John 3:8
New International Version
The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."

New Living Translation
The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.”

English Standard Version
The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Berean Study Bible
The wind blows where it wishes. You hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

Berean Literal Bible
The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know from where it comes and where it goes. Thus is everyone having been born of the Spirit."

New American Standard Bible
"The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit."

New King James Version
The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

King James Bible
The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

Christian Standard Bible
The wind blows where it pleases, and you hear its sound, but you don't know where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."

Contemporary English Version
Only God's Spirit gives new life. The Spirit is like the wind that blows wherever it wants to. You can hear the wind, but you don't know where it comes from or where it is going.

Good News Translation
The wind blows wherever it wishes; you hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it is going. It is like that with everyone who is born of the Spirit."

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The wind blows where it pleases, and you hear its sound, but you don't know where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.""

International Standard Version
The wind blows where it wants to. You hear its sound, but you don't know where it comes from or where it is going. That's the way it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit."

NET Bible
The wind blows wherever it will, and you hear the sound it makes, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit."

New Heart English Bible
The wind blows where it wants to, and you hear its sound, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit."

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
The Spirit breathes where he will, and you hear his voice, but you do not know from where he comes and where he goes; thus is everyone who is born from The Spirit.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you don't know where the wind comes from or where it's going. That's the way it is with everyone born of the Spirit."

New American Standard 1977
“The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

King James 2000 Bible
The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound thereof, but can not tell from where it came, and where it goes: so is everyone that is born of the Spirit.

American King James Version
The wind blows where it wants, and you hear the sound thereof, but can not tell from where it comes, and where it goes: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

American Standard Version
The wind bloweth where it will, and thou hearest the voice thereof, but knowest not whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

Douay-Rheims Bible
The Spirit breatheth where he will; and thou hearest his voice, but thou knowest not whence he cometh, and whither he goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

Darby Bible Translation
The wind blows where it will, and thou hearest its voice, but knowest not whence it comes and where it goes: thus is every one that is born of the Spirit.

English Revised Version
The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the voice thereof, but knowest not whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

Webster's Bible Translation
The wind bloweth where it will, and thou hearest the sound of it, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

Weymouth New Testament
The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it is going. So is it with every one who has been born of the Spirit."

World English Bible
The wind blows where it wants to, and you hear its sound, but don't know where it comes from and where it is going. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit."

Young's Literal Translation
the Spirit where he willeth doth blow, and his voice thou dost hear, but thou hast not known whence he cometh, and whither he goeth; thus is every one who hath been born of the Spirit.'
Study Bible
Jesus and Nicodemus
7Do not be amazed that I said, ‘You must be born again.’ 8The wind blows where it wishes. You hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” 9“How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.…
Cross References
Psalm 135:7
He causes the clouds to rise from the ends of the earth. He sends lightning with the rain and brings the wind from His storehouses.

Ecclesiastes 1:6
Blowing southward, then turning northward, round and round the wind swirls, ever returning on its course.

Ecclesiastes 11:5
As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the bones are formed in a mother's womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.

Ezekiel 37:9
Then He said to me, "Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and tell it that this is what the Lord GOD says: 'Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, so that they may live!'"

John 3:7
Do not be amazed that I said, 'You must be born again.'

John 3:9
"How can this be?" Nicodemus asked.

Treasury of Scripture

The wind blows where it wants, and you hear the sound thereof, but can not tell from where it comes, and where it goes: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

wind.

Job 37:10-13,16,17,21-23
By the breath of God frost is given: and the breadth of the waters is straitened…

Psalm 107:25,29
For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof…

Ecclesiastes 11:4,5
He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap…

so.

John 1:13
Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Isaiah 55:9-13
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts…

Mark 4:26-29
And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; …









Lexicon
The
τὸ (to)
Article - Nominative Neuter 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.

wind
πνεῦμα (pneuma)
Noun - Nominative Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 4151: Wind, breath, spirit.

blows
πνεῖ (pnei)
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 4154: To blow, breathe, as the wind. A primary word; to breathe hard, i.e. Breeze.

where
ὅπου (hopou)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 3699: Where, whither, in what place. From hos and pou; what(-ever) where, i.e. At whichever spot.

it wishes.
θέλει (thelei)
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 2309: To will, wish, desire, be willing, intend, design.

You hear
ἀκούεις (akoueis)
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 2nd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 191: To hear, listen, comprehend by hearing; pass: is heard, reported. A primary verb; to hear.

its
αὐτοῦ (autou)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Genitive Neuter 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.

sound,
φωνὴν (phōnēn)
Noun - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 5456: Probably akin to phaino through the idea of disclosure; a tone; by implication, an address, saying or language.

but
ἀλλ’ (all’)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 235: But, except, however. Neuter plural of allos; properly, other things, i.e. contrariwise.

you do not know
οἶδας (oidas)
Verb - Perfect Indicative Active - 2nd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1492: To know, remember, appreciate.

where
πόθεν (pothen)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 4159: From the base of posis with enclitic adverb of origin; from which or what place, state, source or cause.

it comes {from}
ἔρχεται (erchetai)
Verb - Present Indicative Middle or Passive - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 2064: To come, go.

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

where
ποῦ (pou)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 4226: Genitive case of an interrogative pronoun pos otherwise obsolete; as adverb of place; at what locality.

it is going.
ὑπάγει (hypagei)
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 5217: To go away, depart, begone, die. From hupo and ago; to lead under, i.e. Withdraw or retire, literally or figuratively.

So
οὕτως (houtōs)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 3779: Thus, so, in this manner. Or (referring to what precedes or follows).

it is
ἐστὶν (estin)
Verb - Present 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.

with everyone
πᾶς (pas)
Adjective - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3956: All, the whole, every kind of. Including all the forms of declension; apparently a primary word; all, any, every, the whole.

born
γεγεννημένος (gegennēmenos)
Verb - Perfect Participle Middle or Passive - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 1080: From a variation of genos; to procreate; figuratively, to regenerate.

of
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.

the
τοῦ (tou)
Article - Genitive Neuter 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.

Spirit.?
Πνεύματος (Pneumatos)
Noun - Genitive Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 4151: Wind, breath, spirit.
(8) The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof.--Better (see Note below), the Spirit breatheth where He willeth, and thou hearest His voice. These words are an explanation of the spiritual birth, the necessity of which has been asserted in the previous verses. They must have come to Nicodemus, bringing in their sound echoes of the old familiar words, "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul" (Genesis 2:7). These words would bring to the mind thoughts of the human body, cold, lifeless, corpse-like; of the breath of life passing into it; of the beating pulse, the opening eye, the action of nerve, muscle, and limb, as, in obedience to God's will, matter became the framework of spirit, and man became a living soul. There are parallel thoughts of the spirit existing in capacity for life and union with God, but crushed beneath the physical life with its imperative demands for support, and the sensible life with its engrossing pleasures and pains, and sorrows and joys; of the Spirit of God breathing upon it; and of the dormant power awakening into a new life of noblest thoughts and hopes and energies, when man is born of the Spirit.

And yet the new spiritual birth, like the physical, cannot be explained. We can observe the phenomena, we cannot trace the principle of life. He breatheth where He willeth, in the wide world of man, free as the wind of heaven, bound by no limits of country or of race. The voice is heard speaking to the man himself, and through him to others; there is the evidence of the new birth in the new life. We know not whence He comes, or whither He goes. We cannot fix the day or hour of the new birth with certainty. We know not what its final issues will be. It is the beginning of a life which is a constant growth, and the highest development here is but the germ of that which shall be hereafter (1John 3:2).

So is every one that is born of the Spirit.--The sense is, In this manner is every one (born) who is born of the Spirit. The universality is again emphatically asserted. Individual spiritual life depends upon individual spiritual birth. The baptism of the Spirit is needed for all. Now, indeed, coming as a fire burning in men's hearts, consuming the chaff of sin, while He purifies and stores up all that is true and good; now coming as in a moment, and arresting a man in a course of evil, revealing the iniquity of sin, and giving the power to reform; now coming as the gradual dawning of day upon the youthful soul who has never been wholly without it; here in a sermon or a prayer, there in the lessons of childhood; now by the example of a noble life or the lessons of history; again in the study of Scripture or the truths written on the page of nature--the Spirit breatheth where it willeth. We may not limit His action, but by His action must every one be born again. Comp. the instances of what men call gradual conversion and sudden conversion, placed side by side in the same chapter, in Acts 16:14; Acts 16:29 et seq.

The rendering of the first clause of this verse by the Spirit breatheth for "wind bloweth" of the Authorised version has met with so little support that it is right to state briefly the grounds on which it rests.

Verse 8. - The wind bloweth (the Spirit breathes, Revised Version, in margin) where it willeth, and thou hearest (his voice) the sound thereof, but thou knowest not whence it cometh and whither it goeth. Vulgate (followed by Wickliffe and the Rheims Versions) is, Spiritus ubi vult spirat et vocem ejus audis, sed nescis unde veniat, aut quo vadat: sic est omnis qui natus est ex Spiritu. Augustine, though acquainted with the other rendering, approves of this; so Origen, Bengel. The great majority of commentators and versions have held that the former of the two translations is correct; that the first time the word Πνεῦμα is used, it refers to the wind, "the unseen similitude of God the Spirit - his most meet and mightiest sign;" and that, since the same word is used for the two things, Spirit and wind, the Lord, after the parabolic manner which he adopted (in the synoptic Gospels), took advantage of some gusts of roaring wind then audible, to call attention to the mystery and incomprehensibility of its origin or end, and to see a parallel between the unknown ways of the wind and the unknown points of application to the human spirit of the mighty energy of the living God. The passage, Ecclesiastes 11:5, may have been in his mind (though there "Spirit" is as likely to be the reference as is the motion of the "wind," and our ignorance of the way of the Spirit is akin to our ignorance of the formation of bones in the womb of her who is with child), and the adoption of the unusual word πνεῖ (cf. John 6:18; Revelation 7:1; Matthew 7:25; Acts 27:40) is in support of the comparison between "wind" and the "Spirit;" while the φωνή, the "voice" or sound of the wind in trees or against any barriers, and the other effects that the rapid motion of the air produces, gives a lively illustration of the method in which the Spirit of God works in human minds, revealing, not itself, but its effects. The parallel is not peculiar to Scripture (see the remarkable passage in Xenophon, 'Memor.,' 4:3-14; also 'Rig Veda,' 10:168). It is further urged that the following clause, So is every one that hath been born of the Spirit - meaning, So doth it happen to every one who is born of the Spirit - suggests the analogy between πνεῦμα in its material sense, and πνεῦμα in its customary and deeper sense. Now, on the other hand, it appears to me that this latter clause is compatible with the older translation and application. There is a comparison, but it may be between the mysterious working, breathing of the Divine Spirit, whose "voice" or "word" may be heard, whose effects are present to our senses and consciousness, but the beginnings and endings of which are always lost in God, - and the special operations of Divine grace in the birth of the Spirit. There are numberless operations of the Spirit referred to in the Old Testament, from the first brooding of the Spirit on the formless abyss, to all the special and mighty effects wrought in creation, all the heightening and quickening of human faculty, all the conference of special strength upon men - their intellectual energies and Divine inspirations. Over and above all these, there is all the supernatural change wrought in souls by the Holy Spirit. Christ calls this a "birth of the Spirit," and declares that, according to all the mysterious comings and departings of the Spirit, leaving only manifold effects, so is the special Divine work which morally and spiritually recreates humanity. Pneuma is used three hundred and fifty times in the New Testament, and twenty times in this Gospel for "the Spirit;" and if the usage is reversed here, this is the solitary occasion. The word θέλει, is, moreover, more appropriate to a living Being than to the wind. There is another way which suggests itself by which the word Πνεῦμα may mean the same in both clauses: The breath of God bloweth where it listeth, etc., so is every one born of the breath of God. If this be possible, the form of the expression supplies a cooperating similitude drawn from the unknown origin and mighty effects of the unseen breath of heaven; and on this translation the comparison is drawn between all the ways of the Spirit and the special work of the Spirit in regeneration. An inference is deducible from either interpretation of this verse, incompatible with the theory that "birth from water" is equivalent to "regeneration in baptism." If the rite of baptism provided the moment and occasion of the spiritual result, we should know whence it came and whither it went. We might not know "how," but we should know "when" and "whence" the spiritual change took place. But this knowledge is distinctly negatived by Christ, who herein declares the moment of the spiritual birth to be lost or hidden in God. Physical birth is a deep mystery, both whence the "spirit" comes and whither it goes; the signs of the presence of life are abundant, but there is an infinite difference between the stillborn or dead child and the living one. Similarly, the commencement of the Spirit's creation within our nature is lost in mystery. We discern its presence by its effects, by consciousness of a new life and sense of a new world all around the newly born, but the Spirit-birth, like all the other operations of the Spirit, is hidden in God.
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