New International Version

John 1:1-51

The Word Became Flesh

1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning. 3Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome1:5 Or understood it.

6There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.

9The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

14The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

15(John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ ”) 16Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. 17For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and1:18 Some manuscripts but the only Son, who is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.

John the Baptist Denies Being the Messiah

19Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders1:19 The Greek term traditionally translated the Jews (hoi Ioudaioi) refers here and elsewhere in John’s Gospel to those Jewish leaders who opposed Jesus; also in 5:10, 15,16; 7:1,11,13; 9:22; 18:14,28,36; 19:7,12,31,38; 20:19. in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. 20He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Messiah.”

21They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?”

He said, “I am not.”

“Are you the Prophet?”

He answered, “No.”

22Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”

23John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’ ”1:23 Isaiah 40:3

24Now the Pharisees who had been sent 25questioned him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”

26“I baptize with1:26 Or in; also in verses 31 and 33 (twice) water,” John replied, “but among you stands one you do not know. 27He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.”

28This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

John Testifies About Jesus

29The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ 31I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.”

32Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. 33And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.”1:34 See Isaiah 42:1; many manuscripts is the Son of God.

John’s Disciples Follow Jesus

35The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”

37When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. 38Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?”

They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”

39“Come,” he replied, “and you will see.”

So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four in the afternoon.

40Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. 41The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). 42And he brought him to Jesus.

Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter1:42 Cephas (Aramaic) and Peter (Greek) both mean rock.).

Jesus Calls Philip and Nathanael

43The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.”

44Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. 45Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”

46“Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked.

“Come and see,” said Philip.

47When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.”

48“How do you know me?” Nathanael asked.

Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.”

49Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.”

50Jesus said, “You believe1:50 Or Do you believe…? because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.” 51He then added, “Very truly I tell you,1:51 The Greek is plural. you1:51 The Greek is plural. will see ‘heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on’1:51 Gen. 28:12 the Son of Man.”

New International Reader's Version

John 1:1-51

The Word Became a Human Being

1In the beginning, the Word was already there. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning. 3All things were made through him. Nothing that has been made was made without him. 4Life was in him, and that life was the light for all people. 5The light shines in the darkness. But the darkness has not overcome the light.

6There was a man sent from God. His name was John. 7He came to be a witness about that light. He was a witness so that all people might believe. 8John himself was not the light. He came only as a witness to the light.

9The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10The Word was in the world. And the world was made through him. But the world did not recognize him. 11He came to what was his own. But his own people did not accept him. 12Some people did accept him and did believe in his name. He gave them the right to become children of God. 13To be a child of God has nothing to do with human parents. Children of God are not born because of human choice or because a husband wants them to be born. They are born because of what God does.

14The Word became a human being. He made his home with us. We have seen his glory. It is the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father. And the Word was full of grace and truth.

15John was a witness about the Word. John cried out and said, “This was the one I was talking about. I said, ‘He who comes after me is more important than I am. He is more important because he existed before I was born.’ ” 16God is full of grace. From him we have all received grace in place of the grace already given. 17In the past, God gave us grace through the law of Moses. Now, grace and truth come to us through Jesus Christ. 18No one has ever seen God. But the One and Only is God and is at the Father’s side. The one at the Father’s side has shown us what God is like.

John the Baptist Says That He Is Not the Messiah

19The Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask John who he was. John spoke the truth to them. 20He did not try to hide the truth. He spoke to them openly. He said, “I am not the Messiah.”

21They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?”

He said, “I am not.”

“Are you the Prophet we’ve been expecting?” they asked.

“No,” he answered.

22They asked one last time, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”

23John replied, using the words of Isaiah the prophet. John said, “I’m the messenger who is calling out in the desert, ‘Make the way for the Lord straight.’ ” (Isaiah 40:3)

24The Pharisees who had been sent 25asked him, “If you are not the Messiah, why are you baptizing people? Why are you doing that if you aren’t Elijah or the Prophet we’ve been expecting?”

26“I baptize people with water,” John replied. “But someone is standing among you whom you do not know. 27He is the one who comes after me. I am not good enough to untie his sandals.”

28This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan River. That was where John was baptizing.

What John Says About Jesus

29The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him. John said, “Look! The Lamb of God! He takes away the sin of the world! 30This is the one I was talking about. I said, ‘A man who comes after me is more important than I am. That’s because he existed before I was born.’ 31I did not know him. But God wants to make it clear to Israel who this person is. That’s the reason I came baptizing with water.”

32Then John told them, “I saw the Holy Spirit come down from heaven like a dove. The Spirit remained on Jesus. 33I myself did not know him. But the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘You will see the Spirit come down and remain on someone. He is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34I have seen it happen. I am a witness that this is God’s Chosen One.”

John’s Disciples Follow Jesus

35The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36He saw Jesus walking by. John said, “Look! The Lamb of God!”

37The two disciples heard him say this. So they followed Jesus. 38Then Jesus turned around and saw them following. He asked, “What do you want?”

They said, “Rabbi, where are you staying?” Rabbi means Teacher.

39“Come,” he replied. “You will see.”

So they went and saw where he was staying. They spent the rest of the day with him. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon.

40Andrew was Simon Peter’s brother. Andrew was one of the two disciples who heard what John had said. He had also followed Jesus. 41The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon. He told him, “We have found the Messiah.” Messiah means Christ. 42And he brought Simon to Jesus.

Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon, son of John. You will be called Cephas.” Cephas means Peter, or Rock.

Jesus Chooses Philip and Nathanael

43The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.”

44Philip was from the town of Bethsaida. So were Andrew and Peter. 45Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one whom Moses wrote about in the Law. The prophets also wrote about him. He is Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”

46“Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked.

“Come and see,” said Philip.

47Jesus saw Nathanael approaching. Here is what Jesus said about him. “He is a true Israelite. Nothing about him is false.”

48“How do you know me?” Nathanael asked.

Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree. I saw you there before Philip called you.”

49Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God. You are the king of Israel.”

50Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.” 51Then he said to the disciples, “What I’m about to tell you is true. You will see heaven open. You will see the angels of God going up and coming down on the Son of Man.”