John 4:23
New International Version
Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.

New Living Translation
But the time is coming--indeed it's here now--when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way.

English Standard Version
But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.

Berean Study Bible
But a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for the Father is seeking such as these to worship Him.

Berean Literal Bible
But an hour is coming and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father also seeks such who worship Him.

New American Standard Bible
"But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.

King James Bible
But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

Christian Standard Bible
But an hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and in truth. Yes, the Father wants such people to worship him.

Contemporary English Version
But a time is coming, and it is already here! Even now the true worshipers are being led by the Spirit to worship the Father according to the truth. These are the ones the Father is seeking to worship him.

Good News Translation
But the time is coming and is already here, when by the power of God's Spirit people will worship the Father as he really is, offering him the true worship that he wants.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
But an hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. Yes, the Father wants such people to worship Him.

International Standard Version
Yet the time is coming, and is now here, when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. Indeed, the Father is looking for people like that to worship him.

NET Bible
But a time is coming--and now is here--when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such people to be his worshipers.

New Heart English Bible
But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such to be his worshippers.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But the hour is coming and now is, when the true worshipers will worship The Father in The Spirit and in The Truth, for The Father also is seeking such worshippers as these.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Indeed, the time is coming, and it is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. The Father is looking for people like that to worship him.

New American Standard 1977
“But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.

Jubilee Bible 2000
But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for the Father seeks such to worship him.

King James 2000 Bible
But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship him.

American King James Version
But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship him.

American Standard Version
But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth: for such doth the Father seek to be his worshippers.

Douay-Rheims Bible
But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true adorers shall adore the Father in spirit and in truth. For the Father also seeketh such to adore him.

Darby Bible Translation
But [the] hour is coming and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth; for also the Father seeks such as his worshippers.

English Revised Version
But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth: for such doth the Father seek to be his worshippers.

Webster's Bible Translation
But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

Weymouth New Testament
But a time is coming--nay, has already come--when the true worshippers will worship the Father with true spiritual worship; for indeed the Father desires such worshippers.

World English Bible
But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such to be his worshippers.

Young's Literal Translation
but, there cometh an hour, and it now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father also doth seek such to worship him;
Study Bible
Jesus and the Samaritan Woman
22You worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23But a time is coming and has now come when the TRUE worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for the Father is seeking such as these to worship Him. 24God is Spirit, and His worshipers must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”…
Cross References
John 4:21
"Believe Me, woman," Jesus replied, "a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.

John 5:25
Truly, truly, I tell you, the hour is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.

John 5:28
Do not be amazed at this, for the hour is coming when all who are in their graves will hear His voice

John 16:2
They will put you out of the synagogues. In fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God.

John 16:32
"Look, an hour is coming and has already come when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and you will leave Me all alone. Yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.

Philippians 3:3
For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh--

Treasury of Scripture

But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship him.

the hour.

John 5:25
Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.

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

true.

Isaiah 1:10-15
Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah…

Isaiah 26:8,9
Yea, in the way of thy judgments, O LORD, have we waited for thee; the desire of our soul is to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee…

Isaiah 29:13
Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:

in spirit.

Romans 1:9
For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;

Romans 8:15,26
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father…

Galatians 4:6
And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

in truth.

John 1:17
For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

Joshua 24:14
Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD.

1 Samuel 12:24
Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you.

the Father seeketh.

Psalm 147:11
The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.

Proverbs 15:8
The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.

Song of Solomon 2:14
O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely.







Lexicon
But
ἀλλὰ (alla)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 235: But, except, however. Neuter plural of allos; properly, other things, i.e. contrariwise.

a time
ὥρα (hōra)
Noun - Nominative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 5610: Apparently a primary word; an 'hour'.

is coming
ἔρχεται (erchetai)
Verb - Present Indicative Middle or Passive - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 2064: To come, go.

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

{has} now
νῦν (nyn)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 3568: A primary particle of present time; 'now'; also as noun or adjective present or immediate.

come
ἐστιν (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.

when
ὅτε (hote)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 3753: When, at which time. From hos and te; at which too, i.e. When.

the
οἱ (hoi)
Article - Nominative Masculine 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.

TRUE
ἀληθινοὶ (alēthinoi)
Adjective - Nominative Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 228: True (lit: made of truth), real, genuine. From alethes; truthful.

worshipers
προσκυνηταὶ (proskynētai)
Noun - Nominative Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 4353: A worshipper. From proskuneo; an adorer.

will worship
προσκυνήσουσιν (proskynēsousin)
Verb - Future Indicative Active - 3rd Person Plural
Strong's Greek 4352: From pros and a probable derivative of kuon; to fawn or crouch to, i.e. prostrate oneself in homage.

the
τῷ (tō)
Article - Dative Masculine 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.

Father
Πατρὶ (Patri)
Noun - Dative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3962: Father, (Heavenly) Father, ancestor, elder, senior. Apparently a primary word; a 'father'.

in
ἐν (en)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 1722: In, on, among. A primary preposition denoting position, and instrumentality, i.e. A relation of rest; 'in, ' at, on, by, etc.

spirit
πνεύματι (pneumati)
Noun - Dative Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 4151: Wind, breath, spirit.

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

in truth,
ἀληθείᾳ (alētheia)
Noun - Dative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 225: From alethes; truth.

for
γὰρ (gar)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 1063: For. A primary particle; properly, assigning a reason.

the
(ho)
Article - Nominative Masculine 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.

Father
Πατὴρ (Patēr)
Noun - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3962: Father, (Heavenly) Father, ancestor, elder, senior. Apparently a primary word; a 'father'.

is seeking
ζητεῖ (zētei)
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 2212: To seek, search for, desire, require, demand. Of uncertain affinity; to seek; specially, to worship, or to plot.

such
τοιούτους (toioutous)
Demonstrative Pronoun - Accusative Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 5108: (including the other inflections); from toi and houtos; truly this, i.e. Of this sort (to denote character or individuality).

as these
τοὺς (tous)
Article - Accusative Masculine 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.

to worship
προσκυνοῦντας (proskynountas)
Verb - Present Participle Active - Accusative Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 4352: From pros and a probable derivative of kuon; to fawn or crouch to, i.e. prostrate oneself in homage.

Him.
αὐτόν (auton)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Accusative 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.
(23) But the hour cometh.--Better, as in John 4:21, but there cometh an hour. He adds to this thought, what He could not add to the previous one, "and now is." Local worship was not yet giving way to spiritual; but a band of true worshippers was being gathered, and some were then following Him.

The true worshippers.--Her distinction of place was of the accident, but the essence was the nature of the worship. What could any worship be to a God who saw the impurity of the heart, and the contradiction of thought and word? What could she know of the worship of which she speaks? Yes; and the temple at Jerusalem was a house of merchandise, instead of one of prayer; what did priest and Levite, scribe and Pharisee, know of true worship?

In spirit and in truth.--The link between human nature and the divine is in the human spirit, which is the shrine of the Holy Spirit (1Corinthians 6:19). All true approach to God must therefore be in spirit. (Comp. Romans 1:9, and Ephesians 6:18.) Place, and time, and words, and postures, and sounds, and all things from without, are important only in so far as they aid in abstraction from the sensible world, and in elevation of the spirit within. The moment they distract they hinder true worship. Ritual cannot be discussed without risk of spiritual loss. The words "in truth," already expressed in true worshippers, and repeated in the following verse, are more than "truly." Sincerity is not a test of acceptable worship, though it is a requisite. Bigots sincerely think they do God's service. Worship which is "in truth" is in harmony with the nature of the God whom we worship. To think of God in hearing His truth, to kindle the soul by hymns of praise, to realise the earlier portions of collects and prayers which utter His attributes, are necessary to the truth of the petitions, and thanksgivings, and adorations of worship. The model prayer of Christianity brings home to the heart the Fatherhood of God in its first words.

For the Father seeketh such to worship him.--Better, for such the Father also seeketh His worshippers to be. The word "such," i.e., of this character, is emphatic. The "also" expresses that the worship, on the part of the true worshippers, is in accordance with the divine will: "the Father also (on His part) . . ." The reader will not fail to note the emphasis in this reply on the word "Father" (John 4:21 and twice in this verse). This name of God, which we teach children to lisp in earliest years, came to her, it may be, now for the first time. He is not Vengeance to be appeased, nor Power to be dreaded, but Love to be received. (Comp. Note on John 3:16.) It is when men learn to think of God as Father that merely local and material worship must cease. The universal desire and practice of worship is the witness to a universal object of worship. The yearning of the human spirit is that of a child seeking the author of his being. The seeking is not human only. The Father also seeketh His child, and seeth him when he is a great way off (Luke 15:20).

Verse 23. - But the hour cometh, and now is - already the day has dawned, the new conception is breaking like "awful rose of dawn" upon the minds of some - when the veritable worshippers - those who answer to the idea of worshippers, those who actually draw near to the Father in living fellowship and affectionate appreciation of his eternal Name - shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth. An old misreading of this text, accepted by some Fathers, and based upon the idea expressed in John 16:13, has found expression in the Sinaitic Codex, "in the spirit of the truth." But "spirit" here does not refer to the Holy Spirit, but to the spirit of man - that part of man's constitution through which he most especially bears the image of God, and with which the Divine Spirit deals, and in which he dwells (Romans 8:26). The worship in spirit is worship contrasted with all mere carnal concomitants, all mere shadows of the good things to come, all mere ritual, all specialties of place, or time, or sacrament, or order. It need not be in despite of a genuine reverence for days, or seasons, or postures, or washings, but in absolute independence of them, and they, without this, will be actually valueless. And in truth; i.e. as dealing with reality, the adequate and veracious expression of genuine desires and veritable emotions; καὶ γὰρ, nam et (ver. 9). For indeed also the Father seeketh such to be his worshippers. Luthardt and Meyer differ as to the emphasis. Meyer insists that the καὶ γάρ lays stress on the word which immediately follows, and he refers to 1 Corinthians 14:8 as not contradicting the rule. He would render, "For the Father also on his part seeketh," etc. Luthardt says that the new thought is to be found in ζητεῖ, and therefore upon this the emphasis is laid. Westcott, by many passages, such as Matthew 8:9; Matthew 26:73; Mark 10:45; Luke 6:32, etc., urges that καὶ γὰρ "alleges a reason which is assumed to be conclusive from the nature of the case." The whole sentence is therefore covered by the expression, "For the Father also on his part seeketh those as worshippers of him who worship him in spirit and in truth." A slight contrast is felt between the regimen of προσκυνεῖν with accusative, here again introduced, following upon that with dative in the first clause. Moulton would render the first clause, "offer worship to the Father," and the second by "worship him." The Father is now seeking, by the ministry of his Son, by the gift of his Spirit, for those who approach him with deeply felt need and true affection, in spirit, not in ceremony, in truth, not in hypocritical or heartless profession. This is another indication of the high truth taught in the prologue (John 1:4, 9; John 3:21; John 18:38, see notes) that there are vast differences among men, even anterior to their reception of the perfect revelation of the Father's heart in Christ Jesus. "The life is the light of men." There are those who "do the truth" and are "of the truth," who "worship God in spirit and in truth." The whole gospel dispensation is a search for these. 4:4-26 There was great hatred between the Samaritans and the Jews. Christ's road from Judea to Galilee lay through Samaria. We should not go into places of temptation but when we needs must; and then must not dwell in them, but hasten through them. We have here our Lord Jesus under the common fatigue of travellers. Thus we see that he was truly a man. Toil came in with sin; therefore Christ, having made himself a curse for us, submitted to it. Also, he was a poor man, and went all his journeys on foot. Being wearied, he sat thus on the well; he had no couch to rest upon. He sat thus, as people wearied with travelling sit. Surely, we ought readily to submit to be like the Son of God in such things as these. Christ asked a woman for water. She was surprised because he did not show the anger of his own nation against the Samaritans. Moderate men of all sides are men wondered at. Christ took the occasion to teach her Divine things: he converted this woman, by showing her ignorance and sinfulness, and her need of a Saviour. By this living water is meant the Spirit. Under this comparison the blessing of the Messiah had been promised in the Old Testament. The graces of the Spirit, and his comforts, satisfy the thirsting soul, that knows its own nature and necessity. What Jesus spake figuratively, she took literally. Christ shows that the water of Jacob's well yielded a very short satisfaction. Of whatever waters of comfort we drink, we shall thirst again. But whoever partakes of the Spirit of grace, and the comforts of the gospel, shall never want that which will abundantly satisfy his soul. Carnal hearts look no higher than carnal ends. Give it me, saith she, not that I may have everlasting life, which Christ proposed, but that I come not hither to draw. The carnal mind is very ingenious in shifting off convictions, and keeping them from fastening. But how closely our Lord Jesus brings home the conviction to her conscience! He severely reproved her present state of life. The woman acknowledged Christ to be a prophet. The power of his word in searching the heart, and convincing the conscience of secret things, is a proof of Divine authority. It should cool our contests, to think that the things we are striving about are passing away. The object of worship will continue still the same, God, as a Father; but an end shall be put to all differences about the place of worship. Reason teaches us to consult decency and convenience in the places of our worship; but religion gives no preference to one place above another, in respect of holiness and approval with God. The Jews were certainly in the right. Those who by the Scriptures have obtained some knowledge of God, know whom they worship. The word of salvation was of the Jews. It came to other nations through them. Christ justly preferred the Jewish worship before the Samaritan, yet here he speaks of the former as soon to be done away. God was about to be revealed as the Father of all believers in every nation. The spirit or the soul of man, as influenced by the Holy Spirit, must worship God, and have communion with him. Spiritual affections, as shown in fervent prayers, supplications, and thanksgivings, form the worship of an upright heart, in which God delights and is glorified. The woman was disposed to leave the matter undecided, till the coming of the Messiah. But Christ told her, I that speak to thee, am He. She was an alien and a hostile Samaritan, merely speaking to her was thought to disgrace our Lord Jesus. Yet to this woman did our Lord reveal himself more fully than as yet he had done to any of his disciples. No past sins can bar our acceptance with him, if we humble ourselves before him, believing in him as the Christ, the Saviour of the world.
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