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John 17:3

    John 17:3 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And this is life eternal, that they might know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    And this is life eternal, that they should know thee the only true God, and him whom thou didst send, even Jesus Christ.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And this is eternal life: to have knowledge of you, the only true God, and of him whom you have sent, even Jesus Christ.

    Webster's Revision

    And this is life eternal, that they should know thee the only true God, and him whom thou didst send, even Jesus Christ.

    World English Bible

    This is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and him whom you sent, Jesus Christ.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    And this is life eternal, that they should know thee the only true God, and him whom thou didst send, even Jesus Christ.

    Clarke's Commentary on John 17:3

    This is life eternal - The salvation purchased by Christ, and given to them who believe, is called life:

    1. Because the life of man was forfeited to Divine justice; and the sacrifice of Christ redeemed him from that death to which he was exposed.

    2. Because the souls of men were dead in trespasses and sins; and Christ quickens them by his word and Spirit.

    3. Because men who are not saved by the grace of Christ do not live, they only exist, no good purpose of life being answered by them. But when they receive this salvation they live - answer all the Divine purposes, are happy in themselves, useful to each other, and bring glory to God.

    4. It is called eternal life to show that it reaches beyond the limits of time, and that it necessarily implies -

    1. The immortality of the soul;

    2. the resurrection of the body; and

    3. that it is never to end, hence called αιωνιος ζωη, a life ever living; from αει, always, and ων, being or existence. And indeed no words can more forcibly convey the idea of eternity than these. It is called ἡ αιωνιος ζωη, That eternal life, by way of eminence. There may be an eternal existence without blessedness; but this is that eternal life with which infinite happiness is inseparably connected.

    The only true God - The way to attain this eternal life is to acknowledge, worship, and obey, the one only true God, and to accept as teacher, sacrifice, and Savior, the Lord Jesus, the one and only true Messiah. Bishop Pearce's remark here is well worthy the reader's attention: -

    "What is said here of the only true God seems said in opposition to the gods whom the heathens worshipped; not in opposition to Jesus Christ himself, who is called the true God by John, in 1 John 5:20."

    The words in this verse have been variously translated:

    1. That they might acknowledge thee, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent, to be the only true God.

    2. That they might acknowledge thee, the only true God, and Jesus, whom thou hast sent, to be the Christ or Messiah.

    3. That they might acknowledge thee to be the only true God, and Jesus Christ to be him whom thou hast sent. And all these translations the original will bear.

    continued...

    Barnes' Notes on John 17:3

    This is life eternal - This is the source of eternal life; or it is in this manner that it is to be obtained. The knowledge of God and of his Son Jesus Christ is itself a source of unspeakable and eternal joy. Compare John 11:25; John 6:63; John 12:50.

    Might know thee - The word "know" here, as in other places, expresses more than a mere speculative acquaintance with the character and perfections of God. "It includes all the impressions on the mind and life which a just view of God and of the Saviour is fitted to produce." It includes, of course, love, reverence, obedience, honor, gratitude, supreme affection. "To know God as he is" is to know and regard him as a lawgiver, a sovereign, a parent, a friend. It is to yield the whole soul to him, and strive to obey his law.

    The only true God - The only God, in opposition to all false gods. What is said here is in opposition to idols, not to Jesus himself, who, in 1 John 5:20, is called "the true God and eternal life."

    And Jesus Christ - To know Jesus Christ is to have a practical impression of him as he is - that is, to suffer his character and work to make their due impression on the heart and life. Simply to have heard that there is a Saviour is not to know it. To have been taught in childhood and trained up in the belief of it is not to know it. To know him is to have a just, practical view of him in all his perfections as God and man; as a mediator; as a prophet, a priest, and a king. It is to feel our need of such a Saviour, to see that we are sinners, and to yield the whole soul to him, knowing that he is a Saviour suited to our needs, and that in his hands our souls are safe. Compare Ephesians 3:19; Titus 1:16; Philippians 3:10; 1 John 5:20. In this verse is contained the sum and essence of the Christian religion, as it is distinguished from all the schemes of idolatry and philosophy, and all the false plans on which men have sought to obtain eternal life. The Gentiles worshipped many gods; the Christian worships one - the living and the true God; the Jew, the Deist, the Muslim, the Socinian, profess to acknowledge one God, without any atoning sacrifice and Mediator; the true Christian approaches him through the great Mediator, equal with the Father, who for us became incarnate, and died that he might reconcile us to God.

    Wesley's Notes on John 17:3

    17:3 To know - By loving, holy faith, thee the only true God - The only cause and end of all things; not excluding the Son and the Holy Ghost, no more than the Father is excluded from being Lord, 1Cor 8:6; but the false gods of the heathens; and Jesus Christ - As their prophet, priest, and king: this is life eternal - It is both the way to, and the essence of, everlasting happiness.