John 1 – Beginnings: The Word As God

In the Beginning the Word was; and the Word was with God; and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God; 3 Through him all things came into being, and nothing came into being apart from him. 4 That which came into being in him was life; and the life was the light of all; 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness never overpowered it.

6 There appeared a man sent from God, whose name was John; 7 He came as a witness: to bear witness to the light that through him all men might believe. 8 He was not the Light, but he came to bear witness to the Light.1 9 That was the true Light which enlightens all who come into the world. 10 He was in the world; and through him the world came into being, yet the world did not know him.

11 He came to his own, yet his own did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him he gave power to become Children of God, to those who believe in his name.2 13 For not to natural conception, nor to earthly passions, nor to human will did they owe the new life, but to God.

14 And the Word became Man, and dwelt among us. We saw his glory—the glory of the only Son sent from the Father, full of love and truth. 15 John bores witness to him; he cried aloud—for it was he who spoke: “‘He who is Coming’ after me is now before me, for he was ever first;” 16 Out of his fullness we have all received some gift, gift after gift of love; 17 For the law was given through Moses, but love and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever yet seen God; the only begotten Son, who is ever with the Father—He has revealed him.

19 When the Jews sent some priests and Levites to John from Jerusalem, to ask, “Who are you?” 20 He confessed and did answer: “I am not the Christ.” 21 “What then?” they asked. “Are you Elijah?” “No,” he said, “I am not.” “Are you ‘the prophet’?”

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He answered, “No.” 22 “Who then are you?” they continued; “tell us, that we may have some answer to give to those who have sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 23 He said: “I am the voice of one crying aloud in the wilderness; make straight the way of the Lord,” as the prophet Isaiah said.”

24 These men had been sent from the Pharisees; 25 And their next question was: “Why then do you baptize, if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor yet ‘the prophet’?” 26 John’s answer was: “I baptize with water, but among you stands one whom you do not know; 27 He is coming after me, yet I am not worthy even to unfasten his sandal.” 28 All this took place at Bethany, across the Jordan, where John was then baptizing.

29 The next day John saw Jesus coming towards him, and exclaimed: “Here is the Lamb of God, who is to take away the sin of the world! 30 It was of him that I spoke when I said: ‘After me there is coming a man who is now before me, for he was ever first.’ 31 I myself did not know him, but, that he may be made known to Israel, I have come, baptizing with water.”

32 John also made this statement: “I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of the heavens, and it remained upon him. 33 I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water, he said to me: ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining upon him—he it is who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 This I have seen myself, and I have declared my belief that he is the Son of God.”

35 The next day, when John was standing with two of his disciples, 36 He looked at Jesus as he passed and exclaimed: “There is the Lamb of God!” 37 The two disciples heard him say this, and followed Jesus. 38 But Jesus turned round, and saw them following. “What are you looking for?” he asked.

They answered: “Rabbi,” (or, as we would say, “Teacher”), “where are you staying?” 39 “Come, and you shall see,” he replied. So they went, and saw where he was staying, and spent that day with him. It was then about four in the afternoon.

40 One of the two, who heard what John said and followed Jesus, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him: “We have found the Messiah!” (a word which was being interpreted as the ‘Christ’). 42 Then he brought him to Jesus. Fixing his eyes on him, Jesus said: “You are Simon, the son of John; you shall be called Kephas” (which means a stone).

43 The following day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. He found Philip, and said to him: “Follow me.” 44 Philip was from Bethsaida, and a fellow townsman of Andrew and Peter. 45 He found Nathanael and said to him: “We have found him of whom Moses wrote in the law, and of whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, Joseph’s son!” 46 “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” asked Nathanael. “Come and see,” replied Philip.

47 When Jesus saw Nathanael coming towards him, he said: “Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is no deceit!” 48 “How do you know me?” asked Nathanael. “Even before Philip called you,” replied Jesus, “when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” 49 “Rabbi,” Nathanael exclaimed, “you are the Son of God, you are King of Israel!”

50 “Do you believe in me,” asked Jesus, “because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You shall see greater things than those! 51 In truth I tell you,” he added, “you shall all see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”


To read the next chapter of the Book of John, please go to The Gospel of John – 2.

  1. Explore Living Hour commentary on the importance of John the Baptist, as well as his ultimate beheading, in relationship to Christ and the crucifixion of Jesus at: On Earth as it is in Heaven. []
  2. Find inspirational Bible commentary on this passage from the Gospel of John, including how we are to go about becoming children of God, in the 2nd chapter of our Lord’s Prayer book: Hallowed Be Thy Name. []