John 3:19 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 3:19, NIV: "This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil."

John 3:19, ESV: "And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil."

John 3:19, KJV: "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil."

John 3:19, NASB: "And this is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the Light; for their deeds were evil."

John 3:19, NLT: "And the judgment is based on this fact: God's light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil."

John 3:19, CSB: "This is the judgment: The light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil."

What does John 3:19 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The opening verses of the gospel of John refer to Jesus as "The Light," which is an important concept in Hebrew culture (John 1:4–9). Light reveals truth, and exposes what was hidden. This, according to verse 19, is the reason why many people reject Jesus. His life, and His teachings, expose every single person as a sinner (Romans 3:10), and the things we do as morally wrong (Romans 4:7). Many people would prefer to hide in darkness, rather than be exposed by the light (John 1:5; John 8:12). It's crucial to remember that those who are saved are not "better" than those who reject Christ—they are simply sinners who confess and believe (1 John 1:6–7).

The word translated as "evil" here is the Greek ponera. This term not only implies evil, but a sense of drudgery, labor, and effort. Mankind is not just immoral, we work hard at being immoral! And, a life of sin is a hard life (John 10:10; Isaiah 14:3; Matthew 11:28).