New American Bible (Revised Edition)
1 In the beginning[b] was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.(A)
2 He was in the beginning with God.
3 [c]All things came to be through him,
and without him nothing came to be.(B)
What came to be 4 through him was life,
and this life was the light of the human race;(C)
5 [d]the light shines in the darkness,(D)
and the darkness has not overcome it.
6 [e]A man named John was sent from God.(E) 7 He came for testimony,[f] to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him.(F) 8 He was not the light, but came to testify to the light.(G) 9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.(H)
10 He was in the world,
and the world came to be through him,
but the world did not know him.
11 He came to what was his own,
but his own people[g] did not accept him.
12 (I)But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name, 13 [h](J)who were born not by natural generation nor by human choice nor by a man’s decision but of God.
15 [j]John testified to him and cried out, saying, “This was he of whom I said,(L) ‘The one who is coming after me ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.’” 16 From his fullness we have all received, grace in place of grace,[k] 17 because while the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.(M) 18 No one has ever seen God. The only Son, God,[l] who is at the Father’s side, has revealed him.(N)
II. The Book of Signs
John the Baptist’s Testimony to Himself. 19 [m]And this is the testimony of John. When the Jews[n] from Jerusalem sent priests and Levites [to him] to ask him, “Who are you?” 20 [o]he admitted and did not deny it, but admitted,(O) “I am not the Messiah.” 21 So they asked him, “What are you then? Are you Elijah?”[p] And he said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” He answered, “No.”(P) 22 So they said to him, “Who are you, so we can give an answer to those who sent us? What do you have to say for yourself?” 23 He said:
as Isaiah the prophet said.” 24 Some Pharisees[r] were also sent. 25 They asked him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Messiah or Elijah or the Prophet?”(R) 26 John answered them, “I baptize with water;[s] but there is one among you whom you do not recognize,(S) 27 the one who is coming after me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie.” 28 This happened in Bethany across the Jordan,[t] where John was baptizing.
John the Baptist’s Testimony to Jesus. 29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God,[u] who takes away the sin of the world.(T) 30 [v]He is the one of whom I said,(U) ‘A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.’ 31 I did not know him,[w] but the reason why I came baptizing with water was that he might be made known to Israel.” 32 John testified further, saying, “I saw the Spirit come down like a dove[x] from the sky and remain upon him. 33 I did not know him,(V) but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain, he is the one who will baptize with the holy Spirit.’(W) 34 [y](X)Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God.”
The First Disciples.(Y) 35 The next day John was there again with two of his disciples, 36 and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said, “Behold, the Lamb of God.”[z] 37 The two disciples[aa] heard what he said and followed Jesus. 38 Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi” (which translated means Teacher), “where are you staying?” 39 He said to them, “Come, and you will see.” So they went and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day. It was about four in the afternoon.[ab] 40 Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two who heard John and followed Jesus. 41 He first found his own brother Simon and told him, “We have found the Messiah”[ac] (which is translated Anointed).(Z) 42 Then he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John;[ad] you will be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter).(AA)
43 The next day he[ae] decided to go to Galilee, and he found Philip. And Jesus said to him, “Follow me.” 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the town of Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one about whom Moses wrote in the law, and also the prophets, Jesus son of Joseph, from Nazareth.”(AB) 46 But Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” 47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Here is a true Israelite.[af] There is no duplicity in him.” 48 [ag](AC)Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree.” 49 Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God;[ah] you are the King of Israel.”(AD) 50 Jesus answered and said to him, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree?[ai] You will see greater things than this.” 51 And he said to him, “Amen, amen,[aj] I say to you, you will see the sky opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”(AE)
- 1:1–18 The prologue states the main themes of the gospel: life, light, truth, the world, testimony, and the preexistence of Jesus Christ, the incarnate Logos, who reveals God the Father. In origin, it was probably an early Christian hymn. Its closest parallel is in other christological hymns, Col 1:15–20 and Phil 2:6–11. Its core (Jn 1:1–5, 10–11, 14) is poetic in structure, with short phrases linked by “staircase parallelism,” in which the last word of one phrase becomes the first word of the next. Prose inserts (at least Jn 1:6–8, 15) deal with John the Baptist.
- 1:1 In the beginning: also the first words of the Old Testament (Gn 1:1). Was: this verb is used three times with different meanings in this verse: existence, relationship, and predication. The Word (Greek logos): this term combines God’s dynamic, creative word (Genesis), personified preexistent Wisdom as the instrument of God’s creative activity (Proverbs), and the ultimate intelligibility of reality (Hellenistic philosophy). With God: the Greek preposition here connotes communication with another. Was God: lack of a definite article with “God” in Greek signifies predication rather than identification.
- 1:3 What came to be: while the oldest manuscripts have no punctuation here, the corrector of Bodmer Papyrus P75, some manuscripts, and the Ante-Nicene Fathers take this phrase with what follows, as staircase parallelism. Connection with Jn 1:3 reflects fourth-century anti-Arianism.
- 1:5 The ethical dualism of light and darkness is paralleled in intertestamental literature and in the Dead Sea Scrolls. Overcome: “comprehend” is another possible translation, but cf. Jn 12:35; Wis 7:29–30.
- 1:6 John was sent just as Jesus was “sent” (Jn 4:34) in divine mission. Other references to John the Baptist in this gospel emphasize the differences between them and John’s subordinate role.
- 1:7 Testimony: the testimony theme of John is introduced, which portrays Jesus as if on trial throughout his ministry. All testify to Jesus: John the Baptist, the Samaritan woman, scripture, his works, the crowds, the Spirit, and his disciples.
- 1:11 What was his own…his own people: first a neuter, literally, “his own property/possession” (probably = Israel), then a masculine, “his own people” (the Israelites).
- 1:13 Believers in Jesus become children of God not through any of the three natural causes mentioned but through God who is the immediate cause of the new spiritual life. Were born: the Greek verb can mean “begotten” (by a male) or “born” (from a female or of parents). The variant “he who was begotten,” asserting Jesus’ virginal conception, is weakly attested in Old Latin and Syriac versions.
- 1:14 Flesh: the whole person, used probably against docetic tendencies (cf. 1 Jn 4:2; 2 Jn 7). Made his dwelling: literally, “pitched his tent/tabernacle.” Cf. the tabernacle or tent of meeting that was the place of God’s presence among his people (Ex 25:8–9). The incarnate Word is the new mode of God’s presence among his people. The Greek verb has the same consonants as the Aramaic word for God’s presence (Shekinah). Glory: God’s visible manifestation of majesty in power, which once filled the tabernacle (Ex 40:34) and the temple (1 Kgs 8:10–11, 27), is now centered in Jesus. Only Son: Greek, monogenēs, but see note on Jn 1:18. Grace and truth: these words may represent two Old Testament terms describing Yahweh in covenant relationship with Israel (cf. Ex 34:6), thus God’s “love” and “fidelity.” The Word shares Yahweh’s covenant qualities.
- 1:15 This verse, interrupting Jn 1:14, 16 seems drawn from Jn 1:30.
- 1:16 Grace in place of grace: replacement of the Old Covenant with the New (cf. Jn 1:17). Other possible translations are “grace upon grace” (accumulation) and “grace for grace” (correspondence).
- 1:18 The only Son, God: while the vast majority of later textual witnesses have another reading, “the Son, the only one” or “the only Son,” the translation above follows the best and earliest manuscripts, monogenēs theos, but takes the first term to mean not just “Only One” but to include a filial relationship with the Father, as at Lk 9:38 (“only child”) or Hb 11:17 (“only son”) and as translated at Jn 1:14. The Logos is thus “only Son” and God but not Father/God.
- 1:19–51 The testimony of John the Baptist about the Messiah and Jesus’ self-revelation to the first disciples. This section constitutes the introduction to the gospel proper and is connected with the prose inserts in the prologue. It develops the major theme of testimony in four scenes: John’s negative testimony about himself; his positive testimony about Jesus; the revelation of Jesus to Andrew and Peter; the revelation of Jesus to Philip and Nathanael.
- 1:19 The Jews: throughout most of the gospel, the “Jews” does not refer to the Jewish people as such but to the hostile authorities, both Pharisees and Sadducees, particularly in Jerusalem, who refuse to believe in Jesus. The usage reflects the atmosphere, at the end of the first century, of polemics between church and synagogue, or possibly it refers to Jews as representative of a hostile world (Jn 1:10–11).
- 1:20 Messiah: the anointed agent of Yahweh, usually considered to be of Davidic descent. See further the note on Jn 1:41.
- 1:21 Elijah: the Baptist did not claim to be Elijah returned to earth (cf. Mal 3:19; Mt 11:14). The Prophet: probably the prophet like Moses (Dt 18:15; cf. Acts 3:22).
- 1:23 This is a repunctuation and reinterpretation (as in the synoptic gospels and Septuagint) of the Hebrew text of Is 40:3 which reads, “A voice cries out: In the desert prepare the way of the Lord.”
- 1:24 Some Pharisees: other translations, such as “Now they had been sent from the Pharisees,” misunderstand the grammatical construction. This is a different group from that in Jn 1:19; the priests and Levites would have been Sadducees, not Pharisees.
- 1:26 I baptize with water: the synoptics add “but he will baptize you with the holy Spirit” (Mk 1:8) or “…holy Spirit and fire” (Mt 3:11; Lk 3:16). John’s emphasis is on purification and preparation for a better baptism.
- 1:28 Bethany across the Jordan: site unknown. Another reading is “Bethabara.”
- 1:29 The Lamb of God: the background for this title may be the victorious apocalyptic lamb who would destroy evil in the world (Rev 5–7; 17:14); the paschal lamb, whose blood saved Israel (Ex 12); and/or the suffering servant led like a lamb to the slaughter as a sin-offering (Is 53:7, 10).
- 1:30 He existed before me: possibly as Elijah (to come, Jn 1:27); for the evangelist and his audience, Jesus’ preexistence would be implied (see note on Jn 1:1).
- 1:31 I did not know him: this gospel shows no knowledge of the tradition (Lk 1) about the kinship of Jesus and John the Baptist. The reason why I came baptizing with water: in this gospel, John’s baptism is not connected with forgiveness of sins; its purpose is revelatory, that Jesus may be made known to Israel.
- 1:32 Like a dove: a symbol of the new creation (Gn 8:8) or the community of Israel (Hos 11:11). Remain: the first use of a favorite verb in John, emphasizing the permanency of the relationship between Father and Son (as here) and between the Son and the Christian. Jesus is the permanent bearer of the Spirit.
- 1:34 The Son of God: this reading is supported by good Greek manuscripts, including the Chester Beatty and Bodmer Papyri and the Vatican Codex, but is suspect because it harmonizes this passage with the synoptic version: “This is my beloved Son” (Mt 3:17; Mk 1:11; Lk 3:22). The poorly attested alternate reading, “God’s chosen One,” is probably a reference to the Servant of Yahweh (Is 42:1).
- 1:36 John the Baptist’s testimony makes his disciples’ following of Jesus plausible.
- 1:37 The two disciples: Andrew (Jn 1:40) and, traditionally, John, son of Zebedee (see note on Jn 13:23).
- 1:39 Four in the afternoon: literally, the tenth hour, from sunrise, in the Roman calculation of time. Some suggest that the next day, beginning at sunset, was the sabbath; they would have stayed with Jesus to avoid travel on it.
- 1:41 Messiah: the Hebrew word māšîaḥ, “anointed one” (see note on Lk 2:11), appears in Greek as the transliterated messias only here and in Jn 4:25. Elsewhere the Greek translation christos is used.
- 1:42 Simon, the son of John: in Mt 16:17, Simon is called Bariōna, “son of Jonah,” a different tradition for the name of Simon’s father. Cephas: in Aramaic = the Rock; cf. Mt 16:18. Neither the Greek equivalent Petros nor, with one isolated exception, Cephas is attested as a personal name before Christian times.
- 1:43 He: grammatically, could be Peter, but logically is probably Jesus.
- 1:47 A true Israelite. There is no duplicity in him: Jacob was the first to bear the name “Israel” (Gn 32:29), but Jacob was a man of duplicity (Gn 27:35–36).
- 1:48 Under the fig tree: a symbol of messianic peace (cf. Mi 4:4; Zec 3:10).
- 1:49 Son of God: this title is used in the Old Testament, among other ways, as a title of adoption for the Davidic king (2 Sm 7:14; Ps 2:7; 89:27), and thus here, with King of Israel, in a messianic sense. For the evangelist, Son of God also points to Jesus’ divinity (cf. Jn 20:28).
- 1:50 Possibly a statement: “You [singular] believe because I saw you under the fig tree.”
- 1:51 The double “Amen” is characteristic of John. You is plural in Greek. The allusion is to Jacob’s ladder (Gn 28:12).
King James Version
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
15 John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.
16 And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.
17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
18 No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
19 And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou?
20 And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ.
21 And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.
22 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?
23 He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.
24 And they which were sent were of the Pharisees.
25 And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet?
26 John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not;
27 He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose.
28 These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.
29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
30 This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me.
31 And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.
32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.
33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.
34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.
35 Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples;
36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!
37 And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.
38 Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou?
39 He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour.
40 One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother.
41 He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.
42 And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.
43 The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me.
44 Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.
45 Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.
46 And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.
47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!
48 Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.
49 Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.
50 Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these.
51 And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.