New International Version

John 3:1-36

Jesus Teaches Nicodemus

1Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”

3Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.3:3 The Greek for again also means from above; also in verse 7.

4“How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”

5Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit3:6 Or but spirit gives birth to spirit. 7You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You3:7 The Greek is plural. must be born again.’ 8The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”3:8 The Greek for Spirit is the same as that for wind.

9“How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.

10“You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 11Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.3:13 Some manuscripts Man, who is in heaven 14Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,3:14 The Greek for lifted up also means exalted. 15that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”3:15 Some interpreters end the quotation with verse 21.

16For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

John Testifies Again About Jesus

22After this, Jesus and his disciples went out into the Judean countryside, where he spent some time with them, and baptized. 23Now John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water, and people were coming and being baptized. 24(This was before John was put in prison.) 25An argument developed between some of John’s disciples and a certain Jew over the matter of ceremonial washing. 26They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—look, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.”

27To this John replied, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. 28You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’ 29The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. 30He must become greater; I must become less.”3:30 Some interpreters end the quotation with verse 36.

31The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all. 32He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. 33Whoever has accepted it has certified that God is truthful. 34For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God3:34 Greek he gives the Spirit without limit. 35The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. 36Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.

New International Reader’s Version

John 3:1-36

Jesus Teaches Nicodemus

1There was a Pharisee named Nicodemus. He was one of the Jewish rulers. 2He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. We know that God is with you. If he weren’t, you couldn’t do the signs you are doing.”

3Jesus replied, “What I’m about to tell you is true. No one can see God’s kingdom unless they are born again.”

4“How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “They can’t go back inside their mother! They can’t be born a second time!”

5Jesus answered, “What I’m about to tell you is true. No one can enter God’s kingdom unless they are born with water and the Holy Spirit. 6People give birth to people. But the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7You should not be surprised when I say, ‘You must all be born again.’ 8The wind blows where it wants to. You hear the sound it makes. But you can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going. It is the same with everyone who is born with the Spirit.”

9“How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.

10“You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus. “Don’t you understand these things? 11What I’m about to tell you is true. We speak about what we know. We are witnesses about what we have seen. But still you people do not accept what we say. 12I have spoken to you about earthly things, and you do not believe. So how will you believe if I speak about heavenly things? 13No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven. He is the Son of Man. 14Moses lifted up the snake in the desert. In the same way, the Son of Man must also be lifted up. 15Then everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”

16God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son. Anyone who believes in him will not die but will have eternal life. 17God did not send his Son into the world to judge the world. He sent his Son to save the world through him. 18Anyone who believes in him is not judged. But anyone who does not believe is judged already. They have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19Here is the judgment. Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light. They loved darkness because what they did was evil. 20Everyone who does evil deeds hates the light. They will not come into the light. They are afraid that what they do will be seen. 21But anyone who lives by the truth comes into the light. They live by the truth with God’s help. They come into the light so that it will be easy to see their good deeds.

John the Baptist Is a Witness About Jesus

22After this, Jesus and his disciples went out into the countryside of Judea. There he spent some time with them. And he baptized people there. 23John was also baptizing. He was at Aenon near Salim, where there was plenty of water. People were coming and being baptized. 24This was before John was put in prison. 25Some of John’s disciples and a certain Jew began to argue. They argued about special washings to make people “clean.” 26They came to John and here is what they said to him. “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan River is baptizing people. He is the one you told us about. Everyone is going to him.”

27John replied, “A person can receive only what God gives them from heaven. 28You yourselves are witnesses that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah. I was sent ahead of him.’ 29The bride belongs to the groom. The friend who helps the groom waits and listens for him. He is full of joy when he hears the groom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. 30He must become more important. I must become less important.

31“The one who comes from above is above everything. The one who is from the earth belongs to the earth and speaks like someone from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above everything. 32He is a witness to what he has seen and heard. But no one accepts what he says. 33Anyone who has accepted it has said, ‘Yes. God is truthful.’ 34The one whom God has sent speaks God’s words. That’s because God gives the Holy Spirit without limit. 35The Father loves the Son and has put everything into his hands. 36Anyone who believes in the Son has eternal life. Anyone who does not believe in the Son will not have life. God’s anger remains on them.”