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John 1 Living Bible (TLB)

1-2 Before anything else existed,[a] there was Christ,* with God. He has always been alive and is himself God. He created everything there is—nothing exists that he didn’t make. Eternal life is in him, and this life gives light to all mankind. His life is the light that shines through the darkness—and the darkness can never extinguish it.

6-7 God sent John the Baptist as a witness to the fact that Jesus Christ is the true Light. John himself was not the Light; he was only a witness to identify it.

Later on, the one who is the true Light arrived to shine on everyone coming into the world.

10 But although he made the world, the world didn’t recognize him when he came. 11-12 Even in his own land and among his own people, the Jews, he was not accepted. Only a few would welcome and receive him. But to all who received him, he gave the right to become children of God. All they needed to do was to trust him to save them.[b] 13 All those who believe this are reborn!—not a physical rebirth[c] resulting from human passion or plan—but from the will of God.

14 And Christ[d] became a human being and lived here on earth among us and was full of loving forgiveness* and truth. And some of us have seen his glory*—the glory of the only Son of the heavenly Father!*

15 John pointed him out to the people, telling the crowds, “This is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘Someone is coming who is greater by far than I am—for he existed long before I did!’” 16 We have all benefited from the rich blessings he brought to us—blessing upon blessing heaped upon us! 17 For Moses gave us only the Law with its rigid demands and merciless justice, while Jesus Christ brought us loving forgiveness as well. 18 No one has ever actually seen God, but, of course, his only Son has, for he is the companion of the Father and has told us all about him.

19 The Jewish leaders[e] sent priests and assistant priests from Jerusalem to ask John whether he claimed to be the Messiah.

20 He denied it flatly. “I am not the Christ,” he said.

21 “Well then, who are you?” they asked. “Are you Elijah?”

“No,” he replied.

“Are you the Prophet?”[f]

“No.”

22 “Then who are you? Tell us, so we can give an answer to those who sent us. What do you have to say for yourself?”

23 He replied, “I am a voice from the barren wilderness, shouting as Isaiah prophesied, ‘Get ready for the coming of the Lord!’”

24-25 Then those who were sent by the Pharisees asked him, “If you aren’t the Messiah or Elijah or the Prophet, what right do you have to baptize?”

26 John told them, “I merely baptize with[g] water, but right here in the crowd is someone you have never met, 27 who will soon begin his ministry among you, and I am not even fit to be his slave.”

28 This incident took place at Bethany, a village on the other side of the Jordan River where John was baptizing.

29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! There is the Lamb of God who takes away the world’s sin! 30 He is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘Soon a man far greater than I am is coming, who existed long before me!’ 31 I didn’t know he was the one, but I am here baptizing with water in order to point him out to the nation of Israel.”

32 Then John told about seeing the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove descending from heaven and resting upon Jesus.

33 “I didn’t know he was the one,” John said again, “but at the time God sent me to baptize he told me, ‘When you see the Holy Spirit descending and resting upon someone—he is the one you are looking for. He is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I saw it happen to this man, and I therefore testify that he is the Son of God.”

35 The following day as John was standing with two of his disciples, 36 Jesus walked by. John looked at him intently and then declared, “See! There is the Lamb of God!”

37 Then John’s two disciples turned and followed Jesus.

38 Jesus looked around and saw them following. “What do you want?” he asked them.

“Sir,” they replied, “where do you live?”

39 “Come and see,” he said. So they went with him to the place where he was staying and were with him from about four o’clock that afternoon until the evening. 40 (One of these men was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.)

41 Andrew then went to find his brother Peter and told him, “We have found the Messiah!” 42 And he brought Peter to meet Jesus.

Jesus looked intently at Peter for a moment and then said, “You are Simon, John’s son—but you shall be called Peter, the rock!”

43 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and told him, “Come with me.” 44 (Philip was from Bethsaida, Andrew and Peter’s hometown.)

45 Philip now went off to look for Nathanael and told him, “We have found the Messiah!—the very person Moses and the prophets told about! His name is Jesus, the son of Joseph from Nazareth!”

46 “Nazareth!” exclaimed Nathanael. “Can anything good come from there?”

“Just come and see for yourself,” Philip declared.

47 As they approached, Jesus said, “Here comes an honest man—a true son of Israel.”

48 “How do you know what I am like?” Nathanael demanded.

And Jesus replied, “I could see you under the fig tree before Philip found you.”

49 Nathanael replied, “Sir, you are the Son of God—the King of Israel!”

50 Jesus asked him, “Do you believe all this just because I told you I had seen you under the fig tree? You will see greater proofs than this. 51 You will even see heaven open and the angels of God coming back and forth to me, the Messiah.”[h]

Footnotes:

  1. John 1:1 Before anything else existed, literally, “In the beginning.” Christ, literally, “the Word,” meaning Christ, the wisdom and power of God and the first cause of all things; God’s personal expression of himself to men.
  2. John 1:11 to trust him to save them, literally, “to believe on his name.”
  3. John 1:13 not a physical rebirth, literally, “not of blood.”
  4. John 1:14 Christ, literally, “the Word.” loving forgiveness, literally, “grace.” seen his glory, see Matthew 17:2. the only Son of the heavenly Father, literally, “his unique Son.”
  5. John 1:19 The Jewish leaders, literally, “The Jews.”
  6. John 1:21 See Deuteronomy 18:15, 18.
  7. John 1:26 with, or “in.” So also with, or “in” the Holy Spirit in vv. 31 and 33.
  8. John 1:51 the Messiah, literally, “the Son of Man.”
Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

John 1 New International Version (NIV)

The Word Became Flesh

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome[a] it.

There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

15 (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’”) 16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and[b] is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.

John the Baptist Denies Being the Messiah

19 Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders[c] in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. 20 He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Messiah.”

21 They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?”

He said, “I am not.”

“Are you the Prophet?”

He answered, “No.”

22 Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”

23 John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’”[d]

24 Now the Pharisees who had been sent 25 questioned him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”

26 “I baptize with[e] water,” John replied, “but among you stands one you do not know. 27 He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.”

28 This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

John Testifies About Jesus

29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.”

32 Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. 33 And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.”[f]

John’s Disciples Follow Jesus

35 The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36 When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”

37 When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. 38 Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?”

They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”

39 “Come,” he replied, “and you will see.”

So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four in the afternoon.

40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. 41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus.

Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter[g]).

Jesus Calls Philip and Nathanael

43 The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.”

44 Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. 45 Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”

46 “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked.

“Come and see,” said Philip.

47 When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.”

48 “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked.

Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.”

49 Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.”

50 Jesus said, “You believe[h] because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.” 51 He then added, “Very truly I tell you,[i] you[j] will see ‘heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on’[k] the Son of Man.”

Footnotes:

  1. John 1:5 Or understood
  2. John 1:18 Some manuscripts but the only Son, who
  3. John 1:19 The Greek term traditionally translated the Jews (hoi Ioudaioi) refers here and elsewhere in John’s Gospel to those Jewish leaders who opposed Jesus; also in 5:10, 15, 16; 7:1, 11, 13; 9:22; 18:14, 28, 36; 19:7, 12, 31, 38; 20:19.
  4. John 1:23 Isaiah 40:3
  5. John 1:26 Or in; also in verses 31 and 33 (twice)
  6. John 1:34 See Isaiah 42:1; many manuscripts is the Son of God.
  7. John 1:42 Cephas (Aramaic) and Peter (Greek) both mean rock.
  8. John 1:50 Or Do you believe … ?
  9. John 1:51 The Greek is plural.
  10. John 1:51 The Greek is plural.
  11. John 1:51 Gen. 28:12
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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