John 3:27
New International Version
To this John replied, "A person can receive only what is given them from heaven.

New Living Translation
John replied, “No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven.

English Standard Version
John answered, “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven.

Berean Study Bible
John replied, “A man can receive only what is given him from heaven.

Berean Literal Bible
John answered and said, "A man is able to receive not one thing if it is not given to him from heaven.

New American Standard Bible
John answered and said, "A man can receive nothing unless it has been given him from heaven.

King James Bible
John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.

Christian Standard Bible
John responded, "No one can receive anything unless it has been given to him from heaven.

Contemporary English Version
John replied: No one can do anything unless God in heaven allows it.

Good News Translation
John answered, "No one can have anything unless God gives it.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
John responded, "No one can receive a single thing unless it's given to him from heaven.

International Standard Version
John replied, "No one can receive anything unless it has been given to them from heaven.

NET Bible
John replied, "No one can receive anything unless it has been given to him from heaven.

New Heart English Bible
John answered, "No one can receive anything, unless it has been given to him from heaven.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Yohannan answered and said to them: “A man cannot receive anything of his own will unless it is given to him from Heaven.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
John answered, "People can't receive anything unless it has been given to them from heaven.

New American Standard 1977
John answered and said, “A man can receive nothing, unless it has been given him from heaven.

Jubilee Bible 2000
John answered and said, A man can receive nothing except it is given him from the heaven.

King James 2000 Bible
John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.

American King James Version
John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.

American Standard Version
John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it have been given him from heaven.

Douay-Rheims Bible
John answered, and said: A man cannot receive any thing, unless it be given him from heaven.

Darby Bible Translation
John answered and said, A man can receive nothing unless it be given him out of heaven.

English Revised Version
John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it have been given him from heaven.

Webster's Bible Translation
John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.

Weymouth New Testament
"A man cannot obtain anything," replied John, "unless it has been granted to him from Heaven.

World English Bible
John answered, "A man can receive nothing, unless it has been given him from heaven.

Young's Literal Translation
John answered and said, 'A man is not able to receive anything, if it may not have been given him from the heaven;
Study Bible
John's Testimony about Jesus
26So John’s disciples came to him and said, “Look, Rabbi, the One who was with you beyond the Jordan, the One you testified about—He is baptizing, and everyone is going to Him.” 27John replied, “A man can receive only what is given him from heaven. 28You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Christ, but am sent ahead of Him.’…
Cross References
John 6:65
Then Jesus said, "This is why I told you that no one can come to Me unless the Father has granted it to him."

John 10:41
Many came to Him and said, "Although John never performed a sign, everything he said about this man was true."

1 Corinthians 4:7
For who makes you so superior? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?

Hebrews 5:4
No one takes this honor upon himself; he must be called by God, just as Aaron was.

James 1:17
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, with whom there is no change or shifting shadow.

Treasury of Scripture

John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.

A man.

Numbers 16:9-11
Seemeth it but a small thing unto you, that the God of Israel hath separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to himself to do the service of the tabernacle of the LORD, and to stand before the congregation to minister unto them? …

Numbers 17:5
And it shall come to pass, that the man's rod, whom I shall choose, shall blossom: and I will make to cease from me the murmurings of the children of Israel, whereby they murmur against you.

1 Chronicles 28:4,5
Howbeit the LORD God of Israel chose me before all the house of my father to be king over Israel for ever: for he hath chosen Judah to be the ruler; and of the house of Judah, the house of my father; and among the sons of my father he liked me to make me king over all Israel: …

receive.

Hebrews 5:4,5
And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron…

from.

Matthew 21:25
The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him?

Mark 11:30,31
The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? answer me…







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

replied,
Ἀπεκρίθη (Apekrithē)
Verb - Aorist Indicative Passive - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 611: From apo and krino; to conclude for oneself, i.e. to respond; by Hebraism to begin to speak.

“A man
ἄνθρωπος (anthrōpos)
Noun - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 444: A man, one of the human race. From aner and ops; man-faced, i.e. A human being.

can
δύναται (dynatai)
Verb - Present Indicative Middle or Passive - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1410: (a) I am powerful, have (the) power, (b) I am able, I can. Of uncertain affinity; to be able or possible.

receive
λαμβάνειν (lambanein)
Verb - Present Infinitive Active
Strong's Greek 2983: (a) I receive, get, (b) I take, lay hold of.

only what
οὐδὲ (oude)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 3761: Neither, nor, not even, and not. From ou and de; not however, i.e. Neither, nor, not even.

is
(ē)
Verb - Present Subjunctive 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.

given
δεδομένον (dedomenon)
Verb - Perfect Participle Middle or Passive - Nominative Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 1325: To offer, give; I put, place. A prolonged form of a primary verb; to give.

him
αὐτῷ (autō)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Dative 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.

from
ἐκ (ek)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 1537: From out, out from among, from, suggesting from the interior outwards. A primary preposition denoting origin, from, out.

heaven.
οὐρανοῦ (ouranou)
Noun - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3772: Perhaps from the same as oros; the sky; by extension, heaven; by implication, happiness, power, eternity; specially, the Gospel.
(27) A man can receive nothing . . .--Do these words apply to the Baptist himself, or to Christ? Do they mean "I cannot assume this higher position which you wish to give me, because it is not given me by heaven;" or, "His work, with its influence over men, ought to convince you that His mission is divine "? Expositors have given, now this, now that answer. The immediate connection with John 3:26 points to the latter view as the correct one (but see Alford's Note on the other side). The power that had shown itself in word and work, teaching as none ever taught before, binding men--aye, some of their own brotherhood--to Himself, convincing men whose minds were open to the truth that He was the very Christ--all this could only have been received from heaven. Did they feel the movement around them? Let them recognise it as divine, and seek to be borne with it. (See Note on John 6:36.)

Verses 27-32. -

(2) The earthly and heavenly commission. Verse 27. - John answered and said, A man can receive nothing - neither office, function, faculty, nor life work, in the kingdom of God - except it has been given him from heaven. The raying is broad, general, comprehensive, sustaining. It is not the glorification of success, but an explanation of the ground of high service. All good service, all high faculty, all holy mission, all sacred duty, are assigned to us by Heaven. "No man taketh this honour unto himself, unless he be called of God." Commentators have ranged themselves into three groups as to the primary application of the words.

(1) Those who have limited the mental reference to John himself. "My function is, as I am about to explain, a subordinate one," "I have received that and nothing else from heaven." "I cannot make myself into the Bridegroom of the Church, or the Light of the world, or the Baptizer with the Holy Ghost." "I have received that only which is given and assigned to me by God." (So Bengel, Calvin, Hengstenberg, and at one time Godet.)

(2) Those who regard it as being a distinct reference to Christ, and as a vindication of Jesus from the complaint of John's own disciples. The high activity and present position of Jesus is declared by John to have been conferred on Christ "from heaven." He would not, could not, have taken it upon himself apart from the Divine order. (So Godet, Meyer, Watkins, Thorns.)

(3) Those who refer it to both "John and Jesus;" i.e. accept it as the general principle, applicable with equal force to them both. Intense man that he was. John felt justified in referring the entire function and mission of both the Christ and his forerunner to the will, predestination, and bestowment of Heaven. (So Wettstein, Lunge, Luthardt, Lucke, Westcott, Geikie, Moulton.) This is surely the most obvious and rational interpretation. Perhaps "heaven" is not exactly identical with "God," but may point to the whole of the providential circumstances, to the Divine resources, to the inheritance of effects from more remote antecedents in the Divine will; but it is difficult to press this distinction in all cases. 3:22-36 John was fully satisfied with the place and work assigned him; but Jesus came on a more important work. He also knew that Jesus would increase in honour and influence, for of his government and peace there would be no end, while he himself would be less followed. John knew that Jesus came from heaven as the Son of God, while he was a sinful, mortal man, who could only speak about the more plain subjects of religion. The words of Jesus were the words of God; he had the Spirit, not by measure, as the prophets, but in all fulness. Everlasting life could only be had by faith in Him, and might be thus obtained; whereas all those, who believe not in the Son of God, cannot partake of salvation, but the wrath of God for ever rests upon them.
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