Ye are from beneath (umei ek twn katw). This language, peculiar to John, could take up the idea in Josephus that these rabbis came from Gehenna whence they will go as children of the devil ( Proverbs 8:44 ), but the use of ek tou kosmou toutou ("of this world" in origin) as parallel to what we have here seems to prove that the contrast between katw and anw here is between the earthly (sensual) and the heavenly as in James 3:15-17 . See also Colossians 3:1 . This is the only use of katw in John (except 8:6 ). These proud rabbis had their origin in this world of darkness ( 1:9 ) with all its limitations. I am from above (egw ek twn anw eimi). The contrast is complete in origin and character, already stated in 3:31 , and calculated to intensify their anger.