John 1:5
New International Version
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

New Living Translation
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.

English Standard Version
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Berean Study Bible
The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Berean Literal Bible
And the Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

New American Standard Bible
The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

King James Bible
And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

Christian Standard Bible
That light shines in the darkness, and yet the darkness did not overcome it.

Contemporary English Version
The light keeps shining in the dark, and darkness has never put it out.

Good News Translation
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never put it out.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
That light shines in the darkness, yet the darkness did not overcome it.

International Standard Version
And the light shines on in the darkness, and the darkness has never put it out.

NET Bible
And the light shines on in the darkness, but the darkness has not mastered it.

New Heart English Bible
And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness hasn't overcome it.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And The Light is shining in the darkness, and the darkness did not overtake it.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The light shines in the dark, and the dark has never extinguished it.

New American Standard 1977
And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness apprehended it not.

King James 2000 Bible
And the light shines in darkness; and the darkness overcame it not.

American King James Version
And the light shines in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

American Standard Version
And the light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness apprehended it not.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

Darby Bible Translation
And the light appears in darkness, and the darkness apprehended it not.

English Revised Version
And the light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness apprehended it not.

Webster's Bible Translation
And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

Weymouth New Testament
The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overpowered it.

World English Bible
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness hasn't overcome it.

Young's Literal Translation
and the light in the darkness did shine, and the darkness did not perceive it.
Study Bible GRK ▾ 
The Beginning
4In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 6There came a man who was sent from God. His name was John.…
Cross References
Matthew 5:15
Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they set it on a lampstand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.

John 3:19
And this is the verdict: The Light has come into the world, but men loved the darkness rather than the Light, because their deeds were evil.

Acts 26:18
to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those sanctified by faith in Me.'

Treasury of Scripture

And the light shines in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

John 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

John 3:19,20 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, …

John 12:36-40 While you have light, believe in the light, that you may be the children …

Job 24:13-17 They are of those that rebel against the light; they know not the …

Proverbs 1:22,29,30 How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? and the scorners …

Romans 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God …

1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: …







Lexicon
The
τὸ (to)
Article - Nominative Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

Light
φῶς (phōs)
Noun - Nominative Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 5457: Light, a source of light, radiance. From an obsolete phao; luminousness.

shines
φαίνει (phainei)
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 5316: Prolongation for the base of phos; to lighten, i.e. Show.

in
ἐν (en)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 1722: In, on, among. A primary preposition denoting position, and instrumentality, i.e. A relation of rest; 'in, ' at, on, by, etc.

the
τῇ (tē)
Article - Dative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

darkness,
σκοτίᾳ (skotia)
Noun - Dative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 4653: Darkness; fig: spiritual darkness. From skotos; dimness, obscurity.

and
καὶ (kai)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 2532: And, even, also, namely.

the
(hē)
Article - Nominative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

darkness
σκοτία (skotia)
Noun - Nominative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 4653: Darkness; fig: spiritual darkness. From skotos; dimness, obscurity.

{has} not
οὐ (ou)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 3756: No, not. Also ouk, and ouch a primary word; the absolute negative adverb; no or not.

overcome
κατέλαβεν (katelaben)
Verb - Aorist Indicative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 2638: From kata and lambano; to take eagerly, i.e. Seize, possess, etc.

it.
αὐτὸ (auto)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Accusative Neuter 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 846: He, she, it, they, them, same. From the particle au; the reflexive pronoun self, used of the third person, and of the other persons.
(5) And the light shineth in darkness.--The vision of brightness is present but for a moment, and passes away before the black reality of the history of mankind. The description of Paradise occupies but a few verses of the Old Testament. The outer darkness casts its gloom on every page. But in the moral chaos, too, God said, "Let there be light; and there was light." The first struggle of light into and through darkness until the darkness received it, rolled back before it, passed away into it--the repeated comprehension of light by darkness, as in the dawn of every morning the night passes into day, and the earth now shrouded in blackness is now bathed in the clear white light of an Eastern sun--this has its counterpart in the moral world. There, too, the Sun of Righteousness has shone, is ever shining; but as the Apostle looks back on the history of the pre-Christian world, or, it may be, looks back on the earthly ministry of Christ Himself, he seeks in vain for the victory of truth, for the hearts of nations, or of men, penetrated through and through with heaven's light, and he sums up the whole in one sad negation, "The darkness comprehended it not." Yet in this very sadness there is firm and hopeful faith. The emphatic present declares that the light still, always, "shineth in darkness." True are those words of patriarch, lawgiver, prophet, as they followed the voice which called, or received God's law for men, or told forth the word which came to them from Him; true are they of every poet, thinker, statesman, who has grasped some higher truth, or chased some lurking doubt, or taught a nation noble deeds; true are they of every evangelist, martyr, philanthropist, who has carried the light of the gospel to the heart of men, who has in life or death witnessed to its truth, who has shown its power in deeds of mercy and of love; true are they of the humblest Christian who seeks to walk in the light, and from the sick-chamber of the lowliest home may be letting a light shine before men which leads them to glorify the Father which is in heaven. The Light is ever shining, ofttimes, indeed, coloured as it passes through the differing minds of different men, and meeting us across the space that separates continents, and the time that separates ages, in widely varying hues; but these shades pass into each other, and in the harmony of all is the pure light of truth.

Comprehended it not.--The meaning of this word differs from that rendered "knew not" in John 1:10. The thought here is that the darkness did not lay hold of, did not appropriate the light, so as itself to become light; the thought there is that individuals did not recognise it. Comp. Notes on Romans 9:30; 1Corinthians 9:24; Philippians 3:12-13, where the same Greek word occurs. See also Ephesians 3:18, which is the only passage in the New Testament, besides the present one, where the word is rendered by "comprehend."

Verse 5. -

(3) The antagonism between light and darkness. The highest manifestation and proof of the following statement will be found in that great entrance of the Eternal Logos into human life which will shed the most complete ray of Divine light upon men; but before that great event, during its occurrence, and ever since, i.e. throughout all times and nations, the light shineth in the darkness. Many expositors, like Godet, after long wavering and pondering, resolve this expression into a distinct epitome of the effect of the Incarnation, the highest manifestation of the light in the theanthropic life, and hesitate to see any reference to the shining of the light upon the darkness of humanity or of the heathen world. They do this on the ground that there is no confirmation or illustration of this idea in John's Gospel. However, let the following parallels and expositions of this thought be considered. Our Lord discriminates between those who "hate the light" and "those who do the truth and come to the light" (John 3:21). He delights in those whom the Father has given to him, and who come to him (John 6:37). He speaks of "other sheep which are not of this fold, who hear his voice" (John 10:16). He tells Pilate that "every one who is of the truth heareth my voice "(John 18:37). In solitary address to the Father (John 17:6), he says, "Thine they were, and thou gavest them me." In all these passages abundant hint is given of a direct treatment of souls antecedent to, or rather irrespective of, the special grace of Christ's earthly manifestation. This passage, so far, in the wide embrace of its meaning, asserts that the light here taken as the effluence of the life itself, perpetually, forever, shineth (φαίνει, not; φωτίζει) - pours forth its radiance by its own essential necessity into the "darkness." "Darkness" and "light" are metaphors for moral conditions. Though there is a "light of men" which is the result of the meeting of man's capacity with Divine revelation, yet, for the most part, there is a terrible antagonism, a fearful negative, a veritable opposition to the light, a blinding of the eye of the soul to the clearest beam of heavenly wisdom, righteousness, and truth. Light has a battle to fight, both with the circumstances and the faculties of men. The ancient light which broke over the childhood of humanity, the brighter beams which fell on consciences irradiated and educated by a thousand ministries, the light which was focused in the incarnate Logos and diffused in all the "entrance of the Divine Word" into the heart of men, have all and always this solemn contingency to encounter - "The light shineth in the darkness." And the darkness apprehended it not. This word translated "apprehended" (κατέλαβε) has, in New Testament Greek, undoubtedly the sense of "laying hold with evil intent," "overtaking" (John 12:35; 1 Thessalonians 5:4; Mark 9:18), "suppressing" (Lunge), "overcoming" (Westcott and Moulton); and a fine sense would arise from this passage if it means that, while the light shone into the darkness, it did not scatter it, but, on the other hand, neither did the darkness suppress or absorb and neutralize the light. Certainly the darkness was disastrous, tragical, prolonged, but not triumphant, even in the gloomiest moments of the pre-Incarnation period, even in the darkest hour and place of savage persecution, even in the time of outrage, superstitious impenetrability, or moral collapse. There are, however, two classes of difficulty in this interpretation.

(1) Καταλαμβάνω is in LXX. used for תִִשיב, לָכַר, and מָצָא, and in many places in the New Testament has its ordinary classical sense, "lay hold of," "apprehend," "comprehend," "understand," "come to know," intelligo, and cognosco (Ephesians 3:18), though in this latter sense it is mostly used in the middle voice.

(2) When the apostle, in greater detail and more immediate reference to the individual illustrations he gives of the relation of the darkness to the light, says in vers. 10, 11, Ὁ κόσμος αὐτὸν οὐκ ἔγνω, and Οἱ ἴδιοι αὐτὸν οὐ παρέλαβον; though slightly different words are used, yet the return upon the thought in these parallel sentences is too obvious to be overlooked. The nonsusceptibility of the darkness, the positive resistance it makes to the action of light, finds its strongest illustration in the more defined regions and narrower sphere of the coming of the Logos to the world, and in his special mission to his own people. In this view Alford, Bengel, Schaff, Godet, Luthardt, Tholuck, Meyer, Ewald, coincide, though the suggestion of Origen and Chrysostom, and in later years of Schulthess, Westcott, etc., has been powerfully urged. The broad, general fact is stated, not excluding the exceptions on which the evangelist himself afterwards enlarges. If the darkness had "apprehended" the light, it would no more be darkness. The melancholy fact is that the corruption in the world has been, for the most part, impervious to the light alike of nature, of life, of conscience, and even of revelation. Hence, says Bengel, "the occasion for the Incarnation." This is exaggeration, because the whole record of the incarnate Word is a continuous story of the resistance of the darkness to the light. 1:1-5 The plainest reason why the Son of God is called the Word, seems to be, that as our words explain our minds to others, so was the Son of God sent in order to reveal his Father's mind to the world. What the evangelist says of Christ proves that he is God. He asserts, His existence in the beginning; His coexistence with the Father. The Word was with God. All things were made by him, and not as an instrument. Without him was not any thing made that was made, from the highest angel to the meanest worm. This shows how well qualified he was for the work of our redemption and salvation. The light of reason, as well as the life of sense, is derived from him, and depends upon him. This eternal Word, this true Light shines, but the darkness comprehends it not. Let us pray without ceasing, that our eyes may be opened to behold this Light, that we may walk in it; and thus be made wise unto salvation, by faith in Jesus Christ.
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