Is there any difference between "bear witness for Lord Jesus" and "bear witness to Lord Jesus"? These two expressions can be found on the Internet ; they look familiar, but I'm not sure whether they are interchangeable. Any ideas? :)

These are 2 examples from the Internet: 1. We bear witness by following Christ's example, by practicing the virtues He recommended. For example, a few years ago a local Presbyterian minister went out of his way to praise in a sermon a certain Catholic woman who had been very friendly to a Presbyterian neighbor, an elderly lady, who appreciated the kindness so much she told her minister about it. He told his congregation. That Catholic woman was bearing witness to Christ, putting our Lord's words into practice. (from Bearing Witness to Christ)

  1. For St. Peter, chosen by the Lord himself, a born leader who preached with zeal, these were more than words. He dedicated his life to bearing witness for Christ Jesus and, in the end, died a martyr for Christ Jesus. (from We are witnesses to Christ - Catholic Courier)

1 Answer 1


The idiomatic expression is bear witness to. The preposition "for" is a less common variant, but I think there is no difference in meaning:

  • to show by your existence that something is true - The survivors of this disaster bear witness to a terrible event we would like to forget.

(Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms)

Ngram bear witness to vs bear witness for

  • And Google Ngrams for 'bear witness to Jesus' vs 'bear witness for Jesus', showing rather more variation (around 1870 - 1900). I'd say there's at least a part-difference, with at least the connotation of 'on His behalf' with the 'for' version. Commented Mar 31, 2016 at 10:07
  • The ODO definition 9.1 fits better: 9 bear witness to Testify to: little is left to bear witness to the past greatness of the city // 9.1 State or show one’s belief in: people bearing witness to Jesus Commented Mar 31, 2016 at 10:14

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