3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, 1 but that the world should be saved through him. 3:18 The one who believes in him is not condemned. 2 The one who does not believe has been condemned 3 already, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only 4 Son of God. 3:19 Now this is the basis for judging: 5 that the light has come into the world and people 6 loved the darkness rather than the light, because their deeds were evil. 3:20 For everyone who does evil deeds hates the light and does not come to the light, so that their deeds will not be exposed. 3:21 But the one who practices the truth comes to the light, so that it may be plainly evident that his deeds have been done in God. 7
1 sn That is, “to judge the world to be guilty and liable to punishment.”
2 tn Grk “judged.”
3 tn Grk “judged.”
5 tn Or “this is the reason for God judging,” or “this is how judgment works.”
7 sn John 3:16-21 provides an introduction to the (so-called) “realized” eschatology of the Fourth Gospel: Judgment has come; eternal life may be possessed now, in the present life, as well as in the future. The terminology “realized eschatology” was originally coined by E. Haenchen and used by J. Jeremias in discussion with C. H. Dodd, but is now characteristically used to describe Dodd’s own formulation. See L. Goppelt, Theology of the New Testament, 1:54, note 10, and R. E. Brown (John [AB], 1:cxvii-cxviii) for further discussion. Especially important to note is the element of choice portrayed in John’s Gospel. If there is a twofold reaction to Jesus in John’s Gospel, it should be emphasized that that reaction is very much dependent on a person’s choice, a choice that is influenced by his way of life, whether his deeds are wicked or are done in God (John 3:20-21). For John there is virtually no trace of determinism at the surface. Only when one looks beneath the surface does one find statements like “no one can come to me, unless the Father who sent me draws him” (John 6:44).