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Chapter 3
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3:1-2 But it/there (continually) was a man out of the Pharisees. Nicodemus (was the) name to him, a leader of the Jews. This one came towards Him (by) night and spoke to Him: "Rabbi, we know that You have come (and come) (as) a teacher from God, for no one is able to make/do these signs, which You make/do, if – according to the circumstances – God may not be in company with him.”

Word for word: 3:1 (12 words in the Greek text) Was-(continually) but (a)-man out-of (of)-the (of)-Pharisees, Nicodemus (a)-name (to)-him, (a)-leader (of)-the (of)-Jews. 3:2 (32 words in the Greek text) this came towards him (of)-night and spoke (to)-him: rabbi, (we)-'know-(and-have-known)'/know that from god (you)-have-come-(and-come) (a)-teacher; no-one for is-able-to these the signs make which you make, if-according-to-the-circumstances not may-be the god in-company-with him.


The Former Revelation (preliminary translation):

In that night the Lord was beheld to/by (Isaac) and He spoke: "I am the God of your Father Abraham. Do not fear, for I am in company with you." (Gen 26:24a, Greek OT)

(By night the Lord said to Jacob:) "Behold, I (am) in company with you." (Gen 28:15a, Greek OT)

(God said to Moses:) “... I will be in company with you.” (Ex 3:12a, Greek OT)

(Elijah took the very little boy, who had been dead,) and gave him to his mother. And Elijah spoke: "See, your son lives." And the woman spoke towards Elijah: "Behold, I have (and have had) knowledge that you are a man of God and a word of the Lord in your mouth (is) true." (1 Kings 17:23b-24, Greek OT)

(The psalmist said: ”Happy a male who) will ‘care for in’/study the law (of the Lord) day and night.” (Ps 1:2b, Greek OT)

(The psalmist said:) “At midnight I am aroused (of/to) the thing to confess You out/frankly against/’in quest of’ the judicial verdicts of Your righteousness.” (Ps 119:62, Greek OT)

(The psalmist said to the Lord:) “Leaders ‘pursued entirely’/hunted me as (if it was) a benefit, and my heart was cowardly from/’owing to’ Your sayings.” (Ps 119:161, Greek OT)

(The Lord said to Jeremiah:) “I am in company with you ... .” (Jer 1:19b, Greek OT)

In ... the night the mystery of the king was brought out to light (by God) to Daniel in a vision of/with good/manifest sign. (Dan 2:19a, Greek OT)

Raguel heard the saying and spoke to the boy: “Eat and drink and become/’come ... into being’/’be ... born’ gladly this night.” (Tobit 7:10a, S)

Quickly they so ‘held under’/suffered the unrighteous damage, the ones having spoken for others on account of city (a disgraced Jerosolyma/Jerusalem) and popular assemblies and the holy vessels. (2 Macc 4:48)

(They blessed the Lord because of) the conquesting/conquest being given to them. (2 Macc 10:38a)

(Judas gave) forth to the ones around him a watch-word: “Conquest of God”. (2 Macc 13:15a)

(Maccabaeus had knowledge), that it is not through weapons, but – if according to the circumstances – ... to the worthy ones (the Lord) will ‘make ... about Himself’/acquire the conquest. (2 Macc 15:21b)


The Latter Revelation:

… Having come to (א*) (Jesus) a leader prostrated himself before Him (in honour of Him; cf. My own comments and speculations to Rev 13:8). (Matt 9:18a)

(The Lord said:) “A reed having been (and being) crushed (My boy) will not break down/off, and a smouldering linen/wick He will not quench, till He – according to the circumstances – may throw/bring out the judgment into conquesting/conquest.” (Matt 12:20)

(The disciples of the Pharisees with the Herodians said to Jesus:) "Teacher, we know that You are truthful and teach the way of God in truth, and You do not care for on account of ‘no one’/’anyone’, for You do not see into/to a face/look of men." (Matt 22:16b)

(Judas said to Jesus:) ”Rejoice, Rabbi, and he ‘was entirely friends with’/’kissed ... tenderly’ Him.” (Matt 26:49b)

(Jesus said to His disciples:) “Who out of you will have a friend and will go towards him (at) midnight.” (Luke 11:5a)

It became/’came about’ 'in the to come Him'/on His coming' into a house of a certain one of the leaders of (the) (P45,75,א,*א,B) Pharisees (on) a sabbath to eat bread, and/namely (that) they (continually) were ‘keeping ... to the side of’/watching (Jesus). (Luke 14:1)

A certain leader questioned (Jesus) saying: "Good Teacher, 'having made/done what'/how shall I inherit agelong life?" (Luke 18:18)

But (in) the days (Jesus continually/usually) was teaching in the sanctuary, but (in) the nights coming out he (continually/usually) camped in the open air into/’up to’ the mountain being called (the Mountain) of the Olive-trees. (Luke 21:37)

(Peter said to the Jews:) "I know that you practised/acted ‘according to not’/without knowledge, just as and/also your leaders." (Acts 3:17b)

Having opened the doors of the watch/custody (and) led out ... (the apostles) through/in (the) night, a messenger of the Lord spoke: “Go and having stood/’placed yourselves’ talk in the sanctuary to the people all the words of this life.” (Acts 5:19-20)

Every/all of the multitude chose ... Nicolaus ... (Acts 6:5b, cf. My own comments and speculations)

(Peter said: "You know) Jesus, the One from Nazareth, as/how God anointed Him (with) holy spirit and (with) ability, who came through’/’went about’ ‘treating well’/’showing kindness’ and healing all the ones being ‘had (under) sovereignity down’/tyrannized by the slanderer, because God (continually) was in company with Him." (Acts 10:38)

The ones dwelling in Jerusalem and their leaders (had) not knowledge of (Jesus). (Acts 13:27a)

(Some of the scribes of the Pharisaic party said:) "We find nothing bad in/with this (Paul). But (think) if a spirit or a messenger has talked (with) him?" ... But the coming night the Lord ‘having stood’/stood on/near him. (Acts 23:9b,11a)


The Apostle, the eighth and one of the seven:

It became a man having been (and being) dispatched away from the side of God. A name to him (continually) was (א*) John. (John 1:6)


Exegetes, evangelists and others:

about 2000 and time before

It is during the night Nicodemus visits the light of the world. (LarsOlov Eriksson "För att ni skall tro. Johannesevangeliet" p 65; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)

Perhaps most scholars today think that the words ('by night') should be taken symbolically. Jesus is the Light of the world, and it was out of the darkness in which his life had been lived that Nicodemus came to the light. (Leon Morris "The Gospel according to John" p 187)

Certain of the rabbis tell that on the day God appeared to Jacob (Gen 28:11) night came early. They compared God's visit to a king who wanted to speak with a close friend who came to visit from time to time. The king would order the lamps be extinguished so the two could hold their conversion in privacy. Thus God caused the sun to go down early. (Michael E. Williams “Genesis” p 142; Genesis Rabbah 68:10)

Darkness and night symbolize the realm of evil, untruth and ignorance. (Raymond E. Brown "The Gospel according to John" p 130)


Examples of other quoted authors in the Swedish version: Elisabeth Beskow, P. Fjellstedt, Bo Giertz, Carl Grimberg, Peter Halldorf, Fredrik Nielsen, Peter Nilson, Johan Norberg, Johan Ludvig Runeberg, Tomas Tranströmer.


My own comments and speculations:

In the dark night God is in company with Jesus as He was with Isaac and Jacob and as He also was with Moses and Jeremiah in a dark time. Nicodemus so compares Jesus with great persons in the history of his people. But he doesn't understand that it is the Lord Himself who he speaks with. He says, that Jesus has come from God and uses the Greek word “apo” for “from”. The basic meaning of “apo” is “separation from”. Here we could translate, that Jesus has come “as a teacher from the outer boundary of God”. The confession of Nicodemus is a kind of “half” confession, comparable with the confession of the woman in John 4:19 (Jesus is a prophet). Compare with the words of Jesus about himself in John 6:46 “from the side of God/the Father”.

The name Nicodemus (= the conquest of the popular assembly) gives associations to Nikolaus (= the conquest of the people) in Acts 6:5. Cf. also the Nicolaitans in Rev 2:6 and ”theou nikên” (the conquest of God) in 2 Macc 13:15.

Concerning “(the) name to him”, see also John 1:6-8.


Greek words:

archôn (leader) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Matt 9:18; Luke 14:1; 18:18; John 3:1; Acts 3:17; 13:27 – Esther 1:3,11,14,16,18,21; 3:12,13a(B1); 8:9,12b(E1); 9:3; Judith 5:2; 6:14,17; 7:8,23; 8:9,11,35; 9:3,10; 13:18; 14:12,19; 1 Macc 1:26; 2:17,66; 5:40,56; 6:28,60-61; 7:26; 9:30; 10:37,63; 11:62-63,70; 12:24,53; 14:2,20,28; Sir 10:14; 36:9(12); 41:18; 46:13,18; 48:12,15(16); Baruch 1:9,16; 2:1; 3:16; The Prayer of Azariah v 15; Matt 9:23,34; 12:24; 20:25; Mark 3:22: Luke 8:41; 11:15; 12:58; 23:13,35; 24:20; John 7:26,48; 12:31,42; 14:30; 16:11; Acts 4:5,8,26; 7:27,35; 14:5; 16:19; 23:5; Rom 13:3; 1 Cor 2:6,8; Eph 2:2; Rev 1:5.

Nikodêmos (Nicodemus) John 3:1 – John 3:4,9; 7:50; 19:39. Cf. nikê (conquest) and nikos (here translated by “conquesting”), a late form of nikê (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) 2 Macc 10:38 (nikos), 13:15 (nikê); 15:21 (nikê); Matt 12:20 (nikos) – 1 Macc 3:19 (nikê); 2 Macc 10:28 (nikê); 15:8 (nikê); 1 Cor 15:54-55,57 (nikos); 1 John 5:4 (nikê). Cf. also dêmos (popular assembly) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) 2 Macc 4:48 – Judith 4:8; 6:1; 8:18; 1 Macc 8:29; 12:6; 14:20-23,25; 15:17; 2 Macc 11:34; Wisdom of Solomon 6:24; Acts 12:22; 17:5; 19:30,33. Cf. also My own comments and speculations.

nyx (night) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Tobit 7:10; Luke 21:37; John 3:2; Acts 23:11 - Esther 1:1l/A11; 4:16; 6:1; Tobit 2:9; 6:1(2),11,13,16; 7:11; 8:9; 10:7; Judith 6.21; 7:5; 8:33; 11:3,5,17; 12:7; 13:14; 1 Macc 4:1,5; 5:29,50; 9:58; 12:26-27; 13:22; 2 Macc 8:7; 12:9; 13:10; Wisdom of Solomon 7:30; 10:17; 17:2,5,13(14),20(21); 18:6,14; Baruch 2:25; The Song of Praise of the Three Men v 46; Bel and the Dragon v 15(Theod). Matt 2:14; 4:2; 12:40; 14:25; 25:6; 26:31,34; 28:13; Mark 4:27; 5:5; 6:48; 14:30; Luke 2:8,37; 5:5; 12:20; 17:34; 18:7; John 9:4; 11:10; 13:30; 19:39; 21:3. Acts 5:19; 9:24-25; 12:6; 16:9,33; 17:10; 18:9; 20:31; 23:23,31; 26:7; 27:23,27; Rom 13:12; 1 Cor 11:23; 1 Thess 2:9; 3:10; 5:2,5,7; 2 Thess 3:8; 1 Tim 5:5; 2 Tim 1:3; Rev 4:8; 7:15; 8:12; 12:10; 14:11; 20:10; 21:25; 22:5.


Additional studies:

Gen 31:3; Judges 6:27; Matt 23:7-8; John 1:38; 3:26; 7:50; 9:16,33; 10:38; 14:10-11; Acts 2:22; 6:5; Rev 2:6,15.


F. Peter Cotterell "The Nicodemus Conversation: A Fresh Appraisal"; Expository Times 96 (1985): 237-242.

Michael D. Goulder "Nicodemus"; Scottish Journal of Theology 44 (1991): 153 -.

Andreas J. Köstenberger "Jesus as Rabbi in the Fourth Gospel"; Bulletin for Biblical Research 8 (1998): 97-128.

J.N. Suggit "Nicodemus - the true Jew"; Neotestamentica 14 (1980): 90-110.


(Original version 2007-12-01; revised version 2009-02-01; 2010-07-13; 2013-07-24; 2014-03-31)

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3:3 Jesus answered and spoke to him: "Amen, amen, I say to you: 'If – according to the circumstances – a certain (person) may not be begotten from above, he is not able to behold the kingdom of God.'"

Word for word (22 words in the Greek text Sinaiticus): answered the Jesus and spoke (to)-him: amen amen (i/I)-say you, if-according-to-the-circumstances not (a)-certain-(person) may-be-begotten from-above, not (he)-is-able-to behold the kingdom (of)-the (of)-god.


The Former Revelation (preliminary translation):

The waterfalls of the heavens were opened. ... And every/all flesh being stirred upon the earth died. (Gen 7:11b,21a, Greek OT)

The Lord ‘gave wet’/’let (it) rain’ sulphur and fire against Sodom and Gomorrah from the side of the Lord out of the heaven. And He turned down/over ... all the ones dwelling in the cities. (Gen 19:24-25a, Greek OT)

(Jacob said to Joseph:) “From the side of God of your father … (God) blessed you (with) a blessing of heaven from above.” (Gen 49:25a, Greek OT)

(Moses spoke the words of the Lord to Pharaoh:) "All the men and the domestic animals and as many as – according to the circumstances – it may be found in the plain and may not have come into, into a habitation, the hail may but/then fall against them (and) he will come to an end." ... And the Lord gave voices and hail, and the fire ‘ran through’/spread upon the earth ... (Ex 9:19b,23b, Greek OT)

... Fire fell out of the heaven and burned down the sheep and the shepherds were eaten down/up likewise. ... A great spirit/wind suddenly came against (the habitation) out of the desolate (district) and touched the four corners of the habitation. And the habitation fell against ... the little boys and girls, and they came to an end. (Job 1:16a,19a, Greek OT)

(Solomon said:) "I am indeed, and/also I, a mortal man equal (with) altogether and earthborn from (the) first moulded parents/ancestors. And in a mother's belly/womb flesh was carved/formed. (During) a time of ten months I (came to being) in blood out of a seed of a male and of an enjoyment of a having come together (in) a sleep/night." (Wisdom of Solomon 7:1-2)

(Solomon said to God:) “Who has gained knowledge of Your counsel, if not You have given wisdom and sent Your Holy Spirit from highest things?” (Wisdom of Solomon 9:17)

(Solomon said: “… Wisdom) showed (a righteous one) a kingdom of God and gave him knowledge of holy things.” (Wisdom of Solomon 10:10a)

(Solomon said to God:) "The whole creation was again (continually) typed/transformed throughout in an own descent/birth from above obeying Your orders, in order that Your boys (and girls) may be watched/kept unhurt." (Wisdom of Solomon 19:6)

(Jesus, the son of Sirach, said:) “‘Every ... not’/no notion/thought has come to the side of (the Lord). ‘Not ... one ... nor’/neither (any) saying is hidden from Him.” (Sir 42:20)


The Latter Revelation:

Having called a little boy (or girl) to (Himself) (Jesus) caused him (or her) to stand in a middle of (the disciples) and He spoke: "Amen, I say to you, if – according to the circumstances – you may not turn and become as the little boys and girls, you may not/certainly not come into, into the kingdom of the heavens." (Matt 18:2-3)

Jesus spoke to (His disciples): ”Amen I say to you that/: ‘You, the ones having followed Me in the regeneration, when the Son of the Man may – according to the circumstances – sit down upon His throne of glory, and/also you yourselves (א,*א) will be seated against twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.’” (Matt 19:28)

(Jesus) (continually/repeatedly) said to (the crowd together with His disciples): “Amen, I say to you that/: ‘They/there are some of the ones standing here, whoever/who not/certainly not may taste death till they – according to the circumstances – may behold the kingdom of God having come (and coming) in/with ability.’” (Mark 9:1)

(Luke said:) “It seemed (good) and/also to me to having followed (and following) ‘by the side of’/close all things exactly from above the one after the other ... ” (Luke 1:3a)

(Jesus said to His disciples:) ”Truly, (there) are some of the ones (of the Son of the Man) standing in the same place (as I) who not/certainly not may taste death, till they – according to the circumstances – may behold the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:27)

Having beheld (that the Samaritans did not receive Jesus) the disciples James and John spoke: "Lord, do You want, we may speak/bid fire to descend from the heaven and use them up?" But having turned Himself He blamed them. (Luke 9:54-55)

Jesus answered (the Pharisees) and spoke: "The kingdom of God does not come in company with ‘a keeping to the side of’/’an observation’. Nor will they speak 'Behold, here!' or 'There!' for behold, the kingdom of God is within you/’the limits of you’." (Luke 17:20b-21)

A certain leader questioned (Jesus) saying: "Good Teacher, 'having made/done what'/how shall I inherit agelong life?" (Luke 18:18)

(Jesus said/spoke) the things on account of the kingdom of God. (Acts 1:3b)

God, the One having knowledge of hearts, has been a witness to (the nations) having given them, entirely as and/also us, the Holy Spirit ... having made their hearts clean (by means of) faith. (Acts 15:8-9)

(Paul said to the king: “The Jews have) beforehand knowledge of me from above.” (Acts 26:5a)


The Apostle, the eighth and one of the seven:

As many as took (Jesus), to them He gave (judicial) authority to become children of God, to the ones believing into His name, who were begotten not out of bloods/blood, nor out of a will of flesh, nor out of a will of a male, however/but out of God. (John 1:12-13)


Exegetes, evangelists and others:

about 2000 - about 1500

The verb ... "gennaô" ... properly signifies the action of the male parent, and would here give the meaning "be begotten". It is,however, used also of the female parent (e.g. 16:21), so that the translation "be born" can certainly be justified. But it is somewhat more probable that John means "be begotten" (cf. the use of the same imagery in 1 John 3:9). ... John is more fond of this imagery than is any other New Testament writer. ... John frequently speaks of eternal life, and for him the possession of eternal life appears to mean very much the same as entering the kingdom of God as the Synoptists picture it. (Leon Morris "The Gospel according to John" p 189-190)

As a sinner man is spiritually dead and must get new life. He cannot "see the kingdom of God", John 3:3,5f. He now cannot feed himself but must be born by God, John 1:12f. So the regeneration is a godly wonder, a creation of something new, not an improvement of the old man. (Birger Olsson "Första Petrusbrevet" p 37-38; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)

The birth which is here required is certainly a second birth, but it is not a mere repetition of man's first birth but a begetting from above, from God. This, in view of 3:31, must be regarded as the primary meaning. (Barrett p 206)

(Luke) says (in Luke 1:3) he traced the course of all things "anothen". We have rendered that, "from the first". ... In strict etymology, I think the probability is that it means "from above". ... Jesus was talking to Nicodemus, and said: "Ye must be born "anothen". ... I am quite sure Jesus meant , "from above". ... My own view is that when Luke says he traced the course of all things accurately "anothen" he meant from above; and that he was claiming that his scientifick work was under the guidance of heaven itself. (G. Campbell Morgan "The Gospel according to Luke" p 13)

By prophecy this truth (about the kingdom of God) was conscious and completely clear for the Jews, why we never see that either John the Baptist or Christ has uttered a single word as a proof that a kingdom of God would come. For the Jews this had been as unneccessary as to prove the existence of the sun. (Karl Palmberg "Ur livskällan. Första årgången." p 22; comment to Matt 11:11-19; Karl Palmberg /1842-1920/ was from 1883 a Lutheran clergyman in Månsarp in the diocese of Växjö and president in Jönköpings Missionsförening (Missionary Society) 1886-1911; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)

(Father and mother) would have wandered satisfied and delighted to church the beautiful morning, if they had not had the son to think of. Father complained that he was slow and lazy: he had not wanted to learn in school, and he was so incompetent that one could barely not set him to tend geese. And mother did not deny that this was true, but she was most grieved at his being wild and evil, hard to animals and malevolent towards men. "Might God break his evilness giving hem another mind!" mother said. (Selma Lagerlöf "Nils Holgerssons underbara resa genom Sverige" p 14-15; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)

Some think . . . that this soul (of world) is influenced from outside and created as an instrument to one outside us existing will (transcendence) which from above is leading the fates. . . . To this latter meaning the Author wants to agree after he through wanderings in the World History has found confirmations of this. (August Strindberg "Världshistoriens Mystik" p 12; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)

Sandro Botticello (1445-1510) has painted Venus, naked, arisen out of the froth of the sea. Had he with this an immoral aim? Everybody knowing this man, his grand character, his willingness to offer everything, also his art, for the kingdom of God, must repudiate every suspicion of this as unjust. (Viktor Rydberg "Om nakenhet och klädessätt" p 111; Ekeliden, Djursholm 1895-04-27; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)

Thank you for the charming letter doing my heart good! Such a letter I have always regarded as a gift from above sharing the thankfulness between him having written it and Him whose wisdom presents itself in the growth of the flower and the child as in the life of the star systems and whose goodness is the spring of all good things, which the men give one another. (Viktor Rydbergs brev III "Brev från Viktor Rydberg 1882-1895" p 58; letter 1887-11-12 to R. Malling-Hansen; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)


about 1500 and time before

The church is the kingdom of God on the earth, its priestly hierarchy an image of the heavenly, its highest ruler, the pope, the governor of God. (Viktor Rydberg "Medeltidens magi" p 15; Medeltidens världsåskådning; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)

Three ideas especially did this Kingdom of God imply: universality, heavenliness, and permanency. Wide as God's domain would be His Dominion; holy, as heaven in contrast to earth, and God to man, would be his character; and triumphantly lasting its continuance. Such was the teaching of the Old Testamen, and the great hope of Israel. (Alfred Edersheim "The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah Part I" p 266)

The word ‘anôthen’ has always the meaning ‘above’ in the fourth Gospel (ch. iii. 3,7,31; xix. 11,23); and otherwise also St. John always speaks of ‘a birth’ from God (St. John i. 13; 1 John ii. 29; iii. 9; iv. 7; v. 1,4,18). (Alfred Edersheim "The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah Part I" p 384)


Examples of other quoted authors in the Swedish version: Emmanuel Abraham, Eskil Albertsson, Eric S. Alexandersson, Martin Allwood, Carl Jonas Love Almqvist, Håkan Arlebrand, Leo Baeck, Johann Albrecht Bengel, Elisabeth Beskow, Carl Boberg, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Lars-Ola Borglid, Gordon Bridger, Olaus Brännström, Martin Buber, George Carey, Elizabeth Charles, Sven Danell, Ylva Eggehorn, Stefan Einhorn, E.J. Ekman, Runar Eldebo, Jan Erixon, Bo Frid, Einar Genitz, Bo Giertz, Bolette Margrethe Gjør, Nikolaj Gogol, Daniel Grahn, Berndt Gustafsson, Dag Hammarskjöld, Olov Hartman, Alf Henrikson, Eric Hertz, J.H. Hertz, James Houston, Sven Hultman, Bengt Hägglund, Irenaeus, Anders Jarlert, Jonas Jonson, Ragnar Järhult, Bengt Kindbom, Andrew Kirk, Gunnar Lanshamre, Göran Lennartsson, C.S. Lewis, Gustaf Linder, Sigurd Lindgren, Martin Luther, Morris Maddocks, Margareta Malmgren, Frank Mangs, François Mauriac, Alphonse Mbama, Vilhelm Moberg, Olaf Moe, Anders Nohrborg, Vibeke Olsson, Efraim Palmqvist, Olaus Petri, Einar Rimmerfors, Alf Ross, Arundhati Roy, Yngve Rudberg, Sven Edvin Salje, Gösta Sandberg, Gunnar E. Sandgren, Torgny Segerstedt, Bo Setterlind, Tomas Sjödin, Anfin Skaaheim, E. Aug. Skogsbergh, Enock H. Skooglund, Erik Sonesson, Milton Steinberg, Sven Stolpe, Rune Storck, John Stott, Jesper Svartvik, Alf Svensson, Gunnar Söderström, Helmut Thielicke, Lennart Thörn, Leo Tolstoj, Fanny Tuxen, Paul Waldenström, Charlotta Wallin, Johan Olof Wallin, A.F. Walls, Gunnar Westin, N.P. Wetterlund, Arwid Wickström, Pontus Wikner, Daniel Williams, Carl Fr. Wislöff, Göran Åberg.


My own comments and speculations:

The Greek word “anôthen” has a primary meaning of "from above" and a possible meaning of "anew". In times of old man/flesh was killed from above. Now man/flesh can be restored by receiving life, by being born from above by God Himself (cf. John 1:13). Observe also the difference between the Synoptics and John. In the Synoptics the man must be a little boy or girl; in the Gospel of John he must be begotten anew ("come a second time into the belly of his mother", John 3:4).

Jesus is according to the Gospel of John the Light of the world (John 8:12). To let oneself be taken up by Him, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is to be a part of a light which really is the Light of God. It is about to under the guidance of the Spirit give fruit in this light rather than to let "my little light" with the help of the Spirit give light among men in the world. The former thing is about a revelation of the glory of God, the latter thing is about a work having its root in the honour which is of God (see Rev 4:9) but which yet does not reveal the secret of the kingdom of God.

On the double and the single "amen", see John 1:51a.


Paul said to the believers in Rome: "The kingdom of God is not consumption and drinking however/but righteousness and peace and joy in holy spirit." (Rom 14:17)

James said: “Every good giving and every perfect present is from above, descending from the Father of the lights. ... Having wished He gave birth to us (with) a saying of truth.” (Jas 1:17a,18a)

Peter said: "As just now begotten sucklings, 'long for against'/'yearn for' the deceitless/guileless milk belonging to the saying!" (1 Pet 2:2a)

'Every the'/everyone having been (and being) begotten out of God does not make/practise miss (of His mark), because His seed stays in him, and he is not able to miss (His mark), because he has been (and is) begotten out of God. (1 John 3:9)


Greek words:

anôthen (from above) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Wisdom of Solomon 19:6; Luke 1:3; John 3:3; Jas 1:17 – Epistle of Jeremias v 61; Matt 27:51; Mark 15:38; John 3:7,31; 19:11,23; Acts 26:5; Gal 4:9; Jas 3:15,17.


Additional studies:

Dan 2:44; Matt 19:24; 21:31; 23:13; Mark 9:47; 10:14-15,26; Luke 18:17,26-27; John 3:5,7,31,36; 18:36; 2 Cor 5:17; Jas 3:15-17; 1 Pet 1:3,23; 1 John 2:29; 4:7; 5:1,4; Rev 3:7-8; 11:6; 16:21.


S. Aalen "Guds kungavälde eller Guds rike"; Svensk Exetisk Årsbok 30 (1965): 37-69.

F. Peter Cotterell "The Nicodemus Conversation: A Fresh Appraisal"; Expository Times 96 (1985): 237-242.

G. Forkman "Människans förändring - ett tema i Johannesevangeliet"; Svensk Exegetisk Årsbok 51 (1986): 57-64.

J.R. Lillie "Obadiah - a Celebration of God's Kingdom"; Currents in Theology and Missions 6 (1979): 18-22.

G. Lindeskog "Förnyelse, nyskapelse, nyfödelse"; Svensk Exegetisk Årsbok 8 (1943): 12-29.

Robert V. McCabe "The Meaning of 'Born of Water and the Spirit' in John 3:5"; Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal 4 (Fall 1999): 85-107.

W.H. Oliver - A.G. van Aarde "The community of faith as dwelling-place of the Father: 'basileia tou theou' as 'household of God' in the Johannine farewell discourse(s)"; Neotestamentica 25.2 (1991): 379-400.

John W. Pryor "John 3:3,5: A Study in the Relation of John's Gospel to the Synoptic Tradition."; Journal for the Study of the New Testament 41 (1991): 71-95.

Gary S. Shogren "Is the Kingdom of God About Eating and Drinking or Isn't It?"; (The Journal) Novum Testamentum 42.3 (2000): 238-256.

Gary S. Shogren "Presently entering the kingdom of Christ: the background and purpose of Col 1:12-14"; Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 31.2 (June 1988): 173-180.

Brian J. Vickers "Mark's Good News of the Kingdom of God"; Southern Baptist Journal of Theology 8.3 (Autumn 2004): 12-35.


(Original version 2007-12-01; revised version 2009-02-01; 2010-07-19; 2013-08-06; 2014-04-02)

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3:4-5 Nicodemus says towards Him: “How is a man able to be begotten being an old person? He is not able to come into the belly of his mother a second time and be begotten, is he?” Jesus answered: "Amen, amen, I say to you: If not – according to the circumstances – a certain (person) may be begotten out of water and spirit, he is not able to behold (א*) the kingdom of the heavens (א*)."

Word for word: 3:4 (23 words in the Greek text, the sequence of the words according to Sinaiticus) says towards him the Nicodemus: how is-able-to (a)-man (an)-old-person being be-begotten? not is-(she)-able-to into the belly (of)-the (of)-mother his (a)-second-(time) come-into and be-begotten? 3:5 (21 words in the Greek text Sinaiticus prima manus) answered Jesus: amen amen (i/I)-say you, if-according-to-the-circumstances not (a)-certain-(person) may-be-begotten out-of water and spirit, not (he)-is-able-to behold the kingdom (of)-the (of)-heavens.


The Former Revelation (preliminary translation):

A messenger of the Lord called (to) Abraham a second (time) out of the heaven. (Gen 22:15, Greek OT)

The Lord threw/turned about a wind from ‘an extreme’/’a vehement’ sea, and took up the locust/locusts and threw it/them in, into the Red Sea. (Ex 10:19a, Greek OT)

Moses and the sons of Israel sang this lay to the Lord and they spoke saying:"... You dispatched away Your spirit. Sea veiled (the Egyptians). They set as if (they were) lead in an extreme/vehement water." (Ex 15:1,10, Greek OT)

(Samuel said to Saul:) ”A spirit of the Lord will spring against, against you ... and you may be turned into another male.” (1 Sam 10:6, Greek OT)

A spirit is in mortals of blood, but a breath of an All-powerful is the one teaching. The ones (having lived) in a very long time are not wise, nor the old persons know a (right) judicial verdict. (Job 32:8-9, Greek OT)

(The psalmist said to the Lord:) “You will dispatch out Your spirit, and (living things) will be created.” (Ps 104:30a, Greek OT)

(Solomon said:) “A breath of men (is) a light of the Lord, which investigates storehouses of a belly.” (Prov 20:27, Greek OT)

(The Lord said to His boy:) "I will give water in thirst to the ones going in waterless (land). I will put My Spirit against, against your seed and My blessings against your children." (Is 44:3, Greek OT)

(The prophet said:) “A saying of the Lord (continually) became/came towards me a second (time).” (Jer 1:13a, Greek OT)

(The Lord said to the house of Israel:) “I will sprinkle clean water against you, and you will be made clean from all your impurities and from all your idols, and I will clean you. And I will give you a new heart and a new spirit I will give in you.” (Ezek 36:25-26a, Greek OT)

The Lord aroused a wind into the sea and it/there became a great billow in/on the sea, and the boat was in danger to be crushed. ... And (the ‘men of a ship’/seamen) took Jonah and threw him out into the sea. And the sea ‘stood out of’/stopped its surge/raging. (Jonah 1:4,15, Greek OT)

Raguel heard the saying and spoke to the boy: “Eat and drink and become/’come ... into being’/’be ... born’ gladly this night.” (Tobit 7:10a, S)

(The mother said to her sons:) “I do not know in what way you ‘were brought’/came to light into my belly, nor I graciously gave you the spirit and the life.” (2 Macc 7:22a)

(Solomon said:) “Into an artful soul wisdom will not come in … for a holy spirit of education will flee deceit.” (Wisdom of Solomon 1:4a,5a)

(Solomon said:) "I am indeed, and/also I, a mortal man equal (with) altogether and earthborn from (the) first moulded parents/ancestors. And in a mother's belly/womb flesh was carved/formed. (During) a time of ten months I (came to being) in blood out of a seed of a male and of an enjoyment of a having come together (in) a sleep/night." (Wisdom of Solomon 7:1-2)

(Jesus, the son of Sirach, said: “Wisdom) was created (to the ones fearing the Lord) together with, in company with faithful ones in a womb.” (Sir 1:14b)

(Jesus, the son of Sirach, said:) “Woe you, wicked males. ... If – according to the circumstances – you may be begotten, you will be begotten into curse.” (Sir 41:8a,9a)


The Latter Revelation:

Having been baptized Jesus straight/’straight off’ ascended from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and (John) beheld a (א,* א, B) spirit of God descending as if (it was) a pigeon * (א*, B) coming against Him. (Matt 3:16)

(Jesus said to His disciples:) "Happy the beggarly ones (in) the spirit, because theirs is the kingdom of the heavens." (Matt 5:3)

(Jesus said to His disciples:) “If – according to the circumstances – your righteousness may not be over and above, more than (the one) of the scribes and Pharisees, you may not/certainly not come into the kingdom of the heavens.” (Matt 5:20b)

(Jesus said to His disciples:) ”Not 'every the'/everyone saying to Me: ’Lord, Lord’ will come into, into the kingdom of the heaven, however/but the one making/doing the will of My Father, the One in the heavens.” (Matt 7:21)

(Jesus said to the scribes and Pharisees): "Just as Jonah (continually) was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, in this way the Son of the Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." (Matt 12:40)

(Jesus said to the Pharisees:) “There are eunuchs, whoever/who were begotten in this way out of a belly of a mother … and there are eunuchs, whoever/who have made themselves eunuchs because of the kingdom of the heavens.” (Matt 19:12a)

Having again, 'out of second'/'for the second time', gone away (Jesus) prayed. (Matt 26:42a)

(John said:) "I baptized you (in) water, but (the One coming behind me) will baptize you in holy spirit." (Mark 1:8)

(Jesus said to the disciples:) "Children, how troublesome it is to come into, into the kingdom of God! It is more without bothers for a camel to come through a hole (א*) of a needle than for a rich to come into the kingdom of God." (Mark 10:24b-25)

(John the Baptist) will be fulfilled (with) holy spirit, still/already (out of) (א,*א,A) (the) belly of his mother. (Luke 1:15b)

Mariam spoke towards the messenger: “How will this be, since I have not knowledge of a male. And ” ‘having answered the messenger’/’the messenger answered and’ spoke to her: "Holy spirit will come against, against you, and an ability of a highest One will overshadow you. Therefore the thing being begotten and/also will be called holy, a son of God." (Luke 1:34-35)

The suckling/’unborn child’ leaped in the belly of (Elizabeth), and (she) was fulfilled of holy spirit. (Luke 1:41b)

(The disciples) said * (א,* א): "Who is consequently this One, because He 'arranges on'/orders and/both the winds and the water, and they hearken Him." (Luke 8:25b)

(Jesus said to the Pharisees:) "The kingdom of God does not come in company with ‘a keeping to the side of’/’an observation’. Nor will they speak 'Behold, here!' or 'There!' for behold, the kingdom of God is within you/’the limits of you’." (Luke 17:20b-21)

(The Jews said:) “How (is it that) we everyone/each hear our own language, in which we were begotten?” (Acts 2:8)

Peter utters towards (the Jews): "Change your minds and let yourselves be baptized, everyone/each of you, on/'for the sake of' the name of Jesus Christ into/'for the purpose of' a letting be (alone) of your misses (of the mark of God) and you will take the benefit of the Holy Spirit." (Acts 2:38)

A certain male (having been) lame out of the belly of his mother ... (Acts 3:2)

(The eunuch) spoke to (Philip): “For how am I – according to the circumstances - 'oh that may'/hopefully able (to gain knowledge), if – according to the circumstances – anyone will not show me the way?” (Acts 8:31a)

Having come through a first watch and a second (Peter and the messenger) came against the iron gate. (Acts 12:10a)

(Paul said:) “It has been (and is) written in the second psalm: ‘You are My son. Today I have begotten (and beget) You.’” (Acts 13:33b)

(Lydia said to Paul and the ones being with him:) “If you have judged (and judge) me be faithful to the Lord, having come in, into my house, stay.” ... (And they did so.) ... (Later they were put in the watch.) ... But having come out from the watch they came into (the house), towards Lydia, and having beheld the brothers they called (them) to the side of.” (Acts 16:15b,40a)


The Apostle, the eighth and one of the seven:

(John was a witness saying:) "The One having sent me to baptize in the (P66,א,*א) water, that One spoke to me: ‘(The One) against whom you – according to the circumstances - may behold the Spirit descending and staying against Him, this One is the One baptizing in holy spirit.’" (John 1:33b)


Exegetes, evangelists and others:

about 2000 - about 1500

A primary motif in the death-informing (heavenly) journeys is water. Entrance into the heavenly world takes place by a lake, river or sea. In actuality, this mirrors the transition between life and death. (Leif Carlsson ”Round trips to heaven” p 253)

(The water can refer to) the baptism and in that case John's baptism of repentance. ... There is a question of an activity which goes against our natural: the one of confession of sin, of abandonment, of repentance. And in the repentance also the Spirit continues its work. (Gösta Sandberg "Glädjens budskap" p 259 in comment to Joh 3:1-15; translation from the Swedish text. BG Ask)

The plural "heavens", as regularly in the New Testament and Septuagint, reflects the Hebrew word used in the Old Testament, which is always in plural. What is emphasized is (Jesus') transcendence; He is "made higher than the heavens", as we are told later in the epistle (to the Hebrews, Ch. 7:26) or, as it is put in Eph. 4:10, He "ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things". (F.F. Bruce "The Epistle to the Hebrews" p 85; comment to Hebr 4:14)

Spiritual rebirth is the only metod whereby mortal man can become a member of the heavenly kingdom, just as physical birth is the only manner of our entrance into this world. (Frank B. Rehnstrom "An Outline of Missionary Enterprise in India, Nepal & Pakistan" p 66-67)

What do we receive by the baptism? The baptism of Jesus gives the answer. For it is clear that his baptism was the model of the baptism as well as it was the firstling baptism. What then he so got, this also we get. He got two things: water by John and spirit by his heavenly father. How near does not this agree with the words of Jesus to Nicodemus: Without being born of water and spirit one cannot enter the kingdom of God. For as certain as spirit here means spirit, so water means just water. Baptism and receiving of the spirit is thus the condition to enter the kingdom of God. Bless now God this on our hearts and confirm it by his spirit! Amen. (Karl Palmberg "Ur livskällan. Tredje årgången." p 65; comment to Matt 3:13-17; Karl Palmberg /1842-1920/ was from 1883 a Lutheran clergyman in Månsarp in the diocese of Växjö and president in Jönköpings Missionsförening (Missionary Society) 1886-1911; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)

(The dove) sang so fair about Jesus Christ and about the joyness and the glory of the kingdom of heaven, and she welcomed all being burdened and having had enough of the hardships of this life. ... Now again the mist dispersed, the sky was blue as a field of linen and the larks rose above. Then (the mother and the children) saw out in the sea a green island with white sandy beaches, where men dressed in white wandered hand in hand. And the setting sun illuminated the golden roof of a colonnade, where white fires burnt under holy bowls of sacrifice; and over the green island a rainbow in rosy-red and reed-green extended. - What is it, mother? The mother could not answer. - Is it the kingdom of heaven, which the dove sang about? What is kingdom of heaven, mother? - It is the place, child, where all are friends, the mother answered, where there are no sorrow, nothing disturbing the peace. - Then I want to come there, the child said. - So I want, said the tired, abandoned, tried mother. (August Strindberg "I midsommartider" p 87-88,95; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)

I have certainly written too much, been too much alone, so that I am tired and uninterested in everything! Had I got money and company I had gone for a trip to Switzerland to see the kingdom of heaven! (August Strindberg "August Strindbergs brev XIII sept 1898-dec 1900" p 67; letter 1899-01-11 to Gustaf af Geijerstam; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)


about 1500 and time before

The earth, itself stationary, is (according to the ideology of the Middle Ages) surrounded by ten over one another vaulted heavens, which all, with the exception of the highest one, are in a circling movement. The highest and the immovable one, which surrounds the others and constitutes the boundary of the creation towards the empty, endless space, is the empyrean or the heaven of fire, of the Platonising philosophers also called the world of the archetypes. There, "in a light to which no one can come", God is enthroned in a triune majesty, and to him the harmonic tone of the moving of the nine lower heavens ascends as a song of praise of the world to its creator. Nearest the empyrean there is the heaven of crystal or the circle of the first movable (primum mobile). Under it there is again the heaven of the weightless fixed stars, created by the finest material. If we imagine an angel hovering down from this to the earth - the middle point where the most coarse constituents of the creation have deposited itself - he has to descend through seven still more heavens forming the planetary world. . . . Under (this) there are the circle of the air and the earth itself with land and sea. (Viktor Rydberg "Medeltidens magi" p 5-6; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)

(Christ said:) “O Nicodemus … I have come to bring a new manner of Creation. I formed (man) of earth and water; but that which was formed was unprofitable, the vessel was wrenched awry; I will no more form them of earth and water, but ‘of water’ and ‘of Spirit’.” (Chrysostom, The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers XIV:87)

Come then, be begotten again, O man, into the adoption of God. And how? says one, If thou practisest adultery no more, and committing not murder, and servest no idols; if thou are not overmastered by pleasure; if thou dost not suffer the feeling of pride to rule thee; if thou cleanest of the filthiness of impurity, and puttest off the burden of sin; if thou castest off the armour of the devil, and puttest on the breastplate of faith. ... Do you see, beloved, how the prophet spake beforetime (Is 1:16-19) of the purifying power of baptism? For he who comes down in faith to the laver of regeneration, and renounces the devil, and joins himself to Christ; who denies the enemy, and makes the confession that Christ is God; who puts off the bondage, and puts on the adoption, - he comes up from the baptism brilliant as the sun, flashing forth the beams of righteousness, and, which is indeed the chief thing, he returns a son of God and joint-heir with Christ. (Hippolytus, The Ante-Nicene Fathers V:237)

Blessed be our Lord, who has placed in us wisdom and understanding of secret things. ... Having renewed us by the remission of our sins, He hath made us after another pattern, (it is His purpose) that we should possess the soul of children, inasmuch as He has created us anew by His Spirit. (Epistle of Barnabas, The Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol I, p 140)

The Comforter ... should join us to God. For as a compacted lump of dough cannot be formed of dry wheat without fluid matter, nor can a loaf possess unity, so, in like manner, neither could we, being many, be made one in Christ Jesus without the water from heaven. And as dry earth does not bring forth unless it receive moisture, in like manner we also, being originally a dry tree, could never have brought forth fruit unto life without the voluntary rain from above. For our bodies have received unity among themselves by means of that laver which leads to incorruption; but our souls, by means of the Spirit. (Irenaeus, The Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol I, p 444-445)

The Rabbis seem to have believed in a multitude of heavens – most of them holding that there were seven, as there were also seven departments in paradise, and as many in hell. (Alfred Edersheim “Jewish Social Life” p 177)


Examples of other quoted authors in the Swedish version: Alf Ahlberg, Eskil Albertsson, Carl Jonas Love Almqvist, Ronny Ambjörnsson, Lennart Andersson, Nils Beltzén, UllaBritt Berglund, Elisabeth Beskow, Per Beskow, Aleksandr Blok, George Carey, Leif Carlsson, G.A. Danell, Sven Danell, Albert Engström, Per Ericsson, Bo Frid, Gao Xingjian, F. Godet, Nikolaj Gogol, Billy Graham, Meg Grant, Carl Grimberg, Enar Gustafsson, Odd Hagen, Raymond Hammer, Dick Harrison, Vaclav Havel, Jan Arvid Hellström, Marianne Herrlin, Ellen Holzhausen-Idström, Håkan Håkansson, Henrik Ibsen, Tove Jansson, Edvard Johansson, Eyvind Johnson, Stanley Jones, Bruce Kaye, Lars Levi Laestadius, Pär Lagerkvist, Hans Larsson, Karl Larsson, Ingvar Laxvik, Jonas Lie, Martin Luther, Martin Lönnebo, G.H.C. Mac Gregor, Thomas Mann, Vilhelm Moberg, H. Myrbäck, Watchman Nee, Fredrik Nielsen, Nils Henrik Nilsson, Oluf E. Paaske, Efraim Palmqvist, Olof Pettersson, Hjalmar Procopé, Laurence Rees, Einar Rimmerfors, Abraham Rundbäck, Bo Setterlind, Frans Eemil Sillanpää, Isaac Basjevis Singer, Tomas Sjödin, Harry Sjöman, Thomas A. Smail, Andreas Spole, C.H. Spurgeon, Margareta Strömstedt; Jesper Svartvik, Nathan Söderblom, Leo Tolstoj, Gustaf Ullman, P. Waldenström, Kallistos Ware, Morris West, N.P. Wetterlund, Owe Wikström, Virginia Woolf, Birgitta Yavari, Göran Åberg.


My own comments and speculations:

In times of old wind and water co-operated to kill men. Now in a restoration perspective we see how water and spirit/wind co-operate to give men life.

To ’be begotten out of water and spirit” in the first place probably aims at the baptism of Jesus and his disciples (John 3:22; 4:2) and the gift of the Spirit (John 7:37-38; 20:22).

Concerning the double and the single "amen", see John 1:51a.


Paul said to the believers in Rome: "Which/the ones (God) has called, these ones He and/also has justified, but which/the ones He has justified, these ones He and/also has glorified." (Rom 8:30b)

This is the One having come through water and blood and spirit (א,* א, A), Jesus Christ, not in the water only, however/but in the water and in * (א,* א) blood and the Spirit is the One being a witness, because the Spirit is the truth. (1 John 5:6)


Greek words:

gerôn (old person) (in the NT + one example in the Apocrypha) John 3:4 – Sir 25:2.

deuteros-deuteron (second-second time) (in the NT + examples in the OT) Gen 22:15; Jer 1:13; Matt 26:42; John 3:4; Acts 12:10; 13:33 – Gen 1:8; Esther 3:13c(B3); Jer 33:1; Jonah 3:1; Judith 2:4; 1 Macc 9:1; 2 Macc 14:8; Sir 23:23; Matt 22:26,39; Mark 12:21,31; Luke 12:38; 19:18; 20:30; John 4:54; 9:24; Acts 7:13; 10:15; 11:9; 1 Cor 12:28; 15:47; 2 Cor 1:15; 13:2; Tit 3:10; Heb 8:7; 9:3,7,28; 10:9; 2 Pet 3:1; Jude v 5; Rev 2:11; 4:7; 6:3; 8:8; 11:14; 14:8; 16:3; 19:3; 20:6,14; 21:8,19.

eiserchomai (come in/into) (in John, the Acts, 1-3 John, Rev + examples in the Apocrypha) Esther 4:8; Wisdom of Solomon 1:4; John 3:4; Acts 16:15,40 – Esther 1:19; 2:12,15-16; 4:16; 5:1c(D6),14; 7:1; 9:25; Tobit 2:9,13; 4:10(BA); 5:7,9-10; 6:10,17; 7:1; 8:13; 9:6; Judith 14:14; 15:9; 1 Macc 1:21; 7:36; 8:19; 11:13; 12:3,48; 13:47; 14:2; 2 Macc 1:15; 9:2; 11:5; Wisdom of Solomon 2:24; 8:16; 10:16; Epistle of Jeremiah v 2; Susanna v 15(Theod),36(Theod). John 4:38; 10:1-2,9; 13:27; 18:1,28,33; 19:9; 20:8. Acts 1:13,21; 3:8; 5:7,10,21; 9:6,12,17; 10:3,24-25,27; 11:3,8,12; 14:1,20; 17:2; 18:7,19; 19:8,30; 20:29; 21:8; 23:16,33; 25:23; 28:8,16; Rev 3:20; 11:11; 15:8; 21:27; 22:14.

koilia (belly) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) 2 Macc 7:22; Matt 12:40; 19:12; Luke 1:15; John 3:4; Acts 3:2 – Tobit 4:4; Sir 19:12; 23:6; 36:18(20); 40:30; 51:21. Matt 15:17; Mark 7:19; Luke 1:41-42,44; 2:21; 11:27; 23:29; John 7:38; Acts 14:8; Rom 16:18; 1 Cor 6:13; Gal 1:15; Phil 3:19; Rev 10:9-10.

pôs (how) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Mark 10:23-24; Luke 1:34; John 3:4; Acts 2:8; 8:31 – Sir 25:3; 49:11. Matt 6:28; 7:4; 10:19; 12:4,26,29,34; 16:11; 21:20; 22:12,43,45; 23:33; 26:54; Mark 2:26; 3:23; 4:13,30; 5:16; 9:12; 11:18; 12:26,35,41; 14:1,11; Luke 6:42; 8:18,36; 10:26; 11:18,36; 12:11,27,50,56; 14:7; 18:24; 20:41,44; 22:2,4; John 3:9,12; 4:9; 5:44,47; 6:42,52; 7:15; 8:33; 9:10,15-16,19,21,26; 11:36; 12:34; 14:5,9. Acts 4:21; 9:27; 11:13; 12:17; 15:36; 20:18; Rom 3:6; 4:10; 6:2; 8:32; 10:14-15; 1 Cor 3:10; 7:32-34; 14:7,9,16; 15:12,35; 2 Cor 3:8; Gal 2:14; 4:9; Eph 5:15; Col 4:6; 1 Thess 1:9; 4:1; 2 Thess 3:7; 1 Tim 3:5,15; Heb 2:3; 1 John 3:17; Rev 3:3.


Additional studies:

Ex 14:21; Jer 51:1; Dan 2:44; Matt 1:20; 8:27; 18:3; 19:24; 21:31; Mark 4:41; 9:47; 10:14-15; Luke 18:25-27; John 3:3; 7:38; Acts 1:5; 10:47; 1 Cor 6:11; Eph 5:26; Tit 3:5; Rev 1:9; 5:10; 20:14; 21:27.


Linda L. Belleville "'Born of Water and Spirit' John 3:5"; Trinity Journal 1.2 (1980): 125-141.

F. Peter Cotterell "The Nicodemus Conversation: A Fresh Appraisal"; Expository Times 96 (1985): 237-242.

G. Forkman "Människans förändring - ett tema i Johannesevangeliet"; Svensk Exegetisk Årsbok 51 (1986): 57-64.

John W. Pryor "John 3:3,5: A Study in the Relation of John's Gospel to the Synoptic Tradition."; Journal for the Study of the New Testament 41 (1991): 71-95.

Gary S. Shogren "Presently entering the kingdom of Christ: the background and purpose of Col 1:12-14"; Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 31.2 (June 1988): 173-180.


(Original version 2007-12-01; revised version 2009-02-01; 2010-08-10; 2013-08-27; 2014-04-04)

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3:6-7 What having been (and being) begotten out of the flesh is flesh, and what has been (and is) begotten out of the Spirit is spirit. You may not wonder, that I spoke to you: 'You must be begotten from above.'

Word for word: 3:6 (15 words in the Greek text) 'the-(thing)'/what having-been-(and-being)-begotten out-of the flesh flesh is, and 'the-(thing)'/what having-been-(and-being)-begotten out-of the spirit spirit is. 3:7 (9 words in the Greek text) not you-may-wonder, that (i/I)-spoke (to)-you: 'it-is-necessary (for)-you'/'you must' be-begotten from-above.


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The Former Revelation (preliminary translation):

Moses spoke towards the Lord: "Let the Lord, the God of the spirits and every flesh, inspect a man upon/’with regard to’ this synagogue." (Num 27:15-16a, Greek OT)

The Lord talked towards Moses, saying: “Take towards yourself Jesus, the son of Nun, a man who has spirit in himself and put/lay your hands against, against him.” (Num 27:18, Greek OT)

(The Lord said to Israel:) "I shall give My Spirit in you and I will make/do (so), in order that you may go/walk in My fundamental laws, and My judicial verdicts you may watch/observe and make/do." (Ezek 36:27, Greek OT)

(Solomon said:) "I am indeed, and/also I, a mortal man equal (with) altogether and earthborn from (the) first moulded parents/ancestors. And in a mother's belly/womb flesh was carved/formed. (During) a time of ten months I (came to being) in blood out of a seed of a male and of an enjoyment of a having come together (in) a sleep/night." (Wisdom of Solomon 7:1-2)

(God) chose (Moses) out of every/all flesh. (Sir 45:4b)


The Latter Revelation:

(Mary) was found ‘having in womb’/’being with child’ out of holy spirit. (Matt 1:18b)

The men wondered saying: “Of what nature is this One, because and/both the winds and the sea hearken Him?” (Matt 8:27)

(Jesus said to some Pharisees: “Man/male and woman shall be) into/to one flesh, so that they are no longer two however/but one flesh.” (Matt 19:5b-6a)

(Jesus said to His disciples:) "Be awake and pray in order that you may not come into a test. The spirit (is) indeed willing, but the flesh (is) weak." (Mark 14:38)

(Jesus) (continually/repeatedly) said/told a parable to (His disciples) towards/’in regard to’ that they always must pray. (Luke 18:1a)

(Jesus said to His disciples): ”All the things having been (and being) written on account of Me in the law of Moses and in (א,*א) the prophets and psalms must be completed.” (Luke 24:44b)

(Peter said to the people:) “Why do you wonder on/’for the sake of’ this, or why do you gaze at us as an own ability or a reverence has made (and makes) (the lame man) to walk about?” (Acts 3:12b)

(Peter said to the leaders of the people and to the elders:) ”It/there is not ‘the other’/another name underneath the heaven, having been (and being) given in/among men, in which us/we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12b)


The Apostle, the eighth and one of the seven:

But as many as took him, to them He gave (judicial) authority to become children of God, to the ones believing into His name, who were begotten not out of bloods/blood, nor out of a will of flesh, nor out of a will of a male, however/but out of God. (John 1:12-13)


Exegetes, evangelists and others:

about 2000 - about 1500

No one is born Christian. John does not go into the question in more detail, why "flesh" is not suitable for the kingdom of God. ... He only states a fact: such we are born we still stand outside the kingdom of God. Therefore God must intervene and let us be born in another way, where he gives us life from above. (Bo Giertz "Evangelium enligt Johannes" p 43-44; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)

Formerly attempts were usually made to interpret the pneuma-sarx antithesis from Hellenistic thought. Only a few scholars argued against this for its origin in Judaism. But the latter view has now received strong support from the manuscripts recently discovered near the Dead Sea, for they are characterized by a similar dualism with a corresponding use of the concepts of “flesh” and “spirit” (cf. also Mark 13:48 par.). (Rudolf Schnackenburg “The Moral Teaching of the New Testament” p 174)

You live through the life of grace of your parents and on their life of grace. Consider if it is so. This is very dangerous. For some time when Christ comes, he does not ask: Did your father och mother live in me, but you, you yourself, did you live in me? Must you answer no to it, you become dismissed, while your father and mother enter eternal joy. (Karl Palmberg "Pilgrims tillfälliga betraktelser" p 51-52; Karl Palmberg /1842-1920/ was from 1883 a Lutheran clergyman in Månsarp in the diocese of Växjö and president in Jönköpings Missionsförening (Missionary Society) 1886-1911; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)

The teacher taught: A man can live a very long life, think himself being a respectable man and even be held in esteem as such a man. So a day comes, when you so to say wake up out of a sleep, see yourself as a ghost, and you shrink back answering: Is this one me? You discover acts being committed which now appear indefensible, and you ask yourself: How could I? ... Yes, once you glided into the crime, another time you were dragged at the hair, another time you fell into the trap. - But there are men so heavy with sleep, that they never wake up, and so little intelligent, that they are not able to realize how black they are. I just had a friend being sixty years old; in an outburst of stupid astonishment he said: Why are men so crossed with me? I am thinking I am a nice fellow! - and this man was a tyrant trampling the fortunes of men, an executioner executing on payment, a murderer telling lies about innocent ones, taking bribes, making use of simony and all sorts of vices. ... (He) was an evil nature, who, when he acted in accordance with his nature found this natural or right. He lived in full harmony with his nature and it seemed his equal ones that he was as a nice fellow, "sound", naive, and therefore was "nice in parties". When he died, I sketched out his character for an acquaintance. This one, being of the black wool, answered wholly in a naive way: "You are unjust to him, for I thought he was a nice fellow." This I must write down: "for I thought ..." (August Strindberg "En blå bok I" p 66; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)


about 1500 and time before

(Jesus Christ) was born after the flesh, that thou mightest be born after the Spirit; He was born of a woman, that thou mightest cease to be the son of a woman. (Chrysostom, The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers X:10)

Being ignorant of (Christ) ... (men) are deprived of His gift, which is eternal life. ... They remain in mortal flesh, and are debtors to death, not obtaining the antidote of life. (Irenaeus, The Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol I, p 448)

Man should never (suppose) ... that the incorruptibility which belongs to him is his own naturally ... as if he were naturally like to God. ... (He has) obtained from Him the gift of incorruptibility, that he might love Him more. (Irenaeus, The Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol I, p 450)

(The) former life is expelled, because it was not given by the Spirit, but by the breath. For the breath of life, which also rendered man an animated being, is one thing, and the vivifying Spirit another, which also caused him to become spiritual. And for this reason Isaiah said, “Thus saith the Lord, who made heaven and established it, who founded the earth and the things therein, and gave breath to the people upon it, and Spirit to those walking upon it;” thus telling us that breath is indeed given in common to all people upon earth, but that the Spirit is theirs alone who tread down earthly desires. ... The breath, then, is temporal, but the Spirit eternal. The breath, too, increases (in strength) for a short period, and continues for a certain time; after that it takes its departure, leaving its former abode destitute of breath. But when the Spirit pervades the man within and without, inasmuch as it continues there, it never leaves him. (Irenaeus, The Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol I, p 537-538)


Examples of other quoted authors in the Swedish version: Eskil Albertsson, Eric S. Alexandersson, Elisabeth Beskow, V. Raymond Edman, Bo Frid, Einar Genitz, Johannes Gossner, Axel Gustafsson, Peter Halldorf, Alf Henrikson, Bengt Hägglund, Stanley Jones, Karl Kilsmo, Lars Levi Laestadius, Severin Larsen, Martin Luther, H.M. Melin, Fredrik Nielsen, Agne Nordlander, Lewi Pethrus, E. Aug. Skogsbergh, Jesper Svartvik, Thomas a Kempis, P. Waldenström, Carl Fr. Wislöff.


My own comments and speculations: In a restoration perspective we can read John 3:6 in the light of Num 27:15.


Paul said to the believers in Rome: "The ones being according to flesh consider/think the things of the flesh, but the ones being according to spirit (think) the things of the Spirit. For the way of thinking of the flesh (is) death, but the way of thinking of the Spirit (is) life and peace, for the reason that the way of thinking of the flesh (is) hating into/’for the purpose of’ God, for it does not arrange itself under the law of God, for nor it is able. But/and the ones being in flesh are not able to please God. But you are not in flesh, however/but in spirit, if just a spirit of God inhabits in you. But if anyone does not have a spirit of Christ, this one is not of Him.” (Rom 8:5-9)

Do not wonder, brothers, if the adornment/’adorned world’ hates you. (1 John 3:13)

In this we (א*) have knowledge of the Spirit of God: every spirit which confesses Jesus Christ having come (and coming) in flesh is out of God. (1 John 4:2)


Greek words:

thaumazô (wonder) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Matt 8:27; John 3:7; Acts 3:12; 1 John 3:13 – Esther 4:17c,p(C3,21); Tobit 11:16; Judith 10:7,19,23; 11:20; 2 Macc 1:22; Wisdom of Solomon 8:11; 11:14; Sir 7:29; 11:21; 26:11; 38:3; 43:24. Matt 8:10; 9:33; 15:31; 21:20; 22:22; 27:14; Mark 5:20; 6:6; 15:5,44; Luke 1:21,63; 2:18,33; 4:22; 7:9; 8:25; 9:43; 11:14,38; 20:26; 24:12,41; John 4:27; 5:20,28; 7:15,21; Acts 2:7; 4:13; 7:31; 13:41; Gal 1:6; 2 Thess 1:10; Jude v 16; Rev 13:3; 17:6-8.

dei (one must/’has to’) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Luke 18:1; 24:44; John 3:7; Acts 4:12 – Tobit 12:1(BA); 1 Macc 12:11; 2 Macc 6:20; 11:18; 13:20; Wisdom of Solomon 12:19; 15:12; 16:4,28; Sir Prologue; Epistle of Jeremiah v 5. Matt 16:21; 17:10; 18:33; 23:23; 24:6; 25:27; 26:35,54; Mark 8:31; 9:11; 13:7,10,14; 14:31; Luke 2:49; 4:43; 9:22; 11:42; 12:12; 13:14,16,33; 15:32; 17:25; 19:5; 21:9; 22:7,37; 24:7,26; John 3:14,30; 4:4,20,24; 9:4; 10:16; 12:34; 20:9. Acts 1:16,21(22), 3:21; 5:29; 9:6,16; 14:22; 15:5; 16:30; 17:3; 19:21,36; 20:35; 21:22(P74,א,*א,A); 23:11; 24:19; 25:10,24; 26:9; 27:21,24,26; Rom 1:27; 8:26; 12:3; 1 Cor 8:2; 11:19; 15:25,53; 2 Cor 2:3; 5:10; 11:30; 12:1; Eph 6:20; Col 4:4,6; 1 Thess 4:1; 2 Thess 3:7; 1 Tim 3:2,7,15; 5:13; 2 Tim 2:6,24; Tit 1:7,11; Heb 2:1; 9:26; 11:6; 1 Pet 1:6; 2 Pet 3:11; Rev 1:1,19(א*); Rev 4:1; 10:11; 11:5; 13:10; 17:10; 20:3; 22:6.


Additional studies:

Deut 34:9; Is 31:3; Ezek 11:19; 18:31; Matt 26:41; Mark 10:8-9; Luke 24:39; John 3:3; 4:24; 6:63; Rom 7:14-18; 1 Cor 15:50; Gal 6:8; Eph 2:3; Phil 3:3; Rev 22:11.


F. Peter Cotterell "The Nicodemus Conversation: A Fresh Appraisal"; Expository Times 96 (1985): 237-242.

E.A.C. Pretorius "The opposition (pnevma) and (sarx) as persuavive summons (Galatians 5:13-6:10)"; 26.2 Neotestamentica (1992): 441-460.


(Original version 2007-12-01; revised version 2009-02-02; 2010-08-14; 2013-08-28; 2014-04-24)

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3:8 The Spirit blows whereat/where it wants, and you hear its voice. However, you do not know from where it comes, and where it withdraws. In this way is 'every the'/everyone having been (and being) begotten out of the water and (א,*א) the Spirit.

Word for word (29 words in the Greek text Sinaiticus): the spirit whereat (it)-wants blows and the voice its you-hear, however not (you)-'know-(and-have-known)'/know from-where (it)-comes and where (it)-withdraws; in-this-way is 'every the'/everyone having-been-(and-being)-begotten out-of the water and the spirit.


The Former Revelation (preliminary translation):

The Lord led a south ‘wind wind’/wind against, against the earth/land that whole day and the whole night. It became early in the day, and the south ‘wind wind’/wind took up the locust/locusts (being over all the land of Egypt). ... The Lord threw/turned about a wind from ‘an extreme’/’a vehement’ sea, and took up the locust/locusts and threw it/them in, into the Red Sea. (Ex 10:13b,19a, Greek OT)

Moses stretched out the hand against the sea. And the Lord withdrew the sea in/with a violent south wind the whole night, and He made the sea dried out, and the water was split/divided. And the sons of Israel came into, into a middle of the sea ‘according to’/over the dried out thing. (Ex 14:21-22a, Greek OT)

(Job said:) ”Remember so that my life (is) spirit.” (Job 7:7a, Greek OT)

(The Lord asked Job:) "From where ... is a south wind strewed asunder into/to the (earth) underneath heaven." (Job 38:24, Greek OT)

(The psalmist said: “The Lord) will blow His spirit, and waters will deliver.” (Ps 147:18b, Greek OT)

(Solomon said: “The ones) keeping/watching wind will not sow. ... (They have) not knowledge what the way of the spirit is. As bones in the womb being pregnant, in this way you will not have knowledge of the pieces of workmanship of God, as many as He will make together with all the things." (Eccl 11:5, Greek OT)

"My ways are not just as your ways", the Lord says. "However, as the heaven holds off from the earth, in this way My way holds off from your ways." (Is 55:8b-9a, Greek OT)

(Solomon said: “A wicked one) will move to and fro by a wind ... (Wisdom of Solomon 4:4b)

(Jesus, the son of Sirach, said: “As) a man will not behold a sudden shift of wind, more/most of the works (of the Lord are) in things hidden away. (Sir 16:21)

A spirit blows in every district. (Epistle of Jeremiah v 60b)


The Latter Revelation:

Having come to (Jesus) one scribe spoke to Him: "Teacher, I will follow You whereat - if according to the circumstances - You may go away." And Jesus says to him: "The foxes have dens, and the flying creatures of the heaven (have) resting-places, but the Son of the Man has not (a place) where He may lean the head." (Matt 8:19-20)

On the going of (the disciples of John the Baptist) Jesus began to say (to) the crowds on account of John: "What did you come out into the desolate (district) to view? A reed moving to and fro by a wind?" (Matt 11:7)

Straight off the Spirit throws/drives (Jesus) out into the desolate (district). (Mark 1:12)

(Jesus) (continually/repeatedly) said: "The kingdom of God is in this way as a man (who) may throw the sowing upon the earth ... The sowing may sprout and be lengthened, (in a way) as he himself does not know." (Mark 4:26,27b)

The ones coming and the ones withdrawing (continually) were many. ... (Mark 6:31b)

(Jesus said to His disciples:) “Withdraw! Behold, I dispatch you away as rams in a middle of wolves.” (Luke 10:3)

(Jesus said to the crowds:) “On a south wind's blowing, you say: ‘It comes (P45, א*)’ a heat, and it becomes/’comes about’.” (Luke 12:55b)

(The) Spirit of the Lord raped/snatched (Philip) ... into Azotus. (Acts 8:39b-40a)

Having come ‘according to’/downwards Mysia, (Paul and Barnabas) tried to go into Bithynia, and/but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them. (Acts 16:7)


The Apostle, the eighth and one of the seven:

(And John the Baptist was a witness saying:) "I did not know (and had not known) (Jesus), however/but the One having sent me to baptize in the (P66,א,*א) water, that One spoke to me: ‘(The One) against whom you – according to the circumstances - may behold the Spirit descending and staying against Him, this One is the One baptizing in holy spirit.’" (John 1:33)


Exegetes, evangelists and others:

about 2000 and time before

As suddenly as (Philip) had emerged on the way, in the same way he suddenly was away. Luke lets something mysterious fall on the event. Afterwards Philip again emerges in Asdod, one of the cities in the neighbourhood. The wind blows where it wants, and so it is when you are driven by the Spirit. (Bo Giertz "Apostlagärningarna" p 71 in comment to Acts 8:26-40; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)

I could say that God's gift of grace to the Pentecostal Revival has been the gift of the spontaneity. . . . Beloved, there is no routine or technique, which can replace the Holy Spirit. (Sven Lidman "Resan till domen" s 205,210; The Week of Kölingared June 1947; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)

For the present I am sitting still . . . waiting for the next sudden shift of wind. (August Strindberg "August Strindbergs brev XV april 1904-april 1907" s 61; letter 1904-08-31 to Harriet Bosse; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)

"I do not know why, but I like you", (the blast-furnace master) Sven during the meal familiarly said to the upper-school scholars (from Växjö). "Where are you going tomorrow?" "To east, west, south or north", Adolf answered. "We go where the wind blows." (Viktor Rydberg "De vandrande djäknarne" p 17; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)


Examples of other quoted authors in the Swedish version: Carl Jonas Love Almqvist, Werner Aspenström, Elisabeth Beskow, Lars-Ola Borglid, Julian Charley, Grazia Deledda, Lars Magnar Enoksen, P. Fjellstedt, Carl Grimberg, G.A. Gustafson, Josef Gustafsson, Peter Halldorf, Dag Hammarskjöld, Henrik Ibsen, J.P. Jacobsen, Betty Janson, Johannes V. Jensen, Erik Johannesson, Viktor Johansson, Gunlög Järhult, Annty Landherr, Hans Larsson, Jonas Lie, Tage Lindbom, Ebba Lindqvist, Frank Mangs, Rocky Marciano, Harry Martinsson, Carl Henrik Martling, Vilhelm Moberg, Fabian Månsson, Steffen Neil, Fredrik Nielsen, Fritiof Nilsson Piraten, Sigurd Ohlsson, Vibeke Olsson, James Innel Packer, Anna M. Roos, Klaas Runia, Dag Sandahl, Gunnar E. Sandgren, Bo Setterlind, Gösta Stenström, Sven Stolpe, A.M. Strinnholm, Sung Yü, Anne Swärd, Rabindranath Tagore, Anthony C. Thiselton, Gustaf Wikner, Sigurd Wildte, Göran Åberg.


My own comments and speculations:

As the reed follows the wind now to and now fro, so the man begotten from above follows the Spirit. In a restoration perspective we can read John 3:8 in the light of Wisdom of Solomon 4:4. The wind which once got the wicked one to move, now in stead influences the one being begotten by the Spirit.


Paul said to the believers in Rome: "As many as are led (with) a spirit of God, these are sons of God." (Rom 8:14)


Greek words:

pneô (blow) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Epistle of Jeremiah v 60; Luke 12:55; John 3:8 – 2 Macc 9:7; Sir 43:16,20; Matt 7:25; John 6:18; Acts 27:40; Rev 7:1.

(h)ypagô (withdraw) (in the NT) Mark 6:31; Luke 10:3; John 3:8 – Matt 4:10; 5:24,41; 8:4,13,32; 9:6; 13:44; 16:23; 18:15; 19:21; 20:4,7,14; 21:28; 26:18,24; 27:65; 28:10; Mark 1:44; 2:9(P88,א,*א),11; 5:19,34; 6:33,38; 7:29; 8:33; 10:21,52; 11:2; 14:13,21; 16:7; Luke 8:42; 12:58; 17:14; 19:30; John 4:16; 6:21,67; 7:3,33; 8:14,21-22; 9:7,11; 11:8,31,44; 12:11,35; 13:3,33,36; 14:4-5,28; 15:16; 16:5,10,17; 18:8; 21:3; Jas 2:16; 1 John 2:11; Rev 10:8; 13:10; 14:4; 16:1; 17:8,11.


Additional studies: Ps 135:7; Eccl 1:6; Ezek 37:9-10; Wisdom of Solomon 5:11-12; Luke 7:24; 9:58; John 6:45; 14:17; 16:13; Acts 8:39; 1 Cor 2:11; 2 Pet 1:21; Rev 7:13-14; 11:1.

F. Peter Cotterell "The Nicodemus Conversation: A Fresh Appraisal"; Expository Times 96 (1985): 237-242.


(Original version 2007-12-01; revised version 2009-02-02; 2010-08-18; 2013-09-03; 2014-04-25)

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3:9-12 Nicodemus answered Him and spoke to Him: "How are these things able to become/’come about’?" Jesus answered and spoke to him: "Are you the teacher of Israel and have not knowledge of these things? Amen, amen, I say to you that/: ‘We talk of what we know and are witnesses to what we have beheld (and behold), and you do not take our evidence.’ If I have spoken the earthly things to you and you do not believe, how will you believe, if I – according to the circumstances – may speak the heavenly things to you?"

Word for word: 3:9 (9 words in the Greek text): answered Nikodemus and spoke (to)-him: how are-able-to these-(things) become? 3:10 (15 words in the Greek text): answered Jesus and spoke (to)-him: you are the teacher (of)-the Israel and (these)-things not (you)-have-knowledge-of? 3:11 (18 words in the Greek text): amen amen (i/I)-say you that which/what (we)-'know-(and-have-known)'/know (we)-talk-(of) and which/what (we)-have-beheld-(and-behold) (we)-are-witnesses-(to), and the evidence our not (you)-take. 3:12 (15 words in the Greek text): If the 'on-earth'/earthly-(things) (i/I)-spoke (to)-you and not (you)-believe, how if-according-to-the-circumstances (i/I)-may-speak (to)-you the 'on-heaven'/heavenly-(things) will-(you)-believe?


The Former Revelation (preliminary translation):

(The Lord said to Israel:) “Honour your father and the mother, in order that it may become/’come about’ you well, and in order that you may become long-lived upon the earth/land, the good one, which the Lord, your God, gives you.” (Ex 20:12, Greek OT)

(Moses said to Israel:) “This commandment which I to-day enjoin you is not of excessive bulk, nor (it is) far from you. It is not up in the heaven (so that you must) say: ‘Who will ascend into the heaven for us and take it to us? And having heard it we will make/do it.’” (Deut 30:11-12, Greek OT)

(The Lord said to Job:) "Do you have insight in solstices of heaven?" (Job 38:33a, Greek OT)

(David said: “God authorizes) the heavenly thing (to be) kings upon (the earth).” (Ps 68:14a or 68:15a, Greek OT)

(Solomon said:) "We hardly portrays the things upon earth, and in company with hardship we find the things in hands/'the nearness'. But who has spied the things in heavens?" (Wisdom of Solomon 9:16)


The Latter Revelation:

Separate from a parable Jesus did not (continually) talk (with the people), but ‘according to’/concerning the own thing He (continually) loosed/explained all things to the own disciples. (Mark 4:34)

(Jesus said to the seventy:) “The one hearing you, hears Me.” (Luke 10:16a)

(Jesus said to His disciples:) "Having come will the Son of the Man consequently find the faith upon the earth?" (Luke 18:8b)

(Jesus said to the priest leaders and the scribes:) "If I – according to the circumstances – may speak to you (that I am the Christ), you may not/certainly not believe." (Luke 22:67b)


The Apostle, the eighth and one of the seven:

It became a man having been (and being) dispatched away from the side of God. A name to him (continually) was (א*) John. This one came into/’for the purpose of’ an evidence, in order that he might be a witness on account of the light, in order that all might believe through him. That one was (continually) not the light, however/but (he became) in order that he might be a witness on account of the light. (John 1:6-8)


Exegetes, evangelists and others:

about 2000 - about 1500

Nicodemus as the representative of the people of God ought above all men to have understood the meaning of the Spirit and birth from above, since his own authoritative book, the Old Testament, itself bears witness to these themes. (C.K. Barrett "The Gospel according to St John" p 211)

The earnestness of the general is somewhat like a breath of a smile - the grave but gracious smile of a man knowing the secrets of the deliberations of both the heavenly and the earthly mights, for the general also has a religious pathos, a trait of an old military earnestness . . . "God save the king and the native country" - a religiousness which his position as First chamberlain to the queen still more has increased. (Sven Lidman "Carl Silfverstååhls upplevelser" p 160; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)


about 1500 and time before

All earthly things are representations of heavenly ones, and all heavenly own their prototypes in (the highest, empyreal) heaven. The earthly things were formed by a coarser matter, the heavenly ones by a finer, for the influence of (the angels) more available; the prototypes are immaterial. . . . Every thing on the earth consequently does not only stand under the influence of its angel, but also in interaction with the planets, the fixed stars and the prototypes. The universe is a zither, which strings, stroken at the one end, vibrate along its whole length. (Viktor Rydberg "Medeltidens magi" p 8-9; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)

Isaac was a type of this Birth. For tell me, Nicodemus, how was he born? Was it according to the law of nature? By no means! (Chrysostom, The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers XIV:92)

Which is best, tell me, to converse on things relating to the market, or things in the law courts, or in the camp, or on things in heaven, and on what shall be after our departure hence? (Chrysostom, The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers XIV:65-66)

One and the same God has made some things temporal and some eternal, some heavenly and others earthly. (Irenaeus, The Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol I, p 331)


Examples of other quoted authors in the Swedish version: Nancy Collins, Galileo Galilei, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Carl Grimberg, Folke Hyltén-Cavallius, Lars Levi Laestadius, Sven Lidman, Martin Lönnebo, Karl Palmberg, Isaac Basjevis Singer, August Strindberg, Anton Tjechov, P. Waldenström.


My own comments and speculations:

Concerning "amen, amen", see John 1:51a with My own comments and speculations. Concerning “be a witness to ... evidence”, see John 1:6-8.


Paul said: "(You have been given the name 'Jew' ... and are persuaded that you yourself are) an educator of thoughtless ones, a teacher of infants, having in the law the shaping of the knowledge and the truth. So ‘the one’/you teaching the other, do you not teach yourself?" (Rom 2:20-21a)

Paul said to the believers in Corinth: "A man with (only) soul does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for it is folly to him, and he is not able to gain knowledge, because it is spiritually examined." (1 Cor 2:14)

(These things we write) on account of the Saying of the life, what (continually) was from a beginning, what we have heard (and hear), what our eyes have beheld (and behold), what we viewed and (what) our hands felt (on). And the life was made visible, and we have beheld (and behold) and we are witnesses and bring a message to you (about) the agelong life, whichever/which (continually) was towards the Father and was made visible to you. What we have beheld (and behold) and have heard (and hear) we bring away a message and/also to you, in order that and/also you may have communion in company with us. And but/further (we have) our communion in company with the Father and in company with His Son, Jesus Christ. (1 John 1:1-3)


Greek words:

epigeios (earthly) John 3:12 – 1 Cor 15:40; 2 Cor 5:1; Phil 2:10; 3:19; Jas 3:15. (Cf. “epi tês gês” “upon the earth” in Ex 20:12; Deut 5:16; Luke 18:8)

epouranios (heavenly) (in the NT) John 3:12 – 1 Cor 15:40,48-49; Eph 1:3,20; 2:6; 3:10; 6:12; Phil 2:10; 2 Tim 4:18; Heb 3:1; 6:4; 8:5; 9:23; 11:16; 12:22. (In 3 Macc 6:28; 7:6 we have the word “epouranios” applied to God.)


Additional studies: Luke 1:34; 2:46; 5:17; John 3:31-32; 5:19; 6:52,60; 7:16; 8:26,38,40,45; 9:30; 12:49; 14:24; Rev 1:2,9; 2:6.

F. Peter Cotterell "The Nicodemus Conversation: A Fresh Appraisal"; Expository Times 96 (1985): 237-242.

Christo Saayman "The textual strategy in John 3:12-14: Preliminary observations."; Neotestamentica 29.1 (1995): 27-48.


(Original version 2007-12-01; revised version 2009-02-02; 2010-08-20; 2013-09-06; 2014-04-26)

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3:13 And no one has ascended (and ascends) into the heaven, ‘if not’/except the One having descended out of the heaven, the Son of the Man.

Word for word (17 words in the Greek text): and no-one has-ascended-(and-ascends) into the heaven if not the-(one) out-of the heaven having-descended, the son (of)-the (of)-man.


The Former Revelation (preliminary translation):

God ascended from (Israel) out of the place, where He had talked in company with him. (Gen 35:13, Greek OT)

(The Lord said to Moses): "I have descended to take (My people) out for Myself, out of the hand of the Egyptians and to lead them out, out of that earth/land and to lead them into, into a good and ‘much earth’/’large land’." (Ex 3:8a, Greek OT)

The Lord descended against the mountain Sinai, against the top of the mountain ... and Moses ascended. (Ex 19:20, Greek OT)

(The Lord said:) "Moses alone shall draw near towards the Lord, but (the elders) shall not draw near. But/and the people shall not ascend in company with them." (Ex 24:2, Greek OT)

(The Lord is) God up in the heaven and down upon the earth. ... (Deut 4:39b, Greek OT)

(The Lord) buried (Moses) in Gai in 'an earth'/'a land' of Moab near a house of Phogor. And no one knows 'not nothing'/anything of his burial place till this day. (Deut 34:6, Greek OT)

(David said to the Lord:) “You ascended into a height having led a captivity in captivity. You took gifts in a man, for and/also the disobeying ones (will) pitch a tent.” (Ps 68:18a or 68:19a, Greek OT)

(Agur said:) “Who has ascended into the heaven and descended? Who has led winds together in a bosom? Who has turned together water in a garment? Who has got power over all the borders of the earth? What (is) a name to Him or what (is) a name to His children, in order that you may have knowledge?” (Prov 30:4, Greek OT)

(Israel) will take/'take up' this wailing against the king of Babylon and speak in that day: "... How fell/'(did not) ... fall' the Morningstar, the one sticking up early in the day, fall out of, out of the heaven! The one dispatching away (men) towards all the nations may be crushed into/against the earth! But/then you spoke in your mind: 'I will ascend into the heaven, I will put/set my throne above the constellations of the heaven.'" (Is 14:4a,12-13a, Greek OT)

(Solomon said to the Lord:) “Dispatch (wisdom) out, out of holy heavens and send her from the throne of Your glory, in order that being together (with me) by the side of me, she may bother, and I may gain knowledge of what is well-pleasing by the side of You.” (Wisdom of Solomon 9:10)

(The prophet said to Israel:) “Who has ascended into the heaven and taken (the wisdom) and precipitated it out of the clouds?” (Baruch 3:29)


The Latter Revelation:

(The priest leaders and the scribes said to Jesus:) “… Descend now from the cross, in order that we may behold and believe!” (Mark 15:32a)

(Zacharias said:) "‘An upsticking’/’a sunrise’ will inspect us out of a height." (Luke 1:78b)

(Some in the crowds) (continually) sought a sign out of a heaven from the side of (Jesus). … (He said:) “This generation is an evil generation. It seeks a sign, and a sign shall not be given to it ‘if not’/except the sign of Jonah. For entirely as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, in this way will and/also the Son of the Man be to this generation.” (Luke 11:16b,29b-30)

(On the disciples') seeing (Jesus) He was lifted against/up and a cloud took Him from below, from their eyes. (Acts 1:9b)

(Peter said to the Jews: "Jesus was) heightened (at) the right (hand) of God ... for David did not ascended into the heavens " (Acts 2:33a,34a)

Jacob descended into Egypt. (Acts 7:15a)

Having beheld what Paul had made/done the crowds ... (said): “The gods having been/become like men have descended towards us.” (Acts 14:11)

Having descended into Caesarea (and) having ascended and greeted (the assembly) of called out, Paul descended into Antioch. (Acts 18:22)

Exegetes, evangelists and others:

about 2000 and time before

Alan F. Segal ... asserts that the background for the (heavenly journey) motif is found in a pattern similar to what was commonly found in the Near East and took shape and presented itself in different ways prevalent at the time. The pattern, according to Segal, concerns the relationship between a perfect heaven and an imperfect world. The mediator can arrive from either direction (katabasis or anabasis). (Leif Carlsson ”Round trips to heaven” p 15)

In the meeting with Jesus from Nazareth man is placed before a radically otherwise idea of the world. While the Greeks represent a spiritual way of living which ascends to God, Paul speaks about a God having descended to the men. Here is one of the great differences between Jerusalem and Athen. (Peter Halldorf "Andens folk" p 280 in comment to Acts 17; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)

What about the legends concerning the various apocalyptic seers who were supposed to have been taken in vision up to heaven (Daniel, Enoch, Baruch)? We may remember also that Moses was thought to have seen heavenly things on Mount Sinai and to have been admitted into heaven after his death. Evidently Jesus refuses to be put on a plane with these heavenly pilgrims; his association with heaven is much more profound than what had been given by a vision. (Raymond E. Brown "The Gospel according to John" p 135)


Examples of other quoted authors in the Swedish version: Abd el-Halik Nouri, Johannes Gossner, Bengt Hägglund, Agne Nordlander, Thede Palm, John Stott, Birgitta Yavari.


My own comments and speculations:

As the Lord descended to save His people into Canaan, so Jesus has descended to save the adornment/’adorned world’ into Himself (John 3:17). Jesus is the Lord descending out of the heaven rather than Moses, who was drawn out of the water (Ex 2:10) to ascend to the top of Sinai.

Concerning "The Son of the Man", see My own comments and speculations to John 1:51b.


Paul said to the believers in Corinth: ”The second man (came) out of a heaven.” (1 Cor 15:47b)


Additional studies:

Ex 19:23-24; Deut 30:11-12; Is 55:11; Wisdom of Solomon 18:14-16; John 1:51; 3:31; 6:38,42,62; 20:17; John 20:17; Rom 10:6; Eph 4:8-10; Rev 1:13; 10:1; 11:7; 12:12; 17:8; 18:1; 21:2.


David Alan Black "The text of John 3:13"; Grace Theological Journal 6.1 (Spring 1985): 49-66.

Dirk G. van der Merwe "Towards a theological understanding of Johannine discipleship"; 31.2 Neotestamentica (1997): 339-360.

John W. Pryor "The Johannine Son of Man and the descent-ascent motif"; Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 34.3 (Sept. 1991): 341-351.

Christo Saayman "The textual strategy in John 3:12-14: Preliminary observations."; Neotestamentica 29.1 (1995): 27-48.


(Original version 2007-12-01; revised version 2009-02-03; 2010-08-23; 2013-09-12; 2014-04-27)

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3:14-15 And entirely as Moses heightened the serpent in the desolate (district), in this way must the Son of the Man be heightened, in order that 'every the'/everyone believing into (P63, א,* א, A) Him may have agelong life.

Word for word: 3:14 (16 words in the Greek text) And entirely-as Moses heightened the serpent in the desolate, in-this-way be-heightened must the son (of)-the (of)-man 3:15 (9 words in the Greek text) in-order-that every the believing into him may-have life agelong


The Former Revelation (preliminary translation):

The chest/ark ... was heightened from the earth. (Gen 7:17b, Greek OT)

(The Lord said to Moses:) "'Every the'/everyone having been (and being) bitten shall, having beheld (the serpent), live." (Num 21:8b, Greek OT)

Moses made a serpent of copper and caused it to stand upon a sign. And it became, when – according to the circumstances – a serpent bit a man, he saw against, against the serpent of copper and lived. (Num 21:9, Greek OT)

… (The prophet) beheld the Lord being seated upon a throne, high and being lifted upon/up. (Is 6:1a, Greek OT)

(The Lord said:) "Behold, my boy will be together (with Me), and he will be heightened and extremely glorified." (Is 52:13, Greek OT)

Many of the ones sleeping entirely/soundly in/on the breadth of the earth will stand up, ‘the ones’/these indeed into agelong life, but the ones/others into asunderspread sowing and agelong shame. (Dan 12:2, Greek OT)

(Tobit said to the sons of Israel:) “If according to the circumstances you may turn yourselves next to (God) towards Him in/with ‘your whole’/’all your’ heart and in/with ‘your whole’/’all your’ soul to make/do truth in the very eyes of Him, then He will turn Himself next to (you) towards you and He may ‘not not’/certainly not any longer hide His face from you. And now … heighten the King of the ages.” (Tobit 13:6-7, BA)

The king of the adornment/’adorned world’ will cause us, having died in favour/defence of the laws (of the Lord), to stand up into an agelong revival. (2 Macc 7:9b)

(Solomon said: "The people of God) were (continually) throughout ruined of/by crooked serpents ... The one having turned himself next to (the serpent) (continually) was saved, not because of the thing to be looked at, however/but because of You, the Saviour of all." (Wisdom of Solomon 16:5b,7)

(Jesus, the son of Sirach, said: “Wisdom) will heighten (the one having power over the law) ‘to the side’/’in the presence’ of the ones (being) his neighbour.” (Sir 15:5a)


The Latter Revelation: (Jesus said to His apostles:) ”Behold, I dispatch you away as sheep in a middle of wolves. So become sensible as the serpent (א*) and unblended/innocent as the pigeons.” (Matt 10:16)

Behold, one having come to (Jesus) spoke: “Teacher, having (א,*א) made what good thing will I inherit agelong life?” (Matt 19:16)

(Jesus said to the priest leaders and the elders of the people:) “The kingdom of God will be lifted from you and be given to a nation making/giving its fruits.” (Matt 21:43b)

(Jesus said to the crowds and to His disciples:) “Whoever will humble himself will be heightened.” (Matt 23:12b)

The eyes of all in the synagogue (continually) were gazing at (Jesus). (Luke 4:20b)

It became/’came about’ in the completing together/’in connection’ with the days of the taking up (of Jesus), and/that He Himself ‘set fast’/directed His (א,*א,A) face to go into Jerusalem. (Luke 9:51)

(Jesus said to the seventy:) “Behold, I have given (and give) you the (judicial) authority to tread above serpents and scorpions and against every ability of the enemy, and nothing will (א,* א, A) * (א*) act unrighteously (against) you.” (Luke 10:19)

(Jesus) spoke to (the disciples): "Amen I say to you * (א*): ‘It/there is no one who has let habitation be or woman or brothers or parents or children, with respect to the kingdom of God, who ‘not by no means’/’by no means’ may take away/aside many times as many in this seasonable time and agelong life in the coming age.’" (Luke 18:29-30)

(Peter said to the Jews:) "Having so been heightened (at) the right (hand) of God both/and having taken from the side of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, (Jesus) poured out this which you see and hear." (Acts 2:33)

They believed, as many as (continually) were (and had been) arranged into an agelong life. (Acts 13:48b)

An adder, having come out from the warmth (of the seat of the fire), fastened entirely on the hand of (Paul). ... The barbarians ... (continually) said: “... The justice has not allowed him to live. Having so shaken off the little wild animal into the fire he indeed suffered nothing bad. (Acts 28:3b-5)


Exegetes, evangelists and others:

about 2000 - about 1500

Eternal life is nothing else than the life of God himself. We enter into that life through believing in Jesus Christ. ... Eternal life is not for the man who does as he likes; it is for the man who does as Jesus Christ likes. (William Barclay ”New Testament Words” p 38,40)

The Targum (Jonathan) interprets the meaning of looking on the serpent as turning one's heart to (the name) of the memra (= word) of God. (Cf. Raymond E. Brown "The Gospel according to John" p 133)

Now round the tabernacle of the law a united people goes its course, breaks out through swords and lances towards the Jordan of freedom. But why do crowds of combatants turn pale? Why did the banner sink down? Sly fever serpents sneak ravaging in the way of the army. Where is salvation? Here is salvation! See the sign which the Lord gave, see how the copper serpent shines, wriggled round the staff of the prophet! And, as Israel goes saved by the healing symbol, healthy, strong generations wander up towards the destination of mankind! (Viktor Rydberg "Kantat vid jubelfestpromotionen i Uppsala den 6 september 1877" p I:426; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)

Hold yourself by heart to this Son and know, that salvation is in nobody else. Just as the serpent-bitten ones, when they heard that God has loved them so that He to their salvation had let hang up the Bronze Serpent, at once turned their eyes to this serpent and knew, that there was salvation there but not elsewhere. (P. Waldenström "Högmessotexter II" p 54 in comment to Matt 28:18-20; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)


about 1500 and time before

Seest thou the relationship of the type to the reality? there the Jews escaped death, but the temporal, here the believers the eternal; there the hanging serpent healed the bites of serpents, here the Crucified Jesus cured the wounds inflicted by the spiritual dragon. (Chrysostom, The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers XIV:94)

Men can be saved in no other way from the old wound of the serpent than by believing in Him who, in the likeness of sinful flesh, is lifted up from earth upon the tree of martyrdom, and draws all things to Himself and vivifies the dead. (Irenaeus, The Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol I, p 465)

They, who were in the habit of hearing Moses and the prophets, did also readily receive the First-begotten of the dead, and the Prince of the life of God, - Him who, by the spreading forth of hands, did destroy Amalek, and vivify man from the wound of the serpent, by means of faith which was (exercised) towards Him. ... “All men come short of the glory of God,” and are not justified of themselves, but by the advent of the Lord, - they who earnestly direct their eyes towards His light. (Irenaeus, The Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol I, p 495,499)


Examples of other quoted authors in the Swedish version: Erik Beijer, Manfred Björkquist, E.J. Ekman, Bo Frid, Claes Lindskog, Helge Lööf, Efraim Palmqvist, LC Retzius, Jesper Svartvik, Nils Tägt, Per Erik Åbom.


My own comments and speculations:

Early Christian writers as Barnabas, Justin and Tertullian treat the serpent as a type of Jesus. Barrett says (p 214), that this doesn't seem to be John's intention. But on account of the occurrence of all other types of Jesus in the Gospel of John also this type seems to be probable. This said with all due deference to Barrett and his reasoning.

I have translated the word ”aiônios” by “agelong”. This is an unusual translation, which almost all serious exegetes mean is inappropriate or wrong. So the reader must be on his guard, and I am interested in points of view concerning this question. However, I mean that the word “aidios” (Wisdom of Solomon 7:26, Rom 1:20 and Jude v 6) better corresponds the English words “eternal” and “everlasting”. Furthermore “aiônios” in Luke 16:9 (”mamôna tês adikias … eklipê dexôntai ymas eis tas aiônious skênas”; cf. Sir 24:9 ”eôs aiônos ou mê eklipô”) in its context very well can refer to the “tents” of the Christians in this age rather than to eternal dwellings in a future Jerusalem. I also wonder, what Greek word corresponds the English word “agelong”, if not “aiônios” would be appropriate.

Concerning "the Son of the Man", see My own comments and speculations to John 1:51b. Concerning “believing into”, see My own comments and speculations to John 1:12-13.


Paul said: "The pays of the miss (of the mark of God) (are) death, but God's gift of joybringing (grace) (is) agelong life in Christ Jesus, our Lord." (Rom 6:23)

And the life was made visible, and we have beheld (and behold) and we are witnesses and bring a message to you (about) the agelong life, whichever/which (continually) was towards the Father and was made visible to you. (1 John 1:2)

These things I have written to you, in order that you may know, that you have an agelong life, the ones believing into the name of the Son of God. (1 John 5:13)


Greek words:

aiônios (agelong) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) 2 Macc 7:9; Matt 19:16; Luke 18:30; John 3:15; Acts 13:48; 1 John 1:2; 5:13 – Esther 4:17m(C16); Tobit 1:6: 3:6; Judith 13:20; 1 Macc 2:51,54; 6:44; 13:29; 2 Macc 1:25; Wisdom of Solomon 8:13; 10:14: 17:2; Baruch 2:35; 4:8,10,14,20,22,24,29; 4:35; 5:2; Susanna v 42(Theod). Matt 18:8; 19:29; 25:41,46; Mark 3:29; 10:17,30; Luke 10:25; 16:9; 18:18; John 3:16,36; 4:14,36; 5:24,39; 6:27,40,47,54,68; 10:28; 12:25,50; 17:2-3; 20:31(א,*א). Acts 13:46; Rom 2:7; 5:21; 6:22-23; 16:25-26; 2 Cor 4:17-18; 5:1; Gal 6:8; 2 Thess 1:9; 2:16; 1 Tim 1:16; 6:12,16; 2 Tim 1:9; 2:10; Tit 1:2; 3:7; Philemon v 15; Heb 5:9; 6:2; 9:12,14-15; 13:20; 1 Pet 5:10; 2 Pet 1:11; 1 John 2:25; 3:15; 5:11,20; Jude v 7,21; Rev 14:6.

ofis (serpent) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Wisdom of Solomon 16:5; Matt 10:16; Luke 10:19; John 3:14 – Sir 21:2; 25:15; Matt 7:10; 23:33; Luke 11:11; 1 Cor 10:9; 2 Cor 11:3; Rev 9:19; 12:9,14-15; 20:2.

(h)ypsoô (heighten) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Tobit 13:6-7; Sir 15:5; Matt 23:12; John 3:14; Acts 2:33 – Esther 1:1k(A10); 3:1; Tobit 13:4; Judith 16:1,11; 1 Macc 8:13; 11:26; 12:36; 14:35,37; Sir 43:30; 45:6. Matt 11:23; Luke 1:52; 10:15; 14:11; 18:14; John 8:28; 12:32,34; Acts 5:31; 13:17; 2 Cor 11:7; Jas 4:10; 1 Pet 5:6.


Additional studies:

2 Kings 18:4; Is 11:10; John 1:12-13; 6:27,40,54; 8:28; 12:32,34; 19:37; 20:31; Acts 1:9; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 1:13; 9:19.


John W. Pryor "The Johannine Son of Man and the descent-ascent motif"; Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 34.3 (Sept. 1991): 341-351.

Christo Saayman "The textual strategy in John 3:12-14: Preliminary observations."; Neotestamentica 29.1 (1995): 27-48.


(Original version 2007-12-01; revised version 2009-02-03; 2010-08-28; 2013-09-18; 2014-04-27)

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3:16-18 For in this way God welcomed the adornment/’adorned world’, so that He gave the Son, the only descendant, in order that 'every the'/everyone believing into Him may not perish however/but have agelong life. For God did not dispatch away the Son into the adornment/’adorned world’, in order that He might judge the adornment/’adorned world’, however/but in order that the adornment/’adorned world’ might be saved through Him. The one believing into Him is not judged. * (א,*א,B) The one not believing has already been (and is) judged, because he has not believed (and does not believe) into the name of (the) Son of God, the only descendant.

Word for word: 3:16 (25 words in the Greek text) in-this-way for welcomed the god the adornment, so-that the son the only-descendant (he)-gave, in-order-that every the believing into him not may-perish however may-have life agelong. 3:17 (21 words in the Greek text) not for dispatched-away the god the son into the adornment in-order-that (he)-might-judge the adornment, however in-order-that might-be-saved the adornment through him. 3:18 (22 words in the Greek text Sinaiticus) the-(one) believing into him not is-judged; the-(one) not believing already has-been-(and-is)-judged, because not (he)-has-believed-(and-believes) into the name (of)-the (of)-only-descendant (of)-son (of)-the (of)-god.


The Former Revelation (preliminary translation):

Having beheld that the daughters of the men are fine, the sons of God took women to themselves from all whom they chose. And the Lord God spoke: "My Spirit may not entirely stay in these men into the (coming) age, because ‘of to be them’/’they are’ flesh, but their days shall be a hundred and twenty years." ... The sons of God came into, towards the daughters of the men, and they begot to themselves. (Gen 6:2-4a, Greek OT)

Every/all flesh being stirred upon the earth died ... every man. ... Noah alone was ‘left entirely’/spared and the ones (being) in company with him in the chest/arch. (Gen 7:21,23b, Greek OT)

Abram believed (in) God, and it was counted to him into righteousness. (Gen 15:6, Greek OT)

(The Lord said to Abraham:) "I may not/certainly not destroy (Sodom) 'with respect to'/'for the sake of' the ten (righteous ones)." (Gen 18:32b, Greek OT)

(God said to Abraham:) "I spared you the thing to not miss (My mark) into Me. ..." (Gen 20:6b, Greek OT)

(God said to Abraham:) "Take your welcomed son Isaac, whom you have welcomed, and go into the high earth/land and carry him up there into a burnt offering against one of the mountains of which I - according to the circumstances - may speak to you.” ... (But the messenger of the Lord said to Abraham:) "You may not throw/lay your hand against, against the very little boy but/and not you may make/do nothing/anything to him, for now I have gained knowledge that you fear God, and you have not spared your son, the welcomed one ‘because of’/’with a view to’ Me." (Gen 22:2,12, Greek OT)

(Moses said to Israel: "Thus says the Lord:) 'Every first-born in (the) earth/land Egypt will come to an end ... but in/among all of the sons of Israel a dog shall not utter a sound ... in that way you may know as much as the Lord shall glorify from the side of (Him) ‘upwards a middle of’/between the Egyptians and Israel.'" (Ex 11:5a,7, Greek OT)

(The Lord said to Moses/Israel:) "You shall be to Me a people being around/asunder from all the nations, for ‘every the’/’the whole’ earth is Mine." (Ex 19:5b, Greek OT)

(Balaam said:) "I shall show him and/but by no means now. I call him happy, and/but he does not draw near. A constellation shall stick up out of Jacob, and a man shall stand up out of Israel." (Num 24:17a, Greek OT)

(Mordecai said:) “The nations having/had been led together 'against to perish'/'in quest of perishing' the name of the Jews. But my nation, this is Israel, the ones having cried towards God and having been saved.” (Esther 10:3e-fa/F5-6a, Greek OT)

Wisdom said: "I welcome the ones being friends with me, but/and the ones seeking me will find. ... (When the Lord) (continually) made the bases of the earth stable, I (continually) was betrothed by the side of Him. I (continually) was towards (the place) where He rejoiced ... when He was cheerful (in) the (inhabited) world having/’which He had’ brought to a consummation and He was cheerful in sons of men." (Prov 8:17,29b-30a,31, Greek OT)

A little ‘boy or girl’/child was begotten to us, and a son was given to us. (Is 9:6a, Greek OT)

(God said:) "You, Israel, My boy Jacob, whom I have chosen, a seed of Abraham, whom I have welcomed, whom I have taken ‘in stead’/’part with’ from/’away from’ borders of the earth and called you out of its look-outs and spoken to you: 'You are My boy. I have chosen you and have not left you entirely in (a place).'" (Is 41:8-9, Greek OT)

The soul (of the boy/servant of the Lord) was given ‘to the side of’/over into death and He was counted in/among the lawless ones. And He Himself carried up misses (of the mark of God) of many and because of their misses (of the mark of God) He was given ‘to the side of’/over. (Is 53:12b, Greek OT)

(The prophet said to Judas:) “And you, what will you do? If – according to the circumstances – you may wrap yourself in scarlet and adorn yourself with gold adornment, and if you – according to the circumstances – may anoint in your eyes with make-up, your elegance (is) into/in vain.” (Jer 4:30a, Greek OT)

(The prophet said:) “Lord, Your eyes (sought) into a faith ... and/but (Your people) did not want to turn next to (You).” (Jer 5:3, Greek OT)

The Lord spoke towards (the prophet): “Go still/'in addition' and welcome a woman welcoming evil things and (being) an adulteress, entirely as God welcomes the sons of Israel, and they see themselves from, against alien gods and ’are friends with’/like baker's wares ‘in company with’/with raisins.” And (the prophet) ‘hired ... with wages’/bought her for himself for fifteen pieces of silvermetal and a homer of barleys/barley and a wineskin of wine. (Hos 3:1-2, Greek OT)

I shall hit the house, the one (with) feather/wing around, (hit) against the summer house, and I will perish ivory houses, and I will ‘put to’/add many 'the other houses'/'houses of another kind', says the Lord. (Amos 3:15b, Greek OT)

(The prophet said: ”Woe to) the ones sleeping entirely/soundly on beds of ivory.” (Amos 6:4a, Greek OT)

Having believed (the three males) were saved out of a flame. (1 Macc 2:59)

(Judas) gave himself to save his people and to ‘make about’/’acquire to’ himself an agelong name. (1 Macc 6:44)

(Maccabaeus said: “Our enemies) ‘are (and have been) persuaded’/’trust (and have trusted)’ on/to weapons together and/with bold things, but we (Jews) ‘are (and have been) persuaded’/’trust (and have trusted)’ on/to God, the All-powerful , being (with) a nod able to throw down and/both the ones coming against us and the whole adornment/’adorned world’.” (2 Macc 8:18b)

(Solomon said:) "Spirit of wisdom ‘(is) philantropic’/’is friends with man’.” (Wisdom of Solomon 1:6a)

(Solomon said:) “God has not made death, nor He amuses Himself on/’for the sake of’ perdition of living ones. He created all the things into/purposed to be and savings/saved (are) the origins/races of the adornment/’adorned world’, and it/there is not a poison of destruction in them, and Hades (is) not royal/king upon earth, for righteousness is not deadly.” (Wisdom of Solomon 1:13-15)

(Solomon said:) “If – according to the circumstances – (the souls of the righteous) in a sight of men may be chastised, their hope (is) filled with undeadliness/immortality.” (Wisdom of Solomon 3:4)

(Solomon said:) “Having become well-pleasing to God (the righteous one) was welcomed, and living between/meanwhile he was put in company with missers (of the mark of God). He was raped/'snatched away' … for his soul (continually) was pleasing to the Lord.” (Wisdom of Solomon 4:10-11a,14a)

(Solomon said:) ”Righteous ones live into the (coming) age.” (Wisdom of Solomon 5:15a)

(Solomon said:) “A multitude of wise (ones is) a saving of an adornment/’adorned world’ and a sensible king (is) a constancy of a popular assembly, so that you are educated (with) my words.” (Wisdom of Solomon 6:24-25a)

(Solomon said: “With) the wisdom (the ones who were upon the earth) were saved.” (Wisdom of Solomon 9:18b)

(Solomon said to the Lord:) “Opposite You the whole adornment/’adorned world’ (is) as a (a little) sinking out/'on the part' of a scale and as a drop of dew having come down against earth early in the morning. But You have mercy on all (men), because You are able to (do) all things. And You behold by the side of (the) misdeeds of men into/’for the purpose of’ a change of mind, for You welcome all the things being and abominate nothing which You have made.” (Wisdom of Solomon 11:22-24a)

(Solomon said to God:) ”It/there is not a god more than You, who cares for ‘on account’/’the sake’ of all, in order that You may show, that You have not judged unrighteously.” (Wisdom of Solomon 12:13)

(Solomon said: “From) a beginning (on the) perishing of overweening giants the hope of the adornment/’adorned world’ having/had ‘fled down’/resorted upon a raft/boat.” (Wisdom of Solomon 14:6a)

(Solomon said:) “The adornment/’adorned world’ is a champion of righteous ones.” (Wisdom of Solomon 16:17b)

(Jesus, the son of Sirach, said:) “The ones fearing the Lord, believe (in) Him.” (Sir 2:8a)

(Jesus, the son of Sirach, said:) “The Lord welcomes the ones welcoming (wisdom), the one hearkening it, will judge nations.” (Sir 4:14b-15a)

(Jesus, the son of Sirach, said:) “Put (wisdom) under your shoulder/’upper arm’ and bear it. And you may not be indignant at her bands. … For upon her it/there is a golden adornment.” (Sir 6:25,30a)

(Jesus, the son of Sirach, said:) "Mercy of a man (is) against his neighbour, but mercy of the Lord (is) against every flesh.” (Sir 18:13a)

(Baruch said to the Lord:) “You being/are seated (into) the (coming) age, and we perishing/perish (into) the (coming) age.” (Baruch 3:3)


The Latter Revelation:

(Soothsayers from upstickings/east said:) “Where is the One having been brought forth, a King of the Jews? For we have beheld His star.” (Matt 2:2a)

(Jesus said to His disciples:) “'Every the'/everyone seeing a woman, towards/’in regard’ to desire * (P67, א*), has already committed adultery (with) her in his heart.” (Matt 5:28b)

(Jesus said to His disciples:) “Welcome your enemies and pray in favour of the ones pursuing you, in what/that way that you may become sons of your Father in heavens, because He lets His sun stick up against evil and good and gives wet against righteous and unrighteous.” (Matt 5:44b-45)

(Jesus said to His disciples:) “Why do you care on account of clothes? Learn entirely (from) the lilies of the field, how they * (א*) do not card (א*), nor spin, nor bother. But I say to you that/: “Nor/’not even’ Solomon in every/all his glory wrapped up as one of these.” (Matt 6:28-29)

(Jesus said to the ones who followed Him:) "Many will arrive from upstickings/east and settings/west and ‘be caused to lay down’/’lean back’ in company with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of the heavens." (Matt 8:11)

Having come to (Jesus) (the disciples) raised/awoke Him, saying: “Lord, save (us). We perish.” (Matt 8:25)

(The two men said to Jesus:) “Son of God! Have You come here to perish (א*) us before a seasonable time?” (Matt 8:29)

(Jesus said to His disciples:) “The one who – according to the circumstances – may give to one of these small ones (following Me) only a cup of cold (water) to drink, into/’for the purpose of’ a name of a disciple, amen, I say to you, he may not/certainly not perish/lose his wage.” (Matt 10:42)

(Jesus said to His disciples:) ”I have not been dispatched away ‘if not’/except into the sheep, the ones having been (and being) perished of the house of Israel.” (Matt 15:24b)

(Jesus said to His disciples:) "It is not the will * (א,* א) of your Father – the One in heavens – ‘in order that’/that one of these small ones (becoming as the little boys and girls) may perish." (Matt 18:14b)

(Jesus said to the woman:) “Your faith has saved (and saves) you. … “ (Mark 5:34)

(Jesus said to the twelve:) "The one who – according to the circumstances – may receive Me does not receive Me however/but the One having dispatched Me away." (Mark 9:37b)

(One/someone questioned Jesus): "Good teacher, what shall I make/do, in order that I may inherit agelong life?" … Jesus ... welcomed (the man who had watched/kept the commandments ‘out of’/since his youth). … (But the man) went away being sorrowful, for he (continually) ‘was having’/had many possessions. (Mark 10:17b,21a,22b)

(John the Baptist said:) "The winnowing shovel (of Jesus is) in His hand to thoroughly clean His threshing floor and lead together the bread-stuff into His granary, but the chaff will be burnt down (in) an unquenchable fire." (Luke 3:17)

(Jesus said to the people in the synagogue:) ”Is it permitted (on) the sabbath to make/do good or make/do bad, to save a soul or to perish.” (Luke 6:9b)

As (Jesus) drew near the gate of the city, and behold, one being (and having been) deceased was (continually) carried off out of (the city), an only descendant, a son to his mother, and she (continually) was a widow. (Luke 7:12a)

(Jesus said to His disciples:) “The ones to the side of the way are the ones having heard, (and) next the slanderer comes and lifts the saying from their heart, in order that having believed they may not be saved.” (Luke 8:12)

God spoke to (a rich man:) “Thoughtless (man)! This night they demand back your soul from you. But the things you have made ready, to whom will they be?” (Jesus said:) “In this way (is) the one heaping for himself and not being rich into/’for the purpose of’ God.” (Luke 12:20-21)

(Jesus said to some present:) "If – according/’regard is paid’ to the circumstances - you may not change your mind, you will all perish (like the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed ‘in company’/together with their sacrifices). ... (and) in the same manner perish as (the eighteen against whom the tower in Siloam fell)." (Luke 13:3b,5b)

(Jesus said to His disciples:) “Entirely as it became in the days of Noah, in this way it will be and/also in the days of the Son of the Man. They (continually) ate, they (continually) drank, they (continually) took to wife, they (continually) were wed until which/that day Noah came into the chest/ark, and the inundation came and perished all of them(א,*א,A).” (Luke 17:26-27)

(Jesus said to Zaccheus:) “The Son of the Man has come to seek and to save 'the thing'/what having been (and being) perished.” (Luke 19:10)

On someones’ saying on account of the sanctuary, that it was (and had been) adorned (with) fine stones and consecrated gifts, (Jesus) spoke (to His disciples): “(Concerning) these things which you look at, days will come in which it/there shall not be ‘let be’/left stone on stone here (א,* א, B) which will not be loosened down/up.” (Luke 21:5-6)

(Peter said to the leaders of the people and to the elders:) ”It/there is not ‘the other’/another name underneath the heaven, having been (and being) given in/among men, in which us/we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12b)

(The Lord said to Moses:) “I may dispatch you away into Egypt.” (Acts 7:34b)

(Peter said:) “(About Jesus) all the prophets are witnesses to take (possession of) a ‘letting be’/’leaving alone’ of misses (of the mark of God) through His name, every/everyone believing into Him.” (Acts 10:43)

(Paul said to the Jews in Antioch:) “Already since you thrust/pushed away (the saying of God), you judge yourselves not worthy the agelong life. ... ” (Acts 13:46b)

(Paul and Barnabas talked) in this way, so that a much/many-headed multitude, both of Jews and of Greeks, (came) to believe. (Acts 14:1b)

God (made) the adornment/’adorned world’ and all the things in it. (Acts 17:24a)


The Apostle, the eighth and one of the seven:

As many as took (Jesus), to them He gave (judicial) authority to become children of God, to the ones believing into His name, who were begotten not out of bloods/blood, nor out of a will of flesh, nor out of a will of a male, however/but out of God. (John 1:12-13)

And we viewed His glory, a glory as of an only descendant from the side of a father, filled with joybringing (grace) and truth. (John 1:14b)


Exegetes, evangelists and others:

about 2000 - about 1500

One of the most well-known Sabbath songs, which they sing when the Sabbath goes in, begins with the words ... “Go, my friend, to meet the bride, let us welcome the Sabbath!” So the Sabbath is like the beloved bride. (Göran Larsson "Tid för Gud, Judiska och kristna perspektiv på de judiska högtiderna" p 24; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask; my translation; Observe the connection between the words “welcome” and “beloved”)

The Gospel of John uses the verb believe more than any other writing in the NT (99 times). . . . The word is most often constructed with a preposition (pisteuein eis) so that the meaning if anything becomes to trust completely in, bind oneself to, be united with. (Birger Olsson "Messiasbekännare i Johannesskrifterna" p 360-361; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)

Mann points out that “while other ancient Near Eastern law codes protected the widow and the orphan, only in ancient Israelite law was there legislation on behalf of the alien” (Mann, 152). Israel knew about being marginal, “homeless.” (Michael E. Williams “Exodus-Joshua” p 161)

Agapaô (love) can (in classical Greek) mean to greet affectionately. (William Barclay ”New Testament Words” p 19)

While the Essenes had been instructed to love all who shared their convictions and to hate everyone else, the Gospel urged the believers out of love to seek and to save the lost. For this reason the mission also went beyond the boundaries of Israel. (Leonard Goppelt "Apostolic and Post-Apostolic Times" p 36)

For John Jesus is sent to the world; for the Synoptics Jesus is sent to Israel (Matt 15:24; Luke 4:43). (Raymond E. Brown "The Gospel according to John" p 134)

(The Greek word for "world" is here) not the totality of creation but the world of men and human affairs. (C.K. Barrett "The Gospel according to St John" p 161)

While God loves the world, his love only becomes effective among those who believe in Christ. For the rest love turns, as it were, to judgement. (C.K. Barrett "The Gospel according to St John" p 215)

(Emil Kléen) and I had gone astray, but I found out to go back - to the way of the cross, where the sign is, and then it was easy to find the way. I was happy to teach my how to know to him, who perhaps was justified when he considered me having given unright track, even if I only followed the great drive, young as I was. (August Strindberg "Förord till Emil Kléens Valda Dikter" p 93; october 1906; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)

If we want to have assurance that God loves us and is for us, we had best turn our eyes upon Jesus Christ och fix our minds upon him. (F. Wendel "Calvin" p 230; The Theological Doctrine of Calvin)


about 1500 and time before

There are two advents of Christ, that which has been, and that which is to be; and the two are not for the same purpose; the first came to pass not that He might search into our actions, but that He might remit; the object of the second will be not to remit, but to enquire. (Chrysostom, The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers XIV:96)

As the murderer, though he be not yet condemned by the decision of the judge, is still condemned by the nature of the thing, so it is with the unbeliever. (Chrysostom, The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers XIV:97)

(Christ) is a most holy and merciful Lord, and loves the human race. ... Being ignorant of Him ... they are deprived of His gift, which is eternal life. ... They remain in mortal flesh, and are debtors to death, not obtaining the antidote of life. ... Believe not only in the Father but also in His Son now revealed; for He it is who leads man into fellowship and unity with God. ... For if the manifestation of God which is made by means of the creation, affords life to all living in the earth, much more does that revelation of the Father which comes through the Word, give life to those who see God. (Irenaeus, The Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol I, p 448,477,490)


Examples of other quoted authors in the Swedish version: Svetlana Aleksijevitj, Eric S. Alexandersson, Martin S. Allwood, Carl Jonas Love Almqvist, Stefan Andhé, Johann Arndt, Honoré de Balzac, Anders Bengtsson, Oscar Bernadotte. Bo Brander, Th. Brieger, Elizabeth Charles, Sven Danell, Henry Daniel-Rops, Emma Dixon, Fjodor Dostojevskij, Tim Dowley, Bob Dylan, Ylva Eggehorn, E.J. Ekman, Runar Eldebo, Linné Eriksson, Bo Giertz, Johannes Gossner, Axel Gustafsson, O. Hallesby, Alf Henrikson, Herman Hesse, C.G. Hjelm, Henrik Ibsen, Stanley Jones, Ad. Kolmodin, Lars Levi Laestadius, Selma Lagerlöf, C.S. Lewis, Sven Lidman, Martin Luther, Martin Luther King jr, Oscar Lövgren, Helge Lööf, Vilhelm Moberg, Agne Nordlander, N. Odenvik, John Ortberg, Lewi Pethrus, Nadezjda Petrovna Bygovskaja, Bengt Pleijel, Erik Pontoppidan, Inga-Britt Ranemark, L.C. Retzius, Carl Olof Rosenius, Viktor Rydberg, Gösta Sandberg, Elisabeth Sandlund, Bo Setterlind; Enar Skillius, Eva Spångberg, John Stott, Erland Sundström, Victor Svanberg, Knut Svensson, Nathan Söderblom, Gunnar Söderström, Alf Tergel, Thomas a Kempis, Lennart Thörn, P. Waldenström, Olof Wennås, Stig Wikström, Fredrik Wislöff, J.M. Wislöff, David F. Wright, Birgitta Yavari, Göran Åberg.


My own comments and speculations:

In the light of the Greek OT it is not so fitting to translate the Greek word “agapaô” by “love”. This English word fits better to the Greek word “eraô”, which occurs in Esther 2:17 and Prov 4:6. Compare also with the Greek word “erastês” (lover), which occurs 19 times in the OT. I have chosen to use the word “welcome” as a translation of “agapaô”. “Wel” in “welcome” corresponds to “aga” in “agapaô”. Cf. the word “agathos” for “good” and “welcome” as perhaps the most usual meaning of “agapaô” in classical Greek. It is worth to observe, that John does not use the words “eraô” and “erastês” (with a meaning of passionate love) to describe God's welcoming attitude to an adorned world or His attitude to His people or the relation between the believers. Cf. also My comments and speculations to John 5:41-44.

In times of old the sons of God descended the earth and begot fleshly children with the daugthers of men. And because their children was flesh, the life of men was limited to a hundred and twenty years. Now the Son of God has descended to the earth. Those who believe in Him are begotten from above to spiritual children of God (John 1:12; 3:3). They are spirit and they have agelong life (John 3:6). In times of old the life of man was limited, because the man was flesh. Now the life of the believer in Christ is agelong, because the believer is spirit.

The father Abraham was spared (in Moriah = Jerusalem) from offering his only son, and his son was spared from being killed. Now, in (a disgraced) Jerosolyma/Jerusalem, God the Father offers His only-begotten son, and His son must be killed.

In Egypt God welcomed His people and put it first. The first-born of "the adorned world" was killed, but the first-born of Israel were given a possibility to be saved. Now God welcomed the adornment/’adorned world’ and put it first. His only-begotten Son was killed, while the men in the adornment/’adorned world’ were given a possibility to be saved. We can also think over the situation in "the old prophetic time" when God hated His people (Jer 12:8) and "welcomed" Babylon by letting it strike Judas (Is 10:15; Dan 2:36-37) and compare this situation with what is described in the Revelation, where the people of God - in "the new prophetic time" - is welcomed (Rev 1:5), while Babylon is hated and destroyed.

God's welcome to the adornment/’adorned world’ is a welcome to the men, aiming to save them. It is not a welcome to what characterizes the adornment/’adorned world’ (an order of precedence where magnificence and ruling are valued high), not a welcome to man's lust and pride (see 1 John 1:15-16).

J.N. Darby writes in a note to his translation of the New Testament (p 127) that the word which here in verse 16 is translated "in this way" usually, when it is followed by "that", should be translated "so much". This thought finds no support by Walter Bauer (A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature), who maintains that the word in John 3:16 should be translated "in this way" (cf. p 598).

Concerning “believes into”, see My own comments and speculations to John 1:12-13. Concerning “sent away into” (apostellô eis), see also John 10:36; 17:18; Rev 5:6.


Paul said to the believers in Rome: "But God ‘causes to stand together’/proves 'of Himself'/'His own' welcome into/’purposed for’ us, because being still missers (of the mark of God), Christ died in favour of us. ... (The One) who at any rate did not spare His own Son, but gave Him from the side of Him in favour of us all, how will by no means and/also He graciously give us all things together with Him?” (Rom 5:8; 8:32)

Paul said to the believers in Galatia: “An adornment/’adorned world’ has been (and is) crucified to me and I to an adornment/’adorned world’.” (Gal 6:14b)

Paul said to Timothy: "(God our Saviour) wants all men to be saved and come into an additional knowledge of truth." (1 Tim 2:4)

How shall we flee out/away, having not cared for a so great saving? (Heb 2:3a)

And the life was made visible, and we have beheld (and behold) and we are witnesses and bring a message to you from (us) (about) the agelong life, whichever/which (continually) was towards the Father and was made visible to you. (1 John 1:2)

(Jesus Christ) is a propitiation on account of our misses (of the mark of God), but not on account of ours only, however/but and/also on account of the whole adornment/’adorned world’. (1 John 2:2)

This is the promise which He Himself promised/made to us, the agelong life. (1 John 2:25)

This is His commandment, ‘in order that’/that we may (א,*א,A) believe (in) the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and welcome one another, entirely as He ‘gave us a commandment’/’commanded us’. (1 John 3:23)

Welcomed, let us welcome one another, because the welcome is out of God, and 'every the'/everyone welcoming is (and has been) begotten out of God and has knowledge of God. The one not welcoming has not gained knowledge of God, that God is a welcome. In this the welcome of God has been made visible in us, that God has dispatched (and dispatches) away His Son, the only Descendant, into the adornment/’adorned world’, in order that we might live through Him. In this is the welcome of God (א,*א), not that we welcomed (א,*א) God, however/but that He Himself welcomed us and has dispatched (and dispatches) (א,*א) away His Son (to be) a propitiation on account of our misses (of His mark). (1 John 4:7-10)

We have viewed (and view) and are witnesses, that the Father has dispatched (and dispatches) away the Son, a Saviour of the adornment/’adorned world’. (1 John 4:14)

In this the welcome in company with us is (and has been) made perfect, in order that we may have ‘plain language in’/’courage by means of’ the welcome (א,* א) of the judgment/justice, because entirely as that One is, and/also we will (א,* א) be in this adornment/’adorned world’. Fear is not in the welcome. (1 John 4:17)

We welcome God (א,* א), because He Himself first welcomed us. (1 John 4:19)

These things I have written to you, in order that you may know, that you have an agelong life, the ones believing into the name of the Son of God. (1 John 5:13)


Greek words:

agapaô (welcome) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Wisdom of Solomon 4:10; 11:24; Sir 4:14; Matt 5:44; Mark 10:21; John 3:16; 1 John 3:23; 4:7-10,19 – Tobit 6:18(19); 13:10(12),14(BA); 14:7; Judith 9:4; 1 Macc 6:11; Wisdom of Solomon 1:1; 6:12; 7:10,28; 8:3,7; 16:26; Sir 1:10; 2:15-16; 3:17,26; 4:12; 7:21,30,35; 13:15; 24:11; 30:1; 31:5; 34:16(19); 45:1; 46:13; 47:8,22; Baruch 3:37; The Prayer of Azariah v 12; Bel and the Dragon v 38; Matt 5:43; 46; 6:24; 19:19; 22:37,39; Mark 12:30-31,33; Luke 6:27,32,35; 7:5,42,47; 10:27; 11:43; 16:13; John 3:19,35; 8:42; 10:17; 11:5; 12:43; 13:1,23,34; 14:15,21,23-24,28,31; 15:9,12,17; 17:23-24,26; 19:26; 21:7,15-16,20. Rom 8:28,37; 9:13,25; 13:8-9; 1 Cor 2:9; 8:3; 2 Cor 9:7; 11:11; 12:15; Gal 2:20; 5:14; Eph 1:6; 2:4; 5:2,25,28,33; 6:24; Col 3:12,19; 1 Thess 1:4; 4:9; 2 Thess 2:13,16; 2 Tim 4:8,10; Heb 1:9; 12:6; Jas 1:12; 2:5,8; 1 Pet 1:8,22; 2:17; 3:10; 2 Pet 2:15; 1 John 2:10,15; 3:10-11,14,18; 4:11-12,20-21; 5:1-2; 2 John v 1,5; 3 John v 1; Jude v 1; Rev 1:5; 3:9; 12:11; 20:9.

apollymi (perish) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Esther 10:3e(F5); Wisdom of Solomon 14:6; 18:15; Baruch 3:3; Matt 8:29(א*); Matt 10:42; 15:24; 18:14; Luke 13:3; 17:27; 19:10; John 3:16 – Esther 3:7,9,13f(B6); 4:7-8,17f(C8); 8:5; 9:2,11-12,16; Tobit 3:15; 10:4,7; 14:10; Judith 6:4,8; 16:12; 1 Macc 1:30; 2:37; 5:13,51; 6:13; 7:6; 9:2; 11:18; 12:40; 13:4,18,49; 16:21; 2 Macc 3:39; 5:9; 7:20; 8:19; 10:23; 12:19; 15:2; Wisdom of Solomon 12:6,12; 18:19; Sir 3:26; 6:3-4; 8:2,12; 9:6; 10:3,17; 20:22; 22:27; 27:16,18; 30:23; 31:25; 44:9; 49:7. Matt 2:13; 5:29-30; 8:25; 9:17; 10:6,28,39; 12:14; 16:25; 21:41; 22:7; 26:52; 27:20; Mark 1:24; 2:22; 3:6; 4:38; 8:35; 9:22; 9:41; 11:18; 12:9; Luke 4:34; 5:37; 6:9; 8:24; 9:24-25; 11:51; 13:5,33; 15:4,6,8-9,17,24,32; 17:29,33; 19:47; 20:16; 21:18; John 6:12,27,39; 10:10,28; 11:50; 12:25; 17:12; 18:9. Acts 5:37; 27:34; Rom 2:12; 14:15; 1 Cor 1:18-19; 8:11; 10:9-10; 15:18; 2 Cor 2:15; 4:3,9; 2 Thess 2:10; Heb 1:11; Jas 1:11; 4:12; 1 Pet 1:7; 2 Pet 3:6,9; 2 John v 8; Jude v 5,11; Rev 18:14.

êdê (already) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Matt 5:28; John 3:18 – Tobit 2:8; 3:6(BA); 10:6; Matt 3:10; 14:15,24; 15:32; 17:12; 24:32; Mark 4:37; 6:35; 8:2; 11:11; 13:28; 15:42,44; Luke 3:9; 7:6; 11:7; 12:49; 14:17; 19:37; 21:30; 24:29; John 4:35,51; 7:14; 9:22,27; 11:17,39; 13:2; 15:3; 19:28,33; 21:4,14. Acts 4:3; 27:9; Rom 1:10; 4:19; 13:11; 1 Cor 4:8; 5:3; 6:7; Phil 3:12; 4:10; 2 Thess 2:7; 2 Tim 2:18; 4:6; 2 Pet 3:1; 1 John 2:8; 4:3.

krinô (judge) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Wisdom of Solomon 3:4; 12:13; Sir 4:15; John 3:17-18; Acts 13:46 – Tobit 3:2; Judith 2:3; 7:24; 11:13; 1 Macc 7:42; 9:73; 11:33; 2 Macc 11:25,36; 15:21; Wisdom of Solomon 3:8; 9:3; 12:10,18,21-22; Sir 8:14; 16:12; Matt 5:40; 7:1-2; 19:28; Luke 6:37; 7:43; 12:57; 19:22; 22:30; John 5:22,30; 7:24,51; 8:15-16,26,50; 12:47-48; 16:11; 18:31. Acts 3:13; 4:19; 7:7; 13:27; 15:19; 16:4,15; 17:31; 20:16; 21:25; 23:3,6; 24:21; 25:9-10,20,25; 26:6,8; 27:1. Rom 2:1,3,12,16,27; 3:4,6-7; 14:3-5,10,13,22; 1 Cor 2:2; 4:5; 5:3,12-13; 6:1-3,6; 7:37; 10:15,29; 11:13,31-32; 2 Cor 2:1; 5:14; Col 2:16; 2 Thess 2:12; 2 Tim 4:1; Tit 3:12; Heb 10:30; 13:4; Jas 2:12; 4:11-12; 5:9; 1 Pet 1:17; 2:23; 4:5-6; Rev 6:10; 11:18; 16:5; 18:8,20; 19:2,11; 20:12.

sôzô (save) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Esther 10:3f(F6); 1 Macc 2:59; 6:44; Wisdom of Solomon 9:18; Matt 8:25; Mark 5:34; Luke 6:9; 8:12; 19:10; John 3:17; Acts 4:12 – Tobit 6:18(BA); 14:7; Judith 10:15; 1 Macc 2:44; 4:9,11; 9:9; 11:48; 2 Macc 1:11; 2:17; Wisdom of Solomon 10:4; 14:4; 16:7; 18:5; Sir 2:11; 34:13(15); 51:8,11(12); Epistle of Jeremiah v 49; Susanna v 60(Theod),62(Theod); The Song of Praise of the Three Men v 65; The Prayer of Manasseh v 14. Matt 1:21; 9:21-22; 10:22; 14:30; 16:25; 19:25; 24:13,22; 27:40,42,49; Mark 3:4; 5:23,28; 6:56; 8:35; 10:26,52; 13:13,20; 15:30-31; Luke 7:50; 8:36,48,50; 9:24; 13:23; 17:19,33(א,*א;A); 18:26,42; 23:35,37,39; John 5:34; 10:9; 11:12; 12:27,47. Acts 2:21,40,47; 4:9; 11:14; 14:9; 15:1,11; 16:30-31; 27:20,31; Rom 5:9-10; 8:24; 9:27; 10:9,13; 11:14,26; 1 Cor 1:18,21; 3:15; 5:5; 7:16; 9:22; 10:33; 15:2; 2 Cor 2:15; Eph 2:5,8; 1 Thess 2:16; 2 Thess 2:10; 1 Tim 1:15; 2:4,15; 4:16; 2 Tim 1:9; 4:18; Tit 3:5; Heb 5:7; 7:25; Jas 1:21; 2:14; 4:12; 5:15,20; 1 Pet 3:21; 4:18; Jude v 5,23.

(h)ôste (so that) (in the NT + examples in the OT) Gen 9:15; Wisdom of Solomon 6:25; John 3:16; Acts 14:1 – Gen 1:15; Joshua 10:14; Job 6:21,23. Matt 8:24,28; 10:1; 12:12,22; 13:2,32,54; 15:31,33; 19:6; 23:31; 24:24; 27:1,14; Mark 1:27,45; 2:2,12,28; 3:10,20; 4:1,32,37; 9:26; 10:8; 15:5. Luke 4:29; 5:7; 9:52; 12:1; 20:20. Acts 1:19; 5:15; 15:39; 16:26; 19:10,12,16; Rom 7:4,6,12; 13:2; 15:19; 1 Cor 1:7; 3:7,21; 4:5; 5:1,8; 7:38; 10:12; 11:27,33; 13:2; 14:22,39; 15:58; 2 Cor 1:8; 2:7; 3:7; 4:12; 5:16-17; 7:7; Gal 2:13; 3:9,24; 4:7,16; Phil 1:13; 2:12; 4:1; 1 Thess 1:7-8; 4:18; 2 Thess 1:4; 2:4; Heb 13:6; 1 Pet 1:21; 4:19.


Additional studies:

Sir 1:15; Matt 5:45-48; 9:12-13; Mark 2:17; 14:27; Luke 4:43; 5:31-32; 6:27-38; 13:29; 15:5,9-10; John 1:14,18,49; 3:34,36; 5:24; 36,38; 6:29,38,40,57; 7:29; 8:38-39; 9:39; 10:36; 11:25-26,42; 17:3,8-9,18,21,23,25; 19:23-24; 20:21,31; Acts 4:12; 16:31; Rom 8:3; Gal 1:4; 4:4-5; Heb 2:9; 11:17; 1 John 3:1; 5:10; Rev 3:10; 8:13; 9:10-11; 22:17.


F.C. Fensham "Love in the writings of Qumran and John"; Neotestamentica 6.1 (1972): 67-77.

I.J. du Plessis "Christ as the Only begotten"; Neotestamentica 2.1 (1968): 22-31.


(Original version 2007-12-01; revised version 2009-02-03; 2010-09-10; 2013-10-05; 2014-09-29)

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3:19-21 But this is the judgment, that the light has come (and comes) into the adornment/’adorned world’ and the men welcomed the darkness rather than the light, for their works (continually) were evil. For every/everyone practising the worthless hates the light and does not come towards the light, in order that his works may not be convicted. But the one making/doing the truth comes towards the light, in order that it may be made visible, that it is in God his works having been (and being) worked.

Word for word: 3:19 (28 words in the Greek text, the sequence of the words according to Sinaiticus) this but is the judgment that the light has-come-(and-comes) into the adornment and the men welcomed the darkness rather than the light, were-(continually) for their evil the works. 3:20 (20 words in the Greek text) every for the worthless practising hates the light and not comes towards the light, in-order-that not may-be-convicted the works his. 3:21 (19 words in the Greek text) the-(one) but making the truth comes towards the light, in-order-that (it)-may-be-made-visible his works that in god (it)-is (they)-having-been-(and-being)-worked.


The Former Revelation (preliminary translation):

God beheld the light, that (it was) fine. And God separated throughout ‘upwards middle’/between the light ‘and upwards middle’/and the darkness. (Gen 1:4, Greek OT)

(Adam and Eve who had ate the forbidden fruit) sewed leaves of a fig tree and made themselves (clothes) girded (them) around. And they heard the voice/sound of the Lord God walking about in the afternoon in the ‘place by the side of apprehension’/paradise. And both Adam and his woman hid themselves from/’away from’ the face of the Lord God in a middle of the wood/trees of the ‘place by the side of apprehension’/paradise. (Gen 3:7b-8, Greek OT)

(Israel said to Joseph): “You shall make/practise alm/alms and truth against me, 'the thing to'/'(so) that you do' not bury me in Egypt.” (Gen 47:29b, Greek OT)

(Moses said to Israel: “If you will not obey the Lord) you will be feeling (at) midday as if (you were) the blind (one) feel/feeling in the darkness.” (Deut 28:29a, Greek OT)

(David said:) “Prove me, God, and gain knowledge of my heart. Arrange/’give instructions to’ me and gain knowledge of my paths. And behold if a way of lawlessness (is) in me, and show me the way in an agelong way.” (Ps 139:23-24, Greek OT)

(Solomon said to his son:) "(Wisdom) will deliver you from a way of badness ... (from) the thing to go in ways of darkness, (from) the ones being cheerful on/’for the sake of’ bad things and rejoicing on/’for the sake of’ a bad 'turning asunder'/perversion." (Prov 2:12-14, Greek OT)

(Solomon said:) “A wicked one flees, (when) no one pursuing, but a righteous one (is) just as a lion being (and having been) persuaded/’won over’.” (Prov 28:1, Greek OT)

(The prophet said:) "Come, house of Jacob. We may go (in) the light of the Lord." (Is 2:5b, Greek OT)

(Tobit said to his son Tobias:) “For the reason that 'making your truth'/'you do what true is', you will be (in) good ways in your works.” (Tobit 4:6, BA)

(Tobit said to the sons of Israel:) “When you – according to the circumstances – may turn yourselves next to (God) towards Him in/with ‘your whole’/’all your’ heart and in/with ‘your whole’/’all your’ soul to make/do truth in the very eyes of Him, then He will turn Himself next to (you) towards you and He may ‘not not’/certainly not any longer hide His face from you.” (Tobit 13:6 or 13:6a, S)

All so (blessed) the Lord, the righteous judge making the things having been (and being) hidden visible. (2 Macc 12:41)

(Jesus, the son of Sirach, said:) “The one hating conviction (is) in a footstep of a misser (of the mark of God).” (Sir 21:6a)

(Jesus, the son of Sirach, said:) “Wisdom of a scribe (is) leisure in a good seasonable time, and the one lessening himself, it will practise/manage him to ‘be made’/become wise.” (Sir 38:24)

(Jesus, the son of Sirach, said:) “I ‘understood throughout’/considered the thing to make (wisdom).” (Sir 51:18a)

Everyone has departed in his evil mind of heart to work for the other gods. (Baruch 1:22a)


The Latter Revelation:

(Jesus said to His disciples:) "In this way let your light shine in front of the men in that way (that) they may behold your fine works and glorify your Father in the heavens." (Matt 5:16)

(Jesus said to His disciples:) "If – according to the circumstances – your eye may be evil, your whole body will be dark. If so the light, the one (being) in you, is darkness, how much/great (is) the darkness. No one is able to be a slave to two lords, for or/either he will hate the one and welcome the other, or he will hold himself next to one and ‘consider down’/downgrade the other. You are not able to be a slave to God and mammon.” (Matt 6:23-24)

(Through the prophet Isaiah the Lord said about Jesus:) "Behold, My boy whom I have adopted, My welcomed * (א*, B) (with) whom My soul was well-pleased, I will put My spirit against Him. And He will bring away a message (about) a judgment to the nations." (Matt 12:18)

(Jesus said to the Pharisees:) "Products of adders, how are you, being evil, able to talk good things?" (Matt 12:34a)

(Jesus said to His disciples: “The woman) has worked a fine work into/’purposed for’ Me.” (Matt 26:10b)

(Jesus) ‘dispatched ... throughout’/commanded (the crowd), ‘in order that’/that they might say nothing. But as much/many of them as He (continually/repeatedly) ‘dispatched ... throughout’/commanded, rather/’the rather’ they themselves (continually/repeatedly) proclaimed, more (than) over and above. (Mark 7:36)

Being convicted by (John the Baptist) Herod, ‘the one of four leaders’/’the tetrarch’, … shut (John) entirely/in in watch/custody. (Luke 3:19a,20b)

(Jesus said:) “Wisdom has been justified from/by all her children.” (Luke 7:35)

(Jesus said to the crowd:) "The lamp of your body is your eye. When – according to the circumstances – your eye may be plain, your whole body and/also is bright. But as soon as it – according to the circumstances – may be evil, your body and/also (may be) dark. Look so out (that) the light in you is not darkness. If so your whole body (is) bright, having not any dark part, it will be wholly bright, as when the lamp – according to the circumstances – may give you light (with) the ray of light." (Luke 11:34-36)

(Jesus said to the crowd:) “… As much as you have spoken in the gloom will be heard in the light.”(Luke 12:3a)

(One of the badmen said:) “We (suffer) indeed righteously, for worthy we ‘take away’/receive the things which we practised/did. But this One has practised/done nothing ‘out of place’/improper.” (Luke 23:41)

(The Lord said:) “Peoples cared for empty/fruitless things.” (Acts 4:25b)

(Peter and the apostles said to the priest leader:) "We must obey God rather than men." (Acts 5:29b)

(Dorkas) (continually) was filled with good works. ... (Acts 9:36b)

(Peter said:) ”In every nation the one fearing (God) and working/doing righteousness is agreeable to Him.” (Acts 10:35)

(God said to Israel:) “I work/do a work in your days. ... “ (Acts 13:41b)

(Jesus said to Paul: ”You shall) open the eyes (of the nations) to turn (them) next to (God) from darkness into light.” (Acts 26:18a)

(Paul said to the king:) ”I have brought away a message to the nations (that they should) change their minds and turn themselves next to, against God, practising works worthy the change of mind.” (Acts 26:20b)


The Apostle, the eighth and one of the seven:

(The Saying which is the true light) (continually) was in the adornment/’adorned world’, and the adornment/’adorned world’ had become through Him, and the adornment/’adorned world’ had not knowledge of Him. (John 1:10)


Exegetes, evangelists and others:

about 2000 and time before

When Jesus comes, it becomes an inevitable division. It is the one which is the judgement. In Greek the same word is used for "judgement" and "separation". Here the ways are separated. Some people come to the light, others flee into the darkness. And how the men do, it depends on themselves and it reveals their being. (Bo Giertz "Evangelium enligt Johannes" p 48; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)

"No, no, father, why are you sorry", Malin said, when she saw Melker sit there with the face hidden in his hands. "Because I am worthless", Melker said looking up at her with his eyes full of tears. "This day a life . . . and what have I done? I can not do anything properly, everything only fails. I also write bad books, this I understand now, yes, do not contradict me, this I do! Poor children, you have a worthless father!" Then all of them flung themselves upon him. . . . They assured, that there were no children who had such an able and such a kind and such a good father as they. (Astrid Lindgren "Vi på Saltkråkan" p 146-147; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)

The disciple went on: Plato describes the life of the earth as so: The men sit in a hole with the their backs towards the light; therefore they only see the shadows and the phantoms of the things outside the hole; the one finding the luminous idea to turn round, he sees the prototypes, the really real things, and the light. So simple it is: only turn round! Be converted with other words. But therefore you need not be a monk, an ascetic or a hermit. I am almost one with Luther that faith is all; the deeds probably come after so slowly. . . . If the godfearing falls, he stands up again, brushes himself and goes on, but the godless becomes lying in the rubbish. Accordingly the whole trick - to not turn the back towards the light. (August Strindberg "En blå bok I" s 107; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)

Observe here, how Jesus not less than five times says "the light", that is the certain light and not only an uncertain light. He also says "the truth" in a certain sense and not only uncertainly: truth. And he does so because of an important cause. The men can surely stand, yes even love light and truth in general, while they still hate the light itself and the truth itself. The relation between the light in a certain sense and for example enlightenment, also between the truth in a certain sense and only general truths, can be compared with the relation between the sun and the stars on the firmament. As therefore also the birds most shunning the light, for example the night-owls, rather well stand the dim light of the stars but not the intense light of the sun, so men certainly could like and be zealous for more enlightenment through discourses, readings and the like even in spiritual subjects, while they still hate and cannot stand the light itself, Jesus Christ and the word about him. (Karl Palmberg "Ur livskällan. Tredje årgången." p 255-256; Karl Palmberg /1842-1920/ was from 1883 a Lutheran clergyman in Månsarp in the diocese of Växjö and president in Jönköpings Missionsförening (Missionary Society) 1886-1911; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)


about 1500 and time before

He that doeth (the evil) … avoids (Christ's) dominion. For instance, even now one may hear many heathen say “that they cannot come to our faith, because they cannot leave of drunkenness and fornication and the like disorders”. (Chrysostom, The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers XIV:98)

In this (age) some persons betake themselves to the light, and by faith unite themselves with God, but others shun the light, and separate themselves from God. (Irenaeus, The Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol I, p 556)


Examples of other quoted authors in the Swedish version: Eric S. Alexandersson, Ann-Charlotte Alverfors, Stefan Andhé, Johann Arndt, Werner Aspenström, Tage Aurell, Bo Bergman, Marcus Birro, Bo Brander, Martin Buber, Nancy Collins, Stig Dagerman, Sven Danell, Charles Dickens, John Drane, Ylva Eggehorn, Anton Fridrichsen, Gustaf Fröding, Birger Gerhardsson, Pat Gould, Carl Grimberg, Stefan Gustavsson, Dag Hammarskjöld, Alf Henrikson, Fred Hoyle, Peter Kuzmic, Lars Levi Laestadius, Pär Lagerkvist, Selma Lagerlöf, Sven Lidman, Astrid Lindgren, Martin Luther, Christina Lövestam, Henning Mankell, Margareta Melin, Vilhelm Moberg, Pablo Neruda, Fredrik Nielsen, Sven Nilsson, Anders Nohrborg, Göran Palm, Blaise Pascal, Lewi Pethrus, Bengt Pleijel, Viktor Rydberg, M. Basilea Schlink, Karin Sennefelt, Bo Setterlind, William Shakespeare, W. Somerset Maugham, Göran Sonnevi, John Steinbeck, Yrsa Stenius, Sven Stolpe, Rune Storck, Margareta Strömstedt, Mats Svegfors, Olle Svensson, Hjalmar Söderberg, Thomas a Kempis, Anton Tjechov, J.R.R. Tolkien, A.B. Vester, P. Waldenström, LisBeth Wedin, Gustaf Wikner, Colin Wilson.


(Paul said to the believers in Ephesos:) ”All things, being convicted, are made visible by the light, for every/everything being made visible is light. Therefore it says: ‘Rise,’the one’/ you sleeping, and stand up out of the dead (bodies), and Christ will illuminate you.” (Eph 5:13-14)

And this is the message which we have heard (and hear) from Him and (which) we bring up a message to you, that God is light and (that) gloom is not ‘not anything’/’at all’ in Him. If we – according to the circumstances – may speak, that we have communion in company with Him, and we may walk about in the darkness, we lie and do not make/do the truth. But if we – according to the circumstances – may walk about in the light, as He is in the light, we have communion in company with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, makes us clean from every miss (of the mark of God). If we – according to the circumstances – may speak, that we have not a/any miss (of the mark of God), we lead ourselves astray and the truth is not in us. If we – according to the circumstances – may confess our misses (of His mark), He is faithful and righteous, in order that He may let our (א,* א) misses (of His mark) be to us and make us clean from every unrighteousness. (1 John 1:5-9)

The one saying (himself) be in the light and hating his brother is a liar and(א,* א) is in the gloom till just now. (1 John 2:9)

The one hating his brother is in the gloom and wanders about in the gloom and does not know where he withdraws, because the gloom has blinded his eyes. (1 John 2:11)

The one making/practising the miss (of the mark of God) is out of the slanderer, because the slanderer misses (the mark of God) from a beginning. Into/’for the purpose of’ this the Son of Man was made visible, in order that He might loosen/’pull apart’ the works of the slanderer. (1 John 3:8)

You may welcome one another, not entirely as Cain, (who) (continually) was out of the evil one, and he slaughtered his brother. And in grace/favour of what did he slaughter him? Because his works (continually) were evil but the ones of his brother righteous. (1 John 3:11b-12)

Little children, we may not welcome (with) saying and (א,*א) tongue however/but in/with work and truth. And in this we shall have knowledge, that we are out of the truth, and in front of Him we shall persuade our hearts (א,*א,A), that, if – according to the circumstances – our heart may have a downhearted knowledge, that God is greater (than) our heart and has knowledge of all things. Brothers (א,* א), if – according to the circumstances – our heart may not have a downhearted knowledge (on account of) us (א,*א,A), we have ‘plain language’/courage towards God. (1 John 3:18-21)

In this the welcome in company with us is (and has been) made perfect, in order that we may have ‘plain language in’/’courage by means of’ the welcome (א,* א) of the judgment/justice, because entirely as that One is, and/also we will (א,* א) be in this adornment/’adorned world’. Fear is not in the welcome. (1 John 4:17)

If – according to the circumstances – anyone may speak that/: ”I welcome God” and (if) he may hate his brother, he is a liar. For the one not welcoming his brother, whom he beholds (and has beheld), the one is not able to welcome God, whom he does not behold (and has not beheld). (1 John 4:20)

We know that 'every the'/everyone having been (and being) begotten out of God does not miss (His mark), however/but that the one having been begotten out of God keeps/’takes care of’ himself (א,* א), and the evil one does not touch him. (1 John 5:18)


Greek words:

elengchô (convict) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Luke 3:19; John 3:20 – Wisdom of Solomon 1:4(5),8; 2:11; 12:2; Sir 18:13; 19:13; 20:2; Matt 18:15; John 8:46; 16:8; 1 Cor 14:24; Eph 5:11,13; 1 Tim 5:20; 2 Tim 4:2; Tit 1:9,13; 2:15; Heb 12:5; Jas 2:9; Jude v 15; Rev 3:19.

ergazomai (work) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Baruch 1:22; Matt 26:10; John 3:21; Acts 10:35; 13:41 – Tobit 4:14(BA); 1 Macc 9:23; Wisdom of Solomon 8:5; 15:17; Sir 7:20; 10:27; 14:19; 20:28; 30:13; 51:30; Baruch 2:21-22,24; Matt 7:23; 21:28; 25:16; Mark 14:6; Luke 13:14; John 5:17; 6:27-28,30; 9:4. Acts 18:3; Rom 2:10; 4:4-5; 13:10; 1 Cor 4:12; 9:6,13; 16:10; 2 Cor 7:10, Gal 6:10; Eph 4:28; Col 3:23; 1 Thess 2:9; 4:11; 2 Thess 3:8,10-12; Heb 11:33; Jas 1:20; 2:9; 2 John v 8; 3 John v 5; Rev 18:17.

ergon (work) (in the Synoptics, John, the Acts, 1-3 John, Rev + examples in the Apocrypha) Tobit 4:6; Matt 5:16; John 3:19-21; Acts 9:36; 13:41; 26:20; 1 John 3:8,12,18 – Esther 4:17a(C1); Tobit 3:2,11; 4:14(BA); 12:6(BA),7,11,22; 1 Macc 2:51; 3:4,7; 9:54; 10:11,41; 14:42; 2 Macc 3:36; Wisdom of Solomon 1:12; 2:4; 6:3; 8:4; 9:9,12; 11:1; 12:19; 13:1,7,10; 14:5; 17:19(20); Sir 1:9; 3:8,17,23; 4:29; 7:25; 9:17; 10:26; 11:4,20; 15:19; 16:12,14,22,26-27; 17:8; 18:4; 33:15,25,29(30); 35:22(24); 37:11,16; 38:25,27,29; 39:14,19; 42:15,22; 43:2,32; 45:10-11; 48:14; 51:30; Baruch 2:9; 3:18; Epistle of Jeremiah v 50; The Prayer of Azariah v 4; The Song of Praise of the Three Men v 34; Matt 11:2,19; 23:3,5; 26:10; Mark 13:34; 14:6; Luke 11:48; 24:19; John 4:34; 5:20,36; 6:28-29; 7:3,7,21; 8:39,41; 9:3-4; 10:25,32-33,37-38; 14:10-12; 15:24; 17:4; Acts 5:38; 7:22,41; 13:2; 14:26; 15:38; 2 John v 11; 3 John v 10; Rev 2:2,5-6,9(א,*א); Rev 2:19,22-23,26; 3:1-2,8,15; 9:20; 14:13; 15:3; 18:6; 20:12-13; 22:12.

krisis (judgment) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Sir 35:23(25); Matt 12:18; John 3:19; 1 John 4:17 – Esther 8:12r(E18); 10:3h(F8); Tobit 1:18(S); 3:5; 6:13; 7:12-13; Judith 9:6; 16:17; 1 Macc 6:22; 7:18; 8:32; 2 Macc 4:43; 7:35-36; 9:4,18; 14:18; 15:20; Wisdom of Solomon 6:5; 9:3; 12:25-26; 16:18; 17:1; Sir 11:9; 18:20; 25:4; 29:19; 35:18(22); 38:16; Epistle of Jeremiah v 53,63; Susanna v 53; The Prayer of Azariah v 4-5,8. Matt 5:21-22; 10:15; 11:22,24; 12:20,36,41-42; 23:23,33; Luke 10:14; 11:31-32,42; John 5:22,24,27,29-30; 7:24; 8:16; 12:31; 16:8,11. Acts 8:33; 2 Thess 1:5; 1 Tim 5:24; Heb 9:27; 10:27; Jas 2:13; 2 Pet 2:4,9,11; 3:7; Jude v 6,9,15; Rev 14:7; 16:7; 18:10; 19:2.

mallon (rather) (in the NT + one example in the Apocrypha) Mark 7:36; John 3:19; Acts 5:29 – Sir 20:18; Matt 6:26,30; 7:11; 10:6,25,28; 18:13; 25:9; 27:24; Mark 5:26; 9:42; 10:48; 15:11; Luke 5:15; 11:13; 12:24,28; 18:39; John 5:18; 12:43; 19:8; Acts 4:19; 5:14; 9:22; 20:35; 22:2; 27:11. Rom 5:9-10,15,17; 8:34; 11:12,24; 14:13; 1 Cor 5:2; 6:7; 7:21; 9:12,15; 12:22; 14:1,5,18; 2 Cor 2:7; 3:8-9,11; 5:8; 7:7,13; 12:9; Gal 4:9,27; Eph 4:28; 5:4,11; Phil 1:9,12,23; 2:12; 3:4; 1 Thess 4:1,10; 1 Tim 1:4; 6:2; 2 Tim 3:4; Philemon v 9,16; Heb 9:14; 10:25; 11:25; 12:9,13,25; 2 Pet 1:10.

miseô (hate) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Sir 21:6; Matt 6.24; John 3:20; 1 John 2:9,11; 4:20 – Esther 4:17u(C26); Tobit 4:15(BA); 13:12(14)(BA); Judith 5:17; 1 Macc 11:21; Wisdom of Solomon 11:24; 12:4; Sir 7:15; 9:18; 10:7; 12:6; 15:11,13; 17:26; 19:6,9; 20:8; 21:28; 25:14; 27:24; 33:2; Matt 5:43; 10:22; 24:9; Mark 13:13; Luke 1:71; 6:22,27; 14:26; 16:13; 19:14; 21:17; John 7:7; 12:25; 15:18-19,23-25; 17:14. Rom 7:15; 9:13; Eph 5:29; Tit 3:3; Heb 1:9; 1 John 3:13,15; Jude v 23; Rev 2:6; 17:16; 18:2.

ponêros (evil) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Baruch 1:22; Matt 6:23; 12:34; Luke 3:19; John 3:19; 1 John 3:12; 5:18 – Esther 7:6; Tobit 3:8,17; 6:8; Judith 8:8-9; 1 Macc 1:15,36; 11:8; 14:14; 2 Macc 1:5; Wisdom of Solomon 3:12,14; 12:10; Sir 4:20; 5:14; 6:4; 13:24; 14:5,8-9; 18:12; 25:16,23,25; 27:27; 28:21; 29:24; 31:13,24; 37:3; 42:5-6; 51:11(12); Baruch 2:8,25,33; The Prayer of Azariah v 9; The Prayer of Manasseh v 10. Matt 5:11,37,39,45; 6:13; 7:11,17-18; 9:4; 12:35,39,45; 13:19,38,49; 15:19; 16:4; 18:32; 20:15; 22:10; 25:26; Mark 7:22-23; Luke 6:22,35,45; 7:21; 11:13,26,29,34; 19:22; John 7:7; 17:15. Acts 17:5; 18:14; 19:12-13,15-16; 25:18; 28:21; Rom 12:9; 1 Cor 5:13; Gal 1:4; Eph 5:16; 6:13,16; Col 1:21; 1 Thess 5:22; 2 Thess 3:2-3; 1 Tim 6:4; 2 Tim 3:13; 4:18; Heb 3:12; 10:22; Jas 2:4; 4:16; 1 John 2:13-14; 5:19; 2 John v 11; 3 John v 10; Rev 16:2.

prassô (practise) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Sir 38:24; Luke 23:41; John 3:20; Acts 26:20 – 2 Macc 12:43(prattô); 14:23(prattô); Luke 3:13; 19:23; 22:23; 23:15; John 5:29. Acts 3:17; 5:35; 15:29; 16:28; 17:7; 19:19,36; 25:11,25; 26:9,26,31; Rom 1:32; 2:1-3,25; 7:15,19; 9:11; 13:4; 1 Cor 5:2; 9:17; 2 Cor 5:10; 12:21; Gal 5:21; Eph 6:21; Phil 4:9; 1 Thess 4:11.

skotos (darkness) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Matt 6:23; John 3:19; 1 John 1:6 – Esther 1:1g(A7); Tobit 4:10(BA); 5:10; 14:10; 2 Macc 3:27; Wisdom of Solomon 17:2,16(18),20(21); 18:4; 19:17; Sir 23:18; Epistle of Jeremiah v 70; The Song of Praise of the Three Men v 47; Matt 4:16; 8:12; 22:13; 25:30; 27:45; Mark 15:33; Luke 1:79; 11:35; 22:53; 23:44. Acts 2:20; 13:11; 26:18; Rom 2:19; 13:12; 1 Cor 4:5; 2 Cor 4.6; 6:14; Eph 5:8,11; 6:12; Col 1:13; 1 Thess 5:4-5; 1 Pet 2:9; 2 Pet 2:17; Jude v 13.

faulos (worthless) (in the NT + one example in the Apocrypha) John 3:20 – Sir 20:16(17); John 5:29; Rom 9:11; 2 Cor 5:10; Tit 2:8; Jas 3:16.


Additional studies: Deut 31:15; Job 24:13-16; Is 26:10; 2 Macc 6:12; Matt 5:14-16; 6:22-23; John 1:4-5,10-11; 8:12; 9:5; 12:46; 16:8; Eph 5:13-14; 1 John 1:10; Rev 6:16; 15:4; 22:11.


(Original version 2007-12-01; revised version 2009-02-04; 2010-09-18; 2013-10-13; 2014-09-30)

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3:22-24 After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the Jewish earth/land, and there He (continually) resided in company with them and He (continually) baptized. But and/also John (continually) was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because many waters (continually/-) were there, and they became/came (continually) to the side of (Aenon) and were (continually) baptized. For John (continually/-) was not yet being (and having not yet been) thrown/put into the watch/custody.

Word for word: 3:22 (20 words in the Greek text) After these-(things) came the Jesus and the disciples his into the Jewish earth and there (he)-(continually)-resided in-company-with them and (he)-(continually)-baptized. 3:23 (19 words in the Greek text Sinaiticus) Was-(continually) but and John baptizing in Aenon near the Salim, because waters many were-(continually) there, and (they)-became-(continually)-to-the-side-of and (they)-were-baptized-(continually). 3:24 (8 words in the Greek text Sinaiticus prima manus) not-yet for was-(continually) being-(and-having-been)-thrown into the watch.


The Former Revelation (preliminary translation):

Melchizedek, king of Salem, carried out breads/bread and wine. But/and he (continually) was a priest of the highest God. (Gen 14:18, Greek OT)

(Moses said to Pharao:) “After these things I will come/go out.” … (Ex 11:8b, Greek OT)

Israel came into Ailim, and there (continually) were twelve springs of waters and seventy trunks of dates, but/and there they threw up a wall to the side of, to the side of the waters. (Ex 15:27, Greek OT)

(The leper) shall bathe/wash himself in water, and he will be clean. And after these things he shall come into, into the (walled) camp and seven days reside outside his house. (Lev 14:8b, Greek OT)

(The Lord ‘arranged together’/commanded Moses:) “Every concern which will come through in fire, it will and/also be made clean. Or however/also it will be purified (in) the purification of the water. And all things, as many things - if according to the circumstances – may not be go through, through fire, it will come through, through water. (Num 31:23, Greek OT)

(Naaman) descended and baptized/dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of (Elisha). And his flesh ‘turned next’/’was changed’ to as flesh of a small, very little boy, and he was made clean. (2 Kings 5:14, Greek OT)

(The Lord said to Israel:) “If you had heard My commandment, your peace had – according to the circumstances – become as if (it was) a river and your righteousness as a wave of sea.” (Is 48:18, Greek OT)

(The slaves) became/came ‘to the side of against’/’up to the side of’ the springs. … (Judith 6:11b)

(The foreign king) took the sons of the ones being in command of the district (as a) hostage and put them in the border/castle in Jerusalem in a watch/custody. (1 Macc 9:53)

(Solomon said to the Lord:) “In stead of a spring of an inexhaustible river having been troubled/soiled by blood, soiled murderblood … You gave (Your people) profused water, which they had not hoped for, having through the thirst then/'at that time' shown how you chastised the hostile ones.".” (Wisdom of Solomon 11:6,7b-8)


The Latter Revelation:

Jesus became/came from Galilee ‘to the side of against’/’up to the side of’ the Jordan towards John to be baptized by him. (Matt 3:13)

Having heard that John had been given ‘to the side of’/over, (Jesus) retired into Galilee. (Matt 4:12)

Having got power over John Herod bound (him) and put (him) away in a watch/custody. (Matt 14:3a)

Peter spoke to (Jesus): “Lord, if You are, exhort me to come towards You against the waters.” But/and He spoke: "Come!" (Matt 14:28b-29a)

(The slave) threw/put (his fellow-slave) into a watch/custody … (Matt 18:30b)

After these things (Jesus) came out and viewed a toll collector (with) name Levi, being seated against the toll-house. And He says (א,* א) to him: “Follow Me!” (Luke 5:27)

Peter utters towards (the Jews): “Change your minds and let yourselves, everyone/each of you, be baptized on/’for the sake of’ the name of Jesus Christ into/’for the purpose of’ a letting be (alone) of your misses (of the mark of God).” (Acts 2:38a)

(The male having been lame) came into, into the sanctuary, walking about and springing and praising (Greek: ainôn) God. (Acts 3:8b)

(As Philip and the eunuch) (continually) went ‘according to’/downwards the way, they came against/'up to' a certain water, and the eunuch utters: "Behold! Water! What hinders me to be baptized?" … And they both descended into the water. (Acts 8:36,38a)

(In Lydda) Peter found a certain man (with) name Aineas, having ‘out of’/since eight years lying down upon a mattress, (a man) who (continually) was (and had been) ‘loosened from the side’/paralysed. And Peter spoke to him: “Aineas, Jesus Christ heals you. Stand up and extend/’stretch out’ yourself.” And straightaway he stood up. (Acts 9:33-34)

Paul and Barnabas resided in company and/also with many (of) the others in Antioch teaching and bringing the good little message, the saying of the Lord. (Acts 15:35)

Having put/laid many blows on (Paul and Silas) (the Roman officers) threw/put (them) into a watch/custody. (Acts 16:23a)


The Apostle, the eighth and one of the seven:

Jesus answered (Nicodemus): "Amen, amen, I say to you: If not – according to the circumstances – a certain (person) may be begotten out of water and spirit, he is not able to behold (א*) the kingdom of the heavens (א*)." (John 3:5)


Exegetes, evangelists and others:

Examples of quoted authors in the Swedish version: Carl Jonas Love Almqvist, P. Waldenström, Birgitta Yavari.


My own comments and speculations:

Observe the similarity of the word "Ailim" (Greek OT) to the composition of the first vowel "Ai" in the word "Aenon" (Greek: Ainôn) and the last syllable "lim" in the word "Salim" (Greek: Saleim). Furthermore compare My own comments and speculations to John 4:5-6a and Rev 14:5.

Compare also the similarity of the Greek word “Ainôn” to the Greek verb “aineô” (praise) with the flexion “ainôn” (cf. Acts 3:8) and to the Greek noun “ainos” (praise) with the flexion “ainon” in for example Judith 16:1, Matt 21:16 and Luke 18:43. We also have a similarity to the Greek word “aiôn” (age).


Greek words:

Ainôn (Aenon) John 3:23.

ballô (throw) (in the NT + examples in the OT) Matt 18:30; John 3:24; Acts 16:23 - Judges 6:19; 1 Chron 25:8; Job 5:3; Ps 22:18(19); Is 19:8; Dan 3:21; Judith 6:12; Wisdom of Solomon 5:12; Sir 22:20; 27:25. Matt 3:10; 4:6,18; 5:13,25,29-30; 6:30; 7:6,19; 8:6,14; 9:2,17; 10:34; 13:42,47-48,50; 15:26; 17:27; 18:8-9; 21:21; 25:27; 26:12; 27:6,35; Mark 2:22; 4:26; 7:27,30,33; 9:22,42,45,47; 11:23; 12:41-44; 15:24; Luke 3:9; 4:9; 5:37,38(א*); Luke 12:28,49,58; 13:8,19; 14:35; 16:20; 21:1-4; 23:25,34; John 5:7; 8:(7,)59; 12:6; 13:2,5; 15:6; 18:11; 19:24; 20:25,27; 21:6-7. Acts 16:24,37; 22:23; 27:14; Jas 3:3; 1 John 4:18; Rev 2:10,14,24; 4:10; 6:13; 8:5,7-8; 12:4,9-10,13,15-16; 14:16,19; 18:19,21; 19:20; 20:3,10,14-15.

diatribô (reside) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) John 3:22; Acts 15:35 – Judith 10:2; 2 Macc 14:23; Acts 12:19; 14:3,28; 16:12; 20:6; 25:6,14.

paraginomai (become from/by/to the side of) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Judith 6:11; Matt 3:13; John 3:23 – Esther 5:5; 6:14; Tobit 11:18(19); Judith 3:5; 14:13; 15:5; 1 Macc 4:26,46,60; 5:14; 15:31,40; 16:19; 2 Macc 1:13; 3:9,39; 4:21,25,34; 5:25; 8:16; 9:4; 11:2; 12:6; 13:1; 15:24,31; Sir 48:25; Bel and the Dragon v 15. Matt 2:1; 3:1; Mark 14:43; Luke 7:4,20; 8:19; 11:6; 12:51; 14:21; 19:16; 22:52; (John 8:2;) Acts 5:21-22,25; 9:26,39; 10:33; 11:23; 13:14; 14:27; 15:4; 17:10; 18:27; 20:18; 21:18; 23:16,35; 24:17,24; 25:7; 27:7; 28:21; 1 Cor 16:13; 2 Tim 4:16; Heb 9:11.

Salim (Salim) (probably = peace) John 3:23. Cf. Salêm (peace) in Gen 14:18 and the Hebrew word “salom” (peace) in the OT.

fylakê (watch) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) 1 Macc 9:53; Matt 14:3; 18:30; John 3:24; Acts 16:23 – 1 Macc 13:12; 14:3; Sir 22:27; 26:10; 34:16(19); 42:11; Matt 5:25; 14:10,25; 24:43; 25:36,39,43-44; Mark 6:17,27,48; Luke 2:8; 3:20; 12:38,58; 21:12; 22:33; 23:19,25. Acts 5:19,22(23),25; 8:3; 12:4-6,10,17; 16:24,27,37,40; 22:4; 26:10; 2 Cor 6:5; 11:23; 1 Pet 3:19; Rev 2:10; 18:2; 20:7.


Additional studies: Num 33:9; Ezek 1:24; 43:2; Matt 3:6; 14:3; Mark 1:14; Luke 1:16; 3:7; John 3:26; 4:1-3; 7:3; 11:7; Rev 17:1; 19:6; 20:3.

Jeffrey Wilson "The Integrity of John 3:22-36."; Journal for the Study of the New Testament 10 (1981): 34-41.


(Original version 2007-12-01; revised version 2009-02-04; 2010-09-23; 2013-10-16)

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3:25-26 It became so a searching ‘out of’/of the disciples of John in company with Jews (P66,א*) on account of purification. And they came towards John and spoke to him: “Rabbi, the One who (continually) was in company with you on the other side of the Jordan, to whom you have been (and are) a witness, behold, this One baptizes and all come towards Him.”

Word for word: 3:25 (11 words in the Greek text) (It)-became so (a)-searching out-of the disciples (of)-John in-company-with Jews on-account-of purification. 3:26 (27 words in the Greek text) and (they)-came towards the John and spoke (to)-him: rabbi, (the-one)-who was-(continually) in-company-with you on-the-other-side (of)-the (of)-Jordan, (to)-whom you have-been-(and-are)-a-witness, behold this-(one) baptizes and all come towards him.


The Former Revelation (preliminary translation):

(The Lord talked towards Moses and Aaron, saying: "Talk (with) the sons of Israel and speak to them:) 'If – according to the circumstances – (anyone) has ‘fallen ill with gonorrhoea’/’a discharge’, he may be made clean out of his stream, and he shall count up for himself the number out of seven days into/for the purification, and he shall cleanse his garments, and he shall bathe the body (with) water, and he shall be clean." (Lev 15:13, Greek OT)

(David said:) "According to the cleanliness of my hands (the Lord) will in stead give me back." (Ps 18:20b or 18:21b, Greek OT)

(The Lord said to the house of Israel:) “I will sprinkle clean water against you, and you will be made clean.” (Ezek 36:25a, Greek OT)

Nehemiah and the ones (being) around him ‘spoke to’/addressed (the fluid) nefthar, which is throughout/carefully interpreted purification, ‘by the side of’/’according to’ the many/majority it is called nefthai.” (2 Macc 1:36)


The Latter Revelation:

The disciples of John come to (Jesus), saying: "Because of what do we and the Pharisees fast * (א*, B), but Your disciples do not fast?" (Matt 9:14)

Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from (a disgraced) Jerosolyma/Jerusalem saying: "Because of what do Your disciples step to the side of the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their own hands, when they – according to the circumstances - may eat bread." (Matt 15:1-2)

(Jesus said to the crowds and to the disciples:) “You may not be called ‘Rabbi’, for one is your Conductor (א*), but/and you are all brothers.” (Matt 23:8)

(Jesus said to His disciples: "Baptize them/'the ones you have made disciples' into the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit." (Matt 28:19b)

(Simon and the ones being in company with him said to Jesus:) "All seek You." (Mark 1:37b)

(People) (continually) came towards (Jesus) from all (directions). (Mark 1:45b)

(One of Jesus' disciples said:) ”John taught his disciples.” (Luke 11:1b)

Paul spoke: "John baptized (with) a baptism of a change of mind, saying to the people ‘in order that’/that they might believe into/’for the purpose of’ the One coming after him, this is into/’for the purpose of’ Jesus." Having heard (the disciples in Ephesos) were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. And on Paul's having put/laid hands/’his hands’ on them, the Holy Spirit came against them. (Acts 19:4-6a)


The Apostle, the eighth and one of the seven:

These things became/happened in Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, whereat/where John (continually) was baptizing. (John 1:28)

(John the Baptist, who baptized in the water, said:) "And I have beheld (and behold) and have been (and are) a witness, that (Jesus) is the Chosen One (P5,א*) of God." (John 1:34)

There (continually) were six water-pots of stone * (א*) (made) ‘according to’/concerning the purification of the Jews, having room upwards for two or three firkin-measures. (John 2:6)


Exegetes, evangelists and others:

about 2000 - about 1500

"Unclean" things were such things which made a man unholy, so that he could not approach God without first having "cleaned" himself, which usually happened by "washing" oneself with water, which would wash away the invisible impurity one had pulled on oneself. For the priests especially strict instructions of cleanness were valid. . (Bo Giertz "Evangelium enligt Markus" p 60-61 in comment to Mark 7:1-23; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)

The first impression left on people from Western Countries as they visit India is that this is a country where religion is very much in evidence. They will never be far from temple or mosque or wayside shrine. They will witness the ritual washing in tank and river, in which not the few only but the mass of the people are engaged. (Frank B. Rehnstrom "An Outline of Missionary Enterprise in India, Nepal & Pakistan" p 18)

When the committee members began discussing the use of the fund (for the gift on account of my birthday) for some purpose, the matter of money came in the background, and the thought of the coins of the little people was completely obliterated. When all the same the present was delivered as cash, I hurried to give back as much of the gift as I regarded to come from men of small means. . . . If I now inform that I have given the whole fund away to poor, miserable and distressed ones, to more or less needy ones and only have kept about as much as I myself have contributed by incomes from my dramas, so I now should have clean hands. (August Strindberg "August Strindberg om nationalgåvan" p 199; Dagens Nyheter 1912-03-18; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)

The thing was that my grandfather in Minnesota had always described Sweden to me as a paradise. . . . Apples in America tasted like nothing compared with the juicy apples in Småland, strawberries in Sweden tasted much better than our American ones, and the pike in Långasjö were so marvellous that it was a shame to compare them with the fish in Minnesota. I listened to Grandfather's descriptions and as a child thought about them a great deal, and in my mind told myself, "Some day . . . some day . . . I will travel to Sweden . . . I will taste the apples and strawberries in paradise and the good fish that can be caught in Långasjö and which is better than any other fish." . . . I had expected that everything in Sweden would be large and magnificient, in accordance with Grandfather's descriptions. This turned out not to be so. The little red cottages along the road were picturesque but not imposing. The trees were small in comparison with the giant trees I had seen in various places in America, the locomotives were much smaller than our American engines, the same with the streetcars. But everything was clean and proper and there were flower beds around the railway stations. A little railroad station in America in those days looked like a junk heap in comparison with a Swedish one - here thrash lay in piles and there were no flowers. The villages in Sweden were not so different from small communities in America, but everything was cleaner and neater, and there were flowers everythere. As far as the larger cities were concerned, they were also as clean and freshly swept as though they had just been put in order to receive some distinguished guest. (Amandus Johnson "En svenskamerikan besöker sitt fosterland år 1906" p 258-259)

Just now I had the last bathe - it is also cleaning inward, the water of the sea; I think I am baptized every time as a little child. (August Strindberg "August Strindbergs brev XV april 1904-april 1907 p 148; letter 1905-08-01 to Harriet Bosse; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)

To baptize children is not originally in the church. The oldest Christians could not think any valid baptism without a conscious faith in the baptized. . . . Probably . . . the baptism of children has begun to be used on some places already in the middle of the second century.This question is detailed dealt with in the also of the orthodox ones highly respected theologian J.A.W. Neander's "Geschichte der Pflanzung und Leitung der Kirche durch die Apostel", 4th edition 1847. I think . . . (that) one without scruples can accept a ceremony, which one is right to interpret in a way which excludes all magical ideas, and which really is dedicated to "gild the poorness of life". In some more public way the little child should be greeted welcomed as a limb in the family, the state and the great body of mankind, and to the ceremony a sincere promise of the parents is connected to never break their duty of love to the child, to always shine it with examples of love of truth and goodness and to do what possible is to develope its moral talents and its intellectual ones. So we may be glad to own such a custom. (Viktor Rydbergs brev II "Brev från Viktor Rydberg 1855-1881" p 293,395; letter 1881-01-05 to "H- Ö-"; the letter is an answer to a person, who had begun to doubt the dogmas of the church and asked for Rydberg's advice, if he would let baptize his half a year old daughter; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)


about 1500 and time before

First among these late ones, who, mixed with the angles, surround the throne of God, the saints stand. Their intercessions are worth more than the seraphs, their strength in the struggle against the demons surpass the cherubs. Because of this the kingdoms, the municipalities, the ranks, the orders, the guilds, yes, even the notorious or unlawful industries (which more than others need grace and intercessions) have their patron saints in the rows of the saints. The individual is protected by the saint, to whose name he has become baptized. (Viktor Rydberg "Medeltidens magi" p 15; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)

Like a considerate mother the church (in the Middle Ages) takes care of man and surrounds him from the cradle to the grave with its magical protective agents. Shortly after the birth of the child the priest must be ready to pour water upon it, water which through prayer and conjuration had been cleaned from the also in this element ravaging demons, for the tender being . . . would without the gift of grace of the baptism be for ever lost for heaven, for ever reverted to the pains of the hell. More than one conscientious servant of the church therefore was considered to expedients in order to bring the saving water into touch with the foetus, before it had come into daylight. Nevertheless this precaution did not become a church custom. . . . In the baptism other by the priest consecrated means - the oil, the salive (which the priest after the conjuration spits at the child and which power is evident in Mark 7:33), the salt, the milk and the honey - co-operate with the water. To this the sign of the cross and the conjuration come, which out of the child drive out the Evil One and give room to the holy spirit. By means of these magical ceremonies the child becomes taken up in the church and for the future paticipant in the protection which the church gives against the evil thing. (Viktor Rydberg "Medeltidens magi" p 40-42; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)

Deep in the Christian time among Scandinavians the idea lived that their heathen fathers believed in the existence of an Eden, from which sorrow, pain, defects, old age, illness and death were shut out. This Eden was called . . . "Not field of dead ones . . . earth of living men". It was situated not in heaven, but down there, neither on the surface of the earth, nor in the nether world, but separated from the built-up countries of men in a way, which did it not impossible, but nevertheless extremely venturesome to come there. A fairy-tale from the fourteenth century, taken up in the Flatö-book, and with some corrections in "Fornald. Sag. III", tells: Erik, the son of a Norwegian king of a little country, one Christmas Eve gave the promise to visit Odains-aker, and this rumour became known over all Norway. In company with a Danish prince, who also was called Erik, he first went to Miklagård (Constantinople), which king took the young men in his service and had much use of their warlike competence. One day the king conversed in believed questions with the Norwegian Erik with the consequence that the king left the faith of his fathers letting baptize himself. (Viktor Rydberg "Mythen om underjorden" p 235; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)

God gave us a baptism of the remission of sins. (Chrysostom, The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers X:376-377)

(Justin Martyr wrote to Trypho, a Jew:) “We have believed and testify that that very baptism which (Isaiah) announced is alone able to purify those who have repented; and this is the water of life. ... For what is the use of that baptism which cleanses the flesh and body alone? Baptize the soul from wrath and from covetousness, from envy, and from hatred; and lo! the body is pure. ... But you have understood all things in a carnal sense.” (Justin Martyr, The Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol I, p 201)

The true Prophet ... alone knows the past as it was, the present as it is, and the future as it shall be. ... (God) instituted baptism by water amongst (His people), in which they might be absolved from all their sins on the invocation of His name, and for the future, following a perfect life, might abide in immortality, being purified not by the blood of beasts, but by purification of the Wisdom of God. Subsequently also an evident proof of this great mystery is supplied in the fact, that every one who, believing in this Prophet who had been foretold by Moses, is baptized in His name, shall be kept unhurt from the destruction of war which impends over the unbelieving nation, and the place itself. (Recognitions of Clement, The Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol VIII, p 83,88)

The pious fasted before (a marriage), confessing their sins. It was regarded almost as a Sacrament. Entrance into the married state was thought to carry the forgiveness of sins. It almost seems as if the relationship of Husband and Bride between Jehovah and His people, so frequently insisted upon, not only in the Bible, but in Rabbinic writings, had always been standing out in the background. Thus the bridal pair on the marriage.day symbolised the union of God with Israel. (Alfred Edersheim "The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah Part I" p 352-353)

‘The proselytes of righteousness’ ... became ‘children of the covenant,’ perfect Israelites,’ Israelites in every respect ... That baptism was absolutely necessary to make (such) a proselyte is so frequently stated as not to be disputed. ... But Christian theologians have discussed the question, whether the rite was practised at the time of Christ. ... We have (a) positive testimony (which the objections of Winer, Keil, and Leyrer, in my opinion do not invalidate) that the baptism of proselytes existed in the time of Hillel and Shammai. ... (A) controversy (between these two where the baptism is mentioned) must be regarded as proving that at that time (previous to Christ) the baptism of proselytes was customary. (Alfred Edersheim "The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah Part II" p 745-747)

It was a common Jewish view, that the merits or demerits of the parents would appear in the children. In fact, up to thirteen years of age a child was considered, as it were, part of his father, and as suffering for his guilt (Shabb.32b; 105b; Yalkut on Ruth, vol ii. par 600, p. 163c). (Alfred Edersheim "The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah Part II" p 178; cf. 1 Cor 7:14: “’A faithless’/’an unbelieving’ male is (and has been) made holy in the (believing) woman and the faithless/unbelieving woman is (and has been) made holy in the (believing) brother. ‘Since consequently’/otherwise your children are unclean, but now they are holy.”)

Both to sin- and to trespass-offerings, the Rabbinical principle must be kept in view – that they only atoned in case of real repentance. (Alfred Edersheim “The Temple” p 129)


Examples of other quoted authors in the Swedish version: Lars Ahlberg, Friedrich Ahlfeld, Svetlana Aleksijevitj, Eskil Albertsson, Eric S. Alexandersson, Ann-Charlotte Alverfors, H.C. Andersen, Åke Andrén,Jack-Tommy Ardenfors, Gottfried Arnold, Margit Assarsson, James Atkinson, Tage Aurell, Eric Axelsson, Karl Barth, Paul Beasley-Murray, Staffan Beijer, Nils Beltzén, Håkan Bengtsson, Ingvar Bengtsson, Torsten Bergsten, Erik Bernspång, Elisabeth Beskow, Per Beskow, Oloph Bexell, Manfred Björkquist, Harry Blomberg, Åke Boberg, Lars-Ola Borglid, Joel Boström, Gerald Bray, William Bredberg, Ingmar Brohed, S. Bruchfeld, Colin Buchanan, Ivan Bunin, Hjalmar Börjeson, Fredrik Böök, Barthold Carlson, Önver Cetrez, Elizabeth Charles, Marcus Cheng, Driss Chraibi, Charlotte Christensen-Nugues, William Dalrymple, G.A. Danell, Sven Danell, Tage Danielsson, Douglas James Davies, Charles Dickens, Johanna-Ruth Dobschiner, Anders Eckerdal, Bertil Edvardsson, Lena Einhorn, Stefan Einhorn, E.J. Ekman, Kerstin Ekman, Henrik Elmgren, Per Ericsson, Linné Eriksson, J. Fjellstedt, Emilia Fogelklou, Anatole France, Bert Franzén, Jane Fredlund, Anis Freiha, Jan Fridegård, Emil Frommel, Einar Genitz, F. Godet, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Erik Granlund, Günter Grass, Carl Grimberg, Jan Guillou, Geraldine Guinness-Taylor, Berndt Gustafsson, Sigurd Gustavsson, Georg Hafström, Joel Halldorf, Anders Hallqvist, Britt G. Hallqvist, Björn Hallström, Bertil Hamlin, Knut Hamsun, Krister Hanell, Thomas Hardy, Dick Harrison, Hermann Hartfeld, Lars Hartman, Olov Hartman, William Haslam, Ingmar Hedenius, Alf Henrikson, J.H. Hertz, Gunnar Hillerdal, C.G. Hjelm, Erik J. Holmberg, Walfrid Holst, Homeros, Anders Hultman, G.O. Hyltén-Cavallius, Bengt Hägglund, Curt Härenstam, Storm Jameson, Anders Jarlert, Edvard Johansson, Hilding Johansson, K.W. Johansson, Viktor Johansson, Ulrik Josefsson, E. Judah, Birgit Karlsson, Yasunari Kawabata, Aleksis Kivi, Thorsten Kjäll, Karl Kilsmo, Christofer Klasson, Nina Konstantinovna, G. Kurze, Lars Levi Laestadius, David Lagergren, Selma Lagerlöf, Joachim G. Leithäuser, Harry Lenhammar, Oscar Levertin, P.A. Levine, Sinclair Lewis, Sven Gunnar Lidén, Sven Lidman, Lars Lindberg, Gustaf Linder, Astrid Lindgren, Sigurd Lindgren, Sven Lindström, Sven Lundkvist, Martin Luther, Martin Lönnebo, Olaus Magnus, John Magnusson, Thomas Mann, Harry Martinson, Moa Martinson, Karl Henrik Martling, A.A. Milne, Vilhelm Moberg, Patrick Modiano, D.L. Moody, Henrietta Mullens, Alice Munro, Fabian Månsson, V.S. Naipul, Elie Ngandjoko, Fredrik Nielsen, Bertil Nilsson, Fritiof Nilsson Piraten, Martin P:n Nilsson, Sten Nilsson, Anders Nohrborg, Helmer V. Nyberg, Folke T. Olofsson, Bror Olsson, John Ongman, Oluf E. Paaske, James Innel Packer, Efraim Palmqvist, Sven-Erik Pernler, Lewi Pethrus, Olaus Petri, Olof Pettersson, Hilding Pleijel, Harold Pinter, Robert von Poehlmann, Gustaf Pontén, Harald Rasmussen, A.W. Rendahl, Eliza Richardson, Abraham Rundbäck, Eva Rydberg, Göran Sahlberg, Sven Edvin Salje, Dag Sandahl, Gösta Sandberg, E. Sanders, Gunnar E. Sandgren, Martha Sandwall-Bergström, Jean-Paul Sartre, Erik Schiller, Sven-Åke Selander, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Tomas Sjödin, Harry Sjöman, Erik Sollerman, Alexander Solsjenitsyn, Eva Spångberg, Oskar Stenberg, Lars Gösta stensson, Bengt Stolt, John Stott, A.M. Strinnholm, Tage Ståhlberg, Gunnar Svahnström, Knut Svensson, Helmut Thielicke, Einar Thomassen, Ragnar Thoursie, Owe Thörnqvist, Anton Tjechov, J. Traasdahl, Fanny Tuxen, Sigrid Undset, P. Waldenström, Johan Olof Wallin, Kallistos Ware, John Wesley, Per Westblom, Gunnar Westin, N.P. Wetterlund, Barrington Raymond White, Arwid Wickström, Arne Widegård, Björn Wiedel, Carl Fr. Wislöff, Thecla Wrangel, Richard Wurmbrand, Pär Wästberg, Xiao Hong, Yngve Ydreborg, Tore Zetterholm, Göran Åberg, Lars Ösvall.


My own comments and speculations:

In a restoration perspective we can compare the one baptism in water cleaning from sin with the punishing "baptism" in water meeting the men in the time of Noah.

Concerning "on the other side of the Jordan", see My own comments and speculations to John 1:28.


Greek words:

p>zêtêsis (searching) John 3:25 – Acts 15:2,7; 25:20; 1 Tim 6:4; 2 Tim 2:23; Tit 3:9.


Additional studies:

Matt 13:2; 23:7-8,25-28; Mark 1:45; 3:7; 4:1; 7:1-5,20-23; Luke 5:15,33; 7:18; 8:4; 11:37-39; John 1:7,15,22; 2:6; 4:2; 10:40; 11:48; 12:19; 13:10; Eph 5:26; Heb 6:2; 1 John 1:7; Rev 7:14; 13:3; 22:11.


R. Alistair Campbell "Baptism and Resurrection (1 Cor 15:29)"; Australian Biblical Review 47 (1999): 43-52.

R. Bruce Compton "Water Baptism and the Forgiveness of Sins in Acts 2:38"; Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal 4 (1999): 3-32.

N.A. Dahl "Trinitariske dåpsbekjennelser och nytestamentlig teologi"; Svensk Exegetisk Årsbok 48 (1983): 118-143.

G. Grefbäck "Fiskens symbol och det kristna dopet. En studie i fornkristen symbolik."; Svensk Exegetisk Årsbok 15 (1950): 62-80.

Lars Hartman "Obligatory Baptism - but Why? On Baptism in the Didache and in the Shepherd of Hermas."; Svensk Exegetisk Årsbok 59 (1994): 127-143.

René Kieffer "Judiska reningar och det dop som Jesus kommer med"; Svensk Exegetisk Årsbok 51 (1986): 116-126.

Andreas J. Köstenberger "Jesus as Rabbi in the Fourth Gospel"; Bulletin for Biblical Research 8 (1998): 97-128.

Luther B. McIntyre "Baptism and Forgiveness in Acts 2:38"; Bibliotheca Sacra 153 (1996): 53-62.

Jerome Murphy-O'Connor "John the Baptist and Jesus. History and Hypothesis."; New Testament Studies 36 (1990): 359-374.

John W. Pryor "John the Baptist and Jesus: Tradition and Text in John 3:25"; Journal for the Study of the New Testament 66 (1997): 15-26.

Jeffrey Wilson "The Integrity of John 3:22-36."; Journal for the Study of the New Testament 10 (1981): 34-41.


(Original version 2007-12-01; revised version 2008-12-30; 2009-02-05; 2010-09-26; 2013-10-17; 2014-09-30)

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3:27-30 John answered and spoke: “A man is not able to take nothing (P75, א,* א, A)/anything, if – according to the circumstances – it may not have been (and is) given to him out of the heaven. You yourselves are witnesses * (P75,א,*א), that I spoke: ‘I am not the Christ, however/but that/- I have been (and is) dispatched away in front of that One.’ The one having the bride is the bridegroom, but the friend of the bridegroom standing and hearing Him, rejoices (with) joy because of the voice of the bridegroom. So this joy of mine has been (and is) completed. That One must increase, but me/I be lessened.”

Word for word: 3:27 (17 words in the Greek text Sinaiticus) answered John and spoke: not is-able-to (a)-man take nothing if-according-to-the-circumstances not (it)-may-be having-been-(and-being)-given him out-of the heaven. 3:28 (16 words in the Greek text Sinaiticus) yourselves you are-witnesses that (i/I)-spoke: not am i/I the christ/anointed, however that having-been-(and-being)-sent (i/I)-am in-front-of that-(one). 3:29 (30 words in the Greek text) the-(one) having the bride bridegroom is; the but friend (of)-the (of)-bridegroom the-(one) standing-(and-having-stood) and hearing him (with)-joy rejoices because-of the voice (of)-the (of)-bridegroom. this so the joy the mine has-been-(and-is)-completed. 3:30 (6 words in the Greek text) that-(one) must increase, 'me but'/'but I' be-lessened.


The Former Revelation (preliminary translation):

Abraham spoke (directed) towards God: “Let this Ishmael live opposite You.” But/and God spoke to Abraham: “Yes, behold Sarah, your woman, shall bring forth a son to you … but/and around/about Ishmael I have ‘heard upon’/’listened to’ you. Behold, I have blessed him and I increase/'let ... grow' him and I make him extremely full.” (Gen 17:18-19a,20a, Greek OT)

The Lord talked towards Moses ‘in the very eyes of in the very eyes of’/’face to face’ as if a certain one might/would talk towards a friend of himself. (Ex 33:11a, Greek OT)

(Moses said to Israel:) "All these curses shall come against you ... and take you down ... because you did not listen to the voice of the Lord Your God ... (because) you did not served the Lord Your God in/with cheerfulness and (with) a good heart because of the multitude/abundance of all things." (Deut 28:45a,47, Greek OT)

(At his wedding with Esther) the king made a drinking-bout for all his friends. (Esther 2:18a, Greek OT)

(The prophet said:) “A voice crying in the desolate (district): ‘Make the way of the Lord ready! Make straight the paths of our God. Every ravine will be completed/fulfilled, and every mountain and hill will be humbled/’made low’.’” (Is 40:3-4a, Greek OT)

(Isaiah said to Israel: “As) a bridegroom will be cheerful on/’for the sake of’ a bride, in this way the Lord will be cheerful on/’for the sake of’ you.” (Is 62:5b, Greek OT)

(The Lord said:) “Behold, I dispatch out My messenger, and he will 'see against'/regard a way before My face, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly arrive into His temple.” (Mal 3:1a, Greek OT)

Tobit came rejoicing out into/to a meeting together with ‘his bride’/’the bride of his son’. (Tobit 11:16a, BA)

(Tobit said to the Lord:) “Happy all the men, who will be sorrowful on/’for the sake of’ You, on/’for the sake of’ all Your whips, because they will rejoice in You, and they will behold all Your joy into the (coming) age. … “ (Tobit 13:14b or 13:16a, S)

The bridegroom and his friends and his brothers came out into/to their meeting ‘together with in company with’/with drums and musicians. … (1 Macc 9:39b)

(Solomon said to God:) “Who has gained knowledge of Your counsel, if not You have given wisdom and sent Your Holy Spirit from highest things?” (Wisdom of Solomon 9:17)

(Jesus, the son of Sirach, said:) “Wisdom of a scribe (is) leisure in a good seasonable time, and the one lessening himself, it will practise/manage him to ‘be made’/become wise.” (Sir 38:24)

(Jesus, the son of Sirach, said:) “It/there is not (anyone) who will lessen the means of saving of (the Lord).” (Sir 39:18b)

(Jesus, the son of Sirach, said: “The) month is according to the name (of the moon) increasing wondrously in a change.” (Sir 43:8a)

(Baruch said:) “God has ‘arranged together’/systematized to humble every high mountain … and (that) ravines (shall) be completed.” (Baruch 5:7a)


The Latter Revelation:

Having beheld the star (the soothsayers) rejoiced (for the purpose of) an extremely great joy. (Matt 2:10a)

The disciples of John come to (Jesus), saying: "Because of what do we and the Pharisees fast * (א*, B), but Your disciples do not fast?" And Jesus spoke to them: "The sons of the bride chamber are not able to grieve against/’up to’ as long (time) as the bridegroom is in company with them, (are they)?" (Matt 9:14-15a)

(Jesus said to the crowds: "John the Baptist) is this one on account of whom it has been (and is) written: 'Behold, I dispatch away my messenger before Your face, who shall entirely prepare Your way in front of You. Amen, I say to you, in/among (the) ones begotten/born of women it/there has not been (and is not) risen (anyone) greater than John the Baptist; but the one (being) smaller in the kingdom of the heavens is greater than he." (Matt 11:10-11)

(Jesus said to His disciples: “A scarlet kernel of mustard) is indeed smaller than all (other) seeds, but when – according to the circumstances - it may have increased, it is greater than the vegetables and becomes a tree.” (Matt 13:32a)

Having come to/forward Jesus talked (with the eleven disciples) saying: “Every/all (judicial) authority in heaven and upon earth has been given to Me.” (Matt 28:18)

(The messenger said to Zacarias:) “It will be joy and exultation to you, and many will rejoice on/’for the sake of’ the origin of (your son).” (Luke 1:14)

The little boy (John) (continually) increased and was (continually) powerful (in) spirit. (Luke 1:80a)

The little boy (Jesus) (continually) increased and was (continually) powerful, being completed of (א,* A) wisdom. (Luke 2:40a)

(John the Baptist said:) "Make the way of (a) lord ready, make His paths straight. Every ravine will be completed/fulfilled, and every mountain and hill will be humbled/’made low’." (Luke 3:4b-5a)

(Having found his sheep the man) calls together the friends and the neighbourings, saying to them: “Rejoice together with me, because I have found my sheep, the one 'perishing (and having perished)'/'being (and having been) lost'.” (Luke 15:6b)

Having gained additional knowledge of the voice of Peter (the young girl) did not open the gateway from/’owing to’ the joy. (Acts 12:14a)

The saying of God (continually) increased and was (continually) made full. (Acts 12:24)

The disciples (continually) were completed/fulfilled (with regard to) joy and holy spirit. (Acts 13:52)


The Apostle, the eighth and one of the seven:

As many as took him, to them He gave (judicial) authority to become children of God, to the ones believing into His name. (John 1:12)

(John the Baptist) confessed and did not deny * (א,*א) that/: "I am not the Christ." (John 1:20)

(John the Baptist said:) "This is (the One) in favour of whom I spoke: 'Behind me comes a male who has become (and becomes) in front of me, because He was my First (One).' " (John 1:30)


Exegetes, evangelists and others:

about 2000 - about 1500

(The Baptist) who in the beginning of the gospel understood himself as a ”voice in the wilderness” disappears to the point, where all his joy in stead is to listen to the voice of the bridegroom. (René Kieffer "Johannesevangeliet" p 94, translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)

Moses was given this role (as the friend of the bridegroom) by the rabbis in the marriage between God and Israel. (Raymond E. Brown "The Gospel according to John" p 152)

Nobody born by women, that is to say no man, has been greater than John (the Baptist). Surely Abraham, Moses, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah and so on were great men but still much less than he. At this are not aimed what John was in himself, as talent, wisdom, zeal and the like, but at the position he took nearest Christ, the lord and the king of the kingdom, like, as we know, the red sky at dawn through its nearness to the sun is more beautiful than whatever of the stars of the night. But notwithstanding this his greatness, John stood still outside the kingdom, although quite close to its threshold, why he also had to give way to Christ, like the red sky at dawn disappears for the sun itself. With this "less" one in the kingdom, who is greater than John, is not aimed at any man with personal greatness, talent and the like, but exclusively at his position as belonging to the kingdom. Since the kingdom, Jesus wants to say, stands high over all other kingdoms and will replace them, so even the least one in it, yes, even the least child belonging to it, is greater than even the highest minister, general or other person, not because the child in itself is so remarkable, but because it belongs to the house or the family of the king. With this short but emphatic comparison Christ has shown, how high and glorious the kingdom of heaven is. All the kingdoms of the earth in comparison with it are only what for example the bark on a tree is compared with the kernel. They have its time, then they disappear like the covering envelope round the flower has its time but falls off and disappears as soon as the flower itself appears. (Karl Palmberg "Ur livskällan. Första årgången." p 22-23; comment to Matt 11:11-19; Karl Palmberg /1842-1920/ was from 1883 a Lutheran clergyman in Månsarp in the diocese of Växjö and president in Jönköpings Missionsförening (Missionary Society) 1886-1911; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)

Earlier (the author Verner von Heidenstam) was a promising young man, but after his coming home he became mawkish as all of us. Now in (the newspaper) D.N. he has sunk to a parish clerk and organist among farmers! . . . After I had left Sweden I have had many adventures. In Berlin, where I was much greater than I knew, I was supported by admires to my literature. . . . It was a rich and stormy life, during which I grew incredible, learning much. (August Strindberg "August Strindbergs brev IX 1892-jan 1894" p 367-368; letter 1894-01-16 till Carl Larsson; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)


about 1500 and time before

In the spiritual union of Israel with their God, Moses is spoken of as “the friend of the bridegroom” who leads out the bride (Ex. xix. 17); while Jehovah, as the bridegroom, meets His church at Sinai (Ps. lxviii. 7; Pirke di R. El. 41). (Alfred Edersheim “Jewish Social Life” p 153)

The Covenant-union between God and Israel was not only compared to a marriage, but the Tabernacle and Temple designated as ‘the bridal chambers.’ (Jer. Megill. 72d) (Alfred Edersheim "The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah Part I" p 663-664)


Examples of other quoted authors in the Swedish version: Ingegerd Ahlin, Eric S. Alexandersson, Augustinus, Elisabeth Beskow, August Bondeson, Yngve Brilioth, Sven Danell, A. van Deursen, E.J. Ekman, Johannes Gossner, Dag Hammarskjöld, H. Kamphausen, Lars Levi Laestadius, Selma Lagerlöf, Martin Luther, Vilhelm Moberg, John Ortberg, Efraim Palmqvist, Hilding Pleijel, L C Retzius, Gösta Sandberg, Harry Sjöman, Thomas a Kempis, Tomas Tranströmer, P. Waldenström, Fredrik Wislöff, Göran Åberg.


My own comments and speculations:

In the Jewish tradition the events at Mount Sinai often are described in a form of a wedding between the Lord and His people. Cf. Birger Olsson "Structure and Meaning in the Fourth Gospel" p 107.

In John 1:30 John the baptizer confesses that Jesus is (a) "male" and "(my) first (one)". Here in John 3:27-30 we can hardly yet say that the baptizer has a complete confession of Jesus as "Christ, the Son of God". Jesus is mentioned as "that one" and as "bridegroom" in indefinite form (John 3:29a). And the baptizer humbly confesses that "that one" must increase and become greater. And in the account of John we see how Jesus gradually becomes greater in order to at last in Rev 22:13 be represented as "the Alpha and the Omega, the First (One) and the Last (One), the Beginning and the End".


Paul said: “I am the least of the apostles, (one) who is not fit to be called an apostle. … (I am) less than the least of all holy ones. … (Of missers of the mark of God) I am first.” (1 Cor 15:9a; Eph 3:8a; 1 Tim 1:15b)

Paul said to the believers in Corinth: "I betrothed you to one male to cause you to stand by the side of Christ (as) a pure virgin. (2 Cor 11:2b)

Peter said: "You make/do finely/well giving heed to (the profetic saying) as to a lamp ‘bringing to’/giving light in a parched place, till (the time in) which the (א,* א) day may ray through and a lightcarrying may stick up in your hearts." (2 Pet 1:19b)

And these things we write, in order that our joy may be being (and having been) completed. (1 John 1:4)


Greek words:

auxanô (increase) (in the NT + one example in the Apocrypha) Sir 43:8; Matt 13:32; Luke 1:80; 2:40; John 3:30; Acts 12:24 – Mark 4:8; Luke 12:27; 13:19; Acts 6:7; 7:17; 19:20; 1 Cor 3:6-7; 2 Cor 9:10; 10:15; Eph 2:21; 4:15; Col 1:6,10; 2:19; 1 Pet 2:2; 2 Pet 3:18.

elattoô (lessen) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Sir 38:24(elassoô); 39:18; John 3:30 – Sir 30:24; Heb 2:7,9.

nymfê (bride) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Tobit 11:16; John 3:29 - Tobit 6:13; 12:14; 1 Macc 1:27; 9:37; Baruch 2:23; Matt 10:35; Luke 12:53; Rev 18:23; 21:2,9; 22:17.

plêroô (complete) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Baruch 5:7; Matt 3:15; John 3:29; Acts 13:52; 1 John 1:4 – Tobit 10:1(BA); 14:5; Judith 2:8; 6:4; 8:31; 10:5; 1 Macc 2:55; 3:49; 4:19; 2 Macc 6:4-5; 7:21; 10:30; 12:16; Wisdom of Solomon 1:7; Sir 33:17; 39:12. Matt 1:22; 2:15,17,23; 4:14; 5:17; 8:17; 12:17; 13:35,48; 21:4; 23:32; 26:54,56; 27:9; Mark 1:15; 14:49; Luke 1:20; 2:40; 3:5; 4:21; 7:1; 9:31; 21:24; 22:16; 24:44; John 7:8; 12:3,38; 13:18; 15:11,25; 16:6,24; 17:12-13; 18:9,32; 19:24,36. Acts 1:16; 2:2,28; 3:18; 5:28; 7:23; 9:23; 12:25; 13:25,27; 14:26; 19:21; 24:27; Rom 1:29; 8:4; 13:8; 15:13-14,19; 2 Cor 7:4; 10:6; Gal 5:14; Eph 1:23; 3:19; 4:10; 5:18; Phil 1:11; 2:2; 4:18-19; Col 1:9,25; 2:10; 4:17; 2 Thess 1:11; 2 Tim 1:4; Jas 2:23; 2 John v 12; Rev 3:2; 6:11.

filos (friend) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Esther 2:18; Luke 15:6; John 3:29 – Esther 1:3,13; 3:1; 5:10,14; 6:9,13; 8:12e(E5); 9:22; 1 Macc 2:18,39,45; 3:38; 6:10,14,28; 7:6,8,15; 8:20,31; 9:26,28; 10:16,19-20,60,65; 11:26-27,33,57; 12:14,43; 14:39-40; 15:17,28,32; 2 Macc 1:14; 7:24; 8:9; 10:13; 11:14; 14:11; Wisdom of Solomon 1:16; 7:27; Sir 5:15(6:1); 6:5,7-10,13-16; 7:12,18; 9:10; 12:8; 13:21; 14:13; 19:8,13,15; 20:16,23; 22:20-22,25; 27:16-17; 28:9; 29:10; 30:3,6; 33:6,20; 37:1-2,4-6; 40:23; 41:18(19),22(25). Matt 11:19; Luke 7:6,34; 11:5-6,8; 12:4; 14:10,12; 15:29; 16:9; 21:16; 23:12; John 11:11; 15:13-15; 19:12. Acts 10:24; 19:31; 27:3; Jas 2:23; 4:4; 3 John v 15.

chairô (rejoice) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Tobit 11:16; 13:14(16); Matt 2:10; Luke 1:14; John 3:29 – Esther 8:12b(E1);15; Tobit 5:10,14; 10:13(14); 11:15; 13:13-15(15-16); 14:7,15; 1 Macc 10:18,25-26; 11:30,32; 12:6,20; 13:36; 14:20; 15:2,16; 2 Macc 1:1,10; 9:19; 11:16,22,27,34; Baruch 4:33,37; 5:5; Matt 5:12; 18:13; 26:49; 27:29; 28:9; Mark 14:11; 15:18; Luke 1:28; 6:23; 10:20; 13:17; 15:5,32; 19:6,37; 22:5; 23:8; John 4:36; 8:56; 11:15; 14:28; 16:20,22; 19:3; 20:20. Acts 5:41; 8:39; 11:23; 13:48; 15:23,31; 23:26; Rom 12:12,15; 16:19; 1 Cor 7:30; 13:6; 16:17; 2 Cor 2:3; 6:10; 7:7,9,13,16; 13:9,11; Phil 1:18; 2:17-18,28; 3:1; 4:4,10; Col 1:24; 2:5; 1 Thess 3:9; 5:16; Jas 1:1; 1 Pet 4:13; 2 John v 4,10-11; 3 John v 3; Rev 11:10; 19:7.

chara (joy) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Tobit 13:14(16); Matt 2:10; Luke 1:14; John 3:29; Acts 12:14, 13:52; 1 John 1:4 – Esther 8:17; 9:17-18,22; 10:3k(F10); Tobit 7:17; 11:17-18; 13:10(11)(BA); 1 Macc 4:59; 5:54; 2 Macc 3:30; Wisdom of Solomon 8:16; Sir 1:12; 30:16; Matt 13:20,44; 25:21,23; 28:8; Mark 4:16; Luke 2:10; 8:13; 10:17; 15:7,10; 24:41,52; John 15:11; 16:20-22,24; 17:13. Acts 8:8; 15:3; Rom 14:17; 15:13,32; 2 Cor 1:24; 2:3; 7:4,13; 8:2; Gal 5:22; Phil 1:4,25; 2:2,29; 4:1; Col 1:11; 1 Thess 1:6; 2:19-20; 3:9; 2 Tim 1:4; Philemon v 7; Heb 10:34; 12:2,11; 13:17; Jas 1:2; 4:9; 1 Pet 1:8; 2 John v 12; 3 John v 4.


Additional studies:

Is 54:5; Jer 2:2; Ezek 16:8; Hos 2:19-20; Matt 22:2; 25:1-12; Mark 1:2; 2:19; Luke 1:17; 7:27-28; John 1:6,20,23,30; 10:3,16; 15:11; 16:24; 17:13; 19:11; 1 Cor 4:7; Eph 5:25,32; Heb 5:4; Jas 1:17; Rev 18:23; 21:2,9; 22:17.


K.-J. Illman "Vän och fiende i bönepsalmerna"; Svensk Exegetisk Årsbok 54 (1989): 90-100.

Jerome Murphy-O'Connor "John the Baptist and Jesus. History and Hypothesis."; New Testament Studies 36 (1990): 359-374.

A. van Selms "The Best Man and Bride - from Sumer to St. John with a New Interpretation of Judges 14-15"; Journal of Near Eastern Studies 9 (1950): 65-75.

Jeffrey Wilson "The Integrity of John 3:22-36."; Journal for the Study of the New Testament 10 (1981): 34-41.


(Original version 2007-12-01; revised version 2009-02-05; 2010-09-30; 2013-10-20; 2014-10-01)

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3:31-32 The One coming from above is above all. The one being out of the earth is out of the earth, and out of the earth he talks. The One coming out of the heaven * (P75,א*), (of) what He has beheld (and beholds) and has heard * (א,* א) He is a witness, and no one takes His evidence.

Word for word: 3:31 (25 words in the Greek text Sinaiticus prima manus) The-(one) from-above coming above all is; the-(one) being out-of the earth out-of the earth is and out-of the earth (he)-talks. the-(one) out-of the heaven coming 3:32 (11 words in the Greek text Sinaiticus) which/what (he)-has-beheld-(and-beholds) and has heard (he)-is-a-witness, and the evidence his no-one takes.


The Former Revelation (preliminary translation):

(In a beginning) a spirit of God (continually) was carried upon, above the water. (Gen 1:2b, Greek OT)

God formed the man of gravel from the earth. (Gen 2:7a, Greek OT)

(Baruch said: “Our people) became/came below and not above, because we had missed (the mark of God) (before) the Lord, our God, towards/’in regard to’ not to hear His voice.” (Baruch 2:5)


The Latter Revelation: (Jesus said to His disciples:) “You are the light of the adornment/’adorned world’. A city lying above a mountain is not able to be hidden/concealed, (is it)?” (Matt 5:14)

(Jesus said to His disciples:) “Narrow (is) the gate and being (and having been) oppressed the way leading away into life, and few are the ones finding it.” (Matt 7:14)

(The disciples) led the ass and the foal and put/laid the garments upon, upon them, and (Jesus) sat down upon, above them. … (The crowds shouted:) "Being (and having been) blessed the one coming in a name of a lord. Hosannah in the highest things!" (Matt 21:7,9b)

(Jesus said to the scribes and the Pharisees:) ”The One having sworn in/by the sacrificial altar swears in/by this and in/by all the things above it.” (Matt 23:20)

(Zacharias said:) "'An upsticking'/'a sunrise' will inspect us out of a height." (Luke 1:78b)

(Jesus said to His disciples:) “All the tribes of the earth will * (א*) ‘cut themselves’/mourn, and they will behold the Son of the Man coming upon the clouds of the heaven in company with ability and much glory.” (Matt 24:30b)

(The males said to Jesus:) "John the Baptist has dispatched us away towards You, saying: 'Are You the coming One, or may we wait for the (א,* א) other?'" (Luke 7:20b)

(Jesus said to the disciples of John the Baptist): "Having gone bring away a message to John (about) what things you have beheld and heard." (Luke 7:22a)


The Apostle, the eighth and one of the seven: It became a man having been (and being) dispatched away from the side of God. A name to him (continually) was (א*) John. This one came into/’for the purpose of’ an evidence, in order that he might be a witness on account of the light, in order that all might believe through him. That one was (continually) not the light, however/but (he became) in order that he might be a witness on account of the light. (John 1:6-8)

(Jesus said to Nicodemus:) “Amen, amen, I say to you that/: ‘We talk of what we know and are witnesses to what we have beheld (and behold), and you do not take our evidence.’ If I have spoken the earthly things to you and you do not believe, how will you believe, if I – according to the circumstances – may speak the heavenly things to you. And no one has ascended (and ascends) into the heaven ‘if not’/except the One having descended out of the heaven, the Son of the Man.” (John 3:11-13)


Exegeter, evangelister med flera:

about 2000 and time before

The first thing about which John the Baptist witnesses is the position of Christ, a position separated and exalted from all others as the son of God. "The one coming from above is over all ..." The words "over all" are not said in ordinary sense, as it is said for example about a king, that he is over his subjects. There is no essential difference, but the king is of the same earthly origin as they are. Christ again is from heaven, when all others, also the prophets, John the Baptist himself and all other God's messengers are from the earth. Christ belongs to the great heavenly world of God. There he from eternity was the son and the heir; so he still is this very day and so in eternity. Hither he was born after having before existed as the son of God. So was God's way abunding in grace. For us the blessed world of heaven was in the same way closed as for example the animals are excluded from our world of men. We could not come thither. But he could come to us. ... So a child of Adam now is allowed to come up there, as certainly as the son of God came down here. Oh, wonderful and blessed way of the Divinity. (Karl Palmberg "Ur livskällan. Första årgången." p 30-31; comment to John 3:22-36; Karl Palmberg /1842-1920/ was from 1883 a Lutheran clergyman in Månsarp in the diocese of Växjö and president in Jönköpings Missionsförening (Missionary Society) 1886-1911; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)

Observe the sharp contrast between the words of John here and the words of his disciples in v 26. While they complain that all come to Jesus, John complains that no one receives the witness of Jesus. (P. Waldenström "Nya Testamentet" p 421; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)


My own comments and speculations:

Jesus is not only above the ass and the foal (cf. Matt 21:7). He is above all.

See also the OT- and NT-background to John 3:11-12 and John 3:13.

Concerning “is a witness ... evidence”, see also John 1:6-8.


Paul said to the believers in Corinth: "The first man (came) out of earth, of gravel, the second man (came) out of a heaven." (1 Cor 15:47)

Themselves they are out of the adornment/’adorned world’. Because of this they talk ‘out of’/’on the basis of’ the adornment/’adorned world’, and the adornment/’adorned world’ hears them. We are out of God. The one having knowledge of God hears us. The one who is not out of God does not hear us. Out of this we have knowledge of the spirit of the truth and the spirit of the going astray. (1 John 4:5-6)


Greek words:

epanô (above) (in the NT + examples in the OT) Gen 1:2; Baruch 2:5; Matt 23:20; John 3:31 - Gen 7:20; Lev 27:7; Matt 2:9; 5:14; 21:7; 23:18,22; 27:37; 28:2; Mark 14:5; Luke 4:39; 10:19; 11:44; 19:17,19; 1 Cor 15:6; Rev 6:8; 9:17(א,*א); Rev 20:3,11(א,*א).


Additional studies:

Matt 11:3; 23:39; Mark 11:9; Luke 7:19-20; 13:24,35; John 1:11-12; 3:3; 5:20; 8:23,26; 12:49; 14:10; Rom 9:5; Eph 4:6; Phil 2:9; Rev 1:2,9; 13:11; 21:1.


Jeffrey Wilson "The Integrity of John 3:22-36."; Journal for the Study of the New Testament 10 (1981): 34-41.


(Original version 2007-12-01; revised version 2009-02-06; 2010-10-03; 2013-10-21)

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3:33 The one having taken His evidence has sealed, that God is truthful.

Word for word (11 words in the Greek text): the-(one) having-taken his the evidence has-sealed that the god truthful is.


The Former Revelation (preliminary translation):

The Lord came by the side of before the face (of Moses) and called: "The Lord God, compassionate and merciful, long-suffering and much merciful and true." (Ex 34:6, Greek OT)

(This is a saying of the Lord:) “I wrote into a scroll, and I sealed (it) and I was a witness throughout (through) witnesses and ‘caused ... to stand’/weighed the silvermetal in/with a yoke/balance.” (Jer 32:10, Greek OT)

(Solomon said:) “You, our God, (is) beneficial and truthful.” (Wisdom of Solomon 15:1a)


The Latter Revelation:

(The Pharisees) dispatch away their disciples, in company with the Herodians, to (Jesus), saying: "Teacher, we know that You are truthful and teach the way of God in truth." (Matt 22:16a)

Having sealed the stone (the priest leaders and the Pharisees) secured the grave in company/co-operation with the custodia/guard. (Matt 27:66b)


The Apostle, the eighth and one of the seven:

As many as took him, to them He gave (judicial) authority to become children of God, to the ones believing into His name. (John 1:12)


Exegetes, evangelists and others:

about 2000 and time before

John uses a word meaning to affix ones seal to an act for a sign that one knows that it is valid and that one is to go by it. (Bo Giertz "Evangelium enligt Johannes" p 51; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)

(Christ) is the sealed bread. "Him the father has sealed." Sealing of a thing of course means that it is proved, found valid, thus perfect, as far as it can be said about earthly things. A manufacturer for example gives out a product, properly stamped. The stamp or the seal then says that the firm accepts the product as its product, and that it is the best it has been able to produce. Is it now a well-known firm, so you do not hesitate that the product is the best of that kind you can get. Thus sealing and faith closely belong together also in earthly things. ... The one receiving the witness (of God), he has sealed that God is truthful. The one who, because of the sealing of God, receives Christ as his bread of life, eats of it and finds it good, he, so to speak, seals his seal beside God's. He accepts and for his part confirms what God has done and spoken. Thus God and this man agree. God determines, he accepts; God gives, he receives; God wants, and he wants the same thing. This is the innermost nature and kernel of faith. (Karl Palmberg "Ur livskällan. Första årgången." p 172-173; comment to John 6:24-36; Karl Palmberg /1842-1920/ was from 1883 a Lutheran clergyman in Månsarp in the diocese of Växjö and president in Jönköpings Missionsförening (Missionary Society) 1886-1911; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)

According to the Rabbis, ‘the seal of God was Truth (AeMeTH),’ the three letters of which this word is composed in Hebrew being ... respectively the first, the middle, and the last letters of the alphabet (Jer. Sanh. 18a; Ber. R. 81). (Alfred Edersheim "The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah Part II" p 29)


Examples of other quoted authors in the Swedish version: Ingvar Andersson, Ivo Andric, Hans Baumann, Johannes Gossner, Carl Grimberg, Dick Harrison, Herbert Johansson, Vilhelm Moberg, D.L. Moody, Fredrik Nielsen, Simon Ottosson, Lewi Pethrus, Georg Sahlström, Kekke Stadin, Anton Tjechov, David Walker.


My own comments and speculations:

To take Jesus and His evidence is a resolute and marked work, where the taker confirms, that Jesus is the true witness to God.


Paul said to the believers in Rome: ”… Let God become truthful but every man a liar.” (Rom 3:4a)

Paul said to the believers in Thessalonica: "You turned yourselves next to, towards God from the idols to be slaves to a living and true God. (1 Thess 1:9b)

Again/’on the other hand’ I write a new commandment to you, which is truthful and/both (א,* א) in Him and in you, because the gloom is ‘led by the side of’/’passing away’ and the true light already ‘brings to’/gives light. (1 John 2:8)

The one believing into the Son of God has the evidence in himself. The one not believing (in) God has made (and makes) Him a liar, because he has not (and does not) believe into the evidence, which * (א,*א) is (and has been) a witness on account of His Son. (1 John 5:10)


Greek words:

alêthês (truthful) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Wisdom of Solomon 15:1; Matt 22:16; John 3:33; Rom 3:4; 1 John 2:8 – Judith 11:10; Wisdom of Solomon 1:6; 2:17; 12:27; Mark 12:14; John 5:31-32; 6:55; 7:18,28(P66,א,*א); John 8:13-14,16(P66,א,*א); John 8:17,26; 10:41; 19:35; 21:24; Acts 12:9; 2 Cor 6:8: Phil 4:8; Tit 1:13; 1 Pet 5:12; 2 Pet 2:22; 1 John 2:27; 3 John v 12.

sfragizô (seal) (in the NT + examples in the OT) Jer 32:10; Matt 27:66; John 3:33 - Deut 32:34; Esther 8:8,10; Job 14:17; 24:16; Jer 32:11; Dan 12:9; Bel and the Dragon v 11(Theod),14; The Prayer of Manasseh v 3; John 6:27; Rom 15:28; 2 Cor 1:22; Eph 1:13; 4:30; Rev 7:3-5,8; 10:4; 20:3; 22:10.


Additional studies:

Jer 10:10; Luke 20:21; John 5:1; 12:44; Rom 4:11; 1 Cor 9:2; 2 Tim 2:19; 1 John 1:10; 5:20; Rev 1:5; 3:14.


Jeffrey Wilson "The Integrity of John 3:22-36."; Journal for the Study of the New Testament 10 (1981): 34-41.


(Original version 2007-12-01; revised version 2009-02-07; 2010-10-04; 2013-10-22; 2014-10-01)

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3:34 For the One whom God has dispatched away talks the words of God, for He does not give the Spirit out of a measure.

Word for word (17 words in the Greek text): (the-one)-whom for has-dispatched-away the god the words (of)-the (of)-god talks, not for out-of measure (he)-gives the spirit.


The Former Revelation (preliminary translation):

(God gave) a standing-place/balance of/to winds both/and measures of/to water. (Job 28:25, Greek OT)

(The prophet said:) “Who has measured the water (in) the hand?” (Is 40:12a, Greek OT)

(The Lord said to the prophet: “The sons of Israel) will eat bread in/with a standing-place/balance and/namely in lack/need, and they will drink water in/with measure, and/namely in invisibility/destruction.” (Ezek 4:16b)

(Tobit said:) ”… I believe, that all things which God has spoken will be brought to a consummation, and a word out of the sayings may not/certainly not fall throughout/asunder … “ (Tobit 14:4, S)

(The sons of Israel) (continually) had not water (enough) to drink … because they (continually) gave them to drink in a measure. (Judith 7:21b, cf. also Judith 7:22)

(Manasseh said to God:) “The mercy of Your promise (is) both unmeasured and untraceable.” (The Prayer of Manasseh v 6)


The Latter Revelation:

Upon/’in the time of’ a priest leader Annas and of Caiaphas, a word of God became/came against/to John. (Luke 3:2a)

Having turned the Lord saw/’fixed His eyes’ in Peter. And Peter reminded the word of the Lord, as He had spoken to him that/: “Before a rooster ‘raise its voice’/crows today, you will deny away me three times.” (Luke 22:61)

(Jesus said to His disciples:) “Give and it will be given to you. A fine measure, having been (and being) pressed, moved to and fro, they will give overflowing into your bosom.” (Luke 6:38a)

(Peter said:) “(God) dispatched away the saying to the sons of Israel, (the saying) bringing a good little message (concerning) peace through Jesus Christ. ... You know the word, becoming down from the whole Judea, having begun from Galilee after the baptism which John proclaimed, Jesus, the One (being) from Nazareth, as/how God anointed Him (with) holy spirit.” (Acts 10:36a,37-38a)


The Apostle, the eighth and one of the seven:

(And John was a witness saying:) “I did not know (and had not known) Him, however/but the One having sent me to baptize in the (P66,א,*א) water, that One spoke to me: ‘(The One) against whom you – according to the circumstances - may behold the Spirit descending and staying against Him, this One is the One baptizing in holy spirit.’" (John 1:33)


Exegetes, evangelists and others:

about 2000 and time before

In the NT (the Greek word) "rêma" (word) often is used synonymously with "logos" but more for separate words and sayings in the Scripture and as a rule not for the whole Christian message as "logos" is used. (Studiebibeln V:828; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)

The underlying moral of this chapter (about the quantitative approach to the study of political behaviour) is simple: 'measuring is for the measurable'. A certain proportion of the raw material of political study is measureable, and the introduction of quantitative methods has saved a great many needless arguments. But most of our interest is qualitative or not concerned with questions of degree at all. It is not easy to measure or quantify qualities. Even if they were measureable, it might not be wise to make the attempt; in political situations the variable factors are so many that any attempt to reduce them to quantitative terms would end in equations more complicated than even an electronic brain could master. But it would be wrong to leave too negative a verdict on the quatitative approach. Reservations have been expressed here because it has many dangers and because too much is sometimes claimed for it. But nothing is more essential to sensible writing about politics than a feeling for numbers and, to use a familiar term literally, a sense of proportion. (D.E. Butler "The Study of Political Behaviour" p 74-75)

Natural science, you being quite sure. Of the true nature of your things. . . . You weighing the unponderable, you measuring what has no measure. . . . Answer, this you have, but not to the question. Answers to much not concerning us. (August Strindberg "Naturvetenskapen"; Jönköpings-Posten 1908-04-24; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)

What has been worked by the light, which during dark times has come from Jerusalem, it can neither be measured nor be counted. (Selma Lagerlöf "Ljuslågan" p 158; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)


Examples of other quoted authors in the Swedish version: Liselotte J Andersson, Werner Aspenström, K. Arne Blom, Barthold Carlson, William Faulkner, Sigmund Freud, Dag Hammarskjöld, Erland von Hofsten, J.P. Jacobsen, Ragnar Järhult, Arthur Koestler, Hans Larsson, Olle Larsson, Harry Martinson, Carl-Erik Quensel, Sigrid Rosell, Johan Ludvig Runeberg, Viktor Rydberg, Adolf Schück, Andreas Spole, Fjodor Tiuttjev, Zacharias Topelius, Martin Weibull.


Greek words:

metron (measure) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Judith 7:21; Luke 6:38; John 3:34 – Wisdom of Solomon 11:20; Matt 7:2; 23:32; Mark 4:24; Rom 12:3; 2 Cor 10:13; Eph 4:7,13,16; Rev 21:15,17.

rêma (word) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Tobit 14:4; Luke 3:2; 22:61; John 3:34; Acts 10:37 – Esther 1:17; 5:14; Tobit 2:6; Judith 2:6,13; 3:5; 6:9; 8:8-9; 10:13,16; 13:3; Wisdom of Solomon 6:25; 16:26; Sir 2:15; 4:24; 16:28; 39:6,17; 46:15; Baruch 4:37; 5:5. Matt 4:4; 12:36; 18:16; 26:75; 27:14; Mark 9:32; 14:72; Luke 1:37-38; 1:65; 2:15,17,19,29,50-51; 5:5; 7:1; 9:45; 18:34; 20:26; 24:8,11; John 5:47; 6:63,68; 8:20,47; 10:21; 12:47-48; 14:10; 15:7; 17:8. Acts 2:14; 5:20,32; 6:11,13; 10:22,44; 11:14,16; 13:42; 16:38; 26:25; 28:25; Rom 10:8,17-18; 2 Cor 12:4; 13:1; Eph 5:26; 6:17; Heb 1:3; 6:5; 11:3; 12:19; 1 Pet 1:25; 2 Pet 3:2; Jude v 17.


Additional studies:

Is 11:1-2; 42:1; Ezek 4:11; Sir 1:10; Matt 12:18; Luke 4:18; John 1:16; 3:17; 5:19; 6:63; 7:16,28; 8:26; 12:49; 14:24; Acts 10:38; Rev 21:15-17.


E.A. Russell "The Holy Spirit in the Fourth Gospel. Some Observations."; Irish Biblical Studies 2.2 (1980): 84-94.

Walt Russel "The Holy Spirit's Ministry in the Fourth Gospel"; Grace Theological Journal 8.2 (1987): 227-239.

Jeffrey Wilson "The Integrity of John 3:22-36."; Journal for the Study of the New Testament 10 (1981): 34-41.


(Original version 2007-12-01; revised version 2009-02-07; 2010-10-05; 2013-10-22; 2014-10-01)

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3:35 The Father welcomes the Son and has given (and gives) all things in His hand.

Word for word (12 words in the Greek text): the father welcomes the son and all-(things) (he)-has-given-(and-gives) in the hand his.


The Former Revelation (preliminary translation):

(God said to Abraham:) "Take your welcomed son Isaac, whom you have welcomed, and go into the high earth/land and carry him up there into a burnt offering." (Gen 22:2a, Greek OT)

(Jethro said to Moses:) "Blessed (is) the Lord, because He took His people out for Himself, out of a hand of Egyptians and out of a hand of Pharaoh." (Ex 18:10a, Greek OT)

And the Lord listened to the voice of Israel and gave Canaan ‘to the side of’/over under its hand/power. (Num 21:3a, Greek OT)

The Lord welcomed (the son Solomon). (2 Sam 12:24b, Greek OT)

The Lord gave (Jerusalem) ‘to the side of’/over into (the) hands (of the king of Babylon). (Dan 1:2a, Greek OT)

To (one as a son of man) was given the beginning and the honour and the kingdom, and all the peoples, tribes, tongues will be slaves to Him. His (judicial) authority (is) an agelong (judicial) authority, and His kingdom will not be ruined throughout. (Dan 7:14, Greek OT, Theod)

(Eleasarus said:) “I shall not flee out of the hands of the All-powerful One. … “ (2 Macc 6:26b)


The Latter Revelation:

Behold, a voice out of the heavens saying (about Jesus): "This One is My welcomed Son, in/with whom I have been pleased." (Matt 3:17)

(Jesus said:) "All things have been given ‘to the side of’/’over to’ Me by My Father." (Luke 10:22a)

... Peter spoke: "Now I truly know, that the Lord has dispatched out His messenger and taken me out for Himself, out of (the) hand of Herod." (Acts 12:11a)


The Apostle, the eighth and one of the seven:

All things became through (the Saying), and separate from It nothing (P66, א*) became that has become (and becomes). (John 1:3)


Paul said to the believers in Ephesos: "(God, the Father) arranged all things under, underneath the feet (of Jesus Christ) and He gave Him to the (assembly) of called out (as) a head over all things." (Eph 1:22)


Greek words:

cheir (hand) (in John, 1-3 John, Rev + examples in the Apocrypha) 2 Macc 6:26; John 3:35 - Esther 4:17n(C17), 17o(C19),17t(C25),17z(C30); Tobit 3:11; 11:11-12; 13:2; Judith 6:10; 8:33; 9:2,9-10; 11:13; 12:4; 13:4,14-15; 14:6; 15:10; 16:5, 1 Macc 2:7; 3:6,30; 4:30; 5:50,62; 9:46; 12:42; 14:36; 2 Macc 3:20; 5:16; 7:10,31,34; 14:34,46; 15:12,21,27,30,32; Wisdom of Solomon 3:1; 5:16; 7:11; 10:20; 13:19; 15:17; 16:15; 19:8; Sir 2:12,18; 4:31; 9:17; 10:4-5; 11:6; 12:18; 15:16; 21:19; 22:2; 25:23; 27:19; 29:1,5; 33:13,26; 36:2(3),5(7); 38:13,15,31; 42:6; 43:12; 45:15; 47:4; 48:18-20; 49:11; 50:13,15,20; 51:3,8,19; Baruch 2:11; 4:18,21; Susanna v 34; The Song of Praise of the Three Men v 65; John 7:30,44; 10:28-29,39; 11:44; 13:3,9; 20:20,25,27; 21:18; Rev 1:16; 6:5; 7:9; 8:4, 9:20; 10:2,5,8,10; 13:16; 14:9,14; 17:4; 19:2; 20:1,4.


Additional studies:

1 Kings 2:46; Matt 11:27; 28:18; Mark 1:11; 12:6; Luke 3:22; 20:13; John 5:20,22; 10:17; 14:31; 15:9; 17:2,23-24,26; Heb 2:8; Rev 1:16,20; 2:1.


Aida Besançon Spencer "Father-Ruler: The Meaning of the Metaphor 'Father' for God in the Bible"; Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 39.3 (Sept. 1996): 433-442.

Jeffrey Wilson "The Integrity of John 3:22-36."; Journal for the Study of the New Testament 10 (1981): 34-41.


(Original version 2007-12-01; revised version 2009-02-07; 2010-10-06; 2013-10-22)

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3:36 The one believing into the Son has agelong life. * (א*) The one disobeying the Son shall not behold life, however/but the wrath of God stays against him.

Word for word (23 words in the Greek text Sinaiticus prima manus): the-(one) believing into the son has life agelong, the-(one) disobeying the son not will-behold life, however the wrath (of)-the (of)-god stays against him.


The Former Revelation (preliminary translation):

All the nations will speak: "Because of what has the Lord made/done in this way (with) this earth/land (Israel)? What/why this great passion of wrath?" And they shall say: "Because they entirely left the covenant of the Lord, the God of their fathers, which He put asunder/’in order’ (with) their fathers, when He led them out, out of the earth/land of Egypt. And having gone they served the other gods and prostrated themselves before them (in honour of them)." (Deut 29:24-26a, Greek OT)

(Solomon said to God:) "Your wrath did not stay as long as to an end." (Wisdom of Solomon 16:5b)

(Jesus, the son of Sirach, said:) “You may not speak: ‘His pity is much. The multitude of my misses (of His mark) He will ‘propitiate out’/propitiate.’ For mercy and wrath (are) by the side of Him, and His passion will not entirely cease against missers (of His mark).” (Sir 5:6)

(Jesus, the son of Sirach, said:) “In a synagogue of missers (of the mark of God) fire will burn out (all), and in a disobedient nation wrath has burnt out (all).” (Sir 16:6)

(Jesus, the son of Sirach, said:) “Mercy and wrath (are) by the side of the Lord, a sovereign propitiating out and pouring out wrath.” (Sir 16:11b)

(Baruch said:) “From the day, which the Lord led out our fathers, out of the earth/land of Egypt and till this day we (continually) were disobeying/disobedient towards the Lord, our God.” (Baruch 1:19a)


The Latter Revelation:

(Jesus said to some Pharisees and Sadducees:) “Who has underneath/secretly shown you (that you can) flee the ‘being about’/approaching wrath?” (Matt 3:7b)

(Jesus saw) round about in company with wrath, together with being sorrowful, (at the men in the synagogue), on/’for the sake of’ the hardening of their heart. (Mark 3:5a)

(The messenger said to Zacharias about John the Baptist:) "He will come before in the very eyes of (the Lord) in a spirit and ability of Elijah … to turn next to disobedient ones a frame of mind of righteous ones." (Luke 1:17a)

As some (Jews) (continually) hardened themselves and (continually) disobeyed saying/speaking badly of the Way in the very eyes of the multitude, (Paul), having stand aloof, divided the disciples from them. (Acts 19:9a)


The Apostle, the eighth and one of the seven:

For in this way God welcomed the adornment/’adorned world’, so that He gave the Son, the only descendant, in order that 'every the'/everyone believing into Him may not perish however/but have agelong life. … The one not believing has already been (and is) judged, because he has not believed (and does not believe) into the name of (the) Son of God, the only descendant. (John 3:16,18b)


Exegetes, evangelists and others:

about 2000 - about 1500

John tells us that (God's) wrath "remains". We should not expect it to fade away with the passage of time. Anyone who continues in unbelief and disobedience can look for nothing other than the persisting wrath of God. That is basic to our understanding of the gospel. (Leon Morris "The Gospel according to John" p 221)

The wrath is a divine reaction which is aroused by the rebelliousness of man. If it never had occurred any Fall of man God would not have become incensed. (Paul Wern "Gud - vem är du?" p 257; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)

When there is a distinction between “thymos” and “orgê”, “thymos” seems to indicate turbulent commotion, anger, fury, suddenly blazing up and quickly extinguished, like fire in straw, while “orgê” refers to settled indignation, wrath of a more abiding character. (William Hendriksen "The Gospel of Luke" p 261; concerning “thymos”, cf. Rev 12:12b)

Now, my beloved ones, do we really consider what blessedness having been prepared to us through this new covenant, and do we really profit by the glorious benefits we have got? So that we not like the madman hide ourselves in the darkness, when the light already shines, or remain hungering, although the dishes already stand in front of us. God has given the highest thing which can be given, his own son, and he waits with reason, that we receive him and believe in him. ... Yes, blissful and blessed are all trusting in him. Amen. (Karl Palmberg "Ur livskällan. Tredje årgången." p 32; comment to John 6:24-36; Karl Palmberg /1842-1920/ was from 1883 a Lutheran clergyman in Månsarp in the diocese of Växjö and president in Jönköpings Missionsförening (Missionary Society) 1886-1911; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)

Wrath is the strongest of all the movements of the soul. (August Strindberg "August Strindbergs brev I 1858-1876" p 198; letter 1875-06-27 to Siri von Essen and her husband, the baron and the captain at Svea Livgarde Carl Gustaf Wrangel; translation from the Swedish text: BG Ask)


about 1500 and time before

Faith is indeed great and bringeth salvation, and without it, it is not possible ever to be saved. (Chrysostom, The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers XIV:398)

The righteous judgment of God (shall fall) upon all who, like others, have seen, but have not, like others, believed. (Irenaeus, The Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol I, p 468-469)

(God) commissioned (messengers) to call people to the marriage, but they who did not obey Him deprived themselves of the royal supper. (Irenaeus, The Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol I, p 523)


Examples of other quoted authors in the Swedish version: Karin Alvtegen, Augustinus, Elisabeth Beskow, Gordon Bridger, Donald A. Carson, Tage Danielsson, Kiran Desai, E.J. Ekman, LarsOlov Eriksson, Mouloud Feraoun, Emilia Fogelklou, A.P. Franklin, Bo Giertz, Hillis Grane, Carl Grimberg, Newman Hall, Gustaf Hellström, Alf Henrikson, Homeros, Betty Janson, Liselotte Johansson, Swening Johansson, Lars Levi Laestadius, Sven Lidman, Martin Luther, Emil Malm, Margareta Melin, Vilhelm Moberg, Kaj Munk, Stephen Neill, Elvy Nilbratt, Torsten Nilsson, Anders Nohrborg, Agne Nordlander, Anders Nygren, Bengt Pleijel, Nils Pollack, Erling Rimehaug, Viktor Rydberg, Gösta Sandberg, John Sjögren, Per-Axel Sverker, Nathan Söderblom, Anton Tjechov, P. Waldenström, Lars Wikander, Carl Fr. Wislöff.


Paul said to the believers in Rome: "(God) will give back to everyone according to his works; to the ones who ‘according to’/concerning endurance of a good work seek glory and honour and immortality indeed/’on the one hand’ agelong life, but to the ones who ‘out of’/’in consequence of’ quarrel and disobeying the truth ‘are persuaded (in)’/obey the unrighteousness, but/’on the other hand’ wrath and passion.” (Rom 2:6-8)

Paul said to the believers in Ephesos: “We (continually) were (by) nature children of wrath, as and/also the rest. (Eph 2:3b)

We know, that we have stepped (and step) over out of the death into the life, because we welcome our (א,* א) brothers. The one not welcoming stays in the death. (1 John 3:14)

The one having the Son has the life. The One not having the Son of God has not the life. (1 John 5:12)


Greek words:

apeitheô (disobey) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Sir 16:6; Baruch 1:19; John 3:36; Rom 2:8; Acts 19:9 – Judith 2:6,11; Sir 2:15; 16:28; 23:23; 30:12; 41:2; Baruch 1:18; Acts 14:2; Rom 10:21; 11:30-31; 15:31; Heb 3:18; 11:31; 1 Pet 2:8; 3:1,20; 4:17.

orgê (wrath) (in the NT + examples in the Apocrypha) Wisdom of Solomon 16:5; Sir 5:6, 16:6,11; Matt 3:7; Mark 3:5; John 3:36; Rom 2:8; Eph 2:3 – Esther 8:12x(E24); Judith 9:9; 1 Macc 1:64; 2:44,49; 3:8; 2 Macc 4:25,40; 5:20; 7:38; 8:5; Wisdom of Solomon 5:20; 10:3,10; 11:9; 18:20,25; Sir 5:7; 7:16; 23:16; 25:22; 26:8; 27:30; 28:3,10; 36:6(8),8(11); 39:23; 44:17; 45:18-19; 47:20; 48:10; Baruch 1:13; 2:20; 4:9,25; The Prayer of Manasseh v 5. Luke 3:7; 21:23; Rom 1:18; 2:5; 3:5; 4:15; 5:9; 9:22; 12:19; 13:4-5; Eph 4:31; 5:6; Col 3:6,8; 1 Thess 1:10; 2:16; 5:9; 1 Tim 2:8; Heb 3:11; 4:3; Jas 1:19-20; Rev 6:16-17; 11:18; 14:10; 16:19; 19:15.


Additional studies:

Nahum 1:2-3; Matt 23:33; 25:46; John 3:3; 5:24; 6:47; 9:41; 17:3; 20:23; Rev 15:1,7.


Jeffrey Wilson "The Integrity of John 3:22-36."; Journal for the Study of the New Testament 10 (1981): 34-41.


(Original version 2007-12-01; revised version 2009-02-07; 2010-10-09; 2013-10-24; 2014-10-01)

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