We read in Jn 5: 25-26 (NRSVCE):

Very truly, I tell you, the hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself.

My question is: According to Catholic scholars, what are the attributes of the ‘life’ Jesus is referring to in Jn 5: 26 where he speaks of ‘life in himself’ granted by the Father ?

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    "Just as" in Greek indicates wholly as; entirely like. Whatever life the Son has in Himself is entirely like/wholly as the life which is in the Father. May 23, 2022 at 11:42

1 Answer 1


I'm not really sure what Catholic Scholars have to say but I do know what the Bible states. John 1:4 states, "In Him was life, and the life was the light of men."

In other words, Jesus had life in Himself BEFORE His incarnation. Notice the use of the past tense in the verse. The Bible is clear according to Philippians 2:6-8 where we are told explicitly that the Son was the very form of God. The Greek here, "morphe" refers to the form that reveals or expresses the absolute nature of a thing.

Jesus humbled Himself by taking upon Himself the form (morphe" again) of a servant; the likeness of a man. He was not forced. He CHOSE to do so. That is why the Apostle Paul was using this as an example of humility according to the context starting at vs 1.

This power was given back to Him AFTER His resurrection, after He had accomplished His mission as a man. Regarding John 5:26, "Hath he given to the Son." This affirmation concerns not the Son as deity, but the office that the Son was commissioned to execute. "Gave" (edoken: hath given") is an aorist tense verb stating a historical fact.

The Apostle John confirms this at 1 John 1:1-2, "What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we beheld and our hands handled concerning the Word of Life--Vs2, "and the life was manifested and we have seen and bear witness and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was WITH the Father and was manifested to us."

  • See that V.25 refers to the time when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and live. `Life' which immediately follows would refer to the life given to the dead who have heard Jesus' voice. It may not, as such, refer to the life of Jesus in the nature of a biological phenomenon concerning his physical body, or a spiritual phenomenon concerning his soul/spirit . I would like to read V. 26 as " ..For just as the Father has life ( for Mr/Mrs so and so ) in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life ( for Mr/Mrs so and so) in himself " . Are we on same page ? May 24, 2022 at 5:41
  • Per John 5:25, "The hour is coming, and now is " identifies this hearing of the voice of the Son of God as a present reality. The dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God can refer to both those who are dead in their sins or those that are already made alive by the gospel. I base this on vs26. "For (or because) just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself. Does this make sense?
    – Mr. Bond
    May 24, 2022 at 14:12

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