1 John 5:9

9 If we receive human testimony, the testimony of God is greater; for this is the testimony of God that he has testified to his Son.

1 John 5:9 Meaning and Commentary

1 John 5:9

If we receive the witness of men
The witness of a sufficient number of credible men, of men of good character and report, is always admitted in any case, and in any court of judicature; it was allowed of in the law of Moses; everything was proved and established hereby; upon this men were justified or condemned, cognizance was taken of men's sins, and punishment inflicted, yea, death itself, ( Deuteronomy 17:6 ) ( 19:15 ) ( Hebrews 10:28 ) ; and even in this case concerning the Son of God, his coming into the world, and the dignity of his person, the testimony of men is credited; as that of the wise men, who declared that the King of the Jews was born, and his star had been seen in the east, which Herod himself gave credit to, and upon it summoned the chief priests, and inquired of them where he should be born; and also of the shepherds, who testified to the appearance of angels, who told them that there was then born a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord, and who also related that they themselves saw the infant at Bethlehem; and especially of John the Baptist, whose testimony was true, and could not be objected to by the Jews themselves, who sent to him, before whom he bore a plain and faithful witness. Now if an human testimony may be, and is received,

the testimony of God is greater;
more valuable, surer, and to be more firmly depended on, since it must be infallible; for God can neither deceive, nor be deceived:

for this is the witness of God, which he hath testified of his Son;
even the witness of the Spirit, the water, and the blood, is the testimony, not of men, but of God; the Gospel, attended with the Spirit of God, is the testimony of God; and so the ordinances of baptism and the Lord's supper, which bear witness of Christ, are not of men, but of God; and especially the witness of the Father, the Word, and the Spirit, must be the testimony of God, since, though three persons, they are one God; particularly the witness which God the Father testified of his Son Jesus Christ at his baptism and transfiguration, must be allowed to be the testimony of God, and far greater than any human testimony, and therefore to be received.

1 John 5:9 In-Context

7 There are three that testify:
8 the Spirit and the water and the blood, and these three agree.
9 If we receive human testimony, the testimony of God is greater; for this is the testimony of God that he has testified to his Son.
10 Those who believe in the Son of God have the testimony in their hearts. Those who do not believe in God have made him a liar by not believing in the testimony that God has given concerning his Son.
11 And this is the testimony: God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.