Daniel P. Barron

John 3

Monday, November 14, 2022 

1 Now there was a man out of the Pharisees whose name was Nicodemus, i a ruler of the Jews. 2 This one came to him at night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one is able to do these signs which you do unless God is with him.” ii

3 Joshua answered and said to him, “Truly truly I say to you, unless someone has been born from above, iii he is not able to see iv the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to him, “How is a man able to be born when he is old? He is not v able to go into his mother’s womb a second time and be born?”

5 Joshua answered, “Truly truly I say to you, unless someone has been born out of water vi and spirit, he is not able to enter the kingdom of God. vii 6 That which has been born out of the flesh is flesh, and that which has been born out of the spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, viii ‘You ix must be born from above.’ 8 The wind x blows where it will, and the sound of it you hear, but you do not know from where it comes and where it goes. So is everyone who has been born out of the spirit.” xi

9 Nicodemus answered and said to him, “How can these things be?” 10 Joshua answered and said to him, “You are the teacher of Israel and you do not know these things? xii 11 Truly truly I say to you, ix that which we know we speak and what we have seen we testify, and our testimony you have not received. xiii 12 If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how, if I tell you heavenly things, will you believe.” xiv

13 “And no one has ascended xv into the heaven except the one who has descended out of the heaven, the son of the man who is in the heaven. xvi 14 And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, xvii so the son of the man must be lifted up, xviii 15 that everyone who believes in him may not perish but have eternal life. 16 For so xix God loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, xx that everyone who believes in him should not perish xxi but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his son into the world to condemn xxii the world, but that the world might be saved xxiii through him.”

18 “He who believes in him is not condemned, xxiv but he who does not believe has already been condemned, xxv because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten son of God. xxvi 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light, for their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who does evil hates the light xxvii and does not come to the light, xxviii so that his deeds are not exposed. 21 But he who practices the truth comes to the light that his deeds might be manifested that in God it is done.” xxix

22 After these things Joshua and his disciples came into the land of Judea, and there he remained with them and immersed. xxx 23 And John also was immersing in the Aenon xxxi near Salim, because there was much water there. And they were coming and being immersed. 24 For John had not yet been thrown into prison.

25 Then there came a debate out of John’s disciples with the Jews about purification. xxxii 26 And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, he who was with you on the other side of the Jordan, to whom you have testified - look, he is immersing, and all are coming to him.”

27 John answered and said, “A man is not able to receive anything unless it has been given to him from heaven. xxxiii 28 You yourself testify that I said, ‘I am not the Christ,’ but that ‘I was sent before him.’ 29 He who has the bride is the bridegroom. xxxiv And the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the voice of the bridegroom. Therefore, this my joy has been fulfilled. 30 He must increase, and I decrease.”

31 “He who comes from above xxxv is above all things. xxxvi He who is from the earth, xxxvii is from the earth and speaks from the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all things. 32 And what he has seen and heard, this he testifies; and his testimony no one receives. xxxviii 33 He who has received his testimony has certified xxxix that God is true. xl 34 For he whom God sent speaks the words xli of God, for God does not give the spirit by measure. xlii 35 The father loves the son and has given all things into his hand. xliii 36 He who believes in the son has eternal life, but he who disobeys xliv the son shall not see life; but the wrath of God remains upon him.” xlv

John 2 - John 4

Translated by Darwin Fish. See original pdf. xlvi

  1. νικοδημος (nikodêmos) “Nicodemus” - only found in this chapter and in John 7:50; 19:39^
  2. This is piercing truth the Pharisees did not want to acknowledge (see Matthew 12:22f; John 9:16-34; 10:25, 37-38). ^
  3. ανωθεν (anôthen) “from above;” KJV, NKJV “again” - found also only in Matthew 27:51 (“top”); Mark 15:38 (“top”); Luke 1:3 (“from the beginning”); John 3:7 (“again”), 31 (“from above”); 19:11 (“from above”); Acts 26:5 (“from the first”); Galatians 4:9 (no translation in the NKJV & KJV. NAS has “all over” for “παλιν ανωθεν [palin anôthen]” “all over again” [NAS]; “παλιν [palin]” is “again”); James 1:17 (“from above”); 3:15 (“from above”), 17 (“from above”). See John 3:6-8 for the definition of “born from above” (or “born again”) being “born out of the spirit.” This concept of being born from above is also found in John 1:13; 1 Peter 1:3, 23; 1 John 2:29; 3:9; 4:7; 5:1, 4, 18^
  4. This is present tense “not able to see.” This has to do with the sight of understanding (as in Romans 11:8, 10; 15:21; 1 Corinthians 13:12; Hebrews 3:19; James 2:22, 24). What about those who fall away? See Luke 8:18^
  5. KJV and NKJV (“Can he . . .”) leaves out the negative particle. NAS (“He cannot . . . , can he”) and NIV (“Surely he cannot . . .”) leave it in. ^
  6. The water and the spirit are explained in the next verse. Water = born of the flesh. Spirit = born of the spirit. ^
  7. Here it has to do with entering the kingdom. This would be both in this life (Matthew 12:28; Mark 10:15; Luke 8:10; 17:21; Romans 14:17; 1 Corinthians 4:20) and in the next (Mark 14:25; Luke 13:28-29; 1 Corinthians 15:50; Galatians 5:21). ^
  8. singular ^
  9. plural ^ ^
  10. πνευμα (pneuma) “wind” - this is the same word for spirit in the prior verses. ^
  11. 2 Corinthians 5:17 ^
  12. No flattery here! ^
  13. Who is the “we” in this verse? The Father and the Son (Genesis 1:26-27; John 5:19; 8:16-18, 28-29, 38; 10:30; 12:49-50; 14:10). ^
  14. 1 Corinthians 2:14. These words indicate Nicodemus was not yet saved. Although, Joshua is not referring just to Nicodemus, because the “you”s in this verse are all plural. In verse 11 the first “you” is singular and the last one is plural. ^
  15. This is a curious passage. For one, Christ says He has already ascended before He has ascended (as in Luke 24:51; Acts 1:9-11). Second, there are others who have ascended to heaven, angels (Genesis 28:12), Enoch (Genesis 5:22-24; Hebrews 11:5), and Elijah (2 Kings 2:9-11; Luke 9:30).

    Evidently, the angels, Enoch, and Elijah did not ascend in the way Christ is talking about how He has ascended. Now, how could He have already ascended at this point in time in John 3 (before His crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension)? Remember the Man, the Lord God, was walking in the garden (Genesis 3:8)? He met with Abraham (Genesis 14:18-20/Hebrews 7; Genesis 18). He wrestled Jacob (Genesis 32:22-30). He's been on earth, and has ascended to heaven, and descended.

    Proverbs 30:4 is a great commentary (Psalm 36:9) on this. In Proverbs 30:2 Agur (the son of Jakeh) speaks as if he were "more stupid than any man." In other words, these are things that should be known, but he's speaking like he doesn't know them. He says he does "not have the understanding of a man," nor does he "have knowledge of the Holy One" (verse 3). In other words, he's speaking like he is ignorant of what a man should know about God.

    In this context, Agur asks several questions. The very first question he asks is: "Who has ascended into heaven and descended?" (It is literally, “and” not “or” as the NKJV & KJV have it). The rest of the questions are all things that only God has done, and he ends asking what His name is (who has done all these things), and what is His Son's name. Proverbs 30:2-4 teaches the same concept as John 3:13.

    Note also, verse 12 of John 3. Joshua ends that verse talking about heavenly things, and immediately after that says, "No one has ascended to heaven" except Him. In other words, He is the only one who has gone to heaven, and here He is, on the earth, ready (if you will), or able, to talk about heavenly things, obviously, with authority. He's been there. He not only has been there, but is still there as He speaks ("who is in heaven").

    The crux of the passage is: Christ is letting Nicodemus know He can authoritatively speak of heavenly things like no other. No one else has ascended as He has, and here He is on the earth able to tell about it. In other words, He has ascended and descended, just as Proverbs 30:4 says. [See also Deuteronomy 30:12-14; Psalm 68:18; Romans 10:6-8; Ephesians 4:8-10.] ^

  16. ο ων εν τω ουρανου (ho ôn en tô ouravou) “who is in the heaven” is not in the Critical Text. Also, every “heaven” in this verse has the definite article in the Greek. ^
  17. Numbers 21:4-9 (2 Kings 18:4) ^
  18. John 8:28; 12:32-33 ^
  19. ουτω (outô) “so” - i.e. in this manner ^
  20. “only begotten son” begotten in eternity (Isaiah 57:15; see also Psalm 2:7, verse 11-12 he is here, long before the incarnation, the son; see also Proverbs 30:2-4). ^
  21. This is the term Christ used to describe the eternal state of the lost. The “perishing” is an eternal conscious state of death and torment (e.g. Isaiah 66:24; Revelation 14:9-11; 20:10; 21:8). ^
  22. κρινη (krinê) - “condemn” - this word can be translated judge or condemn. In the context of Christ’s life this is obviously meaning He did not come to judge or condemn in the sense of bringing judgment (destruction). Christ clearly “judged” or “condemned” in the sense of exposing evil men (e.g. Matthew 23; Luke 11:37-54; John 8:44). Revelation 19 reveals Christ coming in judgment, and this same Greek word is used in Revelation 19:11 (“He judges” NKJV). For other examples of the use of the word κρινη see Matthew 5:40 (“sue”); 7:1-2; 19:28; Luke 6:37a; 7:43; 12:57; 19:22; 22:30; John 5:22, 30; 7:24, 51; Revelation 6:10; 11:18; 16:5; 18:8, 20; 19:2; 20:12-13; etc. ^
  23. “that the world might be saved” - for similar teaching see Romans 11:32; 1 Timothy 2:4. This is an interesting statement in light of John 17:9^
  24. Romans 8:1, 28-39 (continue to love God and this all will apply to you, Matthew 12:30; Luke 16:13); Hebrews 9:28 ^
  25. For this “already been condemned” there is a cure (see e.g. Acts 2:22-24, 37; Ephesians 2:3; 1 Timothy 1:12-16). ^
  26. 1 John 5:9-13 ^
  27. “hates the light” - John 8:12; 15:18-25 ^
  28. “does not come to the light” = evil men do not seek God (Romans 3:11) and will not come to Him (Romans 3:12). ^
  29. εν θεω εστιν ειργασμενα (en theô estin eirgasmena) - “in God it is done” - Romans 3:22; Galatians 2:20; Philippians 3:9 ^
  30. John 4:2 reveals Joshua was not doing the actual immersing. ^
  31. αινων (ainôn) - “Aenon” - Aenon and Salim (σαλημ, salam) are only found here. ^
  32. καθαρισμου (katharismou) - “purification” - This word is also found in Mark 1:44; Luke 2:22; 5:14; John 2:6; Hebrews 1:3; 2 Peter 1:9. It does not say what particular purification issue was debated. ^
  33. Romans 11:36 ^
  34. Joshua used a similar analogy in Mark 2:19-20^
  35. ανωθεν (anôthen) - “from above” - This is the same word found in verse 3 for “born again” (NKJV). See footnote for John 3:3^
  36. Even though Philippians 2:6-11 says what it says, yet even before Christ died He was above all. ^
  37. “from the earth” - see Genesis 2:7; 3:19; Psalm 103:14; Ecclesiastes 3:20; 1 Corinthians 15:47^
  38. The next verse proves this to not be an absolute statement. ^
  39. εσφραγισεν (esphragisen) - “certified” - This same word is found in Matthew 27:66; John 6:27; Romans 15:28; 2 Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 1:13; 4:30; Revelation 7:3-5, 8; 10:4; 20:3; 22:10. The noun form (“seal,” σφραγις, sphragis) is used in Romans 4:11; 1 Corinthians 9:2; 2 Timothy 2:19; Revelation 5:1-2, 5, 9; 6:1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 12; 7:2; 8:1; 9:4^
  40. Titus 1:2 ^
  41. ρηματα (rêmata) - “words” ^
  42. John 7:37-39 (? 2 Kings 2:9-10, something different) ^
  43. Matthew 28:18? John 3:35 reveals this was already done before Matthew 28:18 (see also Revelation 1:18). ^
  44. απειθων (apeithôn) - “disobeys” - KJV, NKJV “does not believe,” NAS “disobeys,” NIV “rejects.” This word is also found in Acts 14:2; 19:9; Romans 2:8; 10:21; 11:30-31; 15:31; Hebrews 3:18; 11:31; 1 Peter 2:8; 3:1, 20; 4:17. The noun akin to this for “disobedience” is απειθεια (apeitheia) and it is found in Romans 11:30, 32; Ephesians 2:2; 5:6; Colossians 3:6; Hebrews 4:6, 11. Also, the noun akin to this for “disobedient” απειθης (apeithas) is found in Luke 1:17; Acts 26:19; Romans 1:30; 2 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:16; 3:3. For this concept of disobedience to the Son which results in condemnation, see, e.g. Psalm 2:12; Matthew 7:26-27; 2 Thessalonians 1:8.

    απειθω (apeithô) is πειθω (peithô) with the negating alpha (α) in front of it. πειθω (peithô) is found in Matthew 27:20 (“persuaded”), 43 (“trusted”); 28:14 (“appease”); Mark 10:24 (“trust”); Luke 11:22 (“trusted”); 16:31 (“persuaded”); 18:9 (“trusted”); 20:6 (“persuaded”); Acts 5:36-37 (“obeyed”), 40 (“agreed”); 12:20 (“having made . . . their friend” i.e. “befriended”); 13:43 (“persuaded”); 14:19 (“persuaded”); 17:4 (“persuaded”); 18:4 (“persuaded”); 19:8 (“persuading”), 26 (“persuaded”); 21:14 (“persuaded”); 23:21 (“yield”); 26:26 (“convinced”), 28 (“persuade”); 27:11 (“persuaded”); 28:23-24 (“peruading”/ “persuaded”); Romans 2:8 (“obey”; απειθουσι [apeithousi] “do not obey”), 19 (“confident”); 8:38 (“persuaded”); 14:14 (“convinced”); 15:14 (“confident”); 2 Corinthians 1:9 (“trust”); 2:3 (“having confidence”); 5:11 (“persuade”); 10:7 (“convinced”); Galatians 1:10 (“persuade”); 3:1 (“obey”, RT & MT texts); 5:7 (“obeying”), 10 (“confidence”); Philippians 1:6 (“confident”), 14 (“confident”), 25 (“confident”); 2:24 (“trust”); 3:3 (“confidence”), 4 (“confidence” 2x); 2 Thessalonians 3:4 (“confidence”); 2 Timothy 1:5 (“persuaded”), 12 (“persuaded”); Philemon 21 (“confidence”); Hebrews 2:13 (“trust”); 6:9 (“confidence”); 11:13 (“assured”, RT); 13:17 (“obey”), 18 (“confident”); James 3:3 (“obey”); 1 John 3:19 (“assure”).

    The noun akin to πειθω (peithô) is πειθοις (peithois) and it is only found in 1 Corinthians 2:4 (“persuasive”). ^

  45. Psalm 7:11^
  46. Mirrored here^

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