John 1-7 (Translated)

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Contents

Chapter 1

Verse King James Version Proposed Conservative Translation Analysis
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. In the beginning was perfection; its logic was with God and its truth was God. The Greek word is λόγος (logos), which has a wide variety of profound meanings, but its primary meaning is logic (as in truth). Its use three times in repetition suggests three different nuances, which would be expressed more fully with three different English terms: Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος, καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν, καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος. The second of the three phrases uses the Greek word pros (πρὸς), meaning "before" or "toward," which suggests "acting on behalf." See the talk page for further discussion of this translation.


The use of "perfection" to translate the first occurrence of λόγος works well with the repeated references to perfection in the Epistle to the Hebrews, where Jesus explained more. Also, "perfection" contrasts well with The Fall that occurred soon after creation, and the ensuing entropy and Second Law of Thermodynamics in the resultant physical world.


"Word" is a weak translation today of the more profound "logos". Now "Word" means a program sold by Microsoft, and thus over-reliance on the term should be avoided. "Living Word" has been suggested here, but it is clunky and a bit of an oxymoron, almost implying (incorrectly) an evolving biblical meaning.

2 The same was in the beginning with God. All this was in the beginning, with God. "houtos" is serving as an emphatic form of "autos," placing extra emphasis on "this SAME individual..." The purpose here is to emphasize the personal nature of the logos in verse one; originally as "one" here to emphasize the personal, but "unity" seems to capture the fullness better.


Improved the imprecise translation of "Οὗτος" to the more precise "All this": "All this was in the beginning, with God."

3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. All things were made by Him; not one thing was made without Him. "Not one thing" relates the emphatic force of the Greek much better. Conciseness chosen over repetition here.
4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. Life was in Him, and this life was the beacon of mankind. Better to translate φῶς as "beacon": "Life was in Him, and this life was the beacon of mankind."
5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. In the darkness shined the light, and the darkness could not snuff it out. This verse has many different modern translations
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. There was a man sent by God, whose name was John.
7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He came as a witness, to bear witness to the Light, so that all men might believe because of him. Modern phrasing
8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. John was not the Light, but a messenger of the Light. Modern phrasing
9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. That was the true Light, which illuminates every person who comes into the world. This is the "Quaker verse" and it is where the phrase "inner light" comes from.
10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, but the world did not recognize Him.
11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. He came among his own, but his own accepted him not. Here "his own" refers to the Jewish people, and is implied in the Greek[1].
12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: But many did accept him, and to those who also believed in him, to them he gave power to be the sons of God. Emphasizes that the gift granted applies not just to those who received/accepted (as one would a guest), but to any who believe in Jesus.
13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth. And the Word was made flesh, and made his home among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as the only child of the Father, full of grace and truth. Greek "λόγος" has multiple meanings. See the notes on 1:1. Key is that the same translation be used in 1:1 as here to preserve John's central point about the true identity of Jesus.
15 John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. John gave witness of Him, and cried, saying, "This was he of whom I spoke, He who comes after me, who is preferred before me, for he was before me." Modern phrasing
16 And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace. And from His abundance, all of us have received, indeed, with grace for grace.
17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. Never has a man seen God; instead God is fully presented by His only son, who is in the heart of the Father. ἐξηγέομαι indicates a full, rich, thorough explanation of God by the Son.
19 And this is the record of John the Baptist, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou? And this is the testimony John gave to the priests and Levites, who had been sent by the Jews from Jerusalem to ask him, "Who are you?" John here refers to John the Baptist, not John the apostle and author of this Gospel.
20 And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ. And John did not deny who he was, but confessed, and told them, he was not Christ.
21 And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No. And they asked him, "Then what are you? Elijah?" And he said, "I am not." They asked, "Are you another prophet?" And he answered, "No." The Greek construction indicates that John was denying being a prophet of any kind.
22 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself? So they said to him, "Who are you, what shall we tell the people who sent us. What have you to say for yourself?"
23 He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias. He said, "I am the voice crying in the wilderness, 'Straighten out the path of the Lord,' just as the prophet Isaiah said." John's quotation is from the Septuagint (Greek translation of the OT), where it uses εὐθύς to relate the force of the Hebrew, from the idea of snapping wrinkled clothing out to make it both smooth and straight.
24 And they which were sent were of the Pharisees. Those who questioned him were from the Pharisees. John seems to be indicating that the Pharisees themselves were too afraid to confront John the Baptist in person, so they sent spokesmen
25 And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet? And so they asked him, "Why do you baptize people, if you are not Christ, nor Elijah, nor another prophet?"
26 John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; John answered them, "I baptize with water, but there is one among you who you do not know,"
27 He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose. "and it is he, who is coming after me, who existed prior to me, whose shoe's laces I am not worthy to untie." John is making a startling statement that foreshadows Jesus' later words: "Before Abraham was, I Am."
28 These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing. These things happened in Bethabara, beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.
29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. The next day, John saw Jesus coming to him, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God, which lifts and carries away the sin of the world." Greek "αιρων" means literally two ideas simultaneously: to bear a burden, and to carry that burden away. Here it is translated as "lifts and carries away," to preserve some sense of a burden
30 This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. This is the man I have spoken of when I said, "After me will come a man who existed prior to me, for he was before me. This is an even more emphatic statement of what he said in verse 27
31 And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. I did not know who he was, yet I have come to baptize with water so that He could be revealed to Israel." an enigmatic verse; more improvements welcome (see comment page)
32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. And John testified "I saw the Spirit come down like a dove out of heaven, and it stayed upon Jesus."
33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. "I did not recognize him at first, but he who sent me to baptize, he said to me, 'The man whom you will see the Spirit descend upon, and remain on, that man is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.'" John did not know the exact identity of the one he was preaching about. All John knew of that man's identity was what the Holy Spirit had told him about the sign that would confirm the Messiah's identity.
34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God. "I saw these things, and testify that this is the Son of God."
35 Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; The next day, John stood again with two of his disciples;
36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! and looking upon Jesus as he walked, he said, "Behold! The Lamb of God!"
37 And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. And the two disciples heard this, and they followed Jesus.
38 Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou? Jesus turned, and saw them following him, and said to them, "What do you seek?" They said to him, "Rabbi, where do you live?"
39 He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour. He said to them, "Come and see." They came, and saw where he lived, and stayed with him that day, for it was 10 o'clock.
40 One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. One of these two disciples, who had heard John speak, and followed Jesus, was Andrew, brother of Simon Peter.
41 He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. He first found his brother Simon, and said to him, "We have found the Messiah, the Christ!"
42 And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone. Andrew brought Simon Peter to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, "You are Simon, son of Jonah: you shall be called Cephas, the rock (Peter)."
43 The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me. The following day, Jesus went forth into Galilee, and finding Phillip, he said to him, "Follow me."
44 Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Phillip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.
45 Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. Phillip found Nathaniel, and said to him, "We have found him, him of whom Moses and the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, son of Joseph."
46 And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see. Nathaniel said to Phillip, "Can any good thing come from Nazareth?" Phillip replied, "Come and see."
47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! Jesus saw Nathaniel coming to him, and said of him, "Look! An Israelite indeed, who is incapable of deceit." Deceit is a more appropriate translation.
48 Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee. Nathaniel said to him, "How do you know me?" Jesus answered, saying "Before that Phillip called upon you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you." Something about Nathaniels experience under the fig tree was profound enough that he was surprised Jesus would know about it. Praying would make sense, as this would imply the divinity of Jesus, which Nathaniel somehow immediately recognizes by Jesus's response here.
49 Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel. Nathaniel answered and said, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God, the King of Israel."
50 Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these. Jesus replied to him, "Because I said to you, 'I saw you under the fig tree,' you believe? You shall see greater things that this."
51 And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man. And Jesus continued to Nathaniel, "Truly I tell you, you shall yet see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son, a human being."

Chapter 2

Verse King James Version Proposed Conservative Translation Analysis
1 And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: Two days later, there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. "Third day" means third day after the question of John the Baptist described in John 1:19-28, counting inclusively with the first day, as in Christ rising on the third day
2 And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. Jesus, and his disciples, were invited to the wedding.
3 And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. When they wedding party wanted wine, the mother of Jesus said to him, "They have no wine."
4 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. Jesus said to her, "Dear woman, it is not my time yet. How is this any of our concern?" "γυναι," in this context, is a respectful form of address for a woman. The Greek "τι εμοι και σοι" (literally, "what is this to you and I,") is not a refusal.
5 His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. His mother said to the servants, "Do what he tells you to do." Although questioning why this was their responsibility, Jesus did not actually refuse to take care of the problem, which Mary clearly understood.
6 And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. So there were placed six large stone pots, used for washing at Jewish feasts, and these could contain about twenty gallons each. Greek "μετρητας," a unit a measure thought to be somewhere between 7 and 9 Imperial gallons.
7 Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. Jesus said to the servants, "Fill the pots with water." And they filled them up to the brim.
8 And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. And he said to them, "Carry them out now to the host of this feast." And so they did.
9 When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, When the host of the wedding feast tasted the water, it had been made into wine, and he did not know where the wine had come from (though the servants knew), and so the host of the wedding feast called the groom, This is Biblical scientific foreknowledge of quantum mechanics: the drink was not wine until it had been "observed" (tasted), as reflected by Conservapedia's translation. The KJV rendition misses this subtlety.
10 And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. And said to him, "One usually serves his best drinks at the beginning of a feast, and when all have drank their fill, then his cheaper drinks. But you have kept your best drink for last!" "drink" rather than "wine" because there is some ambiguity in the Greek, and the meaning is better with "drink"
11 This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him. This was the first of the miracles Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and by doing showed his glory, and so his disciples believed in him.
12 After this he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples: and they continued there not many days. After this, he went down to Capernaum, with his mother and brothers and disciples. They stayed there for only a few days.
13 And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, When the Jews' passover was at hand, Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: He found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers, all sitting. Roman coins were not allowed in the temple; "money changes" refers to those who profited by exchanging coins outside the temple for purer, Jewish coins, which Jews could use inside the temple to purchase animals for sacrifice.
15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables; Jesus made a whip out of small ropes, and drove all these people out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen, and poured out the money changers' money, and knocked over the tables.
16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise. And said to those who sold doves, "Take these things away; do not make my Father's house a house of business."
17 And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up. And his disciples remembered that it was written, "The zeal of your house has eaten me up." Specifically, Psalms 69:9
18 Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things? The Jews responded to Jesus, "What sign can you show to us, that might justify your actions to us?"
19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Jesus answered, saying, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will rebuild it."
20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? Then the Jews said, "It took forty-six years to build this temple, and you would rebuild it in three days?"
21 But he spake of the temple of his body. But He meant the temple of his body.
22 When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said. That is why, when He was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this to them, and they believed the scripture, and the things which Jesus had said.
23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. When He was in Jerusalem at passover, on the feast day, many believed in Him superficially, when they saw the miracles which He did.
24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, But Jesus himself had no confidence in them, because he understood all people,
25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man. and did not need anyone to explain to him what people are like. He already knew.

Chapter 3

→ John 3:16

Verse King James Version Proposed Conservative Translation Analysis
1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: There was a man from the Pharisees by the name of Nicodemus, who was a leader of the Jews: Nicodemus was an "archon" of the Jews, which is used in the NT of someone in almost any position of leadership, from judges (Luke 12:58) to synagogue officials (Luke 8:41) to any kind of political leader (Acts 16:19). An "archon of the Jews" most likely indicates he held a position of high rank in the local synagogue.
2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. This man came to Jesus at night, and said to him, "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher sent from God: for no man could do the miracles that you do, unless God was with him."
3 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. Jesus answered him, saying "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." The word rendered "again" is ἄνωθεν. It literally means "from above" (and is often used in that context - John 3:31; James 1:17) but could also mean "again, anew, from the beginning" (Acts 26:5; Galatians 4:9). This is similar to the English idiom "from the top," which could mean "from the top of that stack" or "from the beginning of the song." It is rendered "again" here to preserve for the reader the fact that Nicodemus clearly understood it to mean "again."
4 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? Nicodemus said to him, "How can a person be born when he is old? Can he enter again into his mother's womb, and be reborn?"
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a man is born from water and from the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. That which is born from flesh, is flesh; but that which is born from the Spirit is spirit.
7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. So you should not be surprised that I say to you that you must be born again. Jesus clearly means this in the sense of "born from above," but the translation is still rendered "born again," both to provide continuity for the reader and to continue to illustrate how Nicodemus is understanding ἄνωθεν.
8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. The wind blows where it likes, and you may hear the sound of it, but you cannot say where it originated nor where it will end up: this is how it is for everyone born from the Spirit." πνεῦμα, which is used in the sense of "spirit" in most of the NT, has the basic root meaning of "a wafting of air, a breeze, blowing wind." Thus, John is actually using the SAME word at the beginning and end of this sentence, but it is meant in the sense of "wind" at the beginning and "spirit" at the end.
9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? Nicodemus replied, saying to Him, "How can these things be true?"
10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? Jesus answered, saying to him, "You are a teacher of Israel and you do not know these things? Didaskalos was the closest Greek equivalent to the word "rabbi" in Aramaic (it is actually used to translate the meaning of "rabbi" for non-Jewish readers in some places), and although it meant nothing more than "teacher/instructor" to the Greeks, to the Jews it carried the dual meaning of "teacher/master," which was more in line with their understanding of what a rabbi was.
11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. Truly, truly, I say to you, that we speak of things we know, and speak of things we have seen, and yet you do not believe us.
12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? I have told you of earthly things, and you do not believe me. How, then, will you believe if I tell you of heavenly things?
13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. No man has gone up to heaven except He that came down from heaven - the Son, a human being.
14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: As Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, just in this way must the Son, a human being, be lifted up,
15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. That he who believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God so loved the people of the world that He gave His Only Son, so that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. This is one of the most quoted verses, and a target of liberal bias; instead of "eternal life," The Message states "a whole and lasting life." While it is true that the eternal life promised starts at the moment of salvation, prior to death, it is NOT a promise of a "long life" in this world, but of a DEEPER life now, and an eternal one later.


Wherever the Greek word κόσμος appears in this book, John means all of the people in it, not some aggregate of custom or some impersonal object. Also, "Only Son" (capital "O") is better than "Unique Son," because all persons are unique already.
The translation of κόσμος with "you" is problematic:

  • In the rest of Jesus's speech, Jesus addresses Nicodemus this way.
  • It runs against the style of the gospel, as John generally doesn't address his readership directly or has his protagonists addressing it.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. For God did not send his Son to mankind to condemn it, but to save it. Jesus did not seek to save the "world" with its materialistic and environmental connotation; He saved "mankind".
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. He who believes in Him is not condemned, but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. And this is the condemnation: that light came into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light, because their actions were evil.
20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. For all those who do evil things hate the light, and avoid coming to the light, to avoid judgment of their actions.
21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. But he who lives the Truth walks within the light, so that his actions may be clearly seen, because they have been done through God." The phrase "ερχεται προς το φως" (goes with the light) indicates a walk that is in agreement with the light, not physical motion toward the light. Although pros can indicate movement, in this context it means "with" from the idea of "agreement" rather than physical location or movement. This is the intent behind the second clause in John 1:1 ("the Living Word was with (pros) God"). I have translated Poieo as "lives" rather than "does" as I think that better relates the intended idea of "continuous actions" inherent in the tense of the Greek participle.
22 After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized. After these things, Jesus and his disciples went into the land of Judea, and there he met with them, and baptized.
23 And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized. And John was also baptizing, in Aenon, near Salim, because there was a good deal of water there, and they came, and were baptized.
24 For John was not yet cast into prison. This was when John had not yet been imprisoned.
25 Then there arose a question between some of John's disciples and the Jews about purifying. There arose a question between some of John's disciples, and the rest of the Jews, about purification.
26 And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him. So they came to John, and said, "Rabbi, he that was with you beyond Jordan, to whom you bore witness, now he is baptizing, and all the men are going to him." These men would clearly be speaking Aramaic, and "Rabbi" is a Hebrew or Aramaic word, not a Greek one. Here John transliterates the Aramaic, rather than translating it into Greek (didaskalos), as he did in verse 10. Why here but not there? Some believe this is John's way of showing that Jesus occasionally spoke in Greek in interactions with both Jews and Gentiles.
27 John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. John answered them, saying, "Everything that a person receives is given to him from heaven. This is actually a double negative construction in the first clause, followed by another negative in the second clause, which is kind of a double, double negative. Unlike English, where a double negative would create a positive, Greek uses double negatives for extra emphasis. However, these kinds of clauses really are easier to understand if they are switched to the positive, which is what we have done here.
28 Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him. You yourselves can verify that I said I was not the Christ, but the one who precedes Him.
29 He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. The one who has the bride is the groom, but the best man, who stands by him and hears him, rejoices because of the grooms voice: this is why I am now joyed.
30 He must increase, but I must decrease. He must continue to increase, and I must continue to decrease.
31 He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all. Jesus, who comes from above is above all, while I who am of the Earth am earthly, and my words are not from Heaven. God is above all."
32 And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony. And what He has seen and hears He is continuing to testify; but nobody receives His testimony. This appears to be part of the above quote. Difficult to capture the present progressive in marturei without awkwardness, but it's there. Testimony more accurately captures the sense of marturei, which refers to legal evidence.
33 He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true. Whoever who fully accepted His testimony gave a stamp of approval to this: that God is truth.
34 For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him. For the One God sent speaks the very words of God, because God did not give Him just a portion of the Spirit. Jesus got the Holy Spirit without measure in a way that none of us can claim. "Words" here is "rhema," not logos, which indicates a spoken word, something just now uttered that pertains to this current situation.
35 The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. The Father loves the Son, and has given Him authority over everything. Delivering something "into the hand" of someone else is a Greek idiom for a transfer of power, control or authority. It is always best to translate the meaning of an idiom rather than the exact words (recall that an idiom is "a phrase whose meaning is different from the sum of the individual words.") This verse tells us that Jesus has authority over everything, and the authority He has came directly from the Father.
36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. He who thoroughly believes in the Son has eternal life, while he who does not believe in the Son will not, but will instead face the full anger of God. The prospect of facing the full anger of God at sin without being washed by the blood of Jesus is terrifying, particularly given the lengths to which God went so that we don't have to.

Chapter 4

Verse King James Version Proposed Conservative Translation Analysis
1 When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, As soon as the Lord perceived that the Pharisees had found out that Jesus now had made and baptized more disciples than John, Retain the "Lord" here based on early manuscripts despite modern translations omitting it
2 (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,) (although Jesus did not do the actual baptizing Himself; His disciples did that)
3 He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee. He left Judea, and went back into Galilee,
4 And he must needs go through Samaria. but to get there, He had to pass through Samaria.
5 Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. During this trip he stopped at the Samarian city of Sychar, near a plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.
6 Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour. Jacob's well was there, so at about six o'clock in the evening, as Jesus, who was tired from the journey, was sitting wearily at the well,
7 There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. a Samaritan woman arrives to draw water. Jesus said to her, "Could you give me something to drink?" It is occasionally difficult to determine in Greek if something is a statement or a question. Given the word the Samaritan woman uses in verse 9 (αἰτέω - ask), Jesus clearly asked a question as opposed to making a statement (which in this context would have come across as an order).
8 (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) (for His disciples had gone into the city to buy food).
9 Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. The Samaritan woman answered him, "How can you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for something to drink? Jews do not associate in any way with Samaritans.
10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. Jesus answered and said to her, If you had perceived the gift of God, and who it is that said to you, 'Could you give me something to drink', you would have asked him and he would give you living water.
11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? The woman responded to him, "Sir, you do not even have a bucket, and the well is deep. So where are you getting the living water?"
12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? Are you greater than our forefather Jacob, who gave us this well, and drank from it himself, along with his sons and his cattle? This verse shows something that is not often understood: Jews and Samaritans were the same race. The Samaritans were Israelites who were not taken into captivity in Babylon, while the Jews were the Israelites who returned from captivity in Babylon, largely with Ezra and Nehemiah.
13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: Jesus answered and said to her, "Whoever drinks from this well-water will get thirsty again.
14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. Not only will whoever drinks from the water that I give him never get thirsty again, but that water will become a fountain gushing up inside of him forever. The phrase translated "never get thirsty again" is the strongest, most emphatic negation possible in Greek: a direct double negative followed by "forever."
15 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. And the woman says to Him, "Sir, give me this water, so that I will neither thirst nor have to come back here to draw water again.
16 Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. Jesus says to her, "Return to the city, call your husband, and then come back here."
17 The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: The woman answered and said, "I do not have a husband." Jesus responded, "Your response, that you have no husband, was an honest one."
18 For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. "Because you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. In that, you spoke truthfully."
19 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. The woman responded to him, "Sir, I see that you are a prophet.
20 Our fathers worshiped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Our forefathers worshiped in this mountain, and you Jews say that Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship. This is one of the chief theological disputes between Samaritans and Jews: Samaritans believe God's temple was supposed to be built on Mount Gerizim, while Jews believe Jerusalem was the place where God chose to place His temple.
21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Jesus says to her, "Dear woman, believe me that the hour is coming when you Samaritans will not worship the Father in either this mountain or in Jerusalem.
22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. You Samaritans do not know what you are worshiping. We Jews know what we are worshiping, because salvation is from the Jews. Jesus takes a clear stance in the central Jewish/Samaritan theological dispute: The Jews are correct and the Samaritans are wrong, and His proof: the Messiah, the source of all salvation, comes via the Jews.
23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. But the hour is coming, in fact, it's already here, when true worshipers will worship the Father in both spirit and truth, for these are the kind of worshipers the Father really wants.
24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must do so in spirit and in truth.
25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. The woman responded, "I know that the Messiah, also called Christ, is coming; when He comes, He will reveal everything to us." The Samaritans had as strong an expectation for the arrival of the Messiah as the Jews had; partly because He would free Israel, and partly because they believed He was going to vindicate their doctrines.
26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he. Jesus said to her, "I, the one speaking to you, am he."
27 And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her? At that very moment his disciples arrived and were astonished that he spoke with a woman, but no one dared ask "What do you want?" or "Why are you talking to her?"
28 The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, The woman just dropped her bucket, rushed back into the city and told the people, Although it technically means "man," ἄνθρωπος is a man as distinguished from a non-human, in other words, a person. ἀνήρ is a man as distinguished from a woman, or a child, in other words, an adult male. Thus, "people, or person" is often (depending on context) a more accurate translation than "man" of ἄνθρωπος.
29 Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? "Come and see a man who described to me everything I have ever done. Could this be Christ?
30 Then they went out of the city, and came unto him. Then they went out of the city and were heading toward him.
31 In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat. While this was going on, His disciples were begging Him, saying, "Rabbi, you must eat."
32 But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. But He responded to them, "I have food to eat that you do not know about."
33 Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat? So the disciples said to one another, "Has anyone brought Him something to eat?"
34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. Jesus said to them, "My food is dedicating my life to doing the will of the one who sent me and completing His work.
35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. Don't you say, 'there are still four more months until the coming harvest?' Well, I say to you, 'open your eyes and look around, for the fields are ready for harvest now.'
36 And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. And the one harvesting receives wages as well as gathering fruit into eternal life so that both the one planting and the one harvesting may rejoice together.
37 And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. 'One plants and another harvests' is an accurate saying in this situation.
38 I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours. I sent you to harvest a crop from a field you did not work; others have worked those fields, and you are benefiting from their hard work.
39 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did. And many of the Samaritans from that city believed in Him because of the account of the woman, who testified that, "He told me every single thing I did."
40 So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days. So when the Samaritans came to Him, they begged Him to be their guest for a while, and so He stayed there for two days.
41 And many more believed because of his own word; Many more believed because of His preaching, Just for clarity, proper Greek style requires that virtually all related clauses and sentences be connected with a conjunction of some kind, usually kai ("and, even, also"), but it just doesn't sound right in English to start every sentence or clause with "and," so I will occasionally leave it out.
42 And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world. and they said to the woman, "Our faith is no longer because of what you were saying, but because we have heard Him for ourselves, and we now know that this man is truly the Christ, the Savior of the world."
43 Now after two days he departed thence, and went into Galilee. After spending two days there, He left and went on to Galilee.
44 For Jesus himself testified, that a prophet hath no honour in his own country. All of this was because of what Jesus Himself confirmed, that a prophet is not valued in his own town.
45 Then when he was come into Galilee, the Galilaeans received him, having seen all the things that he did at Jerusalem at the feast: for they also went unto the feast. In contrast to Judea, when He went into Galilee, the Galileans accepted Him, because they had gone to the feast and had seen for themselves all the things He did in Jerusalem during the feast.
46 So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum. So Jesus arrived once again in Cana of Galilee, the place where He made the water wine. There was, at this time, a government official in Capernaum whose son was sick.
47 When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judaea into Galilee, he went unto him, and besought him that he would come down, and heal his son: for he was at the point of death. When the official heard that Jesus was arriving from Judea to Galilee, he sought Him out and begged Him to come to Capernaum and heal his son, because he was close to death.
48 Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe. Then Jesus snapped at him, "Unless you people see miracles and signs, you will never believe." In sharp contrast to how Jesus spoke to his disciples, to Nicodemus, and to the Samaritan woman, He didn't say something "to" the official, but said it "toward" him, indicating that in some way, He was distancing Himself from the man, possibly indicating irritation or frustration, possibly as a test, or possibly just indicating that Jesus had His back turned and was kind of speaking "over His shoulder." Further, the "you will not believe" is the double negative, making it as strong as Jesus could make it.
49 The nobleman saith unto him, Sir, come down ere my child die. The nobleman responded to Him, "Sir, please come before my child dies." The official's words now indicate a very high degree of respect.
50 Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way. Jesus said to him, "Go home. Your son lives." The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and started for home. Jesus is now speaking directly TO the official as opposed to "toward" him, but his command could be interpreted "go away" rather than "go home" (the Greek is a command, but the tone is unclear). It is uncertain if He softened His words here or was simply speaking with His back turned to the man before, and now turned and spoke to him directly. Either way, it does not appear that the official took offense.
51 And as he was now going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, Thy son liveth. Not long after this, as he was traveling, his servants ran into him and reported, saying, "Your son lives."
52 Then inquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. And they said unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him. So he asked them the precise moment when he began to feel better, and they told him, "His fever broke yesterday, at 1 pm." The text says "seventh hour" which is measured from sunrise. So this was seven hours after sunrise (which probably rose at or around 6 am) making this about 1 pm.
53 So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy son liveth: and himself believed, and his whole house. Then the father realized that this was the same moment when Jesus said to him, "your son lives," so both he and his entire house believed. There is an issue whether "ὥρα" should be translated as "hour" or with a more precise word such as "moment" or "time" (this applies to verse 52 also)
54 This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when he was come out of Judaea into Galilee. Now this was the second miracle Jesus did after returning from Judea to Galilee.

Chapter 5

Verse King James Version Proposed Conservative Translation Analysis
1 After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. After this Jesus went up into Jerusalem for a festival of the Jews.
2 Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In Jerusalem there is, by the Sheep Gate, a pool with five porticos, which is called Bethesda in Hebrew. Based on the descriptions in Nehemiah 3:1; 3:32; and 12:39, it is more likely that the adjective προβατικος references the Sheep "gate" rather than a sheep "market."
3 In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. In these porticos lay a great many people who were sick, blind, crippled and withered, [waiting for the stirring of the water]. P66, P75, Sinaiticus, Vaticanus and Alexandrinus (the five oldest copies of John) do not contain this last clause, making it doubtful at best (thus the brackets and italics).
4 For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. [For an angel would periodically go down into the pool and agitate the water; whoever was the first to step into the water after it became agitated would be healed of whatever affliction he had.] This verse does not appear in most of the oldest copies of John: P66, P75, Sinaiticus, Vaticanus, Bezae Cantabrigiensis, nor in the original text of Ephraemi Rescriptus. It does appear in Alexandrinus, and was added back into Ephraemi Rescriptus by a later corrector, as well as appearing in much of the Byzantine family. I have included it here in brackets and italics as I consider its authenticity doubtful, but possible.
5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. There was one particular man there who had been sick for thirty-eight years.
6 When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? Jesus saw him lying there and knowing that he had already been there a long time, He said to him, "Would you like to be well?"
7 The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. The sick man answered Him, "Sir, I have no one to push me into the pool when the water is agitated; instead, while I am trying to get there, someone else always makes it in before me."
8 Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. Jesus said to him, "Stand up, pick up your bed, and walk."
9 And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath. Immediately the man was healed, and he picked up his bed, and he walked, but the day upon which this happened was the Sabbath.
10 The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed. So the Jews said to the one who was healed, "it is the Sabbath day; it is illegal for you to carry your bed today."
11 He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk. He responded to them, "That man who healed me, He said to me, 'pick up your bed, and walk.'"
12 Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk? So they asked him, "Which man told you to pick up your bed and walk?"
13 And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place. But the man who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the huge crowd that surrounded them there.
14 Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. Later, Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, "Look! You have been healed. Do not sin any more, so that something even worse does not happen to you."
15 The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole. The man left, and reported back to the Jews that Jesus was the one who healed him.
16 And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day. Because of this, the Jews persecuted Jesus, and plotted to murder Him, simply because He did these things on the Sabbath.
17 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. But Jesus told them, "My Father is active everyday, so I do His work everyday." This is basically a shortened version of what Jesus told His disciples back in 4:34 - Jesus does the work of the Father, so whenever the Father is working, Jesus is working. Jesus doesn't let ANYTHING stop Him, not the Sabbath, not circumstances, not culture, not exhaustion, thirst or hunger . . . nothing will prevent Him from doing the work of the Father.
18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God. Therefore, because of this, the Jews plotted even more to murder Him, because not only did He break the Sabbath, but He also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal to God. The Jews would accept God as "our" Father (plural, corporately), but not as "MY" Father (an individual, singular claim), in somewhat the same way that we can say that all believers together are the body of Christ, but would not accept one person claiming to be Christ.
19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. Therefore Jesus responded to them and said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, The Son is able to do nothing on His own, but only that which He sees the Father doing; For whatever the Father does, the Son does exactly the same thing." This verse begins a systematic and rather frightening warning for all those who plot against Jesus, both then and now. Point one: everything Jesus does should be understood to be at the direction of the Father.
20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. Because the Father deeply loves the Son, and shows Him everything that He Himself does, and He will show Him even greater works than these, so that you may be amazed. Point number two: All of this is because of the deep and abiding love of the Father for the Son. Earlier, in 3:35, we saw that the Father has "agapao" for the Son, indicating how the Father SHOWS His love for the Son. The word for "love" here is phileo, indicating the deep feelings the Father has for the Son. The Father has BOTH phileo and agapao for the Son, indicating that the Father has deep feelings of love for the Son, and He SHOWS that love through how He treats the Son.
21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. For just as the Father raises the dead, and gives them life, in the exact same way the Son gives life to whomever He wants. Point three: Jesus is the one who gets to decide who gets life.
22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: Because the Father does not judge even one person, but rather, He has given the judgment of all people to the Son. Point four: Jesus is the one who will judge all people.
23 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him. So that all people should honor the Son exactly as they honor the Father. The one who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. Point five: Jesus is due equal honor as the Father. This is a purpose clause continued from verse 22. The Father has given the judgment of all people to the Son for the express purpose of making sure that all men honor the Son exactly the same as they honor the Father. Anything that can be interpreted as a form of honoring another would be included here: worship, service, love, song, words, etc.
24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Truly, truly, I say to you, that the one who hears my word and believes in Him who sent me has eternal life, and is not going into damnation; rather, he has moved from death into life. Point six: Salvation is through Jesus. This verse indicates an instantaneous transformation. At the moment we believe, we have eternal life and we are no longer heading toward damnation, as we have just now, this very moment, moved from death to life.
25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. Truly, truly I say to you, that the hour is coming, in fact, it is already here, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and those hearing it shall live. From here on, Jesus gives a detailed explanation of and expansion upon these six previous points.
26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; For just as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted to the Son to have life in Himself.
27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. And He has also granted Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son, a human being.
28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, Do not be amazed by this, because the hour is coming when all those buried in graves will hear His voice.
29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. Those who have done good will be resurrected, and come out of the grave to receive life, but those who have done evil will be resurrected, and come out of the grave to receive damnation. The Greek here seems to indicate that those who receive a sentence of damnation, whose names are not written in the Lamb's book of life, will be raised from the dead first, and then will be thrown into the lake of fire, not in spirit form, but in physical, resurrected bodies. See Revelation 20:15.
30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me. I am able to do nothing by my own power; I judge based on what I hear, and my judgment is completely just, because I am not plotting to do my own will, but rather, I do the will of the Father who sent me.
31 If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true. If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true.
32 There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true. Another is testifying about me, and I know that the testimony about me that He gives is true. This actually says, "the testimony he testifies about me," which is an intentional redundancy for emphasis in the Greek, and does not need to be repeated in English.
33 Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth. You sent representatives to John, and he testified to the truth.
34 But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved. But I myself am not receiving testimony from any man; Instead, I say all these things so that you can be saved. In the first clause, ego has been moved to the front, while the verb it modifies is at the end. In the second clause, houtos is at the front, followed immediately by the verb. This means that in the first clause, Jesus is placing extra emphasis on Himself ("I myself"), and in the second clause, extra emphasis on what He says ("all these things"). In the first clause "myself" and in the second clause "all" have been added to show the emphasis.
35 He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light. This same John was a brightly burning lamp, and for a little while you danced joyfully in his light. This verse starts with "ekeinos," which is a reference back to John in 33, so I have added "John" here for clarity.
36 But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me. But I have a greater testimony than John, because the works that the Father has given to me to complete, the very works that I am doing here for you, prove that the Father has sent me. At the beginning of the verse, the noun marturia is used of the overall message Jesus has for humanity, His "testimony" about God; in the second half of the verse, the verb form, martureo, is used in the sense of presenting evidence or proof, such as would be given in a court of law. Keep in mind that this entire speech is to the Jews who are plotting to murder Jesus.
37 And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. Not only that, but this same Father who sent me has also testified about me. Yet you have never, not even one time, heard His voice, you have not perceived His form, I would prefer to use a more contemporary word for "perceived," as that word is a little archaic, but I can't think of one right now. Can anyone out there think of a better one? Keep in mind that the word used of "seeing" here, orao, almost always implies "understanding, deeper perception" of what is being seen, and that meaning fits very much with the statement Jesus is making here, so any new suggestion needs to keep that nuance.
38 And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not. nor do you have His word residing in you, because you do not believe in the one He sent.
39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. You search the scriptures, because you think that in them you find eternal life, and yet these same scriptures testify about me. This first clause is not a command, as the KJV seems to indicate ("Search the scriptures"), but a statement of fact: Jesus is saying "this is what you do" (you search the scriptures), and "this is the reason you do it" (because you think eternal life is found in them).
40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. And still you refuse to come to me, where you really would find life. These two verses make it crystal clear: eternal life is NOT found in reading or studying the Bible, but in a relationship with Jesus Christ. The Bible doesn't give you life, it points you to the one who gives you life: Jesus. It is not WHAT you know, it is WHO you know that gives you life.
41 I receive not honour from men. I do not need praise from people.
42 But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you. But I know all about you, how you do not have the love of God in you.
43 I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. I have come in my Father's name, and you do not accept me, yet if some other man came in his own name, you would accept him.
44 How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only? But how could you believe in me, you who accept praise from each other and do not seek the kind of praise that comes from God alone?
45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. Do not suppose that I will accuse you before the Father. Moses, whom you claim to trust, will be the first in line to accuse you.
46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. Frankly, if you believed Moses, you would have believed in me, because he wrote about me.
47 But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words? But if you do not believe his scriptures, how could you possibly believe anything I say?

Chapter 6

Verse King James Version Proposed Conservative Translation Analysis
1 After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias. After these things Jesus crossed the sea of Galilee, also called the sea of Tiberias.
2 And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased. And a large crowd followed him around, because they saw the miracles which He performed upon the sick. The Byzantine family uses ὁράω, a word which usually implies a deeper perception of what is seen, to indicate how the crowd "saw" His miracles, where the oldest manuscripts use θεωρέω, which does not automatically imply anything other than visually seeing them (that is, being a spectator). θεωρέω is more likely both because of its appearance in the older manuscripts, and because it fits the context better.
3 And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples. So Jesus went up onto a hill, and there He sat down with His disciples.
4 And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh. At this time the Jewish Passover feast was about to begin.
5 When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? When Jesus looked around, and saw the huge crowd that coming with Him, he said to Philip, "Where will we buy bread, so that they can eat?"
6 And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do. He said this to test him, because Jesus had already decided what He planned to do. Added "Jesus" in for a pronoun to clarify who was saying what to whom, as all the pronouns can be confusing. "Had already decided" is in the pluperfect tense (past time, completed aspect), indicating that Jesus made this decision long before He ever asked Philip the question.
7 Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little. Philip answered him, "Two hundred denarii of bread is not enough to guarantee that each person can get even a little bit." The mention of an exact amount of money that was still insufficient implies that this was the amount of money they had in their joint possession (which Judas carried).
8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, saith unto him, One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, told him,
9 There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many? "There is a young boy here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what use are these when faced with so many?"
10 And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. So Jesus said, "Have the people sit down." Now this place was covered with a lot of grass, so a total of five thousand men sat down. Jesus uses ἄνθρωπος when He tells the disciples to have them sit down, but John switches to ἀνήρ when he gives the number. The contrast could indicate that there were women and children in the crowd, but John was following the Jewish tradition of only counting the men, meaning there were probably more than 5000 total people.
11 And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. Then Jesus took the loaves, and after giving thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. He did the same thing with the fish, and everyone got as much as they wanted. While the likelihood is that the disciples were involved in the distribution process, and many of the Byzantine family of manuscripts do mention them, all the oldest manuscripts leave that part out. The inclusion of the disciples in this verse is actually a very late development, meaning it is highly unlikely that it is original.
12 When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. When everyone was completely satisfied, He told His disciples, "Gather up the left over pieces, so that nothing is wasted."
13 Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten. So they gathered up the pieces that were left over from the original five barley loaves after everyone had eaten, and they filled twelve baskets.
14 Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world. When the people saw the miracle Jesus performed, they were saying, "This is truly the prophet who is coming into the world."
15 When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone. Therefore Jesus knew that they were intending to come and seize Him, in order to force Him to become king, and so, once again, He slipped away alone into hills.
16 And when even was now come, his disciples went down unto the sea, When evening came, His disciples went down to the sea,
17 And entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them. got into a boat, and headed across the sea to Capernaum. By this time is was dark, and Jesus had not yet joined them.
18 And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew. A strong wind began blowing, and the sea started getting rough.
19 So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid. So they had rowed about three or three and a half miles when they saw Jesus walking on the sea, coming close to the boat, and they were terrified. The Greek literally says "twenty-five or thirty stadia." One stadia was the distance of a race track in a Roman stadium, or about 600 feet, making this translate to "15000 or 18000 feet," or very close to "3 or 3 1/2 miles."
20 But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid. But He said to them, "It's Me. Stop being afraid."
21 Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went. Then they were delighted to bring Him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the land exactly where they were heading.
22 The day following, when the people which stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was none other boat there, save that one whereinto his disciples were entered, and that Jesus went not with his disciples into the boat, but that his disciples were gone away alone; The next day the crowd that had remained on the other side of the sea recalled that there were no other boats there, except the one that His disciples had used, that Jesus was not with His disciples when they got into the boat, and that His disciples had set out alone.
23 (Howbeit there came other boats from Tiberias nigh unto the place where they did eat bread, after that the Lord had given thanks:) However, since then, other small boats from Tiberias had arrived at the place where they ate bread after the Lord had given thanks.
24 When the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither his disciples, they also took shipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus. When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor His disciples were there, they got into boats and crossed to Capernaum looking for Jesus.
25 And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, when camest thou hither? When they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, "Rabbi, when did you get here?"
26 Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. Jesus answered them and said, "Truly, Truly, I say to you, you are searching for me, not because you saw miracles, but because you ate the loaves and were satisfied.
27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that leads to eternal life, which the Son, a human being, shall give you, because God the Father has given Him permission to do this." literally, "THE Son, a human being," with the modest but clear implication that he is the Son of God
28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? So they said to Him, "What do we have to do so that we can do the works of God from now on?"
29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. Jesus answered and said to them, "This is how you do the work of God: believe in the One He sent."
30 They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work? Then they responded to Him, "What sign do you do so that we can see and believe you? What proof do you have?
31 Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. Our forefathers ate manna in the desert, just as it is written, 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'"
32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. Then Jesus responded, "Truly, truly, I say to you, Moses is not the one who gives you bread from heaven, but rather, it is My Father who gives you the real bread from heaven.
33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. You see, the bread of God is the One who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world."
34 Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. Then they said to Him, "Lord, give us this bread from now on."
35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. And Jesus responded, "I am the bread of life. The one who walks with me will never get hungry, and the one who believes in me will never get thirsty.
36 But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. I told you that you have seen me, and still you do not believe.
37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. Everyone the Father gives to me shall come to me, and I will never drive out anyone who comes to me. The Greek here just says "all," but the context makes it clear this is not about "things" that God gives to Jesus, but people, so "everyone" is the most accurate translation here.
38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. Because I did not come down from heaven so that I could do what I want, but to do what the One who sent Me wants.
39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is what the One who sent me wants: that I should not lose even one of those whom He has given to me, but that they should all rise again on the last day.
40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. Because this is what my Father wants: That everyone who sees the Son, and believes in Him, should have eternal life, and I shall raise him up on the last day." It's a minor point, but in the oldest manuscripts, the words "the Father" appear in this verse, where the words "the Son" are found, not the previous one. It appears that later scribes made a copy error, inverting some of the words between verses 39 and 40. The word for "sees" is θεωρέω, a more casual kind of seeing, almost "being a spectator," meaning, they don't have to see Him in person, and they don't have to completely understand everything about Him, they simply need to place all their trust and faith in Him.
41 The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. Then the Jews started grumbling about Him, because He said, "I am the bread which came down from heaven."
42 And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven? They also said, "Isn't this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we have always known? So how can He say, 'I have come down from heaven?'"
43 Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. Then Jesus responded and said to them, "Stop grumbling with each other."
44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. No one is able to come to me unless the Father who sent me drew him, and I will raise him up on the last day. This is the third time in the last two chapters that Jesus has told his enemies that the Son would raise believers up in the last day.
45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. It is written in the prophets, 'And God shall teach them all.' Therefore everyone that listens to and learns from the Father comes to me. This is middle-passive in the Greek: "They shall all be God-taught," but proper English style usually demands the active voice, so when it is possible without changing the meaning, the Greek passive is switched to the active in English.
46 Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father. No one has seen the Father, except the One who is from God's side, He has seen the Father.
47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. Truly, truly, I say to you, the one who believes in me has eternal life. Sinaiticus, Vaticanus, and Ephraemi Rescriptus do not have "in me." Alexandrinus and Bezae Cantabrigiensis do have it, and it was added back into Ephraemi Rescriptus by a corrector. Given 3:16, 18; 5:38 and 6:29-30, "in me" is very likely original.
48 I am that bread of life. I am the bread of life.
49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. Your forefathers ate manna in the wilderness, and they died.
50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that someone could eat from it and not die.
51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats from this bread, he shall live forever. And the bread that I shall give to secure the life of the world is my flesh.
52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Then the Jews argued angrily with each other, saying, "How can this man give us His flesh to eat?"
53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. To which Jesus responded, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son, a human being, you do not have life in you." Older, archaic English versions of the Bible translate the Greek wording as "Son of Man"[2]. However, "Son of Man" is a nonsensical phrase in English, with an archaic usage of "man"; the Greek wording can be properly translated as "The Son [of God], a human being." (See the talk page and also the discussion at "Son of Man.")
54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I shall raise him up on the last day. This is the fourth time Jesus has told His enemies that He would resurrect His followers on the last day.
55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. Because my flesh is real food, and my blood is real drink. This is one of the first direct indications from Jesus that the law was actually about believing in Jesus. All the dietary commands were actually about believing in and residing in Jesus: He is real food and drink. This statement forms the foundation for many of Paul's explanations about the law, summed up in Colossians 2:16-17 - the law was a shadow, Jesus is the reality.
56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood resides in me, and I reside in him.
57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live through the Father, so the one who eats me shall live through me.
58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever. This bread that came down from heaven is not like the bread that your forefathers ate, because they died. The one who eats from this bread shall live forever. Repetition is one of the methods of emphasis in Greek, and John uses this method of emphasis frequently. The message that gets repeated over and over in the last few chapters is this: "I am the living bread. If you eat my flesh, that is, believe in and reside in me with all your heart, you will live forever and I will raise you from the grave in the last day." John is telling us that this is the central and most important part of Jesus' message up to this point.
59 These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum. He said these things while teaching in the Synagogue in Capernaum.
60 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? When many of His disciples heard this, they said, "That is a harshly offensive speech. Who could possibly accept it?"
61 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? But Jesus knew deep inside when His disciples were grumbling about this, and He asked them, "Does this offend you?
62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? What if you see the Son, a human being, ascending up to where He was before?
63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. It is the spirit that gives life while the flesh gives no benefit of any kind. The words that I am speaking to you are spirit and life.
64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. But there are some among you who do not believe." Because Jesus knew from the beginning who did not believe and who would betray Him.
65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. So He said, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless he has an invitation from the Father."
66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. As a result many of His disciples turned away and no longer associated with Him.
67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? So Jesus said to the Twelve, "You don't also want to leave, do you?" Greek has a construction called the "Rhetorical question." It can be constructed to assume a "yes," or a "no," and the reader can tell what the assumed answer is from the construction of the question. Here, Jesus uses the construction that assumes a "no" answer to His question. Thus, when Jesus asked the question, the way He constructed it told them that He wanted them to answer with a "no," which gives the question a much gentler tone than most English translations can express. Note that Jesus is not asking about what they WILL do, but about what they WANT to do; He's asking about their heart.
68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. Simon Peter replied, "Lord, where could we go? You are speaking the words of eternal life. Here, Peter uses ῥῆμα, emphasizing the actual controversial words Jesus is speaking right now (as opposed to "logos" which would have emphasized the full content of everything Jesus had ever spoken). The implication is, "controversial or not, we know that these things you are saying right now contain eternal life."
69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. We have been completely confident for some time now that you are the Holy One of God." Almost all early texts, including P75, Alexandrinus, Vaticanus, Ephraemi Rescriptus and Bezae Cantabrigiensis all read "Holy One of God." P66, considered the most unreliable of the oldest texts (due to containing 5 times as many copy errors as p75), reads "Christ, the Holy One of God." The phrase "Christ, the Son of the Living God" appears to have been added to Ephraemi Rescriptus by a late corrector, but the condition of the page makes it difficult to determine for sure. "Christ, the Son of the Living God" appears in the content of the text for the first time in the Byzantine texts of the ninth century, so confidence is very high among scholars that "Holy One of God" is the original phrase.

Peter could have used the present tense, but he chose the perfect tense, which is used frequently in the NT of an act that took place in the past but has ramifications as though they happened just now. The phrase "for some time now" relates the basic force of this construction.

70 Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? Jesus responded to them, "I personally chose the twelve of you, didn't I? And still, one of you is a slanderer." Again, Jesus uses the Rhetorical Question, but this time He uses the construction that assumes a "yes" answer. The word "diabolos" was commonly used in the First Century of a person who slandered another, particularly if they slandered a person in such a way that it damaged that person's reputation. A perfect example of this is 2 Timothy 3:3.
71 He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve. He was talking about Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, because he was the one of the twelve who was going to betray Him.

Chapter 7

Verse King James Version Proposed Conservative Translation Analysis
1 After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him. After these things Jesus traveled around in Galilee, as He did not want to travel in Judaea, because the Jews were plotting to murder Him.
2 Now the Jews' feast of tabernacles was at hand. About this time the Jewish feast of Tabernacles was approaching,
3 His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest. So His brothers told Him, "Leave here and go into Judaea, so that your disciples can also see the works that you do.
4 For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world. For no one who wants to be known publicly does anything in secret. If you are going to do these things, then show yourself to the whole world."
5 For neither did his brethren believe in him. Because not even His brothers believed in Him.
6 Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is always ready. Then Jesus told them, "It is not yet the right time for me to do that, but anytime is a good time for you."
7 The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil. "The world cannot hate you, but it hates me, because I continually proclaim that everything it does is evil."
8 Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast; for my time is not yet full come. "You go to the festival. I am not yet going to this festival, because it's not yet the right time for me to do that." The following modern versions omit the word "yet" or place it in brackets: NASB, Amplified, NLT, ESV, CEV, ASV, Darby, Wycliff NT, Worldwide English, TNIV; the intent of these versions is to contradict verse 10, making Jesus into a liar.
9 When he had said these words unto them, he abode still in Galilee. After He said these things to them, He stayed in Galilee.
10 But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. However, after his brothers had left, He did go to the festival, although He did not let it be known publicly, but kept His attendance a secret.
11 Then the Jews sought him at the feast, and said, Where is he? Of course, the Jews were looking for Him at the festival, asking, "Where is He?"
12 And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; but he deceiveth the people. And there was a lot of arguing about Him in the crowds. On the one hand, some said, "He is a good man," but others said, "No He isn't. He deceives the masses." Greek has five clear conjunction levels transitioning from the strongest similar connection to the strongest contrasting connection. This is the strongest contrasting connection, intended to compare opposites and show that the opinions about Jesus ran the full gamut from those who liked Him a lot to those who did not like Him at all, and every opinion in between.
13 Howbeit no man spake openly of him for fear of the Jews. However, no one was talking about Him openly because they all feared the Jews.
14 Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught. Now about half way through the festival, Jesus went into the temple and was teaching.
15 And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned? And the Jews were amazed, saying, "How can this man know the scriptures so well, since He did not train with a Rabbi?" The word γράμμα, translated "letters" in the KJV, can reference general education, mailed letters (such as those written by Paul), or just simply words spelled out with letters. In this context (Jesus teaching in the temple), however, it most likely references "scriptures," as it does in John 5:47 and 2 Timothy 3:15. We get the English word, "grammar" from γράμμα.

The Greek verb, μανθάνω, often (particularly when used of religious learning) had an implied meaning in Jewish culture of "being someone's disciple, training with a Rabbi" (the noun "disciple" is derived from this verb). It was simply unheard of in Jewish culture to reach "Rabbi" status without having discipled under a Rabbi, which it was well known that Jesus did not do. On the other hand, this also created the cultural stricture that no Rabbi was allowed to disagree with the Rabbi under whom he discipled. Jesus did not have to worry about that restriction, as He discipled directly with God the Father. Thus, the "train with a Rabbi" part of this translation is implied by the verb, not stated outright.

16 Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. Jesus responded to them and said, "My teaching is not my own, but is from the One that sent me. The assumption is that a Rabbi's teaching is that of the Rabbi who discipled him. If you were not discipled (which would be viewed by other Rabbi's as something of a "rogue teacher"), then the assumption would be that your teaching is your own. Here, Jesus is responding to that cultural assumption and is actually claiming to have been discipled by the Father directly.
17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. If anyone is willing to do what God wants, he will know whether this teaching is from God or if what I am saying is merely from me.
18 He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him. The one who speaks His own doctrines seeks His own glory, but the man who seeks to glorify the one who sent Him, that man is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. In these two verses Jesus provides His proof that He is not a "rogue teacher": Anyone who is willing to do what God wants will know that Jesus is not teaching His own doctrines, but those of His "Rabbi" - God the Father.
19 Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me? Moses gave you the law, didn't he? Yet none of you do what the law commands. So why are you plotting to murder me?" Jesus uses the rhetorical question with the implied "yes" answer.
20 The people answered and said, Thou hast a devil: who goeth about to kill thee? The crowd answered, "You are demon-possessed. Who is plotting to murder you?" This was not a claim that Jesus was evil, it was a claim that He was crazy. Saying that someone had a demon was the strongest way Jewish culture had to say, "you are totally and completely insane." In other words, this was a claim that He was not in control of what He was doing or saying. If they claimed that His "deeds" or his "miracles" were done "through" demons, that would be a claim that He was evil, as He would be "controlling" or "using" the demons for His own ends.
21 Jesus answered and said unto them, I have done one work, and ye all marvel. Jesus answered and said to then, "I did one miracle, you are are all amazed. This is actually a reference all the way back to the healing of the man at the pool of Bethesda.
22 Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision; (not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers;) and ye on the sabbath day circumcise a man. Because Moses gave you circumcision, you circumcise a man on the Sabbath. Of course, it is not actually from Moses, but from your forefathers. Circumcision was initially instituted with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and codified into law by Moses.
23 If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the sabbath day? If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses should not be broken, then why are you angry with me for healing the entire man on the Sabbath? Jesus is defending healing the man at Bethesda on the Sabbath with this argument: If a requirement of the covenant can be done on the Sabbath, then why can't a promise of the covenant be done on the Sabbath?
24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. Stop judging by appearance alone, but make judgments that are righteous and just."
25 Then said some of them of Jerusalem, Is not this he, whom they seek to kill? At that point some of the people from Jerusalem were asking, "Isn't this the guy they were plotting to murder? Rhetorical question implying a "yes" answer.
26 But, lo, he speaketh boldly, and they say nothing unto him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is the very Christ? Yet here He is, speaking publicly, and they are not saying anything to Him. Have our leaders already decided that this man is the Christ?
27 Howbeit we know this man whence he is: but when Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence he is. How could that be? When Christ comes, no one will know where He came from, yet we know where this man is from. This verse starts with a very strong contrast with the previous question (did the leaders decide He is Christ?), then uses a milder contrast between the two points made here (no one will know where Christ is from, BUT we know where He is from). Since English doesn't really have varying strengths of "but," the difference between these contrasts is illustrated by starting the verse with "how could that be?"
28 Then cried Jesus in the temple as he taught, saying, Ye both know me, and ye know whence I am: and I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true, whom ye know not. Jesus was still teaching in the Temple, so He shouted, "Up to now, you have known me and where I am from, and that I have not come on my own authority, however, the One who sent me is true, and Him, you have not known.
29 But I know him: for I am from him, and he hath sent me. I know Him, because I am from Him, and He sent me."
30 Then they sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come. Then despite trying to seize Him, no one laid a hand on Him, because it was not yet the right time.
31 And many of the people believed on him, and said, When Christ cometh, will he do more miracles than these which this man hath done? As a result, many in the crowd believed in Him. They said, "When Christ comes, he couldn't possibly do more miracles than this man has done, could He?" Rhetorical question implying a "no" answer. They believed in Him, but still, they could not quite accept the idea that He was the Messiah.
32 The Pharisees heard that the people murmured such things concerning him; and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take him. The Pharisees heard that the crowds grumbling these things about Him, and so the Pharisees and the Chief Priests sent officers to arrest Him. The "things" the crowds were grumbling traces all the way back to verse 25 where they began wondering why the leaders were letting Jesus speak openly if they wanted to kill Him, and wondering if their lack of action meant they accepted Jesus as Christ. This action to arrest Jesus was an attempt to decisively stomp out that "rumor."
33 Then said Jesus unto them, Yet a little while am I with you, and then I go unto him that sent me. Then Jesus told them, "I will only be with you for a little while longer, and then I am going to the One who sent me.
34 Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come. You will look for me, and you will not find me, because you cannot go where I will be."
35 Then said the Jews among themselves, Whither will he go, that we shall not find him? will he go unto the dispersed among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles? Then the Jews asked each other, "Where is he planning to go that we could not find Him? He's not planning to live among the Gentiles and teach Gentiles, is He? The word translated "gentiles" is actually "Greeks," but the first century Jews used this word as a general designation for anyone who was not a descendant of Jacob (non-Israelites). The second question is the Rhetorical question implying a "no" answer. This shows how utterly inconceivable the idea of going out and taking the message of God to the Gentiles was to the average Jew: they couldn't imagine that even a blaspheming, rogue Jewish teacher would do such a thing. This idea was so ingrained in the Jewish mindset at this time that it is one of the reasons that the early Jewish Christians had such a hard time accepting that God wanted the gospel preached to the Gentiles.
36 What manner of saying is this that he said, Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come? What could He possibly mean when He said, 'You will look for me and you will not find me,' and 'you cannot go where I will be'?" Since it was inconceivable that Jesus would go live among the Gentiles, and equally inconceivable that He really was the Messiah from God, the Jews were utterly and completely baffled by these statements.
37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood up and shouted, saying, "If anyone is thirsty, come to me and drink.
38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. The one who believes in me, as the scripture says, will have rivers of living water flowing from inside of him."
39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) He was talking here about the Spirit, which those who believe in Him would receive. At this time the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. P66, Vaticanus, and Ephraemi Rescriptus, as well as most of the Byzantine family all say "Holy Spirit" in the second clause. P75, Sinaiticus, and some of the Byzantine family do not have "Holy" in the second clause. Oddly enough, a later corrector of P66 scratched "holy" out, which is very unusual for a corrector (most corrections added words to the text). That means the evidence for and against inclusion is mixed at best. Since many early manuscripts did include it, and the context is CLEARLY about the Holy Spirit, there is no reason not to err on the side of clarity and include the word "holy" in the text.
40 Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet. Upon hearing these words, some from the crowd were saying, "This man is clearly a prophet." The Byzantine family says "many" from the crowd called Him a prophet, where the Alexandrian family does not have that word, and uses a construction that implies only "some" from the crowd said that. Being from a much older group of manuscripts, and taking into consideration the next few verses, the "some" reading is more likely.
41 Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee? Others were saying, "This man is the Christ." Yet others responded, "Christ cannot come out of Galilee, can He? The second question is a Rhetorical question implying "no."
42 Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was? The scripture says that the Christ comes from out of the town of Bethlehem, where David lived, and that He would be a descendant of David, doesn't it?" Rhetorical question implying "yes."
43 So there was a division among the people because of him. So there was a division in the crowd because of Him.
44 And some of them would have taken him; but no man laid hands on him. And although some of them wanted to seize Him, no one laid a hand on Him. The officers from the Pharisees and Chief Priests were present in the crowd through all the events from verses 33 to now.
45 Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought him? When the officers returned to the Chief Priests and Pharisees, they asked them, "Why haven't you brought Him with you?"
46 The officers answered, Never man spake like this man. The officers answered, "There has never been a man who speaks like this man." This verse implies that at least some of the officers were among those who believed in Jesus.
47 Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also deceived? To which the Pharisees responded, "You have not also been deceived, have you? A Rhetorical question implying "no." This shows the great hope of the Pharisees that the officers had not bought into the things Jesus was saying.
48 Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him? Not one of the rulers of Pharisees have believed in Him, have they? Rhetorical question implying, "no."
49 But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed. But this ignorant mob who know nothing about the law are cursed." Jesus had no bias towards "education"; it was ignorance he opposed.
50 Nicodemus saith unto them, (he that came to Jesus by night, being one of them,) Nicodemus, who had previously come to Jesus, and who was one of them, said,
51 Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth? "Our law doesn't judge anyone before it hears his side and confirms His behavior first, does it?" Rhetorical question implying, "no."
52 They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet. They responded and said to him, "You're not from Galilee also, are you? Go see for yourself and you will find that no prophet comes from out of Galilee." Rhetorical question implying, "no." The implication of the verb ἐρευνάω, "go investigate, go see for yourself" is that they were insulting Nicodemus, kind of wondering if he were as uneducated as the mob; maybe he should go study the scriptures for himself and see that Jesus could not possibly be the Messiah.
53 And every man went unto his own house. [Then every one of them went home.] This verse is not found in P66, P75, Sinaiticus or Vaticanus nor most early manuscripts. Alexandrinus and Ephraemi Rescriptus are too damaged to know for sure, but the space that would have been available on the damaged page strongly suggests that it was not in either of them. It is found in Bezae Cantabrigiensis and many other later manuscripts. Most scholars agree that it is not original to John.

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