John 1:49 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 1:49, NIV: "Then Nathanael declared, 'Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.'"

John 1:49, ESV: "Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”"

John 1:49, KJV: "Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel."

John 1:49, NASB: "Nathanael answered Him, 'Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel!'"

John 1:49, NLT: "Then Nathanael exclaimed, 'Rabbi, you are the Son of God--the King of Israel!'"

John 1:49, CSB: ""Rabbi," Nathanael replied, "You are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel! ""

What does John 1:49 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The term Rabbi was used by Jewish people to refer to religious leaders and scholars. It literally means "honorable sir," or even "master." John frequently explains Hebrew words and culture for his readers. In verse 38, John defines the term "Rabbi" as "teacher." It's likely the conversation between Jesus and Nathanael was longer than the summary recorded in the gospel of John. However, the change in Nathanael's attitude is dramatic. Within a few moments, he goes from insulting Jesus' hometown, to doubting His knowledge, to referring to Him as Rabbi. Calling Jesus the "Son of God" refers to prophecies of the Messiah. The Promised One is described as the Son of God in Psalm 2. Nathanael also uses the sixth of the seven names for Jesus in chapter 1: "The King of Israel." Isaiah 11:1–2 describes the future King as having God's spirit of wisdom. When Nathanael doubted that Jesus would be worth knowing, Philip suggested actually meeting Him (John 1:46). That made all the difference.

This verse is also the second of seven "witnesses" in the gospel of John. These are people who specifically state that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God. The others include John the Baptist (John 1:29), Peter (John 6:69), the blind man (John 9:35–38), Martha (John 11:27), Thomas (John 20:28), and Jesus Himself (John 5:25; John 10:36).