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Contemporary Christian theologians have provided explanations for "born from above" being a more accurate translation of the original Greek word transliterated anōthen.An early example of the term in its more modern use appears in the sermons of John Wesley.Even with these early revivalists, the use of the term "born again" to describe this experience of conversion was still not widespread.Historically, the classic text from John 3 was consistently interpreted by the early church fathers as a reference to baptism.

" Jesus answered, "Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit." The King James Version uses the phrase born again three times, two of them in chapter 3 of the Gospel of John when Jesus is speaking to Nicodemus.Hoskyns argues that it is to be preferred as the fundamental meaning and he drew attention to phrases such as "birth of the Spirit ( Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, [see that ye] love one another with a pure heart fervently: / Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.The traditional Jewish understanding of the promise of salvation is interpreted as being rooted in "the seed of Abraham"; that is, physical lineage from Abraham.Jesus explained to Nicodemus that this doctrine was in error—that every person must have two births—natural birth of the physical body and another of the water and the spirit.This discourse with Nicodemus established the Christian belief that all human beings—whether Jew or Gentile—must be "born again" of the spiritual seed of Christ.

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