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The New Oxford Annotated Bible New Revised Standard Study Bible that provides essential scholarship and guidance for Bible readers.

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Commentary on John

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Commentary spanning earlier chapters

2.20–3.4 : The resultant conclusion to the cyclical, downward pattern.

Due to Israel's disobedience and unfaithfulness and his consequent anger with them, the LORD determines that he will not drive out all the peoples in the land; instead he will use them to test and discipline Israel.

3.1–21 : Jesus and the religious authorities.

1 :

The Pharisees observed Jewish purity laws most carefully of all the religious groups. A leader, perhaps a member of the Sanhedrin (see 11.47n. ).

5 :

Birth into the new order is through water (baptism; 1.33; Eph 5.26 ) and Spirit (Ezek 36.25–27; Titus 3.5 ).

6 :

Hereditary claims to spiritual standing are meaningless (see 1.12–13 ).

8–9 :

You do not know …, see note c and Ezek 37.5–10 .

10 :

Are you a teacher … yet you do not understand, discredits the religious aristocracy that Nicodemus represents.

12 :

Earthly things, such as the parable of the wind; heavenly things, supreme spiritual realities, such as Jesus as the revelation of God ( 1.14,18 ).

13–15 :

Jesus descended from heaven to bring eternal life through being lifted up on the cross (Num 21.9 ).

16 :

World, human society. Only Son, cf. Gen 22.2 .

3.22–36 : Further testimony of John

(cf. 1.19–34 ).

23 :

The exact locations of Aenon and Salim are uncertain.

24 :

See Mk 6.14–29 .

25 :

Purification, Jewish ceremonial washing.

27–29 :

John was only the friend of the bridegroom, leading Israel, the bride, to Jesus, the bridegroom. He rejoices in their union (cf. Mk 2.19–20 ).

32–34 :

No one, a generalization about Israel (see 1.11 ).

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