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1AT the beginning God expressed himself. That personal expression, that word, was with God, and was God,

2and he existed with God from the beginning.

3All creation took place through him, and none took place without him.

4In him appeared life and this life was the light of mankind.

5The light still shines in the darkness and the darkness has never put it out.

6A man called John was sent by God

7as a witness to the light, so that all who heard his testimony might believe in the light.

8This man was not himself the light: he was sent simply as a witness to that light.

9That was the true light, which shines upon every man, which was now coming into the world.

10He came into the worldthe world he had createdand the world failed to recognise him.

11He came into his own world, and his own people would not accept him.

12Yet wherever men did accept him he gave them the power to become sons of God. These were the men who truly believed in him,

13and their birth depended not on natural descent nor on any physical impulse or plan of man, but on God.

14So the word of God became a human being and lived among us. We saw his glory (the glory like that of a father's only son), full of grace and truth.

15And it was about him that John stood up and testified, exclaiming: "'Here is the one I was speaking about when I said that although he would come after me he would always be in front of me; for he existed before I was born!"

16Indeed, every one of us has shared in his richesthere is a grace in our lives because of his grace.

17For while the Law was given by Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

18It is true that no one has ever seen God at anytime. Yet the divine and only Son, who lives in the closest intimacy with the Father, has made him known.

19This then is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him who he was.

20He admitted with complete candour, "I am not Christ."

21So they asked him, "Who are you then? Are you Elijah?" "No, I am not," he replied. "Are you the Prophet?" "No," he replied.

22"Well then," they asked again, "who are you? We want to give an answer to those who sent us. What would you call yourself?"

23"I am a voice shouting in the desert, 'Make straight the way of the Lord!' as Isaiah the prophet said."

24Now some of the Pharisees had been sent to John,

25and they, questioned him, "What is the reason, then, for your baptising people if you are not Christ and not Elijah and not the Prophet?"

26To which John returned, "I do baptizewith water. But somewhere among you stands a man you do not know.

27He comes after me, it is true, but I am not fit to undo his shoes!"

28(All this happened in Bethany on the far side of the Jordan where the baptisms of John took place.)

29On the following day, John saw Jesus coming towards him and said, "Look, there is the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

30This is the man I meant when I said 'A man comes after me who is always in front of me, for he existed before I was born!'

31It is true I have not known him, yet it was to make him known to Israel that I came and baptized with water."

32Then John gave this testimony, "I have seen the Spirit come down like a dove from Heaven and rest upon him.

33Indeed I did not recognise him, but he who sent me to baptize with water told me this: 'The one on whom you will see the Spirit coming down and resting is the man who baptizes with the Holy Spirit!'

34Now I have seen this and I declare before you all that he is the Son of God!"

35On the following day John was again standing with two of his disciples.

36He looked straight at Jesus as he walked along and said, "There is the lamb of God!"

37The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus.

38Then Jesus turned round and when he saw them following him, spoke to them. "What do you want?" he said. "Rabbi, where are you staying?" they replied.

39"Come and see," returned Jesus. So they went and saw where he was staying and remained with him the rest of that day. (It was then about four o'clock in the afternoon.)

40One of the two men who had heard what John said and had followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother.

41He went straight off and found his own brother, Simon, and told him, "We have found the Messiah!" (meaning Christ).

42And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked steadily at him and said, "You are Simon, the son of John. From now on your name is Cephas"(that is, Peter, meaning "a rock").

43The following day Jesus decided to go into Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, "Follow me!"

44Philip was a man from Bethsaida, the town that Andrew and Peter came from.

45Now Philip found Nathanael and told him, "We have discovered the man whom Moses wrote about in the Law and about whom the Prophets wrote too. He is Jesus, the son of Joseph and comes from Nazareth."

46"Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" retorted Nathanael. "You come and see," replied Philip.

47Jesus saw Nathanael coming towards him and remarked, "Now here is a true man of Israel; there is no deceit in him!"

48"How can you know me?" returned Nathanael. "When you were underneath that figtree," replied Jesus, "before Philip called you, I saw you."

49At which Nathanael exclaimed, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God, you are the king of Israel!"

50"Do you believe in me," replied Jesus, "because I said I had seen you underneath that figtree? You are going to see greater things than that!

51Believe me," he added, "I tell you all that you will see Heaven wide open and God's angels ascending and descending upon the Son of Man!"

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