John 1:13


King James Version (KJV)

Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

American King James Version (AKJV)

Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

American Standard Version (ASV)

who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Basic English Translation (BBE)

Whose birth was from God and not from blood, or from an impulse of the flesh and man's desire.

Webster's Revision

Who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

World English Bible

who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

English Revised Version (ERV)

which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Clarke's John 1:13 Bible Commentary

Which were born, not of blood - Who were regenerated, ουκ εξ αἱματων, not of bloods - the union of father and mother, or of a distinguished or illustrious ancestry; for the Hebrew language makes use of the plural to point out the dignity or excellence of a thing: and probably by this the evangelist intended to show his countrymen, that having Abraham and Sarah for their parents would not entitle them to the blessings of the new covenant; as no man could lay claim to them, but in consequence of being born of God; therefore, neither the will of the flesh - any thing that the corrupt heart of man could purpose or determine in its own behalf; nor the will of man - any thing that another may be disposed to do in our behalf, can avail here; this new birth must come through the will of God - through; his own unlimited power and boundless mercy, prescribing salvation by Christ Jesus alone. It has been already observed that the Jews required circumcision, baptism, and sacrifice, in order to make a proselyte. They allow that the Israelites had in Egypt cast off circumcision, and were consequently out of the covenant; but at length they were circumcised, and they mingled the blood of circumcision with the blood of the paschal lamb, and from this union of bloods they were again made the children of God. See Lightfoot. This was the only way by which the Jews could be made the sons of God; but the evangelist shows them that, under the Gospel dispensation, no person could become a child of God, but by being spiritually regenerated.

Barnes's John 1:13 Bible Commentary

Which were born - This doubtless refers to the "new birth," or to the great change in the sinner's mind called regeneration or conversion. It means that they did not become the children of God in virtue of their natural birth, or because they were the children of "Jews," or because they were descended from pious parents. The term "to be born" is often used to denote this change. Compare John 3:3-8; 1 John 2:29. It illustrates clearly and beautifully this great change. The natural birth introduces us to life. The new birth is the beginning of spiritual life. Before, the sinner is "dead" in sins Ephesians 2:1; now he begins truly to live. And as the natural birth is the beginning of life, so to be born of God is to be introduced to real life, to light, to happiness, and to the favor of God. The term expresses at once the "greatness" and the "nature" of the change.

Not of blood - The Greek word is plural; not of "bloods" - that is, not of "man." Compare Matthew 27:4. The Jews prided themselves on being the descendants of Abraham, Matthew 3:9. They supposed that it was proof of the favor of God to be descended from such an illustrious ancestry. In this passage this notion is corrected. It is not because men are descended from an illustrious or pious parentage that they are entitled to the favor of God; or perhaps the meaning may be, not because there is a union of illustrious lines of ancestry or "bloods" in them. The law of Christ's kingdom is different from what the Jews supposed. Compare 1 Peter 1:23. It was necessary to be "born of God" by regeneration. Possibly, however, it may mean that they did not become children of God by the bloody rite of "circumcision," as many of the Jews supposed they did. This is agreeable to the declaration of Paul in Romans 2:28-29.Nor of the will of the flesh - Not by natural generation.

Nor of the will of man - This may refer, perhaps, to the will of man in adopting a child, as the former phrases do to the natural birth; and the design of using these three phrases may have been to say that they became the children of God neither in virtue of their descent from illustrious parents like Abraham, nor by their natural birth, nor by being "adopted" by a pious man. None of the ways by which we become entitled to the privileges of "children" among people can give us a title to be called the sons of God. It is not by human power or agency that men become children of the Most High.

But of God - That is, God produces the change, and confers the privilege of being cawed his children. The heart is changed by his power. No unaided effort of man, no works of ours, can produce this change. At the same time, it is true that no man is renewed who does not himself "desire" and "will" to be a believer; for the effect of the change is on his "will" Psalm 110:3, and no one is changed who does not strive to enter in at the strait gate, Philippians 2:12. This important verse, therefore, teaches us:

1. that if men are saved they must be born again.

2. that their salvation is not the result of their birth, or of any honorable or pious parentage.

3. that the children of the rich and the noble, as well as of the poor, must be born of God if they will be saved.

4. that the children of pious parents must be born again; or they cannot be saved. None will go to heaven simply because their "parents" are Christians.

5. that this work is the work of God, and "no man" can do it for us.

6. that we should forsake all human dependence, east off all confidence in the flesh, and go at once to the throne of grace, and beseech of God to adopt us into his family and save our souls from death.

Wesley's John 1:13 Bible Commentary

1:13 Who were born - Who became the sons of God, not of blood - Not by descent from Abraham, nor by the will of the flesh - By natural generation, nor by the will of man - Adopting them, but of God - By his Spirit.

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