English Standard Version ESV
The Message Bible MSG
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The Word was first, the Word present to God, God present to the Word. The Word was God,
2 He was in the beginning with God.
in readiness for God from day one.
3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.
Everything was created through him; nothing - not one thing! - came into being without him.
4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
What came into existence was Life, and the Life was Light to live by.
5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn't put it out.
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
There once was a man, his name John, sent by God
7 He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him.
to point out the way to the Life-Light. He came to show everyone where to look, who to believe in.
8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.
John was not himself the Light; he was there to show the way to the Light.
9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
The Life-Light was the real thing: Every person entering Life he brings into Light.
10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him.
He was in the world, the world was there through him, and yet the world didn't even notice.
11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.
He came to his own people, but they didn't want him.
12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,
But whoever did want him, who believed he was who he claimed and would do what he said, He made to be their true selves, their child-of-God selves.
13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
These are the God-begotten, not blood-begotten, not flesh-begotten, not sex-begotten.
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish.
15 (John bore witness about him, and cried out, "This was he of whom I said, 'He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.'")
John pointed him out and called, "This is the One! The One I told you was coming after me but in fact was ahead of me. He has always been ahead of me, has always had the first word."
16 And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
We all live off his generous bounty, gift after gift after gift.
17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
We got the basics from Moses, and then this exuberant giving and receiving, This endless knowing and understanding - all this came through Jesus, the Messiah.
18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known.
No one has ever seen God, not so much as a glimpse. This one-of-a-kind God-Expression, who exists at the very heart of the Father, has made him plain as day. Thunder in the Desert
19 And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, "Who are you?"
When Jews from Jerusalem sent a group of priests and officials to ask John who he was, he was completely honest.
20 He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, "I am not the Christ."
He didn't evade the question. He told the plain truth: "I am not the Messiah."
21 And they asked him, "What then? Are you Elijah?" He said, "I am not.""Are you the Prophet?" And he answered, "No."
They pressed him, "Who, then? Elijah?" "I am not." "The Prophet?" "No."
22 So they said to him, "Who are you? We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?"
Exasperated, they said, "Who, then? We need an answer for those who sent us. Tell us something - anything! - about yourself."
23 He said, "I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, 'Make straight the way of the Lord,' as the prophet Isaiah said."
"I'm thunder in the desert: 'Make the road straight for God!' I'm doing what the prophet Isaiah preached."
24 (Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.)
Those sent to question him were from the Pharisee party.
25 They asked him, "Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?"
Now they had a question of their own: "If you're neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet, why do you baptize?"
26 John answered them, "I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know,
John answered, "I only baptize using water. A person you don't recognize has taken his stand in your midst.
27 even he who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie."
He comes after me, but he is not in second place to me. I'm not even worthy to hold his coat for him."
28 These things took place in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
These conversations took place in Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptizing at the time.
29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
The very next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and yelled out,
30 This is he of whom I said, 'After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me.'
"Here he is, God's Passover Lamb! He forgives the sins of the world! This is the man I've been talking about, 'the One who comes after me but is really ahead of me.'
31 I myself did not know him, but for this purpose I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel."
I knew nothing about who he was - only this: that my task has been to get Israel ready to recognize him as the God-Revealer. That is why I came here baptizing with water, giving you a good bath and scrubbing sins from your life so you can get a fresh start with God."
32 And John bore witness: "I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him.
John clinched his witness with this: "I watched the Spirit, like a dove flying down out of the sky, making himself at home in him.
33 I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, 'He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.'
I repeat, I know nothing about him except this: The One who authorized me to baptize with water told me, 'The One on whom you see the Spirit come down and stay, this One will baptize with the Holy Spirit.'
34 And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God."
That's exactly what I saw happen, and I'm telling you, there's no question about it: This is the Son of God."
35 The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples,
The next day John was back at his post with two disciples, who were watching.
36 and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God!"
He looked up, saw Jesus walking nearby, and said, "Here he is, God's Passover Lamb."
37 The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus.
The two disciples heard him and went after Jesus.
38 Jesus turned and saw them following and said to them, "What are you seeking?" And they said to him, "Rabbi" (which means Teacher), "where are you staying?"
Jesus looked over his shoulder and said to them, "What are you after?" They said, "Rabbi" (which means "Teacher"), "where are you staying?"
39 He said to them, "Come and you will see." So they came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour.
He replied, "Come along and see for yourself." They came, saw where he was living, and ended up staying with him for the day. It was late afternoon when this happened.
40 One of the two who heard John speak and followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother.
Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, was one of the two who heard John's witness and followed Jesus.
41 He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, "We have found the Messiah" (which means Christ).
The first thing he did after finding where Jesus lived was find his own brother, Simon, telling him, "We've found the Messiah" (that is, "Christ").
42 He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, "So you are Simon the son of John? You shall be called Cephas" (which means Peter).
He immediately led him to Jesus. Jesus took one look up and said, "You're John's son, Simon? From now on your name is Cephas" (or Peter, which means "Rock").
43 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, "Follow me."
The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. When he got there, he ran across Philip and said, "Come, follow me."
44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.
(Philip's hometown was Bethsaida, the same as Andrew and Peter.)
45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, "We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph."
Philip went and found Nathanael and told him, "We've found the One Moses wrote of in the Law, the One preached by the prophets. It's Jesus, Joseph's son, the one from Nazareth!"
46 Nathanael said to him, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Philip said to him, "Come and see."
Nathanael said, "Nazareth? You've got to be kidding." But Philip said, "Come, see for yourself."
47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!"
When Jesus saw him coming he said, "There's a real Israelite, not a false bone in his body."
48 Nathanael said to him, "How do you know me?" Jesus answered him, "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you."
Nathanael said, "Where did you get that idea? You don't know me." Jesus answered, "One day, long before Philip called you here, I saw you under the fig tree."
49 Nathanael answered him, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!"
Nathanael exclaimed, "Rabbi! You are the Son of God, the King of Israel!"
50 Jesus answered him, "Because I said to you, 'I saw you under the fig tree,' do you believe? You will see greater things than these."
Jesus said, "You've become a believer simply because I say I saw you one day sitting under the fig tree? You haven't seen anything yet!
51 And he said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man."
Before this is over you're going to see heaven open and God's angels descending to the Son of Man and ascending again."
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved.