John 1:15
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
(John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, "This is the one I spoke about when I said, 'He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.'")

New Living Translation
John testified about him when he shouted to the crowds, "This is the one I was talking about when I said, 'Someone is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.'"

English Standard Version
(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.’”)

Berean Study Bible
John testified concerning Him. He cried out, saying, "This is He of whom I said, 'He who comes after me has surpassed me, because He was before me.'"

Berean Literal Bible
John witnesses concerning Him, and he cried out, saying, "This was He of whom I was saying, 'The One coming after me has precedence over me, because He was before me.'"

New American Standard Bible
John testified about Him and cried out, saying, "This was He of whom I said, 'He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.'"

King James Bible
John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
(John testified concerning Him and exclaimed," This was the One of whom I said, The One coming after me has surpassed me, because He existed before me.'")

International Standard Version
John told the truth about him when he cried out, "This is the person about whom I said, 'The one who comes after me ranks higher than me, because he existed before me.'"

NET Bible
John testified about him and shouted out, "This one was the one about whom I said, 'He who comes after me is greater than I am, because he existed before me.'"

New Heart English Bible
John testified about him. He shouted out, saying, "This was the one of whom I said, 'He who comes after me has surpassed me, for he was before me.'"

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Yohannan bore witness of him and cried, saying, “This was he of whom I spoke: 'He that comes after me is preferred in honor before me, for he had priority over me.'

GOD'S WORD® Translation
(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.' ")

New American Standard 1977
John bore witness of Him, and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’”

Jubilee Bible 2000
John bore witness of him and cried, saying, This is he of whom I spoke, He that comes after me is preferred before me, for he was before me.

King James 2000 Bible
John bore witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spoke, He that comes after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.

American King James Version
John bore witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spoke, He that comes after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.

American Standard Version
John beareth witness of him, and crieth, saying, This was he of whom I said, He that cometh after me is become before me: for he was before me.

Douay-Rheims Bible
John beareth witness of him, and crieth out, saying: This was he of whom I spoke: He that shall come after me, is preferred before me: because he was before me.

Darby Bible Translation
(John bears witness of him, and he has cried, saying, This was he of whom I said, He that comes after me is preferred before me, for he was before me;)

English Revised Version
John beareth witness of him, and crieth, saying, This was he of whom I said, He that cometh after me is become before me: for he was before me.

Webster's Bible Translation
John testified concerning him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spoke, He that cometh after me, is preferred before me; for he was before me.

Weymouth New Testament
John gave testimony concerning Him and cried aloud, saying, "This is He of whom I said, 'He who is coming after me has been put before me,' for He was before me."

World English Bible
John testified about him. He cried out, saying, "This was he of whom I said, 'He who comes after me has surpassed me, for he was before me.'"

Young's Literal Translation
John doth testify concerning him, and hath cried, saying, 'This was he of whom I said, He who after me is coming, hath come before me, for he was before me;'
Study Bible
The Word Became flesh
14The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15John testified concerning Him. He cried out, saying, “This is He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me, because He was before me.’” 16From His fullness we have all received grace upon grace.…
Cross References
Matthew 3:11
I baptize you with water for repentance, but after me will come One more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.

John 1:7
He came as a witness to testify about the Light, so that through him everyone might believe.

John 1:27
He is the One who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie."

John 1:30
This is He of whom I said, 'A man who comes after me has surpassed me because He was before me.'

John 5:33
You have sent to John and he has testified to the truth.
Treasury of Scripture

John bore witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spoke, He that comes after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.

bare. A.M.

John 1:7,8,29-34 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all …

John 3:26-36 And they came to John, and said to him, Rabbi, he that was with you …

John 5:33-36 You sent to John, and he bore witness to the truth…

Matthew 3:11,13-17 I indeed baptize you with water to repentance. but he that comes …

Mark 1:7 And preached, saying, There comes one mightier than I after me, the …

Luke 3:16 John answered, saying to them all, I indeed baptize you with water; …

he was.

John 1:1,2,30 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the …

John 8:58 Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Before Abraham was, I am.

John 17:5 And now, O Father, glorify you me with your own self with the glory …

Proverbs 8:22 The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.

Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given: and the government …

Micah 5:2 But you, Bethlehem Ephratah, though you be little among the thousands …

Philippians 2:6,7 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God…

Colossians 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

Revelation 1:11,17,18 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What you …

Revelation 2:8 And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things said …

(15) John bare witness of him, and cried.--Better, John beareth witness of him, and crieth. The latter verb is past in tense, but present in meaning. For the sense comp. Note on John 7:37. The writer thinks of the testimony as ever present, ever forceful. Twice on successive days had he heard them from the lips of the Baptist; three times within a few verses does he himself record them. (Comp. John 1:27; John 1:30.) They are among the words stamped on the heart in the crisis of life, and as fresh in the aged Apostle as they had been in the youthful inquirer. He remembers how he heard them, and from whom they came. That wondrous spiritual power in their midst which all men felt, whose witness men would have accepted had he declared that he was himself the Christ, uttered his witness then, and it holds good now. It is quoted here as closely bound up with the personal reminiscence of John 1:14, and with the thought of John 1:6-7.

Verse 15. -

(6) The testimony to this fact by the prophetic spirit. The evangelist, in support and vindication of the profound impression produced upon himself and others by the Christ, cites the startling and paradoxical testimony of the Baptist, which in John's own hearing the great forerunner had twice uttered, under very extraordinary circumstances (see vers. 26, 30). In the later verses this testimony is put in its proper place. Its repetition deepens the impression which the narrative gives of the vivid reality, and of the fact that the evangelist was trusting to a strongly impressed recollection, and is not romanticizing, as the Tubingen critics suppose. The sharp paradoxical form is thoroughly characteristic of the man who called on scribes and Pharisees to "repent," and spoke of God raising up seed to Abraham from the stones of the ground. From the synoptists we learn that John declared that the Coming One was "mightier" than himself, would deal with the Holy Ghost and with fire as he was able to do with water. He knew not the kind of manifestation which was coming on apace. But an enormous change passed over John the Baptist when he came into contact with our Lord, and at his baptism he sank abashed before the revelations which flashed on his soul. The enigmatical form of the Baptist's utterances was the beginning of the evangelist's faith in the personal pre-existence of the Logos who had become flesh in Christ. The testimony of the Baptist is here brought in, as the last great word of the prophetic ministry of the Old Testament, apart from the historic setting in which it afterwards occurs, as if, moreover, it was an abiding word which was yet sounding in the ears of men. The greatest of the sons of woman, and "more than a prophet," he who gathered up in his immense personality all the functions of prophet, priest, Nazarite, and master and teacher of men, the Elijah of the new revelation - John, the very ideal of Divine and supernatural voice in this world of ours, John, the veritable historic man, moreover, to whose disastrous martyrdom some of the Jews (Josephus, 'Ant.,' 18, 5, 2) referred the terrible judgments that befell their nation - John beareth witness. That was his function, and his testimony still stands, his "voice" is still heard wherever his great career is known or properly appreciated - in Palestine, in Alexandria, in Ephesus or Corinth. And he crieth (κέκραγεν); or, hath cried; and the cry is still heard among men: This was he of whom I spake; implying that John uttered words of strange enigmatical significance before he saw Jesus coming to his baptism, and that, as the evangelist subsequently shows, on two memorable occasions, the prophet recalled them and reaffirmed their truthfulness. Before I saw him, I said it: He that is coming after me hath become - hath been in mighty activity - before me. He came forth in many ways from the Father, and was the central reality of the old covenant; γέγονεν, he hath come in the voice of the Lord, in the Shechinah glory, in the Angel of the presence, chronologically "before me." The English Version has followed the traditionary interpretation from Chrysostom to Lucke, De Wette, Alford, McLellan, and has seen in this ἐμπροσθέν μου γέγονεν a reference to the higher rank or dignity of the Logos incarnate, and translated the second clause "is preferred before me," or "hath been made before me," etc. But such a statement would not have conveyed any thought of great importance. A herald is naturally exceeded and superseded by the dignity and rank of him for whom he prepares the way. Moreover, the two adverbs of place are used in metaphorical sense as adverbs of time (derived from the relative position of individuals in a line or procession), and it is scarcely probable that the second should be used in another sense altogether, which would have disturbed the antithesis between them. On the other hand, Hengstenberg, Meyer, Lange, Godet, etc., recognize the perception of the Baptist, and his utterance of belief in the pre-existence of the Christ, and that from such passages as Isaiah 6:1 and Malachi 3:1 he knew that he who was coming into the world, and about to baptize with the Holy Ghost and with fire, to take the fan in his hand, etc., had been in reality before him. The difficulty of this interpretation is said to be that the proof which follows - because, or for (πρῶτός μου ἤν), he was before me - would be tautologous in the extreme; the reason given for the Lord having become before him being simply the asseveration of the fact. But the two very remarkable expressions, ἐμπροσθέν μου γέγονεν and πρῶτός νου ἤν, are not identical. The first may easily refer to the historic precedence of the activity of the Coming One in all the operations of the Logos; the second may refer to the absolute and eternal precedence of the Logos in itself. If so, the whole significance of the previous fourteen verses is gathered up, and shown to have been flashed upon the consciousness of John the Baptist, and uttered with such intensity that the evangelist caught the idea, and saw in it the key to the whole mystery. It would seem, however, that the ὅτι πρῶτός did not form part of the original utterance of John. After the baptism, the whole truth had broken upon the Baptist, and he clenched or saw an explanation of the mystery. John bare witness of him,.... Which was his office and business, for which purpose he was sent, John 1:6.

and cried; this agrees with his work and office, according to the prophecy of him in Isaiah 40:3 and with the time of his ministry, the year of jubilee; and with the nature of his ministry, which was clear, open, and public; and performed with vigour, and in a powerful manner, with much assurance and certainty, with boldness and intrepidity, and with great zeal and fervency, and in an evangelical way; for it was such a cry as debased the creature, and exalted Christ:

this was he, of whom I spake; when he first entered upon his ministry and baptism, before he saw Christ, or baptized him; see Matthew 3:11.

he that cometh after me; for Christ came into the world after John; he was born six months after him; he came after him to be baptized by him, and attended on his ministry; and came later into the public ministry than he did,

is preferred before me; by God, the Father, in setting him up as Mediator; constituting him the head of the church; causing a fulness of grace to dwell in him; appointing him the Saviour of his people; and ordaining him judge of quick and dead. And by the prophets, who spake much of him, and sparingly of John; and of him as the Messiah and Saviour, and of John only as his harbinger: and by John himself, who represents him as coming from above, and as above all; and himself as of the earth, earthly: and by all Gospel ministers, and every true believer; and good reason there is for it:

for he was before me; which cannot be meant of honour and dignity; for this is expressed before; and it would be proving one thing by the same: nor of his birth, as man; for John in that sense was before him, being born before him; besides, being born before another, is no proof of superior worth; others were born before John, whom he yet excelled: but of his eternal existence, as the word, and Son of God, who was before John, or any of the prophets; before Abraham, and Noah, and Adam, or any creature whatever: the Arabic and Persic versions read, "for he was more ancient than me"; being from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. Joh 1:15. A Saying of the Baptist Confirmatory of This.

15. after me—in official manifestation.

before me—in rank and dignity.

for he was before me—in existence; "His goings forth being from of old, from everlasting" (Mic 5:2). (Anything lower than this His words cannot mean); that is, "My Successor is my Superior, for He was my Predecessor." This enigmatic play upon the different senses of the words "before" and "after" was doubtless employed by the Baptist to arrest attention, and rivet the thought; and the Evangelist introduces it just to clinch his own statements.1:15-18 As to the order of time and entrance on his work, Christ came after John, but in every other way he was before him. The expression clearly shows that Jesus had existence before he appeared on earth as man. All fulness dwells in him, from which alone fallen sinners have, and shall receive, by faith, all that renders them wise, strong, holy, useful, and happy. Our receivings by Christ are all summed up in this one word, grace; we have received even grace, a gift so great, so rich, so invaluable; the good will of God towards us, and the good work of God in us. The law of God is holy, just, and good; and we should make the proper use of it. But we cannot derive from it pardon, righteousness, or strength. It teaches us to adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour, but it cannot supply the place of that doctrine. As no mercy comes from God to sinners but through Jesus Christ, no man can come to the Father but by him; no man can know God, except as he is made known in the only begotten and beloved Son.
Jump to Previous
Aloud Bare Bears Bore Cried Crying Existed Existence Higher John Preferred Rank Ranks Surpassed Testified Testifies Testify Testimony Who Witness
Jump to Next
Aloud Bare Bears Bore Cried Crying Existed Existence Higher John Preferred Rank Ranks Surpassed Testified Testifies Testify Testimony Who Witness
Links
John 1:15 NIV
John 1:15 NLT
John 1:15 ESV
John 1:15 NASB
John 1:15 KJV

John 1:15 Biblia Paralela
John 1:15 Chinese Bible
John 1:15 French Bible
John 1:15 German Bible

Alphabetical: a about after and because before comes concerning cried cries existed for has He higher him I John me me' of out rank said saying surpassed testified testifies than This was who whom

NT Gospels: John 1:15 John testified about him (Jhn Jo Jn) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
John 1:14
Top of Page
Top of Page