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There was a man among the P’rushim, named Nakdimon, who was a ruler of the Judeans. This man came to Yeshua by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know it is from God that you have come as a teacher; for no one can do these miracles you perform unless God is with him.” “Yes, indeed,” Yeshua answered him, “I tell you that unless a person is born again from above, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.”

Nakdimon said to him, “How can a grown man be ‘born’? Can he go back into his mother’s womb and be born a second time?” Yeshua answered, “Yes, indeed, I tell you that unless a person is born from water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God. What is born from the flesh is flesh, and what is born from the Spirit is spirit. Stop being amazed at my telling you that you must be born again from above! The wind blows where it wants to, and you hear its sound, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it’s going. That’s how it is with everyone who has been born from the Spirit.”

Nakdimon replied, “How can this happen?” 10 Yeshua answered him, “You hold the office of teacher in Isra’el, and you don’t know this? 11 Yes, indeed! I tell you that what we speak about, we know; and what we give evidence of, we have seen; but you people don’t accept our evidence! 12 If you people don’t believe me when I tell you about the things of the world, how will you believe me when I tell you about the things of heaven? 13 No one has gone up into heaven; there is only the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man. 14 Just as Moshe lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up; 15 so that everyone who trusts in him may have eternal life.

16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only and unique Son, so that everyone who trusts in him may have eternal life, instead of being utterly destroyed. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but rather so that through him, the world might be saved. 18 Those who trust in him are not judged; those who do not trust have been judged already, in that they have not trusted in the one who is God’s only and unique Son.

19 “Now this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, but people loved the darkness rather than the light. Why? Because their actions were wicked. 20 For everyone who does evil things hates the light and avoids it, so that his actions won’t be exposed. 21 But everyone who does what is true comes to the light, so that all may see that his actions are accomplished through God.”

22 After this, Yeshua and his talmidim went out into the countryside of Y’hudah, where he stayed awhile with them and immersed people. 23 Yochanan too was immersing at Einayim, near Shalem, because there was plenty of water there; and people kept coming to be immersed. 24 (This was before Yochanan’s imprisonment.)

25 A discussion arose between some of Yochanan’s talmidim and a Judean about ceremonial washing; 26 and they came to Yochanan and said to him, “Rabbi, you know the man who was with you on the other side of the Yarden, the one you spoke about? Well, here he is, immersing; and everyone is going to him!” 27 Yochanan answered, “No one can receive anything unless it has been given to him from Heaven. 28 You yourselves can confirm that I did not say I was the Messiah, but that I have been sent ahead of him. 29 The bridegroom is the one who has the bride; but the bridegroom’s friend, who stands and listens to him, is overjoyed at the sound of the bridegroom’s voice. So this joy of mine is now complete. 30 He must become more important, while I become less important.

31 “He who comes from above is above all. He who is from the earth is from the earth and talks from an earthly point of view; he who comes from heaven is above all. 32 He testifies about what he has actually seen and heard, yet no one accepts what he says! 33 Whoever does accept what he says puts his seal on the fact that God is true, 34 because the one whom God sent speaks God’s words. For God does not give him the Spirit in limited degree — 35 the Father loves the Son and has put everything in his hands. 36 Whoever trusts in the Son has eternal life. But whoever disobeys the Son will not see that life but remains subject to God’s wrath.”

Jesus Teaches Nicodemus

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

Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.[a](G)

“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!”

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.(H) Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit[b] gives birth to spirit.(I) You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You[c] must be born again.’ The 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.”[d](J)

“How can this be?”(K) Nicodemus asked.

10 “You are Israel’s teacher,”(L) said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 11 Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know,(M) and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony.(N) 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven(O) except the one who came from heaven(P)—the Son of Man.[e](Q) 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness,(R) so the Son of Man must be lifted up,[f](S) 15 that everyone who believes(T) may have eternal life in him.”[g](U)

16 For God so loved(V) the world that he gave(W) his one and only Son,(X) that whoever believes(Y) in him shall not perish but have eternal life.(Z) 17 For God did not send his Son into the world(AA) to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.(AB) 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned,(AC) but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.(AD) 19 This is the verdict: Light(AE) has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.(AF) 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.(AG) 21 But 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

22 After this, Jesus and his disciples went out into the Judean countryside, where he spent some time with them, and baptized.(AH) 23 Now John(AI) 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.)(AJ) 25 An argument developed between some of John’s disciples and a certain Jew over the matter of ceremonial washing.(AK) 26 They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi,(AL) that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified(AM) about—look, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.”

27 To this John replied, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. 28 You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’(AN) 29 The bride belongs to the bridegroom.(AO) 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.(AP) 30 He must become greater; I must become less.”[h]

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

Footnotes

  1. John 3:3 The Greek for again also means from above; also in verse 7.
  2. John 3:6 Or but spirit
  3. John 3:7 The Greek is plural.
  4. John 3:8 The Greek for Spirit is the same as that for wind.
  5. John 3:13 Some manuscripts Man, who is in heaven
  6. John 3:14 The Greek for lifted up also means exalted.
  7. John 3:15 Some interpreters end the quotation with verse 21.
  8. John 3:30 Some interpreters end the quotation with verse 36.
  9. John 3:34 Greek he

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