John 1:30 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 1:30, NIV: "This is the one I meant when I said, 'A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.'"

John 1:30, ESV: "This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me.’"

John 1:30, KJV: "This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me."

John 1:30, NASB: "This is He in behalf of whom I said, ‘After me is coming a Man who has proved to be my superior, because He existed before me.’"

John 1:30, NLT: "He is the one I was talking about when I said, 'A man is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.'"

John 1:30, CSB: "This is the one I told you about: 'After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me, because he existed before me.'"

What does John 1:30 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

John the Baptist (different from the disciple John, the author of this gospel) specifically points out Jesus as "the One" he had previously spoken of. The Baptist's entire mission was to make a path for this man. Because the Baptist was not the Messiah, he pointed all attention and honor towards Jesus, rather than himself. He had gone so far as to say he wasn't worthy to untie the Promised One's sandals (John 1:27). The Baptist also repeats that Jesus "existed before me," a reference to Jesus' divinity. It's important to remember that the Baptist was born several months before Jesus. And yet, he knows that Christ existed before he did, as God (John 1:1). After preaching repentance, and warning people that the Messiah was coming, the Baptist can now point to Him and say, "He's here!" Jesus will later refer to John's testimony as one of the reasons to believe in His message (John 5:32–33).