Why did the Jews accuse our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ of the Christians Bible of being born of fornication in John's chapter 8 verse 41?


Why did the Jews accuse our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ of the Christians Bible of being born of fornication in John’s chapter 8 verse 41?

Is there any reliable historical evidence (or evidences) that our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ of the Christians Bible was being born of fornication as accused /stated by the Jews in John’s chapter 8 verse 41?

Or, Is there any reliable historical evidences outside the Christians Bible that our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ of the Christians Bible was being born of fornication?

Thank you


@JohnLemphung I presume here that they were alluding to the fact that Mary was pregnant before her marriage and that Joseph was not Jesus’ biological father.
We know of course that Jesus was born of the Holy Spirit as in Matthew 1:18 :raised_hands:


As far as I know, there is no evidence regarding Jesus’ birth outside the Bible (since He came from a lowly background, it’s unlikely anybody bothered to officially document His birth). Given the context, the Jews either misunderstood what Jesus was saying (that, while Abraham was their biological father, that fact did them no good since they were following the promptings of Satan in seeking to kill their Messiah), or they understood what He meant and were resorting to an ad hominem attack.

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Jesus was conceived through the Holy Spirit. There was no human male involved. Mary was out of town for the first six months of her pregnancy, Joseph, her fiance, was surprised and accused her of infidelity in private. It took a visit from an angel to convince him she was true. Is it any wonder their neighbors found it hard to believe?


Hi again @JohnLemphung ,

Sorry I forgot to cover the credibility of Jesus lineage. (Edit: there is supposed to be a post before this, but it’s somehow pending approval, I think) The Jews are very obsessed with preserving their family tree. Each family will carefully record their genealogy, tracing them back all to the way to their tribal patriarchs. Hence you find 2 different genealogies of Jesus in Matthew and Luke, which belongs to Joseph and Mary respectively.

We can see that Jesus was well accepted as a legitimate child of a Jewish family, because he was allowed in the assembly of the Lord (see the rule on Deut 23:2). Jesus often taught at synagogues, he was even found listening and asking questions for 3 days at the age of 12, in Luke 2:46.

But one specific incident should put this issue to rest unequivocally is in Luke 4:16, it reads:
And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read.

What was happening here? What custom? In those days, the scriptures were preserved orally. The Jewish had an amazing way to do it. In each town, they would get each family to memorize a certain part of the manuscript, and read it aloud in public every Sabbath. That way the whole community partake together in preserving the manuscript. This was a very important tradition. And the fact that Jesus came specially to where He was brought up as was His custom, in the midst of His fledgling public ministry, just to read from the scroll of Isaiah handed to him.

There is so much to unpack from what unfolds in this incident, but the point is Jesus’ legitimacy was recognized. There weren’t any signs of communal persecutions due to his birth status.

The only verse that seems to allude to His illegitimacy is in Mark 6:3, when the Nazarenes addressed Him as the “son of Mary” instead of Joseph. But they were referring to an event in Matt 12:46.

I hope this further puts to rest Jesus’ recognized birth status within the Jewish community of His days. Even if today’s Jewish or non-Jewish people have beef with Jesus’ legitimacy, I don’t think they have better credibility compared to the Jewish community in Nazareth, where He was born. (And it was a very very small town too, around 50+ homes).

Hope that clarifies better, @JohnLemphung. If you have any further questions on this, please feel free to inquire. Thanks for bringing this up.

Blessings in Christ,

Hi @JohnLemphung,

The verse you mentioned actually was the reverse. Jesus was claiming that they are imitating their real father, which He clarified later in verse 44, the real identity of their father the Devil. In fact, the Jews are the one busy defending themselves that they are not born of fornication, but God is their father. So obviously the discussion was also about their spiritual lineage, not earthly.

The context: Jesus was giving them a truth bomb, and they found it hard to accept. The Jews had always believed that they have special privilege w God, due to their Abrahamic lineage, and they are mighty proud of it too. So Jesus challenged them in verse 34, that all man who commits sin is a slave to sin, and a slave only has temporary residence in the household of God. Only the Son has permanent residence. And they think they have automatic permanent family membership, but the fact that they tried to murder Jesus, they are revealing the fact that they imitate their real father, the devil who was a murderer from the beginning.

In the end, they only proved Jesus right, when they started to pick up stones to throw at Jesus in verse 59. How they went from “believing” Jesus (v.31) to stone-throwing haters of Jesus (v.59). I love the fact that Jesus didn’t sacrifice the truth on the altar of popularity here.

I hope that clarifies the John 8:41 context.


Dear brothers,

l learn that It was a subtle way to accuse or accused Our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ of the christians Bible of being born of fornication by the Jews in John’s chapter 8 verse 41.Is it right? Even if it was/is right ,there was and is no reliable historical evidence or evidences to their (Jews) accusation that our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ of the Christians Bible was and is born of fornication right in John’s chapter 8 verse 41 right?

Moreso, there was and is also no reliable historical evidences outside the christians Bible that our lord and saviour Jesus Christ of the christians Bible was and is born of fornication right?

Thank you.

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Hi @JohnLemphung,

Before they challenge the evidence for Jesus, it would be helpful to learn what is their source against the evidence of Jesus.

Credibility of the New Testament
The New Testament(NT) has proven its veracity and credibility and is the most reliable historical records there is to date about about anyone or any event. Even the combined history of Egypt, Roman empire, Alexander the Great, the Quran, etc has significantly less credibility than the NT.

Other Historical Records
Just to cite one example I recently learned from the RZIM Bible Elective course. Tacitus wrote 16 books on the Annals of Imperial Rome around 116 AD, but we only have 1 copy manuscript from the first 6 books, dated much later around 850 AD. While book 7-10 are lost and no more record. Whereas copies of the book 11-16 are dated more than 1000years after they were first written. The lack of copies and the years after it was copied, led to the high possibility of legends developing.

The New Testament Record
Whereas most of the NT were written within the first decade after Jesus’ death, and has over 5000 copies of the Greek manuscripts to back it up. Due to the short amount of time(by any historical record’s standard), as eyewitnesses who were still alive existed, and the overwhelming amount of accurate copies to the original manuscript available to us, it is harder for legends to develop and details be fabricated. This means that if we were to question the Bible’s credibility as a historical record, how much more so of any other non-biblical historical records that we should question.

Outside Sources to Consider
Plus outside of the NT Bible, the most credible source to write about Jesus are from the Jews of that time, as Jesus was their no. 1 public enemy. But there are no credible Jewish sources that actually question Jesus’ legitimacy. They only deny Jesus’ divinity.

Back to John 8:41
Going back to the verse in question, John 8:41, to say they were subtly accusing Jesus, like a brand of sarcasm being leveled at Jesus, is actually purely speculative and repugnant.

The Old Law
As I stated in my previous post, that Deuteronomy 23:2 had a rule that the Jews upheld with great importance, as they did for all their religious laws.

Deuteronomy 23:2 NASB
No one of illegitimate birth shall enter the assembly of the Lord; none of his descendants, even to the tenth generation, shall enter the assembly of the Lord.

Jesus in the Assembly of the Lord
But Jesus had no problem walking in and out of synagogues, and even teaching and preaching, and as I stated also In Luke 4:16, that Jesus’ was part of their oral tradition and was given a scroll to read from, not taking by force, which means they recognized His full legitimacy to be a part of their own.

Jesus’ Probable Reference
Nowhere else do we see Jesus’ legitimacy was questioned. In fact, the reason the Jews answered that way is because Jesus was accusing them of spiritual fornication, idolatry. He was probably pointing them to Hosea 2:4.

Hosea 2:4 NASB
Also, I will have no compassion on her children,
Because they are children of harlotry.

Idolatry of Israel
This was an accusation of Israel’s idolatry. And hence the Jews vehemently retorted that they are not children of harlotry/fornication. It was evident in what they say next, “we have one Father: God.” (They were quoting from Deut 32:6, Isaiah 63:16, 64:8) Other probable text that they quote from was Exo 4:22, when God tells Moses to tell Pharaoh, that God says, “Israel is My son, My firstborn.

Summary of the Discourse
So if we actually follow the whole discourse of Jesus and the Jews in John 8, this is the most exegetic line of reasoning, and to say they are accusing Jesus of fornication is mere speculation and taking it out of context.

Additional Proof
Further proof can be found earlier in John 6:42 NASB, when the Jews were grumbling about him:
They were saying, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does He now say, ‘I have come down out of heaven’?”

Verdict: No Scandal
You can see the grumbling Jews were not questioning His birth legitimacy at all. You can see as well the account of Jesus’ birth in Matt 1:18-20. That it was well contained, and left no room for the Jews to see Jesus’ birth as a scandal.

I hope you are able to follow every step of this line of reasoning and help with your concern regarding the baseless accusation of Jesus’ suspect parentage.

Blessings in Christ

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Thank you all brothers.