John 3:16


New King James Version

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The title page to the 1611 first edition of th...

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For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten

Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but

have everlasting life.

What does John 3:16 mean?


John 3:16

Question: “What does John 3:16 mean?”

Answer: We often see signs and banners at sporting events that say “John 3:16.” Wrongly so,John 3:16 is often written as graffiti on highway overpasses. Some “entertainers” have thrown in a twist and replaced “John” with “something else 3:16.” So, what is the big deal with John 3:16? Why is this one verse so important?

No other verse in the Bible so succinctly summarizes God’s relationship with humanity and the way of salvation. Some consider John 3:16 as the “theme verse” for the entire Bible. John 3:16tells us of the love God has for us and the extent of that love—so great that He sacrificed His only Son on our behalf. John 3:16 teaches us that anyone who believes in Jesus Christ, God’s Son, will be saved. John 3:16 gives us the glorious hope of eternal life in heaven through the love of God and death of Jesus Christ.

There is no more powerful way to deliver this message than to let John 3:16 speak for itself. Here is John 3:16 in 22 different English Bible translations. The words may be slightly different, but the glorious message is the same.

New International Version
John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

King James Version
John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

New King James Version
John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

New American Standard Bible
John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

The Living Bible
John 3:16, “For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son so that anyone who believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

New Living Translation
John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”

Holman Christian Standard Bible
John 3:16, “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”

English Standard Version
John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

Revised Standard Version
John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

New Revised Standard Version
John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish but have eternal life.”

New International Readers Version
John 3:16, “God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son. Anyone who believes in Him will not die but have eternal life.”

The Message
John 3:16, “This is how much God loved the world: He gave His Son, His one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in Him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.”

New Century Version a.k.a. International Children’s Bible
John 3:16, “God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son so that whoever believes in Him may not be lost, but have eternal life.”

God’s Word Translation
John 3:16, “God loved the world this way: He gave His only Son so that everyone who believes in Him will not die but will have eternal life.”

Contemporary English Version
John 3:16, “God loved the people of this world so much that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who has faith in Him will have eternal life and never really die.”

New English Bible and Revised English Bible
John 3:16, “God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son, that everyone who has faith in Him may not die but have eternal life.”

Good News Bible a.k.a. Today’s English Version
John 3:16, “For God loved the world so much, that he gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him, may not die but have eternal life.”

New Jerusalem Bible
John 3:16, “Yes, God loved the world so much, that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him, may not die but have eternal life.”

Amplified Bible
John 3:16, “For God so greatly loved (dearly prized) the world that He (even) gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.”

New American Bible
John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish but might have eternal life.”

New English Translation
John 3:16, “For this is the way God loved the world: he gave his one and only Son that everyone who believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

Literal Translation of the Bible
John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that everyone believing into Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Recommended Resource: The Quest Study Bible.


Related Topics:

Why does God love us?

Why is a bronze serpent used to save the Israelites in Numbers 21:8-9?

What is the meaning of Christian redemption?

What are the various theories on the atonement?

Is eternal security biblical?


Return to:

Questions about Salvation


Return to:

GotQuestions.org Home

What does John 3:16 mean?

There is no difference between 2000 years ago and today. If you are a true believer in Christ, God will do the same for you.

God does not discriminate, forsake or leave us.

Deut. 4:31 For the Lord thy God is a merciful God; he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.

Deut. 31:6 Be strong and of good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God , he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.


Verse of the Week“But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.”

About Ricklee's Poetry Plus

I'm a single man of moderate years in good health. I exercise everyday. I've been blogging for four years now. I'm really only learning how. I enjoy golf, swimming, baseball, football, soccer and other sports. I like to go dancing and the night life often. I really love to write poetry of my daily experiences of myself and my past friendships. I like to inspire and give people hope since I needed those feelings in the past.
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3 Responses to John 3:16

  1. Pingback: For God So Loved The World That He Gave His Only Begotten Son | bummyla

  2. Pingback: Unbelievers All Around! by E. Davenport December 11, 2011 « Faith Center

    • faithcenter.wordpress.com: Thanks for visiting my site. I appreciate you taking the time to visit. I know your time is important to you. I’ve also visited your site, and I like it very much. Keep up the good word. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Rom.15:13) Ricklee

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