New American Standard Bible
Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born, can he?"
King James Bible
Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
Darby Bible Translation
Nicodemus says to him, How can a man be born being old? can he enter a second time into the womb of his mother and be born?
World English Bible
Nicodemus said to him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb, and be born?"
Young's Literal Translation
Nicodemus saith unto him, 'How is a man able to be born, being old? is he able into the womb of his mother a second time to enter, and to be born?'
John 3:4 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
How can a man ... - It may seem remarkable that Nicodemus understood the Saviour literally, when the expression "to be born again" was in common use among the Jews to denote a change from "Gentilism" to "Judaism" by becoming a proselyte by baptism. The word with them meant a change from the state of a pagan to that of a Jew. But they never used it as applicable to a Jew, because they supposed that by his birth every Jew was entitled to all the privileges of the people of God. When, therefore, our Saviour used it of a Jew, when he affirmed its necessity of every man, Nicodemus supposed that there was an absurdity in the doctrine, or something that surpassed his comprehension, and he therefore asked whether it was possible that Jesus could teach so absurd a doctrine - as he could conceive no other sense as applicable to a Jew - as that he should, when old, enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born. And we may learn from this:
1. that prejudice leads men to misunderstand the plainest doctrines of religion.
2. that things which are at first incomprehensible or apparently absurd, may, when explained, become clear. The doctrine of regeneration, so difficult to Nicodemus, is plain to a "child" that is born of the Spirit.
3. Those in high rank in life, and who are learned, are often most ignorant about the plainest matters of religion. It is often wonderful that they exhibit so little acquaintance with the most simple subjects pertaining to the soul, and so much absurdity in their views.
4. A doctrine is not to be rejected because the rich and the great do not believe or understand it. The doctrine of regeneration was not false because Nicodemus did not comprehend it.
LibraryFebruary 28 Morning
God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.--JOHN 3:16. God . . . hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: …
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path
April 8 Evening
January 14 Evening
July 3 Morning
Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God."
Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
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