1 In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was already with God in the beginning.
3 Everything came into existence through him. Not one thing that exists was made without him.
4 He was the source of life, and that life was the light for humanity.
5 The light shines in the dark, and the dark has never extinguished it.
6 God sent a man named John to be his messenger. 7 John came to declare the truth about the light so that everyone would become believers through his message. 8 John was not the light, but he came to declare the truth about the light.
9 The real light, which shines on everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world came into existence through him. Yet, the world didn’t recognize him. 11 He went to his own people, and his own people didn’t accept him. 12 However, he gave the right to become God’s children to everyone who believed in him. 13 These people didn’t become God’s children in a physical way—from a human impulse or from a husband’s desire ⸤to have a child⸥. They were born from God.
14 The Word became human and lived among us. We saw his glory. It was the glory that the Father shares with his only Son, a glory full of kindnessb and truth.
15 (John declared the truth about him when he said loudly, “This is the person about whom I said, ‘The one who comes after me was before me because he existed before I did.’ ”)
16 Each of us has received one gift after another because of all that the Word is. 17 Laws were given through Moses, but kindness and truth came into existence through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God. God’s only Son, the one who is closest to the Father’s heart, has made him known.
John Prepares the Way—Matthew 3:1–12; Mark 1:1–8; Luke 3:1–18
19 This was John’s answer when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20 John didn’t refuse to answer. He told them clearly, “I’m not the Messiah.”
21 They asked him, “Well, are you Elijah?”
John answered, “No, I’m not.”
Then they asked, “Are you the prophet?”
John replied, “No.”
22 So they asked him, “Who are you? Tell us so that we can take an answer back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”
23 John said, “I’m a voice crying out in the desert, ‘Make the way for the Lord straight,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”
24 Some of those who had been sent were Pharisees. 25 They asked John, “Why do you baptize if you’re not the Messiah or Elijah or the prophet?”
26 John answered them, “I baptize with water. Someone you don’t know is standing among you. 27 He’s the one who comes after me. I am not worthy to untie his sandal strap.”
28 This happened in Bethany on the east side of the Jordan River, where John was baptizing.
John Identifies Jesus as the Lamb of God
29 John saw Jesus coming toward him the next day and said, “Look! This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. 30 He is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘A man who comes after me was before me because he existed before I did.’ 31 I didn’t know who he was. However, I came to baptize with water to show him to the people of Israel.”
32 John said, “I saw the Spirit come down as a dove from heaven and stay on him. 33 I didn’t know who he was. But God, who sent me to baptize with water, had told me, ‘When you see the Spirit come down and stay on someone, you’ll know that person is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I have seen this and have declared that this is the Son of God.”
Calling of the First Disciples
35 The next day John was standing with two of his disciples. 36 John saw Jesus walk by. John said, “Look! This is the Lamb of God.” 37 When the two disciples heard John say this, they followed Jesus.
38 Jesus turned around and saw them following him. He asked them, “What are you looking for?”
They said to him, “Rabbi” (which means “teacher”), “where are you staying?”
39 Jesus told them, “Come, and you will see.” So they went to see where he was staying and spent the rest of that day with him. It was about ten o’clock in the morning.
40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two disciples who heard John and followed Jesus. 41 Andrew at once found his brother Simon and told him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means “Christ”). 42 Andrew brought Simon to Jesus.
Jesus looked at Simon and said, “You are Simon, son of John. Your name will be Cephas” (which means “Peter”).
43 The next day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee. He found Philip and told him, “Follow me!” 44 (Philip was from Bethsaida, the hometown of Andrew and Peter.)
45 Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the man whom Moses wrote about in his teachings and whom the prophets wrote about. He is Jesus, son of Joseph, from the city of Nazareth.”
46 Nathanael said to Philip, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?”
Philip told him, “Come and see!”
47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and remarked, “Here is a true Israelite who is sincere.”
48 Nathanael asked Jesus, “How do you know anything about me?”
Jesus answered him, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.”
49 Nathanael said to Jesus, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the king of Israel!”
50 Jesus replied, “You believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.” 51 Jesus said to Nathanael, “I can guarantee this truth: You will see the sky open and God’s angels going up and coming down to the Son of Man.”
About GOD’S WORD Translation
GOD’S WORD Translation (GW) communicates the saving, life-changing Good News about Jesus in clear, natural English. Translated directly from the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek by a committee of scholars, GOD’S WORD is an exceptional Bible that consciously combines scholarly fidelity with natural English.
By implementing the translation principles of Closest Natural Equivalence, the translation committee seeks to translate the best available texts into English with the closest possible accuracy. This commitment to accurately translating the Bible includes expressing the meaning naturally and in a style that preserves the characteristics of the source text.
The combination of accuracy and readability makes GOD’S WORD ideally suited for the following:
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GOD’S WORD is a copyrighted work of God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society. Quotations are used by permission. Copyright 1995 by God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society. All rights reserved.
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