John 3:20
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.

New Living Translation
All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed.

English Standard Version
For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.

New American Standard Bible
"For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.

King James Bible
For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For everyone who practices wicked things hates the light and avoids it, so that his deeds may not be exposed.

International Standard Version
Everyone who practices wickedness hates the light and does not come to the light, so that his actions may not be exposed.

NET Bible
For everyone who does evil deeds hates the light and does not come to the light, so that their deeds will not be exposed.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
For everyone who does what is hateful, hates The Light and does not come to The Light, lest his works should be convicted.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
People who do what is wrong hate the light and don't come to the light. They don't want their actions to be exposed.

Jubilee Bible 2000
For every one that does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

King James 2000 Bible
For everyone that does evil hates the light, neither comes to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.

American King James Version
For every one that does evil hates the light, neither comes to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

American Standard Version
For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, and cometh not to the light, lest his works should be reproved.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For every one that doth evil hateth the light, and cometh not to the light, that his works may not be reproved.

Darby Bible Translation
For every one that does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light that his works may not be shewn as they are;

English Revised Version
For every one that doeth ill hateth the light, and cometh not to the light, lest his works should be reproved.

Webster's Bible Translation
For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

Weymouth New Testament
For every wrongdoer hates the light, and does not come to the light, for fear his actions should be exposed and condemned.

World English Bible
For everyone who does evil hates the light, and doesn't come to the light, lest his works would be exposed.

Young's Literal Translation
for every one who is doing wicked things hateth the light, and doth not come unto the light, that his works may not be detected;
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 20. - This verse expounds and supplies a further and causal explanation of the relation of conduct to character. For every one that praetiseth bad things (πράσσειν and ποιεῖν are contrasted, not only here, but in Romans 1:32; Romans 2:3; Romans 7:15, 19, 20. See Trench's 'Syn. N.T.,' p. 340). The first suggests the repeated acts of a man's conduct, his habits, his practice, and not unfrequently it has a bad sense attributed to it, while the second, ποιεῖν, refers to the full expression of an inward life, and is more appropriate to denote the higher deeds and grander principles). This practice of bad ways (φαῦλα) leads infallibly, by the just judgment of God, to a hatred of that which will reveal and confound the transgressor. Every one, etc., hateth the light (this shows that we cannot err in giving to μᾶλλον in ver. 19 the sense of potius), and the hardening process which is a judgment of God upon man, ever going on, becomes more conspicuous in this, that he cometh not to the light, in order that his works may not be convicted; i.e. lest his works should be revealed - shown to him and to others in their true light. The night time, during which so many evil things, base things, unclean things, are practised, was darkening down over Jerusalem when our Lord was speaking, and would give fateful emphasis to these solemn words. This love of darkness proceeded from a hatred of the revealing power of the light. This rejection of the only begotten Son of God proceeded from a long habit of sin, showing more emphatically than before the need of radical spiritual regeneration - a birth of water and of the Spirit. The rejection of the Christ's claim to cleanse the temple - a fact of which Nicodemus, as Sanhedrist, must have been fully aware - was a striking illustration of his great argument. The "dread of the light is both moral pride and moral effeminacy" (Meyer). (See parallel in Ephesians 5:11, 12.)

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

For every one that doth evil, hateth the light,.... Every man, the series of whose life and conversation is evil, hates Christ and his Gospel, cause they make manifest his evil deeds, convict him of them, and rebuke him for them:

neither cometh to the light; to hear Christ preach, or preached; to attend on the Gospel ministration and means of grace:

lest his deeds should be reproved; or discovered, and made manifest, and he be brought to shame, and laid under blame, and advised to part with them, which he cares not to do; see Ephesians 5:11.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

20. reproved—by detection.

John 3:20 Additional Commentaries
Context
For God So Loved
19"This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20"For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21"But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God."
Cross References
Job 24:16
In the dark, thieves break into houses, but by day they shut themselves in; they want nothing to do with the light.

Proverbs 2:13
who have left the straight paths to walk in dark ways,

Jeremiah 9:6
You live in the midst of deception; in their deceit they refuse to acknowledge me," declares the LORD.

John 3:21
But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

Ephesians 5:11
Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.

Ephesians 5:13
But everything exposed by the light becomes visible--and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.
Treasury of Scripture

For every one that does evil hates the light, neither comes to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

every.

John 7:7 The world cannot hate you; but me it hates, because I testify of …

1 Kings 22:8 And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, There is yet one man, …

Job 24:13-17 They are of those that rebel against the light; they know not the …

Psalm 50:17 Seeing you hate instruction, and casts my words behind you.

Proverbs 1:29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:

Proverbs 4:18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shines more …

Proverbs 5:12 And say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof;

Proverbs 15:12 A scorner loves not one that reproves him: neither will he go to the wise.

Amos 5:10,11 They hate him that rebukes in the gate, and they abhor him that speaks …

Luke 11:45 Then answered one of the lawyers, and said to him, Master, thus saying …

James 1:23-25 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like to …

reproved. or, discovered.

Ephesians 5:12,13 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of …

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