1In the beginning, when God created the universe,2the earth was formless and desolate. The raging ocean that covered everything was engulfed in total darkness, and the Spirit of God was moving over the water. 3Then God commanded, “Let there be light” — and light appeared. 4God was pleased with what he saw. Then he separated the light from the darkness, 5and he named the light “Day” and the darkness “Night”. Evening passed and morning came — that was the first day.
6-7Then God commanded, “Let there be a dome to divide the water and to keep it in two separate places” — and it was done. So God made a dome, and it separated the water under it from the water above it. 8He named the dome “Sky”. Evening passed and morning came — that was the second day.
9Then God commanded, “Let the water below the sky come together in one place, so that the land will appear” — and it was done. 10He named the land “Earth”, and the water which had come together he named “Sea”. And God was pleased with what he saw. 11Then he commanded, “Let the earth produce all kinds of plants, those that bear grain and those that bear fruit” — and it was done. 12So the earth produced all kinds of plants, and God was pleased with what he saw. 13Evening passed and morning came — that was the third day.
14Then God commanded, “Let lights appear in the sky to separate day from night and to show the time when days, years, and religious festivals begin; 15they will shine in the sky to give light to the earth” — and it was done. 16So God made the two larger lights, the sun to rule over the day and the moon to rule over the night; he also made the stars. 17He placed the lights in the sky to shine on the earth, 18to rule over the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God was pleased with what he saw. 19Evening passed and morning came — that was the fourth day.
20Then God commanded, “Let the water be filled with many kinds of living beings, and let the air be filled with birds.” 21So God created the great sea monsters, all kinds of creatures that live in the water, and all kinds of birds. And God was pleased with what he saw. 22He blessed them all and told the creatures that live in the water to reproduce, and to fill the sea, and he told the birds to increase in number. 23Evening passed and morning came — that was the fifth day.
24Then God commanded, “Let the earth produce all kinds of animal life: domestic and wild, large and small” — and it was done. 25So God made them all, and he was pleased with what he saw.
26Then God said, “And now we will make human beings; they will be like us and resemble us. They will have power over the fish, the birds, and all animals, domestic and wild, large and small.” 27So God created human beings, making them to be like himself. He created them male and female, 28blessed them, and said, “Have many children, so that your descendants will live all over the earth and bring it under their control. I am putting you in charge of the fish, the birds, and all the wild animals. 29I have provided all kinds of grain and all kinds of fruit for you to eat; 30but for all the wild animals and for all the birds I have provided grass and leafy plants for food” — and it was done. 31God looked at everything he had made, and he was very pleased. Evening passed and morning came — that was the sixth day.
1And so the whole universe was completed. 2By the seventh day God finished what he had been doing and stopped working. 3He blessed the seventh day and set it apart as a special day, because by that day he had completed his creation and stopped working. 4And that is how the universe was created.
The Garden of Eden
When the LORD God made the universe, 5there were no plants on the earth and no seeds had sprouted, because he had not sent any rain, and there was no one to cultivate the land; 6but water would come up from beneath the surface and water the ground.
7Then the LORD God took some soil from the ground and formed a man out of it; he breathed life-giving breath into his nostrils and the man began to live.
8Then the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the East, and there he put the man he had formed. 9He made all kinds of beautiful trees grow there and produce good fruit. In the middle of the garden stood the tree that gives life and the tree that gives knowledge of what is good and what is bad.
10A stream flowed in Eden and watered the garden; beyond Eden it divided into four rivers. 11The first river is the Pishon; it flows round the country of Havilah. 12(Pure gold is found there and also rare perfume and precious stones.) 13The second river is the Gihon; it flows round the country of Cush.14The third river is the Tigris, which flows east of Assyria, and the fourth river is the Euphrates.
15Then the LORD God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to cultivate it and guard it. 16He said to him, “You may eat the fruit of any tree in the garden, 17except the tree that gives knowledge of what is good and what is bad. You must not eat the fruit of that tree; if you do, you will die the same day.”
18Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to live alone. I will make a suitable companion to help him.” 19So he took some soil from the ground and formed all the animals and all the birds. Then he brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and that is how they all got their names. 20So the man named all the birds and all the animals; but not one of them was a suitable companion to help him.
21Then the LORD God made the man fall into a deep sleep, and while he was sleeping, he took out one of the man's ribs and closed up the flesh. 22He formed a woman out of the rib and brought her to him. 23Then the man said,
“At last, here is one of my own kind —
Bone taken from my bone, and flesh from my flesh.
‘Woman’ is her name because she was taken out of man.”
24That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united with his wife, and they become one.
25The man and the woman were both naked, but they were not embarrassed.
1Now the snake was the most cunning animal that the LORD God had made. The snake asked the woman, “Did God really tell you not to eat fruit from any tree in the garden?”
2“We may eat the fruit of any tree in the garden,” the woman answered, 3“except the tree in the middle of it. God told us not to eat the fruit of that tree or even touch it; if we do, we will die.”
4The snake replied, “That's not true; you will not die. 5God said that, because he knows that when you eat it you will be like God and know what is good and what is bad.”
6The woman saw how beautiful the tree was and how good its fruit would be to eat, and she thought how wonderful it would be to become wise. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, and he also ate it. 7As soon as they had eaten it, they were given understanding and realized that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and covered themselves.
8That evening they heard the LORD God walking in the garden, and they hid from him among the trees. 9But the LORD God called out to the man, “Where are you?”
10He answered, “I heard you in the garden; I was afraid and hid from you, because I was naked.”
11“Who told you that you were naked?” God asked. “Did you eat the fruit that I told you not to eat?”
12The man answered, “The woman you put here with me gave me the fruit, and I ate it.”
13The LORD God asked the woman, “Why did you do this?”
She replied, “The snake tricked me into eating it.”
God Pronounces Judgement
14Then the LORD God said to the snake, “You will be punished for this; you alone of all the animals must bear this curse: from now on you will crawl on your belly, and you will have to eat dust as long as you live. 15I will make you and the woman hate each other; her offspring and yours will always be enemies. Her offspring will crush your head, and you will bite her offspring's heel.”
16And he said to the woman, “I will increase your trouble in pregnancy and your pain in giving birth. In spite of this, you will still have desire for your husband, yet you will be subject to him.”
17And he said to the man, “You listened to your wife and ate the fruit which I told you not to eat. Because of what you have done, the ground will be under a curse. You will have to work hard all your life to make it produce enough food for you. 18It will produce weeds and thorns, and you will have to eat wild plants. 19You will have to work hard and sweat to make the soil produce anything, until you go back to the soil from which you were formed. You were made from soil, and you will become soil again.”
20Adam named his wife Eve, because she was the mother of all human beings. 21And the LORD God made clothes out of animal skins for Adam and his wife, and he clothed them.
Adam and Eve are Sent Out of the Garden
22Then the LORD God said, “Now the man has become like one of us and has knowledge of what is good and what is bad. He must not be allowed to take fruit from the tree that gives life, eat it, and live for ever.” 23So the LORD God sent him out of the Garden of Eden and made him cultivate the soil from which he had been formed. 24Then at the east side of the garden he put living creatures and a flaming sword which turned in all directions. This was to keep anyone from coming near the tree that gives life.
1In the beginning the Word already existed; the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2From the very beginning the Word was with God. 3Through him God made all things; not one thing in all creation was made without him. 4The Word was the source of life, and this life brought light to humanity. 5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never put it out.
6God sent his messenger, a man named John, 7who came to tell people about the light, so that all should hear the message and believe. 8He himself was not the light; he came to tell about the light. 9This was the real light — the light that comes into the world and shines on everyone.
10The Word was in the world, and though God made the world through him, yet the world did not recognize him. 11He came to his own country, but his own people did not receive him. 12Some, however, did receive him and believed in him; so he gave them the right to become God's children. 13They did not become God's children by natural means, that is, by being born as the children of a human father; God himself was their Father.
14The Word became a human being and, full of grace and truth, lived among us. We saw his glory, the glory which he received as the Father's only Son.
15John spoke about him. He cried out, “This is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘He comes after me, but he is greater than I am, because he existed before I was born.’ ”
16Out of the fullness of his grace he has blessed us all, giving us one blessing after another. 17God gave the Law through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18No one has ever seen God. The only Son, who is the same as God and is at the Father's side, he has made him known.
19The Jewish authorities in Jerusalem sent some priests and Levites to John, to ask him, “Who are you?”
20John did not refuse to answer, but spoke out openly and clearly, saying: “I am not the Messiah.”
21“Who are you, then?” they asked. “Are you Elijah?”
“No, I am not,” John answered.
“Are you the Prophet?” they asked.
“No,” he replied.
22“Then tell us who you are,” they said. “We have to take an answer back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”
23John answered by quoting the prophet Isaiah:
“I am ‘the voice of someone shouting in the desert:
Make a straight path for the Lord to travel!’ ”
24The messengers, who had been sent by the Pharisees, 25then asked John, “If you are not the Messiah nor Elijah nor the Prophet, why do you baptize?”
26John answered, “I baptize with water, but among you stands the one you do not know. 27He is coming after me, but I am not good enough even to untie his sandals.”
28All this happened in Bethany on the east side of the River Jordan, where John was baptizing.
The Lamb of God
29The next day John saw Jesus coming to him, and said, “There is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30This is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘A man is coming after me, but he is greater than I am, because he existed before I was born.’ 31I did not know who he would be, but I came baptizing with water in order to make him known to the people of Israel.”
32And John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from heaven and stay on him. 33I still did not know that he was the one, but God, who sent me to baptize with water, had said to me, ‘You will see the Spirit come down and stay on a man; he is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34I have seen it,” said John, “and I tell you that he is the Son of God.”
The First Disciples of Jesus
35The next day John was standing there again with two of his disciples, 36when he saw Jesus walking by. “There is the Lamb of God!” he said.
37The two disciples heard him say this and went with Jesus. 38Jesus turned, saw them following him, and asked, “What are you looking for?”
They answered, “Where do you live, Rabbi?” (This word means “Teacher”.)
39“Come and see,” he answered. (It was then about four o'clock in the afternoon.) So they went with him and saw where he lived, and spent the rest of that day with him.
40One of them was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. 41At once he found his brother Simon and told him, “We have found the Messiah.” (This word means “Christ”.) 42Then he took Simon to Jesus.
Jesus looked at him and said, “Your name is Simon son of John, but you will be called Cephas.” (This is the same as Peter and means “a rock”.)
Jesus Calls Philip and Nathanael
43The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Come with me!”44(Philip was from Bethsaida, the town where Andrew and Peter lived.) 45Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one whom Moses wrote about in the book of the Law and whom the prophets also wrote about. He is Jesus son of Joseph, from Nazareth.”
46“Can anything good come from Nazareth?” Nathanael asked.
“Come and see,” answered Philip.
47When Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, he said about him, “Here is a real Israelite; there is nothing false in him!”
48Nathanael asked him, “How do you know me?”
Jesus answered, “I saw you when you were under the fig tree before Philip called you.”
49“Teacher,” answered Nathanael, “you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”
50Jesus said, “Do you believe just because I told you I saw you when you were under the fig tree? You will see much greater things than this!”51And he said to them, “I am telling you the truth: you will see heaven open and God's angels going up and coming down on the Son of Man.”
1Two days later there was a wedding in the town of Cana in Galilee. Jesus' mother was there, 2and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3When the wine had given out, Jesus' mother said to him, “They have no wine left.”
4“You must not tell me what to do,” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.”
5Jesus' mother then told the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
6The Jews have rules about ritual washing, and for this purpose six stone water jars were there, each one large enough to hold about a hundred litres. 7Jesus said to the servants, “Fill these jars with water.” They filled them to the brim, 8and then he told them, “Now draw some water out and take it to the man in charge of the feast.” They took him the water, 9which now had turned into wine, and he tasted it. He did not know where this wine had come from (but, of course, the servants who had drawn out the water knew); so he called the bridegroom 10and said to him, “Everyone else serves the best wine first, and after the guests have had plenty to drink, he serves the ordinary wine. But you have kept the best wine until now!”
11Jesus performed this first miracle in Cana in Galilee; there he revealed his glory, and his disciples believed in him.
12After this, Jesus and his mother, brothers, and disciples went to Capernaum and stayed there a few days.
13It was almost time for the Passover Festival, so Jesus went to Jerusalem. 14There in the Temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and pigeons, and also the moneychangers sitting at their tables. 15So he made a whip from cords and drove all the animals out of the Temple, both the sheep and the cattle; he overturned the tables of the moneychangers and scattered their coins; 16and he ordered those who sold the pigeons, “Take them out of here! Stop making my Father's house a market place!”17His disciples remembered that the scripture says, “My devotion to your house, O God, burns in me like a fire.”
18The Jewish authorities replied with a question, “What miracle can you perform to show us that you have the right to do this?”
19Jesus answered, “Tear down this Temple, and in three days I will build it again.”
20“Are you going to build it again in three days?” they asked him. “It has taken 46 years to build this Temple!”
21But the temple Jesus was speaking about was his body. 22So when he was raised from death, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the scripture and what Jesus had said.
Jesus' Knowledge of Human Nature
23While Jesus was in Jerusalem during the Passover Festival, many believed in him as they saw the miracles he performed. 24But Jesus did not trust himself to them, because he knew them all. 25There was no need for anyone to tell him about them, because he himself knew what was in their hearts.
1There was a Jewish leader named Nicodemus, who belonged to the party of the Pharisees. 2One night he went to Jesus and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher sent by God. No one could perform the miracles you are doing unless God were with him.”
3Jesus answered, “I am telling you the truth: no one can see the Kingdom of God without being born again.”
4“How can a grown man be born again?” Nicodemus asked. “He certainly cannot enter his mother's womb and be born a second time!”
5“I am telling you the truth,” replied Jesus. “No one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit.6A person is born physically of human parents, but is born spiritually of the Spirit.7Do not be surprised because I tell you that you must all be born again.8The wind blows wherever it wishes; you hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it is going. It is like that with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
9“How can this be?” asked Nicodemus.
10Jesus answered, “You are a great teacher in Israel, and you don't know this?11I am telling you the truth: we speak of what we know and report what we have seen, yet none of you is willing to accept our message.12You do not believe me when I tell you about the things of this world; how will you ever believe me, then, when I tell you about the things of heaven?13And no one has ever gone up to heaven except the Son of Man, who came down from heaven.”
14As Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the desert, in the same way the Son of Man must be lifted up,15so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.16For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life.17For God did not send his Son into the world to be its judge, but to be its saviour.
18Those who believe in the Son are not judged; but those who do not believe have already been judged, because they have not believed in God's only Son.19This is how the judgement works: the light has come into the world, but people love the darkness rather than the light, because their deeds are evil.20All those who do evil things hate the light and will not come to the light, because they do not want their evil deeds to be shown up.21But those who do what is true come to the light in order that the light may show that what they did was in obedience to God.
Jesus and John
22After this, Jesus and his disciples went to the province of Judea, where he spent some time with them and baptized. 23John also was baptizing in Aenon, not far from Salim, because there was plenty of water in that place. People were going to him, and he was baptizing them. 24(This was before John had been put in prison.)
25Some of John's disciples began arguing with a Jew about the matter of ritual washing. 26So they went to John and said, “Teacher, you remember the man who was with you on the east side of the Jordan, the one you spoke about? Well, he is baptizing now, and everyone is going to him!”
27John answered, “No one can have anything unless God gives it to him. 28You yourselves are my witnesses that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah, but I have been sent ahead of him.’ 29The bridegroom is the one to whom the bride belongs; but the bridegroom's friend, who stands by and listens, is glad when he hears the bridegroom's voice. This is how my own happiness is made complete. 30He must become more important while I become less important.”
He who Comes from Heaven
31He who comes from above is greater than all. He who is from the earth belongs to the earth and speaks about earthly matters, but he who comes from heaven is above all. 32He tells what he has seen and heard, yet no one accepts his message. 33But whoever accepts his message confirms by this that God is truthful. 34The one whom God has sent speaks God's words, because God gives him the fullness of his Spirit. 35The Father loves his Son and has put everything in his power. 36Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever disobeys the Son will not have life, but will remain under God's punishment.