John 1:18 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 1:18, NIV: No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.

John 1:18, ESV: No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.

John 1:18, KJV: No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

John 1:18, NASB: No one has seen God at any time; God the only Son, who is in the arms of the Father, He has explained Him.

John 1:18, NLT: No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father's heart. He has revealed God to us.

John 1:18, CSB: No one has ever seen God. The one and only Son, who is himself God and is at the Father's side --he has revealed him.

What does John 1:18 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In verse 18, "seeing God" is meant in the sense of seeing God the Father in a physical, literal sense. God chose to reveal Himself in certain forms in the past, but He is essentially a Spirit (John 4:24). The gospel of John describes Jesus as the "Word" of God, using the Greek word logos. Jesus is the message, or the definition, of God. Words are tangible symbols of ideas, both for our eyes and our ears. The fact that God came in human form is critical. Jesus is a human being who experiences our struggles (Hebrews 4:15), one to whom we can relate. Jesus is a message from God, in a language we all understand: relationship. Jesus explains God to us in a way we could never understand otherwise. Here, John also repeats the claim that Jesus is God. The Greek term monogenes is used here, as well as in verse 14 and John 3:16, both for the phrase "one and only." This word means Jesus is of the exact same "stuff" as God the Father. This is the first of seven "witnesses" to Jesus' divinity in the gospel of John, and the third of seven names: "The Son of God."