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1. Word Became Flesh
1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2The same was in the beginning with God. 3All things were made through him; and without him was not anything made that hath been made. 4In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5And the light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness apprehended it not. 6There came a man, sent from God, whose name was John. 7The same came for witness, that he might bear witness of the light, that all might believe through him. 8He was not the light, but came that he might bear witness of the light. 9There was the true light, even the light which lighteth every man, coming into the world. 10He was in the world, and the world was made through him, and the world knew him not. 11He came unto his own, and they that were his own received him not. 12But as many as received him, to them gave he the right to become children of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 14And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father), full of grace and truth. 15John beareth witness of him, and crieth, saying, This was he of whom I said, He that cometh after me is become before me: for he was before me. 16For of his fulness we all received, and grace for grace. 17For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. 19And this is the witness of John, when the Jews sent unto him from Jerusalem priests and Levites to ask him, Who art thou? 20And he confessed, and denied not; and he confessed, I am not the Christ. 21And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elijah? And he saith, I am not. Art thou the prophet? And he answered, No. 22They said therefore unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself? 23He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said Isaiah the prophet. 24And they had been sent from the Pharisees. 25And they asked him, and said unto him, Why then baptizest thou, if thou art not the Christ, neither Elijah, neither the prophet? 26John answered them, saying, I baptize in water: in the midst of you standeth one whom ye know not, 27even he that cometh after me, the latchet of whose shoe I am not worthy to unloose. 28These things were done in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing. 29On the morrow he seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold, the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world! 30This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man who is become before me: for he was before me. 31And I knew him not; but that he should be made manifest to Israel, for this cause came I baptizing in water. 32And John bare witness, saying, I have beheld the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven; and it abode upon him. 33And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize in water, he said unto me, Upon whomsoever thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and abiding upon him, the same is he that baptizeth in the Holy Spirit. 34And I have seen, and have borne witness that this is the Son of God. 35Again on the morrow John was standing, and two of his disciples; 36and he looked upon Jesus as he walked, and saith, Behold, the Lamb of God! 37And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. 38And Jesus turned, and beheld them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? And they said unto him, Rabbi (which is to say, being interpreted, Teacher), where abideth thou? 39He saith unto them, Come, and ye shall see. They came therefore and saw where he abode; and they abode with him that day: it was about the tenth hour. 40One of the two that heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. 41He findeth first his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messiah (which is, being interpreted, Christ). 42He brought him unto Jesus. Jesus looked upon him, and said, Thou art Simon the son of John: thou shalt be called Cephas (which is by interpretation, Peter). 43On the morrow he was minded to go forth into Galilee, and he findeth Philip: and Jesus saith unto him, Follow me. 44Now Philip was from Bethsaida, of the city of Andrew and Peter. 45Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. 46And Nathanael said unto him, Can any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see. 47Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! 48Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee. 49Nathanael answered him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art King of Israel. 50Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee underneath the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these. 51And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye shall see the heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.
19. And this is the testimony. Hitherto the Evangelist has related the preaching of John about Christ; he now comes down to a more illustrious testimony, which was delivered to the ambassadors of the Priests, that they might convey it to Jerusalem. He says, therefore, that John openly confessed for what purpose he was sent by God. The first inquiry here is, for what purpose the Priests put questions to him. It is generally believed that, out of hatred to Christ, they gave to John an honor which did not belong to him; but this could not be the reason, for Christ was not yet known to them. Others say that they were better pleased with John, because he was of the lineage and order of the priesthood; but neither do I think that this is probable; for since they expected from Christ all prosperity, why did they voluntarily contrive a false Christ? I think, therefore, that there was another reason that induced them. It was now a long time since they had the Prophets; John came suddenly and contrary to expectation; and the minds of all were aroused to expect the Messiah. Besides, all entertained the belief that the coining of the Messiah was at hand.
That they may not appear to be careless about their duty, if they neglect or disguise a matter of so great importance, they ask John, Who art thou? At first, therefore, they did not act from malice, but, on the contrary, actuated by the desire of redemption, they wish to know if John be the Christ, because he begins to change the order which had been customary in the Church. And yet I do not deny that ambition, and a wish to retain their authority, had some influence over them; but nothing certainly was farther from their intention than to transfer the honor of Christ to another. Nor is their conduct in this matter inconsistent with the office which they sustain; for since they held the government of the Church of God, it was their duty to take care that no one rashly obtruded himself, that no founder of a new sect should arise, that the unity of faith should not be broken in the Church, and that none should introduce new and foreign ceremonies. It is evident, therefore, that a report about John was widely spread and aroused the minds of all; and this was arranged by the wonderful Providence of God, that this testimony might be more strikingly complete.