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John 1:15

ESV (John bore witness about him, and cried out, "This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’")
NIV (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, "This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ ")
NASB John *testified about Him and called out, saying, 'This was He of whom I said, ‘He who is coming after me has proved to be my superior, because He existed before me.’?'
CSB (John testified concerning him and exclaimed, "This was the one of whom I said, ‘The one coming after me ranks ahead of me, because he existed before me.’")
NLT John testified about him when he shouted to the crowds, 'This is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘Someone is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’'
KJV John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.
NKJV John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’ ”

What does John 1:15 mean?

John the Baptist is the first of the gospel of John's seven witnesses to Jesus' divinity. His statement reinforces the ideas already mentioned in this passage.

John the Baptist—not the John who authored this gospel—was sent to tell people about Jesus (Malachi 3:1; Matthew 3:1–3). This fulfills a prophecy from Isaiah 40:3, which describes a single voice in the wilderness making a path for God. He also emphasizes the fact that Jesus is the focal point of his ministry, not personal ambition. The Baptist's testimony is that Jesus is the Promised One, the Messiah. This is a figure the Jewish people have been longing after for centuries. Unfortunately, most people assumed that the Savior would be a political or military leader. Jesus spends a great deal of time correcting this misinterpretation through His teachings.

The Baptist will also make a point of referring to Jesus' eternal existence (John 1:30). According to the Bible, John the Baptist would have been born several months prior to his cousin Jesus (Luke 1:35–36). And yet, the Baptist clearly says that Jesus existed before he did.
What is the Gospel?
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