|New International Version (©2011)|
Then John gave this testimony: "I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him.
New Living Translation (©2007)
Then John testified, "I saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove from heaven and resting upon him.
English Standard Version (©2001)
And John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him.
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
John testified saying, "I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him.
King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (©2009)
And John testified, "I watched the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He rested on Him.
International Standard Version (©2012)
John also testified, "I saw the Spirit coming down from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him.
NET Bible (©2006)
Then John testified, "I saw the Spirit descending like a dove from heaven, and it remained on him.
Aramaic Bible in Plain English (©2010)
And Yohannan testified and said: “I saw The Spirit who was descending from Heaven like a dove and remaining upon him.”
GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
John said, "I saw the Spirit come down as a dove from heaven and stay on him.
King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
And John bore record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.
American King James Version
And John bore record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it stayed on him.
American Standard Version
And John bare witness, saying, I have beheld the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven; and it abode upon him.
And John gave testimony, saying: I saw the Spirit coming down, as a dove from heaven, and he remained upon him.
Darby Bible Translation
And John bore witness, saying, I beheld the Spirit descending as a dove from heaven, and it abode upon him.
English Revised Version
And John bare witness, saying, I have beheld the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven; and it abode upon him.
Webster's Bible Translation
And John bore testimony, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.
Weymouth New Testament
John also gave testimony by stating: "I have seen the Spirit coming down like a dove out of Heaven; and it remained upon Him.
World English Bible
John testified, saying, "I have seen the Spirit descending like a dove out of heaven, and it remained on him.
Young's Literal Translation
And John testified, saying -- 'I have seen the Spirit coming down, as a dove, out of heaven, and it remained on him;
|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:29-36 John saw Jesus coming to him, and pointed him out as the Lamb of God. The paschal lamb, in the shedding and sprinkling of its blood, the roasting and eating of its flesh, and all the other circumstances of the ordinance, represented the salvation of sinners by faith in Christ. And the lambs sacrificed every morning and evening, can only refer to Christ slain as a sacrifice to redeem us to God by his blood. John came as a preacher of repentance, yet he told his followers that they were to look for the pardon of their sins to Jesus only, and to his death. It agrees with God's glory to pardon all who depend on the atoning sacrifice of Christ. He takes away the sin of the world; purchases pardon for all that repent and believe the gospel. This encourages our faith; if Christ takes away the sin of the world, then why not my sin? He bore sin for us, and so bears it from us. God could have taken away sin, by taking away the sinner, as he took away the sin of the old world; but here is a way of doing away sin, yet sparing the sinner, by making his Son sin, that is, a sin-offering, for us. See Jesus taking away sin, and let that cause hatred of sin, and resolutions against it. Let us not hold that fast, which the Lamb of God came to take away. To confirm his testimony concerning Christ, John declares the appearance at his baptism, in which God himself bore witness to him. He saw and bare record that he is the Son of God. This is the end and object of John's testimony, that Jesus was the promised Messiah. John took every opportunity that offered to lead people to Christ.
Verses 32, 33. - And John bore testimony, saying, I have seen (perfect) the Spirit descending like a dove out of heaven, and it (he) abode upon him. And I knew him not, but he that sent me to baptize with (in) water, he said to me, Upon whomsoever thou mayest see the Holy Spirit descending, and abiding on him, this (one) is he that baptizeth with (in) the Holy Spirit. The preparation by special teaching for a mysterious vision is the key to the vision itself, which John is here said to have described. There can be no reasonable doubt that the evangelist makes reference to the synoptic tradition of the baptism of Jesus by John, although it may suit some uncompromising opponents of the Fourth Gospel to say that the baptism is here omitted. The act of the rite is not totidem verbis described; but the chief accompaniment and real meaning of the baptism is specially portrayed. All the well known cycles of criticism make their special assault on the narratives at this point. Rationalism finds in a thunderstorm and the casual flight of a pigeon what John magnified into a supernatural portent; Straussianism sees the growth of a legend from prepared sources of Hebrew tradition, and endeavours to aggravate into irreconcilable discrepancy the various accounts; Baur and Hilgenfeld accentuate the objectively supernatural portent, so as the more easily to put it into the region of ignorant superstition; others find the hint or sign of Gnostic handling; and Keim suggests that it is the poetic colouring which a later age unconsciously attributed to the Baptist and the Christ. Let it be noticed:
(1) That the present Gospel does not augment, but diminishes, the miraculous element as compared with the synoptic narrative. The 'Gospel of the Hebrews ' added further embellishments still. Our Gospel compels us to believe that the mind of the Baptist was the chief region of the miracle.
(2) The author of this Gospel might, if he had chosen, have selected his own experience on the Mount of Transfiguration in vindication of a Divine attestation of the Sonship; but he preferred to fall back upon the testimony of his revered master. Peter, James, and John were unprepared for what they saw and heard on that occasion; and Peter knew not what he said, so great was the awful wonder that fell upon him then. Here, however, is recorded a vision for which the mind of the great forerunner was prepared. He expected to see the Spirit of God in some manner blend his energy with that of the individual who would prove to be the Baptizer with the Holy Ghost.
(3) John does not discriminate the methods of the two communications, and from this narrative all that could be inferred positively is that the mind of John, by objective or subjective process, of which we know nothing, received the communication and the sacred impression.
(4) The synoptic narrative, prima facie, differs from this representation. At all events Luke 3:21, 22 speaks of "opened heavens," "the Holy Spirit in bodily form as a dove," and a voice addressed to the Lord, "Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased." This account is taken by Strauss as the key to the other three, and he urges that they must all be interpreted in harmony with it. But from the time of Origen, the exegesis of Matthew's account no less emphatically states (i.e. if with De Wette, Bleck, Baur, and Keim, we take ὁ Ιωάννης as the subject of εϊδεν) that John saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove and coming upon (Christ) him, and that the voice was addressed to John, "This is my beloved Son," etc. In Mark's account the εϊδεν and αὐτόν are susceptible of the same interpretation. It should be observed that Luke's narrative clearly implies that our Lord's baptism took place at some unspecified opportunity, and simply gives the summing up of the impression produced upon the mind of John. It is more reasonable to interpret Luke in harmony with the main conception of Matthew and John than to press the latter into forced harmony with the former.
(5) The great difficulty is the expression, σωματικῷ εἴδει. But surely the prophetic mind was accustomed to dwell in the midst of similar visual shapes of spiritual things. There was σωματικὸν εἴδος enough in the cherubim, olive trees, horses, armies, vials, and cities of the Apocalypse, and there were "voices" heard by Ezekiel, Hosea, Elijah, and by John himself which could be, were, and even must be, described in terms of physical facts, which no interpreters have ever felt compelled to transfer into the region of phenomena. There are still intensely vivid intuitions of spiritual fact which transcend all sensible or logical proof. If John saw and heard these things so far as his own consciousness was concerned, there is enough to account for every peculiarity of the narrative. He saw the Shechinah glory hovering over the Lord Jesus, officially consecrating a human personality. The dovelike (ὡς περιστερὰν) form and motion taken by the heavenly light reminded him of the brooding of the Spirit of God upon the primaeval waters. He looked into the face of the Holy One of God - majesty and meekness, Divine glory, human gentleness, a sanctity as of the holy place, a freedom as of the birds of heaven, force like that of the steeds of the rising sun, inward peace like the calm of a brooding dove, transfigured the Lord. This dovelike splendour abode upon him, passed into him; and the voice (the invincible conviction, the resistless consciousness that often can find no other expression than "Thus saith the Lord") was heard, "This is my beloved Son," etc. We cannot say what John saw; we know what he said; and it covered the consciousness of the most stupendous reality yet enacted on the earth. That which John had been taught to predict as approaching was now seen to have actually come about, he who baptizeth with the Holy Ghost has commenced his wondrous mission.
(6) The whole question as to the relation of the Holy Spirit and the Logos - the relation between the statement of ver. 13 and vers. 31-33 - demands special consideration. A few words here may suffice. Baur, Eichhorn, and others have urged that either the Λόγος and Πνεῦμα are identical, and that that which John means (vers. 1-14) by the Logos he afterwards resolves into the pneuma, or that this scene and these words are incompatible with the prologue. It is true that Philo and Justin ('Apol.,' 1:33) do use the two terms as practically identical. But John has recorded our Lord's own words as to the antithesis of the πνεῦμα and σάρξ (ch. 3.), declaring in his prologue that the Logos is the Source of all the life and light of men, and that the Logos came into the world and became flesh. Now, if John did not abide firmly in this thought, he would have represented incarnate God as undergoing the process of regeneration at his baptism, than which nothing would be more abhorrent to his entire theory of the Christ. The relations of the Logos and the Pneuma to each other and to the Father, metaphysically considered, are profoundly intricate, but the relations of Father, Word, and Holy Spirit to the Person of the Lord Jesus have been several times asserted by the apostles, and cannot be interchanged (see my 'John the Baptist,' lect. 5; Lucke, 'Comm. uber d. Evang. Joh.,' vol. 1. pp. 433-443)
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And John bare record,.... The same day that he said the above things, and at the same time:
saying, I saw the Spirit; that is, of God, as is said in Matthew 3:16 and which Nonnus here expresses; and the Ethiopic version reads, "the Holy Ghost",
descending from heaven like a dove; at the time of his baptism; see Gill on Matthew 3:16.
And it abode upon him; for some time; so long as that John had a full sight of it, and so was capable of giving a perfect account of it, and bearing a certain and distinct testimony to it.
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