(Jn. 5:31) Is Jesus’ testimony true or not (c.f. 8:14)?

CLAIM: In John 5:31, Jesus says, “If I alone testify about Myself, My testimony is not true.” However, in John 8:14, he says, “Even if I testify about Myself, My testimony is true.” Which statement is true?

RESPONSE: Both statements are true. However, these statements are given in different contexts for different reasons. In the context, John 5 deals with legal testimony, but John 8 deals with personal knowledge. This is the difference between being innocent and being able to prove your innocence in a court of law. The NIV translates this as “valid,” rather than “true.” If Jesus was the only person testifying about his deity, then this wouldn’t be very persuasive. However, since John the Baptist (v.33), his miracles (v.36), the Father (v.37), and the OT prophecies testify about Jesus (v.39), this is far more persuasive in confirming Jesus’ testimony.