This tradition, however, is known only from Latin sources. Dillow presents even more evidence that John considers his readers to be true believers in Christ. He states that Christ's propitiation is applied to BOTH groups. [6] The epistle is written in a simple style, without syntactical flourishes,[6] and makes frequent use of asyndeton, where related thoughts are placed next to one another without conjunctions. The Incarnation of the Word of Life. Who was the Author? 1. Furthermore, they are now “children of God,” and when Christ returns, he affirms of his readers that they “shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is” (1 Jn. This is the first of his three letters in the New Testament. 1 John 2:7-17. God’s Love and Ours - Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. John forcefully affirmed the physical reality of Jesus by reminding his readers that he was an eyewitness to Him (“heard,” “seen,” “ handled,” “Jesus Christ has come in the flesh”—1:1–4; 4:2, 3). There are other possible interpretations of the intended audience of this letter. Finally, while the world “lies in the power of the evil one,” we know that “we are of God” (1 Jn. [14][15], "The Fourth Gospel addresses itself to the challenges posed by Judaism and others outside Johannine circles who have rejected the community's vision of Jesus as preexistent Son, sent by the Father." In fact, one who has believed in the Son of God has “overcome the world” (1 Jn. "You think this will get a good reaction?" 1 – 3 John. Through 1-3 John Sovereign Joy. 3:15-16). [1] The author advises Christians on how to discern true teachers: by their ethics, their proclamation of Jesus in the flesh, and by their love. Plummer suggests that here, "as at the end of [John's] Gospel [26] and the Second Epistle,[27] 'Amen' is the addition of a copyist". A series of John’s letters. John’s next two letters, however, are written to specific audiences. [21] The Textus Receptus version includes "Ἀμήν", Amen, at the end but critical editions do not. 1 John 1:9. Stott understands the audience to be mixed (believers and unbelievers), therefore, his stated purpose for the book is “to destroy the false assurance of the counterfeit as well as to confirm the right assurance of the genuine” 5 2. The content, style, and vocabulary seem to warrant the conclusion that these three epistles were addressed to the same readers as the Gospel of John. 1. Author: 1, 2, and 3 John have from earliest times been attributed to the apostle John, who also wrote the Gospel of John. Dillow believes that the text clearly indicates that the apostle John is writing to people who he considers to be true Christians, not just professing Christians. 2:27). [5] This is similar to the parallel structure of Hebrew poetry, in which the second verse of a couplet often carries the same meaning as the first, although in this epistle the frequent recapitulations of already expressed ideas serve also to add to what has previously been said. [29], "Although ancient traditions attributed to the Apostle John the Fourth Gospel, the Book of Revelation, and the three Epistles of John, modern scholars believe that he wrote none of them. The love of the Father is not in those who love the world." [2][3] The author describes various tests by which readers may ascertain whether or not their communion with God is genuine, and teaches that the proof of spiritual regeneration is a life of active righteousness. Emilio Ramos. 3:2). He specifically affirms of them “that we should be called children of God; and such we are” (1 Jn. The second group he references is the "whole world"(everybody else). 1 John 1:6,8 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: … Pulpit Commentary. 1 John 1:6, which is almost exactly parallel to this, and shows what "knowing him" really is, viz. Most scholars believe the three Johannine epistles have the same author, but there is no consensus if this was also the author of the Gospel of John. As low as $30/day. [28], Around 415, Augustine of Hippo wrote a commentary in Latin On the Epistle of John to the Parthians (in Latin, ad Parthos), in which he identifies the addressees of John's letter as Parthians. If this is the case, this section cannot refer to anyone other than believing Christians in John’s own audience, and certainly not to Old Testament believers.26 On the other hand, Dodd argues that the Old Testament does sometimes identify the people Israel as the "children" (Deut 14:1) or "son/sons" of God (Ps. The letter of 1 John in the New Testament contains numerous tests for its readers. The New Jerome Biblical Commentary suggests that the three Johannine epistles "describe the fracturing of the Johannine community itself". Play! ", The New Jerome Biblical Commentary, Edited by Raymond E. Brown, S.S., Union Theological Seminary, New York; NY, William J. Dalton, S. J.; Roland E. Murphy, O. Carm. Read about Questions from the audience 1 from John Mayer & Brad Paisley's CMT Crossroads and see the artwork, lyrics and similar artists. When we read the Bible, we need to look at the context in which each book was written. 4:4). God is *light and we should walk in the *light. If we don’t do that, it’s easy to misinterpret what a particular book or chapter is really saying. While Paul wrote to specific congregations and individuals, Peter, James, John, and Jude wrote to broader audiences scattered across the Roman empire. John had a very independent gospel which was completely unlike the other three who all shared some information in there own gospels. 6. 1 John 3:13-17 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you… is in. (Three late Greek manuscripts of 2 John label it "to the Parthians".) John also wrote for a very varied crowd which included mostly of Jews, and some Gentiles. [8] In summary, the epistle may be said to exhibit a paraenetic style which is "marked by personal appeal, contrasts of right and wrong, true and false, and an occasional rhetorical question". They are specifically contrasted with the non-Christian Gnostic antichrists who departed from them. It is quite true that often the aim of the preacher and the teacher must be to awaken a godly sorrow which will lead to a true repentance. 1 John 2:15 "Do not love the world or the things in the world. Last week in our study of 1 John, several questions arose about audience relevance in light of verse 28. Psalm 82:5 They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course. 2:12). If a professing Christian passes these tests in 1 John, then she can have assurance of her salvation. This page was last edited on 21 December 2020, at 15:16. They emphasize that God is light and love and every true believer will demonstrate God's light and love. John then gives his audience encouragement to repent of any sins and return to obeying God, saying that our lives (and the world) will eventually end. Joseph Dillow, in his book  The Reign of the Servant Kings, offers what I consider to be a far more plausible explanation of the audience of 1 John. Clement of Alexandria indicates that John ministered in the various churches scattered throughout that province. John feels relieved as he listens to Adam describe how well he has supported his ideas. Translations made since the 18th century and based on a critical edition do not include this text, or include it as a footnote. The shape of the letter. having fellowship with h These people would most likely have been banished from there own synagogues and different traditions. First John is the fourth of the General Epistles (or Catholic Letters), the writings of apostles to the church at large. Dillow concludes from this analysis that there is little doubt that the apostle John was writing to people whom he considered to be true Christians who were going to heaven because of their faith in Christ. Verse 4. Robert Dabney, "The Doctrinal Various Readings of the New Testament Greek", 1894: p. 32. 2. Otherwise, she is a false Christian who is not going to heaven. [16], The author wrote the epistle so that the joy of his audience would "be full" (1:4); that they would "not practice sin" (2:1); that they would not be deceived by false teachers (2:26); and that "you who believe in the name of the Son of God... may continue to know that you have eternal life" (5:13). "[9], The epistle is traditionally held to have been composed by John the Evangelist, at Ephesus,[10] when the writer was in advanced age. Play! Therefore the purpose of John's Gospel is to "confirm and secure Christians in the faith." Audience: First John is one of five New Testament books written by the apostle John. [11], Beginning in the 20th century, however, critical scholars like Heinrich Julius Holtzmann and C. H. Dodd identified the Gospel of John and 1 John as works of different authors. (emeritus) The Divinity School, Duke University, Durham, NC; [The Johannine Epistles, Pheme Perkins], with a foreword by His Eminence Carlo Maria Cardinal Martini, S.J. The epistle is divided into five chapters. The First Epistle of John, often referred to as First John and written 1 John or I John, is the first of the Johannine epistles of the New Testament, and the fourth of the catholic epistles. More on that “something else” in the next blog post. The New Jerome Biblical Commentary suggests that the three Johannine epistles "describe the fracturing of the Johannine community itself". 5:5). [12] Today, following the work of J. Louis Martyn and Raymond Brown, the majority of scholars believe that John and 1 John were written by different members of the same community: the "Johannine Community". 1 John 2:18-29: Warnings against the spirit of antichrist and false, deceptive teachers. He runs into Adam after arriving at work and asks him to take a look at his finished speech. 6. Whereas the Gospel of John was written for unbelievers (John 20:31), this epistle was written to those who were already believers (5:13). In contrast to his regenerate readers, the next verse refers to those who are “from the world.” His understanding of the saved state of his readers is further clarified when he says of them, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God” (1 Jn. It was more difficult to find who the author of 1 John was because the letter was anonymously The author of 1 John was John the Apostle. However, the tests cannot be interpreted correctly unless we know to whom the letter was originally addressed. This epistle was probably written in Ephesus between 95 and 110 AD. John also uses 3:16 and 8:24 to support this. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 1 John 2:18-29. 5:13). Audience. In 1 John 2:2, John makes reference to two groups of people: The first group is "us" or "ours", meaning himself and the audience he is writing to (the church). How could John have stated it any more clearly? Advocates of the Reformed doctrine of perseverance argue that the writer of 1 John is addressing a group of professing Christians. Read Scripture. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. 1 John 2:28 NASB Around 730, Bede wrote that Athanasius of Alexandria had also believed in a Parthian destination for 1 John. They are, he says, “from God” and have overcome antichrists, because “greater is He that is in you than he who is in the world” (1 Jn. This summary of the book of 1 John provides information about the title, author(s), date of writing, chronology, theme, theology, outline, a brief overview, and the chapters of the Book of 1 John. 1 John Who was the Audience When was it Written? "The Fourth Gospel addresses itself to the challenges posed by Judaism and others outside Johannine circles who have rejected the community's vision of Jesus as preexistent Son, sent by the Father." | MP3 | RSS: Text-Featuring a sermon is a less expensive way to bring this sermon to the attention of thousands on the right bar with optional newsletter inclusion. 1 John 2:29; 1 John 3:6, 10; 5:2. Conclusion The audience of 1 John was the Christian Community in Ephesus. The earliest written versions of the epistle have been lost; some of the earliest surviving manuscripts include: The Muratorian fragment, dated to AD 170, cites chapter 1, verses 1–3 within a discussion of the Gospel of John. [17] Ernest DeWitt Burton found it likely that its audience was largely gentile rather than Jewish, since it contains few Old Testament quotations or distinctly Jewish forms of expression.[10]. [John] says of his readers that they are “little children” whose “sins are forgiven for His name’s sake” (1 Jn. by Robert Yarbrough. [5], The epistle is not written in the same form as the other biblical epistles, as it lacks an epistolary opening or conclusion. 5. (ii) It is his wish to bring his people joy (1 John 1:4), Joy is the essence of Christianity. [22] Although no Greek manuscripts before the 15th century include the passage, Erasmus added it to later editions of his edition of the New Testament, beginning in 1522. 3. [18] Papyrus 9, dating from the 3rd century, has surviving parts of chapter 4, verses 11–12 and 14–17.[19]. [1] Thus, at the end of the 19th century scholar Ernest DeWitt Burton wrote that there could be "no reasonable doubt" that 1 John and the gospel were written by the same author. Bad assumption #1: The New Testament church letters are for saints not sinners Actually the letters for the churches were for churches, meaning assemblies of people. - The participial substantive ὁ λέγων now takes the place of ἐάν with the subjunctive, but the two are equivalent (cf. Different versions of the Greek manuscript have different wording for some verses. A Trinitarian gloss (marginal note) known as the Johannine Comma, added to Latin translations of the epistle in the 4th century,[22] was interpolated (added to the main text) within 1 John 5:7-8 over the course of the Middle Ages. Given this starting point, these Reformed thinkers then argue that the tests in 1 John are there so that professing Christians can know if they are truly born again or not. The audience for 1 John is not explicitly stated, but it appears from his writings that John wrote to believers (see 1 John 1:3–4; 2:12–14), perhaps those in Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey), where some historical sources say John may have lived and ministered in the late first century A.D. Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. A message whose only effect is to depress and to discourage those who hear it has stopped halfway. The author of the First Epistle is termed John the Evangelist, who most scholars believe is not the same as John the Apostle. [21] Anglican commentator Alfred Plummer notes that "the similarity to the opening of the Gospel is manifest", but with a significant difference, in that the gospel refers to the existence of the Ancient Greek: λόγος, lógos, word, before the creation, whereas here the point is that the word existed before the incarnation.[21]. 2:20). 3:1). This anointing, he says, “abides in you and you have no need for anyone to teach you,” because His anointing teaches them (1 Jn. 1 John itself contains no hint of the identity of the Christian community to which it was addressed, nor does it give any specific clue to the identification of the locale involved where these believers lived. 1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched —this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The main themes of the epistle are love and fellowship with God. 1 John 1:1-4. Now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming. 2 The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. 8And there are three that beare witnesse in earth, the Spirit, and the Water, and the Blood, and these three agree in one.[24]. [1] The original text was written in Koine Greek. For Dillow, “Any system of interpretation which ignores these plain statements in the interests of fitting into a theological scheme must ask, ‘How else could John say it?’ If he wanted to assert that his readers were in fact born again in contrast to the world, how could he make it clearer?”. The letter is therefore written to a mixed group, some who are truly going to heaven and some who are not. Verses 1-4 of the first chapter constitute a prologue or introduction concerning the Incarnate Word. Its recipients were clearly believers, but no specific audience is mentioned. Throughout the epistle he uses the term “we” and includes himself in the same spiritual state and facing the same spiritual dangers as his readers. There is no scholarly consensus as to the authorship of the Johannine works. [7] In contrast to the linear style used in the Pauline epistles, biblical scholar Ernest DeWitt Burton suggests that John's thought "moves in circles", forming a slowly advancing sequence of thought.  By their understanding, some professing Christians are false Christians who are not truly saved. The Word of life. In the clearest possible terms the apostle affirms the regenerate state of his readers when he says, “I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it.” He is confident that the truth is presently “abiding” in them, and he wants it to continue to abide in them (1 Jn. A new command from Christ. Date of Writing: The Book of 1 John was likely written between A.D. 85-95. This indicates, at the very least, the linguistic characteristics changed over time. 1 John 2:9-14: Brotherly love; spiritual growth stages in a Christian’s life: “little children,” “young men” and “fathers.” 1 John 2:15-17: Love of the world (society) is opposed to love of the Father. The tests must be for assessing something else. [23] Bibles translated from his edition integrate the passage, including the King James Version (1611), which renders it as follows (in italics): 7For there are three that beare record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. For instance, 1 John often uses a demonstrative pronoun at the beginning of a sentence, then a particle or conjunction, followed by an explanation or definition of the demonstrative at the end of the sentence—a stylistic technique which is not used in the gospel. That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with … 1 John 2:11 But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes. For John, when a person has believed on the name of the Son of God, he is born again (Jn. The epistle's content, language and conceptual style are very similar to the Gospel of John, 2 John, and 3 John. The earliest confirmed use of 1 John was in the Roman province of Asia (in modern Turkey), where Ephesus was located. Purpose and Audience John specifically states his purpose in 20:31, "But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name." Author. Christ speaks for us and we should obey God. 2:13-14). Dillow believes that the text clearly indicates that the apostle John is writing to people who he considers to … 1 John 1:5-10. On balance, it is likely that John's first letter was written for the Ephesian church and that the Parthian label results from a misreading or misunderstanding. 1 John 2:1-6. 3, 2, 1 3, 1, 2 2, 1, 3 2, 3, 1 On the day of the holiday party, John is still nervous about the presentation. 2:24). 4. [4] It also distinguishes between the world (which is full of evil and under the dominion of Satan) and the children of God (who are set apart from the world). They were corporate letters. The author of this epistle never identified himself by name, but Christians since the beginning of the church have considered this letter authoritative, believing it was written by It has occasionally been suggested that this refers to a community of converts in the Jewish community of Babylonia. Joseph Dillow, in his book The Reign of the Servant Kings, offers what I consider to be a far more plausible explanation of the audience of 1 John. When that happens, we can easily come to wrong conclusions, which can then cause a lot of misunderstanding about the work of Christ on our behalf. Furthermore, these people have received an “anointing,” the Holy Spirit (1 Jn. There are two main approaches to understanding the overall purpose of the letter, tests of life (popularized by Robert Law) and tests of fellowship (popularized by John Mitchell and Zane Hodges). 5:18). He calls them “fathers” who “have known Him from the beginning,” and he writes to the young men who “have overcome the evil one” and in whom “the word of God abides” (1 Jn. While this theory, first propounded by Ernst von Dobschütz and Rudolf Bultmann, is not universally accepted, Amos Wilder writes that, "It is at least clear that there are considerable and sometimes continuous elements in the epistle whose style distinguishes them from that of the author both with respect to poetic structure and syntactic usage. John asks. ; Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1990, Textual variants in the First Epistle of John, 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198744733.001.0001, English Translation with Parallel Latin Vulgate, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=First_Epistle_of_John&oldid=995529697, Wikipedia articles needing page number citations from March 2020, Articles containing Ancient Greek (to 1453)-language text, Wikipedia articles incorporating text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. If the intended readers of the letter are born again Christians, then the tests cannot be methods of assessing whether the readers are born again. [13], Most scholars conclude that John the Apostle wrote none of these works. The others are the Gospel of John, 2 John, 3 John, and the book of Revelation. [20] Like the Prologue to John's Gospel, this introduction tells us that what the author purposes to write about is the Word which is the Life. Because the addition supports the doctrine of trinitarianism, it featured in Protestant and Catholic debates on this subject in the early modern period. John warns about false *Christs . [6] The author of the epistle also "uses the conditional sentence in a variety of rhetorical figures which are unknown to the gospel". 1 John 1:5, “This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.” John 8:12, “Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life. John clearly wrote to all Christians throughout the world to encourage them to love one another, and to guard against the Gnostic heresies which denied that Jesus was Jehovah come in the flesh. [6], Some scholars have proposed the idea that the epistle is really John's commentary on a selection of traditional parallel couplets. View the latest business news about the world’s top companies, and explore articles on global markets, finance, tech, and the innovations driving us forward. But first, let me challenge two traditional arguments used to suggest that 1 John 1, and particularly verse 9, is meant for Christians. Certain linguistic features of the two texts support this view. Written by John the Elder to house church believers, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John echo the gospel of John. They should love each other. Through 1-3 John Sunday Service Sovereign Joy. Get this … Latter Day Saints text was written called children of God has “overcome the world” ( Jn. A look at the context in which each book was written in Ephesus 95... ; and such we are” ( 1 Jn 1 john audience states that Christ 's propitiation is to. This letter the church at large ( everybody else ) John ministered in the next blog post 110.. 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