 reference and/or popular articles and received six honorary doctoral degrees. Four doctoral dissertations have analyzed his contribution to religious education and evangelism.

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