Does the word "might" belong in John 3:16?

A former Catholic now born-again, “Bible Beliveing” Christian tells me that in John 3:16 in my NAB bible it says “might” have eternal life and in his NIV version it says “shall”. He laughs at his former religion as though we put that in there to fit our viewpoint. How do I answer this?



Dear Chris,

“Might” in the NAB bible does not mean “maybe.” In the Catholic RSV (Ignatius Press) the passage reads; “…that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” Your friend is making an issue where there is none. We can agree on the importance of the passage. But we also acknowledge other passages that express God’s demand for more than just believing: Mt 7: 21, 19:16-17, Rom 2:2-8, Gal 5:4-6, Phil 2:12-13, Col 3: 24-25.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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