Why did Jesus say "we" instead of "I" in John 3:11?

Was he interjecting a plural majestic or rhetorical plural, or was he referencing John the Baptist, the prophets, the Holy Spirit, the trinity, or something else?

John 3:11

NKJV - 11 Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness.

Clarify Share Report Asked October 10 2016 Mini k sierras

Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.

Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
In my opinion, when Jesus said "we" in this verse, he was not speaking of Himself in the majestic plural as a person of the Godhead, but was referring to the evangelizing being done by both Himself and those (such as the apostles) engaged with Him in preaching the gospel, who had received their knowledge of God directly from hearing Jesus' words and seeing Jesus' actions, and who thus "knew" what they were preaching about as surely as Jesus did.

I view this as a parallel construction to Nicodemus' opening statement to Jesus. Although he had come to Jesus alone, he started by saying, "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God..." (John 3:2). Nicodemus thus indicated that he was speaking on behalf of the Jewish religious hierarchy.

October 10 2016 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini john kangas
The "We" in John 3:11 is same as the "We created man in Our image" in Genesis 1:26. The "We" is the Elohim.

January 21 2019 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Add your Answer

All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.

What makes a good answer? ▼

A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.

  1. Adhere to the eBible Statement of Faith.
  2. Your answer should be complete and stand-alone.
  3. Include supporting arguments, and scripture references if possible. Seek to answer the "why".
  4. Adhere to a proper tone and spirit of love and understanding.
  5. For more info see The Complete Guide to eBible
  1. 4000 characters remaining