John 3

John 3


Now there wasI aII PhariseeIII

Notes on verse 1a

I “was” = eimi. This is to be, exist.
II {untranslated} = anthropos. Probably from aner (man, male, husband) + ops (eye, face); {from optanomai (to appear, be seen); perhaps from horao (become, seem, appear)}. This is human, humankind. Used for all genders.
III “Pharisee” = Pharisaios. From Aramaic peras (to divide, separate) and from Hebrew parash (to make distinct, separate, scatter). This is a Pharisee, a member of a Jewish sect active in the 1st century. Their name meant separate in the sense of wanting to live a life separated from sin. Whereas the Sadducees were part of the priestly line and inherited their religious position and responsibilities, Pharisees were regular people who studied the scriptures and offered guidance to regular folk. Sadducees were often wealthier and willing to sacrifice their identity to rub elbows with Roman society. Pharisees were often more concerned with what it meant to follow God without compromising what made them different as followers of God. Sadducees primarily believed in that which was written down (the first five books of the Bible) and Pharisees believed in the Bible and the traditions of the elders. Pharisees had a very wide range of interpretations and diversity of opinion. Their standard mode of religious engagement was lively debate with one another. To argue religion with another teacher was to recognize that they had something of value to offer.

namedIV Nicodemus,V a leaderVI of the Jews.VII 

Notes on verse 1b

IV “named” = onoma. May be from ginosko (know, recognize, learn from firsthand experience). This is a name, authority, cause, character, fame, reputation. The name was thought to include something of the essence of the person so it was not thought to be separate from the person.
V “Nicodemus” = Nikodemos. 5x in NT. From nikos (victory, triumph – especially a conquest); {from nike (victory, conquest; figurative for what makes one successful)} + demos (district, multitude, rabble, assembly; Greeks bound by similar laws or customs); {from deo (to tie, bind, compel, declare unlawful)}. This is Nicodemus, meaning “victorious among his people.”
VI “leader” = archon. From archo (to rule, begin, have first rank or have political power). This is ruler, leader, magistrate, official, prince, chief.
VII “Jews” = Ioudaios. From Ioudas (Judah, Judas); from Hebrew Yehudah (Judah, son of Jacob, his tribal descendants, a name for the southern kingdom. Literally, it means praised); probably from yadah (to throw one’s hands into the air in a gesture of praise); from yad (hand). This is Jewish, a Jew, or Judea.

He cameVIII to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi,IX we knowX that you are a teacherXI

Notes on verse 2a

VIII “came” = erchomai. This is to come or go.
IX “Rabbi” = Rhabbi. 15x in NT– 8x in the Gospel of John. From Hebrew rab (chief); from rabab (to be many, increase, multiply). This is a title of respect for a teacher-scholar. Literally, it means great one or honorable sir. It can also be understood as my master or my teacher.
X “know” = eido. This is to know, consider perceive, appreciate, behold, or remember. It means seeing with one’s eyes, but also figuratively, it means perceiving – seeing that becomes understanding. So, by implication, this means knowing or being aware.
XI “teacher” = didaskalos. From didasko (to teach, direct, instruct, or impart knowledge; in the New Testament, almost always used for teaching scripture); from dao (to learn). This is teacher or master.

who has come from God,XII for no one canXIII do these signsXIV that you doXV unless God is with that person.” 

Notes on verse 2b

XII “God” = Theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.
XIII “can” = dunamai. This is to be able, or something that is possible. It can also be empowered or being powerful. The Greek word for “miracle” (dunamis) comes from this root.
XIV “signs” = semeion. From the same as semaino (to give a sign, signify, indicate, make known); from sema (a sign or mark). It is literally a sign of any kind. It also refers to a sign given by God to confirm or authenticate a message or prophecy. It is not necessarily miraculous, but it can be. The Gospel of John generally uses this word instead of miracle.
XV “do” = poieo. This is to make, do, act, construct, abide, or cause.

JesusXVI answeredXVII him, “Very truly,XVIII

Notes on verse 3a

XVI “Jesus” = Iesous. From Hebrew Yehoshua (Joshua, the Lord is salvation); {from YHVH (proper name of the God of Israel; the self-existent and eternal one); {from havah (to become) or from hayah (to come to pass, become, be)} + yasha (to deliver, defend, help, preserve, rescue; properly, to be open, wide or free, which implies being safe. So, in a causative sense, this is to free someone)}. This is Jesus or Joshua in Greek – the Lord saves or the Lord is salvation.
XVII “answered” = apokrinomai. From apo (from, away from) + krino (to judge, decide, think good, condemn, determine, pass judgment, stand trial, sue; judging whether in court or in a private setting; properly, mentally separating or distinguishing an issue – to come to a choice or decision, to judge positively or negatively in seeking what is right or wrong, who is innocent or guilty; can imply trying, condemning, punishing, or avenging). This is to reply or respond, to draw one’s own conclusions, to speak when one is expected to.
XVIII “very truly” = amen + amen. From Hebrew amen (verily, truly, amen, truth, so be it, faithfulness); from aman (to believe, endure, fulfill, confirm, support, be faithful, put one’s trust in, be steadfast. Figuratively, this is to be firm, steadfast, or faithful, trusting, believing, being permanent, morally solid). This word is literally firmness, but figuratively fidelity, faithfulness, honesty, responsibility, trust, truth, steadfastness. Properly, it is to be sure, certain, or firm. This is a word of emphasis indicating that something crucial follows.

I tellXIX you, no one can seeXX the kingdomXXI of God without being bornXXII from above.”XXIII 

Notes on verse 3b

XIX “tell” = lego. This is to speak, say, name, call, command. It is generally to convey verbally.
XX “see” = horao. Related to {untranslated} in v1. See note II above.
XXI “kingdom” = basileia. From basileus (king, emperor, sovereign); probably from basis (step, hence foot; a pace); from baino (to walk, to go). This is kingdom, rule, authority, sovereignty, royalty, a realm.
XXII “born” = gennao. From genna (descent, birth); from genos (family, offspring, kin – in a literal or figurative sense); from ginomai (to come into being, to happen, become, be born; to emerge from one state or condition to another; this is coming into being with the sense of movement or growth). This is to beget, give birth to, or bring forth. Properly, it refers to procreation by the father, but was used of the mother by extension. Figuratively, this can mean to regenerate.
XXIII “from above” = anothen. 13x in NT. From ano (up, above, up to the top, things above, heaven); from ana (up, upwards, again, back, among, anew). This is from above, from the top, again, beginning, from the source. It implies anew.

Nicodemus saidXXIV to him, “How can anyoneXXV be born after having grownXXVI old?XXVII

Notes on verse 4a

XXIV “said” = lego. Same as “tell” in v3. See note XIX above.
XXV “anyone” = anthropos. Same as {untranslated} in v1. See note II above.
XXVI “grown” = eimi. Same as “was” in v1. See note I above.
XXVII “old” = geron. 1x in NT. This is old or old person. It is where “gerontology” comes from.

Can one enterXXVIII a second timeXXIX into the mother’sXXX wombXXXI and be born?” 

Notes on verse 4b

XXVIII “enter” = eiserchomai. Related to “came” in v2. From eis (to, into, for, among) + erchomai (see note VIII above). This is to go in in a literal or figurative sense.
XXIX “second time” = deuteros. From duo (two, both). This is second, twice, again. It is part of where “Deuteronomy” comes from, which means “second law” or “a repetition of the law.” See
XXX “mother’s” = meter. This is mother in a literal or figurative sense.
XXXI “womb” = koilia. From koilos (hollow). This is belly or organs in the abdomen. So, it could be stomach, womb, or heart. Figuratively, this refers to one’s inner self.

Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of waterXXXII and Spirit.XXXIII What is born of the fleshXXXIV is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. 

Notes on verses 5-6

XXXII “water” = hudor. Perhaps from huetos (rain); from huo (to rain). This is water literal or figurative. It is one of the roots that “hydrogen” and “hydroelectric” come from.
XXXIII “Spirit” = Pneuma. From pneo (to blow, breathe, breathe hard). This is wind, breath, or ghost. A breeze or a blast or air, a breath. Figuratively used for a spirit, the human soul or part of us that is rational. It is also used supernaturally for angels, demons, God, and the Holy Spirit. This is where pneumonia comes from.
XXXIV “flesh” = sarx. May be from saroo (to sweep, cleanse by sweeping); from sairo (to brush off). This is flesh, the body, human nature, materiality, kindred. Flesh is not always evil in scripture (as when it refers to Jesus taking on a human body). However, it is generally used in a negative way for actions made selfishly and not through faith. This can mean animal flesh, i.e. meat, or refer to body in contrast to soul/spirit. Flesh can be a way of talking about how things or people are related or talking about human frailty (physical or moral).

Do not be astonishedXXXV that I said to you, ‘You mustXXXVI be born from above.’ The windXXXVII blowsXXXVIII

Notes on verses 7-8a

XXXV “be astonished” = thaumazo. From thauma (a wonder or marvel; used abstractly for wonderment or amazement; something that evokes emotional astonishment); may be from theaomai (to behold, look upon, see, contemplate, visit); from thaomai (to gaze at a spectacle; to look at or contemplate as a spectator; to interpret something in efforts to grasp its significance). This is to marvel, wonder, or admire. To be amazed out of one’s senses or be awestruck. Being astonished and starting to contemplate what was beheld. This root is where the word “theatre” comes from.
XXXVI “must” = dei. Related to “Nicodemus” in v1. From deo (see note V above). This is what is necessary or proper. It is what is needed or what one should do – a duty or something inevitable. This refers to something absolutely necessary.
XXXVII “wind” = pneuma. Same as “Spirit” in v5. See note XXXIII above.
XXXVIII “blows” = pneo. Related to “Spirit” in v5. 7x in NT. See note XXXIII above.

where it chooses,XXXIX and you hearXL the soundXLI of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes.XLII So it is with everyoneXLIII who is born of the Spirit.” 

Notes on verse 8b

XXXIX “chooses” = thelo. This is to wish, desire, will, or intend. It is to choose or prefer in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean inclined toward or take delight in. It can have a sense of being ready to act on the impulse in question.
XL “hear” = akouo. This is hear or listen, but it also means to understand by hearing. This is where the word “acoustics” comes from.
XLI “sound” = phone. Probably from phemi (to declare, say, use contrasts in speaking to shed light on one point of view); {from phao (to shine) or phaino (to bring light, cause to appear, shine, become visible or clear). This is a voice, sound, tone or noise. It can also be a language or dialect.
XLII “goes” = hupago. From hupo (by, under, under the authority of) + ago (lead, bring, guide, spend, drive, carry). This is to lead under so to depart, go away, or die. It is to lead away under the command of someone else, being given a mission or objective to carry out.
XLIII “everyone” = pas. This is all or every.

Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?”XLIV 

10 Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel,XLV and yet you do not understandXLVI these things?

11 “Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testifyXLVII to what we have seen, yet you do not receiveXLVIII our testimony.XLIX 

Notes on verses 9-11

XLIV “be” = ginomai. Related to “born” in v3. See note XXII above.
XLV “Israel” = Israel. From Hebrew Yisrael (God strives or one who strives with God; new name for Jacob and for his offspring); {from sarah (to persist, exert oneself, contend, persevere, wrestle, prevail) + el (God or god)}. This is Israel the people and the land.
XLVI “understand” = ginosko. Related to “named” in v1. See note IV above.
XLVII “testify” = martureo. From martus (a witness whether having heard or seen something; witness literally, judicially, or figuratively; by analogy, a martyr). This is to bear witness, testify, give evidence. It is to testify in a literal or figurative sense.
XLVIII “receive” = lambano. It does not refer to passive receiving of something, but active acceptance or taking of something whether it is offered or simply nearby. It focuses on individual decision and action.
XLIX “testimony” = marturia. Related to “testify” in v11. From martureo (see note XLVII above). This is testimony, witness, evidence, record, reputation.

12 If I have told you about earthlyL things and you do not believe,LI how can you believe if I tell you about heavenlyLII things? 

Notes on verse 12

L “earthly” = epigeios. 7x in NT. From epi (on, upon, what is fitting) + ge (earth, land, soil, region, country, the inhabitants of an area). This is earthly or worldly. It can mark the earth in contrast to the sky or the earth in contrast to heaven. It can include all of physical life or describe the moral character of the world.
LI “believe” = pisteuo. From pistis (faith, faithfulness, belief, trust, confidence; to be persuaded or come to trust); from peitho (to have confidence, urge, be persuaded, agree, assure, believe, have confidence, trust). This is to believe, entrust, have faith it, affirm, have confidence in. This is less to do with a series of beliefs or doctrines that one believes and more to do with faithfulness, loyalty, and fidelity. It is trusting and then acting based on that trust.
LII “heavenly” = epouranios. 19x in NT. From epi (on, upon, what is fitting) + ouranos (air, sky, the atmosphere, heaven; the sky that is visible; the spiritual heaven where God dwells; implies happiness, power, and eternity); {perhaps from oros (mountain, hill)}. This is heavenly, celestial, high, heavenly one, heavenly thins. It is the heavenly sphere in contrast to the earthly one, the place of spiritual activity. Figuratively, it can mean divine or spiritual. Properly, this describes that which is fitting from heaven’s perspective.

13 No one has ascendedLIII into heavenLIV except the one who descendedLV from heaven, the SonLVI of Man.LVII 

Notes on verse 13

LIII “ascended” = anabaino. Related to “kingdom” in v3. From ana (up, back, among, again, anew) + the same as basis (see note XXI above). This is to come up in a literal or figurative sense – ascent, rise, climb, enter.
LIV “heaven” = ouranos. Related to “heavenly” in v12. See note LI above.
LV “descended” = katabaino. Related to “kingdom” in v3 & “ascended” in v13. From kata (down, against, throughout, among) + baino (see note XXI above). This is to come down whether from the sky to the ground or from higher ground to lower. It can be used in a literal or figurative sense.
LVI “Son” = Huios. This is son, descendant – a son whether natural born or adopted. It can be used figuratively for other forms of kinship.
LVII “Man” = anthropos. Same as {untranslated} in v1. See note II above.

14 And just as MosesLVIII lifted upLIX the serpentLX in the wilderness,LXI so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 

Notes on verse 14

LVIII “Moses” = Mouses. From Hebrew Mosheh (Moses); from mashah (to pull out in a literal or figurative sense, to draw out) OR from Egyptian mes or mesu (child, son i.e. child of…). This is Moses – the one drawn out from the water, which is to say, rescued. If derived from the Egyptian, his name would share a root with Rameses and Thutmose.
LIX “lifted up” = hupsoo. From hupsos (height, high position, heaven, dignity, eminence; elevation, altitude; to be exalted); from hupsi (on high, aloft); from huper (over, above, beyond). This is to elevate in a literal or figurative sense. So it could be to raise up or set something in a high place or to exalt or make something great.
LX “serpent” = ophis. Related to {untranslated} in v1 & “see” in v3. 14x in NT. Perhaps from optanomai (see note II above). This is snake or serpent, often used of the devil. It is the snake as a type that is sly or cunning – someone malicious.
LXI “wilderness” = eremos. Properly, a place that is not settled or farmed, not populated. It could be a deserted area or a desert place. It could be seen as secluded, solitary, or lonesome. Any kind of vegetation is sparse, but so are people generally.

15 that whoeverLXII believes in him may haveLXIII eternalLXIV life.LXV

Notes on verse 15

LXII “whoever” = pas. Same as “everyone” in v8. See note XLIII above.
LXIII “have” = echo. This is to have, hold, possess.
LXIV “eternal” = aionios. From aion (an age, length of time). This is age-long, forever, everlasting. Properly, that which lasts for an age. This is where eon comes from.
LXV “life” = zoe. From zao (to live, be alive). This is life including the vitality of humans, plants, and animals – it is life physical and spiritual and life everlasting.

16 “For God so lovedLXVI the worldLXVII that he gaveLXVIII his onlyLXIX Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perishLXX but may have eternal life.

Notes on verse 16

LXVI “loved” = agapao. Perhaps from agan (much). This is love, longing for, taking pleasure in. It is divine love or human love that echoes divine love.
LXVII “world” = kosmos. Perhaps from the base of komizo (to carry, convey, recover); from komeo (to take care of). This is order, the world, the universe, including its inhabitants. Literally, this is something that is ordered so it can refer to all creation. It can also refer to decoration in the sense that something is better ordered and, thus, made more beautiful. This is where “cosmos” and “cosmetics” come from.
LXVIII “gave” = didomi. To give, offer, place, bestow, deliver. This is give in a literal or figurative sense.
LXIX “only” = monogenes. Related to “born” in v3 & “be” in v9. 9x in NT. From monos (alone, only, solitary, sole, mere, desolate); {probably from meno (to stay, remain, wait, continue, endure)} + genos (see note XXII above). This is only begotten, unique, one and only, one of a kind.
LXX “perish” = apollumi. From apo (from, away from) + ollumi (to destroy or ruin; the loss that comes from a major ruination). This is to destroy, cut off, to perish – perhaps violently. It can also mean to cancel or remove.

17 “Indeed, God did not sendLXXI the Son into the world to condemnLXXII the world but in order that the world might be savedLXXIII through him. 18 Those who believe in him are not condemned, but those who do not believe are condemned already because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 

Notes on verses 17-18

LXXI “send” = apostello. From apo (from, away from) + stello (to send, set, arrange, prepare, gather up); {probably from histemi (to make to stand, stand, place, set up, establish, appoint, stand firm, be steadfast)}. This is to send forth, send away, dismiss, send as a messenger. It implies one that is sent for a particular mission or purpose rather than a quick errand. This is where “apostle” comes from.
LXXII “condemn” = krino. Related to “answered” in v3. See note XVII above.
LXXIII “saved” = sozo. From sos (safe, rescued, well). This is to save, heal, preserve, or rescue. Properly, this is taking someone from danger to safety. It can be delivering or protecting literally or figuratively. This is the root that “savior” and “salvation” come from in Greek.

19 And this is the judgment,LXXIV that the lightLXXV has come into the world, and peopleLXXVI loved darknessLXXVII

Notes on verse 19a

LXXIV “judgment” = krisis. Related to “answered” in v3 & “condemn” in v17. From krino (see note XVII above). This is a judging or a sentence. It is often used of God’s judgment, but can also be any accusation or condemnation. This is where the word “crisis” comes from.
LXXV “light” = phos. Related to “sound” in v8. From phao (see note XLI above); from the same as phaino (see note XLI above). This is light, a source of light, fire, or radiance. This is light with specific reference to what it reveals. It is luminousness whether natural or artificial, abstract or concrete, literal or figurative.
LXXVI “people” = anthropos.  Same as {untranslated} in v1. See note II above.
LXXVII “darkness” = skotos. Perhaps from the base of skia (shadow, thick darkness, outline; figurative for a spiritual situation that is good or bad). This is darkness literal or figurative – as moral or spiritual darkness, sin and what comes from it. This can also mean obscurity.

ratherLXXVIII than light because their deedsLXXIX were evil.LXXX 

Notes on verse 19b

LXXVIII “rather” = mallon. This is rather, more than, or better.
LXXIX “deeds” = ergon. From ergo (to work, accomplish, do). This is work, task, deed, labor, effort.
LXXX “evil” = poneros. From poneo (to toil); related to ponos (pain, trouble, labor, distress, suffering; toil, which implies anguish); from the base of penes (a laborer, poor person, starving or indigent person; someone who works for their living); from pernomai (working for a living; laborer, poor person; to work for daily bread); from peno (to toil to survive day by day). This is bad, evil, wicked, malicious, grievous, or toilsome. Properly, it is something that bears pain – it emphasizes the miseries and pains that come with evil. By contrast, the Greek kakos refers to evil as part of someone’s core character. Also contrasting the Greek sapros, which deals with falling away from a previously embodied virtue. This word can mean ill, diseased, morally culpable, derelict, vicious, malicious, or guilt. It can also refer to the devil or sinners.

20 For allLXXXI who doLXXXII evilLXXXIII hateLXXXIV the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed.LXXXV 

Notes on verse 20

LXXXI “all” = pas. Same as “everyone” in v8. See note XLIII above.
LXXXII “do” = prasso. This is to do or practice – something done on an on-going basis or by habit. It can also mean to accomplish, attend, or commit.
LXXXIII “evil” = phaulos. 6x in NT. This is bad, worthless, or foul. Figuratively, it can mean wicked or evil.
LXXXIV “hate” = miseo. From misos (hatred). This word is used in two ways in the New Testament. One has to do with how we prioritize. In order to prioritize something the highest, it means we have to rank other things lower. We cannot have 10 number one priorities. So, the nine that are not number 1, we love less or we value them lower. We make a moral choice the springs from our values about where we put our time, efforts, energy, etc. The other way is detesting or hatred as we normally think of it. This sense has a particular affinity with persecuting the one we hate.
LXXXV “be exposed” = elegcho. 17x in NT. This is to expose, reprove, discipline, convict, or rebuke. It is using convincing evidence to expose a wrong.

21 But those who doLXXXVI what is trueLXXXVII come to the light, so that it may be clearly seenLXXXVIII that their deeds have been doneLXXXIX in God.”

Notes on verse 21

LXXXVI “do” = poieo. Same as “do” in v2. See note XV above.
LXXXVII “true” = aletheia. From alethes (true, unconcealed; true because it is in concert with fact and reality – attested; literally, what cannot be hidden; truth stands up to test and scrutiny and is undeniable, authentic). {from a (not, without) + lanthano (unnoticed, concealed)}. Truth is literally that which is not or cannot be concealed. This word covers more than the sense of true versus false. It spoke of truth as that which corresponds to reality – reality as opposed to illusion. Thus, it includes, sincerity, straightforwardness, and reality itself.
LXXXVIII “be clearly seen” = phaneroo. Related to “sound” in v8 & “light” in v19. From phaneros (visible, apparent, clear, shining); from phos (see note LXXV above). This is to make visible or clear, to make known. Properly, it is to illumine and so to make apparent or bring into open view.
LXXXIX “done” = ergazomai. Related to “deeds” in v19. From ergon (see note LXXIX above). This is to work, labor, perform, toil.

22 After this Jesus and his disciplesXC wentXCI into the regionXCII of Judea,XCIII and he spent some timeXCIV there with them and baptized.XCV 

Notes on verse 22

XC “disciples” = mathetes.  From matheteuo (to make a disciple of); from manthano (to learn key facts, gain knowledge from experience; generally implies reflection as part of the learning process); from math– (thinking things through). This is a disciple, learner, or student. It is where we get “mathematics” from.
XCI “went” = erchomai. Same as “came” in v2. See note VIII above.
XCII “region” = ge. Related to “earthly” in v12. See note L above.
XCIII “Judea” = Ioudaia. Same as “Jews” in v1. See note VII above.
XCIV “spent…time” = diatribo. 9x in NT. From dia (through, for the sake of, across, thoroughly) + the same as tribos (worn track or path like a rut that is formed from rubbing i.e. steady use; also road or highway); {from tribo (to rub or thresh)}. This is to spend time, remain, stay, continue. Literally, it is to rub or wear away.
XCV “baptized” = baptizo. From bapto (to dip or dye; to entirely cover with liquid, to stain). This is to submerge, wash, or immerse. Used specially for baptism.

23 JohnXCVI also was baptizing at AenonXCVII nearXCVIII SalimXCIX

Notes on verse 23a

XCVI “John” = Ioannes. Related to “Jesus” in v3. From Hebrew yochanan (Johanan); from Yehochanan (“the Lord has been gracious”); {from YHVH (see note XVI above)} + chanan (beseech, show favor, be gracious; properly, to bend in kindness to someone with less status). This is John, meaning “the Lord has been gracious.”
XCVII “Aenon” = Ainon. 1x in NT. Probably from Aramaic – similar to Hebrew Ayin (a place called Ain, meaning “spring (of water)”); {from the same as ayin (eye, appearance; eye in a literal or figurative sense; a fountain)} OR from aineo (to praise, praise God); {from ainos (praise, saying, story, proverb)}. This is Aenon, a place whose name may mean “spring,” “eye,” “place of springs,” “place of eyes,” “praise,” or “place of praise.” See
XCVIII “near” = eggus. Perhaps from agcho (to squeeze). This is nearby or near in time.
XCIX “Salim” = Saleim. 1x in NT. Probably related to Salem (Salem, a place name; could refer to Jerusalem); from Hebrew Shalem (Salem or Shalem; “peaceful”); from shalam (to be complete or sound; to have safety mentally, physically, or extending to one’s estate; so, if these things are safe and complete, the implication is that one would be friendly; and, if being friendly, one would make amends and that friendship would be reciprocated). This is Salim, a place meaning peace.

because water was abundantC there, and people kept comingCI and were being baptized. 24 (John, of course, had not yet been thrownCII into prison.)CIII

Notes on verses 23b-24

C “abundant” = polus. This is much, often, plenteous – a large number or a great extent.
CI “coming” = paraginomai. Related to “born” in v3 & “be” in v9 & “only” in v16. From para (from beside, by) + ginomai (see note XXII above). This is to arrive, appear, reach. It implies appearing publicly.
CII “thrown” = ballo. This is to throw, cast, rush, place, or drop. It is throwing, but it could be with more or less velocity and with more or less force/violence.
CIII “prison” = phulake. From phulasso (to guard something so that it doesn’t escape – to watch over it vigilantly; being on guard in a literal or figurative sense); related to phulaks (military guard, sentry, watcher). This is the act of guarding, the person who guards, the place where guarding occurs (i.e. a prison), or the times of guarding (the various watches).

25 Now a discussionCIV about purificationCV aroseCVI between John’s disciples and a Jew. 

Notes on verse 25

CIV “discussion” = zetesis. 8x in NT. From zeteo (to seek, search for, desire. searching for something by inquiring or investigation; to seek in a literal or figurative sense; to worship God). This is a search, controversy, discussion, or debate.
CV “purification” = katharismos. 7x in NT. From katharizo (to cleanse, make clean, purify, purge, or declare to be clean; includes cleansing in a literal, ritual, or spiritual sense); from katharos (clean, clear, pure, unstained; clean in a literal, ritual, or spiritual sense; so, also guiltless, innocent or upright; something that is pure because it has been separated from the negative substance or aspect; spiritually clean because of God’s act of purifying). This is cleansing or purification. It can be used in a literal, ritual, or moral sense.
CVI “arose” = ginomai. Same as “be” in v9. See note XLIV above.

26 They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, the one who was with you across the Jordan,CVII to whom you testified, hereCVIII he is baptizing, and all are goingCIX to him.” 

27 John answered, “No oneCX can receive anything except what has been given from heaven. 28 You yourselves are my witnessesCXI that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah,CXII but I have been sent ahead of him.’ 

Notes on verses 26-28

CVII “Jordan” = Iordanes. 15x in NT. From Hebrew yarden (Jordan river, meaning “descending”); from yarad (to go down, descend; going down in a literal or figurative sense; going to the shore or a boundary, bringing down an enemy). This is the Jordan River, meaning “descending.”
CVIII “here” = idou. Related to “know” in v2. From eido (see note X above). This is see! Lo! Behold! Look! Used to express surprise and or draw attention to the statement.
CIX “going” = erchomai. Same as “came” in v2. See note VIII above.
CX “one” = anthropos. Same as {untranslated} in v1. See note II above.
CXI “are…witnesses” = martureo. Same as “testify” in v11. See note XLVII above.
CXII “Messiah” = Christos. From chrio (consecrate by anointing with oil; often done for prophets, priests, or kings). Literally, the anointed one, Christ. The Greek word for Messiah.

29 He who has the brideCXIII is the bridegroom.CXIV The friendCXV of the bridegroom who standsCXVI and hears him rejoicesCXVII greatlyCXVIII at the bridegroom’s voice.CXIX

Notes on verse 29a

CXIII “bride” = numphe. 8x in NT. Perhaps from nupto (to put on a veil as a bride does – in Latin nupto means simple to marry); related to numphon (the room where the marriage bed is). This is bride, daughter-in-law, young wife, or young woman. This shares a root with “nymph” and “nymphomaniac.”
CXIV “bridegroom” = numphios. Related to “bride” in v29. 16x in NT. From numphe (see note CXIII above). This is bridegroom in a literal or figurative sense.
CXV “friend” = philos. This is dear, beloved, a friend, an associate; friendship with personal affection, a trusted confidante; love from personal experience with another person.
CXVI “stands” = histemi. Related to “send” in v17. See note LXXI above.
CXVII “rejoices” = chairo. Related to “greatly” in v29. See note CXVIII below.
CXVIII “greatly” = chara. From chairo (to rejoice, be glad or cheerful; a greeting); from char– (to extend favor, lean towards, be inclined to be favorable towards). This is joy, delight, gladness. Can be understood as the feeling you get when you are aware of grace.
CXIX “voice” = phone. Same as “sound” in v8. See note XLI above.

For this reason my joyCXX has been fulfilled.CXXI 30 He must increase,CXXII but I must decrease.”CXXIII

Notes on verses 29b-30

CXX “joy” = chara. Same as “greatly” in v29. See note CXVIII above.
CXXI “fulfilled” = pleroo. From pleres (to be full, complete, abounding in, occupied with). This is to fill, make full or complete. Properly, this is filling something up to the maximum extent that it can be filled – an appropriate amount for its individual capacity. So, this is used figuratively for furnish, influence, satisfy, finish, preach, perfect, and fulfill.
CXXII “increase” = auxano. From auksano (to grow or enlarge, whether literal or figurative). This is growing whether in size or mature or greatness or some other metric.
CXXIII “decrease” = elattoo. 3x in NT. From elasson (smaller, worse, younger, lesser quality); from elachistos (smallest or littlest in the sense of size, amount, rank, dignity, and so on); from elachus (short); used as a superlative for mikros (small). This is to lesson or reduce in status or influence.

31 The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is of the earth belongsCXXIV to the earth and speaks about earthly things. The one who comes from heaven is above all. 32 He testifies to what he has seen and heard, yet no one acceptsCXXV his testimony. 33 Whoever has accepted his testimony has certifiedCXXVI this, that God is true.CXXVII 

Notes on verses 31-33

CXXIV “belongs” = eimi. Same as “was” in v1. See note I above.
CXXV “accepts” = lambano. Same as “receive” in v11. See note XLVIII above.
CXXVI “certified” = sphragizo. 15x in NT. From sphragis (a seal, signet, or signet ring; also the impression of that seal; so, the thing attested to by that seal – proof or a signifier of privacy); perhaps from phrasso (to stop, fence in). Properly, this is sealing something with some kind of stamp that tells who the owner is, gives it authorization or validity. It shows that the owner lends their full authority or backing to the matter in question. This was the ancient world’s equivalent of a signature on a legal document to guarantee the commitments made in the document. There were also tattoos that were given to show who someone belonged to in a religious sense.
CXXVII “true” = alethes. Related to “true” in v21. See note LXXXVII above.

34 He whom God has sent speaks the wordsCXXVIII of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure.CXXIX 35 The FatherCXXX loves the Son and has placedCXXXI all things in his hands.CXXXII 

Notes on verses 34-35

CXXVIII “words” = rhema. From rheo (to speak, command, make, say, speak of); from ereo (to all, say, speak of, tell; denotes ongoing speech). This is word, which implies a matter or thing spoken, a command, report, promise, thing, or business. Often used for narration, commands, or disputes.
CXXIX “measure” = metron. 14x in NT. This is a measure, whether of distance or volume. It can be a tool for measuring or the measure itself. Figuratively, it is that which determines what is sufficient. This is where the words “meter” and “metric” come from.
CXXX “Father” = Pater. This is father in a literal or figurative sense. Could be elder, senior, ancestor, originator, or patriarch.
CXXXI “placed” = didomi. Same as “gave” in v16. See note LXVIII above.
CXXXII “hands” = cheir. This is the hand in a literal sense. Figuratively, the hand is the means a person uses to accomplish things so it can also mean power, means, or instrument.

36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever disobeysCXXXIII the Son will not see life but must endureCXXXIV God’s wrath.CXXXV, CXXXVI

Notes on verse 36

CXXXIII “disobeys” = apeitheo. Related to “believe” in v12. 14x in NT. From apeithes (unbelieving, disobedient, spiritually rebellious); {from a (not, without) + peitho (see note LI above)}. This is to disobey or rebel. It refers to those who refuse to be convinced of something – willful disbelief.
CXXXIV “endure” = meno. Related to “only” in v16. See note LXIX above.
CXXXV “wrath” = orge. From orgao (something that teems or stews; anger rising from prolonged personal contact that is fixed rather than an angry outburst; anger that stems from an individual’s sense of right and wrong, justice, etc.) or from orego (to stretch out towards, yearn for, aspire to, desire). This is impulse, wrath, anger, passion, punishment. Properly, this is fixed anger from ongoing personal irritation caused by something the one getting angry sees as unjust or evil. Wrath implies punishment. Can refer to human or divine wrath.
CXXXVI Literally, “God’s wrath abides on him.”

Image credit: “Moses Presents his Brazen Serpent to the People” by Robert Anning Bell, c. 1890.

You May Also Like

Leave a Reply