John 3:13

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Verses in John 3

(Textus Receptus, Novum Testamentum, Theodore Beza, 4th folio edition. Geneva. 1598)

(King James Version, Pure Cambridge Edition 1900)

(King James Version 2016 Edition, 2016)




Modern Omission

Notice that major modern version translations omit the phrase “which is in heaven:”

(NIV) No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man
(NASV) No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man.
(ESV) No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.
(HCSB) No one has ascended into heaven except the One who descended from heaven —the Son of Man.

At the same time Jesus was then on earth, in His divinity as the Son of God, He remained omnipresent in heaven. Just as we now are on earth, but seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. This reading states:

  • 1. Jesus came down from heaven (proving his divinity)
  • 2. Jesus ascends up to heaven (further proving His divinity)
  • 3. Jesus is The Son of man which is in heaven.

Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God and man and the eternal God. No mortal can accomplish all of these things.


Novatian lived from 200 AD to 258 AD and during his life in the early third century he wrote “A Treatise of Novatian Concerning the Trinity.” He quotes John 3:13 during this time and says:

“Because, even to the highest, "not any one hath ascended into heaven save He who came down from heaven, the Son of Man who is in heaven.” A Treatise of Novatian Concerning the Trinity.

This quotation is older that any manuscript we have of John 3:13 today.


Theodoret said in 380 AD: "If any one says that the Son of God, living in the flesh when he was on the earth, was not in heaven and with the Father, let him be anathema…" Ecclesiastical History 5.11

Gregory of Nazianzus

In Letter 101 of Gregory of Nazianzus in 382/3 A.D., he has:

“He is limited in the body, but unlimited in the Spirit; He is on the earth, and at the same time in Heaven.” Letter 101 382/383 A.D.

Early Church Writers

There are thirty-eight early church writers who recognize these words in this verse as found in the Textus Receptus. Some of the other fathers are as follows:

Origen (250 AD), pseudo Dionysius (265 AD), Athanasius (370 AD), Didymus (390 AD), Basil the Great (380 AD), Epiphanius (400 AD), Eustathius of Antioch (325 AD), Cyril of Jerusalem (385 AD), Amphilochius (390 AD), Lucifer of Calaris (370 AD), Victorinus (300 AD), Jerome (420 AD), Zeno (350 AD), Maximus (400 AD) - See Burgon, Revision Revised, p 133 for full listing & citation references.

By deleting “which is in heaven” it removes the testimony of deity from Christ. As eternal God, He still had authority in Heaven while still on Earth. The Gnostics did not believe that Christ was God because they taught that flesh was evil and that deity could not dwell in sinful flesh. They neglected the understanding of the virgin birth which had disallowed the sin nature to be passed to Him. When Christ was on Earth, He never ceased to be God. If He did, then He would never have been qualified to be our sin substitute. The word “is” is in the present tense which means that Christ was signifying that while He was on Earth, He was still in Heaven. The word “is” can also be translated “being.” It could read “which being in Heaven.” This is one of those great mysteries beyond the comprehension of the human mind and that is why the Gnostics chose to remove it since they could not explain it.

"For since we have PROVED that Origen and Didymus, Epiphanius and Cyril, Ambrose and Jerome, RECOGNIZE the words in dispute, of what possible Textual significancy can it be if presently (BECAUSE IT IS SUFFICIENT FOR THEIR PURPOSE) the same Fathers are observed [in other... See More places] to quote S. John iii. 13 no further than down to the words 'Son of man'? No person, (least of all a professed Critic), who adds to his learning a few grains of common sense and a little candour, can be misled by such a circumstance. Origen, Eusebius, Proclus, Ephraim Syrus, Jerome, Marius, when they are only insisting on the doctrinal significancy of the earlier words, naturally end their quotation at this place." Revision Revised, p 134

Bruce M. Metzger

Bruce M. Metzger said in his A Textual Commentary On The Greek New Testament:

"...the majority of the Committee... regarded the words "ο ων εν τω ουρανω" ["which is in heaven"] as an interpretative gloss, reflecting later Christological development." Bruce M. Metzger, A Textual Commentary On The Greek New Testament, 2nd Edition, United Bible Societies, p 175.


Textus Receptus

See Also John 3:13 Complutensian Polyglot 1514

Desiderius Erasmus


Stephanus (Robert Estienne)

Theodore Beza

See Also John 3:13 Beza 1598 (Beza)

  • 1604 (Beza Octavo 5th)




Other Greek

These Greek manuscripts omit the phrase.

  • Aleph 01 - Sinaiticus - Fourth century
  • B 03 - Vaticanus - Fourth century
  • L 019 - Rome - Ninth Century
  • T 029 - Citta Del Vaticano - Fifth century
  • W 032 - Fourth/Fifth century

Tischendorfs 8th Ed. has:

καὶ οὐδεὶς ἀναβέβηκεν εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν εἰ μὴ ὁ ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καταβάς, ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ὁ ὢν ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ.

Westcott and Hort:

καὶ οὐδεὶς ἀναβέβηκεν εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν εἰ μὴ ὁ ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καταβάς, ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου,

  • 1857 (Tregelles' Greek New Testament)
  • (Tischendorf 8th Ed.)
  • 1881 (Westcott & Hort)
  • (Greek orthodox Church)

Anglo Saxon Translations

  • 1000 (Anglo-Saxon Gospels Manuscript 140, Corpus Christi College by Aelfric)
  • 1200 (Anglo-Saxon Gospels Hatton Manuscript 38, Bodleian Library by unknown author)

English Translations

  • 1535 (Coverdale Bible)
  • 1745 (Mr. Whiston's Primitive New Testament)
  • 1770 (Worsley Version by John Worsley)
  • 1790 (Wesley Version by John Wesley)
  • 1795 (A Translation of the New Testament from the Original Greek by Thomas Haweis)
  • 1835 (Living Oracles by Alexander Campbell)
  • 1851 (Murdock Translation)
  • 1865 (The New Testament of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ 1865 by American Bible Union)
  • 1869 (Noyes Translation by George Noyes)
  • 1885 (Revised Version also called English Revised Version - Charles Ellicott editor)
  • 1902 (The Emphasised Bible Rotherham Version)
  • 1902 (Translation of the New Testament from the Original Greek by William Godbey)
  • 1904 (Twentieth Century New Testament by Ernest Malan and Mary Higgs)
  • 1911 (Syrus Scofield)
  • 1912 (Weymouth New Testament)
  • 1918 (The New Testament Translated from the Sinaitic Manuscript by Henry Anderson)
  • 1923 (Edgar Goodspeed)

Foreign Language Versions


  • وليس احد صعد الى السماء الا الذي نزل من السماء ابن الانسان الذي هو في السماء (Arabic Smith & Van Dyke)


  • (Aramaic Peshitta)


  • Ecen nehor ezta igan cerura, cerutic iautsi dena baicen, cein baita guiçonaren Seme ceruän dena.


  • 1940 (Bulgarian Bible)


  • 1 除 了 从 天 降 下 、 仍 旧 在 天 的 人 子 , 没 有 人 升 过 天 。 (Chinese Union Version (Simplified))
  • 1 除 了 從 天 降 下 、 仍 舊 在 天 的 人 子 , 沒 有 人 升 過 天 。 (Chinese Union Version (Traditional))


  • Et personne n'est monte au ciel, sinon celui qui est descendu du ciel, le fils de l'homme qui est dans le ciel. (French Darby)
  • 1744 Car personne n'est monté au ciel, sinon celui qui est descendu du ciel, [savoir] le Fils de l'homme qui est au ciel. (Martin 1744)
  • 1744 (Ostervald 1744)


  • 1545 (Luther 1545)
  • 1871 (Elberfelder 1871)
  • 1912 Und niemand fährt gen Himmel, denn der vom Himmel herniedergekommen ist, nämlich des Menschen Sohn, der im Himmel ist. (Luther 1912)


  • 1649 Or niuno è salito in cielo, se non colui ch’è disceso dal cielo, cioè il Figliuol dell’uomo, ch’è nel cielo. (Giovanni Diodati Bible 1649)
  • 1927 E nessuno è salito in cielo, se non colui che è disceso dal cielo: il Figliuol dell’uomo che è nel cielo. (Riveduta Bible 1927)



  • et nemo ascendit in caelum nisi qui descendit de caelo Filius hominis qui est in caelo Latin Vulgate
  • 1527 (Erasmus 1527)
  • 1527 (Erasmus Vulgate 1527)


  • 1996 (Pidgin King Jems)


  • 2010 (Biblia Traducerea Fidela în limba româna)


  • 1876 Никто не восходил на небо, как только сшедший с небес Сын Человеческий, сущий на небесах. Russian Synodal Version



  • (RVG Spanish)


  • 1917 Och likväl har ingen stigit upp till himmelen, utom den som steg ned från himmelen, Människosonen, som var i himmelen. (Swedish - Svenska 1917)


  • 1905 At walang umakyat sa langit, kundi ang nanggaling sa langit, sa makatuwid baga'y ang Anak ng tao, na nasa langit. (Ang Dating Biblia 1905)

Tok Pisin

  • 1996 (Tok Pisin King Jems)


  • 1934 Chưa hề có ai lên trời, trừ ra Ðấng từ trời xuống, ấy là Con người vốn ở trên trời. (VIET)

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