John 3:10
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"You are Israel's teacher," said Jesus, "and do you not understand these things?

New Living Translation
Jesus replied, "You are a respected Jewish teacher, and yet you don't understand these things?

English Standard Version
Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things?

New American Standard Bible
Jesus answered and said to him, "Are you the teacher of Israel and do not understand these things?

King James Bible
Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
"Are you a teacher of Israel and don't know these things?" Jesus replied.

International Standard Version
Jesus answered him, "You're the teacher of Israel, and you can't understand this?

NET Bible
Jesus answered, "Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you don't understand these things?

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Yeshua answered and said to him: “You are the Teacher of Israel and you do not know these things?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Jesus told Nicodemus, "You're a well-known teacher of Israel. Can't you understand this?

Jubilee Bible 2000
Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a teacher of Israel and knowest not this?

King James 2000 Bible
Jesus answered and said unto him, Are you a Teacher of Israel, and know not these things?

American King James Version
Jesus answered and said to him, Are you a master of Israel, and know not these things?

American Standard Version
Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou the teacher of Israel, and understandest not these things?

Douay-Rheims Bible
Jesus answered, and said to him: Art thou a master in Israel, and knowest not these things?

Darby Bible Translation
Jesus answered and said to him, Thou art the teacher of Israel and knowest not these things!

English Revised Version
Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou the teacher of Israel, and understandest not these things?

Webster's Bible Translation
Jesus answered and said to him, Art thou a teacher of Israel, and knowest not these things?

Weymouth New Testament
"Are you," replied Jesus, "'the Teacher of Israel,' and yet do you not understand these things?

World English Bible
Jesus answered him, "Are you the teacher of Israel, and don't understand these things?

Young's Literal Translation
Jesus answered and said to him, 'Thou art the teacher of Israel -- and these things thou dost not know!
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

3:1-8 Nicodemus was afraid, or ashamed to be seen with Christ, therefore came in the night. When religion is out of fashion, there are many Nicodemites. But though he came by night, Jesus bid him welcome, and hereby taught us to encourage good beginnings, although weak. And though now he came by night, yet afterward he owned Christ publicly. He did not talk with Christ about state affairs, though he was a ruler, but about the concerns of his own soul and its salvation, and went at once to them. Our Saviour spoke of the necessity and nature of regeneration or the new birth, and at once directed Nicodemus to the source of holiness of the heart. Birth is the beginning of life; to be born again, is to begin to live anew, as those who have lived much amiss, or to little purpose. We must have a new nature, new principles, new affections, new aims. By our first birth we were corrupt, shapen in sin; therefore we must be made new creatures. No stronger expression could have been chosen to signify a great and most remarkable change of state and character. We must be entirely different from what we were before, as that which begins to be at any time, is not, and cannot be the same with that which was before. This new birth is from heaven, ch. 1:13, and its tendency is to heaven. It is a great change made in the heart of a sinner, by the power of the Holy Spirit. It means that something is done in us, and for us, which we cannot do for ourselves. Something is wrong, whereby such a life begins as shall last for ever. We cannot otherwise expect any benefit by Christ; it is necessary to our happiness here and hereafter. What Christ speak, Nicodemus misunderstood, as if there had been no other way of regenerating and new-moulding an immortal soul, than by new-framing the body. But he acknowledged his ignorance, which shows a desire to be better informed. It is then further explained by the Lord Jesus. He shows the Author of this blessed change. It is not wrought by any wisdom or power of our own, but by the power of the blessed Spirit. We are shapen in iniquity, which makes it necessary that our nature be changed. We are not to marvel at this; for, when we consider the holiness of God, the depravity of our nature, and the happiness set before us, we shall not think it strange that so much stress is laid upon this. The regenerating work of the Holy Spirit is compared to water. It is also probable that Christ had reference to the ordinance of baptism. Not that all those, and those only, that are baptized, are saved; but without that new birth which is wrought by the Spirit, and signified by baptism, none shall be subjects of the kingdom of heaven. The same word signifies both the wind and the Spirit. The wind bloweth where it listeth for us; God directs it. The Spirit sends his influences where, and when, on whom, and in what measure and degree, he pleases. Though the causes are hidden, the effects are plain, when the soul is brought to mourn for sin, and to breathe after Christ. Christ's stating of the doctrine and the necessity of regeneration, it should seem, made it not clearer to Nicodemus. Thus the things of the Spirit of God are foolishness to the natural man. Many think that cannot be proved, which they cannot believe. Christ's discourse of gospel truths, ver. 11-13, shows the folly of those who make these things strange unto them; and it recommends us to search them out. Jesus Christ is every way able to reveal the will of God to us; for he came down from heaven, and yet is in heaven. We have here a notice of Christ's two distinct natures in one person, so that while he is the Son of man, yet he is in heaven. God is the HE THAT IS, and heaven is the dwelling-place of his holiness. The knowledge of this must be from above, and can be received by faith alone. Jesus Christ came to save us by healing us, as the children of Israel, stung with fiery serpents, were cured and lived by looking up to the brazen serpent, Nu 21:6-9. In this observe the deadly and destructive nature of sin. Ask awakened consciences, ask damned sinners, they will tell you, that how charming soever the allurements of sin may be, at the last it bites like a serpent. See the powerful remedy against this fatal malady. Christ is plainly set forth to us in the gospel. He whom we offended is our Peace, and the way of applying for a cure is by believing. If any so far slight either their disease by sin, or the method of cure by Christ, as not to receive Christ upon his own terms, their ruin is upon their own heads. He has said, Look and be saved, look and live; lift up the eyes of your faith to Christ crucified. And until we have grace to do this, we shall not be cured, but still are wounded with the stings of Satan, and in a dying state. Jesus Christ came to save us by pardoning us, that we might not die by the sentence of the law. Here is gospel, good news indeed. Here is God's love in giving his Son for the world. God so loved the world; so really, so richly. Behold and wonder, that the great God should love such a worthless world! Here, also, is the great gospel duty, to believe in Jesus Christ. God having given him to be our Prophet, Priest, and King, we must give up ourselves to be ruled, and taught, and saved by him. And here is the great gospel benefit, that whoever believes in Christ, shall not perish, but shall have everlasting life. God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, and so saving it. It could not be saved, but through him; there is no salvation in any other. From all this is shown the happiness of true believers; he that believeth in Christ is not condemned. Though he has been a great sinner, yet he is not dealt with according to what his sins deserve. How great is the sin of unbelievers! God sent One to save us, that was dearest to himself; and shall he not be dearest to us? How great is the misery of unbelievers! they are condemned already; which speaks a certain condemnation; a present condemnation. The wrath of God now fastens upon them; and their own hearts condemn them. There is also a condemnation grounded on their former guilt; they are open to the law for all their sins; because they are not by faith interested in the gospel pardon. Unbelief is a sin against the remedy. It springs from the enmity of the heart of man to God, from love of sin in some form. Read also the doom of those that would not know Christ. Sinful works are works of darkness. The wicked world keep as far from this light as they can, lest their deeds should be reproved. Christ is hated, because sin is loved. If they had not hated saving knowledge, they would not sit down contentedly in condemning ignorance. On the other hand, renewed hearts bid this light welcome. A good man acts truly and sincerely in all he does. He desires to know what the will of God is, and to do it, though against his own worldly interest. A change in his whole character and conduct has taken place. The love of God is shed abroad in his heart by the Holy Ghost, and is become the commanding principle of his actions. So long as he continues under a load of unforgiven guilt, there can be little else than slavish fear of God; but when his doubts are done away, when he sees the righteous ground whereon this forgiveness is built, he rests on it as his own, and is united to God by unfeigned love. Our works are good when the will of God is the rule of them, and the glory of God the end of them; when they are done in his strength, and for his sake; to him, and not to men. Regeneration, or the new birth, is a subject to which the world is very averse; it is, however, the grand concern, in comparison with which every thing else is but trifling. What does it signify though we have food to eat in plenty, and variety of raiment to put on, if we are not born again? if after a few mornings and evenings spent in unthinking mirth, carnal pleasure, and riot, we die in our sins, and lie down in sorrow? What does it signify though we are well able to act our parts in life, in every other respect, if at last we hear from the Supreme Judge, Depart from me, I know you not, ye workers of iniquity?

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 10. - Jesus answered and said to him, Art thou the teacher of Israel, and perceivest thou not these things? The term "Israel" is used four times by John (John 1:31, 49; John 12:13; and here). In each place the high dignity, calling, and glory of the nation chosen for the loftiest privilege and destiny are involved. Notice the article, "the Israel" of God. The article before διδάσκαλος gives a high distinction to Nicodemus. Schottgen and Lucke suppose some special office to be here referred to, either the president of the Sanhedrin, or the hakim, or chakam, "the wise man," who sat on his left in the public sessions, or the "father of the house of judgment," who sat on his right; but it may simply mean the teacher of Israel, who has come to me in representative fashion, and who is reminded that he should have been more intimately acquainted with the teaching of his own sacred books (Farrar, 'Life of Christ,' p. 153). Without doubt, the fact of human corruption, and the power of the Spirit of God to renovate, to change utterly down to the very core and heart of human nature, is a great dogma of the Old Testament (cf. Deuteronomy 10:16; Deuteronomy 30:6; 1 Samuel 10:9, where God gave Saul another heart; 1 Samuel 16:13, the effect upon David; David's own prayer, Psalm 51:10; and the great promises of God by Ezekiel 11:19; Ezekiel 18:31; Ezekiel 36:26; Jeremiah 4:4; Jeremiah 31:33). Nicodemus, an illustrious man, a teacher of ethers, presumably acquainted with the teaching of the Scriptures, need not have been in such doubt and amazement at the searching words of Jesus.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Jesus answered and said unto him,.... Upbraiding him with his continued and invincible ignorance, which was aggravated by his dignified character:

art thou a master in Israel? or "of Israel", as all the Oriental versions render it, as it literally may be rendered he was one of the , "wise men", or "doctors of Israel" (r), so often mentioned by the Jews. One of the Jewish doctors was answered, by a boy, just in such language as is here used; who, not understanding the direction he gave him about the way into the city, said to him, , "art thou he, a doctor", or "master of Israel?" did not I say to thee so? &c. (s). He was not a common teacher; not a teacher of babes, nor a teacher in their synagogues, or in their "Midrashim", or divinity schools, but in their great sanhedrim; and the article before the word used will admit it to be rendered, "that master", doctor, or teacher; that famous, and most excellent one, who was talked of all over Jerusalem and Judea, as a surpassing one: and now, though he was not only an Israelite, with whom were the laws, statutes, judgments, and oracles of God, the writings of Moses, and the prophets; but a teacher of Israelites, and in the highest class of teachers, and of the greatest fame among them, yet was he ignorant of the first and most important things in religion:

and knowest not these things? which were so plainly to be suggested in the sacred writings, with which he was; or ought to have been conversant: for the same things Christ had been speaking of, are there expressed by a circumcision of the heart; by a birth, a nation's being born at once; by sanctification; by the grace of God signified under the metaphor of water; and by quickening persons, comparable to dry bones, through the wind blowing, and breathing into them, Deuteronomy 30:6.

(r) Derech Eretz, fol. 18. 1.((s) Echa Rabbati, fol. 44. 4.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

10. master—"teacher." The question clearly implies that the doctrine of regeneration is so far disclosed in the Old Testament that Nicodemus was culpable in being ignorant of it. Nor is it merely as something that should be experienced under the Gospel that the Old Testament holds it forth—as many distinguished critics allege, denying that there was any such thing as regeneration before Christ. For our Lord's proposition is universal, that no fallen man is or can be spiritual without a regenerating operation of the Holy Ghost, and the necessity of a spiritual obedience under whatever name, in opposition to mere mechanical services, is proclaimed throughout all the Old Testament.

John 3:10 Additional Commentaries
Context
Jesus and Nicodemus
9Nicodemus said to Him, "How can these things be?" 10Jesus answered and said to him, "Are you the teacher of Israel and do not understand these things? 11"Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know and testify of what we have seen, and you do not accept our testimony.…
Cross References
Luke 2:46
After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.

Luke 5:17
One day Jesus was teaching, and Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there. They had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick.

John 3:9
"How can this be?" Nicodemus asked.

Acts 5:34
But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, who was honored by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and ordered that the men be put outside for a little while.
Treasury of Scripture

Jesus answered and said to him, Are you a master of Israel, and know not these things?

Art.

Isaiah 9:16 For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are …

Isaiah 29:10-12 For the LORD has poured out on you the spirit of deep sleep, and …

Isaiah 56:10 His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb …

Jeremiah 8:8,9 How do you say, We are wise, and the law of the LORD is with us? …

Matthew 11:25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank you, O Father, Lord …

Matthew 15:14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind …

Matthew 22:29 Jesus answered and said to them, You do err, not knowing the scriptures, …

and knowest.

Deuteronomy 10:16 Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiff necked.

Deuteronomy 30:6 And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart, and the heart of …

1 Chronicles 29:19 And give to Solomon my son a perfect heart, to keep your commandments, …

Psalm 51:6,10 Behold, you desire truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part …

Psalm 73:1 Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart.

Isaiah 11:6-9 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie …

Isaiah 66:7-9 Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she …

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

Jeremiah 32:39,40 And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me …

Ezekiel 11:19 And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within …

Ezekiel 18:31,32 Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby you have transgressed; …

Ezekiel 36:25-27 Then will I sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean: …

Ezekiel 37:23,24 Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor …

Romans 2:28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, …

Philippians 3:3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and …

Colossians 2:11 In whom also you are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands…

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