I was studying the Bible with a friend and she told me that in John 3:1-5 when Jesus states that you must be ‘born again’ to see the Kingdom of God he is referring to amniotic fluid, not baptism. In other words, she said that Jesus is stating that one must be born again (biologically), and then born again a second time through the Spirit in order to inherit the Kingdom of God. Can you shed some light on what is the correct interpretation?
In answer to your question regarding John 3:1-5 let’s take a look at the scripture:
Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.” Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” “Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit…”
According to the amniotic fluid interpretation (as your friend shared with you), Jesus’ words mean that a person must be born once of his or her mother, that is to say biologically (hence the amniotic fluid), and again through the Spirit in order to enter Heaven.
Historically, certain sects of the Jews practiced baptism for gentile converts to Judaism during the first century, so Nicodemus, a devout Jew, would have been familiar with the concept of baptism. Notice that Jesus states that one cannot see the kingdom of God unless one is born again. This is subject of the entire conversation (How a man is born again. Not how a man is born the first time, but how a person can be born a second time to see the Kingdom of God).
Nicodemus mistakenly thought that Jesus was referring to being physically born again; this is why Nicodemus stated, “How can someone be born when they are old?” But Jesus corrects his misconception, and contrasted such thinking with the intended meaning when He says, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.”
It would have been redundant for Jesus to say that one must be born of the flesh to enter the Kingdom. Nicodemus had already met that condition, and did not need to be told to meet that one. Jesus was telling him that he needed to be washed with water by the Word and born of the Spirit.
Acts 2:38 and Titus 3:5 sheds light on the subject as we are all baptized in water and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, nowhere in Scripture is natural birth referred to as being born “of water,” this is a desperate attempt by many to deny the simple truth of Baptism.
So to recap on what was said regarding the problems with such an interpretation that Jesus meant amniotic fluid:
· The subject of discussion in this Scripture is on how a man is born again. Not how a man is born the first time (i.e., in the womb), but how a person can be born a second time to see the Kingdom of God
· Nowhere in Scripture is natural birth referred to as being born “of water.”
· It would have been redundant for Jesus to say that one must be born of the flesh (i.e., of the womb) to enter the Kingdom if Nicodemus already met that condition.
· If Jesus wanted to say that one must be born once biologically and then again from the Spirit, He would have made it clearer such as saying, “born of the womb and the Spirit” or “born of flesh and the Spirit.”
· The term “Water and Spirit” fits well with what’s read in the Bible (Acts 2:38 and Titus 3:5).
· Even the grammar of the sentence opposes the interpretation of amniotic fluid, because the verse reads “born of water and the Spirit.” In Greek, the word for ‘of,’ ex, is used to mean both ‘of’ and ‘from’. The water being spoken of here is the source or cause of the person’s birth. People are born from their mothers; they are not born from amniotic fluid. The fluid isn’t what gives birth to them, their mother is.
· Jesus is referring to baptism not amniotic fluid!
Feel free to email us if you have any additional questions and be sure to check us out at www.evidenceforchristianity.org . Feel free to email me as well if you have any further questions.
I hope this help.
Apologetics Research Society