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John 3Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Jesus and Nicodemus

There was a man from the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Him at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher, for no one could perform these signs You do unless God were with him.”

Jesus replied, “I assure you: Unless someone is born again,[a] he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

“But how can anyone be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked Him. “Can he enter his mother’s womb a second time and be born?”

Jesus answered, “I assure you: Unless someone is born of water and the Spirit,[b] he cannot enter the kingdom of God. Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I told you that you[c] must be born again. The wind[d] blows where it pleases, and you hear its sound, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

“How can these things be?” asked Nicodemus.

10 “Are you a teacher[e] of Israel and don’t know these things?” Jesus replied. 11 “I assure you: We speak what We know and We testify to what We have seen, but you[f] do not accept Our testimony.[g] 12 If I have told you about things that happen on earth and you don’t believe, how will you believe if I tell you about things of heaven? 13 No one has ascended into heaven except the One who descended from heaven—the Son of Man.[h] 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 so that everyone who believes in Him will[i] have eternal life.

16 “For God loved the world in this way:[j] He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 Anyone who believes in Him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the One and Only Son of God.

19 “This, then, is the judgment: The light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who practices wicked things hates the light and avoids it,[k] so that his deeds may not be exposed. 21 But anyone who lives by[l] the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be shown to be accomplished by God.”[m]

Jesus and John the Baptist

22 After this, Jesus and His disciples went to the Judean countryside, where He spent time with them and baptized. 23 John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water there. People were coming and being baptized, 24 since John had not yet been thrown into prison.

25 Then a dispute arose between John’s disciples and a Jew[n] about purification. 26 So they came to John and told him, “Rabbi, the One you testified about, and who was with you across the Jordan, is baptizing—and everyone is flocking to Him.”

27 John responded, “No one can receive a single thing unless it’s given to him from heaven. 28 You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah, but I’ve been sent ahead of Him.’ 29 He who has the bride is the groom. But the groom’s friend, who stands by and listens for him, rejoices greatly[o] at the groom’s voice. So this joy of mine is complete. 30 He must increase, but I must decrease.”

The One from Heaven

31 The One who comes from above is above all. The one who is from the earth is earthly and speaks in earthly terms.[p] The One who comes from heaven is above all. 32 He testifies to what He has seen and heard, yet no one accepts His testimony. 33 The one who has accepted His testimony has affirmed that God is true. 34 For God sent Him, and He speaks God’s words, since He[q] gives the Spirit without measure. 35 The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hands. 36 The one who believes in the Son has eternal life, but the one who refuses to believe in the Son will not see life; instead, the wrath of God remains on him.

Footnotes:

  1. John 3:3 The same Gk word can mean again or from above (also in v. 7).
  2. John 3:5 Or spirit, or wind; the Gk word pneuma can mean wind, spirit, or Spirit, each of which occurs in this context.
  3. John 3:7 The pronoun is pl in Gk.
  4. John 3:8 The Gk word pneuma can mean wind, spirit, or Spirit, each of which occurs in this context.
  5. John 3:10 Or the teacher
  6. John 3:11 In Gk, the word you is pl here and throughout v. 12.
  7. John 3:11 The pronouns we and our refer to Jesus and His authority to speak for the Father.
  8. John 3:13 Other mss add who is in heaven
  9. John 3:15 Other mss add not perish, but
  10. John 3:16 The Gk word houtos, commonly translated in Jn 3:16 as “so” or “so much” occurs over 200 times in the NT. Almost without exception it is an adverb of manner, not degree (for example, see Mt 1:18). It only means “so much” when modifying an adjective (see Gl 3:3; Rv 16:18). Manner seems primarily in view in Jn 3:16, which explains the HCSB‘s rendering.
  11. John 3:20 Lit and does not come to the light
  12. John 3:21 Lit who does
  13. John 3:21 It is possible that Jesus’ words end at v. 15. Ancient Gk did not have quotation marks.
  14. John 3:25 Other mss read and the Jews
  15. John 3:29 Lit with joy rejoices
  16. John 3:31 Or of earthly things
  17. John 3:34 Other mss read since God
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