Jesus and Nicodemus
1There was a man from the Pharisees # Mk 7:3 named Nicodemus, # Jn 3:4,9; 7:50; 19:39 a ruler # Lk 8:41; 12:58 of the Jews. 2This man came to Him at night and said, “Rabbi, # Jn 11:8 we know that You have come from God # Mk 1:45 as a teacher, # Mk 4:38; Eph 4:11 for no one could perform these signs You do unless God were with him.” # Ex 3:12; Jn 15:24; Ac 10:38; Rv 21:3
3Jesus replied, “I assure you: Unless someone is born again, # The same Gk word can mean again or from above (also in v. 7). # 1Pt 1:3; 1Jn 2:29 he cannot see the kingdom of God.” # Mk 1:15; 9:1
4“But how can anyone be born when he is old? ” Nicodemus asked Him. “Can he enter his mother’s womb a second time and be born? ”
5Jesus answered, “I assure you: Unless someone is born # Mk 9:43 of water and the Spirit, # Or spirit, or wind ; the Gk word pneuma can mean wind, spirit, or Spirit, each of which occurs in this context. # Ezk 36:25-27; Ac 22:16; Ti 3:5 he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6Whatever is born of the flesh # Php 3:3 is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit # Jn 1:33 is spirit. 7Do not be amazed that I told you that you # The pronoun is pl in Gk. must be born # 1Pt 1:3 again. 8The wind # The Gk word pneuma can mean wind, spirit, or Spirit, each of which occurs in this context. blows where it pleases, and you hear its sound, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going. # Jn 8:14 So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” # 1Co 2:13-16
9“How can these things be? ” asked Nicodemus.
10“Are you a teacher # Or the teacher of Israel and don’t know these things? ” Jesus replied. 11“I assure you: # Jn 1:51; Rv 22:21 We speak what We know and We testify to what We have seen, but you # In Gk, the word you is pl here and throughout v. 12. do not accept Our testimony. # The pronouns we and our refer to Jesus and His authority to speak for the Father. 12If I have told you about things that happen on earth and you don’t believe, how will you believe if I tell you about things of heaven? 13No one has ascended # Jn 20:17 into heaven # Dt 30:12; Jn 6:62; Ac 2:34; Rm 10:6; 1Co 15:47; Eph 4:8-10; Rv 11:12 except the One who descended from heaven # Jn 6:38; 8:23 — the Son of Man. # Other mss add who is in heaven # Mk 2:10 14Just as Moses # Ps 77:20; Mt 8:4; Heb 3:2 lifted up the snake in the wilderness, # Nm 21:4-9 so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15so that everyone who believes in Him will # Other mss add not perish, but have eternal life. # Mk 10:17; Jn 12:25; Ac 13:48
16“For God loved # Jn 12:43; 1Co 13:1; Gl 2:20; Col 1:13; 3:12; 1Th 1:4; 2Th 2:13,16; 1Jn 4:7-12; Jd 1 the world in this way: # The Gk word houtos, commonly translated in Jn 3:16 as “so” or “so much” occurs over 200 times in the NT. Almost without exception it is an adverb of manner, not degree (for example, see Mt 1:18). It only means “so much” when modifying an adjective (see Gl 3:3; Rv 16:18). Manner seems primarily in view in Jn 3:16, which explains the HCSB‘s rendering. He gave His One and Only # 1Jn 4:9 Son, # Jn 5:19; Heb 1:2 so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. # Jn 12:25; Rm 5:8; 1Jn 3:16; 4:9-10 17For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn # Jn 8:11 the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18Anyone who believes in Him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, # Mt 12:41; Mk 16:16 because he has not believed in the name # Jn 10:25; 1Jn 3:23 of the One and Only Son # Jn 5:19 of God.
19“This, then, is the judgment: The light # Ps 36:9; Jn 12:46 has come into the world, # Jn 18:37; 1Jn 2:8 and people loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. 20For everyone who practices wicked things hates # Lk 6:27; 19:14 the light and avoids it, # Lit and does not come to the light so that his deeds # Mk 14:6; Gl 3:10; Jms 2:14-26 may not be exposed. 21But anyone who lives by # Lit who does the truth comes to the light, so that his works # Jn 5:36 may be shown to be accomplished by God.” # It is possible that Jesus’ words end at v. 15. Ancient Gk did not have quotation marks.
Jesus and John the Baptist
22After this, Jesus and His disciples went to the Judean countryside, where He spent time with them and baptized. 23John # Mk 1:4 also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water there. People were coming and being baptized, 24since John had not yet been thrown into prison. # Mk 1:14
25Then a dispute arose between John’s disciples # Mt 9:14; 11:2; 14:12; Mk 2:18; 6:29; Lk 5:33; 7:18-19; 11:1; Jn 1:35,37; 6:3 and a Jew # Other mss read and the Jews about purification. # Lv 13–14; Heb 1:3 26So they came to John and told him, “Rabbi, # Jn 11:8 the One you testified about, and who was with you across the Jordan, # Mk 10:1; Lk 3:3 is baptizing — and everyone is flocking to Him.” # Mk 1:45
27John responded, “No one can receive a single thing unless it’s given to him from heaven. 28You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah, # Mt 1:17; Eph 5:2 but I’ve been sent ahead of Him.’ # Lk 1:17 29He who has the bride # Rv 21:2 is the groom. But the groom’s friend, who stands by and listens for him, rejoices greatly # Lit with joy rejoices at the groom’s voice. So this joy # Jn 15:11 of mine is complete. 30He must increase, but I must decrease.”
The One from Heaven
31The One who comes from above # Jms 1:17 is above all. The one who is from the earth is earthly and speaks in earthly terms. # Or of earthly things The One who comes from heaven is above all. # Jn 8:23; 1Jn 4:5-6 32He testifies # Jn 15:26; Ac 26:5 to what He has seen and heard, yet no one accepts His testimony. 33The one who has accepted His testimony has affirmed that God is true. # 1Jn 5:20 34For God sent Him, and He speaks God’s words, since He # Other mss read since God gives the Spirit # Jn 1:33 without measure. 35The Father loves the Son # Jn 5:20; 10:17; 1Co 13:1 and has given all things into His hands. # Jn 5:19 36The one who believes in the Son has eternal life, but the one who refuses to believe in the Son will not see life; instead, the wrath of God remains on him. # Mk 16:16