John 3:16

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Verses in John 3



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

  • John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

(King James Version, Pure Cambridge Edition 1900)

  • John 3:16 Because God loved the world so much He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

(King James Version 2016 Edition, 2016)

Contents

Commentary

The Greatest Verse

John 3:16 (chapter 3, verse 16 of the Gospel of John) is one of the most widely quoted verses from the Christian Bible, and has been called the most famous Bible verse. It has also been called the "Gospel in a nutshell" because it is considered a summary of some of the most central doctrines of traditional Christianity. It is the most translated verse of any portion of scripture. John 3:16 has been called the greatest verse of the bible. Consider:

  • 1.) "For God" - The Greatest Person.
  • 2.) "So loved the world" - The Greatest Truth.
  • 3.) "That He gave" - The Greatest Act.
  • 4.) "His only begotten Son" - The Greatest Gift.
  • 5.) "That whosoever" - The Greatest Invitation.
  • 6.) "Believeth in Him" - The Greatest Plan.
  • 7.) "Should not perish" - The Greatest Promise.
  • 8.) "But have" - The Greatest Certainty.
  • 9.) "Everlasting life" - The Greatest Destiny.

In Exodus 4:22, the Israelites as a people are called "my firstborn son" by God using the singular form. In John, the focus shifts to the person of Jesus as representative of that title. The verse is part of the New Testament narrative in the third chapter of John in the discussion at Jerusalem between Jesus and Nicodemus, who is called a "ruler of the Jews". (v.1) After speaking of the necessity of a man being born again before he could "see the kingdom of God", (v.3) Jesus spoke also of "heavenly things" (v.11-13) and of salvation (v.14-17) and the condemnation (v.18,19) of those that do not believe in Jesus. "14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life." (John 3:14-15) Note that verse 15 is nearly identical to the latter part of John 3:16.

Sense and syntax

Recent translation scholarship has struggled most with the Greek adverb οὕτως (houtos) which traditionally has been simply translated as "so" as in "so loved" in the KJV.

Theologians Gundry and Howell believe that the sense and syntax of the Greek Οὕτως…ὥστε make it likely that the author of the Gospel of John is emphasizing both (a) the degree to which God loved the world as well as (b) the manner in which God chose to express that love—by sending his only son. Gundry and Howell write that the Οὕτως term more frequently refers to the manner in which something is done (see BDAG 741–42 s.v. οὕτω/οὕτως). However, they add that the ὥστε clause that follows Οὕτως involves the indicative—meaning that it stresses an actual but usually unexpected result. They conclude that the sense and syntax of the Greek construction here focuses on the nature of God's love, addressing its mode, intensity, and extent. Accordingly, it emphasizes the greatness of the gift God has given.

There are other scholars agreeing with this assessment. "The 'so' (houtos) is an adverb of degree which points toward the clause which follows and here serves to express the idea of infinity, a love that is limitless, that is fully adequate." "The Greek construction…emphasizes the intensity of the love."

King James Version 2016

At first people may not be used to this change. Usually because this is one of the first verses people memorize, the feel of the verse may cause people to initially reject the reading. The main difference with the KJV 2016 Edition and previous editions is the 2016 does not hold to a historical sentimentality and linguistic formalism. The reading is accurate and relevant to today's English. The grammar has been updated from:

“For God so loved the world

to

"Because God loved the world so much

Modern English would not say:

For Bill so love his country, that he gave his life... It would say: Because Bill loved his country so much he gave his life...

  • 1611 For God so loued þe world, that he gaue his only begotten Sonne: that whosoeuer beleeueth in him, should not perish, but haue euerlasting life.
  • 1900 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
  • 2016 Because God loved the world so much He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Omissions

The word Αὐτὸν appears in the Textus Receptus and the Byzantine text-type, but not the Alexandrian text-type.

Greek

See Also John 3:16 Greek

Textus Receptus

Complutensian Polyglot

See Also John 3:16 Complutensian Polyglot 1514

Aldine

Image:John 3 16 Aldine 1518.JPG
John 3:16 in Greek in the 1518 Greek New Testament of Aldine

Desiderius Erasmus

Image:John 3 16 Erasmus 1522.JPG
John 3:16 in Greek in the 1522 Greek New Testament of Erasmus

Colinæus

Stephanus (Robert Estienne)

Image:John 3 16 Stephanus 1546.jpg
John 3:16 in the 1546 Greek New Testament of Stephanus
  • 1546 (Novum Testamentum Græce) (See Also Nomina sacra)
  • 1549 (Novum Testamentum Græce. 2nd edition. Paris.)
  • 1550 Οὕτως γὰρ ἠγάπησεν ὁ θεὸς τὸν κόσμον ὥστε τὸν υἱὸν αὐτοῦ τὸν μονογενῆ ἔδωκεν ἵνα πᾶς ὁ πιστεύων εἰς αὐτὸν μὴ ἀπόληται ἀλλ' ἔχῃ ζωὴν αἰώνιον ((Novum Testamentum Græce. 3rd edition. Paris. - Editio Regia)
  • 1551 Οὕτως γὰρ ἠγάπησεν ὁ θεὸς τὸν κόσμον ὥστε τὸν υἱὸν αὐτοῦ τὸν μονογενῆ ἔδωκεν ἵνα πᾶς ὁ πιστεύων εἰς αὐτὸν μὴ ἀπόληται ἀλλ' ἔχῃ ζωὴν αἰώνιον ((Novum Testamentum Græce. 4th edition. Genevah)

Theodore Beza

  • 1565 (Novum Testamentum, 1st folio edition. Geneva)
Image:John 3 16 Beza 1565.JPG
John 3:16 in Beza's 1565 Greek New Testament
  • 1565 (Beza Octavo 1st)
Image:John 3 16 Beza 1567.JPG
John 3:16 in Beza's 1567 Greek New Testament
  • 1567 (Beza Octavo 2nd)
  • 1580 (Beza Octavo 3rd)
  • 1582 (Novum Testamentum. 2nd folio edition. Geneva.)
  • 1588 (Novum Testamentum. 3rd folio edition. Geneva.)
Image:John 3 16 Beza 1589.JPG
John 3:16 in Beza's 1588 Greek New Testament
  • 1590 (Beza Octavo 4th)
  • 1598 (Novum Testamentum. 4th folio edition. Geneva.)
Image:John 3 16 beza 1598.JPG
John 3:16 in Beza's 1598 Greek New Testament

See Also John 3:16 Beza 1598 (Beza)

  • 1604 (Beza Octavo 5th)

Elias Hutter

Elzevir

Oxford Press

Scholz

Scrivener

Other Greek

  • 1869 οὕτως γὰρ ἠγάπησεν ὁ θεὸς τὸν κόσμον, ὥστε τὸν υἱὸν τὸν μονογενῆ ἔδωκεν, ἵνα πᾶς ὁ πιστεύων εἰς αὐτὸν μὴ ἀπόληται ἀλλ’ ἔχῃ ζωὴν αἰώνιον.(Tischendorf)
  • 1881 Οὕτως γὰρ ἠγάπησεν ὁ θεὸς τὸν κόσμον ὥστε τὸν υἱὸν τὸν μονογενῆ ἔδωκεν, ἵνα πᾶς ὁ πιστεύων εἰς αὐτὸν μὴ ἀπόληται ἀλλὰ ἔχῃ ζωὴν αἰώνιον. (Westcott & Hort)
  • 1904 Οὕτως γὰρ ἠγάπησεν ὁ Θεὸς τὸν κόσμον, ὥστε τὸν Υἱὸν τὸν μονογενῆ ἔδωκεν, ἵνα πᾶς ὁ πιστεύων εἰς αὐτὸν μὴ ἀπόληται ἀλλ’ ἔχῃ ζωὴν αἰώνιον. (Nestle)
  • 1904 Οὕτω γὰρ ἠγάπησεν ὁ Θεὸς τὸν κόσμον, ὥστε τὸν υἱὸν αὐτοῦ τὸν μονογενῆ ἔδωκεν, ἵνα πᾶς ὁ πιστεύων εἰς αὐτὸν μὴ ἀπόληται ἀλλ’ ἔχῃ ζωὴν αἰώνιον. (Greek Orthodox (B. Antoniades))

outōs gar ēgapēsen o theos ton kosmon ōste ton uion autou ton monogenē edōken ina pas o pisteuōn eis auton mē apolētai all echē zōēn aiōnion

English Translations

Wycliffe - For God louede so the world, that he ȝaf his oon bigetun sone, that ech man that bileueth in him perische not, but haue euerlastynge lijf.

Foreign Language Versions

German

  • 1534 Also hatt Gott die wellt geliebt, das er seynen eynigen son gab, auff das alle die an yhn glewben, nicht verloren werden, sondern das ewige leben haben, (Luther)
  • 1546 Also hat Gott die Welt geliebet, das er seinen eingebornen Son gab, Auff das alle die an jn gleuben, nicht verloren werden, sondern das ewige Leben haben.(Luther)
  • 1912 Also hat Gott die Welt geliebt, daß er seinen eingeborenen Sohn gab, auf daß alle, die an ihn glauben, nicht verloren werden, sondern das ewige Leben haben.(Luther)

See also

< John 3:15 - John 3:17 >

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