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John 1:32

ESV And John bore witness: "I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him.
NIV Then John gave this testimony: "I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him.
NASB And John testified, saying, 'I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him.
CSB And John testified, "I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and he rested on him.
NLT Then John testified, 'I saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove from heaven and resting upon him.
KJV And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.
NKJV And John bore witness, saying, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him.

What does John 1:32 mean?

John the Baptist has already said that he hadn't recognized Jesus as the Messiah, at first (John 1:31). Though they were related (Luke 1:35–36), Jesus and John the Baptist probably didn't spend much of their childhood together. Jesus grew up in Nazareth; John would have lived nearer to Jerusalem.

Scripture is almost silent about Jesus' life prior to the start of His active ministry. Jesus frequently mentions that He is on a divine timetable, so His younger years were not yet "His time." At some point, the Baptist saw a vision of a dove, representative of the Holy Spirit, "remaining" on Jesus (Matthew 3:16). This confirmed for the Baptist that Jesus was the Messiah.

The word translated in the ESV as "bore witness" and in other versions as "testified" is from an extremely specific Greek term meaning "giving information from one's direct personal knowledge." There was no longer any doubt in the Baptist's mind who Jesus was. The gospel of John does not actually record the baptism of Jesus (Matthew 3:13–17; Mark 1:9–11; Luke 3:21–22). The human author of this passage, John the disciple, recorded his book many years after Matthew, Mark, and Luke's were known. He assumed that the reader was already familiar with the basics and presented a different perspective on the story.
What is the Gospel?
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