John 3:12
New International Version
I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?

New Living Translation
But if you don’t believe me when I tell you about earthly things, how can you possibly believe if I tell you about heavenly things?

English Standard Version
If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things?

Berean Study Bible
If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things?

Berean Literal Bible
If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?

New American Standard Bible
"If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?

New King James Version
If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?

King James Bible
If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?

Christian Standard Bible
If I have told you about earthly things and you don't believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things?

Contemporary English Version
If you don't believe when I talk to you about things on earth, how can you possibly believe if I talk to you about things in heaven?

Good News Translation
You do not believe me when I tell you about the things of this world; how will you ever believe me, then, when I tell you about the things of heaven?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
If I have told you about things that happen on earth and you don't believe, how will you believe if I tell you about things of heaven?

International Standard Version
If I have told you people about earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things?

NET Bible
If I have told you people about earthly things and you don't believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things?

New Heart English Bible
If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
If I have told all of you that which is in the earth and you are not believing, how shall you believe me if I tell you that which is in Heaven?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
If you don't believe me when I tell you about things on earth, how will you believe me when I tell you about things in heaven?

New American Standard 1977
“If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how shall you believe if I tell you heavenly things?

King James 2000 Bible
If I have told you earthly things, and you believe not, how shall you believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?

American King James Version
If I have told you earthly things, and you believe not, how shall you believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?

American Standard Version
If I told you earthly things and ye believe not, how shall ye believe if I tell you heavenly things?

Douay-Rheims Bible
If I have spoken to you earthly things, and you believe not; how will you believe, if I shall speak to you heavenly things?

Darby Bible Translation
If I have said the earthly things to you, and ye believe not, how, if I say the heavenly things to you, will ye believe?

English Revised Version
If I told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you heavenly things?

Webster's Bible Translation
If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how will ye believe if I tell you heavenly things?

Weymouth New Testament
If I have told you earthly things and none of you believe me, how will you believe me if I tell you of things in Heaven?

World English Bible
If I told you earthly things and you don't believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?

Young's Literal Translation
if the earthly things I said to you, and ye do not believe, how, if I shall say to you the heavenly things, will ye believe?
Study Bible
Jesus and Nicodemus
11Truly, 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. 12If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13No one has ascended into heaven except the One who descended from heaven—the Son of Man.…
Cross References
John 3:11
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.

John 3:13
No one has ascended into heaven except the One who descended from heaven--the Son of Man.

Treasury of Scripture

If I have told you earthly things, and you believe not, how shall you believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?

earthly.

John 3:3,5,8
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…

1 Corinthians 3:1,2
And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ…

Hebrews 5:11
Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.

heavenly.

John 3:13-17,31-36
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 1:1-14
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…

1 Corinthians 2:7-9
But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: …









Lexicon
If
Εἰ (Ei)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 1487: If. A primary particle of conditionality; if, whether, that, etc.

I have told
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.

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

earthly
ἐπίγεια (epigeia)
Adjective - Accusative Neuter Plural
Strong's Greek 1919: From epi and ge; worldly.

things
τὰ (ta)
Article - Accusative Neuter Plural
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

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

you do not believe,
πιστεύετε (pisteuete)
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 2nd Person Plural
Strong's Greek 4100: From pistis; to have faith, i.e. Credit; by implication, to entrust.

how
πῶς (pōs)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 4459: Adverb from the base of pou; an interrogative particle of manner; in what way?; also as exclamation, how much!

will you believe
πιστεύσετε (pisteusete)
Verb - Future Indicative Active - 2nd Person Plural
Strong's Greek 4100: From pistis; to have faith, i.e. Credit; by implication, to entrust.

if
ἐὰν (ean)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 1437: If. From ei and an; a conditional particle; in case that, provided, etc.

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

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

heavenly
ἐπουράνια (epourania)
Adjective - Accusative Neuter Plural
Strong's Greek 2032: From epi and ouranos; above the sky.

things?
τὰ (ta)
Article - Accusative Neuter Plural
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.
(12) Earthly things--i.e., things upon earth, having the sphere of their action upon earth. These are not necessarily restricted to the subjects of this interview. The context includes previous witness borne by Him, and there must have been much which is unrecorded. (Comp. John 2:23.) But the new birth is not excluded from "earthly things," because it is the entrance to a life which, while it is spiritual, is still a life upon earth.

Heavenly things, in the same way, are things which have the sphere of their action in heaven, the full development of the spiritual life, of which the birth only is on earth; the divine counsels of redemption; the Messianic mysteries, of which this ruler of Israel does not understand even the initiation. Comp. the question in the Wisdom of Solomon, "What man is he that can know the counsel of God? or who can think what the will of the Lord is? . . . And hardly do we guess aright at things that are upon earth, and with labour do we find the things that are before us: but the things that are in heaven who hath searched out?" (John 9:13; John 9:16).

The earthly things are the elements of spiritual knowledge, having their test in the moral sense and in their fitness to supply the spiritual wants of man. When these elements are learnt, the mind is then, and then only, fitted to receive heavenly things. The teaching can only proceed step by step from the known to the unknown; but if the will refuses or the intellect neglects to know the knowable, the man cuts himself off from the power to receive truth. The message from the spirit-world has come, and others read it; but he has not learnt the alphabet. (Comp. Note on John 16:12.)

Verse 12. - If I told you earthly things and ye believe not, how will ye believe if I tell you of heavenly things? Our Lord here drops the plural form of address, and returns to the singular. He is about to refer to matters in which the testimony of disciples was not available. It has sometimes been said that the "earthly" and "heavenly" things refer to the wind parable and its interpretation. But, on the supposition that there is a parable or metaphor in ver. 8, which we have seen reason to doubt, there would be no perplexity about the reception of the earthly illustration; none could in that day have made a moment's question touching the invisibility and incomprehensibility of the motion of the wind. The birth from water has been supposed by others to be the (ἐπίγειον) "earthly" thing of which he had spoken, as contrasted with the heavenly thing, the birth anew from the Spirit. But this also is improbable, for of all the things of which Jesus spoke, that was the least likely to have been rejected by the Pharisaic party. The "earthly things" are the subject matter of the discourse as a whole, in apprehending which Nicodemus manifested such obtuseness. The change, renovation of human nature, the new beginning "from the Spirit" of each human life, was indeed operated on the ground of an earthly experience, and came fairly within the compass of common appreciation. Though produced by the Spirit, these things were enacted on earth. When Nicodemus asks the question "how?" he launches the inquiry into another region. There is wide difference between the question "what?" and the question "how?" The one in physical science refers to the whole range of phenomena, and the answer states the facts as they present themselves to the senses; the other question inquires into what Bacon called the latens processus - into verae causae, into the movements and method of the creative hand. So the answer to the question "what?" may be an "earthly thing," the answer to the question "how?" a "heavenly thing." If Christ answer the "how" of his listener, he raises his mind to the "heavenly" and transcendental realities which Nicodemus and we too will have to receive on an authority which entirely outsoars that of daily experience or temporal phenomena. Truly he does proceed to do so, but the difficulty of acceptance is indefinitely augmented. The answer of Christ to the matters of personal experience, verifiable by conscience and affirmed by Scripture, was difficult to the master of Israel. The answer of Jesus to the question "how?" may prove far more formidable. It involves the revelation of "the Son of man," and the redemption by the cross, and the ascension of the Son of man into heaven, and the love of God to the world, and the gift of eternal life to faith.
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