Trinity Sunday: being born

waterandspiritBorn anōthen. Jesus response to Nicodemus’ opening greeting is bold, challenging and begins with the solemn “Amen, Amen…”

3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born gennēthē anōthen .”

The expression gennēthē anōthen can be translated as “born again” or “born from above.” Some bibles opt for the “again” (TLW), some opt for “again” with a footnote to explain there is an alternative (RSV, NIV, TEV, NASB, ESV, KJV). Other opt for “from above” without explanation (NAB, NJB) or with explanation as to the alternative (NSRV, CEV). Continue reading

Trinity Sunday: prelude to belief

Nicodemus and JesusCommentary. In John 3:1-21, the focus shifts from the interaction of the many with Jesus to Jesus’ interaction with a single individual, Nicodemus. What follows seems to naturally divide into two parts: vv. 1-10, the dialogue between Jesus and Nicodemus; and vv. 11-21, a discourse by Jesus. This text is the first instance of a common Johannine pattern of a central event, in this case a dialogue, followed by a discourse that draws general theological themes out of the particular event. Continue reading

Born again? Born from above?

Nicodemus and JesusJohn 3:3 Jesus answered and said to him[Nicodemus], “Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born anōthen”.

Born anōthen. The expression gennēthē anōthen can be translated as “born again” or “born from above.” Some bibles opt for the “again” (TLW), some opt for “again” with a footnote to explain there is an alternative (RSV, NIV, TEV, NASB, ESV, KJV). Others opt for “from above” without explanation (NAB, NJB) or with explanation as to the alternative (NSRV, CEV). Continue reading

Trinity Sunday: being born

waterandspiritBorn anōthen. Jesus response to Nicodemus’ opening greeting is bold, challenging and begins with the solemn “Amen, Amen…”

3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born gennēthē anōthen .”

The expression gennēthē anōthen can be translated as “born again” or “born from above.” Some bibles opt for the “again” (TLW), some opt for “again” with a footnote to explain there is an alternative (RSV, NIV, TEV, NASB, ESV, KJV). Other opt for “from above” without explanation (NAB, NJB) or with explanation as to the alternative (NSRV, CEV). Continue reading

Trinity Sunday: prelude to belief

Nicodemus and JesusCommentary. In John 3:1-21, the focus shifts from the interaction of the many with Jesus to Jesus’ interaction with a single individual, Nicodemus. What follows seems to naturally divide into two parts: vv. 1-10, the dialogue between Jesus and Nicodemus; and vv. 11-21, a discourse by Jesus. This text is the first instance of a common Johannine pattern of a central event, in this case a dialogue, followed by a discourse that draws general theological themes out of the particular event. Continue reading

The Sign

There are no miracles in the Gospel of John. Well, at least he does not call them as such. John seems to assiduously avoid calling them miracles, preferring to call them “signs.” In fact the first part of the Gospel of John is called the “Book of Signs” – and there are seven.

  • Changing water into wine in John 2:1-11
  • Healing the royal official’s son in Capernaum in John 4:46-54
  • Healing the paralytic at Bethesda in John 5:1-18
  • Feeding the 5000 in John 6:5-14
  • Jesus’ walk on water in John 6:16-24
  • Healing the man born blind in John 9:1-7
  • Raising of Lazarus in John 11:1-45

Each sign is meant, not only to grab your attention, but to serve as a pointer, not that which has just transpired, but to the person of Jesus. The signs also serve to point to a choice.
That has been the motif in the Gospel of John all along. At the end of the first sign, the words of the Blessed Virgin Mother in the story from Cana make it evident. Her last words in the Gospel of John are the clearest and most poignant sign: “This is my son, do what he tells you.” She points to the person of Jesus and points to the choice each will have to make: do what he tells you. Every disciples, every reader, each one who hears this Book of Signs is brought to that moment where choices are made to follow, or not, the one who is the Living Word of God made flesh, Jesus Christ. Continue reading