A statement in the narrative which bears a meaning in the context which the readers understand differently. An example is in John 18: 14 where Caiaphas approves the condemnation of Jesus on grounds of political expediency but by the Christian reader the words are taken as an ironical assertion of a greater truth about the crucifixion.

Other examples in John are at 6: 42; 7: 27; 7: 41 f., 52; and 9: 29. The Jews did not know, as the readers of the gospel do know, that Jesus did come from Bethlehem and had come from God.