1:29 On the next day John 1 saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God 2 who takes away the sin of the world! 1:30 This is the one about whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who is greater than I am, 3 because he existed before me.’ 1:31 I did not recognize 4 him, but I came baptizing with water so that he could be revealed to Israel.” 5
1 tn Grk “he”; the referent (John) has been supplied in the translation for clarity.
2 sn Gen 22:8 is an important passage in the background of the title Lamb of God as applied to Jesus. In Jewish thought this was held to be a supremely important sacrifice. G. Vermès stated: “For the Palestinian Jew, all lamb sacrifice, and especially the Passover lamb and the Tamid offering, was a memorial of the Akedah with its effects of deliverance, forgiveness of sin and messianic salvation” (Scripture and Tradition in Judaism [StPB], 225).
3 tn Or “has a higher rank than I.”
4 tn Or “know.”
5 sn John the Baptist, who has been so reluctant to elaborate his own role, now more than willingly gives his testimony about Jesus. For the author, the emphasis is totally on John the Baptist as a witness to Jesus. No attention is given to the Baptist’s call to national repentance and very little to his baptizing. Everything is focused on what he has to say about Jesus: so that he could be revealed to Israel.
6 sn John refers to John the Baptist.
7 tn “There” is not in the Greek text but is implied by current English idiom.