For God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

The BibleGateway.com’s Top 100+2 -

Countdown Verse #1


John 3:1-13, Countdown # 1, 88: John 3:16, 3:17 – Part 1
John 3:14-21, Countdown # 1, 88: John 3:16, 3:17 – Part 2
John 21:20-25, Countdown # 1, 88: John 3:16, 3:17 – Part 3

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John 3:1-13, Countdown # 1, 88: John 3:16, 3:17 – Part 1 (7/11/12)

You may be surprised at how I’ve translated John 3:8; this is a perfectly valid translation of the Greek. Of course, what the Greek means could be something entirely different, because this verse is a wonderful pun. If you are interested, you can see my more detailed discussion.

What I want to talk about today is quotation marks. Notice that when Jesus and Nicodemus are talking back and forth, I’ve put quotation marks at the beginning and the end of what they say. But at the end of today’s reading, I haven’t put in any quotation marks, because I’m not sure where they go. This is because Greek has beginning markers, but not an ending marker. Jesus is mentioned by name in verse 10, and he says “I told you” in verse 11 and both “I told you” and “if I tell you” in verse 12. But then neither speaker is mentioned again in this conversation, and the words “I” and “you” are not used. Verse 13 uses the words “has gone up into heaven” – and remember that this conversation took place before the ascension.

If you have a red-letter edition of the Bible, the verses are probably red all the way through verse 21. But some scholars believe that Jesus stopped talking with verse 12, and that John – who had thought for a long time about the pun, the strange conversation with Nicodemus, and the ascension – started explaining in verse 13. Read it carefully for yourself and see what you think.

[my translation]

John 3:14-21, Countdown # 1, 88: John 3:16, 3:17 – Part 2 (7/12/12)

I used to work for a fellow who always thought about possible courses of action at work this way: “Do I want to see this on the front page of the New York Times tomorrow?” Sometimes it was The Washington Post, but the point was the same. Would I be embarrassed, ashamed, or indicted if my actions became public knowledge? Or would my co-workers and my mother be proud of me? This is exactly the point of the last couple of verses below.

But meantime, we have finally gotten to the Most Searched For, Most Popular, Best Known Bible Verse, BibleGateway.com’s Countdown Verse Number 1:
And the next verse is also in the top 100: Countdown Verse #88, John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Those are the only two Bible verses that I can recite from memory, and I think they are enough.

[my own translation]

John 21:20-25, Countdown # 1, 88: John 3:16, 3:17 – Part 3 (7/13/12)

We’ve finished reading the 100 most-searched-for scripture verses, and we even read the passage that each one appears in, for a total of perhaps 2000 verses. Our Bible contains about 31,000 verses, however, so we’ve barely touched the surface of all the scripture available to us. As Paul says in 1 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” We shouldn’t think that just because we’ve read the top 100, we’ve read everything that’s important.

Even if we’ve read the entire Bible, we don’t know everything there is to know about God. The world isn’t big enough to hold, and our brains aren’t big enough understand, all the books that could be written about Jesus, let alone about God the Father, the Holy Spirit, or the Trinity.

Nevertheless, we can be confident that the Bible tells us everything we need to know about God’s love for us and his plan of salvation.


More BibleGateway.com’s Top 100+2 is coming soon.
Countdown Verses #100 - #95
Countdown Verses #91 - #82
Countdown Verses #75 - #70
Countdown Verses #69 - #63
Countdown Verses #60 - #53
Countdown Verses #50 - #44
Countdown Verses #43 - #39
Countdown Verses #38 - #33
Countdown Verses #32 - #23
Countdown Verses #21 - #15
Countdown Verses #14 - #8
Countdown Verses #6 - #3
Countdown Verses #2 - #1a
Countdown Verse #1

Copyright 2012 by Regina L. Hunter. All rights reserved. This page has been prepared for the web site by RPB.

Opinions expressed on this page are solely those of the author, Regina Hunter, and may or may not be shared by the sponsors or the Bible-study participants.  Thanks to the Holy Spirit for any useful ideas presented here, and thanks to all the readers for their support and enthusiasm.  All errors are, of course, the sole responsibility of the author.

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