John 1:18
Parallel Verses
New International Version
No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.

New Living Translation
No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father's heart. He has revealed God to us.

English Standard Version
No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.

New American Standard Bible
No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.

King James Bible
No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
No one has ever seen God. The One and Only Son-- the One who is at the Father's side-- He has revealed Him.

International Standard Version
No one has ever seen God. The unique God, who is close to the Father's side, has revealed him.

NET Bible
No one has ever seen God. The only one, himself God, who is in closest fellowship with the Father, has made God known.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
No man has seen God at any time; The Only Begotten God Who is in the bosom of The Father, he has declared him.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
No one has ever seen God. God's only Son, the one who is closest to the Father's heart, has made him known.

Jubilee Bible 2000
No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he has declared him.

King James 2000 Bible
No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has declared him.

American King James Version
No man has seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he has declared him.

American Standard Version
No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him .

Douay-Rheims Bible
No man hath seen God at any time: the only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

Darby Bible Translation
No one has seen God at any time; the only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, *he* hath declared [him].

English Revised Version
No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

Webster's Bible Translation
No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

Weymouth New Testament
No human eye has ever seen God: the only Son, who is in the Father's bosom--He has made Him known.

World English Bible
No one has seen God at any time. The one and only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has declared him.

Young's Literal Translation
God no one hath ever seen; the only begotten Son, who is on the bosom of the Father -- he did declare.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

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.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 18. - No one hath ever yet seen God. Many visions, theophanies, appearances, angelic splendours, in the desert, on the mountain, in the temple, by the river of Chebar, had been granted to the prophets of the Lord; but they have all fallen short of the direct intuition of God as God. Abraham, Israel, Moses, Manoah, David, Isaiah, Ezekiel, saw visions, local manifestations, anticipations of the Incarnation; but the apostle here takes the Lord's own word for it (John 5:37), and he elsewhere repeats it (1 John 4:12). These were but forerunners of the ultimate manifestation of the Logos. "The Glory of the Lord," "the Angel of the Lord," "the Word of the Lord," were not so revealed to patriarchs that they saw God as God. They saw him in the form of light, or of spiritual agency, or of human ministries; but in the deepest sense we must still wait for the purity of heart which will reveal to our weakened faculties the beatific vision. The only begotten Son - or, (God only begotten) - who is in (or, on) the bosom of the Father, he interpreted (him); became the satisfying Exposition, the Declarer, drawing forth from the depths of God all that it is possible that we shall see, know, or realize. This lofty assertion is augmented by the sublime intensification of the earlier phrase, "with God (πρὸς τὸν Θεόν)," by (εἰς τὸν κόλπον), "in or on the bosom of the Father;" i.e. in most intimate and loving fellowship with the Father as the only begotten. The relations of fatherhood and sonship within the substance of the Godhead give new life, warmth, realization, to the vaster, colder, more metaphysical, metaphenomenal relations of Θεός and Λογός (cf. here Proverbs 8:30). Bengel here says, "In lumbis esse dicuntur qui nascentur homines, in sinu sunt qui nati sunt. In sinu Patris erat Filius, quia nunquam non-natus." In view of the contention of Meyer that the language here refers to no age long, eternal indwelling of the Logos with, or of the Son (God only begotten) on the bosom of, the Father, but to the exaltation of the Christ after his ascension, we can only refer to the present tense (ὁ ω}ν), which from the standpoint of the prologue does not transfer itself to the historical standpoint of the writer at the end of the first century. Lange thinks that the whole of this wonderful utterance is attributed by the evangelist to the Baptist; but the standing of the Baptist, lofty as it is in John's Gospel, after the Baptist came into brief fellowship with the One who was before him, certainly falls short of this insight into his eternal Being. John the beloved disciple could thus speak of the revelation and interpretation of God which was made in the life, words, and death of the Only Begotten, from whose fulness he had received "grace for grace;" but in this verse he is speaking of the timeless condition, the eternal fellowship, of the Only Begotten with the Father, as justifying the fulness of the revelation made in his incarnation. The prologue forms a key to the entire Gospel. It may have been written after the record of the central principles involved in the life work of Jesus had been completed. Every statement in it may be seen to be derived from the recorded words or acts of the Lord, the revelation of the Father in time, the unveiling of the eternal heart of him who made all things, and by one competent to speak of both eternities. The writer of the prologue speaks of himself as one of a group or society who had had ocular evidence of the perfection and glory of the manifestation. This fellowship of men had found themselves children of God, and in the possession of a life, a light, and a hope which were derived entirely from Jesus Christ, who is undoubtedly in a unique sense declared (though not formally defined) to be "the Word made flesh." In the subsequent narrative we find a graduated series of instructions on the powers of Christ and the opposition of the world to his self-manifestation. Thus (ch. 1.) the testimony of the Baptist (made after his contact with Christ) to the Person and work of the Lord attributes to him, on prophetic authority, most stupendous functions - those of baptizing with the Holy Spirit, and taking away the sin of the world. He does himself reveal the way to the Father. He is hailed as the "Christ," the "King of Israel," and as the link between heaven and earth, between the invisible and visible, the Divine and the human (John 1:51). In ch. 2, with all its other suggestiveness, Christ displays his creative power, and (cf. ch. 6.) his relation to the world of things, as well as his organic relation to the old covenant. In ch. 2 his "body" is the "temple" of God, where his Father dwelt, thus justifying the ἐσκήνωσεν of ver. 14. The pre-existence of Christ as a self-conscious personality in the very substance of Deity is asserted by himself in John 6:62; John 8:58; John 17:5, 24. The fact that he is the Source of all life (John 1:3), is involved in the teaching of the Gospel from end to end. Eternal life is ministered through him, to believers (John 3:16, etc., John 3:36). He claims to have life in himself (John 5:26). He is the "Bread of life" for starving humanity (John 6:35, 48). The words that he speaks are spirit and life (John 6:63). In John 8:12 the φῶς τῆς ζωῆς links the idea of life and light as they are shown to cohere in the prologue. In John 14:6 he declares himself to be "the Truth and the Life," thus sustaining the great generalization. By raising Lazarus he is portrayed as the Restorer of forfeited life, as well as the original Giver of life to men (John 11:25). The ninth chapter records the symbolic event by which he proved himself to be the Sun of the spiritual universe, "the Light of the world" (cf. John 1:4 with John 8:12; cf. John 12:36, 46). The whole history of the conflict with the people whom he came to save, with "his own," with the world power, and the death doom, is the material which is generalized in the solemn statements of John 1:5-10. The prologue says nothing in express words of Christ's supernatural conception, of his death, or of his resurrection and eternal glory; yet these objective facts are woven through, and involved in, the entire context, for the incarnation of the Eternal Word is the historic basis of the apostle's experience of such a life as that which he proceeds to sketch. The absolute antagonism of the darkness to the light, and the rejection of the light and life by the world, never had such exposition as that which the repudiation and crucifixion of the Son of God gave to them; while the eternal nature of the central life and being of him who, when incarnate, was thus resisted by unbelief renders the resurrection and ultimate and eternal glory a necessity of thought even to these who have not yet seen, but yet have believed.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

No man hath seen God at any time,.... That is, God the Father, whose voice was never heard, nor his shape seen by angels or men; for though Jacob, Moses, the elders of Israel, Manoah, and his wife, are said to see God, and Job expected to see him with his bodily eyes, and the saints will see him as he is, in which will lie their great happiness; yet all seems to be understood of the second person, who frequently appeared to the Old Testament saints, in an human form, and will be seen by the saints in heaven, in his real human nature; or of God in and by him: for the essence of God is invisible, and not to be seen with the eyes of the body; nor indeed with the eyes of the understanding, so as to comprehend it; nor immediately, but through, and by certain means: God is seen in the works of creation and providence, in the promises, and in his ordinances; but above all, in Christ the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person: this may chiefly intend here, man's not knowing any thing of God in a spiritual and saving way, but in and by Christ; since it follows,

the only begotten Son; the word that was with God in the beginning. The Jerusalem Targum on Genesis 3:22 says almost the same of the word of the Lord, as here, where it introduces him saying,

"the word of the Lord God said, lo, the man whom I created, the only one in my world, even as I am, "the only one", (or, as the word is sometimes rendered, "the only begotten",) in the highest heavens.

And to the same purpose the Targum of Jonathan, and also Jarchi, on the same place. The Syriac version here renders it, "the only begotten, God which is in the bosom of the Father"; clearly showing, that he is the only begotten, as he is God: the phrase,

which is in the bosom of the Father, denotes unity of nature, and essence, in the Father and Son; their distinct personality; strong love, and affection between them; the Son's acquaintance with his Father's secrets; his being at that time, as the Son of God, in the bosom of his Father, when here on earth, as the son of man; and which qualified him to make the declaration of him:

he hath declared him. The Persic and Ethiopic versions further add, "to us"; he has clearly and fully declared his nature, perfections, purposes, promises, counsels, covenant, word, and works; his thoughts and schemes of grace; his love and favour to the sons of men; his mind and will concerning the salvation of his people: he has made, and delivered a fuller revelation of these things, than ever was yet; and to which no other revelation in the present state of things will be added. Somewhat like this the Jews (n) say of the Messiah,

"there is none that can declare the name of his Father, and that knows him; but this is hid from the eyes of the multitude, until he comes, "and he shall declare him".

He is come, and has declared him: so Philo speaks of the "Logos", or word, as the interpreter of the mind of God, and a teacher of men (o),

(n) R. Moses Haddarsan in Psal. 85. 11. apud Galatin. de Arcan, Cathol. ver. l. 8. c. 2.((o) De nominum mutat. p. 1047.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

18. No man—"No one," in the widest sense.

hath seen God—by immediate gaze, or direct intuition.

in the bosom of the Father—A remarkable expression, used only here, presupposing the Son's conscious existence distinct from the Father, and expressing His immediate and most endeared access to, and absolute acquaintance with, Him.

he—emphatic; As if he should say, "He and He only hath declared Him," because He only can.

John 1:18 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Word Made His Dwelling among Us
17For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. 18No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.
Cross References
Exodus 24:10
and saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was something like a pavement made of lapis lazuli, as bright blue as the sky.

Exodus 33:20
But," he said, "you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live."

Exodus 33:23
Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen."

Luke 16:22
"The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried.

John 3:11
Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony.

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:18
Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.

John 6:46
No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father.

John 13:23
One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him.

2 Corinthians 4:4
The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

Colossians 1:15
The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

1 Timothy 6:16
who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.

1 John 4:9
This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.

1 John 4:12
No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

1 John 5:20
We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.
Treasury of Scripture

No man has seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he has declared him.

seen.

John 6:46 Not that any man has seen the Father, save he which is of God, he …

Exodus 33:20 And he said, You can not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.

Deuteronomy 4:12 And the LORD spoke to you out of the middle of the fire: you heard …

Matthew 11:27 All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knows the …

Luke 10:22 All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knows who …

Colossians 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

1 Timothy 1:17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, …

1 Timothy 6:16 Who only has immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can …

1 John 4:12,20 No man has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwells …

the only.

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelled among us, (and we beheld his glory…

John 3:16-18 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that …

1 John 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God …

in the.

John 13:23 Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.

Proverbs 8:30 Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his …

Isaiah 40:11 He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs …

Lamentations 2:12 They say to their mothers, Where is corn and wine? when they swooned …

Luke 16:22,23 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the …

he hath.

John 12:41 These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spoke of him.

John 14:9 Jesus said to him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet have …

John 17:6,26 I have manifested your name to the men which you gave me out of the …

Genesis 16:13 And she called the name of the LORD that spoke to her, You God see …

Genesis 18:33 And the LORD went his way, as soon as he had left communing with …

Genesis 32:28-30 And he said, Your name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: …

Genesis 48:15,16 And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham …

Exodus 3:4-6 And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called to …

Exodus 23:21 Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not …

Exodus 33:18-23 And he said, I beseech you, show me your glory…

Exodus 34:5-7 And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and …

Numbers 12:8 With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in …

Joshua 5:13-15 And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up …

Joshua 6:1,2 Now Jericho was straightly shut up because of the children of Israel: …

Judges 6:12-26 And the angel of the LORD appeared to him, and said to him, The LORD …

Judges 13:20-23 For it came to pass, when the flame went up toward heaven from off the altar…

Isaiah 6:1-3 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the LORD sitting on …

Ezekiel 1:26-28 And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness …

Hosea 12:3-5 He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and by his strength …

Matthew 11:27 All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knows the …

Luke 10:22 All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knows who …

1 John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and has given us an understanding, …

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