John 1:5 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 1:5, NIV: "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."

John 1:5, ESV: "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."

John 1:5, KJV: "And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not."

John 1:5, NASB: "And the Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not grasp it."

John 1:5, NLT: "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it."

John 1:5, CSB: "That light shines in the darkness, and yet the darkness did not overcome it."

What does John 1:5 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jesus' light came during a dark time, according to verse 5. Sadly, mankind didn't respond very well. The second phrase of this verse is sometimes translated as "the darkness did not overcome it," or "the darkness did not comprehend it." The original Greek word is katalmbano, which can mean "acquire," "grasp," or "lay hold of." Since light is associated with knowledge, this in part means that Jesus was not (is not) understood by the world. Many people who reject the gospel do so because they misunderstand it. This inability to see Jesus for what He truly is has more to do with a person's stubbornness than with their intellect (John 7:17). The evidence is there, but those who prefer darkness will not see it for what it is. This also has a sense of "seizing," as in taking possession. Of course, the world would physically "grasp" the person of Jesus (John 19:18), but it could not overcome the Messiah (John 19:19–20).