• Michael Haldas

Born Again

“ ‘Born again.” The word anothen originally meant ‘from above’ [cf. Luke 1:2], then ‘again’ [cf. Galatians 4:9], and even ‘from the top’ [cf. John 19:23, Mark 15:38]. Nicodemos takes the meaning to be ‘again,’ a second birth form the womb. The Vulgate translates it by renatus fuerit denuo…In other passages the meaning ‘is from above’ and usually so in the Gospels.” (Holy Apostles Convent)

“Born again: The word again can also be translated “from above” and clearly refers to the heavenly birth from God through faith in Christ (1:12, 13). This heavenly birth is baptism (v. 5) and our adoption by God as our Father (Gal 4:4–7). This new birth is but the beginning of our spiritual life, with its goal being entrance into the kingdom of God.” (Orthodox Study Bible, John 3:3)


“Nicodemus interprets the Lord’s miracles or signs as proof that “God is with Him” (John 3:2). However, the Lord immediately takes control of the discussion by insisting that one must be born again to “see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). His point is that the kingdom of God is present, but cannot be seen by those who, like Nicodemus, notice only tangible results or effects. Because they are not spiritually regenerated – born again – such people fail to perceive the Kingdom. The Lord then deepens the topic of regeneration further, speaking of how we are spiritually reborn. A new birth is required “of water and the Spirit” (John 3:5), a clear reference to the mysteries of baptism and chrismation. Subsequently, the Lord Jesus explains how these mysteries transform a person spiritually, saying, “That which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:6). Rebirth, as an action of the Holy Spirit, is beyond human control, and “so is everyone who is born of the Spirit” (John 3:8).” (Dynamis 4/23/2020)

“Our human nature itself is altered by that divine act that makes us sharers in the glory of the Lord, "being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord" (2 Corinthians 3:18). This is the alteration of our humanity whereby we "become partakers of the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4), and this is what it means to be “born again.” (Fr. Patrick Reardon)

“We die to live. That is the beautiful paradox straight out of the Biblical idea of being ‘born again’ or ‘in losing one’s life to find it.’ When all that goes with it, gradually dies, and we acquire a different and better way of life. As our shortcomings are removed, one life of us dies, and another life of us lives.” (Fr. Bogdan Djurdjulov)

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