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John 1:12-15

March 3, 2013

12But as many as received it, it gave to them power to become children of God, to the ones believing in its name, 13who were born not out of blood nor out of desire of flesh nor out of desire of [a] man, rather out of God.

14And the word became flesh and lived among us, and we saw his glory, full of grace and truth. 15John testified about him and he had called out saying, “This was who I said , ‘The one coming behind me has come in front of me, because he was before me.’ ”

I added the word [a] in verse 13 because it’s a different word from before. Before the word meant more like “mankind” and this one doesn’t and I think the best way to show that is with and “a”… or maybe I should go back and make the other ones say “mankind”.

Verse 15 is kind of odd because of two words that can mean “before” but in different ways, and I think for that reason translations vary here. Interestingly enough what I translated here as “because he was before me” is literally “because he is first of me”, which just won’t do in English.

In any case the point seems to be that even though John the Baptist was “on the scene” before Jesus, Jesus is already more important, because he outranks him (or existed before him). Notice the perfect tense “has come in front of me” which means that this has already happened when John says this, which tends to get glossed over in some translations.

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