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" The Handbook says that "Evangelical, black, and Latino Protestants tend to respond similarly, with about two-thirds of each group answering in the affirmative.

In contrast, only about one third of mainline Protestants and one sixth of Catholics (Anglo and Latino) claim a born-again experience." However, the handbook suggests that "born-again questions are poor measures even for capturing evangelical respondents. it is likely that people who report a born-again experience also claim it as an identity." Use of the term "born again" in Catholicism to refer to Christian conversion is modern, presumably developing out of the teachings of John Wesley and popularized in the ministry of 19th century tent meeting revivalists such as Billy Sunday, and Dwight L. Individuals were encouraged to change their lives and 'come to Jesus'.

John's Gospel was written in Greek, and the word translated as again is ἄνωθεν (ánōtʰen), which could mean again, or from above.

The New Revised Standard Version prefers this latter translation, and both the King James Version and the Revised Version give it as an alternative in the margins.

In contemporary Christian usage, the term is distinct from sometimes similar terms used in mainstream Christianity to refer to being or becoming Christian, which is linked to baptism.

A 19th-century source notes that the phrase was not mentioned by the other Evangelists, nor by the Apostles except Peter.

"It was not regarded by any of the Evangelists but John of sufficient importance to record." It adds that without John, "we should hardly have known that it was necessary for one to be born again." This suggests that "the text and context was meant to apply to Nicodemus particularly, and not to the world." The Oxford Handbook of Religion and American Politics notes: "The GSS ...

He is concerned, however, with the fact that the promise is not being fulfilled to the seed of Abraham (referring to the Jews)." Charles Hodge writes that "The subjective change wrought in the soul by the grace of God, is variously designated in Scripture" with terms such as new birth, resurrection, new life, new creation, renewing of the mind, dying to sin and living to righteousness, and translation from darkness to light.

Jesus used the "birth" analogy in tracing spiritual newness of life to a divine beginning.

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