Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.
New Living Translation
No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us.
English Standard Version
No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.
Berean Study Bible
No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is Himself God and is at the Father’s side, has made Him known.
Berean Literal Bible
No one has ever yet seen God. The only begotten God, the One being in the bosom of the Father, He has made Him known.
King James Bible
No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
New King James Version
No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.
New American Standard Bible
No one has seen God at any time; God the only Son, who is in the arms of the Father, He has explained Him.
No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.
No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten God, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.
No one has seen God [His essence, His divine nature] at any time; the [One and] only begotten God [that is, the unique Son] who is in the intimate presence of the Father, He has explained Him [and interpreted and revealed the awesome wonder of the Father].
Christian Standard Bible
No one has ever seen God. The one and only Son, who is himself God and is at the Father’s side —he has revealed him.
Holman Christian Standard Bible
No one has ever seen God. The One and Only Son-- the One who is at the Father's side-- He has revealed Him.
American Standard Version
No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him .
Aramaic Bible in Plain English
No man has seen God at any time; The Only Begotten God Who is in the bosom of The Father, he has declared him.”
Contemporary English Version
No one has ever seen God. The only Son, who is truly God and is closest to the Father, has shown us what God is like.
No man hath seen God at any time: the only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
English Revised Version
No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
Good News Translation
No one has ever seen God. The only Son, who is the same as God and is at the Father's side, he has made him known.
GOD'S WORD® Translation
No one has ever seen God. God's only Son, the one who is closest to the Father's heart, has made him known.
International Standard Version
No one has ever seen God. The unique God, who is close to the Father's side, has revealed him.
Literal Standard Version
No one has ever seen God; the only begotten God who is on the bosom of the Father—He has expounded [Him].
No one has ever seen God. The only one, himself God, who is in closest fellowship with the Father, has made God known.
New Heart English Bible
No one has seen God at any time. The only Son, who is at the Father's side, has made him known.
Weymouth New Testament
No human eye has ever seen God: the only Son, who is in the Father's bosom--He has made Him known.
World English Bible
No one has seen God at any time. The one and only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has declared him.
Young's Literal Translation
God no one hath ever seen; the only begotten Son, who is on the bosom of the Father -- he did declare.
Additional Translations ...
ContextThe Word Became Flesh
…17For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is Himself God and is at the Father’s side, has made Him known. 19And this was John’s testimony when the Jews of Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him, “Who are you?”…
and they saw the God of Israel. Under His feet was a work like a pavement made of sapphire, as clear as the sky itself.
But He added, "You cannot see My face, for no one can see Me and live."
Then I will take My hand away, and you will see My back; but My face must not be seen."
One day the beggar died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's side. And the rich man also died and was buried.
Truly, truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, and yet you people do not accept our testimony.
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that everyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.
not that anyone has seen the Father except the One who is from God; only He has seen the Father.
One of His disciples, the one whom Jesus loved, was reclining at His side.
2 Corinthians 4:4
The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
1 Timothy 6:16
He alone is immortal and dwells in unapproachable light. No one has ever seen Him, nor can anyone see Him. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.
1 John 4:9
This is how God's love was revealed among us: God sent His one and only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him.
1 John 4:12
No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God remains in us, and His love is perfected in us.
1 John 5:20
And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true--in His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.
Treasury of Scripture
No man has seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he has declared him.
John 6:46 Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father.
Exodus 33:20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.
Deuteronomy 4:12 And the LORD spake unto you out of the midst of the fire: ye heard the voice of the words, but saw no similitude; only ye heard a voice.
John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
John 3:16-18 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life…
1 John 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
John 13:23 Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.
Proverbs 8:30 Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him;
Isaiah 40:11 He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.
John 12:41 These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him.
John 14:9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
John 17:6,26 I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word…
No man hath seen God at any time.--The full knowledge of truth is one with the revelation of God, but no man has ever had this full knowledge. The primary reference is still to Moses (comp. Exodus 33:20; Exodus 33:23), but the words hold good of every attempt to bridge from the human stand-point the gulf between man and God. "The world by wisdom knew not God" (1Corinthians 1:21), and systems which have resulted from attempts of the finite to grasp the Infinite are but as the vision of a dream or the wild fancy of a wandering mind.
The only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father.--The oneness of essence and of existence is made prominent by a natural figure, as necessary in Him who is to reveal the nature of God. The "is in" is probably to be explained of the return to, and presence with the Father after the Ascension.
Some of the oldest MSS. and other authorities read here, "Only begotten God, which is in the bosom of the Father." It will be convenient to group together the passages of this Gospel, where there are important various readings in one Note. See Excursus B. Some Variations in the Text of St. John's Gospel.
B. Some Variations in the Text of St. John's Gospel.
He hath declared him.--"He," emphatically as distinct from all others, this being the chief office of the Word; declared, rather than "hath declared;" "Him" is not found in the original text, which means "He was interpreter," "He was expositor." The word was used technically of the interpretation of sacred rites and laws handed down by tradition. Plato, e.g., uses it of the Delphian Apollo, who is the "national expositor" (Rep. iv. 427). The verse is connected, by a likeness of Greek words too striking to be accidental, with the question of Jesus the son of Sirach asked some three centuries before, "Who hath seen Him that he might tell us?" (Ecclesiasticus 43:31). The answer to every such question, dimly thought or clearly asked, is that no man hath ever so known God as to be His interpreter; that the human conception of God as "terrible" and "great" and "marvellous" (Ecclesiasticus 43:29) is not that of His essential character; that the true conception is that of the loving Father in whose bosom is the only Son, and that this Son is the only true Word uttering to man the will and character and being of God.
Verse 18. - No one hath ever yet seen God. Many visions, theophanies, appearances, angelic splendours, in the desert, on the mountain, in the temple, by the river of Chebar, had been granted to the prophets of the Lord; but they have all fallen short of the direct intuition of God as God. Abraham, Israel, Moses, Manoah, David, Isaiah, Ezekiel, saw visions, local manifestations, anticipations of the Incarnation; but the apostle here takes the Lord's own word for it (John 5:37), and he elsewhere repeats it (1 John 4:12). These were but forerunners of the ultimate manifestation of the Logos. "The Glory of the Lord," "the Angel of the Lord," "the Word of the Lord," were not so revealed to patriarchs that they saw God as God. They saw him in the form of light, or of spiritual agency, or of human ministries; but in the deepest sense we must still wait for the purity of heart which will reveal to our weakened faculties the beatific vision. The only begotten Son - or, (God only begotten) - who is in (or, on) the bosom of the Father, he interpreted (him); became the satisfying Exposition, the Declarer, drawing forth from the depths of God all that it is possible that we shall see, know, or realize. This lofty assertion is augmented by the sublime intensification of the earlier phrase, "with God (πρὸς τὸν Θεόν)," by (εἰς τὸν κόλπον), "in or on the bosom of the Father;" i.e. in most intimate and loving fellowship with the Father as the only begotten. The relations of fatherhood and sonship within the substance of the Godhead give new life, warmth, realization, to the vaster, colder, more metaphysical, metaphenomenal relations of Θεός and Λογός (cf. here Proverbs 8:30). Bengel here says, "In lumbis esse dicuntur qui nascentur homines, in sinu sunt qui nati sunt. In sinu Patris erat Filius, quia nunquam non-natus." In view of the contention of Meyer that the language here refers to no age long, eternal indwelling of the Logos with, or of the Son (God only begotten) on the bosom of, the Father, but to the exaltation of the Christ after his ascension, we can only refer to the present tense (ὁ ω}ν), which from the standpoint of the prologue does not transfer itself to the historical standpoint of the writer at the end of the first century. Lange thinks that the whole of this wonderful utterance is attributed by the evangelist to the Baptist; but the standing of the Baptist, lofty as it is in John's Gospel, after the Baptist came into brief fellowship with the One who was before him, certainly falls short of this insight into his eternal Being. John the beloved disciple could thus speak of the revelation and interpretation of God which was made in the life, words, and death of the Only Begotten, from whose fulness he had received "grace for grace;" but in this verse he is speaking of the timeless condition, the eternal fellowship, of the Only Begotten with the Father, as justifying the fulness of the revelation made in his incarnation. The prologue forms a key to the entire Gospel. It may have been written after the record of the central principles involved in the life work of Jesus had been completed. Every statement in it may be seen to be derived from the recorded words or acts of the Lord, the revelation of the Father in time, the unveiling of the eternal heart of him who made all things, and by one competent to speak of both eternities. The writer of the prologue speaks of himself as one of a group or society who had had ocular evidence of the perfection and glory of the manifestation. This fellowship of men had found themselves children of God, and in the possession of a life, a light, and a hope which were derived entirely from Jesus Christ, who is undoubtedly in a unique sense declared (though not formally defined) to be "the Word made flesh." In the subsequent narrative we find a graduated series of instructions on the powers of Christ and the opposition of the world to his self-manifestation. Thus (ch. 1.) the testimony of the Baptist (made after his contact with Christ) to the Person and work of the Lord attributes to him, on prophetic authority, most stupendous functions - those of baptizing with the Holy Spirit, and taking away the sin of the world. He does himself reveal the way to the Father. He is hailed as the "Christ," the "King of Israel," and as the link between heaven and earth, between the invisible and visible, the Divine and the human (John 1:51). In ch. 2, with all its other suggestiveness, Christ displays his creative power, and (cf. ch. 6.) his relation to the world of things, as well as his organic relation to the old covenant. In ch. 2 his "body" is the "temple" of God, where his Father dwelt, thus justifying the ἐσκήνωσεν of ver. 14. The pre-existence of Christ as a self-conscious personality in the very substance of Deity is asserted by himself in John 6:62; John 8:58; John 17:5, 24. The fact that he is the Source of all life (John 1:3), is involved in the teaching of the Gospel from end to end. Eternal life is ministered through him, to believers (John 3:16, etc., John 3:36). He claims to have life in himself (John 5:26). He is the "Bread of life" for starving humanity (John 6:35, 48). The words that he speaks are spirit and life (John 6:63). In John 8:12 the φῶς τῆς ζωῆς links the idea of life and light as they are shown to cohere in the prologue. In John 14:6 he declares himself to be "the Truth and the Life," thus sustaining the great generalization. By raising Lazarus he is portrayed as the Restorer of forfeited life, as well as the original Giver of life to men (John 11:25). The ninth chapter records the symbolic event by which he proved himself to be the Sun of the spiritual universe, "the Light of the world" (cf. John 1:4 with John 8:12; cf. John 12:36, 46). The whole history of the conflict with the people whom he came to save, with "his own," with the world power, and the death doom, is the material which is generalized in the solemn statements of John 1:5-10. The prologue says nothing in express words of Christ's supernatural conception, of his death, or of his resurrection and eternal glory; yet these objective facts are woven through, and involved in, the entire context, for the incarnation of the Eternal Word is the historic basis of the apostle's experience of such a life as that which he proceeds to sketch. The absolute antagonism of the darkness to the light, and the rejection of the light and life by the world, never had such exposition as that which the repudiation and crucifixion of the Son of God gave to them; while the eternal nature of the central life and being of him who, when incarnate, was thus resisted by unbelief renders the resurrection and ultimate and eternal glory a necessity of thought even to these who have not yet seen, but yet have believed.