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Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament

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John 3:3

Except a man be born anew (ean mh tiv gennhthi anwten).
Another condition of the third class, undetermined but with prospect of determination. First aorist passive subjunctive of gennaw. Anwten. Originally "from above" (Mark 15:38), then "from heaven" (John 3:31), then "from the first" (Luke 1:3), and then "again" (palin anwten, Galatians 4:9). Which is the meaning here? The puzzle of Nicodemus shows (deuteron, verse 3:4) that he took it as "again," a second birth from the womb. The Vulgate translates it by renatus fuerit denuo. But the misapprehension of Nicodemus does not prove the meaning of Jesus. In the other passages in John (3:31; 19:11,23) the meaning is "from above" (desuper) and usually so in the Synoptics. It is a second birth, to be sure, regeneration, but a birth from above by the Spirit.

He cannot see the kingdom of God (ou dunatai idein thn basileian tou teou).
To participate in it as in Luke 9:27. For this use of idein (second aorist active infinitive of oraw) see John 8:51; Revelation 18:7.


Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright © Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on John 3:3". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". <>. Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960.


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