John 1:51
New International Version
He then added, “Very truly I tell you, you will see ‘heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on’ the Son of Man.”

New Living Translation
Then he said, “I tell you the truth, you will all see heaven open and the angels of God going up and down on the Son of Man, the one who is the stairway between heaven and earth.”

English Standard Version
And he said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

Berean Study Bible
Then He declared, “Truly, truly, I tell you, you will all see heaven open and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

Berean Literal Bible
And He says to him, "Truly, truly, I say to all of you, you will see the heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man."

King James Bible
And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.

New King James Version
And He said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”

New American Standard Bible
And He said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

NASB 1995
And He said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see the heavens opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

NASB 1977
And He said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you shall see the heavens opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

Amplified Bible
Then He said to him, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man [the bridge between heaven and earth].”

Christian Standard Bible
Then he said, “Truly I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Then He said, “I assure you: You will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

American Standard Version
And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye shall see the heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
He said to him: “Timeless truth I speak to you all: From this hour you shall see Heaven being opened and the Angels of God as they ascend and descend unto The Son of Man.”

Contemporary English Version
I tell you for certain you will see heaven open and God's angels going up and coming down on the Son of Man."

Douay-Rheims Bible
And he saith to him: Amen, amen I say to you, you shall see the heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.

English Revised Version
And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye shall see the heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.

Good News Translation
And he said to them, "I am telling you the truth: you will see heaven open and God's angels going up and coming down on the Son of Man."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Jesus said to Nathanael, "I can guarantee this truth: You will see the sky open and God's angels going up and coming down to the Son of Man."

International Standard Version
Then he told him, "Truly, I tell all of you emphatically, you will see heaven standing open and the angels of God going up and coming down to the Son of Man."

Literal Standard Version
and He says to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, from now on you will see Heaven opened, and the messengers of God going up and coming down on the Son of Man.”

NET Bible
He continued, "I tell all of you the solemn truth--you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man."

New Heart English Bible
And he said to him, "Truly, truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man."

Weymouth New Testament
"I tell you all in most solemn truth," He added, "that you shall see Heaven opened wide, and God's angels going up, and coming down to the Son of Man."

World English Bible
He said to him, "Most certainly, I tell you, hereafter you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man."

Young's Literal Translation
and he saith to him, 'Verily, verily, I say to you, henceforth ye shall see the heaven opened, and the messengers of God going up and coming down upon the Son of Man.'

Additional Translations ...
Context
Jesus Calls Philip and Nathanael
50Jesus said to him, “Do you believe just because I told you I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.” 51Then He declared, “Truly, truly, I tell you, you will all see heaven open and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

Cross References
Genesis 28:12
And Jacob had a dream about a ladder that rested on the earth with its top reaching up to heaven, and God's angels were going up and down the ladder.

Ezekiel 1:1
In the thirtieth year, on the fifth day of the fourth month, while I was among the exiles by the River Kebar, the heavens opened and I saw visions of God.

Matthew 3:16
As soon as Jesus was baptized, He went up out of the water. Suddenly the heavens were opened, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and resting on Him.

Matthew 8:20
Jesus replied, "Foxes have dens and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head."

Luke 3:21
When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as He was praying, heaven was opened,

John 1:50
Jesus said to him, "Do you believe just because I told you I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these."

Acts 7:56
"Look," he said, "I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God."


Treasury of Scripture

And he said to him, Truly, truly, I say to you, Hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of man.

Verily.

John 3:3,5
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God…

John 5:19,24,25
Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise…

John 6:26,32,47,53
Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled…

Hereafter.

Ezekiel 1:1
Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.

Matthew 3:16
And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:

Mark 1:10
And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:

and the.

Genesis 28:12
And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.

Daniel 7:9,10
I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire…

Matthew 4:11
Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.

the Son.

John 3:13,14
And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven…

John 5:27
And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.

John 12:23,24
And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified…









(51) Verily, verily.--This is the first use of this formula of doubled words, which is not found in the New Testament outside St. John's Gospel. They are always spoken by our Lord, and connected with some deeper truth, to which they direct attention. They represent, in a reduplicated form, the Hebrew "Amen," which is common in the Old Testament as an adverb, and twice occurs doubled (Numbers 5:22; Nehemiah 8:6). In the Hebraic style of the Apocalypse the word is a proper name of "the faithful and true witness" (Revelation 3:14).,

I say unto you . . . ye shall see.--The earlier words have been addressed to Nathanael. The truth expressed in these holds for all disciples, and is spoken to all who were then present--to Andrew and John and Peter and James (John 1:41) and Philip, as well as to Nathanael.

Hereafter is omitted by several ancient authorities, including the Sinaitic and Vatican MSS., but there is early evidence for the insertion, and as the omission removes a difficulty in the interpretation, it is probably to be traced to this source. If retained, the better rendering is, henceforth, from this time onwards.

Heaven opened.--More exactly, the heaven opened, made and continuing open. The thought was familiar, for Psalmist and Prophet had uttered it to God in the prayers, "Bow Thy heavens, O Lord, and come down" (Psalm 144:5); "O that Thou wouldest rend the heavens, that Thou wouldest come down" (Isaiah 64:1). The Presence then before Nathanael was the answer to these longings of the soul. . . .

Verse 51. - And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you. The reduplicated Ἀμὴν occurs twenty-five times in John's Gospel, and is in this form peculiar to the Gospel, although in its single form it occurs fifty times in the three synoptists. The word is, strictly speaking, an adjective, meaning "firm," "trustworthy," corresponding with the substantive אמֶן, truth, and אָמְנָה and אֲמָנָה, confidence, the covenant (Nehemiah 10:1). The repetition of the word in an adverbial sense is found in Numbers 5:22 and Nehemiah 8:6. In Revelation 3:14 "Amen" is the name given to the Faithful Witness. The repetition of the word involves a powerful asseveration, made to overcome a rising doubt and meet a possible objection. The "I say unto you" takes, on the lips of Jesus, the place which "Thus saith the Lord" occupied on those of the ancient prophets. He speaks in the fulness of conscious authority, with the certain knowledge that he is therein making Divine revelation. He knows that he saith true; his word is truth. Verily, verily, I say unto you, [From henceforth] ye shall see the heaven that has been opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man. Notwithstanding the formidable superficial difficulty in the common reading, which declares that from the moment when the Lord spake, Nathanael should see what there is no other record that he ever literally saw; yet a deeper pondering of the passage shows the sublime spiritual sense in which those disciples who fully realized that they had been brought into blessed relationship with the "Son of man," saw also - that heaven, the abode of blessedness and righteousness, the throne of God, had been opened behind him and around him. The dream of Jacob is manifestly referred to - the union between heaven and earth, between God and man, which dawned like a vision of a better time upon the old patriarchal life. That which was the dream of a troubled night may now be the constant experience of the disciples of the Lord. The ascension of the angelic ministers is here said to precede their descent. This is due to the original form of the dream of Jacob, but must be supplemented by the Lord's own statement (John 3:13), "No one hath ascended into heaven, but he that descended out of heaven." The free access to the heart of the Father, and to the centre of all authority in heaven and earth, is due only to those who have come already thence, who belong to him, "who go and return as the appearance of a flash of lightning." They ascend with the desires of the Son of man; they descend with all the faculty needed for the fulfilment of those desires. He, "the Son of man," is now on earth to commence his ministry of reconciliation, and is thus now equipped with all the powers needed for its realization. The same truth is taught by our Lord, when he said (cf. notes on John 3:13) that "the Son of man is in heaven," even when he walked the earth. The angelic ministry attendant upon our Lord is so inconspicuous that it does not fulfil the notable description of this verse, nor fill out its suggestions. The miraculous energies, the Divine revelations, the consummate heavenliness of his life, the power which his personality supplied to see and believe in heaven - in heaven opened, heaven near, heaven accessible, heaven propitious, heaven lavish of love - answers to the meaning of the mighty words. Thoma ('Die Genesis des Johannes-Evan.') sees the Johannine interpretation of the angels who ministered to Jesus after the conclusion of his temptation. But why does he call himself "the Son of man," in sharp response to, or in comment, on, the ascription by John the Baptist and Nathanael of the greater title "Son of God" (see Matthew 8:20; Mark 2:28)?

(1) The phrase is one that our Lord currently used for himself, as especially descriptive of his position. It has been said that its origin must be looked for in the prophecies of Daniel (Daniel 7:13), where angelic powers are seen in loving lowly attendance on "one like to the Son of man," one whose human-hearted force contrasts with the "beast forces," the uncouth, sphynx-like blending of animal faculties which characterizes all the kingdoms and dynasties which the empire of the one like the Son of man would supersede. The term, "Son of man," is used repeatedly by Ezekiel for humanity set over against the Divine voice and power. There it corresponds with the Aramaic "Bar-Enosh," Son of man - a simple paraphrasis for "man" in his weakness, and often in his depression and sin. The 'Book of Henoch,' in numerous places, identifies "Son of man" with the Messiah (ch. 46. and 48.), but it cannot be clearly proved that the term was popularly current for the Messiah. Christ seems, in one place, to discriminate the two terms in popular expectation (Matthew 16:13, 16); and in Matthew 8:20 he discriminates his earthly ministry as that of Son of man, from the dispensation of the Holy Spirit, though the dispensation of his human life, and of his eternal Spirit, constitute that of the one Christ.

(2) Another very remarkable fact is that, though Jesus calls himself "the Son of man" no fewer than seventy times, the apostles never attribute the favourite expression to him. The only instances of its use by other than the Lord himself, is by the dying Stephen, who thus describes his power and exalted majesty (Acts 7:56), and John in the Apocalypse, who says the vision of the Lord was of one like unto the Son of man - a phrase clearly built upon the passage in Daniel 7.

(3) The Saviour did not throughout the Gospel of John proclaim himself openly to the people as the Christ, avoiding a term which was so miserably degraded from his own conception of it; but he used a multitude of expressions to denote the spiritual force and significance of the Messianic dignity. Thus he described himself" as he that came down from heaven;" as the "Bread of heaven;" as the "Light of the world;" as "the good Shepherd; .... I am he;" "that which I said from the beginning," etc.; and therefore, when he adopted the phrase, "the Son of man," he attributed to it very special powers and dignities. The word seems to involve the Man, the perfect Man, the ideal Man, the second Adam, the supreme Flower engrafted on the barren stock of humanity, the Representative of the whole of humankind. Chronologically, this must have been the primary revelation. Through humanity that was archetypal and perfect, answering God's idea of man, the thought of the race has risen to a conception of Divine sonship. But metaphysically, logically, he could only fulfil the functions of Son of man, of the Man, because he was essentially the Son of God. . . .

Parallel Commentaries ...


Greek
Then
καὶ (kai)
Conjunction
Strong's 2532: And, even, also, namely.

He declared,
λέγει (legei)
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's 3004: (a) I say, speak; I mean, mention, tell, (b) I call, name, especially in the pass., (c) I tell, command.

“Truly,
Ἀμὴν (Amēn)
Hebrew Word
Strong's 281: Of Hebrew origin; properly, firm, i.e. trustworthy; adverbially, surely.

truly,
ἀμὴν (amēn)
Hebrew Word
Strong's 281: Of Hebrew origin; properly, firm, i.e. trustworthy; adverbially, surely.

I tell
λέγω (legō)
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 1st Person Singular
Strong's 3004: (a) I say, speak; I mean, mention, tell, (b) I call, name, especially in the pass., (c) I tell, command.

you,
ὑμῖν (hymin)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Dative 2nd Person Plural
Strong's 4771: You. The person pronoun of the second person singular; thou.

you will see
ὄψεσθε (opsesthe)
Verb - Future Indicative Middle - 2nd Person Plural
Strong's 3708: Properly, to stare at, i.e. to discern clearly; by extension, to attend to; by Hebraism, to experience; passively, to appear.

heaven
οὐρανὸν (ouranon)
Noun - Accusative Masculine Singular
Strong's 3772: Perhaps from the same as oros; the sky; by extension, heaven; by implication, happiness, power, eternity; specially, the Gospel.

open
ἀνεῳγότα (aneōgota)
Verb - Perfect Participle Active - Accusative Masculine Singular
Strong's 455: To open. From ana and oigo; to open up.

and
καὶ (kai)
Conjunction
Strong's 2532: And, even, also, namely.

the
τοὺς (tous)
Article - Accusative Masculine Plural
Strong's 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

angels
ἀγγέλους (angelous)
Noun - Accusative Masculine Plural
Strong's 32: From aggello; a messenger; especially an 'angel'; by implication, a pastor.

of God
Θεοῦ (Theou)
Noun - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's 2316: A deity, especially the supreme Divinity; figuratively, a magistrate; by Hebraism, very.

ascending
ἀναβαίνοντας (anabainontas)
Verb - Present Participle Active - Accusative Masculine Plural
Strong's 305: To go up, mount, ascend; of things: I rise, spring up, come up. From ana and the base of basis; to go up.

and
καὶ (kai)
Conjunction
Strong's 2532: And, even, also, namely.

descending
καταβαίνοντας (katabainontas)
Verb - Present Participle Active - Accusative Masculine Plural
Strong's 2597: To go down, come down, either from the sky or from higher land, descend. From kata and the base of basis; to descend.

on
ἐπὶ (epi)
Preposition
Strong's 1909: On, to, against, on the basis of, at.

the
τὸν (ton)
Article - Accusative Masculine Singular
Strong's 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

Son
Υἱὸν (Huion)
Noun - Accusative Masculine Singular
Strong's 5207: A son, descendent. Apparently a primary word; a 'son', used very widely of immediate, remote or figuratively, kinship.

of Man.”
ἀνθρώπου (anthrōpou)
Noun - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's 444: A man, one of the human race. From aner and ops; man-faced, i.e. A human being.


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