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John 3:4

    John 3:4 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Nicodemus said to him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter a second time into his mother's womb, and be born?

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Nicodemus said to him, How is it possible for a man to be given birth when he is old? Is he able to go into his mother's body a second time and come to birth again?

    Webster's Revision

    Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter a second time into his mother's womb, and be born?

    World English Bible

    Nicodemus said to him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb, and be born?"

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter a second time into his mother's womb, and be born?

    Clarke's Commentary on John 3:4

    How can a man be born when he is old? - It is probable that Nicodemus was pretty far advanced in age at this time; and from his answer we may plainly perceive that, like the rest of the Jews, and like multitudes of Christians, he rested in the letter, without paying proper attention to the spirit: the shadow, without the thing signified, had hitherto satisfied him. Our Lord knew him to be in this state, and this was the cause of his pointed address to him.

    Barnes' Notes on John 3:4

    How can a man ... - It may seem remarkable that Nicodemus understood the Saviour literally, when the expression "to be born again" was in common use among the Jews to denote a change from "Gentilism" to "Judaism" by becoming a proselyte by baptism. The word with them meant a change from the state of a pagan to that of a Jew. But they never used it as applicable to a Jew, because they supposed that by his birth every Jew was entitled to all the privileges of the people of God. When, therefore, our Saviour used it of a Jew, when he affirmed its necessity of every man, Nicodemus supposed that there was an absurdity in the doctrine, or something that surpassed his comprehension, and he therefore asked whether it was possible that Jesus could teach so absurd a doctrine - as he could conceive no other sense as applicable to a Jew - as that he should, when old, enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born. And we may learn from this:

    1. that prejudice leads men to misunderstand the plainest doctrines of religion.

    2. that things which are at first incomprehensible or apparently absurd, may, when explained, become clear. The doctrine of regeneration, so difficult to Nicodemus, is plain to a "child" that is born of the Spirit.

    3. Those in high rank in life, and who are learned, are often most ignorant about the plainest matters of religion. It is often wonderful that they exhibit so little acquaintance with the most simple subjects pertaining to the soul, and so much absurdity in their views.

    4. A doctrine is not to be rejected because the rich and the great do not believe or understand it. The doctrine of regeneration was not false because Nicodemus did not comprehend it.

    Wesley's Notes on John 3:4

    3:4 When he is old - As Nicodemus himself was.
    Book: John