Final Witness of the Baptist. 22* After this, Jesus and his disciples went into the region of Judea, where he spent some time with them baptizing.q 23John was also baptizing in Aenon near Salim,* because there was an abundance of water there, and people came to be baptized, 24* r for John had not yet been imprisoned. 25Now a dispute arose between the disciples of John and a Jew* about ceremonial washings. 26So they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, the one who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you testified, here he is baptizing and everyone is coming to him.”s 27John answered and said, “No one can receive anything except what has been given him from heaven.t 28You yourselves can testify that I said [that] I am not the Messiah, but that I was sent before him.u 29The one who has the bride is the bridegroom; the best man,* who stands and listens to him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. So this joy of mine has been made complete.v 30He must increase; I must decrease.”w
The One from Heaven.* 31The one who comes from above is above all. The one who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of earthly things. But the one who comes from heaven [is above all].x 32He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony.y 33Whoever does accept his testimony certifies that God is trustworthy.z 34For the one whom God sent speaks the words of God. He does not ration his gift* of the Spirit. 35The Father loves the Son and has given everything over to him.a 36Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains upon him.b
1* Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John 2(although Jesus himself was not baptizing, just his disciples),* 3he left Judea and returned to Galilee.
The Atonement. 30On the next day Moses said to the people,m “You have committed a grave sin. Now I will go up to the LORD; perhaps I may be able to make atonement for your sin.” 31So Moses returned to the LORD and said, “Ah, this people has committed a grave sin in making a god of gold for themselves! 32Now if you would only forgive their sin! But if you will not, then blot me out of the book that you have written.”* 33The LORD answered Moses: Only the one who has sinned against me will I blot out of my book. 34Now, go and lead the people where I have told you. See, my angel will go before you. When it is time for me to punish, I will punish them for their sin.
Elisha’s Journey. 15The guild prophets in Jericho, who were on the other side, saw him and said, “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.” They went to meet him, bowing to the ground before him.d 16They said, “Among your servants are fifty brave men. Let them go in search of your master. Perhaps the spirit of the LORD has lifted him up and left him on some mountain or in some valley.” He answered, “Do not send them.”e 17But they kept urging him, until he was embarrassed and said, “Send them.” So they sent the fifty men, who searched for three days without finding him.f 18When they returned to Elisha in Jericho, where he was staying, he said to them, “Did I not tell you not to go?”
19g The inhabitants of the city complained to Elisha, “The site of the city is fine indeed, as my lord can see, but the water is bad and the land sterile.” 20Elisha said, “Bring me a new bowl and put salt into it.” When they had brought it to him, 21he went out to the spring and threw salt into it, saying, “Thus says the LORD: I have purified this water. Never again shall death or sterility come from it.” 22And the water has stayed pure even to this day, according to the word Elisha had spoken.
23* From there Elisha went up to Bethel. While he was on the way, some little boys came out of the city and jeered at him: “Go away, baldy; go away, baldy!” 24The prophet turned and saw them, and he cursed them in the name of the LORD. Then two she-bears came out of the woods and tore forty-two of the children to pieces.
21Do not fear, O land!
delight and rejoice,
for the LORD has done great things!l
22Do not fear, you animals in the wild,
for the wilderness pastures sprout green grass.
The trees bear fruit,
the fig tree and the vine produce their harvest.
23Children of Zion, delight
and rejoice in the LORD, your God!
For he has faithfully given you the early rain,*
sending rain down on you,
the early and the late rains as before.m
24The threshing floors will be full of grain,
the vats spilling over with new wine and oil.
25I will repay you double
what the swarming locust has eaten,
The hopper, the consuming locust, and the cutter,
my great army I sent against you.n
26You will eat until you are fully satisfied,
then you will praise the name of the LORD, your God,
Who acts so wondrously on your behalf!
My people will never again be put to shame.
27Then you will know that I am in the midst of Israel:
I, the LORD, am your God, and there is no other;
my people will never again be put to shame.o
8* For the LORD has a day of vengeance,
a year of requital for the cause of Zion.g
9Edom’s streams shall be changed into pitch,
its soil into sulfur,
and its land shall become burning pitch;
10Night and day it shall not be quenched,
its smoke shall rise forever.
From generation to generation it shall lie waste,
never again shall anyone pass through it.h
11But the desert owl and hoot owl shall possess it,
the screech owl and raven shall dwell in it.
The LORD will stretch over it the measuring line of chaos,
12Its nobles shall be no more,
nor shall kings be proclaimed there;
all its princes are gone.j
13Its castles shall be overgrown with thorns,
its fortresses with thistles and briers.
It shall become an abode for jackals,
a haunt for ostriches.k
14Wildcats shall meet with desert beasts,
satyrs* shall call to one another;
There shall the lilith repose,
and find for herself a place to rest.
15There the hoot owl shall nest and lay eggs,
hatch them out and gather them in her shadow;
There shall the kites assemble,
each with its mate.
16Search through the book of the LORD* and read:
not one of these shall be lacking,
For the mouth of the LORD has ordered it,
and his spirit gathers them there.
17It is he who casts the lot for them;
his hand measures off* their portions;
They shall possess it forever,
and dwell in it from generation to generation.l
Paul in Athens.* 16While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he grew exasperated at the sight of the city full of idols. 17So he debated in the synagogue with the Jews and with the worshipers, and daily in the public square with whoever happened to be there. 18Even some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers* engaged him in discussion. Some asked, “What is this scavenger trying to say?” Others said, “He sounds like a promoter of foreign deities,” because he was preaching about ‘Jesus’ and ‘Resurrection.’ 19They took him and led him to the Areopagus* and said, “May we learn what this new teaching is that you speak of?g 20For you bring some strange notions to our ears; we should like to know what these things mean.” 21Now all the Athenians as well as the foreigners residing there used their time for nothing else but telling or hearing something new.
18Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you considers himself wise in this age, let him become a fool so as to become wise.h 19For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in the eyes of God, for it is written:i
“He catches the wise in their own ruses,”
“The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.”j
21* So let no one boast about human beings, for everything belongs to you,k 22Paul or Apollos or Cephas, or the world or life or death, or the present or the future: all belong to you, 23and you to Christ, and Christ to God.
1Thus should one regard us: as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.a 2Now it is of course required of stewards that they be found trustworthy. 3It does not concern me in the least that I be judged by you or any human tribunal; I do not even pass judgment on myself; 4I am not conscious of anything against me, but I do not thereby stand acquitted; the one who judges me is the Lord.b 5Therefore, do not make any judgment before the appointed time, until the Lord comes, for he will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will manifest the motives of our hearts, and then everyone will receive praise from God.
Nicodemus.* 1a Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.* 2He came to Jesus at night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God, for no one can do these signs that you are doing unless God is with him.”b 3Jesus answered and said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born* from above.” 4Nicodemus said to him, “How can a person once grown old be born again? Surely he cannot reenter his mother’s womb and be born again, can he?”c 5Jesus answered, “Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit.d 6What is born of flesh is flesh and what is born of spirit is spirit.e 7Do not be amazed that I told you, ‘You must be born from above.’ 8The wind* blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”f 9Nicodemus answered and said to him, “How can this happen?” 10Jesus answered and said to him, “You are the teacher of Israel and you do not understand this? 11Amen, amen, I say to you, we speak of what we know and we testify to what we have seen, but you people do not accept our testimony.g 12If I tell you about earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things?h