International Standard Version
Jesus Talks with Nicodemus
1Now there was a man from the Pharisees, a leader of the Jews, whose name was Nicodemus. 2He came to Jesusa at night and told him, “Rabbi,b we know that you have come from God as a teacher, because no one can perform these signs that you are doing unless God is with him.”
4Nicodemus asked him, “How can a person be born when he is old? He can’t go back into his mother’s womb a second time and be born, can he?”
5Jesus answered, “Truly, I tell youe emphatically, unless a person is born of water and Spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God.f 6What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7Don’t be astonished that I told you, ‘All of you must be born from above.’g 8The windh blows where it wants to. You hear its sound, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going. That’s the way it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
9Nicodemus asked him, “How can that be?”
10Jesus answered him, “You’re the teacher of Israel, and you can’t understand this? 11Truly, I tell youi emphatically, we know what we’re talking about, and we testify about what we’ve seen. Yet you peoplej do not accept our testimony. 12If I have told you peoplek about earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things?
13“No one has gone up to heaven except the one who came down from heaven, the Son of Man who is in heaven.l 14Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.m
16“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his unique Son so that everyone who believes in him might not be lost but have eternal life. 17Because God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of God’s unique Son. 19And this is the basis for judgment: The light has come into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light because their actions were evil. 20Everyone who practices wickedness hates the light and does not come to the light, so that his actions may not be exposed.n 21But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may become evident that his actions have God’s approval.”o
John the Baptist Talks about Jesus
22After this, Jesus and his disciples went into the Judean countryside. He spent some time there with them and began baptizing. 23John was also baptizing in Aenon, near Salim, because there was plenty of water there. Peoplep kept coming and were being baptized, 24since John had not yet been thrown into prison.
25Then a controversy about ritual purification sprang up between a certain Jewq and John’s disciples, 26so they went to John and told him, “Rabbi,r the man who was with you on the other sides of the Jordan, the one about whom you testified—look, he’s baptizing, and everyone is going to him!”
27John replied, “No one can receive anything unless it has been given to them from heaven. 28You yourselves are myt witnesses that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah,u but I have been sent ahead of him.’ 29It is the bridegroom who gets the bride, yet the bridegroom’s friend, who merelyv stands by and listens for him, is overjoyed to hear the bridegroom’s voice. That’s why this joy of mine is now complete. 30He must become more important, but I must become less important.”
The One who Comes from Above
31The one who comes from above is superior to everything. The one who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks about earthly things.w The one who comes from heaven is superior to everything. 32He testifies about what he has seen and heard, yet no one accepts his testimony. 33The person who has accepted his testimony has acknowledged that God is truthful.x 34The one whom God sent speaks the words of God, because Gody does not give the Spirit in limited measure to him.z 35The Father loves the Son and has put everything in his hands. 36The one who believes in the Son has eternal life, but the one who disobeys the Son will not see life. Instead, the wrath of God remains on him.
a 3:2 Lit. him
b 3:02Rabbi is Heb. for Master and/or Teacher
c 3:3 The Gk. pronoun you is sing.
d 3:3 Or born again
e 3:5 The Gk. pronoun you is sing.
f 3:5 Other mss. read of heaven
g 3:7 Or born again
h 3:8 The Gk. word can be translated both wind and spirit.
i 3:11 The Gk. pronoun you is sing.
j 3:11 The Gk. lacks people
k 3:12 The Gk. lacks people
l 3:13 Other mss. lack who is in heaven
m 3:15 The quotation possibly concludes with this verse instead of with verse 21.
n 3:20 Other mss. read as being evil
o 3:21 Lit. actions are in God
p 3:23 Lit. They
q 3:25 Other mss. read between the Jews; i.e. between certain Jewish leaders
r 3:26Rabbi is Heb. for Master and/or Teacher
s 3:26 i.e. the east side
t 3:28 Other mss. lack my
u 3:28 Or Christ
v 3:29 The Gk. lacks merely
w 3:31 Lit. of the earth
x 3:33 Or true
y 3:34 Lit. he
z 3:34 The Gk. lacks to him