John 1 16 amp

John 1 16 amp DEFAULT

What is the meaning of “grace upon grace” in John ?


“For from [Christ’s] fullness we have all received, grace upon grace” (John , ESV). The NASB translates the verse the same way. The NIV translates the verse “Out of his fullness we have all received gracein place of grace already given.”

Christ (the Word) has been the focus of John chapter 1. In verse 14 we read, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” The fact that Jesus was “full of grace and truth” is the key concept addressed in verses 16– Verse 15 is a parenthetical aside. To get a better understanding of the force of John’s argument, we can read verses 14 and 16–17 together, without verse

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. . . . For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”

Jesus is full of grace, and John says that, from that fullness, we (John, his original readers, and the rest of us who have trusted in Christ) have received grace and more grace. One hallmark of any interaction with Jesus is grace. Christians receive grace and then more grace—grace served on top of grace—grace and then, in place of that, more grace. The point is that Christ is full of grace, and those who know Him get showered with grace.

The Amplified Bible translates John this way: “Out of His fullness [the superabundance of His grace and truth] we have all received grace upon grace [spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing, favor upon favor, and gift heaped upon gift].” What’s abundantly clear is that, when we come to Christ, He dishes out grace in heaping, huge servings.

In John Christ is contrasted with Moses and the law. Of course, the law and God’s dealings with Israel did involve grace and truth, but the emphasis was more on obedience and punishment. In the New Testament, law is often contrasted with grace. The law emphasized God’s divine standards and the inability of fallen mankind to meet them, while grace rescues fallen humanity from deserved punishment. The law pinpoints the problem, and grace fixes the problem.

Romans –21 says the same thing in a slightly different way: “The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Recommended Resources

The Grace Awakening by Charles Swindoll

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Questions about John

What is the meaning of “grace upon grace” in John ?

 Context  Crossref  Comment  Greek 

Verse  (Click for Chapter)

New International Version
Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given.

New Living Translation
From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another.

English Standard Version
For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.

Berean Study Bible
From His fullness we have all received grace upon grace.

Berean Literal Bible
For from His fullness, we have all received and grace upon grace.

King James Bible
And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.

New King James Version
And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.

New American Standard Bible
For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.

For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.

For of His fulness we have all received, and grace upon grace.

Amplified Bible
For out of His fullness [the superabundance of His grace and truth] we have all received grace upon grace [spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing, favor upon favor, and gift heaped upon gift].

Christian Standard Bible
Indeed, we have all received grace upon grace from his fullness,

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Indeed, we have all received grace after grace from His fullness,

American Standard Version
For of his fulness we all received, and grace for grace.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And of his fulness we have all received, and grace for grace.

Contemporary English Version
Because of all that the Son is, we have been given one blessing after another.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And of his fulness we all have received, and grace for grace.

English Revised Version
For of his fulness we all received, and grace for grace.

Good News Translation
Out of the fullness of his grace he has blessed us all, giving us one blessing after another.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Each of us has received one gift after another because of all that the Word is.

International Standard Version
We have all received one gracious gift after another from his abundance,

Literal Standard Version
And we all received out of His fullness, and grace for grace;

NET Bible
For we have all received from his fullness one gracious gift after another.

New Heart English Bible
For of his fullness we all received, and grace upon grace.

Weymouth New Testament
For He it is from whose fulness we have all received, and grace upon grace.

World English Bible
From his fullness we all received grace upon grace.

Young's Literal Translation
and out of his fulness did we all receive, and grace over-against grace;

Additional Translations


The Word Became Flesh
&#;15John testified concerning Him. He cried out, saying, &#;This is He of whom I said, &#;He who comes after me has surpassed me because He was before me.&#;&#;&#; 16FromHisfullnesswehave allreceivedgraceupongraceFor the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.&#;

Berean Study Bible · Download

Cross References

They go from strength to strength, until each appears before God in Zion.

which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

of the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God, as we mature to the full measure of the stature of Christ.

For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him,

For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity dwells in bodily form.

Treasury of Scripture

And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.

of his.

For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.

I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman&#;

Matthew ,14
I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: &#;

and grace.

Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.

For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.

Romans ,17,20
By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God&#;

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(16) And of his fulnessNot a continuance of the witness of John, but the words of the evangelist, and closely connected with John This is seen in the "all we," and in "fulness" ("full") and "grace," which are key-words of both verses.

Fulness is a technical theological term, meeting us again in this sense in the Epistles to, as here in the Gospel from, the Asiatic Churches. (Comp. especially Colossians ; Colossians ; Ephesians ; Ephesians ; Ephesians ) The exposition belongs to the Notes on these passages. Here it means the plenitude of divine attributes, the "glory . . . full of grace and truth." "Of," or better, out of this fulness does each individual receive, and thus the ideal church becomes "his body, the fulness of him that filleth all things in all." . . .

Pulpit Commentary


(7)The experience of the Writer.Verse - There can be little doubt that the fifteenth verse is a parenthetical clause, answering to the sixth and seventh verses, and standing to ver. 14 very much in the same kind of relation that vers. 6, 7 do to vers. There is a further reason; the verses which follow are clearly not, as Lange suggests, the continuance of the Baptist's μαρτυρία, but the language of the evangelist, and a detail of his personal experience. The entire context would entirely forbid our taking the αὐτοῦ of ver. 16 as referring to the Baptist. This is still more evident from the true reading of ὅτι in place of καὶ. The "because" points back at once to the statements of ver. Hengstenberg and Godet think there is no need to transform the fifteenth verse into a parenthesis, in order, after the recital of John the Baptist's testimony, to proceed to a further experience of the evangelist; translating "and even," Lange makes the whole utterance to be that of the Baptist, which appears to be profoundly inconsistent with the position of the Baptist, either then or subsequently. The grand declaration, that the Logos incarnate was "full of grace and truth," is justified by the author of the prologue, from his conscious experience of the exhaustless plenitude of the manifestation. Because from his fulness we all received. He speaks as from the bosom of a society of persons, who have not been dependent on vision or on individual contact with the historic revelation (comp. ch. 20, "Blessed are they [Jesus said] who have not seen [touched or handled], and yet have believed," but have nevertheless discovered a perennial supply of grace and truth in him). We all, my fellow apostles and a multitude which no man can number, received from this source, as from the Divinity itself, all that we have needed. An effort has been made, from the evangelist's use of the word pleroma, to father the "prologue" upon one familiar with the Valentinian metaphysic, and thus to postpone its origin to the middle of the second century; but the Valentinian pleroma is the sum total of the Divine emanations of the thirty pairs of aeons, which have been produced from the eternal "bythos," or abyss, one only of which is supposed, on Valentinian principles, to have assumed a phantasmic form in Jesus Christ. Nothing could be less resembling the position of the author of this Gospel, who clearly regards the Logos incarnate as coincident with the fulness of the Godhead, as containing in himself, in complete self-possession, all the energies and beneficence of the Eternal. With the apostle's doctrine of the Logos as identical with God, as the Creator of everything, as the Life, as the Light of men; and, as becoming the Source of all these energies to men in his incarnation, there is no basis for Valentinianism. Though the phraseology of the Gnostics was borrowed in part from the Gospel, and though Valentinus may have fancied himself justified in his misuse of texts; the ideas of the Gospel and the Gnostic were directly contradictory of one another (see Introduction). Long before John used this word, St. Paul had used it in writing to the Ephesiaus and Colossians, as though, even in his day, the word had acquired a distinct theological meaning, and one that had naturally arisen from its etymology and usage in Greek writers. Bishop Lightfoot has shown in his dissertation ('Epistle to Colossians,' 2nd edit., pp. ) that the form of the word demands a passive sense, id quod impletur, and not an active one which some have given to it in certain New Testament passages, as if it had the meaning of id quod implet. By his examination of numerous passages, he shows that it always has fundamentally the sense of completeness, "the full complement," the plenitude.Πληρώμα is the passive verbal from πληροῦν, to make complete. Thus Colossians , "The Father was pleased that all the fulness, the totality, should dwell in him," explained elsewhere in the same Epistle, "all the completeness, the plenitude of the Godhead" (Colossians ). The widespread diffusion of the idea of emanations, the hypostatizing of perfections and attributes, the virtual mythology which was creeping through metaphysical subtleties even into Judaism and Christianity, demanded positive repudiation; and, while the whole Church was united in its recognition of the Divine energy of Christ, it became needful to refer to his Divine-human personality all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. In Ephesians St. Paul speaks, however, of the Church which is his body as identified with him, and as (in Ephesians ) a bride made one flesh with her husband, without spot or wrinkle, ideally perfect, as the part of one colossal individuality of which Christ is the Head; or, the one building of which he is the Foundation and the Cornerstone. Hence "the fulness of Christ" (Ephesians ) is that in which every member participates, and "the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ" is equated with the perfect humanity into which all believers come. Hence in Ephesians these individuals are completed in him, and are thus as a whole, by the realization of their union to Christ, participators in the fulness of God. So the difficult expression, Ephesians , becomes explained, a passage in which the Church itself, his body, is said to be "the fulness of him who filleth all in all." The Church is the organ and sphere in which all the Divine graces are poured, and is considered as ever struggling to embody the ideal perfection of him in whom all the fulness of God dwells. Both ideas, those of both the Christological Epistles, are involved in this great assertion of St. John. And grace for grace. It is said the evangelist might have written χάρινἐπὶ χάριτι, or ἐπὶ χάριν, grace in addition to grace received already; but the use of the preposition ἀντί, implies more, "grace interchanging with grace" (Meyer) - not the grace of the old covenant replaced by the grace of the new dispensation (Chrysostom, Lampe, and many others), for, though there was grace underlying all God's self-revelation, yet in the next verse the contrast between "Law" and "grace" is too striking to be ignored. The grace replaced by grace means that every grace received is a capacity for higher blessedness. Thus Christian humility is the condition of Divine uplifting; the knowledge that leads to love is the condition of that higher gnosis that is born of love. The faith that accepts mercy blossoms into the joy that is unspeakable and full of glory. Reconciliation with God becomes itself transformed into active communion with him; all union to Christ becomes the harbinger of full identification with him, "he in us and we in him." This is the great principle of the Divine kingdom: "To him that hath shall be given."

Parallel Commentaries


Strong's From out, out from among, from, suggesting from the interior outwards. A primary preposition denoting origin, from, out.

Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Genitive Masculine 3rd Person Singular
Strong's He, she, it, they, them, same. From the particle au; the reflexive pronoun self, used of the third person, and of the other persons.

Noun - Genitive Neuter Singular
Strong's From pleroo; repletion or completion, i.e. what fills, or what is filled.

Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Nominative 1st Person Plural
Strong's I, the first-person pronoun. A primary pronoun of the first person I.

{have} all
Adjective - Nominative Masculine Plural
Strong's All, the whole, every kind of. Including all the forms of declension; apparently a primary word; all, any, every, the whole.

Verb - Aorist Indicative Active - 1st Person Plural
Strong's (a) I receive, get, (b) I take, lay hold of.

Noun - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's From chairo; graciousness, of manner or act.

Strong's A primary particle; opposite, i.e. Instead or because of.

Noun - Genitive Feminine Singular
Strong's From chairo; graciousness, of manner or act.

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NT Gospels: John From his fullness we all received grace (Jhn Jo Jn)
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Amplified Bible

Amplified Bible
Full nameThe amplified Bible: Containing the amplified Old Testament and the amplified New Testament
OT&#;published and
Complete Bible
AuthorshipZondervan (subsidiary of News Corp) and The Lockman Foundation.
Translation typeFree, largely dynamic translation
Version revision,
PublisherZondervan Publishing House
Copyright, , , , , ,

Genesis –3

In the beginning God (Elohim) created [by forming from nothing] the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void or a waste and emptiness, and darkness was upon the face of the deep [primeval ocean that covered the unformed earth]. The Spirit of God was moving (hovering, brooding) over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.

Genesis in other translations


For God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized the world, that He [even] gave His [One and] only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior] shall not perish, but have eternal life.

John in other translations

The Amplified Bible (AMP) is an English language translation of the Bible produced jointly by Zondervan and The Lockman Foundation. The first edition was published in It is largely a revision of the American Standard Version of , with reference made to various texts in the original languages. It is designed to "amplify" the text by using additional wording and a system of punctuation and other typographical features to attempt to bring out a clearer meaning to the original texts.


The Amplified Bible was published in six stages:

The Amplified Bible was revised in , now known as the Amplified Holy Bible; more amplifications in the Old Testament were added, and refinements made to the New Testament amplifications.

The bulk of the work of producing the Amplified Bible was undertaken by Frances Siewert, employed by the Lockman Foundation.[1]

Translation methodology[edit]

The Amplified Bible is a revision of the American Standard Version. Theologian Gordon Fee stated that the Amplified Bible:

[] is unique among Bible versions in that it provides “amplifications”—synonyms and explanations in brackets and parentheses within the text… The strength of this version is that it acknowledges that no single English word or phrase can capture precisely the meaning of the Hebrew or Greek.[2]

Andreas J. Köstenberger, David A. Croteau, and Joe Stowell remark that the Amplified Bible is "truly one of the most unique English translations," in which nuances in translation are indicated using various punctuation marks such as words or phrases in brackets, to show that they are "not explicitly contained in the original texts."[3]

Comparison example[edit]

Acts is the example used in the Publisher's Foreword, illustrating some of the features of the Amplified Bible, in comparison with other translations:

Acts , King James Version: And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

Acts , American Standard Version: And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be saved, thou and thy house.

Acts , Amplified Bible: And they answered, “Believe in the Lord Jesus [as your personal Savior and entrust yourself to Him] and you will be saved, you and your household [if they also believe]."


Michael D. Marlowe considers this Bible is at times more paraphrase than translation, saying: "In general, the expanded renderings found in this chapter are helpful. But as we have noted, in a few places they are paraphrastic and rather questionable."[4]

The Amplified Bible has been viewed as being guilty of "illegitimate totality transfer" by giving multiple potential meanings of a word in a particular passage. Readers may incorrectly conclude that multiple meanings of a word may apply regardless of the one which context would suggest.[5]

Theologian Gordon Fee stated that the Amplified Bible:

[] had a run of popularity far beyond its worth. It is far better to use several translations, note where they differ, and then check out these differences in another source than to be led to believe that a word can mean one of several things in any given sentence, with the reader left to choose whatever best strikes his or her fancy.[6]

Audio version[edit]

Currently, the only audio version of the Amplified Bible is produced by Promises For Life. Zondervan Publishing House is currently contracted with the Lockman Foundation to control and manage the publishing rights of the Amplified Bible. Current edition is ISBN&#;


  1. ^Paul, William, “Siewert, Frances E.” English Language Bible Translators, p.&#;, Jefferson, NC and London: McFarland and Company
  2. ^Gordon D. Fee and Douglas K. Stuart, How to Choose a Translation for All Its Worth (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, ),
  3. ^Andreas J. Köstenberger, David A. Croteau, and Joe Stowell, Which Bible Translation Should I Use? A Comparison of 4 Major Recent Versions (Nashville, TN: B&H Books, , p. 15).
  4. ^"The Amplified Bible". Retrieved
  5. ^Andreas J. Köstenberger, David A. Croteau, and Joe Stowell, Which Bible Translation Should I Use? A Comparison of 4 Major Recent Versions (Nashville, TN: B&H Books, ).
  6. ^Gordon D. Fee and Douglas K. Stuart, How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth, 3rd ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, ),

External links[edit]


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