John 3:23 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 3:23, NIV: "Now John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water, and people were coming and being baptized."

John 3:23, ESV: "John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because water was plentiful there, and people were coming and being baptized"

John 3:23, KJV: "And John also was baptizing in AEnon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized."

John 3:23, NASB: "Now John also was baptizing in Aenon, near Salim, because there was an abundance of water there; and people were coming and being baptized—"

John 3:23, NLT: "At this time John the Baptist was baptizing at Aenon, near Salim, because there was plenty of water there; and people kept coming to him for baptism."

John 3:23, CSB: "John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water there. People were coming and being baptized,"

What does John 3:23 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

For a while, both Jesus and John the Baptist preached in the region around Jerusalem. This helps explain why the local religious leaders were concerned. These two men were not like the random, tiny groups of heretics Jerusalem typically saw. According to verse 23, people were responding to this message. Jesus and John the Baptist were a legitimate (spiritual) threat to Jerusalem's established religious order. In fact, there must have been an extremely strong response. This verse says that John chose his location "because there was plenty of water." If so many people are being baptized that it's necessary to find a place with "plenty of water," the message is having an impact.

Like many ancient places, we don't know exactly where Aenon near Salim was located. One strong possibility is somewhere between the Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee. The Greek word aenon literally means "springs," so there was probably a natural fountain or other water source there.