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John 1:35-39

35 The next day again the John and two of his students had been standing 36 and after looking at the Jesus as he walked, he said, “Behold! The lamb of the God.” 37 And his two students heard him while speaking and they followed the Jesus. 38 But after turning, the Jesus also seeing them following said to them, “What are you looking for?” But the [students] said to him, “Rabbi (which is translated said “teacher”), where are you staying?” 39 He said to them, “Come and you will see.”Therefore they went and saw where he is staying and they stayed with him that day; it was the tenth hour.

Disciple really, is just another word for student, and that seems like word that should be used today, especially since Jesus is labeled a teacher. What is the “tenth hour”? I have one translation that says 10am, and another that says 4pm. I think the consensus is that in the 1st century they counted hours from sunrise, so 10am would be out. Oddly enough i found some table and their hour might not have been as long as our hour. It could be 4, 4:30 or 5 according to that.


John 1:32-34 (holy)

32 And John testified while saying, “I have seen for myself the spirit coming down as [a] dove out of heaven and it stayed on him. 33 And I did not know him, but that one who sent me to immerse in water said to me, “On whoever you might see the spirit coming down and staying on him, this [one] is the one immersing in [the] special spirit.” 34 And I have seen and have testified that this [one] is the son of the God.

Note that “heaven” and “sky” is the same word, and that I inserted a “the” for the Holy Spirit, because it seems clear to me that there is only one of those. If it was [a] holy spirit, I would have no idea what that would mean.

Edit: Changed holy to special… as that is the more basic meaning. I was also thinking that this phrase points to a specific spirit, and so inserting [the] seems appropriate.

John 1:29-31

29 The next day he saw the Jesus coming towards him and he said, “Behold! The the lamb of the god which lifts up the sin of the world. 30 This is about who I said, ‘Behind me is coming a man who has come in front of me, because he was before me.’ 31 and I did not know him, but so that he might be revealed to the Israel – according to this I came while immersing in water.

I find the phrase “lifts up the sin of the world” particularly interesting. I don’t think it’s going to change any doctrines or anything, but this is the most literal translation that I could come up with (which is what I try to do anyway). Lifts up is often translated “takes away” and “sin” is usually made plural. Does it matter? Don’t know, I’ll tuck that little piece of information away.

John 1:19-28 (prophet, baptize)

I feel that I should point out at the start here two words which I translated in a non-traditional way. The word usually translated “prophet” (from Greek “prophetas”) I translated “speaker”. The word means someone who speaks someone else’s message. In the context of the Bible most the time it means a specific kind of speaker — a speaker for God. I guess what confuses the issue is that speakers for God often tell the future, because God knows the future and is giving that as part of his message.

[**edit**] perseus project Profatas shows the entry in LSJ (and some others) showing that this was only used in religious contexts, though a distintion is made between Bible Prophets and others.. the difference being that the Bible prophets cannot interpret… in light of this, I’m going back to “prophet” instead of “speaker” as my go-to word.[**edit**]

The word usually translated “baptize” (from Greek “baptizo”)I translated “immersed”. As far as I know the NET version is the only other translation that does this. Over time by observation, some have decided in a religious context that immersion is not the only way to be a Christian, or have dubbed it with a symbolic meaning, and so to get around all that the translators use “baptize”. But really, the word just means “immersion” and religious doctrines should work from there (as they have in the past).

19And this is the testimony of the John, when the Jewish priests and Levites sent to him so that they might ask him, “Who are YOU?”

20And he confessed and did not deny, and he confessed that , “I am not the anointed [one]”.

21“What therefore? Are YOU Elijah?”

He says, “ I am not.”

“Are YOU the prophet?”

And he answered, “no.”

22Therefore they said to him “Who are you? So that we might give an answer to the ones who sent us, what are you saying about yourself?”

23He said,

I [am] the voice crying out in the wilderness;

making the way of [the] Lord straight,

Just as Isaiah the prophet said.

24They were also sent out of the Pharisees. 25And they questioned him and said to him, “Therefore why are you immersing if YOU are not the anointed [one] nor Elijah nor the prophet?”

26The John answered them saying, “ I am immersing in water; in the middle of you has stood [someone] who you don’t know, 27the one coming behind me, I am not worthy that I might [even] loosen the thong of his sandal.”

28These things happened in Bethesda beyond the Jordan, where the John was immersing.

Note the bolded words… because of the ways verbs work in Greek, giving a personal pronoun is not necessary , so when they are there it gives emphasis. When that happened I made the words bold.

In verse 6 “[someone] who” could also be “[something] which” and I could go either way on that.

John 1:16-18 (Christ)

16Because out of his fullness we all received even grace into grace; 17because the law was given according to Moses, the grace and the truth were made according to Jesus [the] anointed. 18No one has seen God at any time; that only God which is at the bosom of the father declared himself.

The phrase “grace into grace” is quite literal. It could alternately be translated “grace in place of grace”. Best I can tell this just means lots and lots of grace.

Verse 17 is the first time “Christ” has come up (from Greek “christos”), and I will translate it as “anointed” because that’s what it means, and this fact has an important connection to the Old Testament.

What a doosie Verse 18 is! I rearranged from the original order, “[the] only God which is at the bosom of the father, that [one] explained himself.” because that way I don’t have to chose if I should use “a” or “the”. The word “only” can also mean “only-born” or “only begotten”, but I like to go with the wider meanings and let the context squeeze out the meaning (the same way it would in Greek). The last verb could either be something like “explain” or “declare”. It is in middle voice, and so should be translated “declared himself” or “declared in his own interest”. Most often I see the translation “declared him” which doesn’t seem right at all. Perhaps this means the only God we have seen is the Jesus, and he explained himself.

Interesting to note is that there are no articles before either occurrence of God, but it looks like one is referring to the father, and one to the son, so I think that people wanting to add “a” to God back in verse one should reconsider.

Edit:  ok, someone has made a counter argument to my last statement. Perhaps the first “God” is NOT referring to the father (and so an “a” should be inserted). Then this could mean something like “no one has seen any god at any time”

John 1:12-15

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.

John 1:6-11

6A man came, sent out from God, his name [is] John; 7this one came for testimony so that he might testify about the light, so that they might believe through him. 8That [one] was not the light, rather [that one was sent] so that he might testify about the light.

9-10The true light, which gives light to every man, was coming into the world, and the world was made though it, and the world did not know it. 11  It came into its own [things], and its own [people] did not receive it.

Verses 9&10 I stuck together (a trick I noticed in the Good News Translation), because I wanted it to be clear that “which gives light to every man” is talking about the light as the gender clue is lost in translation… so that got moved up. Also what I found strange is that the first “one’s own” is neuter, and the second is masculine… and I wasn’t sure what to do with that. The only thing I could figure at first is that the first one goes back to light (a neuter word) and the second to word (masculine), but someone else gave the above idea. the gender clues are lost in translation.