John 3:17 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 3:17, NIV: "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."

John 3:17, ESV: "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him."

John 3:17, KJV: "For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved."

John 3:17, NASB: "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him."

John 3:17, NLT: "God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him."

John 3:17, CSB: "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."

What does John 3:17 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Verse 17 is a peaceful footnote to John 3:16. Jesus came for the purpose of saving people, not condemning them. Verse 18 explains that this is because those who do not believe are "condemned already." According to the Bible, God doesn't want to see anyone destroyed (Ezekiel 18:23–32). Rather, He would prefer that everyone be saved (2 Peter 3:9; 1 Timothy 2:4). However, He will give us the dignity of our choices.

This salvation is offered to "the world," a phrase this verse uses three times. This is from the Greek word kosmos, which sometimes refers to the God-hating system of human society. In this context, however, it means "all people." The meanings overlap in this case, since the people Christ died for were—and are—sinners who are separated from Him (Romans 5:12).

This verse also reiterates the idea that salvation is through Christ—and nothing else. The offer of salvation is for everyone, but only those who accept it will actually be saved.