John 3:5

“Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

King James Version (KJV)

Other Translations

Iesus answered, Uerily, verily I say vnto thee, except a man be borne of water and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdome of God.
- King James Version (1611) - View 1611 Bible Scan

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.
- New American Standard Version (1995)

Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except one be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God!
- American Standard Version (1901)

Jesus said in answer, Truly, I say to you, If a man's birth is not from water and from the Spirit, it is not possible for him to go into the kingdom of God.
- Basic English Bible

Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except any one be born of water and of Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
- Darby Bible

Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say to thee, Except a man be born of water, and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
- Webster's Bible

In most solemn truth I tell you, replied Jesus, "that unless a man is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.
- Weymouth Bible

Jesus answered, "Most certainly I tell you, unless one is born of water and spirit, he can't enter into the Kingdom of God!
- World English Bible

Jhesus answeride, Treuli, treuli, Y seie to thee, but a man be borun ayen of watir, and of the Hooli Goost, he may not entre in to the kyngdom of God.
- Wycliffe Bible

Jesus answered, `Verily, verily, I say to thee, If any one may not be born of water, and the Spirit, he is not able to enter into the reign of God;
- Youngs Literal Bible

Bible commentary

Wesley's Notes for John 3:5


3:5 Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit - Except he experience that great inward change by the Spirit, and be baptized (wherever baptism can be had) as the outward sign and means of it.


People's Bible Notes for John 3:5


Joh 3:5 Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, etc. Jesus does not reply directly to the question of Nicodemus, but proceeds to give more explicit statement concerning the new birth. One must be born of water and of the Spirit. Whatever this may mean, it will be admitted by all (1) that no one is a member of the kingdom of God until he is born again; (2) that the Savior declares the impossibility of one entering who is not born of water and of the Spirit. All agree that the birth of the Spirit refers to the inward, or spiritual change that takes place, and all candid authorities agree that "born of water" refers to baptism. So Alford, Wesley, Abbot, Whitby, Olshausen, Tholuck, Prof. Wm. Milligan, the Episcopal Prayer Book, the Westminister Confession, the M. E. Discipline, and M. E. Doctrinal Tracts, and also the writers of the early Church all declare. Alford says: ``All attempts to get rid of this have sprung from doctrinal prejudices.'' Abbott says: ``We are to understand Christ as he expected his auditor to understand him. John the Baptist baptized both Jew and Gentile as a sign of purification by repentance from past sins. Nicodemus would then have certainly understood by the expression, "born of water", a reference to this rite of baptism.''

Discussion for John 3

  • A disciple
    Kevin; in answer to your question; Baptism is something God has commanded us to do. Jesus Himself was baptized; and He rebuked and scorned the Pharisees, for not repenting and being baptized. In the last chapter of Mark, Jesus said, that he that believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believes not shall be damned. We obey because we are converted, and wish to please Him in all things.
  • Kevin
    What is the purpose of baptism? Can one be saved and go to Heaven without being baptized?
  • A disciple
    Zeneida; I'm so sorry! I didn't read your post right; I hope you can forgive me. Please don't be mad at me; I had to read a second time; and then I saw that I was to hasty. You say it perfectly; it is not automatic that everyone goes to heaven when they die! This is a great teaching about the meaning, and of our whole experience in this life: we are born into the world to "be made" God's children!
  • A disciple
    Zeneida; NOT EVERYONE is going to be found written in the Lamb's Book of Life! but those who are truly born from above and converted. We CANNOT just live any way we want! We are bought with a price, and are duty bound to live, no longer to ourselves, but to Him who redeemed us by His blood on the cross. "Except you repent' says Jesus, 'you shall ALL perish."
  • Zeneida
    This chapter let us know,that we can't live any kind of way,die,and go to heaven,so when a love one dies and we say I know you in heaven looking down on us,its not true ,everyone not going to heaven,it clearly states you have to born again of the water n by the spirit,which is the father n the son,n the only way to even worship them is through the spirit because they are a spirit
  • Reggie
    For those who say the old testament is pointless(it no longer matters) John 3:14 is a direct correlation to Numbers 21:8-9 with Christ saying how he would hang on a pole and how Israel live as a result of this.You have to understand old testament Israelite history to understand new testament prophecy