Accepted Manuscript (AM) Citation: Reynolds, Benjamin E. "The Testimony of Jesus and the Spirit: The 'We' of John 3:11 in Its Literary Context." Neotestamentica 41, no. 1 (2007): 1-25.
Jesus’ use of the first person plural in John 3:11 is rarely given more than passing comment. The common explanation that a group outside of the narrative speaks through Jesus ignores the literary context of the passage, which indicates a number of possible figures who could be included in Jesus’ use of the first person plural. These possibilities consist of the Father, John the Baptist, Jesus’ disciples, and the use of the “we” of majesty. While the Spirit has rarely been mentioned as a possible referent, the Spirit’s inclusion in Jesus’ “we” is more likely. Based on the similar content and manner of speaking and testifying shared by Jesus and the Spirit and the proximity of Jesus’ comments about the Spirit, the
Spirit is the most plausible referent for inclusion in Jesus’ “we”.
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