John 1:4 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 1:4, NIV: "In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind."

John 1:4, ESV: "In him was life, and the life was the light of men."

John 1:4, KJV: "In him was life; and the life was the light of men."

John 1:4, NASB: "In Him was life, and the life was the Light of mankind."

John 1:4, NLT: "The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone."

John 1:4, CSB: "In him was life, and that life was the light of men."

What does John 1:4 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Verse 4 proclaims Christ's role as the giver of eternal life. John will spend much more time later in his gospel explaining Jesus' role in bringing life to mankind. This verse also refers to Jesus using the second of John's seven names for Jesus: "The Light." To a Hebrew, "light" was the ultimate value. All good things were said to be "light," and evil was "darkness." Light implies a revealing. Jesus not only exposes our sinfulness, He illuminates a way to be saved from it. Light implies knowledge and awareness, while darkness is ignorance. For some, darkness is a deliberate choice. They know that what they do is wrong, so they prefer to hide from the truth. Light guides and comforts, but it can be infuriating to someone who wants to stay in the shadows. The light, in this case, is specifically for mankind. Jesus will proclaim Himself as "the Light of the world" in John 8:12.