John 17:3
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

New Living Translation
And this is the way to have eternal life--to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth.

English Standard Version
And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

New American Standard Bible
"This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

King James Bible
And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
This is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and the One You have sent--Jesus Christ.

International Standard Version
And this is eternal life: to know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent—Jesus the Messiah.

NET Bible
Now this is eternal life--that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you sent.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
“But these things are eternal life: 'They shall know you, for you alone are The God of Truth, and Yeshua The Messiah whom you have sent.' “

GOD'S WORD® Translation
This is eternal life: to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you sent.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

King James 2000 Bible
And this is life eternal, that they might know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

American King James Version
And this is life eternal, that they might know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

American Standard Version
And this is life eternal, that they should know thee the only true God, and him whom thou didst send, even Jesus Christ.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Now this is eternal life: That they may know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

Darby Bible Translation
And this is the eternal life, that they should know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.

English Revised Version
And this is life eternal, that they should know thee the only true God, and him whom thou didst send, even Jesus Christ.

Webster's Bible Translation
And this is life eternal, that they may know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.

Weymouth New Testament
And in this consists the Life of the Ages--in knowing Thee the only true God and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.

World English Bible
This is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and him whom you sent, Jesus Christ.

Young's Literal Translation
and this is the life age-during, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and him whom Thou didst send -- Jesus Christ;
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

17:1-5 Our Lord prayed as a man, and as the Mediator of his people; yet he spoke with majesty and authority, as one with and equal to the Father. Eternal life could not be given to believers, unless Christ, their Surety, both glorified the Father, and was glorified of him. This is the sinner's way to eternal life, and when this knowledge shall be made perfect, holiness and happiness will be fully enjoyed. The holiness and happiness of the redeemed, are especially that glory of Christ, and of his Father, which was the joy set before him, for which he endured the cross and despised the shame; this glory was the end of the sorrow of his soul, and in obtaining it he was fully satisfied. Thus we are taught that our glorifying God is needed as an evidence of our interest in Christ, through whom eternal life is God's free gift.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 3. - The life eternal, of which Jesus has just spoken, is this (cf. for construction, John 15:12; 1 John 3:11, 23; 1 John 5:3), that they might know - should come to know - thee, the only veritable God. All ideas of God which deviate from or fall short of "the Father" revealed to us by Christ, are not the veritable God, and the knowledge of them is not life eternal. The Father is here set forth as the fens Deitatis. This does not exclude "the Son," but is inconceivable without him. The Fatherhood expresses an eternal relation. The one element involves the ether as integral to itself: "I am in the Father, and the Father in me." There is a knowledge of the Father possible even now. "Henceforth, he has said, ye have seen him, and known him;" yet not till the veil is lifted, and we see face to face, shall we know as we are known (1 Corinthians 13:12; 1 John 3:2), shall we see him as he is. And him whom thou didst send, Jesus the Christ (not Jesus to be, or as Christ, but rather "Jesus the Christ," as the expansion and explanation of the more indefinite term, "him whom thou didst scud"). Why does our Lord add to this expression one that at first sight seems so incompatible with the idea of this prayer? It has led so careful and reverential a commentator as Westcott to remove the difficulty by supposing that the whole verse is a gloss of the evangelist, expressing the sense of what our Lord may have uttered at greater length. We are loath to admit this method of exegesis, especially as the sole reasons for it are the supposed strangeness of our Lord's here using a phrase so unaccustomed, and thus giving himself not only his Personal Name, but his own official title. It is unusual. The phrase does undoubtedly belong to a later period for its current and constant use. Yet it must not be forgotten

(1) that this is a unique moment in his career, and unique expressions may be anticipated;

(2) that it was calculated to strengthen his disciples, to allow them to hear once from his own lips the solemn claim to Messiahship (see Godet);

(3) that John himself at once adopted it as his own (Acts 3:6, 20; 1 John 1:3; 1 John 2:1, 22; 1 John 3:22; 1 John 4:2, 3; 1 John 5:1-20; Revelation 1:1, 2, 5); moreover,

(4) in 1 John 5:20 Jesus Christ is, himself lifted up into the region of the ἀληθίνος, and the apostle adds, "This is the true God, and eternal life" (Hengstenberg). It is from these very words that some critics imagine that the evangelist, rather than the Lord himself, framed the clause;

(5) yet it is quite as rational to suppose that the words uttered by Jesus dwelt like a strain of sacred music in the memory of the apostle. Moreover,

(6) the knowledge of the only true God is really conditioned by the knowledge of him who was indeed the great Revelation, Organ, and Effluence of the Father's glory. The fullness of this knowledge is the end of all Christian striving. Paul said, "I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus... and that I may know him" (Philippians 3:10). How much is there yet to know!

(7) Finally, as our Lord is rising more and more into the glory of an utter self-abandonment, and into the glory which he had with the Father from eternity, the human nature which he still inhabits becomes almost an appendage of his Divine Personality, and he might with awful significance, when referring to the object of human faith and knowledge, say, "Him whom thou hast sent - Jesus the Christ." Moreover, on any hypothesis of the composition or framing of an intercessory prayer for the Logos Christos to utter, there is an equal difficulty in the insertion into such prayer by St. John of this reference to himself as the Christ. The knowledge of the Father as the only true God, in opposition to the heathen traditions and philosophical speculations of the world, coupled with a corresponding knowledge of the only adequate expression of the Father's heart and nature, sent forth from him, as One promised, consecrated, and empowered to represent him, is life - ere half life.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And this is life eternal,.... That is, the beginning and pledge of it, the way unto it, and means of it, and what will certainly issue in it:

that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. The knowledge of God here spoken of, is not the knowledge of him by the light of nature, and works of creation; for a man may know God in this sense, and not know him in Christ, nor anything of Christ; yea, may know God and profess him in words, and in works deny him, as the Heathens did; nor is eternal life known hereby, nor connected with it: nor is it such a knowledge of God as is to be obtained by the law of Moses, in which God is represented as a righteous and incensed Being; nor is there in it any discovery of God, as a God of love, grace, and mercy in Christ; nor any revelation of a Mediator, Saviour and Redeemer; nor can it either show, or give to persons eternal life; and yet what is here said of the knowledge of God and Christ, the Jews say of the law (d),

"one man said to his friend, let us dash them against that wall and kill them, because they have left , "eternal life"; (the gloss upon it is, "the law";) and employ themselves in a temporary life, the gloss says of this world, which is merchandise.''

More truly does Philo the Jew say (e), that

"fleeing to the Divine Being, "is eternal life"; and running front him is death.''

But this is to be understood of an evangelic knowledge of God, as the God and Father of Christ, as the God of all grace, pardoning iniquity, transgression and sin, and of Christ Mediator; not a general, notional, and speculative knowledge; but a practical and experimental one; a knowledge of approbation and appropriation; a fiducial one, whereby a soul believes in Christ, and trusts in his blood, righteousness, and sacrifice for salvation; and which, though imperfect, is progressive. The Arians and Unitarians urge this text, against the true and proper deity of our Lord Jesus, and his equality with the Father, but without success; since the Father is called the only true God, in opposition to the many false gods of the Heathens, but not to the exclusion of the Son or Spirit; for Christ is also styled the one Lord, and only Lord God, but not to the exclusion of the Father; yea the true God and eternal life; was he not, he would never, as here, join himself with the only true God; and besides, eternal life is made to depend as much upon the knowledge of him, as of the Father. The reason of this different mode of expression, is owing to the character of Christ as Mediator, who is said to be sent by the only true God, about the business of man's salvation. Nor is it of any moment what the Jew (f) objects, that Jesus here confesses, that the true God is only one God; nor does he call himself God, only the Messiah sent by God; and that the Apostle Paul also asserts the unity of God, 1 Timothy 1:17; and therefore Jesus cannot be God: for Christ and his Father, the only true God, are one; and that he is the one true God with his Father, he tacitly suggests here by joining himself with him; and what the Apostle Paul says of the one and only wise God, may as well be understood of Christ, the Son of God, as of the Father; since all the characters in the text agree with him, and of him he had been speaking in the context.

(d) T. Bab. Taanith, fol. 21. 1.((e) De profugis, p. 461. (f) R. Isaac Chizzuk Emuna, par. 2. c. 55. p. 445.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

3. this is—that.

life eternal, that they might—may.

know, &c.—This life eternal, then, is not mere conscious and unending existence, but a life of acquaintance with God in Christ (Job 22:21).

thee, the only true God—the sole personal living God; in glorious contrast equally with heathen polytheism, philosophic naturalism, and mystic pantheism.

and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent—This is the only place where our Lord gives Himself this compound name, afterwards so current in apostolic preaching and writing. Here the terms are used in their strict signification—"Jesus," because He "saves His people from their sins"; "Christ," as anointed with the measureless fulness of the Holy Ghost for the exercise of His saving offices (see on [1874]Mt 1:16); "Whom Thou hast sent," in the plenitude of Divine Authority and Power, to save. "The very juxtaposition here of Jesus Christ with the Father is a proof, by implication, of our Lord's Godhead. The knowledge of God and a creature could not be eternal life, and such an association of the one with the other would be inconceivable" [Alford].

John 17:3 Additional Commentaries
Context
Prayer for the Son
2even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life. 3"This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. 4"I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.…
Cross References
Proverbs 8:35
For those who find me find life and receive favor from the LORD.

John 3:17
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

John 5:44
How can you believe since you accept glory from one another but do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?

John 17:8
For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me.

John 17:18
As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.

John 17:21
that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.

John 17:23
I in them and you in me--so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

John 17:25
"Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me.

Philippians 3:8
What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ

Philippians 3:10
I want to know Christ--yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,

Hebrews 3:1
Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest.

2 Peter 1:2
Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

2 Peter 1:3
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

2 Peter 1:8
For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 John 1:2
The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us.

1 John 1:3
We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.

1 John 2:23
No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.

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

And this is life eternal, that they might know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

this.

John 17:25 O righteous Father, the world has not known you: but I have known …

John 8:19,54,55 Then said they to him, Where is your Father? Jesus answered, You …

1 Chronicles 28:9 And you, Solomon my son, know you the God of your father, and serve …

Psalm 9:10 And they that know your name will put their trust in you: for you, …

Isaiah 53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: …

Jeremiah 9:23,24 Thus said the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither …

Jeremiah 31:33,34 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of …

Hosea 6:3 Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth …

1 Corinthians 15:34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge …

2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined …

2 Thessalonians 1:8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that …

Hebrews 8:11,12 And they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his …

1 John 4:6 We are of God: he that knows God hears us; he that is not of God …

1 John 5:11,20 And this is the record, that God has given to us eternal life, and …

the only.

John 14:9,10 Jesus said to him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet have …

2 Chronicles 15:3 Now for a long season Israel has been without the true God, and without …

Jeremiah 10:10 But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting …

1 Corinthians 8:4 As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered …

1 Thessalonians 1:9 For they themselves show of us what manner of entering in we had to you…

1 Timothy 6:15,16 Which in his times he shall show, who is the blessed and only Potentate, …

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

and Jesus.

John 3:17,34 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but …

John 5:36,37 But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which …

John 6:27-29,57 Labor not for the meat which perishes, but for that meat which endures …

John 7:29 But I know him: for I am from him, and he has sent me.

John 10:36 Say you of him, whom the Father has sanctified, and sent into the …

John 11:42 And I knew that you hear me always: but because of the people which …

John 12:49,50 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he …

John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will …

Isaiah 48:16 Come you near to me, hear you this; I have not spoken in secret from …

Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is on me; because the LORD has anointed …

Mark 9:37 Whoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receives me: …

Luke 9:48 And said to them, Whoever shall receive this child in my name receives …

1 John 4:14,15 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be …

1 John 5:11,12 And this is the record, that God has given to us eternal life, and …

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