1 The Word [already] existed in the beginning [of time]. [Note: This is a reference to the preexistence of Jesus. See verse 14]. And the Word was with God and the Word was [what] God [was]. 2 This Word existed with God from the beginning [of time]. 3 Everything came into being through this Word, and apart from Him not a single thing came into being. 4 Life existed in Him; and that Life [was what] enlightened mankind [spiritually]. 4 PM if Jewish time were meant]. 5 And [His] light continued to shine, [even] in the darkness [of the world], and that darkness did not overcome Him [or, did not fully understand Him].
6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John [the Immerser]. 7 He came to be a witness, so that he might testify concerning that Light, so that all people would believe [in Jesus] through him [i.e., through his testimony. See Acts 19:4]. 8 He himself was not that Light, but came [only] to testify concerning that Light. 9 [Now] the true Light, who enlightens all mankind, was [indeed] coming into the world [i.e., to earth].
10 [Actually] He was in the world [already], for the world came into being through Him, but the world did not acknowledge Him. 11 [Then] He came to His own [world, while on earth], but His own [people, the Israelites] did not welcome Him. 12 But He gave all those who did welcome Him the opportunity of becoming children of God by believing in His name [i.e., as the Messiah]. 13 [Such people] were born of God, not of blood ties [i.e., from physical descendants], nor of the will of the flesh [i.e., merely from a sexual desire], nor of the will of man [i.e., from a husband's desire for offspring].
14 [Eventually] this Word became a human being and lived among us [Note: The word "lived" here refers to pitching a temporary tent]. (And we saw His splendor; such splendor as belongs to the Father's only Son), full of God's favor and truth. 15 John gave testimony about Jesus, shouting out, "This person is the one about whom I said, 'He who will come after me ranks above me because He existed before me.'" 16 For we have all received from His full richness one favor after another. 17 For the law was given through Moses; [but] God's favor and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God [i.e., His full splendor], but God, the only conceived [and eventually born Son], who is at the Father's side, has shown us who He is.
19 And this is the testimony John [the Immerser] gave when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, "Who are you?" [Note: Levites were men who assisted the priests in the Temple service].
20 Then he declared openly, without denying it, "I am not the Christ [i.e., God's specially chosen one]."
21 So, they asked him, "Who then [are you]? Are you Elijah [i.e., returned from the dead]?" But he answered, "[No], I am not." "[Then], are you the prophet [i.e., Moses. See Deut. 18:15-19]?" they asked. And he answered, "No."
22 So, they asked him [again], "[Then], who are you? We need to take back an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?"
23 He replied, "I am the voice of a man who is calling out in the desert, [urging people to] 'Make the road for the Lord straight,' as Isaiah the prophet said, [Isa. 40:3]."
24 Now those who were sent [i.e., to question John] were Pharisees [i.e., a strict sect of the Jewish religion]. 25 They asked him, "Why do you immerse people then, if you are not the Christ, or Elijah, or the prophet [Moses]?"
26 So, John answered them, saying, "I am immersing people in water, but there is Someone among you whom you do not recognize. 27 He is the One who will follow my ministry; [and] I do not deserve to untie his sandal lace."
28 These things happened in Bethany on the east side of the Jordan River where John was immersing people. [Note: This was a different Bethany from the one just outside of Jerusalem].
29 On the next day John [the Immerser] saw Jesus approaching him and said, "Look, [there is] the Lamb of God; He [will] take away the sin of the people of the world. 30 He is the One about whom I said, 'A man will come after me who ranks above me, for He existed before me.' 31 And I would not have recognized Him, but I came immersing people in water so that He would become known to the Israelites."
32 So, John gave his testimony, saying, "I have seen the Holy Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and it remained on Him. 33 And I did not recognize Him, but He [i.e., God], who sent me to immerse in water, said to me, 'The one on whom you see the Holy Spirit descending and remaining is the same One who [will] immerse people in the Holy Spirit.' 34 And I have seen and given testimony that this person is the Son of God."
35 Then on the following day John was standing [there] again with two of his disciples. 36 And when he saw Jesus walking by, he said, "Look, [there is] the Lamb of God!"
37 [When] the two disciples heard him say that, they began following Jesus. 38 Then Jesus turned and saw them following [Him] and said to them, "What are you looking for?" And they answered Him, "Rabbi (which means Teacher), where are you staying?"
39 Then He said to them, "Come, and you will see." So, they went and saw where He was staying and they stayed with Him that day. It was about ten o'clock in the morning. [Note: Hour designations in this book are being calculated by Roman time, but this would have been
40 One of the two men who had listened to John and had become a follower of Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. 41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his own brother Simon and say to him, "We have found the Messiah (which means Christ [i.e., God's specially chosen one])." 42 So, Andrew brought Simon Peter to Jesus. [And when] Jesus saw him, He said [to him], "You are Simon, the son of John [Note: Peter's father is called Jonah in Matt. 16:17]; you will be called Cephas (which means Peter [i.e., "a stone." See Matt. 16:18])." 43 [Then] on the next day He [i.e., Jesus, but some think it refers to Peter or Andrew] decided to travel into Galilee, [and there] He found Philip. Jesus said to Philip, "Become my follower." 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, Andrew's and Peter's home town. [Note: This town was on the northwest shore of Lake Galilee, a few miles from Capernaum]. 45 [Then] Philip found Nathaniel [i.e., the same as Bartholomew. See Matt. 10:3] and said to him, "We have found Him, the one Moses wrote about in the law; and the prophets [also wrote about Him]. [He is] Jesus from Nazareth, the [step-] son of Joseph." 46 Nathaniel replied to him, "Can anything worthwhile come from Nazareth?" [Note: Nazareth had a bad reputation and Jewish writings made no prediction of a prophet coming from that area. See John 7:52]. Philip answered him, "Come and see." 47 [As] Jesus saw Nathaniel coming toward Him, He said [this] about him, "Look, [there is] a true Israelite, a completely honest man!" 48 Nathaniel asked Jesus, "How did you know me?" Jesus answered him, "I saw you when you were under that fig tree, [even] before Philip called you." 49 Nathaniel replied to Him, "Rabbi [i.e., Teacher], you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel." 50 Jesus said to him, "Do you believe [in me just] because I told you, 'I saw you under that fig tree'? You will see [even] greater things than these [happen]." 51 Then Jesus said to him, "Truly, truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened up and the angels of God going up [from] and coming down on the Son of man" [i.e., probably a reference to angels ministering to Jesus' needs. See Matt. 4:6, 11; Luke 22:43].