1:1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word resided with God, and the Word was God;11:2he was there all along.
1:3Everything that exists is because of him, and not one thing exists that he didn’t make.1:4That which came into being in him was life, and this life was the light of people.1:5This light is shining into the darkness, and the darkness did not grasp it.
1:6Along came someone named John, who was commissioned by God.1:7His assignment was to serve as a witness to the Light so that everyone could believe through his testimony.1:8He was not the Light himself, but only came as a witness to it.
1:9This was the true Light which illuminates every person coming into the world.1:10But even though he came into the world he made, it didn’t recognize him;1:11he came to his own, but they didn’t accept him.1:12Yet to those who accepted him by putting their trust in him,2 he granted the privilege of becoming children of God.1:13These were not children born of a woman, or the will of the flesh or a husband,3 but generated by God.1:14The Word became flesh and made his home among us, and we observed his majesty— the majesty of the Unique One who is with the Father, full of favor and truth.
1:15John testifies about him and has shouted out, “This is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘The one coming after me is really in front of me, because he existed before me.’ ”41:16So we all received limitless favor from him,1:17since though the law was given through Moses, favor and truth came through Jesus the Anointed.1:18Though no one has ever seen God, he is now disclosed by the Unique God, who is the closest to the Father.
1:19This is the testimony John gave when the Judeans in Jerusalem sent out priests and Levites to interrogate him:
“Who are you?”
1:20And he freely admitted: “I am not the Anointed.”
1:21So they asked him: “Then who are you— Elijah?”
And he says, “I am not.”
“Are you The Prophet?”
And he answered, “No.”
1:22So they said, “Then who are you? Tell us what you say about yourself, so we have something to report to those who sent us.”1:23He replied, “I am ‘the voice of one shouting in the desert, “Straighten the road of the Master”’, according to what the prophet Isaiah said.”
1:24Now those who had been sent to him were Pharisees.1:25And they asked him, “Then why are you immersing, if you are not the Anointed, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”1:26John replied, “I immerse with water, but you don’t realize that1:27the one coming after me has been standing among you. I am not even worthy to untie his shoes!”1:28All this happened in Bethany, on the other side of the Jordan River where John was immersing.
1:29The next day John sees Jesus coming toward him and says, “Look! The Lamb of God, the one taking away the failure5 of the world!1:30This is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘After me will come a man who has surpassed me, because he preceded me.’1:31And though I didn’t even recognize him, it was for this very purpose I came immersing in water: that he may be made known to Israel.”
1:32John continued his testimony: “For I have seen the Spirit come down from the sky like a dove and remain on him.1:33And I had not recognized him, but the one who sent me to immerse in water told me, ‘The one you see the Spirit land on is the one who immerses in the Holy Spirit.’1:34I have seen this, so I testified that this is the God-Man.”
1:35The next day John and two of his disciples were there again1:36and, seeing Jesus walking around, John says “Look, the Lamb of God!”1:37The two disciples heard him say this and became followers of Jesus.1:38Now Jesus turned around and observed them following him and he says, “What are you looking for?” But they said to him, “Rabbi” (which is translated “teacher”),6 “where are you staying?”1:39He says to them, “Come and you’ll see.” They came and saw where he was staying, and remained with him for the day. It was about 4 p.m.
1:40Andrew, brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two who heard John and followed Jesus.1:41The first thing he does is to find his own brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah!” (which is translated “Anointed”).1:42He led him to Jesus, who looked at him and said, “You are Simon, son of John; you shall be called Cephas” (which is translated “Peter”).7
1:43The next day Jesus decided to go into Galilee. He finds Philip and says to him, “Follow me.”1:44Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the same city as Andrew and Peter.
1:45Philip finds Nathaniel and says, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law and the Prophets: Jesus, son of Joseph, from Nazareth.”
1:46And Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?”
“Come and see,” replied Philip.
1:47Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and says about him, “Now there’s a genuine Israeli, in whom there is no treachery.”
1:48Nathanael says to him, “How do you know me?”
Jesus replied, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.”
1:49“Rabbi, you are the God-Man!” Nathanael exclaimed. “You are the King of Israel!”
1:50And Jesus replied, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree; you will be seeing greater things than that!”1:51He added, “Very truly I tell you all, you will be seeing the sky opened up and the Messengers8 of God ascending and descending to and from the Human.”
- 1Greek word order primarily indicates emphasis, not meaning. Added weight for God being the object is the absence of the definite article. Also note that God may mean one or all members of the Trinity, depending on context.
- 2“putting their trust in him” is literally “putting their trust in his name,” and it refers to someone’s position or rank and the honor that goes with it. So to put one’s faith in Jesus’ name does not ascribe some mystical power to the speaking of that name, but simply refers to the fact that Jesus is the Messiah, the sacrificial Lamb, our King and Priest, and God Himself. So to “believe” in Jesus’ name is to accept all that is true about him.
- 3The combined reference to blood, the flesh, and a man expresses normal physical procreation, in contrast to the spiritual procreation that can only be from God. Also note the aorist tense; that is, an event at a point in time (birth) and not a continuing process (growth).
- 4The phrases about after and before speak of importance as well as time.
- 5Note that there are several different Greek words that are all traditionally rendered “sin.” While all are violations of God’s will, the differences are mainly in the cause, nature, or circumstances of the sin. Also, though “failure” is singular here, the meaning is not of one particular sin but the general condition of sinfulness. “The world” is not an entity that can sin, and if it referred to Adam, this would be a most unclear way to say so.
- 6The translation of Hebrew words indicates that the author is not writing to Hebrew speakers.
- 7Peter and Cephas mean “rock.”
- 8“Messengers” is the meaning of the transliteration “angels.”