John 1:5
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

King James Bible
And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

American Standard Version
And the light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness apprehended it not.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

English Revised Version
And the light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness apprehended it not.

Webster's Bible Translation
And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

Weymouth New Testament
The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overpowered it.

John 1:5 Parallel
Commentary
Vincent's Word Studies

Shineth (φαίσει)

Note the present tense, indicating not merely the present point of time, but that the light has gone forth continuously and without interruption from the beginning until now, and is still shining. Hence φαίνει, shineth, denoting the peculiar property of light under all circumstances, and not φωτίζει, lighteneth or illuminateth, as in John 1:9. The shining does not always illuminate. Compare 1 John 2:8.

In the darkness (ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ)

Σκοτία, darkness, is a word peculiar to later Greek, and used in the New Testament almost exclusively by John. It occurs once in Matthew 10:27, and once in Luke 12:3. The more common New Testament word is σκότος, from the same root, which appears in σκιά, shadow, and σκηνή, tent. Another word for darkness, ζόφος, occurs only in Peter and Jude (2 Peter 2:4, 2 Peter 2:17; Jde 1:6, Jde 1:13). See on 2 Peter 2:4. The two words are combined in the phrase blackness of darkness (2 Peter 2:17; Jde 1:13). In classical Greek σκότος, as distinguished from ζόφος, is the stronger term, denoting the condition of darkness as opposed to light in nature. Hence of death, of the condition before birth; of night. Ζόφος, which is mainly a poetical term, signifies gloom, half-darkness, nebulousness. Here the stronger word is used. The darkness of sin is deep. The moral condition which opposes itself to divine light is utterly dark. The very light that is in it is darkness. Its condition is the opposite of that happy state of humanity indicated in John 1:4, when the life was the light of men; it is a condition in which mankind has become the prey of falsehood, folly and sin. Compare 1 John 1:9-10. Romans 1:21, Romans 1:22.

Comprehended (κατέλαβεν)

Rev., apprehended. Wyc., took not it. See on Mark 9:18; see on Acts 4:13. Comprehended, in the sense of the A.V., understood, is inadmissible. This meaning would require the middle voice of the verb (see Acts 4:13; Acts 10:34; Acts 25:25). The Rev., apprehended, i.e., grasped or seized, gives the correct idea, which appears in John 12:35, "lest darkness come upon you," i.e., overtake and seize. The word is used in the sense of laying hold of so as to make one's own; hence, to take possession of. Used of obtaining the prize in the games (1 Corinthians 9:24); of attaining righteousness (Romans 9:30); of a demon taking possession of a man (Mark 9:18); of the day of the Lord overtaking one as a thief (1 Thessalonians 5:4). Applied to darkness, this idea includes that of eclipsing or overwhelming. Hence some render overcame (Westcott, Moulton). John's thought is, that in the struggle between light and darkness, light was victorious. The darkness did not appropriate the light and eclipse it. "The whole phrase is indeed a startling paradox. The light does not banish the darkness; the darkness does not overpower the light. Light and darkness coexist in the world side by side" (Westcott).

John 1:5 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

John 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

John 3:19,20 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light...

John 12:36-40 While you have light, believe in the light, that you may be the children of light. These things spoke Jesus, and departed...

Job 24:13-17 They are of those that rebel against the light; they know not the ways thereof, nor abide in the paths thereof...

Proverbs 1:22,29,30 How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge...

Romans 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind...

1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness to him: neither can he know them...

Cross References
Matthew 5:15
Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.

John 3:19
And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.

Acts 26:18
to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.'

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ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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