John 1:15
New International Version
(John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, "This is the one I spoke about when I said, 'He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.'")

New Living Translation
John testified about him when he shouted to the crowds, "This is the one I was talking about when I said, 'Someone is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.'"

English Standard Version
(John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”)

Berean Study Bible
John testified concerning Him. He cried out, saying, “This is He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because He was before me.’”

Berean Literal Bible
John witnesses concerning Him, and he cried out, saying, "This was He of whom I was saying, 'The One coming after me has precedence over me, because He was before me.'"

New American Standard Bible
John testified about Him and cried out, saying, "This was He of whom I said, 'He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.'"

King James Bible
John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.

Christian Standard Bible
(John testified concerning him and exclaimed, “This was the one of whom I said, ‘The one coming after me ranks ahead of me, because he existed before me.’ ”)

Contemporary English Version
John spoke about him and shouted, "This is the one I told you would come! He is greater than I am, because he was alive before I was born."

Good News Translation
John spoke about him. He cried out, "This is the one I was talking about when I said, 'He comes after me, but he is greater than I am, because he existed before I was born.'"

Holman Christian Standard Bible
(John testified concerning Him and exclaimed," This was the One of whom I said, The One coming after me has surpassed me, because He existed before me.'")

International Standard Version
John told the truth about him when he cried out, "This is the person about whom I said, 'The one who comes after me ranks higher than me, because he existed before me.'"

NET Bible
John testified about him and shouted out, "This one was the one about whom I said, 'He who comes after me is greater than I am, because he existed before me.'"

New Heart English Bible
John testified about him and shouted out, saying, "This was the one of whom I said, 'He who comes after me has surpassed me, for he was before me.'"

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Yohannan bore witness of him and cried, saying, “This was he of whom I spoke: 'He that comes after me is preferred in honor before me, for he had priority over me.'

GOD'S WORD® Translation
(John declared the truth about him when he said loudly, "This is the person about whom I said, 'The one who comes after me was before me because he existed before I did.' ")

New American Standard 1977
John bore witness of Him, and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’”

Jubilee Bible 2000
John bore witness of him and cried, saying, This is he of whom I spoke, He that comes after me is preferred before me, for he was before me.

King James 2000 Bible
John bore witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spoke, He that comes after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.

American King James Version
John bore witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spoke, He that comes after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.

American Standard Version
John beareth witness of him, and crieth, saying, This was he of whom I said, He that cometh after me is become before me: for he was before me.

Douay-Rheims Bible
John beareth witness of him, and crieth out, saying: This was he of whom I spoke: He that shall come after me, is preferred before me: because he was before me.

Darby Bible Translation
(John bears witness of him, and he has cried, saying, This was he of whom I said, He that comes after me is preferred before me, for he was before me;)

English Revised Version
John beareth witness of him, and crieth, saying, This was he of whom I said, He that cometh after me is become before me: for he was before me.

Webster's Bible Translation
John testified concerning him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spoke, He that cometh after me, is preferred before me; for he was before me.

Weymouth New Testament
John gave testimony concerning Him and cried aloud, saying, "This is He of whom I said, 'He who is coming after me has been put before me,' for He was before me."

World English Bible
John testified about him. He cried out, saying, "This was he of whom I said, 'He who comes after me has surpassed me, for he was before me.'"

Young's Literal Translation
John doth testify concerning him, and hath cried, saying, 'This was he of whom I said, He who after me is coming, hath come before me, for he was before me;'
Study Bible
The Word Became Flesh
14The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15John testified concerning Him. He cried out, saying, “This is He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because He was before me.’” 16From His fullness we have all received grace upon grace.…
Cross References
Matthew 3:11
I baptize you with water for repentance, but after me will come One more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.

John 1:7
He came as a witness to testify about the Light, so that through him everyone might believe.

John 1:27
He is the One who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie."

John 1:30
This is He of whom I said, 'A man who comes after me has surpassed me because He was before me.'

John 5:33
You have sent to John and he has testified to the truth.

Treasury of Scripture

John bore witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spoke, He that comes after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.

bare.

John 1:7,8,29-34
The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe…

John 3:26-36
And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him…

John 5:33-36
Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth…

he was.

John 1:1,2,30
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…

John 8:58
Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

John 17:5
And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.







Lexicon
John
Ἰωάννης (Iōannēs)
Noun - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 2491: Of Hebrew origin; Joannes, the name of four Israelites.

testified
μαρτυρεῖ (martyrei)
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 3140: To witness, bear witness, give evidence, testify, give a good report. From martus; to be a witness, i.e. Testify.

concerning
περὶ (peri)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 4012: From the base of peran; properly, through, i.e. Around; figuratively with respect to; used in various applications, of place, cause or time.

Him.
αὐτοῦ (autou)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Genitive Masculine 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 846: He, she, it, they, them, same. From the particle au; the reflexive pronoun self, used of the third person, and of the other persons.

He cried out,
κέκραγεν (kekragen)
Verb - Perfect Indicative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 2896: To cry aloud, shriek. A primary verb; properly, to 'croak' or scream, i.e. to call aloud.

saying,
λέγων (legōn)
Verb - Present Participle Active - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3004: (a) I say, speak; I mean, mention, tell, (b) I call, name, especially in the pass., (c) I tell, command.

“This
Οὗτος (Houtos)
Demonstrative Pronoun - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3778: This; he, she, it.

is He
ἦν (ēn)
Verb - Imperfect Indicative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1510: I am, exist. The first person singular present indicative; a prolonged form of a primary and defective verb; I exist.

of whom
ὃν (hon)
Personal / Relative Pronoun - Accusative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3739: Who, which, what, that.

I said,
εἶπον (eipon)
Verb - Aorist Indicative Active - 1st Person Singular
Strong's Greek 2036: Answer, bid, bring word, command. A primary verb; to speak or say.

‘He who
(Ho)
Article - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

comes
ἐρχόμενος (erchomenos)
Verb - Present Participle Middle or Passive - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 2064: To come, go.

after
ὀπίσω (opisō)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 3694: Behind, after; back, backwards. From the same as opisthen with enclitic of direction; to the back, i.e. Aback.

me
μου (mou)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Genitive 1st Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1473: I, the first-person pronoun. A primary pronoun of the first person I.

has
γέγονεν (gegonen)
Verb - Perfect Indicative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1096: A prolongation and middle voice form of a primary verb; to cause to be, i.e. to become, used with great latitude.

surpassed
ἔμπροσθέν (emprosthen)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 1715: From en and pros; in front of (literally or figuratively) or time).

me
μου (mou)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Genitive 1st Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1473: I, the first-person pronoun. A primary pronoun of the first person I.

because
ὅτι (hoti)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 3754: Neuter of hostis as conjunction; demonstrative, that; causative, because.

He was
ἦν (ēn)
Verb - Imperfect Indicative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1510: I am, exist. The first person singular present indicative; a prolonged form of a primary and defective verb; I exist.

before
πρῶτός (prōtos)
Adjective - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 4413: First, before, principal, most important. Contracted superlative of pro; foremost.

me.��
μου (mou)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Genitive 1st Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1473: I, the first-person pronoun. A primary pronoun of the first person I.
(15) John bare witness of him, and cried.--Better, John beareth witness of him, and crieth. The latter verb is past in tense, but present in meaning. For the sense comp. Note on John 7:37. The writer thinks of the testimony as ever present, ever forceful. Twice on successive days had he heard them from the lips of the Baptist; three times within a few verses does he himself record them. (Comp. John 1:27; John 1:30.) They are among the words stamped on the heart in the crisis of life, and as fresh in the aged Apostle as they had been in the youthful inquirer. He remembers how he heard them, and from whom they came. That wondrous spiritual power in their midst which all men felt, whose witness men would have accepted had he declared that he was himself the Christ, uttered his witness then, and it holds good now. It is quoted here as closely bound up with the personal reminiscence of John 1:14, and with the thought of John 1:6-7.

Verse 15. -

(6) The testimony to this fact by the prophetic spirit. The evangelist, in support and vindication of the profound impression produced upon himself and others by the Christ, cites the startling and paradoxical testimony of the Baptist, which in John's own hearing the great forerunner had twice uttered, under very extraordinary circumstances (see vers. 26, 30). In the later verses this testimony is put in its proper place. Its repetition deepens the impression which the narrative gives of the vivid reality, and of the fact that the evangelist was trusting to a strongly impressed recollection, and is not romanticizing, as the Tubingen critics suppose. The sharp paradoxical form is thoroughly characteristic of the man who called on scribes and Pharisees to "repent," and spoke of God raising up seed to Abraham from the stones of the ground. From the synoptists we learn that John declared that the Coming One was "mightier" than himself, would deal with the Holy Ghost and with fire as he was able to do with water. He knew not the kind of manifestation which was coming on apace. But an enormous change passed over John the Baptist when he came into contact with our Lord, and at his baptism he sank abashed before the revelations which flashed on his soul. The enigmatical form of the Baptist's utterances was the beginning of the evangelist's faith in the personal pre-existence of the Logos who had become flesh in Christ. The testimony of the Baptist is here brought in, as the last great word of the prophetic ministry of the Old Testament, apart from the historic setting in which it afterwards occurs, as if, moreover, it was an abiding word which was yet sounding in the ears of men. The greatest of the sons of woman, and "more than a prophet," he who gathered up in his immense personality all the functions of prophet, priest, Nazarite, and master and teacher of men, the Elijah of the new revelation - John, the very ideal of Divine and supernatural voice in this world of ours, John, the veritable historic man, moreover, to whose disastrous martyrdom some of the Jews (Josephus, 'Ant.,' 18, 5, 2) referred the terrible judgments that befell their nation - John beareth witness. That was his function, and his testimony still stands, his "voice" is still heard wherever his great career is known or properly appreciated - in Palestine, in Alexandria, in Ephesus or Corinth. And he crieth (κέκραγεν); or, hath cried; and the cry is still heard among men: This was he of whom I spake; implying that John uttered words of strange enigmatical significance before he saw Jesus coming to his baptism, and that, as the evangelist subsequently shows, on two memorable occasions, the prophet recalled them and reaffirmed their truthfulness. Before I saw him, I said it: He that is coming after me hath become - hath been in mighty activity - before me. He came forth in many ways from the Father, and was the central reality of the old covenant; γέγονεν, he hath come in the voice of the Lord, in the Shechinah glory, in the Angel of the presence, chronologically "before me." The English Version has followed the traditionary interpretation from Chrysostom to Lucke, De Wette, Alford, McLellan, and has seen in this ἐμπροσθέν μου γέγονεν a reference to the higher rank or dignity of the Logos incarnate, and translated the second clause "is preferred before me," or "hath been made before me," etc. But such a statement would not have conveyed any thought of great importance. A herald is naturally exceeded and superseded by the dignity and rank of him for whom he prepares the way. Moreover, the two adverbs of place are used in metaphorical sense as adverbs of time (derived from the relative position of individuals in a line or procession), and it is scarcely probable that the second should be used in another sense altogether, which would have disturbed the antithesis between them. On the other hand, Hengstenberg, Meyer, Lange, Godet, etc., recognize the perception of the Baptist, and his utterance of belief in the pre-existence of the Christ, and that from such passages as Isaiah 6:1 and Malachi 3:1 he knew that he who was coming into the world, and about to baptize with the Holy Ghost and with fire, to take the fan in his hand, etc., had been in reality before him. The difficulty of this interpretation is said to be that the proof which follows - because, or for (πρῶτός μου ἤν), he was before me - would be tautologous in the extreme; the reason given for the Lord having become before him being simply the asseveration of the fact. But the two very remarkable expressions, ἐμπροσθέν μου γέγονεν and πρῶτός νου ἤν, are not identical. The first may easily refer to the historic precedence of the activity of the Coming One in all the operations of the Logos; the second may refer to the absolute and eternal precedence of the Logos in itself. If so, the whole significance of the previous fourteen verses is gathered up, and shown to have been flashed upon the consciousness of John the Baptist, and uttered with such intensity that the evangelist caught the idea, and saw in it the key to the whole mystery. It would seem, however, that the ὅτι πρῶτός did not form part of the original utterance of John. After the baptism, the whole truth had broken upon the Baptist, and he clenched or saw an explanation of the mystery. 1:15-18 As to the order of time and entrance on his work, Christ came after John, but in every other way he was before him. The expression clearly shows that Jesus had existence before he appeared on earth as man. All fulness dwells in him, from which alone fallen sinners have, and shall receive, by faith, all that renders them wise, strong, holy, useful, and happy. Our receivings by Christ are all summed up in this one word, grace; we have received even grace, a gift so great, so rich, so invaluable; the good will of God towards us, and the good work of God in us. The law of God is holy, just, and good; and we should make the proper use of it. But we cannot derive from it pardon, righteousness, or strength. It teaches us to adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour, but it cannot supply the place of that doctrine. As no mercy comes from God to sinners but through Jesus Christ, no man can come to the Father but by him; no man can know God, except as he is made known in the only begotten and beloved Son.
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