Gospel of John: Chapter Three

3.1 Now there was a pharisee man named Nicodemus, a Jewish official.
3:2 He came to Jesus during the night and said to him, "Rabbi, we know that you come from God as a teacher, for no one can do these signs you do if God were not empowering him."
3:3 Jesus responded and said to him, "Surely, I say to you, unless one is born from above1 he cannot know the sanctuary of God."
3:4 "How can someone be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be reborn, can he?"
3:5 Jesus answered, "Very truly I tell you, unless one is born from the waters of the spirit, he cannot achieve the sanctuary of God.
3:6 That which arises from the flesh is flesh, and that which arises from the spirit is spirit.
3:7 Do not be surprised that I said to you, 'You must be born from above.'
3:8 The wind blows where it pleases. You hear the sound of it, but you do not know from where it comes or where it is going. So it is with someone born of the spirit."
3:9 Nicodemus said to him, "How can these things be?"
3:10 Jesus answered and said to him, "you are the teacher of Israel and do you not understand these things?
3:11 Truly I say to you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you do not accept my testimony.
3:12 If I speak of worldly matters and you do not trust me, how will you trust me when I speak of spiritual matters?
3:13 No one ascends to the spiritual realm unless he descends from the spiritual realm as the Servant of Humanity.
3:14 As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Servant of Humanity be honored,
3:15 so that everyone who trusts in him may have eternal life."2
[3:16 For the Creator so loved the world that He sent forth His Confidential Representative, and whoever trusts in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
3:17 For the Creator did not send His Representative into the world to condemn the world, but so that the world might be saved through him.
3:18 Whoever trusts him will not be condemned, but whoever does not trust is condemned because he has not trusted in the name of the Intimate Servant of God.
3:19 This is the condemnation: the light has come into the world, but people loved the darkness instead of the light because of their wicked deeds.
3:20 Those who do evil hate the light, and do not come to the light for fear their deeds will be exposed.
3:21 But he who lives by the Truth comes to the light, so that his deeds may manifest as service to the Creator.]2
3:22 After this, Jesus and his followers journeyed into the land of Judea, where he spent some time with them, and was baptizing.
3:23 John was also baptizing in Aenon near Salim, since there was much water there, and people were coming and being baptized.
3:24 This was before John was put in prison.
3:25 There was a debate between some of John's disciples and a Jew regarding ceremonial purification.
3:26 And they came to John and said to him, "Rabbi, the man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan to whom you testified about — he is baptizing, and many are going to him."
3:27 John answered and said, "A person can receive nothing unless it has been given to them from the spiritual realm.
3:28 You yourselves are my witnesses that I said, 'I am not Anointed by God [Messiah, Christ] but I have been sent ahead of him.'
3:29 The bride belongs to the bridegroom, but the friend of the bridegroom who waits and hears him, is joyful when he hears the bridegroom's voice. So this joy is mine and it is fulfilling.
3:30 He must become greater; I must become less.
3:31 He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the material world is from the material world and speaks of the material world. He who comes from the spiritual realm is above all things.
3:32 What he has seen and heard - of that he testifies, and no one can take away his testimony.
3:33 He who accepts his testimony has realized that the Creator is real.
3:34 For he who God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Holy Spirit without limit.
3:35 The Creator loves the Loving Servant and has entrusted everything into his hands.
3:36 He who trusts the Loving Servant has eternal life; but he who does not follow the Loving Servant will not have life, for the displeasure of God remains with him."


1. Verses 3:3 and 3:7. The primary meaning of the Greek word ἄνωθεν (anōthen) is “from above” or “from a higher place,” with a secondary meaning of “over again” according to the lexicon.

2. Verses 3:16-21. There is considerable evidence from earlier texts that Jesus' statement ended at John 3:15, and the verses later numbered as John 3:16-21 were added in as commentary by later scribes. It is for this reason that a number of translations, including this one, end Jesus' quote at John 3:15. Brackets are provided for the commentary verses.