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John 3:3

    John 3:3 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Jesus answered and said to him, Truly, truly, I say to you, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except one be born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Jesus said to him, Truly, I say to you, Without a new birth no man is able to see the kingdom of God.

    Webster's Revision

    Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except one be born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

    World English Bible

    Jesus answered him, "Most certainly, I tell you, unless one is born anew, he can't see the Kingdom of God."

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

    Definitions for John 3:3

    Verily - Truly; surely.

    Clarke's Commentary on John 3:3

    Jesus answered - Not in the language of compliment: - he saw the state of Nicodemus's soul, and he immediately addressed himself to him on a subject the most interesting and important. But what connection is there between our Lord's reply, and the address of Nicodemus? Probably our Lord saw that the object of his visit was to inquire about the Messiah's kingdom; and in reference to this he immediately says, Except a man be born again, etc.

    The repetition of amen, or verily, verily, among the Jewish writers, was considered of equal import with the most solemn oath.

    Be born again - Or, from above: different to that new birth which the Jews supposed every baptized proselyte enjoyed; for they held that the Gentile, who became a proselyte, was like a child new born. This birth was of water from below: the birth for which Christ contends is ανωθεν, from above - by the agency of the Holy Spirit. Every man must have two births, one from heaven, the other from earth - one of his body, the other of his soul: without the first he cannot see nor enjoy this world, without the last he can not see nor enjoy the kingdom of God. As there is an absolute necessity that a child should be born into the world, that he may see its light, contemplate its glories, and enjoy its good, so there is an absolute necessity that the soul should be brought out of its state of darkness and sin, through the light and power of the grace of Christ, that it may be able to see, ιδειν, or, to discern, the glories and excellencies of the kingdom of Christ here, and be prepared for the enjoyment of the kingdom of glory hereafter. The Jews had some general notion of the new birth; but, like many among Christians, they put the acts of proselytism, baptism, etc., in the place of the Holy Spirit and his influence: they acknowledged that a man must be born again; but they made that new birth to consist in profession, confession, and external washing. See on John 3:10 (note).

    The new birth which is here spoken of comprehends, not only what is termed justification or pardon, but also sanctification or holiness. Sin must be pardoned, and the impurity of the heart washed away, before any soul can possibly enter into the kingdom of God. As this new birth implies the renewing of the whole soul in righteousness and true holiness, it is not a matter that may be dispensed with: heaven is a place of holiness, and nothing but what is like itself can ever enter into it.

    Barnes' Notes on John 3:3

    Verily, verily - An expression of strong affirmation, denoting the certainty and the importance of what he was about to say. Jesus proceeds to state one of the fundamental and indispensable doctrines of his religion. It may seem remarkable that he should introduce this subject in this manner; but it should be remembered that Nicodemus acknowledged that he was a teacher come from God; that he implied by that his readiness and desire to receive instruction; and that it is not wonderful, therefore, that Jesus should commence with one of the fundamental truths of his religion. It is no part of Christianity to conceal anything. Jesus declared to every man, high or low, rich or poor, the most humbling truths of the gospel. Nothing was kept back for fear of offending men of wealth or power; and for them, as well as the most poor and lowly, it was declared to be indispensable to experience, as the first thing in religion, a change of heart and of life.

    Except a man - This is a universal form of expression designed to include all mankind. Of "each and every man" it is certain that unless he is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God. It includes, therefore, men of every character and rank, and nation, moral and immoral, rich and poor, in office and out of office, old and young, bond and free, the slave and his master, Jew and Gentile. It is clear that our Saviour intended to convey to Nicodemus the idea, also, that "he" must be born again. It was not sufficient to be a Jew, or to acknowledge him to be a teacher sent by God that is, the Messiah; it was necessary, in addition to this, to experience in his own soul that great change called the "new birth" or regeneration.

    Be born again - The word translated here "again" means also "from above," and is so rendered in the margin. It is evident, however, that Nicodemus understood, it not as referring to a birth "from above," for if he had he would not have asked the question in John 3:4. It is probable that in the language which he used there was not the same ambiguity that there is in the Greek. The ancient versions all understood it as meaning "again," or the "second time." Our natural birth introduces us to light, is the commencement of life, throws us amid the works of God, and is the beginning of our existence; but it also introduces us to a world of sin. We early go astray. All men transgress. The imagination of the thoughts of the heart is evil from the youth up. We are conceived in sin and brought forth in iniquity, and there is none that doeth good, no, not one. The carnal mind is enmity against God, and by nature we are dead in trespasses and sins, Genesis 8:21; Psalm 14:2-3; Psalm 51:5; Romans 1:29-32; Romans 3:10-20; Romans 8:7.

    All sin exposes men to misery here and hereafter. To escape from sin, to be happy in the world to come, it is necessary that man should be changed in his principles, his feelings, and his manner of life. This change, or the beginning of this new life, is called the "new birth," or "regeneration." It is so called because in many respects it has a striking analogy to the natural birth. It is the beginning of spiritual life. It introduces us to the light of the gospel. It is the moment when we really begin to live to any purpose. It is the moment when God reveals himself to us as our reconciled Father, and we are adopted into his family as his sons. And as every man is a sinner, it is necessary that each one should experience this change, or he cannot be happy or saved. This doctrine was not unknown to the Jews, and was particularly predicted as a doctrine that would be taught in the times of the Messiah. See Deuteronomy 10:16; Jeremiah 4:4; Jeremiah 31:33; Ezekiel 11:19; Ezekiel 36:25; Psalm 51:12. The change in the New Testament is elsewhere called the "new creation" 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15, and "life from the dead," or a resurrection, Ephesians 2:1; John 5:21, John 5:24.

    He cannot see - To "see," here, is put evidently for enjoying - or he cannot be fitted for it and partake of it.

    The kingdom of God - Either in this world or in that which is to come - that is, heaven. See the notes at Matthew 3:2. The meaning is, that the kingdom which Jesus was about to set up was so pure and holy that it was indispensable that every man should experience this change, or he could not partake of its blessings. This is solemnly declared by the Son of God by an affirmation equivalent to an oath, and there can be no possibility, therefore, of entering heaven without experiencing the change which the Saviour contemplated by the "new birth." And it becomes every man, as in the presence of a holy God before whom he must soon appear, to ask himself whether he has experienced this change, and if he has not, to give no rest to his eyes until he has sought the mercy of God, and implored the aid of his Spirit that his heart may be renewed.
    Book: John
    Topic: Karma