John 1:9 “That was the true Light, which LIGHTETH every man that cometh into the world.”
Does this verse teach that Christ, who is the Light of the world, “enlightens” every man, woman and child that is ever born, and reveals himself to them, as many “free willers” try to tell us?
No, not at all. They are simply misreading the text (or corrupting it in many modern versions) and they end up contradicting many other Scriptures that tell us that God HIDES his truth from some and BLINDS THEIR EYES so that they "could not believe".
Many of the fake bibles - particularly those that are the Vatican supervised Critical Text versions - have translated this verse in such a way as to teach that Christ "enlightens" or "gives light to" every man. And this wrong translation ends up contradicting the other Scriptures.
The "Free Will" Fantasy (a complete lie) would have us believe, as most Christians and professing Christians today do, that God has "done His part" in revealing Himself to fallen man and now it is up to man himself to decide and to choose of his own free will to "accept" the Lord Jesus or not. In other words, it is THEY who do the choosing and not God.
"Free will" theology is right out of the Roman Catholic Catechism, and was not the doctrine of the Reformation.
The Roman Catholic Catechism
See also - Undeniable Proof the ESV, NIV, NASB, Holman Standard, NET, Jehovah Witness NWT etc. are the new "Vatican Versions"
The Catholic Connection.
The Catholic Douay-Rheims 1582 and the Douay 1950 say: "the true light that ENLIGHTENS every man". So too do the NASB and the ISV.
The Catholic St. Joseph New American Bible and the Catholic New Jerusalem bible 1985 and the Jehovah Witness NWT say: "the real light which GIVES LIGHT TO everyone". So too do the Holman Standard, the ESV, NIV, NET and the NKJV.
"the true Light, which LIGHTETH every man"
The Verb to Light
Merriam Webster Dictionary - light - verb = To illuminate; to fill or spread over with light; as, to light a room; to light the streets of a city.
Dictionary.Com - light - verb = to make an area or object bright with or as if with light.
"That was the true Light, which LIGHTETH every man that cometh into the world" John 1:9
Bibles that read like the King James Bible are Wycliffe 1395, Tyndale 1524, Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew's Bible 1549, the Bishops' Bible 1568, The Geneva Bible 1587, The Beza N.T. 1599, Whiston N.T. 1745, Wesley N.T. 1755, The Bill Bible 1671, Webster Bible 1833, The Revised N.T. 1862, The Alford N.T. 1870, The Sharpe Bible 1883, The Revised Version 1885 - "the true light which LIGHTETH every man", the ASV 1901, Godbey N.T. 1902, Worrell N.T. 1904, The Clarke N.T. 1913, the KJV 21st Century Version 1994, The Third Millennium Bible 1998, The Yah Sacred Scriptures 2001, The Tomson N.T. 2002, and The Revised Geneva Bible 2005.
Similar Versions -
Lamsa's 1933 translation of the Syriac Peshitta - "the true light which LIGHTED every man"
Sawyer N.T. 1858, The Improved Bible 1913, God's First Truth 1999, The Faithful N.T. 2009, The Aramaic N.T. 2011, The Bond Slave Version 2012 - "the true light which LIGHTS every man"
Darby 1890, Jubilee Bible 2010, Apostolic Polyglot bible 2003 - "which LIGHTENS every man",
Haweis N.T. 1795, Weymouth N.T. 1902, Pickering N.T. 2005 - "the true Light which ILLUMINES every man"
Goodspeed N.T. 1923 - "the real light, which SHEDS LIGHT ON everyone"
Phillips N.T. 1962 - "That was the true light which SHINES UPON every man"
God's Word Translation 1995, The Common English Bible 2011 - "the true light that SHINES ON all people"
The Conservative Bible 2010, The Pioneer's N.T. 2014 - "the true light which ILLUMINATES every man"
The Far Above All Translation 2014 - "it was the true light which LIGHTS UP every man"
Let’s look at the context. John 1:6-11
6 “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
9 That was THE TRUE LIGHT, WHICH LIGHTETH EVERY MAN THAT COMETH INTO THE WORLD.
10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, AND THE WORLD KNEW HIM NOT.”
11 He came unto his own, and his own RECEIVED HIM NOT."
The text does NOT say that Jesus ENLIGHTENS every man. It says he LIGHTETH (lights, or lightens) every man. When you turn on a light in a dark room you “light” the room so you can see what is there that was previously covered in darkness.
And IF the word “lighteth” meant (as the free willers tell us) “to enlighten” or reveal himself to them, then it didn’t work very well, did it?
"And the light shineth in darkness AND THE DARKNESS COMPREHENDED IT NOT." (John1:5)
“The world KNEW HIM NOT" (John 1:10)
and “his own RECEIVED HIM NOT." (John 1:11)
In the same way as you turn on a light in a dark room, the whole life, character, words, deeds, love, grace, holiness and all the attributes of our Lord Jesus Christ “lights” the darkness that we all are by nature and reveals us for who and what we are.
The Lord Jesus, in whom the Father was well pleased, shows us what a perfect, sinless life that is totally dedicated to God looks like, and by contrast, we see the darkness that is man’s natural, fallen and sinful condition.
The same word is used in Revelation 18:1 where we see an angel come down from heaven "and the earth WAS LIGHTENED with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils..." The glory of the angel "lightened" the earth. The earth was not changed by this light. But the light of this angel revealed the sinful state that existed on the earth.
We may think we are pretty good people when compared to others. But when the Light of the Lord Jesus shines upon us, we all fall way short of his sinless perfections.
“But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that steepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.” Ephesians 5:13-14.
“For ye were sometimes (formerly) darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light.” Ephesians 5:8
The natural, unregenerate man does not love the light. He hates it.
19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and MEN LOVED DARKNESS RATHER THAN LIGHT, because their deeds were evil.
20 For every one that doeth evil HATETH THE LIGHT, NEITHER COMETH TO THE LIGHT, lest his deeds should be reproved.
21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that THEY ARE WROUGHT IN GOD.”
Notice that these words “are wrought in God” are in the passive voice. This means they did not do these deeds on their own. Someone else worked IN them, and this Someone was God.
“For it is God which worketh in you, both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13.
John 1:9 does not teach that God “enlightens” every man's mind so that they can see the truth and then make some kind of a “free will choice” to “accept” the Light.
This would then contradict other clear passages of Scripture that teach us that GOD Himself BLINDS they eyes of some so that they CANNOT believe and he HIDES his truth from the wise and prudent.
For example -
The reason why SOME CANNOT BELIEVE is because God blinds their eyes and hardens their hearts.
John 12:37-40 "But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him; That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? Therefore THEY COULD NOT BELIEVE, BECAUSE that Esaias said again, HE (God) HATH BLINDED THEIR EYES, AND HARDENED THEIR HEART; THAT THEY SHOULD NOT SEE with their eyes, NOR UNDERSTAND with their heart, AND BE CONVERTED, and I should heal them."
God Himself BLINDS those who are not elect.
5. "Even so at this present time also there is A REMNANT ACCORDING TO THE ELECTION OF GRACE.
6. And if by grace, then it is no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.
7. What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; BUT THE ELECTION HATH OBTAINED IT, AND THE REST WERE BLINDED
8. (According as it is written, GOD HATH GIVEN THEM THE SPIRIT OF SLUMBER, EYES THAT THEY SHOULD NOT SEE, AND EARS THAT THEY SHOULD NOT HEAR;) even unto this day."
Does God appoint certain men to unbelief? Yes, Scripture says that He does.
In 1 Peter 2:7-9 we read: "Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to THEM WHICH STUMBLE AT THE WORD, BEING DISOBEDIENT; WHEREUNTO ALSO THEY WERE APPOINTED, BUT YE ARE A CHOSEN GENERATION, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light."
Matthew 11:25-28 - God hides things from some, and reveals them to others, and it is all according to His will.
25 “At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because THOU HAST HID THESE THINGS FROM THE WISE AND PRUDENT, AND HAST REVEALED THEM unto babes.
26 Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.
27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, AND HE TO WHOMSOEVER THE SON WILL REVEAL HIM.
The Lord Jesus clearly tells us that it is HE who reveals the Father and quickens (gives life to) whomsoever HE WILLS.
“ALL that the Father giveth me SHALL COME to me: and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” John 6:37
“As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life TO AS MANY AS THOU HAST GIVEN HIM.” John 17:2.
See also my article on John 1:12-13
"As many as received Him" John 1:12
What does it mean to "receive Christ" as your Saviour?
As for the meaning of the phrase “all men” (which is often misunderstood and misapplied) see my article on I Timothy 2:3-5 KJB - "For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who WILL HAVE ALL MEN TO BE SAVED, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus."
ALL of grace, believing the Book and believing in the Saviour who loved me and gave himself for me.
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