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Hitchcock's Bible Names Dictionary

victory of the people

Smith's Bible Dictionary

(conqueror of the people), a Pharisee, a ruler of the Jews and a teacher of Israel, (John 3:1,10) whose secret visit to our Lord was the occasion of the discourse recorded only by St. John. In Nicodemus a noble candor and a simple love of truth shine out in the midst of hesitation and fear of man. He finally became a follower of Christ, and came with Joseph of Arimathaea to take down and embalm the body of Jesus.

ATS Bible Dictionary

A member of the Jewish Sanhedrin, at first a Pharisee, and afterwards a disciple of Jesus. He was early convinced that Christ came from God, but was not ready at once to rank himself among His followers. In John 3:1-20, he first appears as a timid inquirer after the truth, learning the great doctrines of regeneration and atonement. In John 7:45-52, we see him cautiously defending the Savior before the Sanhedrin. At last, in the trying scene of the crucifixion, he avowed himself a believer, and came with Joseph of Arimathea to pay the last duties to the body of Christ, which they took down from the cross, embalmed, and laid in the sepulchre, John 19:39.

Easton's Bible Dictionary
The people is victor, a Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin. He is first noticed as visiting Jesus by night (John 3:1-21) for the purpose of learning more of his doctrines, which our Lord then unfolded to him, giving prominence to the necessity of being "born again." He is next met with in the Sanhedrin (7:50-52), where he protested against the course they were taking in plotting against Christ. Once more he is mentioned as taking part in the preparation for the anointing and burial of the body of Christ (John 19:39). We hear nothing more of him. There can be little doubt that he became a true disciple.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

nik-o-de'-mus (Nikodemos): A Pharisee and a "ruler of the Jews," mentioned only by John. He

(1) interviewed Christ at Jerusalem and was taught by Him the doctrine of the New Birth (John 3:1-15),

(2) defended Him before the Sanhedrin (John 7:50-52), and

(3) assisted at His burial (John 19:39-42).

1. The Interview:

This meeting, which it has been surmised took place in the house of John (John 3:1-15), was one of the results of our Lord's ministry at Jerusalem during the first Passover (compare John 3:2 with John 2:23). Although Nicodemus had been thus won to believe in the divine nature of Christ's mission, his faith was yet very incomplete in that he believed Him to be inspired only after the fashion of the Old Testament prophets. To this faint-hearted faith corresponded his timidity of action, which displayed itself in his coming "by night," lest he should offend his colleagues in the Sanhedrin and the other hostile Jews (John 3:2). In answer to the veiled question which the words of Nicodemus implied, and to convince him of the inadequacy of mere intellectual belief, Christ proclaimed to him the necessity for a spiritual regeneration: "Except one be born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3). This was interpreted by Nicodemus only in its materialistic sense, and therefore caused him bewilderment and confusion (John 3:4). But Christ, as on another occasion when dealing with His questioners on a similar point of doctrine (compare John 6:52, 53), answered his perplexity only by repeating His previous statement (John 3:5). He then proceeded to give further explanation. The re-birth is not outward but inward, it is not of the body but of the soul (John 3:6). Just as God is the real agent in the birth of the body, so also is He the Creator of the New Spirit; and just as no one knoweth whence cometh the wind, or "whither it goeth," yet all can feel its effects who come under its influence, so is it with the rebirth. Only those who have experienced it as a change in themselves, wrought by the Divine Power, are qualified to judge either of its reality or of its effects (John 3:7, 8). But Nicodemus, since such experience had not yet been his, remained still unenlightened (John 3:9). Christ therefore condemned such blindness in one who yet professed to be a teacher of spiritual things (John 3:10), and emphasized the reality in His own life of those truths which He had been expounding (John 3:11). With this, Christ returned to the problem underlying the first statement of Nicodemus. If Nicodemus cannot believe in "earthly things," i.e. in the New Birth, which, though coming from above, is yet realized in this world, how can he hope to understand "heavenly things," i.e. the deeper mysteries of God's purpose in sending Christ into the world (John 3:12), of Christ's Divine sonship (John 3:13), of His relationship to the atonement and the salvation of man (John 3:14), and of how a living acceptance of and feeding upon Him is in itself Divine life (John 3:15; compare John 6:25-65)?

2. The Defense:

The above interview, though apparently fruitless at the time, was not without its effect upon Nicodemus. At the Feast of Tabernacles, when the Sanhedrin was enraged at Christ's proclamation of Himself as the "living water" (John 7:37, 38), Nicodemus was emboldened to stand up in His defense. Yet here also he showed his natural timidity. He made no personal testimony of his faith in Christ, but sought rather to defend Him on a point of Jewish law (John 7:50-52; compare Exodus 23:1 Deuteronomy 1:16, 17; Deuteronomy 17:6; Deuteronomy 19:15).

3. The Burial:

By this open act of reverence Nicodemus at last made public profession of his being of the following of Christ. His wealth enabled him to provide the "mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds," with which the body of Jesus was embalmed (John 19:39).

The Gospel of Nicodemus and other apocryphal works narrate that Nicodemus gave evidence in favor of Christ at the trial before Pilate, that he was deprived of office and banished from Jerusalem by the hostile Jews, and that he was baptized by Peter and John. His remains were said to have been found in a common grave along with those of Gamaliel and Stephen.

Nicodemus is a type of the "well-instructed and thoughtful Jew who looked for the consummation of national hope to follow in the line along which he had himself gone, as being a continuation and not a new beginning" (Westcott). The manner in which the Gospel narrative traces the overcoming of his natural timidity and reluctant faith is in itself a beautiful illustration of the working of the Spirit, of how belief in the Son of Man is in truth a new birth, and the entrance into eternal life.

C. M. Kerr



3530. Nikodemos -- Nicodemus, an Israelite
... Nicodemus, an Israelite. Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine Transliteration: Nikodemos
Phonetic Spelling: (nik-od'-ay-mos) Short Definition: Nicodemus Definition ...
// - 6k

The Gospel of Nicodemus.
The Gospel of Nicodemus. . The Gospel of Nicodemus. Unknown. Alexander
Walker, Esq. (Translator) Table of Contents. Title Page. ...
// gospel of nicodemus /

... VII. NICODEMUS. ... Nicodemus saith unto Him, How can a man be born when he is old?
can he enter a second time into his mother's womb, and be born? ...
/.../dods/the expositors bible the gospel of st john vol i/vii nicodemus.htm

Christ and Nicodemus.
... Chapter III. Christ and Nicodemus. This ... kingdom. (John 3:1) 1. There was a
man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. ...
/.../johnson/the new testament commentary vol iii john/christ and nicodemus.htm

Joseph and Nicodemus
... JOSEPH AND NICODEMUS. 'And ... Jesus; ... And there came also Nicodemus which
at the first came to Jesus by night.'"John 19:38, 39. ...
/.../expositions of holy scripture st john chaps xv to xxi/joseph and nicodemus.htm

... The DESIRE of AGES Chapter 17 Nicodemus. [This chapter is based on John 3:1-17.]
Nicodemus held a high position of trust in the Jewish nation. ...
// desire of ages/chapter 17 nicodemus.htm

And one Nicodemus, a Jew, Stood Before the Procurator...
The Gospel of Nicodemus. . ... Part I."The Acts of Pilate. First Greek Form. Chapter
5. And one Nicodemus, a Jew, stood before the procurator� ...
/.../unknown/the gospel of nicodemus /chapter 5 and one nicodemus.htm

And Having Summoned Nicodemus and the Twelve Men that Said He was ...
The Gospel of Nicodemus. . ... First Greek Form. Chapter 9. And having summoned
Nicodemus and the twelve men that said He was not born of� ...
/.../unknown/the gospel of nicodemus /chapter 9 and having summoned.htm

And Pilate, Calling Nicodemus and the Twelve Men who Said that He ...
The Gospel of Nicodemus. . ... Latin Form. Chapter 9. And Pilate, calling
Nicodemus and the twelve men who said that He was not born� ...
/.../unknown/the gospel of nicodemus /chapter 9 and pilate calling.htm

But one Nicodemus, a Jew, Stood Before the Governor...
The Gospel of Nicodemus. . ... Part I."The Acts of Pilate. Latin Form. Chapter
5. But one Nicodemus, a Jew, stood before the governor� ...
/.../unknown/the gospel of nicodemus /chapter 5 but one nicodemus.htm

And when Nicodemus had Thus Spoken, Another Hebrew Rose Up...
The Gospel of Nicodemus. . ... Second Greek Form. Chapter 6. And when
Nicodemus had thus spoken, another Hebrew rose up� ...
/.../unknown/the gospel of nicodemus /chapter 6 and when nicodemus.htm

Nicodemus (5 Occurrences)
... Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia. NICODEMUS. nik-o-de'-mus (Nikodemos): A
Pharisee and a "ruler of the Jews," mentioned only by John. ...
/n/nicodemus.htm - 14k

Nicode'mus (5 Occurrences)
Nicode'mus. Nicodemus, Nicode'mus. Nicolaitanes . ... John 3:1 And there was a man
of the Pharisees, Nicodemus his name, a ruler of the Jews, (See RSV). ...
/n/nicode'mus.htm - 7k

Aloes (5 Occurrences)
...Nicodemus brought it (pounded aloe-wood) to embalm the body of Christ (John 19:39);
but whether this was the same as that mentioned elsewhere is uncertain. ...
/a/aloes.htm - 12k

Earlier (48 Occurrences)
... forefathers) (WEY). John 7:50 Nicodemus (he who came to him by night, being
one of them) said to them, (See NIV). John 19:39 and Nicodemus...
/e/earlier.htm - 21k

Possible (133 Occurrences)
... (BBE). John 3:4 "How is it possible," Nicodemus asked, "for a man to be born when
he is old? ... (BBE). John 3:9 "How is all this possible?" asked Nicodemus. ...
/p/possible.htm - 36k

Myrrh (22 Occurrences)
... it is offered mingled with wine as an anesthetic to the suffering Redeemer, and
in John 19:39 a "mixture of myrrh and aloes" is brought by Nicodemus to embalm ...
/m/myrrh.htm - 18k

Pontius (4 Occurrences)
... In the so-called Gospel of Nicodemus, which belongs to the 4th or 5th century, we
find in the first part, called the Acts of Pilate, a long account of the ...
/p/pontius.htm - 36k

Pilate (60 Occurrences)
... In the so-called Gospel of Nicodemus, which belongs to the 4th or 5th century, we
find in the first part, called the Acts of Pilate, a long account of the ...
/p/pilate.htm - 53k

Visited (40 Occurrences)
... John 19:39 Nicodemus too--he who at first had visited Jesus by night--came bringing
a mixture of myrrh and aloes, in weight about seventy or eighty pounds. ...
/v/visited.htm - 18k

Nice (1 Occurrence)

/n/nice.htm - 7k

Bible Concordance
Nicodemus (5 Occurrences)

John 3:1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.

John 3:4 Nicodemus said to him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb, and be born?"

John 3:9 Nicodemus answered him, "How can these things be?"

John 7:50 Nicodemus (he who came to him by night, being one of them) said to them,

John 19:39 Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred Roman pounds.



Nicodemus: Becomes a Disciple of Jesus

Related Terms

Nicode'mus (5 Occurrences)

Aloes (5 Occurrences)

Earlier (48 Occurrences)

Possible (133 Occurrences)

Myrrh (22 Occurrences)

Pontius (4 Occurrences)

Pilate (60 Occurrences)

Visited (40 Occurrences)

Nice (1 Occurrence)

Jewish (49 Occurrences)



Galilee (73 Occurrences)

Womb (84 Occurrences)

Weight (143 Occurrences)

Wealthy (22 Occurrences)

Wealth (340 Occurrences)

Interposed (5 Occurrences)

Formerly (55 Occurrences)

Ruling (123 Occurrences)

Eighty (36 Occurrences)


Mixture (16 Occurrences)

Mother's (102 Occurrences)

Pound (13 Occurrences)

Pounds (16 Occurrences)

Baptismal (1 Occurrence)

Council (51 Occurrences)

Arimathaea (4 Occurrences)

Arimathea (4 Occurrences)

Seventy-five (12 Occurrences)

Mixed (96 Occurrences)

Jews (287 Occurrences)

Bearing (150 Occurrences)

Born (228 Occurrences)

Bringing (288 Occurrences)

Member (20 Occurrences)

Surely (587 Occurrences)

Rulers (310 Occurrences)

Paradise (6 Occurrences)

Joseph (248 Occurrences)

Regeneration (2 Occurrences)

Seventy (97 Occurrences)

Burial (25 Occurrences)

Named (428 Occurrences)

Roll (57 Occurrences)

Love (703 Occurrences)

Themselves (911 Occurrences)

Ruler (329 Occurrences)

Enter (372 Occurrences)


Doctrine (52 Occurrences)

Hundred (526 Occurrences)

According (7613 Occurrences)

Heaven (653 Occurrences)

Gospel (108 Occurrences)

Law (670 Occurrences)

Baptism (76 Occurrences)

Body (562 Occurrences)

Birth (357 Occurrences)

Pharisees (86 Occurrences)

Hebrews (24 Occurrences)

Messenger (235 Occurrences)

Jesus (10891 Occurrences)


Kingdom (409 Occurrences)

Christ (573 Occurrences)

God (45911 Occurrences)

Roman (26 Occurrences)

Tabeel (2 Occurrences)

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