The Ascent of the Son of Man

Question Box

No one hath ascended into heaven, but he that descended out of heaven, even the Son of man.—John 3:13 ASV

Question: When had Jesus ascended into heaven before he spoke these words at the first advent?

Answer: The words "ascended" and "descended are the Greek ana-baino and kata-baino; meaning to ascend, to spring up; and to descend, to come down.

Jesus spoke these words early in his ministry, three years before his ascension. Therefore, he could hardly be referring to his own ascension. But of all men, Jesus alone had previously been in heaven. Therefore he is most likely referring to his heavenly origin. "Jehovah formed me as the beginning of his way, the first of his works of old" (Prov. 8:22 ASV Margin).

NOTE: The addition, "who is in heaven," are not found in any of the best Greek manuscripts of John, nor in the Coptic versions. They were evidently not penned by the apostle. Dr. Aland, in restoring the accurate text of the apostolic New Testament, also considers the deletion of these words virtually certain.

By James Parkinson