John 1:16 grace upon grace
NASB [or grace in place of grace
Either translation is good since the Greek allows it.
Regarding the meaning of the text. The former rendering tells us that more grace is given while the latter speaks about grace that is received in the New Covenant.
THE FULLNESS OF CHRIST
Stephen is said to be ''full of grace'' (Acts 6:8). However, the immediate context reveals that He is the recipient rather than the giver of grace.
Christ gives grace. Paul wrote about ''the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ'' in 2 Corinthians 13:14.
James 1:17 (NASB), said that ''every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights.'' Grace per se is a good gift and to say that Christ is full of grace means that every good gift comes from Him. This also implies Christ's divinity since only God gives grace (''grace'' > χάριν Psalm 84:11 L xx).
...we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father,
full of grace and truth. - John 1:14 (
Furthermore, it is said that this fullness of grace and truth is the glory of the only (begotten) from the Father. That is to say, of the Son of God, who while being God himself (''God'' > Θεὸς John 1:1c, 18b) is distinct from God, the Father. See the Doctrine of the Trinity.
RECIPIENTS OF HIS FULLNESS
Christ is the source of our fullness. In him, we ''have been made full'' (Colossians 2:1NASB).
For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. - John
In Philippians 4:19, it is said that God supplies all our needs in Christ Jesus. How does God supply all our needs in Christ Jesus? It is through grace. It is said that ''God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything ''( 2 Corinthians 9:8 NASB). Again, another scripture says that ''God gives us more grace '' (James 4:6 NIV).
IMAGE OF HIS FULLNESS
The saints can be ''filled with the fullness of God'' (Ephesians 3:19 NASB) because they are ''the fullness of Christ'' (Ephesians 4:13) in whom ''all the fullness of the Godhead'' dwells (Colossians 2:9).
which is His (Christ's) body, the fullness of Him (Christ) who fills all in all. Ephesians 1:23
When Christ dwells in our hearts (Ephesians 3:17), we are being filled with God because God is in Christ. Christ said to the Father, ''I in them and you in Me'' (John 17:23 NASB). That is, our union with Christ is a union with God.
The Greek phrase χάριν ἀντὶ χάριτος has more than one meaning. It could either be the grace which we have received through the New Covenant or the grace that we are receiving by being in the New Covenant.Either way, it shows that everything that we have whether wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption, is not of our own doing but a gift of God. ''But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption'' (1 Corinthians 1:30 NASB).