1 In the beginning, the Word was already there. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning.
3All things were made through him. Nothing that has been made was made without him. 4Life was in him, and that life was the light for all people. 5The light shines in the darkness. But the darkness has not understood it.
6A man came who was sent from God. His name was John. 7He came to give witness about that light. He gave witness so that all people could believe.
8John himself was not the light. He came only as a witness to the light. 9The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.
10The Word was in the world that was made through him. But the world did not recognize him. 11He came to what was his own. But his own people did not accept him.
12Some people did accept him. They believed in his name. He gave them the right to become children of God. 13To be a child of God has nothing to do with human parents. Children of God are not born because of human choice or because a husband wants them to be born. They are born because of what God does.
14The Word became a human being. He made his home with us. We have seen his glory. It is the glory of the one and only Son.
He came from the Father. And he was full of grace and truth.
15John gives witness about him. He cries out and says, “This was the one I was talking about. I said, ‘He who comes after me is more important than I am. He is more important because he existed before I was born.’ ”
16We have all received one blessing after another. God’s grace is not limited. 17Moses gave us the law. Jesus Christ has given us grace and truth.
18No one has ever seen God. But God, the one and only Son, is at the Father’s side. He has shown us what God is like.
John the Baptist Is Not the Christ
19The Jews of Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask John who he was. John gave witness to them. 20He did not try to hide the truth. He spoke to them openly. He said, “I am not the Christ.”
21They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?”
He said, “I am not.”
“Are you the Prophet we’ve been expecting?” they asked.
“No,” he answered.
22They asked one last time, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”
23John replied, using the words of Isaiah the prophet. John said, “I’m the messenger who is calling out in the desert, ‘Make the way for the Lord straight.’ ” (Isaiah 40:3)
24Some Pharisees who had been sent 25asked him, “If you are not the Christ, why are you baptizing people? Why are you doing that if you aren’t Elijah or the Prophet we’ve been expecting?”
26“I baptize people with water,” John replied. “But One is standing among you whom you do not know. 27He is the One who comes after me. I am not good enough to untie his sandals.”
28This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan River. That was where John was baptizing.
29The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him. John said, “Look! The Lamb of God! He takes away the sin of the world! 30This is the One I was talking about. I said, ‘A man who comes after me is more important than I am. That’s because he existed before I was born.’ 31I did not know him. But God wants to make it clear to Israel who this person is. That’s the reason I came baptizing with water.”
32Then John told them, “I saw the Holy Spirit come down from heaven like a dove. The Spirit remained on Jesus. 33I would not have known him. But the One who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘You will see the Spirit come down and remain on someone. He is the One who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34I have seen it happen. I give witness that this is the Son of God.”
Jesus Chooses the First Disciples
35The next day John was again with two of his disciples. 36He saw Jesus walking by. John said, “Look! The Lamb of God!”
37The two disciples heard him say this. So they followed Jesus.
38Then Jesus turned around and saw them following. He asked, “What do you want?”
They said, “Rabbi, where are you staying?” Rabbi means Teacher.
39“Come,” he replied. “You will see.”
So they went and saw where he was staying. They spent the rest of the day with him. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon.
40Andrew was Simon Peter’s brother. Andrew was one of the two disciples who heard what John had said. He had also followed Jesus. 41The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon. He told him, “We have found the Messiah.” Messiah means Christ. 42And he brought Simon to Jesus.
Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon, son of John. You will be called Cephas.” Cephas means Peter (or rock).
Jesus Chooses Philip and Nathanael
43The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.”
44Philip was from the town of Bethsaida. So were Andrew and Peter. 45Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the One that Moses wrote about in the Law. The prophets also wrote about him. He is Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
46“Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked.
“Come and see,” said Philip.
47Jesus saw Nathanael approaching. Here is what Jesus said about him. “He is a true Israelite. There is nothing false in him.”
48“How do you know me?” Nathanael asked.
Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree. I saw you there before Philip called you.”
49Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God. You are the King of Israel.”
50Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.”
51Then he said to the disciples, “What I’m about to tell you is true. You will see heaven open. You will see the angels of God going up and coming down on the Son of Man.”
About New International Reader’s Version (1998)
The New International Reader’s Version (NIrV) was developed to help early readers understand the Bible. Begun in 1992, the NIrV is a simplification of the New International Version (NIV). The NIrV uses shorter words and sentences so that those with a typical fourth grade reading level can comprehend what they are reading. The chapters have been separated into shorter sections and most have titles that clearly indicate what the section is all about. The NIrV will be a valuable translation to those for whom English is a second language. The NIrV still relies on the best and oldest copies of the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts for its translation, guaranteeing that those who read it are getting the actual Word of God.
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