John 1:8 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 1:8, NIV: "He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light."

John 1:8, ESV: "He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light."

John 1:8, KJV: "He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light."

John 1:8, NASB: "He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light."

John 1:8, NLT: "John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light."

John 1:8, CSB: "He was not the light, but he came to testify about the light."

What does John 1:8 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Verse 8 clearly states that John the Baptist is not the promised Light itself, but only a witness. Unlike many popular teachers, the Baptist wasn't interested in fame or fortune. He was there only to point others to Christ. Later on, as his followers begin to leave him for Jesus, the Baptist is happy (John 3:28–30). His repentance ministry was meant to soften hearts prior to Jesus emerging on the scene. The Baptist's claim is that the One who is coming is far more worthy; John the Baptist is not fit to untie His sandals (Mathew 3:11). This is a fulfillment of prophecy, recorded in Isaiah 40:3, which speaks of a single voice, crying out in the desert, making a straight path for God. Previous signs pointing towards God, such as the law of Moses, and the tabernacle, were meant to lead people to this point. Now, the time has come to repent of sins and accept the Light of the World.