John 3:34
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure.

King James Bible
For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.

American Standard Version
For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for he giveth not the Spirit by measure.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For he whom God hath sent, speaketh the words of God: for God doth not give the Spirit by measure.

English Revised Version
For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for he giveth not the Spirit by measure.

Webster's Bible Translation
For he whom God hath sent, speaketh the words of God: for to him God giveth not the Spirit by measure.

Weymouth New Testament
For He whom God has sent speaks God's words; for God does not give the Spirit with limitations."

John 3:34 Parallel
Vincent's Word Studies

The words (τὰ ῥήματα)

Not words, nor individual words, but the words - the complete message of God. See on Luke 1:37.

God giveth

The best texts omit God. Rev., He giveth. Rev., also, rightly, omits the italicized to Him. The personal object of the verb giveth is indefinite. Render, He giveth not the Spirit by measure.

In order to convey the full force of the terms giveth and by measure, it will be necessary to attempt an explanation of the general scope and meaning of this very difficult and much disputed passage. The starting point of the exposition must be John 3:30, the Baptist's noble resignation of his own position, and claims to Jesus: He must increase, but I must decrease. At this point the Evangelist, as we have seen, takes up the discourse. The Baptist's declaration that Jesus "must increase" - that He is a messenger of a transcendently higher character, and with a far larger and more significant message than his own - furnishes the Evangelist with a text. He will show why Jesus "must increase." He must increase because He comes from above, and is therefore supreme over all (John 3:31). This statement he repeats; defining from above (ἄνωθεν) by out of heaven (ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ), and emphasizing it by contrast with mere earthly witness (ὁ ἐκ τῆς γῆς) whose words bear the stamp of his earthly origin (ἐκ τῆς γῆς λαλεῖ). Being from heaven, He testifies of heavenly things, as an eye-and ear-witness. "What He hath seen and heard, of that he beareth witness." It is indeed true that men reject this testimony. "No man receiveth His witness" (John 3:32). None the less it is worthy of implicit credence as the testimony of God himself. He that has received that testimony has solemnly attested it as God's own witness; "hath set his seal to this, that God is true." To declare Jesus' testimony untrue is to declare God untrue (John 3:33). For He whom God hath sent utters the whole divine message (the words of God, John 3:34).

Thus far the reasoning is directed to the conclusion that Jesus ought to increase, and that His message ought to be received. He is God's own messenger out of heaven, and speaks God's own words.

The common explanation of the succeeding clause is that God bestows the Spirit upon Jesus in His fullness, "not by measure."

But this is to repeat what has already been more than implied. It would seem to be superfluous to say of one who comes out of heaven, who is supreme over all things, who bears witness of heavenly things which He has seen and heard, and who reveals the whole message of God to men - that God bestows upon Him the Spirit without measure.

Take up, then, the chain of thought from the first clause of John 3:34, and follow it on another line. The Messenger of God speaks the words of God, and thus shows himself worthy of credence, and shows this further, by dispensing the gift of the Spirit in full measure to His disciples. "He giveth not the Spirit by measure." This interpretation adds a new link to the chain of thought; a new reason why Jesus should increase, and His testimony be received; the reason, namely, that not only is He himself divinely endowed with the Spirit, but that He proves it by dispensing the Spirit in full measure.

Thus John 3:35 follows in natural sequence. This dispensing power which attests His claims, is His through the gift of the divine Father's love. "The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand." This latter phrase, into His hand, signifies not only possession, but the power of disposal. See Mark 9:31; Mark 14:41; Luke 23:46; Hebrews 10:31. God has given the Son all things to administer according to His own pleasure and rule. These two ideas of Christ's reception and bestowment of divine gifts are combined in Matthew 11:27. "All things are delivered unto me of my Father; and no man knoweth the Son but the Father, neither knoweth any man the Father save the Son, and He to whomsoever the Son may determine (βούληται) to reveal Him."

Therefore John the Baptist must decrease, and Jesus must increase. A measure of the Spirit was given to the Baptist, sufficient for his preparatory work, but the Baptist himself saw the Spirit descending in a bodily form upon the Son of God, and heard the voice from heaven, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." The Spirit is thus Christ's own. He dispenses, gives it (δίδωσιν), in its fullness. Hence Jesus said, later, of the Spirit of truth, "He shall glorify Me, for He shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine; therefore said I that He shall take of mine and shall show it unto you" (John 16:14, John 16:15).

John 3:34 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


John 7:16 Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.

John 8:26-28,40,47 I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true...

for God.

John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

John 1:16 And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.

John 5:26 For as the Father has life in himself; so has he given to the Son to have life in himself;

John 7:37-39 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come to me, and drink...

John 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceeds from the Father...

John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come to you...

Numbers 11:25 And the LORD came down in a cloud, and spoke to him, and took of the spirit that was on him, and gave it to the seventy elders...

2 Kings 2:9 And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said to Elisha, Ask what I shall do for you, before I be taken away from you...

Psalm 45:7 You love righteousness, and hate wickedness: therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellows.

Isaiah 11:2-5 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might...

Isaiah 59:21 As for me, this is my covenant with them, said the LORD; My spirit that is on you, and my words which I have put in your mouth...

Isaiah 62:1-3 For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest...

Romans 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.

Ephesians 3:8 To me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given...

Ephesians 4:7-13 But to every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ...

Colossians 1:19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell;

Colossians 2:9 For in him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.

Revelation 21:6 And he said to me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end...

Revelation 22:1,16,17 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb...

Cross References
Matthew 12:18
"Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.

Luke 4:18
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed,

John 3:17
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

Acts 1:2
until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen.

Acts 10:38
how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.

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