Vincent Word Studies - John 3:3 - 3:3

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Vincent Word Studies - John 3:3 - 3:3

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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:

Answered and said

See on Joh 2:18.

Verily, verily

See on Joh 1:51.

Be born again (γεννηθῇ ἄνωθεν)

See on Luk 1:3. Literally, from the top (Mat 27:51). Expositors are divided on the rendering of ἄνωθεν, some translating, from above, and others, again or anew. The word is used in the following senses in the New Testament, where it occurs thirteen times:

1. From the top: Mat 27:51; Mar 15:38; Joh 19:23.

2. From above: Joh 3:31; Joh 19:11; Jam 1:17; Jam 3:15, Jam 3:17.

3. From the beginning: Luk 1:3; Act 26:5.

4. Again: Gal 4:9, but accompanied by πάλιν, again.

In favor of the rendering from above, it is urged that it corresponds to John's habitual method of describing the work of spiritual regeneration as a birth from God (Joh 1:13; 1Jo 3:9; 1Jo 4:7; 1Jo 5:1, 1Jo 5:4, 1Jo 5:8); and further, that it is Paul, and not John, who describes it as a new birth. In favor of the other rendering, again, it may be said: 1. that from above does not describe the fact but the nature of the new birth, which in the logical order would be stated after the fact, but which is first announced if we render from above. If we translate anew or again, the logical order is preserved, the nature of the birth being described in Joh 3:5. 2. That Nicodemus clearly understood the word as meaning again, since, in Joh 3:4, he translated it into a second time. 3. That it seems strange that Nicodemus should have been startled by the idea of a birth from heaven.

Canon Westcott calls attention to the traditional form of the saying in which the word ἀναγεννᾶσθαι, which can only mean reborn, is used as its equivalent. Again, however, does not give the exact force of the word, which is rather as Rev., anew, or afresh. Render, therefore, as Rev., except a man be born anew. The phrase occurs only in John's Gospel.

See (ἰδεῖν)

The things of God's kingdom are not apparent to the natural vision. A new power of sight is required, which attaches only to the new man. Compare 1Co 2:14.

Kingdom of God

See on Luk 6:20.