1 John


Argument Proper

v] Warnings against being deceived


God is light, and a believer abides in that light. John has explained the moral test of that standing, namely love, particularly expressed in compassion toward our brothers and sisters in Christ, and now he goes on to explain a doctrinal test for abiding. He does this in the context of a warning concerning the antichrists (secessionists / opponents) and their deceptive wiles. John concludes with an exhortation to abide.


i] Context: See 1:6-10. The central argument of John's letter falls into three parts. It is not overly clear whether 2:28-29 conclude the first part, or introduce the second part. Wahlde argues that 2:28 begins a new segment in John's discourse; "sin, the children of God and the children of the Devil", 2:28-3:10. Kruse agrees with this division of the letter, "distinguishing the children of God from the children of the Devil." He argues, "this verse begins a long treatment of the fundamental connection between knowing God and doing righteousness, which provides the basis for distinguishing those who are the children of God from those who are the children of the devil." Schnackenburg opts for 2:28-3:3, "the Christian hope of Salvation." Lieu argues that v29 introduces the new segment in John's discourse / dissertation; "The confidence of the children of God", 2:29-3:3. As usual, numerous other divisions are suggested.


ii] Background: See 1:1-5.


iii] Structure: Warnings against being deceived:

God is life-giving light, let us walk in the light of his love

Argument # 5, v18-29:

Beware of the deception of the antichrists, those who deny the Son

Examination of the existing situation, v18-26:

the source of the problem, v18-19;

the standing of John's readers, v20-21;

a comparison of the two, v22-23;

an appeal and promise, v24-27.

Exhortation, v28;

Command, v29.


iv] Interpretation:

In this passage, John warns his readers of the secessionists / opponents, the antichrists, in their midst, those who deny the Son. In the face of their wiles, John provides the means for turning aside the deception of the antichrists: First, "they are to remember the truth that they heard from the beginning; Second, they are to recognise the deceivers for what they are: by their denial that Jesus is the Christ, God's Son, they show that they are antichrists; Third, they are to remember that they have an anointing from the Holy One, an anointing which teaches them all things, so they do not need others, (namely the secessionists) to teach them anything", Kruse, v18-27. John then goes on to exhort his readers to abide in Christ, to put their faith in Christ, v28, reminding them that it is those who have made Christ their dwelling place, having recognised him as the Righteous One, the messiah, God's Son, who do what is right, v29.


The antichrist: The prefix anti is likely to mean "opposed to", so pretenders opposed to Christ, possibly in the sense of "claim to be"= false Christs, so MM. The antichrist is Satan's associate, he is the beast from the bog, Rev.13:1, uttering blasphemes against God, inflicting violence on God's people, and taking to himself deity, 2Thes.2:4. It is he who enacts the desolating sacrilege, Mk.13:14; he is "the Man of lawlessness", Mr. Loss, 2Thes.2:3. Even now he is active in the world. The antichrist can be many things: a person, a government, an organisation, a philosophy, even a computer. He can be all these things at once; bouncing around like a puppet in the hands of his master - and we all know the master well, Matt.4:8-9! As far as John is concerned, the secessionists / trouble-makers / opponents, those who are causing trouble in his churches, are representatives of the antichrist, acting at the behest of Satan, and as such are themselves antichrists.


The nature of the secessionists' denial of Christ: The denial of Christ by the secessionists / troublemakers may simply be a refusal to openly affirm that Jesus is the messiah, either because of societal pressure / persecution, or the possibility of excommunication from the synagogue. It may even be that they have left the Christian fellowship to follow a false messiah. Yet, it does seem likely that the secessionists / trouble-makers, those who are troubling the congregations under John's care, still claim a faith-standing in Christ and so probably still accept that Jesus is the historic messiah, the Son of God. They are obviously denying something about Jesus, but what is it, what is their flawed Christology?

Strecker, Epistles, argues that "Jesus is the Christ" is an epi-docetic statement affirming the historical / human Jesus, and that the secessionists deny this reality, so also O'Neill. Schnackenburg thinks the problem concerns Christ's role in redemption. As the Son of God / messiah, Jesus "stands in intimate fellowship with the Father and leads the believers into that same fellowship." Schnackenburg argues that the underlying problem is gnostic. Brown, in similar vein, argues that the issue concerns the humanity of Jesus, of the divine Word having become flesh for the redemption of the World - the secessionists happily accept the deity of Christ, but deny his humanity. Yarbrough argues that the denial of Christ is primarily a denial of Jesus' oneness with the Father - "his sonship implying essential oneness with God, cf., John 5:18." Wahlde takes a different tack, arguing that the problem is a Pentecostal one where Jesus, the anointed one, has a unique anointing of the Spirit, distinct from the anointing / gifting which a believer receives in a limited way. The secessionists do not accept the limitations. Lieu argues that John has simply used the word "Christ" as a counter for "antichrists"; the secessionists by nature are Christ-deniers because they are antichrists. The real problem centres on their failure to acknowledge the Son, and thus their failure to acknowledge the Father. Their denial of the Son means that they don't ecei, v23, " have" / abide in the Father and so they don't have life, 5:12.

John's concern is to reaffirm the standing of the members of his congregation, and the faith upon which it is built; he is not interested in spelling out a heresy which is well known to his readers. John simply rejects it. This being the case, Kruse argues that the rare insight into the heretical teaching, namely, "the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ", is nothing more than a shorthand descriptor of their teaching. "Their Christology involved a denial that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, God's Son, come in the flesh and whose death was real and vicarious", Kruse. See also 2Jn.7: "who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh." What they deny is the package as a whole: that Jesus is the messiah, the Son of God, come in the flesh as God's perfect sacrifice on our behalf, whose atoning death has wholly restored our relationship with the living God, and this for eternity.

For myself, I'm inclined to the argument put by Terry Griffith in his article A Non-Polemical Reading of 1 John, Tyndale Bulletin 49, 1998. He argues that the issue is simply a drift back to the certainties of Judaism, a move toward a more legalistic / nomistic view of Christianity, probably related more on sanctification rather then justification. John's overall argument is a simple one, nothing can be added to the cross of Christ; faith, and its fruit love, is the whole of it.


v] Exposition: A simple exposition of this passage may be found in the linked pew-level Sermon Notes.

Text - 2:18

Arguments in support of the proposition, #5 - Beware of the antichrists, those who deny the Son, v18-29: "John goes to the deeps of living when he tests our appreciation of God as light, not only by purity of life and by readiness to love, but also by a careful examination of what we believe. And for John all true belief centres in Christ as the revelation of God. Not to believe this is be an antichrist", Love. i] Standing firm against the enemy / antichrists: Hold to the foundational truths; Recognise the deceivers for what they are; Remember the anointing you have from the Holy One, an anointing which teaches you all things, v18-27. John begins by speaking about the enemy in our midst, v18-23. This is the "last hour", the time between the ascension of Christ and his return. This interim period is a time of trouble and persecution for the followers of Christ, culminating in the great tribulation and the revealing of the antichrist, "the man of lawlessness". The antichrist is a person, power or ideology opposed to Christ, who usurps his authority and status. In these last days, tyhe "coming" of the antichrist is preceded by imitators, who, although not as persuasive, pervading and powerful, constantly do great damage to the children of God.

w{ra "hour" - [children, it is the last] hour. "The time of salvation history ...., the decisive period before the End, or the parousia", Schnackenburg.

kaqwV "as" - [and] as, like [you heard]. Comparative, "just as you have heard ...." "Teaching about the coming of the antichrist was well known to his readers", Kruse.

oJti "that" - that. Introducing a dependent statement of perception expressing what they have heard.

ercetai (ercomai) pres. "is coming" - [an antichrist] is coming. See above for the antichrist; "you were told that the Antichrist must needs come", Cassirer.

kai "even" - and = even [now]. Probably ascensive, as NIV.

polloi adj. "many" - many [antichrists have come]. Multiples. See above for the many antichrists - these imitations / lesser version of the real thing.

o{qen "this is how" - from where = therefore [we know]. Inferential; drawing a logical conclusion; "from which fact", Zerwick.

oJti "-" - that [it is the last hour]. Introducing a dependent statement expressing what is known. The evidence of false prophets with signs and wonders evidences the last days, cf., Matt.24:24.


These imitation christs tend often to be pseudo-Christians. They involve themselves in church, cause trouble, undermining the life of the congregation, and then move away. They go elsewhere, move back into secular life and attack the church from without, or they form schismatic Christian groups. Their act of abandoning their Christian fellowship is the evidence of their pseudo-Christian stance.

exhlqan (exercomai) aor. "they went out" - they departed. They, "the antichrists", the Christ-deniers, 2:22, were secessionists; they walked out of the church to form their own fellowship, continuing to agitate from without.

ex + gen. "from" - from [us]. Expressing separation.

all (alla) "but" - Strong adversative, as NIV.

ex + gen. "belong to" - [they were not] from [us]. Here used to designate a member of a certain class, cf., Zerwick, #134, Culy, as NIV. " "If these people had been true members of his (John's) community, which they were not, they would have remained as members, and not seceded as they had done", Kruse.

gar "for" - because. Introducing a causal clause explaining why "they were not of us."

ei + imperf. an + pluperf. "if" - if [they were from us]. Second class conditional clause / contrary to fact / unreal, where the condition is assumed not to be true; "if, as is not the case, they were of us, then they would have remained with us" = "these members (men) went out from our company, it is true, but they never really belonged to it", Phillips.

meq (meta) + gen. "with" - [then they would have remained] with [us]. Expressing association; "they would have continued with us."

all (alla) "but" - but it was necessary for them to leave. Strong adversative, as NIV.

iJna + subj. "-" - that [they may be clearly shown, manifested]. Here introducing a purpose clause; "in order that it (they) may be revealed" = "they left to make it clear that none of them belonged to us", Barclay. Both Turner and Moule suggest that here the construction is imperatival, "but must be shown that ..."; Wallace rates it as a possibility only.

oJti "that" - that [all of them are not from us]. Introducing an epexegetic clause specifying what is revealed in their leaving, namely, that "it is not all of (who belong to) us." The sense being either: "that all of them are not of / do not belong to us", as Barclay above, or " that it is not everybody that belongs to our company", Cassirer. "The pain of an open parting of the ways can be the necessary prelude to a higher level of community cohesion and doctrinal integrity", Yarbrough. Calvin is a little more to the point; "The Church is like a thrashing-floor and the chaff has to be blown away so that the pure wheat may remain."


Unlike the pseudo-Christian, the true believer understands the truth and is happy to bathe in its light, v20-21. The depth of their understanding will vary, but their desire for it will be the same. The reason for this is that all believers are anointed by the Spirit whose ministry is to lead us into truth.

kai "but" - Slightly adversative, with the emphatic uJmeiV, "you", giving the sense, "you on the other hand."

crisma (a atoV) "an anointing" - an anointing, anointment. The anointing may refer to the word / gospel the church members received, an anointing of" true knowledge", Lieu. Unlike the secessionists, the members of John's congregation have received an anointing of the Word / true knowledge from the Holy One which they oida, "know / understand / have taken to heart." See "The Christian Lives by the Spirit", Ignace de la Potterie. The majority of commentators hold that the anointing is of the Holy Spirit, so Brown, Schnackenburg, Strecker, Kruse. It is possible that John is using the word in the sense of being set apart for God, as were the prophets of old - anointed to God's service. They have believed in Jesus and as a consequence are in service to him, having come to an understanding of the truth - an understanding / knowledge - which of course, is mediated through the Spirit. It is very unlikely to be a reference to baptism. See also crisma, v27.

apo + gen. "from" - Expressing source / origin.

tou aJgiou adj. "the Holy One" - the holy. The adjective serves as a substantive. The reference is possibly to God, both Father, Son and Holy Spirit, although Kruse thinks that here it specifically refers to Christ. "God himself has graced them in such a way that the departure of some need not demoralise those who are still standing fast", Yarbrough.

oidate (oida) perf. "know the truth" - [all] have knowledge. Variant oidate panta, "you know all things", followed by NIV etc., David Black, An Overlooked Stylistic Argument in Favor of panta in 1 John 2:20, 1991 opts for the variant, but Lieu argues that at this point John is simply saying that his readers are all secure in their knowledge, the nature of which knowledge he will explain later.


uJmin dat. pro. "to you" - [i do not write] to you. Dative of indirect object.

oJti .... oJti ..... oJti .... "because .... because ..... because" - [I do not write to you] that [you do not know the truth, but] that [you know it and] that [every lie is not of the truth]. It is unclear whether oJti in these three clauses is causal, or recitative. The NIV opts for thee causal clauses. With this approach, John explains that their are two reasons for his writing this letter to the church: first, because they "know the truth"; and second, "because no lie comes from the truth." John writes as he does, because the believers, who have remained in fellowship, have fully endorsed the Christian message, and because that message is in no way the source of lies / the innovative false teaching of the secessionists. "What his readers have endorsed in the Christian message cannot be the source of the untruths that have bedevilled their community and split their ranks", Yarbrough. Another approach is to take all three conjunctions as recitative, so introducing three dependent statement expressing what John writes, cf., Wahlde; "I did not write to you that you .... but that you know it and that every lie is not of the truth." None-the-less it seems more likely that the first two are causal and the third introduces a dependent statement of perception expressing what "you know", so Schnackenburg; "I have not written to you because ..... but because ...... and because you know that no lie is of the truth." "It is not because you do not know the truth that I have written to you; it is because you do know it, and you are well aware that no lie has its source in the truth", Barclay.

thn alhqeian (a) "the truth" - "The truth to which the author refers in this context is the truth about Jesus Christ, that he is the Christ (Messiah), something the secessionists were denying and thus revealing themselves to be antichrists", Kruse.

ek + gen. "comes from [the truth]" - of [the truth]. Expressing source / origin, "from", but possibly denoting membership of a certain class, so "no lie belongs to the truth", Lieu.


The pseudo-Christians / secessionists / opponents somehow deny Jesus, the Son of God, v22-23. John doesn't tell us specifically how they deny him, but the point is, they do not know God. They are liars in that they claim to proclaim the truth, but only proclaim a lie. Such a person can rightly be called an antichrist, a precursor of the antichrist.

o yeusthV (ou) "the liar?" - [who is] the liar? The presence of the article probably indicates a class; "anyone who is of falsehood and who does not speak or know the truth", Wahlde, cf., 1:6. Such are the "antichrists", denying that Christ is the anointed one of God.

ei mh "-" - except. Introducing an exceptive clause expressing a contrast by designating an exception; "who is the arch-liar, but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ?", Cassirer.

oJ arnoumenoV (arneomai) pres. part. "it is whoever denies" - the one denying. The participle serves as a substantive.

oJti "that" - Introducing a dependent statement of indirect speech expressing what they deny.

IhsouV ouk estin oJ cristoV (oV) "Jesus is the Christ" - jesus is not the christ. The presence of the negation ouk serves to express the actual denial, namely, "Jesus is not the Christ." The translation "[that] the Christ is Jesus" is prompted by there being no article with IhsouV, "Jesus", but articles are often dropped with proper nouns, see Lieu.

ou|toV pro. "such a person" - this one. The pronoun serves as a substantive.

oJ arnoumenoV (arneomai) pres. part. "denying" - [is the antichrist] the one denying [the father and the son]. The participle serves as a substantive standing in apposition to "the antichrist." In denying that Jesus is the Christ, the "liar" is failing to acknowledge both the Father and the Son. As already indicated, the secessionists may not be directly "denying, disregarding, paying no attention to, refusing to align with with the fact" that Jesus is the Christ, but that rather their flawed theology with its flawed ethics (whatever it is) by implication denies Jesus' person, and so by implication, denies the Father.


oJ arneoumenoV (arneomai) pres. part. "[no one] who denies" - [all] the ones denying [the son]. The participle may be classified as a substantive modified by the adjective "all", or the adjective paV, "all", may be taken as a substantive, "everyone", making the participle adjectival, attributive, limiting "everyone".

ecei (ecw) pres. "has" - [neither] has [the father] Another distinctive formulation of relationship with God", Lieu.

oJ oJmologwn (oJmologew) pres. part. "whoever acknowledges" - the one confessing [the son]. The participle serves as a substantive. Unlike the person who does not acknowledge the Son, who denies the Christ / Son, the person who does acknowledge the Son, not only "has" the Son, but also "has" the Father. The secessionists may claim to have fellowship with God, 1:5, even live in God, 2:6, but the claim is worthless when they fail to acknowledge the Son. See above on what this failure to acknowledge Jesus (their denial of Jesus) may entail, although we may have to admit, in the end, that John doesn't really tell us - it's not part of his brief.

kai "also" - and = also [has the father]. Adjunctive.


John now sets out to encourage his readers, v24-27. John encourages them to make sure that what they "heard from the beginning remains" in them. Clearly John is speaking of the gospel message which they heard from the first - the gospel of God's grace in Christ which is appropriated through faith. He encourages them to make sure that the truth of God's grace has a settled home in their lives, for then they possess the assurance of eternal relationship with the Son and the Father.

uJmeiV pro. "as for you" - you. Pendent nominative; emphatic by position and use; "As for yourselves", Cassirer.

menetw (menw) pres. imp. "see that ......... remains" - let [what you heard from the beginning] remain, abide, continue [in you]. Usually taken with a temporal sense, as NIV; "to remain permanently." Used twice in this verse, twice in v27 and once in v28.

o} neut. pro. "what" - That which they have heard "describes the nature of the belief of the author and his followers. They affirm, not something new or something that goes beyond (2Jn.9), but that which was from the beginning", Wahlde. That which they first heard when they received the gospel, is "the eyewitness testimony of those who were Christ's closest associates", Schnackenburg

ap (apo) + gen. "from" - from [the beginning]. Temporal use of the preposition. "What you believed when the gospel was first explained to you."

ean + subj. "if" - if [what you heard from the beginning remains in you and = also you]. Introducing a conditional clause 3rd. class where the condition has the possibility of coming true; "if, as may be the case, what you heard from beginning abides in you, then you also will abide in the Son and in the Father" = "I beg you to stick to the original teaching. If you do (then) you will be living in fellowship with both the Father and the Son", Phillips.

en + dat. "[will remain] in" - in [the son and] in [the father will remain, abide. Local, space / sphere - incorporative union; "in relationship with."


au{th pro. "this" - [and] this. The pronoun is cataphoric, pointing forward; the "this" being "eternal life." Brown disagrees, arguing that it is anaphoric, pointing back to v24.

h}n acc. rel. pro. "what [he promised]" - [the promise] which [he promised]. Accusative direct object of the verb "to promise."

hJmin dat. pro. "us" - to us. Dative of indirect object.

thn zwhn thn aiwnion "eternal life" - the life eternal. This nominal phrase stands in apposition to hJ epaggelia, "the promise", although "the promise" is nominative and "eternal life" is accusative. John has obviously identified the antecedent as the accusative relative pronoun h}n, "which". The secular world in John's time was surrounded by death, which fact was faced down by secular philosophers with denial (death is not what troubles humanity, it is the thought of death, so Epictetus) and stoic indifference ("born of nothingness, go back to nothingness", Seneca). For John, there is one who has broken through this darkness, the one who is resurrection and life. To believe in him is to live, even though we die, Jn.11:25.


John reminds his readers that they do not need an extra Biblical curricula. They have been washed by the Spirit, and the Spirit's ministry is to lead the believer into all truth. The Spirit's ministry is exercised through the teaching of Apostolic truth by the Spirit filled prophets, pastors and teachers of the church. So, they do not need anything extra. All they need to do is continue to place their faith firmly in Jesus - "abide in Christ."

tauta "these things" - these things [i write]. Accusative direct object of the verb "to write." It is unclear whether this verse ends the passage commencing at v18, or introduces a new one. Metzger treats tauta in John's letters as introducing a transitional statement.

uJmin "to you" - to you. Dative of indirect object.

peri + gen. "about" - concerning. Reference / respect, as NIV; "with reference to those who are trying to deceive you." Yarbrough suggests a causal sense; "I write these things because of those who deceive you."

twn planwntwn (planaw) pres. gen part. "those who are leading [you] astray" - the ones deceiving [you]. The participle serves as a substantive. The present tense indicates that the secessionists / troublemakers / opponents are deceiving, at least in part, the members of the congregation. The specific deception remains undefined.


Yarbrough notes how John's exhortation / imperative "abide in him" is supported by four indicatives: a) the anointing you received from him abides in you; b) you have no need for anyone to teach you; c) his anointing is sufficient and trustworthy; d) his anointing served you well in the past.

uJmeiV pro. "as for you" - [and] you. Pendent nominative emphatic by use; "in your case", Zerwick.

to crisma (a atoV) "the anointing" - the anointing [which you received]. As noted in v20, there is some debate as to the nature of this chrisma. Most commentators opt for the gift of the Holy Spirit, see, crisma, v20. However we may define this "anointing", the consequence is oida, "knowledge / understanding", something that the secessionists / troublemaker / opponents do not have, 2:11, 20, 21, 29, 3:2, 5, 14, 15, 5:15, 18, 19, 20.

ap (apo) "from" - from [him]. Expressing source / origin. The source is identified as "the Holy One", v20.

en "in" - [remains, abides] in [you]. Local, expressing space, metaphorical / incorporative union.

creian (a) "[you do not] need" - [and you have no] need. John is affirming that his readers have a right and proper understanding of the gospel and so they do not need instruction from the secessionists.

iJna "-" - that [anyone should teach you]. Introducing an object clause / dependent statement of perception, expressing what they have no need of. The construction is more often formed by an infinitive. Culy classifies it as epexegetic, specifying the "need", while Wallace argues for a consecutive clause expressing result.

all (alla) "but" - Contrastive, adversative.

wJV "as" - as, like [the same anointing teaches you]. Here comparative, but possibly causal, "but because his anointing teaches you about everything and because it is true and not a lie ...." "On the contrary, just as it is true that the anointing you have received from him is capable of serving as your teacher in everything, and true likewise that it embodies the truth, with no admixture of falsehood, and, moreover (kaqwV, "likewise'), that it is by him that you have been taught, so it is your duty to make him your dwelling place", Cassirer.

peri + gen. "about" - concerning [all things, everything]. Reference / respect; "concerning all things." Jesus specifically promised that through the Holy Spirit he would teach his disciples everything, reminding them of all that he taught them. Here the promise is extended somewhat, although surely not to the degree of the inspired teaching of the apostles now recorded in the New Testament. Given the context, the "all things" is the apostolic teaching they have received, either being the "anointing" itself, or reinforced and confirmed in their anointing, ie., their being set apart, or their reception of the Holy Spirit.

alhqeV adj. "real" - [and is] true. Predicate adjective, as NIV. "His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie", NRSV.

yeudoV (oV) adj. "[not] counterfeit" - [and is not] a lie. Predicate adjective.

kaqwV "just as" - [and] as [he taught you]. See above.

menete (menw) pres. ind / imp. "abide" - remain, abide [in him]. An imperative is probably intended, although an indicative statement sits more comfortably with the obvious imperative in v28, "abide, remain, continue in him"; "so it is your duty to make him your dwelling place", Cassirer. Through their faith in Christ they possess the truth, so all they need to do is stay with Christ - keep on keeping on.


ii] Exhortation - abide in Christ, v28. Against the temptation to be drawn away from the truth, John encourages his readers to keep on keeping on. Keep holding onto Jesus, trust him, believe in him, "continue (abide) in him". The person who continues in Jesus begins to live a Christ-like life; the person who abides in Christ becomes like Christ. The fruit of righteousness evidences that a person abides in Christ, an evidence obviously missing in the life of the pseudo-Christians, "the antichrists".

menete "continue in him" - [and now little children] abide. For the verb menete, "remain / abide / continue" John chooses the present imperative, expressing durative / ongoing action. See above: "stay united in your hearts with Christ", CEV; "remember to live continually in him", Phillips; "you must make him your dwelling place", Cassirer; "your life must be indissolubly united to his even here and now", Barclay; "dwell in him", REB; "live deeply in Christ", Peterson; ........... and a slightly left-of-field paraphrase which actually makes sense,"make up your minds to be true to him", Junkins.

autw/ dat. pro. "him" - [in] him. The gender of the pronoun may be neuter, "abide in it", namely, "the anointing", but it is more likely masculine, "in him" = "in Christ."

iJna + subj. "so that" - that. Introducing a final clause expressing purpose; "abide in him in order that ....."

ean + subj. "when" - if / when [he appears, is manifested, we may have confidence]. Introducing a conditional clause 3rd. class where the condition has the possibility of coming true; "if, as may be the case, he appears, then we may have confidence and not shrink from him in the coming of him" = "So that, if he were suddenly to reveal himself we should still know exactly were we stand, and should not have to shrink away from his presence", Phillips. Sometimes translated as temporal, as NIV, given that ean + subj. may be used for the temporal construction oJtan + subj., but it is more likely that John is expressing his point hypothetically.

kai "and" - Here probably epexegetic, introducing a clause which explains the nature of parrhsian, their "confidence", namely that when Christ appears, they will feel no need to shrink in shame at his presence. This will be the case as long as they continue to "abide in him / Christ."

ap (apo) + gen. "[unashamed] before [him]" - [not shrink, be ashamed] from [him]. Expressing separation; "away from."

en + dat. "at" - in [the coming]. Temporal use of the preposition; "when he comes", Barclay.

autou gen. pro. "his" - of him. The genitive may be treated as adjectival, possessive, "his coming", or verbal, subjective, "when he returns", CEV.

parousia/ (a) dat. "coming" - Only used here in John's letters and in the gospel. The word means "presence", a technical term for Christ's "appearing, coming, arrival", but which presence does John have in mind? For Daniel it is the presence / attending / appearing / coming / arrival of the Son of Man before the Ancient of Days for his enthronement and the prosecution of judgment. Unpacking this "appearing / coming" entails a myriad of eschatological events.


iii] Those who abide do what is right, v29. A conditional clause can certainly begin a logical argument, and for this reason, some commentators argue it is part of John's next main argument; See "Context" above. None-the-less, it is more likely that John uses this verse to encapsulate his argument so far, namely, that God is just / righteous, and that those who abide him are similarly just / righteous. The discerning (judging??) of a brother or sister can be a problem in a Christian church, but John's purpose is to enable the congregation to discern the true standing of the secessionists / troublemakers. Their behaviour shows that they are not "born of God" and so their teaching should be ignored.

ean + subj. "if" - if [you know]. Introducing a conditional clause 3rd. class where the condition has the possibility of coming true; "if, as may be the case, you know ......., then you know ...."

oJti "that" - Both uses of this conjunction in v29 serve to introduce a dependent statement of perception expressing what is known.

dikaioV adj. "[he is] righteous" - [he is] just, righteous. The antecedent of the subject of the verb to-be, estin, "he is", is unclear. Commentators are divided, but the majority opt for "God" rather than "Jesus".

kai "-" - [you] and = also [know that]. Here adjunctive; "you will also know that ...."

oJ poiwn pres. part. "[everyone] who does [what is right]" - [all] the one doing [righteousness]. If we take the adjective paV, "all", as the substantive "everyone", then the articular participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "everyone", as NIV.

ex (ek) + gen. "[has been born] of" - [has been born] out of, from. Expressing source / origin; "the metaphor appears to focus on the transference of character traits from the Father to those who have been born of him", Culy. In John's gospel the prologue has a believer begotten of God, 1:13, but in the rest of the gospel it is either "born of the Spirit", or "born from above." It is likely that all three statements take the same meaning, namely, spiritual birth, cf., John 1:12-13, 3:1-16.

autou gen. pro. "him" - God the Father is surely intended, particularly since in the ten following uses of the word gennaw, "to be born", the referent is specifically "God".


1 John Introduction


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