What does John 1:28 mean?
ESV: These things took place in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
NIV: This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
NASB: These things took place in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing people.
CSB: All this happened in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
NLT: This encounter took place in Bethany, an area east of the Jordan River, where John was baptizing.
KJV: These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.
Verse Commentary:
The scene described in John 1:19–28 occurred in Bethany, but not the same Bethany as the home of Lazarus (John 11:1). Some texts translate this name as Bethabara. Either way, the gospel's author, the disciple John, specifies that this location was "beyond the Jordan" to keep the two locations separate. It was probably a small area, not even a village, on or right next to the Jordan River, several miles east of Jerusalem. Ancient historians placed it near the site of Jericho, on the east bank. This was far enough away from Jerusalem to be considered "the wilderness," in accordance with Isaiah 40:3. The Jordan river has always been an important waterway. This is the stream Israel crossed to reach the Promised Land, as well as the place where the pagan general Naaman was healed. However, the Jordan is not as wide, or deep, or impressive as other rivers. Naaman made a point of sneering at the Jordan prior to his personal miracle (2 Kings 5:10–12).
Verse Context:
John 1:19–28 describes a conversation between John the Baptist (not the same John as the author of this gospel) and the local religious leaders. Baptizing converts to Judaism was common, but the Baptist was calling on Jews to repent and be baptized. The Baptist makes it clear that he is not the “Promised One,” but equally clear that his mission is to prepare the way for that One.
Chapter Summary:
The first chapter of John introduces Jesus as “the Word,” from the Greek Logos. This chapter clearly describes Jesus as identical to God. After this prologue, the chapter describes Jesus recruiting the first of His disciples, as well as a conversation between John the Baptist and the Pharisees. There are seven names for Christ in this chapter, including “The Son of God,” “The Word,” and “The King of Israel.”
Chapter Context:
The first chapter of the gospel of John equates Christ with God, and introduces John the Baptist. The Baptist specifically points to Jesus as the Promised One. Jesus collects the first five of His disciples. In this chapter, Jesus is given seven descriptive names, including “The Word,” “The Son of God,” and “The King of Israel.” This chapter sets the stage for the rest of the gospel, by giving the reader a sense of who Jesus truly is, and why He has come. The rest of the gospel is an exploration of the claims made in this initial passage.
Book Summary:
The gospel of John was written by the disciple John, decades later than the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. The author assumes that a reader is already familiar with the content of these other works. So, John presents a different perspective, with a greater emphasis on meaning. John uses seven miracles—which he calls “signs”—in order to prove that Jesus is, in fact, God incarnate. Some of the most well-known verses in all of the Bible are found here. None is more famous than the one-sentence summary of the gospel found in John 3:16.
Accessed 4/17/2024 11:58:05 PM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.