The matter in dispute here is NOT the Greek text but the translation of a single word, ἄνωθεν (anōthen). This is a simple preposition for which BDAG provides four basic uses:
- in extension from a source that is above, from above, eg, Mark 15:38, Matt 27:51, John 19:23, 3:31, 1:17, 19:11, James 3:15, 17.
- from a point in time marking the beginning of something, from the beginning, eg, Luke 1:3, Acts 26:5.
- for a relatively long period in the past, for a long time, eg, Acts 26:5
- At a subsequent point in time involving repetition, again, eg, Gal 4:9, John 3:3.
In the above extract from BDAG I have only included the Bible references and have not included BDAG's numerous extra Biblical sources and examples.
The problem in John 3:3 is should ἄνωθεν (anōthen) be translated "from above", or "again"? In this case, both are theologically correct (see also John 3:31). My personal view is that, probably, both are intended: converts need to be born again (= anew) but NOT as Nicodemus suggested from earthly origins, but "from above". Indeed, as the foot notes in the ESV explicitly point out,
Or, from above, the Greek is purposely ambiguous and can mean both
again and from above, also verse 7.
Ellicott notes (in part):
Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.--Our
translators have followed the ancient expositors in giving the
alternative renderings "born again" and "born from above" (margin).
Chrysostom notes the two currents of interpretation in his day; and in
our own day the opinions of scholars, whether we count them or weigh
them, may be equally claimed for either view. There can be no doubt
that the Greek word (ἄνωθεν) is found with both meanings. It is
equally certain that St. John elsewhere uses it in the local sense
"from above" only (John 3:31; John 19:11; John 19:23); but these
instances are not sufficient to establish an usus loquendi, and the
sense here, and in John 3:7, must be taken in connection with the
meaning of the verb. (Comp. the same word in Luke 1:3, "from the very
first," and Galatians 4:9, "again.") What has not, perhaps, been
sufficiently noted is, that the Greek word is not the true key to the
difficulty, and that its double sense has led men to seek the meaning
in a wrong direction.
The Pulpit commentary makes extensive remarks about this as well - too many to be repeated here.