Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ Λόγος, καὶ ὁ Λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν Θεόν, καὶ Θεὸς ἦν ὁ Λόγος.
In the beginning, was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Paraphrase: As I begin my account of the life and teaching of Jesus the Messiah, I want to take you back to the very beginning and actually even before the beginning. This is where the story of Jesus actually begins. Before there was any creature, even before there was any time, the Logos already was. The Logos was in a happy and joyful relationship with God just as God taught us in Prov 8:22, 30. In fact, the Logos partook of the same nature as God Himself.
Westcott compares this with the In the beginning… of Genesis 1. He writes, “Moses dwells on that which starts from the point, and traces the record of divine action from the beginning while St John lifts our thoughts beyond the beginning and dwells on that which “was” when time, and with time finite being, began its course. cf Prov 8:23. Already when “God created the heaven and the earth,” “the Word was.” The “being” of the Word is thus necessarily carried beyond the limits of time, though the pre-existence of the Word is not definitely stated. The simple affirmation of existence in this connexion suggests a loftier conception than that of pre-existence; which is embarrassed by the idea of time. Pre-existence however is affirmed in a different connexion: Jn 17:5. source
Hengstenberg says that the words, in the beginning, are equivalent to, “when as yet there was no created thing,” source
Robertson affirms that πρὸς τὸν Θεόν implies a “face to face” relationship and the most intimate fellowship as equals. source
Οὗτος ἦν ἐν ἀρχῇ πρὸς τὸν Θεόν.
πάντα δι’ αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο, καὶ χωρὶς αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο οὐδὲ ἕν ὃ γέγονεν.
ἐν αὐτῷ ζωὴ ἦν, καὶ ἡ ζωὴ ἦν τὸ φῶς τῶν ἀνθρώπων.
καὶ τὸ φῶς ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ φαίνει, καὶ ἡ σκοτία αὐτὸ οὐ κατέλαβεν.
Ἐγένετο ἄνθρωπος ἀπεσταλμένος παρὰ Θεοῦ· ὄνομα αὐτῷ Ἰωάννης.
ἦλθεν εἰς μαρτυρίαν, ἵνα μαρτυρήσῃ περὶ τοῦ φωτός, ἵνα πάντες πιστεύσωσιν δι’ αὐτοῦ.
οὐκ ἦν ἐκεῖνος τὸ φῶς, ἀλλ’ ἵνα μαρτυρήσῃ περὶ τοῦ φωτός.
Ἦν τὸ φῶς τὸ ἀληθινὸν, ὃ φωτίζει πάντα ἄνθρωπον, ἐρχόμενον εἰς τὸν κόσμον.
ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ ἦν, καὶ ὁ κόσμος δι’ αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο, καὶ ὁ κόσμος αὐτὸν οὐκ ἔγνω.
εἰς τὰ ἴδια ἦλθεν, καὶ οἱ ἴδιοι αὐτὸν οὐ παρέλαβον.
ὅσοι δὲ ἔλαβον αὐτόν, ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς ἐξουσίαν τέκνα Θεοῦ γενέσθαι, τοῖς πιστεύουσιν εἰς τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ,
οἳ οὐκ ἐξ αἱμάτων, οὐδὲ ἐκ θελήματος σαρκὸς, οὐδὲ ἐκ θελήματος ἀνδρὸς, ἀλλ’ ἐκ Θεοῦ ἐγεννήθησαν.
Καὶ ὁ Λόγος σὰρξ ἐγένετο καὶ ἐσκήνωσεν ἐν ἡμῖν, καὶ ἐθεασάμεθα τὴν δόξαν αὐτοῦ, δόξαν ὡς μονογενοῦς παρὰ Πατρός, πλήρης χάριτος καὶ ἀληθείας.
Ἰωάννης μαρτυρεῖ περὶ αὐτοῦ, καὶ κέκραγεν, λέγων, Οὗτος ἦν ὃν εἶπον, Ὁ ὀπίσω μου ἐρχόμενος, ἔμπροσθέν μου γέγονεν, ὅτι πρῶτός μου ἦν.
Ὅτι ἐκ τοῦ πληρώματος αὐτοῦ, ἡμεῖς πάντες ἐλάβομεν καὶ χάριν ἀντὶ χάριτος.
ὅτι ὁ νόμος διὰ Μωϋσέως ἐδόθη· ἡ χάρις καὶ ἡ ἀλήθεια διὰ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ἐγένετο.
Θεὸν οὐδεὶς ἑώρακεν πώποτε· μονογενὴς Θεὸς, ὁ ὢν εἰς τὸν κόλπον τοῦ Πατρὸς, ἐκεῖνος ἐξηγήσατο.
Καὶ αὕτη ἐστὶν ἡ μαρτυρία τοῦ Ἰωάννου, ὅτε ἀπέστειλαν πρὸς αὐτὸν οἱ Ἰουδαῖοι ἐξ Ἱεροσολύμων, ἱερεῖς καὶ Λευίτας, ἵνα ἐρωτήσωσιν αὐτόν, Σὺ, τίς εἶ;
and this is the testimony of John when the Jews from Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to him in order that they might ask him, “Who are you?”
Paraphrase: Now John gave further testimony about Jesus when a delegation of priests and Levites came to him. They had been sent by the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem to interrogate him as to his claims. They put the question to him very directly, “Who do you think you are?!”
Edersheim says that this delegation would have “proceeded from authority” but not as on official delegation from the Sanhedrin. Nevertheless, it may very well have originated from members of the Sanhedrin as an unofficial delegation. source
καὶ ὡμολόγησεν καὶ οὐκ ἠρνήσατο, καὶ ὡμολόγησεν ὅτι, Ἐγὼ οὐκ εἰμὶ ὁ Χριστός.
and he confessed and did not deny and confessed, “I am not the Christ.”
Paraphrase: Upon hearing this question, John did not refuse to answer, but he boldly confessed, “I am not the Messiah, the coming King, the one for whom we are waiting and expecting.”
Καὶ ἠρώτησαν αὐτόν, Τί οὖν; σὺ Ἠλίας εἶ; Καὶ λέγει, Οὐκ εἰμί. Ὁ προφήτης εἶ σύ; Καὶ ἀπεκρίθη, Οὔ.
and they asked him, “Who then? Are you Elijah?” and he said, “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” and he answered, “no.”
Paraphrase: Then the delegation remembered Malachi’s prophecy that Elijah would come (Mal 4:5) and surmised that maybe John thought he was the second coming of Elijah. John, however, denied this. Then they asked John if he was perhaps that prophet whom Moses had said would come? (Deut 18:15)
Εἶπαν οὖν αὐτῷ, Τίς εἶ; ἵνα ἀπόκρισιν δῶμεν τοῖς πέμψασιν ἡμᾶς· τί λέγεις περὶ σεαυτοῦ;
Therefore, they said to him, “Who are you in order that an answer we might give to those who sent us? What do say about yourself?”
Paraphrase: Then the delegation got a little irritated with John and demanded that he identify himself. “We have to file a report with our supervisors when we get back to Jerusalem,” they said. “What do you want us say about you? Who are you? What do you have to say about yourself?”
Ἔφη, Ἐγὼ φωνὴ βοῶντος ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ, Εὐθύνατε τὴν ὁδὸν Κυρίου, καθὼς εἶπεν Ἠσαΐας ὁ προφήτης.
He said, “I am a voice thundering in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord!” even as Isaiah the prophet said.
Paraphrase: Then John replied using the words of Isaiah, the prophet. “I am a voice crying out in the desert, ‘Straighten the road for the coming of the Lord!’“
Καὶ ἀπεσταλμένοι ἦσαν ἐκ τῶν Φαρισαίων.
and they were being sent from the Pharisees.
Paraphrase: Now this delegation had been sent by members of the Pharisees.
Pharisees were the conservatives in Jewish religious life.
καὶ ἠρώτησαν αὐτὸν καὶ εἶπαν αὐτῷ, Τί οὖν βαπτίζεις, εἰ σὺ οὐκ εἶ ὁ Χριστὸς, οὐδὲ Ἠλίας, οὐδὲ ὁ προφήτης;
and they asked him and said to him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ? or Elijah? or the prophet?
Paraphrase: The delegation further questioned John as to his reason for baptizing. They were upset that he was performing ritual purifications without the proper credentials. “If you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor that prophet whom Moses told us to expect, then why are you baptizing people? You have no right to perform these ritual purifications on your own authority!”
Ritual purifications were known as baptisms as is clear from Heb 9:10. Edersheim calls baptism “a novel rite” which is certainly wrong. source Ritual purifications were extremely common in the religious life of Jews.
Ἀπεκρίθη αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰωάννης λέγων, Ἐγὼ βαπτίζω ἐν ὕδατι· μέσος ὑμῶν ἕστηκεν ὃν ὑμεῖς οὐκ οἴδατε,
John answered them saying, “I am baptizing with water; in the midst of you stands whom you do not know.
Paraphrase: John answered their question, “I am performing these ritual purifications with physical water. There stands One among us, however, whom you have not met; neither do you know Him.
ὁ ὀπίσω μου ἐρχόμενος, οὗ οὐκ εἰμὶ ἐγὼ ἄξιος ἵνα λύσω αὐτοῦ τὸν ἱμάντα τοῦ ὑποδήματος.
The One coming after me of whom I am not worthy that I might loose His sandal strap.
Paraphrase: This Person who is now amongst us is the real One whom we have been expecting. I am nothing compared to Him. Indeed, my whole ministry is simply to point to Him and to announce His arrival. He is the great King who will save His people. I am not even worthy to stoop down and loosen the strap of His sandal. This then, is my answer to your question. My authority to baptize comes from this great King who sent me to purify the people and so to prepare them for His arrival. (John 1:31, 33) The Jewish people, with all their privileges, cannot be citizens of His kingdom unless they are first purified. Once this King comes, He will have His own baptism. In fact, my baptisms with water are just symbols of His higher and greater baptism which He will perform when He baptizes us with the Holy Spirit and with fire. (Matt 3:11)
Ταῦτα ἐν Βηθανίᾳ ἐγένετο, πέραν τοῦ Ἰορδάνου, ὅπου ἦν ὁ Ἰωάννης βαπτίζων.
These things took place in Bethany beyond the Jordan where John was baptizing.
Paraphrase: Now all this took place in Bethany, just east of the Jordan river where John was performing all these baptisms.
Τῇ ἐπαύριον βλέπει τὸν Ἰησοῦν ἐρχόμενον πρὸς αὐτόν καὶ λέγει, Ἴδε ὁ Ἀμνὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ, ὁ αἴρων τὴν ἁμαρτίαν τοῦ κόσμου!
The next day, he sees Jesus coming to him and says, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who is taking away the sin of the world!”
Paraphrase: The next day, John recognizes Jesus coming towards him. Delighted, he cried out, “Look, there is the Lamb whom God has sent to be the sin-offering to end all sin-offerings! His sacrifice will be sufficient to atone for the sins of every person no matter who they are and no matter how terrible a sinner they may have been. Jew and gentile, male and female, rich and poor, young and old; everyone can now be saved because of this Savior!
οὗτός ἐστιν ὑπὲρ οὗ ἐγὼ εἶπον, Ὀπίσω μου ἔρχεται ἀνὴρ, ὃς ἔμπροσθέν μου γέγονεν, ὅτι πρῶτός μου ἦν.
This One is He on behalf of whom I spoke, “After Me comes a Man who before me has been because He was before me.”
Paraphrase: This is the One I was speaking about yesterday when I said that my whole ministry existed simply for the purpose of announcing His arrival and preparing the people to receive Him as their King. This is the One who is far greater than I am, and of course He is greater than I am; He existed long before I ever came to be. He was with God in eternity past!” (John 1:1)
κἀγὼ οὐκ ᾔδειν αὐτόν· ἀλλ’ ἵνα φανερωθῇ τῷ Ἰσραὴλ, διὰ τοῦτο, ἦλθον ἐγὼ ἐν ὕδατι βαπτίζων.
and I do not know Him but in order that He might be revealed to Israel. On account of this, I came baptizing in water.
Paraphrase: At first, I did not recognize Him either. I had no idea who He was, but I surely knew what He had sent me to do, and this I am doing. I am purifying the people in preparation for His arrival. That’s why I am baptizing.
Καὶ ἐμαρτύρησεν Ἰωάννης λέγων ὅτι, Τεθέαμαι τὸ Πνεῦμα, καταβαῖνον ὡς περιστερὰν ἐξ οὐρανοῦ, καὶ ἔμεινεν ἐπ’ αὐτόν.
and John testified saying, “I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove from heaven and it remained on Him.
Paraphrase: John then explained how it was that he had come to recognize the Messiah. He told how he was baptizing one day when Jesus came and asked John to baptize Him. When John saw that it was Jesus, he objected. Jesus insisted, however; and after John baptized Jesus, he saw a sight which he would never forget. “I saw the Holy Spirit Himself,” said John, “descending onto Jesus’ head and remaining there. The Spirit looked like a dove, and it was by this divine anointing that I came to know that Jesus was the coming Messiah.” (Matt 3:16)
κἀγὼ οὐκ ᾔδειν αὐτόν· ἀλλ’ ὁ πέμψας με βαπτίζειν ἐν ὕδατι, ἐκεῖνός μοι εἶπεν, Ἐφ’ ὃν ἂν ἴδῃς τὸ Πνεῦμα καταβαῖνον καὶ μένον ἐπ’ αὐτόν, οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ βαπτίζων ἐν Πνεύματι Ἁγίῳ.
and I did not know him but the One sending me to baptize in water, that One said to me, “Upon whomever you might see the Spirit descending and remaining on Him, this One is the One baptizing in the Holy Spirit.
Paraphrase: This was the sign which God had given me previously. When God called me to start baptizing, He told me that I would recognize the Messiah because the Holy Spirit would come down and remain on the head of the One whom God had called to be the Great King over His people. This is how I would know the One whom we call the Messiah, and the One who will baptize His people with the Holy Spirit and thus purify them from all their sin and qualify them to be His servants.
κἀγὼ ἑώρακα καὶ μεμαρτύρηκα ὅτι οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ.
and I have seen and have testified that this One is the Son of God.
Paraphrase: Because of all this, I now announce and declare to you that this Jesus is the Messiah, the Great King and the very Son of God.
Τῇ ἐπαύριον πάλιν εἱστήκει ὁ Ἰωάννης, καὶ ἐκ τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ δύο.
καὶ ἐμβλέψας τῷ Ἰησοῦ περιπατοῦντι, λέγει, Ἴδε ὁ Ἀμνὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ!
καὶ ἤκουσαν οἱ δύο μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος, καὶ ἠκολούθησαν τῷ Ἰησοῦ.
Στραφεὶς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς, καὶ θεασάμενος αὐτοὺς ἀκολουθοῦντας, λέγει αὐτοῖς, Τί ζητεῖτε; Οἱ δὲ εἶπαν αὐτῷ, Ῥαββί ὃ λέγεται, μεθερμηνευόμενον, Διδάσκαλε— Ποῦ μένεις;
Λέγει αὐτοῖς, Ἔρχεσθε καὶ ὄψεσθε. ἦλθαν οὖν καὶ εἶδαν ποῦ μένει· καὶ παρ’ αὐτῷ ἔμειναν τὴν ἡμέραν ἐκείνην. ὥρα ἦν ὡς δεκάτη.
Ἦν Ἀνδρέας, ὁ ἀδελφὸς Σίμωνος Πέτρου, εἷς ἐκ τῶν δύο τῶν ἀκουσάντων παρὰ Ἰωάννου, καὶ ἀκολουθησάντων αὐτῷ.
εὑρίσκει οὗτος πρῶτον τὸν ἀδελφὸν τὸν ἴδιον Σίμωνα, καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ, Εὑρήκαμεν τὸν Μεσσίαν, ὅ ἐστιν μεθερμηνευόμενον Χριστός.
ἤγαγεν αὐτὸν πρὸς τὸν Ἰησοῦν. ἐμβλέψας αὐτῷ, ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν, Σὺ εἶ Σίμων ὁ υἱὸς Ἰωάννου· σὺ κληθήσῃ Κηφᾶς ὃ ἑρμηνεύεται Πέτρος.
Τῇ ἐπαύριον ἠθέλησεν ἐξελθεῖν εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν. καὶ εὑρίσκει Φίλιππον. καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς, Ἀκολούθει μοι.
ἦν δὲ ὁ Φίλιππος ἀπὸ Βηθσαϊδά, ἐκ τῆς πόλεως Ἀνδρέου καὶ Πέτρου.
Εὑρίσκει Φίλιππος τὸν Ναθαναὴλ καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ, Ὃν ἔγραψεν Μωϋσῆς ἐν τῷ νόμῳ, καὶ οἱ προφῆται, εὑρήκαμεν, Ἰησοῦν υἱὸν τοῦ Ἰωσὴφ, τὸν ἀπὸ Ναζαρέτ.
Καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ Ναθαναήλ, Ἐκ Ναζαρὲτ δύναταί τι ἀγαθὸν εἶναι; Λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ Φίλιππος, Ἔρχου καὶ ἴδε.
Εἶδεν ‹ὁ› Ἰησοῦς τὸν Ναθαναὴλ ἐρχόμενον πρὸς αὐτὸν, καὶ λέγει περὶ αὐτοῦ, Ἴδε ἀληθῶς Ἰσραηλίτης, ἐν ᾧ δόλος οὐκ ἔστιν.
Λέγει αὐτῷ Ναθαναήλ, Πόθεν με γινώσκεις; Ἀπεκρίθη Ἰησοῦς καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ, Πρὸ τοῦ σε Φίλιππον φωνῆσαι, ὄντα ὑπὸ τὴν συκῆν, εἶδόν σε.
Ἀπεκρίθη αὐτῷ Ναθαναήλ, Ῥαββί, σὺ εἶ ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ· σὺ Βασιλεὺς εἶ τοῦ Ἰσραήλ.
Ἀπεκρίθη Ἰησοῦς καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ, Ὅτι εἶπόν σοι ὅτι εἶδόν σε ὑποκάτω τῆς συκῆς, πιστεύεις; μείζω τούτων ὄψῃ.
καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ, Ἀμὴν, ἀμὴν, λέγω ὑμῖν, ὄψεσθε τὸν οὐρανὸν ἀνεῳγότα καὶ τοὺς ἀγγέλους τοῦ Θεοῦ ἀναβαίνοντας καὶ καταβαίνοντας ἐπὶ τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου.