New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update

John 1:19–21

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The Testimony of John

19 This is athe testimony of John, when bthe Jews sent to him priests and Levites cfrom Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?”

20 And he confessed and did not deny, but confessed, “aI am not 1the Christ.”

21 They asked him, “What then? Are you aElijah?” And he * said, “I am not.” “Are you bthe Prophet?” And he answered, “No.”

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I.e. the Messiah


A star (*) is used to mark verbs that are historical presents in the Greek which have been translated with an English past tense in order to conform to modern usage. The translators recognized that in some contexts the present tense seems more unexpected and unjustified to the English reader than a past tense would have been. But Greek authors frequently used the present tense for the sake of heightened vividness, thereby transporting their readers in imagination to the actual scene at the time of occurence. However, the translators felt that it would be wise to change these historical presents to English past tenses.