ουτος       ηλθεν εις μαρτυριαν ινα μαρτυρηση περι του φωτος ινα παντες πιστευσωσιν δι αυτου

This man  came  as a witness    in order to testify concerning the light so all men through him would believe



hic venit in testimonium ut testimonium perhiberet de lumine ut omnes crederent per illum

DRB: This man came for a witness, to give testimony of the light, that all men might believe through him.


English Translations with variant readings:

NEB:  he came as a witness to testify to the light, that all might become believers through him.

CJB: He came to be a testimony, to bear witness concerning the light; so that through him, everyone might put his trust in God and be faithful to him.

CEV: who came to tell about the light and to lead all people to have faith.

GW: John came to declare the truth about the light so that everyone would become believers through his message.

TM: to point out the way to the Life-Light. He came to show everyone where to look, who to believe in.

NCV: He came to tell people the truth about the Light so that through him all people could hear about the Light and believe.


Comments and Commentaries:

John was the pivot of biblical history, for we read in Luke that “the Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John” (Luke 16:16). This means that John was the last of the Old Testament prophets and, hence, the last of the representatives of the old order. After this Jesus came preaching the Kingdom of God, which was entered from that time forward by faith in his person. John was also the herald of the new dispensation. [1]

John was not only of the same status as Moses but also of all the Old Testament prophets also.

The central theme and purpose of John’s whole life, is purpose, was to Make Jesus known as the savior of the world.

Most of the events recording in the other gospels about John the Baptist are omitted in this Gospels account. There is no mention of John’s preaching of repentance. He doesn’t engage in water baptism. When John encounters the religious leaders in the other gospels there is conflict and confrontation. In this Gospel that is not the case. This Gospel does not report that John the Baptist baptized Jesus.

In John’s Gospel the sole purpose of John the Baptist was to “testify” as a witness to the truth of the “light of life.” He does not exhort or preach, he simply testifies. One commentator caught this and wrote, “The final proof of this unique interest on the part of John is that the words for “witness” replace those for “preaching” (Matt. 3:1; Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3) and “exhortation” (Luke 3:18), which the synoptic writers use of the Baptist’s ministry. Thus, in John’s evaluation the Baptist emerges as the first and greatest witness to the person and ministry of the Lord. John indicates his interest in him precisely as a witness to the Lord.[2]

Don’t overlook the fact that John, the author of the gospel, makes it clear that all his writings are intentionally directed at the fulfillment of his purpose.  In John 20:31 we read, “but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”


CLV (Chuck Larsen Version): This man, John, came as a witness to the light in order to testify to the truth of it so that all men would believe in the light through his testimony.

[1] James Montgomery Boice, The Gospel of John: An Expositional Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2005), 51.

[2] James Montgomery Boice, The Gospel of John: An Expositional Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2005), 53.