John 3:20 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 3:20, NIV: "Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed."

John 3:20, ESV: "For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed."

John 3:20, KJV: "For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved."

John 3:20, NASB: "'For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed."

John 3:20, NLT: "All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed."

John 3:20, CSB: "For everyone who does evil hates the light and avoids it, so that his deeds may not be exposed."

What does John 3:20 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Light is an important symbol in the Bible. Jesus is described as "The Light" in several passages (John 1:9). This light reveals things, and some of what it uncovers we would rather keep a secret. Those who commit sin would prefer that sin stay hidden, and not be exposed. The Greek term here translated as "evil," or "wicked," is phaula, which also means "worthless," "base," or "no good." A life without God may seem satisfying, for a while (Hebrews 11:25), but it's ultimately hopeless, worthless, and ends in disaster (Mark 8:36). This is not just a Christian opinion—many atheists subscribe to this idea, as well. They look for ways to avoid living as though life has no meaning, but recognize that with no God there is no legitimate meaning to life. In order to live a life of purpose, rationally, a person has to believe in purpose.