3:12

2 P E TE R
410
THE FIRST LETTER OF JOHN
1 JOHN
Is 34:4 : 51:
6 +
Rm 8:21
Heb 12:27+
Rv 20:11 +
Is 65:17 ;
66:22
Rv 21: 1.27
Is 60:21
Rm8: 19 +
IIJude 24
] Tm ]:15·/6
He b2: 1
Rm 16:27 +
saintly lives -while you wait and long for the Day of God to come, when the sky 12
will dissolve in flames and the elements melt in the heat .•What we are wait ing 13
for is what he promised: the new heavens and new earth, the place where right-
eousness will be at home. -So then, my friends , while you are waiting, do your 14
best to live lives without spot or stain so that he will find you at peace. •Think of 15
our Lord's pat ience as your opportunity to be saved: our brother Paul, who is so
dear to us, told you this when he wrote to you with the wisdom that is his special
gift. -He always writes like this when he deals with this sort of subject, and this 16
makes some points- in his letter hard to understand ; these are the points that
uneducated and unbalanced people distort, in the same way as they distort the rest
of scripture--ca fatal thing for them to do. ' You have been warned about this, 17
my friends; be careful not to get carried away by the errors of unprincipled
people, from the firm ground that you are standing on. -Instead, go on growing IS
in the grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. To him
be glory, in time and in eternity. Amen.
The
1 1
I NTRO DUCTION
incarnate Word
Somethi ng which has existed since the beginning,
that we have heard,
and we have seen with our own eyes;
that we have watched
and touched with our hands:
the Word, who is life-
this is our subject.
That life was made visible:
we saw it and we are giving our testimony,
telling you of the eternal life
which was with the Father and has been made visible to us.
What we have seen and heard
we are telling you
so that you too may be in union- with us,
as we are in union
with the Father
and with his Son Jesus Christ.
We are writing this to you to make our own" joy complete.
1. WALK IN THE LIGHT
This is what we have heard from him,
and the message that we are announcing to you:
God is light; there is no dar kness in him at all.
If we say that we are in union with Gods
while we are living in dark ness,
we are lying because we are not living the truth.
But if we live our lives in the light,
as he is in the light ,
we are in union with one another,"
2:13
I n 1:1-5
Ac 22:15--
In i t 20.25.
Lk 24:39
In 1: 1+ : 3:
11 +
In 1:14 + ;
15:27
5:20
2: 3.19.24.29
Ac 4: 20: 26:
16
Ac 2:42f
1 Co 1:9
In 15:11;
16:22-24
2 In 12
3:11
On 2:22
In 8:12+
I Tm 6: 16
Jm 1:17
I n 3:21
3 b . About the oarousta, pr es umably, s ince t hat is
the subi cct under discussion.
i. This implies that the lett ers of Pa ul wer e
considered canonical.
1 a. Lit. ' have fellowsh ip' (so al so in v. 7). This
uni o n is the idea mo st central to John's mysticism,
In 14:20 : 15:1-6; 17:11,20-26: uni on between all
Christians result s from the union created by Christ
between ea ch Chr ist ia n and God. This union is re ferr ed
to in different ways: a Christ ian lives 'in' God and
God lives ' in' him. I In 2:5.6 .24.2 7: 3:6.24: 4:12,13 .15,
16 ; a C hr istia n is begotten by God . has new life from
him, 2 : 2 ~ ; 3:9 : 4:7 : 5: I, 18: the Chr is t ian is from God .
is his child, 2: 16 ; 3: 10: 4:4-6 ; 5:19 ; the Chr ist ia n know s
C od. 2:3. 13,14; 3:6; 4:7,8 (on knowledge a nd presence
er, In 14: 17 ; 2 In 1-2) , This union wit h God shows
itsel f in a person's fai th and in h is love fo r the brothers,
cf . 1:7+ .
b, 'our own' , var. (Vul g.) ' your',
c. Li t. 'him ' , In thi s tr a nsla t ion t he pronoun has.
been re ndered 'God' . or 'Chr ist ', whe re it seemed
neces sary for t he sense,
d. God is in Chr istia ns, 1:3-t-, as t he pri nciple of
the ir ne w life . Since God is ligh t, I :5, virtue, 2:29. and
lo ve, 4:8.1 6, whoever li ves in un ion with God must
l ive a life of light , vi rt ue an d love, and keep God's
commandment s. es pec ia lly the commandment 10 love
all human beings. 2: 10,11 ; 3:10 ; 4:8, 16, Faith a nd lo ve
are t hus th e visib le evidence of true union wi th God,
1:6,7: 2:3. 6: 3:6,10,17,24 : 4:6.8.13. 16. 20.
7Z
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OJ
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0:
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a:
Ep6:16
In 1:10 -+-
t.v 17:1 -r
1s6:3 +
In 14:26 +
2Co 1:21
In 5:42 +
Rm 8:7-8
2P 1:4+
1 P 5:5+
1·7 · 2"'')
Ac '3:i6+
I Co 6:11
1 1' 01 4: 1+
2 Th2:4+
4: 1
2Jn 7
Mt 6:24"
Jm4:4
Pr 27:20
J01 4:16
I Co 7:31
1 P 4:2
1:1
In 1:1
2Co6:14-18
1:3 -;-
Pr 10:25
Is 40:8
Mt7:21
Jn 3: 1I +
Mt 6:14+
In 5:3S
2:20
Jb 1:6 r • who incites human beings to wicked nes s,
I I n 3:8 "1- , Cl irtsua ns. however, h a vin g 'k nown' t he
Son, the Son lives in them, and ' cl othes' them in
ligh t, vir tue and love. J:7 t: and as this protects them
fro m the devil, I n 17:15, a nd prevents them from
si nn ing, 3:6.9. it constit utes their vic tory ove r the dev il,
2: 13, 14, and over this tr ansien t wor ld, 4:4: 5:4, 5;
cr. In 12:31: 14:30 : 1n:33 : MI6: 13.
f. Lit. ' t he ostcnra tlon of li vin g' .
/.:. 'an Anti chri st ' var . ' The An tt chris r'.
h. Th ough they seemed to belong to the commun-
ity . they lacked the spir it of Chr ist.
I, In t he a.T. the c hrism that was to ano int the
Messia h (t he 'a nointed ') was identifie d, Is 11:2; 61: 1,
with the (holy) Spir it or Brea th o f Yahwe h. Chri stia ns
sha re in th is a noi nti ng that teaches t hem t he tr ue gnosis
or know ledge.
I. Var . 'yo u know a ll things'.
JO HN
c. Th is is possibly an a llusion to the sect that ca lled
them selves ' spi r it uals' , pneumatikoi , and wh o wer e t he
fore runners of the Gnostics of the 2n d c. who looked
down 011 o t her peop le as bei ng eit her fl n ' chi koi or
h}'Ii/.. t1i, i.c. either incomnletc lv or no t a t all liber at ed
fr om mat ter.
2 a . ALlJ . ' ( ) f God',
b. Lit. 'i n him the love of God has bee n perfected
(reached its zoah' : this refers more to God's love for
us than 10 our love for him.
c. Lit. 'as That One' : Jesus is repeat edly ref err ed
10 in Ih is way, 3:3,5,7, 16: 4:1 7, cr . In 2:2 1: 19:35.
4
13
d . Var . (Vulg.) "I am wri ting to s ou (now)' . The
seco nd clause ('I have wr itte n to you, fa ther s .,. be-
ai nnina') is omitted by Vuta.
e. The dev il is st ill the Te mpt er as in Gn
Fourth condition: be on guard against the enemies of Chri st
Children, these are the last days;
you were told that an Antichrist" must come,
and now severa l aniichrists have already appeared;
we know from this tha t these are the last days.
Those rivals of Christ came out of our own numb er, but they had
never reall y belonged; "
if they had belonged, they would have stayed with us ;
but they left us, to prove that not one of them
ever belonged to us.
But you have been anointed' by the Holy One,
and have all received the knowledge'!
Third condition : detachment from the world
I am writing to you, my own children,
whose sins have already been for given thr ough his name;
I am writing to you, fathers,
who have come to know the one
who has existed since the beginn ing;
[ am writin g to you , young men,
who have alre ady overcome the Evil One;
I have written- to you, children,
becau se you already know the Fat her ;
[ have written to you , fathers,
because you ha ve come to know the one
who has existed since the beginnin g;
[ have wr itten to you, youn g men,
because you are strong and God's word has made its home in you,
and you have overcome the Evil One. '
Yo u must not love this passing world
or anything that is in the world.
The love of the Father cannot be
in any man who loves the world,
because nothing the world has to offer
- the sens ual body,
the lustful eye,
pr ide in possessions-a-
could ever come fro m the Father
but only from the worl d ;
and the world, with all it craves for,
is coming to an end ;
but anyone who doe s the will of God
remains for ever.
19
16
18
17
14
20
13
15
12
10
II
10
4
12
1 JOHN
condition: keep the comma ndments, especially the law of love
We ca n be sure tha t we know God
on ly by keeping his commandments .
Anyone who says, 'I know him' ,
and does not keep his comma ndments,
is a liar,
refusing to ad mi t the tru th.«
But when anyone does obey what he has said,
God's love comes to per fection in him. b
We can be sur e
that we are in God
only when the one who clai ms to be living in him
is living the same kind of life as Christ' lived.
My dear peo ple,
this is not a new commandment that I am writing to tell you,
but an old comma ndment
that you were given fro m the beginn ing,
the origi nal co mmandment which was the message brought to you.
Yet in another way, what [ am wr iting to you,
a nd what is being carried out in your lives as it was in his,
is a new commandment;
because the night is over
and the real light is already shining.
Anyone who claims to be in the light
but hat es his broth er
is st ill in t he dark.
But anyone who loves his broth er is living in the light
and need not be af rai d of stumbling ;
unlike the man who hates his bro ther and is in the da rkness,
not knowin g where he is going,
becau se it is too dark to see.
1:8
and the bloo d of Jes us, his Son,
purifies us fro m all sin.
First condition: break with sin
If we say we have no sin in us,
we are deceivi ng ourselves
and refusing to admit the trut h;'
but if we acknowledge our sins,
then God who is faithful and j ust
will forgive our sins and pur ify us
fro m everything that is wro ng.
To say that we have never sinned
is to call God a liar
and to show tha t his word is not in us.
I am wr iting this, my children,
to stop you sinning;
but if anyone should sin,
we have our advocate with the Father,
Jesus Christ, who is just;
he is the sacrifice that ta kes our sins away,
and not only ours,
but the whole world's.
2
Second
Ps32: 1+
Mt6:12p
Heb 1:25;
8:6 +
J" 14: 16
Ae3: 14+
4: /0
Rm 3:25 +
I n 4:42 +
Pc 28:13 +
Jm 5:16+
M1 15:14p
Pr 20:9
007:20
Si 8:5
I n 13:34 +
4:20
I n 14:21. 23
3: 17
3:6+
Pr4: llJ
002: 14
1:3 ·1· .7 +
In 10:14 +
M126: 28p
Rm 3:24-
25 +
Rv 1:5
In 12:35-36
In 13: 15.34
Ep 5:2
2 Th 3:7 +
Rm 13:12
In 1:5 ; 8: 12
3: 11
D16:5
MI22:37-40
2Jn 5
2:21 1 J O H N
4/4
4/5
1 JO H N 3:19
23
24
Second
10
25
26
11
27
12
28
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a:
2:6
Mt 20:28
Jn 15:12- 13
Ep 5:2
Ml24:9
I n 15:18-21
In 5:24;
11:26
1:5
2:7
Jn 13:34
3:8+
On 4:8
In 8:44
Jud e 11
DI 15:7. 11
Jm 2:16
3:23
2:5; 4:12
In 5:42
M1 7:21
1m 1:22
Hob 6:1+
1:7+ ; 4:6
3:8-1-
2:14+
3:12
On 3:15
In 8:44
3:5
1n 12:31- 32
3:6+
e. Having used expressions like: of Go d, from
Tr uth, child of God, to show how a Christian lives
und er the influence of God living in him, John now
uses expres sions like: of the devil, 3:8: of the Evil One,
3:12, fro m, or of. the imp er manent wor ld. 2:16 ; 4:5,
ch ildre n of the dev il. to indicat e thos e who live under
the influence of the devil and allow t hemsel ves to be
seduced by hi m.
f. The ' seed ' of God co uld be a reference to
Christ , cf. Ga 3:16; 1 Jn 5:13. bu t so me commenta tors
take it as a refe re nce to the Sp irit, cf. 2:20-27. or to th e
seed of d ivine life introd uced into us by God .
g. Lit. 'we shall be cer tain'; var. (Vula.) ' we are
cer tai n' .
d. Beca use God, livi ng In the Christian, is present
with all his div ine power for life. John is talk.ing in
general terms. Ignoring peop le' s momentary lapses,
1:7-2: 1: all he is giving is a schema t ic co ntr as t be twee n
the two 'wor lds' , cf. 3:9 : 5: 18.
to live a holy life
is to be hol y just as he is holy ;
to lead a sinful life is to belong to the devil,>
since the devil was a sinner from the beginning.
It was to undo all that the devil has do ne
tha t the Son of God appeared.
No one who has been begotten by God sins;
because God's seed! remains inside him,
he cannot si n when he has been begotten by God.
condition: keep the commandments, especially the law of love
In this way we distinguish the children of God
from the children of the devil:
anybody not living a holy life
and not loving his brother
is no child of God' s.
This is the message
as you hear d it from the beginning:
that we are to love one another ;
not to be like Cain, who belonged to the Evil One
and cut his br other' s throat ;
cut his brother' s throa t simply for this reason,
that his own life was evil and his brother lived a good life.
You must not be sur pr ised, brothers, when the world hates you;
we have passed out of death and into life,
and of this we can be sure
because we love our bro ther s.
If you refuse to love, you must remain dead;
to hate your br oth er is to be a murde rer,
and murderers, as you know, do no t have eternal life in them.
This has taught us love-
that he gave up his life for us ;
and we, too, ought to give up our lives for our brothers.
If a man who was rich enough in thi s world's good s
saw that one of his brot hers was in need,
but closed his heart to him,
how cou ld the love of God be living in him?
My children ,
our love is not to be just words or mere talk,
but something real and active ;
only by thi s can we be certain '
k , Or 'a nd becau se you kno w that the lies can not
have come from trut h' .
I. Pr ob ab ly a refe ren ce to Ceri nthus who iauahr
that Jesu s was an ord inar y human being who was
'possessed' by the Messia h at his baptism in the Jordan :
thi s Me ssiah ascended bef ore th e Pas sion of Jesu s.
Ano the r possible ref erence to hi s teaching is in 5:6
- the belief in bap tism (' water'j but not the sac r ificia l
de a t h (' blood' ),
m. The apost olic teac hing con cerning the mystery
of Chr ist.
n, Chris tians ere taught by the a pos tles, 1:3.5;
2:7.24. bu t merely hearing what is sai d is not enough.
th e m e SS3 !(C must pene tr ate them and thi s it cannot
do except th rough the grace of the Ho ly Spi ri t.
cf. 2:20 + .
3 a. Om. ' and that is what we arc' ; var . (VulgJ 'a nd
may we become precisely tha t' .
b. Lit. ' as Tha t One' .
c. Lit. 's ins'; var , 'o ur sins' .
19
18
17
15
16
13
14
4
It is not because you do not know the truth that I am writi ng to you 2 1
but rather because you know it already
and kno w that no lie can come from the tru th.k
The man who denies that Jesus is the Christ- 22
he is the liar,
he is Antichris t ;
and he is denying the Father as well as the Son,'
because no one who has the Fa ther can deny the Son,
and to acknowledge the Son is to have the Father as well.
Keep alive in yourselves wha t you were taught in the beginni ng: «
as long as what you were taught in the beginning is alive in you,
you wi11 live in the Son
and in the Father;
and what is pro mised to you by his own promise
is eternal life.
This is all that I am writing to you about the people who are
trying to lead you ast ray.
But you have not lost the anointing that he gave you,
and you do not need anyone to teach you;"
the anointing he gave teaches you everythi ng;
you are anointed with tru th, not with a lie,
and as it has taught you, so you must stay in him.
Live in Chris t, then, my chi ldren,
so tha t if he appears, we may have full confidence,
and not turn from him in shame
at his coming.
You know that God is righteous - 29
then you must recognise that everyone whose life is righteous
has been begott en by him.
II. LIVE AS GOD'S CHILDREN
Thi nk of the love tha t the Fat her has lavished on us,
by letting us be called God's children ;
and that is what we are.a
Because the world refused to acknowl edge him,
therefor e it does not acknowledge us.
My dear peopl e, we are already the chil dren of God
but what we are to be in the future has not yet been revealed ;
all we know is, that when it is revealed
we shall be like him
because we shall see him as he really is.
condition: break with sin
Surely everyone who entertains this hope
must purify himself, mus t try to be as pure as Christ. b
Anyone who sins at all
br eaks the law,
because to sin is to break the law.
Now you know that he appeared in order to abolish sin,'
and that in him there is no sin;
anyone who lives in God does not sin,"
and anyone who sins
has never seen him or known him.
My children, do not let anyon e lead you astray:
22:20
4:17
2Th 1:9
Mt 24:3+
I Co 15:23+
1r 31:34
1n 14,26+
1:3+ .7 +
Rill 8:29
Ph 3:21
Co l 3:4
Jn 14:7-9 :
17:6+
First
1:3-t-
2 P 1:12
2 1n 1:2
3:19+
2 Th2:4+
2 1n 7
2:6
Mt5:48+
1n l: 12 3
RID8: 14-17.
37-39
Ep i:5
111 15:21; 16:
3; 17:25
1n 5:24 : 6:
40.68; 17:2
J n 1:29+
J n 8:46
Hob 7:26
1:3+: 2:14+
Mt7:18
Love
III. LOVE AND FAITH
My dear people,
let us love one another
since love comes from God
and everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God.
Anyone who fails to love can never have known God,
::>
-s
>
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a:
1:3+
4:16
1:7+
4:9-10
2:4
Gn 22:12
Mt 21:37
In 3:16
D'7:8
Ws6:16
Rm8:31f
RmS:8
2:2
Rm 3:2S+
2:28
Rm 8:15
Jm 2:13
2:6+: 3:2-3
2 Th 3:7+
2Tm 1:7
Mt 18:33
Ex 33:20+
In 1:18: 6:46
1:3+
3:24
Rm S:S+
In 17:6+
4:7-8
I n 3:17
In 4:42+
4:20
d, The idea t ha t God loves Isr ael was one of t he
grea t poet ic insp irat ions of t he O.T.• cf. Is 54:8 + . The
fact th a t God sent his o nly So n to sa ve the world proves
th a t God is lov e.
e. This is d irec ted against the pneumalikoi wh o
held th a t by in tu it io n a human being can 'r each" God..
f. It i s God himse lf wh o throu gh hi s Spirit pro--
duces charity in us.
g. It is i mpossibl e to combine the love of a so n with
the fea r oCa slave.
part icul arl y the apostl es.
c. Lit . 'From th is we know t he spirit of tr ut h and
the spi rit of error' : the th eme of the two spiri ts, whi ch
a lso occurs in Esse ne (Q umran) lit e rature. was
destined to have a co ns ide rable influence on ea r ly
Chr istian thought. All pe opl e are torn be tween the
two ' worl ds' , cr. 3:8 +; 3: 19+, an d in varyin g de grees
all are ins pired by t he sp irit of eac h of the se 'w or lds ' .
For John the spiri t of truth comes fro m G od, 3:24;
4:13. of. In 14:26+ .
1 JOHN
because God is love.s
God's love for us was revealed
when God sent into the world his onl y Son
so that we could have life through him;
this is the love I mean:
not our love for God,
but God's love for us when he sent his Son
to be the sacr ifice that takes our sins away.
My dear people,
since God has loved us so much,
we too should love one another.
No one has ever seen God;'
but as long as we love one another
God will live in us
and his love will be compl ete in us.
We can know that we are living in him
and he is living in us
because he lets us share his Spirit,"
We ourselves saw and we testify
that the Father sent his Son
as saviour of the world .
If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God,
God lives in him, and he in God.
We ourselves have known and put our faith in
God's love towa rds oursel ves.
God is love
and anyone who lives in love lives in God,
and God lives in him.
Love will come to its perfect ion in us
when we can face the day of Judgement without fear;
because even in this world
we have become as he is.
In love there can be no fear,
but fear is dri ven out by perfect love:
because to fear is to expect punishment,
and anyone who is afraid is still imperfect in love.s
We are to love, then,
because he loved us first.
Anyone who says, ' I love God',
and hat es his brother,
b. In t he D.T. 'truth' (co nt ras ting with unrighteous-
ness and evil) of ten means the rightness of a life mor-
a lly well lived in accordance wit h t he will of Yahweh.
in fide lity to Ya hweh. T his is t he way Jo hn uses th e
word. As there is a double co m ma ndment to fidelit y
and love, 3:23. people are said to ' belo ng to tr uth' if
th ey beli eve. 2:21.22. and love. 3:19 ; they are sa id to
live ' in uni on with (wa lk accord ing to) truth' 2 In 4-6,
3 In 3-6, to ' do the truth', I n 3:21 (to perform or ac t
it . as opposed to committ ing sin , doin g wrong). cf. In
18:37: 4:24.
i. The pe rson whose co nsc ience (lit. ' heart' )
reproaches him , will find t ha t God as a iudge is both
more a cut e and more len ien t than hi s co nsc ience.
provid ing (it is under st ood) tha t charity ha s been
pract ised . Ano ther tr anslation co uld be ' In the pres ence
of God we shall prove to our co nscience. if it has been
acc us ing us, th a t God is grea ter tha n our co nscience
is. an d that he kn ows everything' .
4 a . Var . (Vulg.) and strongly supported ' which
dissolves (or br ea ks. spli ts. div ides) Jes us '.
b. 'we" i. e. th e authori sed preachers. and
4/7
i s
20
19
17
II
16
15
12
14
10
13
20
22
21
23
24
4
4/ 6
1 JOH N 3:20
that we are children of the truthh
and be able to quieten our conscience in his presence,
whatever accusations it may raise agains t us,
because God is greater than our conscience and he knows everything.'
My dear people,
if we cannot be condemned by our own conscience,
we need not be afraid in God's presence,
and whatever we ask him,
we shall receive,
because we keep his commandments
and live the kind of life tha t he want s.
His commandments are these:
tha t we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ
and that we love one another
as he told us to.
Whoever keeps his commandments
lives in Go d and God lives in him
We know that he lives in us
by the Spirit that he has given us.
Third condition: be on guard against the enemies of Christ
and against the world
4
It is not every spiri t, my dear people, tha t you can trust;
test them, to see if they come from God;
there are many false prophets, now, in the worl d.
You can tell the spirits that come from God by this:
every spirit which acknowledges that Jesus the Christ has come
in the flesh
is from God;
but any spirit which will not say this of Jesus"
is not from God,
but is the spirit of Antichrist,
whose coming you were warned about.
Well, now he is here, in the world.
Children,
you have already overco me these false prophets,
because you are from God and you have in you
one who is greater tha n anyone in this world;
as for them, they are of the world,
and so they speak the language of the world
and the world listens to them.
But web are children of God,
and those who know God listen to us;
those who are not of God refuse to listen to us.
This is how we can tell
the spirit of tru th from the spirit of falsehood. "
2:22
2 Th 2:4+
In 8:29
3:10
I n 14:17
2:14+
5:3
I n 13:34:
15:17
2:21+
In 18:37
2Jn4
I Th4:9
1:3+
1:7+
5:15
Mt 7:7-lIp
I n 14:13-14
1:3+
1:7+
In 14:21-23
4:lJ
3:20
3:8+
4:4
1:3+
In 8:47: 10:
26 +
1 Co 12:10+
2:18
M' 24:24
I Tm 4:1+
Jude 4
1 Co 12: 3
I Th S:21
4:2 1
I P 1:8
MI22:36-40
I n 14:15.21 ;
15:17
1:3+
5
In 8:42
1 P 1:23
Rm 13:9
Ga5:14
3:23
2In 6
DI JO:JJ
Mlll:30
In 16:33
214+
Faith
I n 19:34
Jn4: 1+
In 1:33+
2:20.27
In 14:26 +
::l
..,
>
· w
cr
J r 24:7
Ep 1:17
1:2
1:3+ .I H-
3:6+
In 1: 13
2:14 +
In 17:15
I n 17:3
5:12
3:22
In 14:13-14 ;
15:7
I n 15:22-24
M1 12:31
5:2 1
the tex t.
e . See note c on v, 6. The th ree witn esses
support eac h o ther ; the water of baptism is ac co m-
pani ed by the Sp ir it. and the Spi rit ca me th rou gh the
'b loo d ' o f the de at h of Jesus. Th e writer probably
int e nds another warning here. a gai ns t the do ctrine of
Ce r inthus- tha t the Sp ir it whic h ca me on Jes us a t
his ba ptism (wa ter ) left him bef ore his dea th (blood) .
f. As in the gospel. cr. Jn 21. the con clu si o n is
followed by a pos tscript,
1 JOH N
5 a . T el be lieve the truth is to be begot ten by Go d
a nd to love Go d as Fat her and so a lso to love all God' s
ot her children.
b. Th is a rgumen t is based on two previous ones:
whoever bel ieves is bego tt en by God , v. I. a nd 1Obe
be go tt en by God is to be t he conqueror of the ' world' ,
v.4.
c. The wat er and the blo od that ca me fro m his
side when Jesus was pierced on the cross , cf. In 19:34
a nd no te . These were the 'ev idence ' . fo r the orig inal
eyewit nesses. but the y are a lso the witness for all
Ch ri stia ns as the type of the ba ptism a nd t he sacr ificial
dea th of Jesus which a re opera t ive in their own lives. g. The sin a ga inst the Sp irit , against tru th .
The th r ee components of the new life 'i n Ch rist' are: cr. Mt 12: 31+.
the dea th (the bl ood ), the resurrection . ba ptism (t he h. Li t. 'a nd there is a sin that is not to dea th ';
wa ter) a nd the gift of the Sp iri t. VUIR. omits ' not' .
d. Yulg, vv, 7-8 read as follows ' There are thr ee i. Jes us. cr. I n 1:13, 18.
witnesses in heaven: the Father the Word and the Spi rit, I. Li t . ' the Tr ue' ; he is the only tr ue God and the
and thes e three are one: there are three witnesses on only on e known fo r wha t he is in truth, i.e. Li fe a nd
earth: the Sp ir it the wat er a nd the b loo d' . The wo rds Love.
in ita lics (not i n a ny of the ea rly Greek MSS , or any k. Li t . ' idols' , as in pa gani sm . but also the ' ido ls
of the ea r ly tr a nsl ations. or in the bes t MSS of the of the hea r t ' (Qumr an ) that de flect human bein gs fr om
Yulg, itse lf) are proba bly a gloss tha t has crept int o their fait h a nd tr ue love. Yulg, adds 'A men' .
4 / 9
and it is in accordance with his will,
he will hear us ;
and, knowing that whatever we may ask, he hears us,
we know that we have already been granted what we asked of him.
If anybody sees his brother commit a sin
that is not a deadly sin,
he has only to pray, and God will give life to the sinner
- not those who commit a deadly sin;
for there is a sin that is death,'
and I will not say that you must pray about that.
Every kind of wrong -doing is sin,
but not all sin is deadly."
Summary of the letter
We know that anyone who has been begotten by God
does not sin,
because the begotten Son of Go d' protects him,
and the Evil One does not touch him.
We know that we belong to God,
but the whole worl d lies in the power of the Evil One.
We know, too, that the Son of God has come,
and has given us the power
to know the tr ue God)
We are in the true God,
as we are in his Son, Jesus Christ.
This is the true God,
this is eternal life.
Children, be on your guard against false gods." 21
IR
20
19
IS
17
16
II
10
12
9
14
13
4
2
21
4/8
ENDINGI
1 J O H N
Who can overcome the world?
Only the man who believes that Jesus is the Son of God:b
Jesus Christ who came by water and blood,C
not with water only,
but with water and blood;
with the Spirit as another witness-
since the Spirit is the truth-
so that there are three witnesses,"
the Spirit, the water and the blood,
and all three of them agree. s
We accept the testimony of human witnesses,
but God's testimony is much greater,
and this is God's testimony,
given as evidence for his Son.
Everybody who believes in the Son of God
has this testimony inside him;
and anyone who will not believe God
is making God out to be a liar,
because he has not trusted
the testimony God has given about his Son.
This is the testimony:
God has given us eternal life
and this life is in his Son ;
anyone who has the Son has life,
anyone who does not have the Son does not have life.
is a liar,
since a man who does not love the brother that he can see
cannot love God, whom he has never seen.
So this is the commandment that he has given us,
that anyone who loves God must also love his brother.
Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ
has been begott en by God ;
and whoever loves the Father that begot him
loves the child whom he begets.a
We can be sure tha t we love God' s children
if we love God himself and do what he has commanded us ;
this is what loving God is-
keeping his commandments ;
and his commandments are not difficult,
because anyone who has been begotten by Go d
has already overcome the world ;
this is the victory over the world-
our faith.
Conclusion
I have written all this to you
so that you who believe in the name of the Son of God
may be sure that you have eternal life.
Prayer for sinners
We are quite confident that if we ask him for anything,
In 1:12:
20:31
In 3:33
Ml '/ :7p
In 3:11 +
1:2 ; 5:20
In 1:4; 5:
21.26
In 5:32. 37

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