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. 6. (ii) It is his wish to bring his people joy (1 John 1:4), Joy is the essence of Christianity. 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. The tests must be for assessing something else. 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. He states that Christ's propitiation is applied to BOTH groups. 2:20). 3:15-16). , 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. Author: 1, 2, and 3 John have from earliest times been attributed to the apostle John, who also wrote the Gospel of John. Around 730, Bede wrote that Athanasius of Alexandria had also believed in a Parthian destination for 1 John. Finally, while the world âlies in the power of the evil one,â we know that âwe are of Godâ (1 Jn.  The epistle is written in a simple style, without syntactical flourishes, and makes frequent use of asyndeton, where related thoughts are placed next to one another without conjunctions. 1 John 2:28 NASB 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. The letter of 1 John in the New Testament contains numerous tests for its readers. Read Scripture. 6. That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with … 1 – 3 John. 4. 1 John 2:29; 1 John 3:6, 10; 5:2. This epistle was probably written in Ephesus between 95 and 110 AD. Date of Writing: The Book of 1 John was likely written between A.D. 85-95. Furthermore, these people have received an âanointing,â the Holy Spirit (1 Jn. As low as $30/day. John’s next two letters, however, are written to specific audiences. Last week in our study of 1 John, several questions arose about audience relevance in light of verse 28. ; 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. 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 epistle is not written in the same form as the other biblical epistles, as it lacks an epistolary opening or conclusion. Throughout the epistle he uses the term âweâ and includes himself in the same spiritual state and facing the same spiritual dangers as his readers. 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. 1 John 1:9. 2. "You think this will get a good reaction?" Emilio Ramos. 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. They emphasize that God is light and love and every true believer will demonstrate God's light and love. How could John have stated it any more clearly? 1 John 1:6, which is almost exactly parallel to this, and shows what "knowing him" really is, viz. 4:4). God is *light and we should walk in the *light. In the clearest possible terms the apostle affirms the regenerate state of his readers when he says, âI have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it.â He is confident that the truth is presently âabidingâ in them, and he wants it to continue to abide in them (1 Jn. Joseph Dillow, in his bookÂ Â The Reign of the Servant Kings, offers what I consider to be a far more plausible explanation of the audience of 1 John. Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. The second group he references is the "whole world"(everybody else).  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.. The love of the Father is not in those who love the world." 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. 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. Christ speaks for us and we should obey God. Who was the Author? 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. 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. John feels relieved as he listens to Adam describe how well he has supported his ideas. A message whose only effect is to depress and to discourage those who hear it has stopped halfway. 5:5). The Incarnation of the Word of Life. - The participial substantive ὁ λέγων now takes the place of ἐάν with the subjunctive, but the two are equivalent (cf. 1 John 3:13-17 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you… is in. They should love each other. While Paul wrote to specific congregations and individuals, Peter, James, John, and Jude wrote to broader audiences scattered across the Roman empire. It was more difficult to find who the author of 1 John was because the letter was anonymously  The Textus Receptus version includes "Ἀμήν", Amen, at the end but critical editions do not.  Papyrus 9, dating from the 3rd century, has surviving parts of chapter 4, verses 11–12 and 14–17.. 1 John 2:7-17. The others are the Gospel of John, 2 John, 3 John, and the book of Revelation. 8And there are three that beare witnesse in earth, the Spirit, and the Water, and the Blood, and these three agree in one.. 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. Written by John the Elder to house church believers, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John echo the gospel of John. The epistle is divided into five chapters.  The original text was written in Koine Greek. [John] says of his readers that they are âlittle childrenâ whose âsins are forgiven for His nameâs sakeâ (1 Jn. Verse 4. More on that “something else” in the next blog post. A Trinitarian gloss (marginal note) known as the Johannine Comma, added to Latin translations of the epistle in the 4th century, was interpolated (added to the main text) within 1 John 5:7-8 over the course of the Middle Ages. If we don’t do that, it’s easy to misinterpret what a particular book or chapter is really saying. He specifically affirms of them âthat we should be called children of God; and such we areâ (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. , Most scholars conclude that John the Apostle wrote none of these works. (Three late Greek manuscripts of 2 John label it "to the Parthians".) John asks. This indicates, at the very least, the linguistic characteristics changed over time. This tradition, however, is known only from Latin sources. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. (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. , "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. Â By their understanding, some professing Christians are false Christians who are not truly saved. 1 John 2:18-29: Warnings against the spirit of antichrist and false, deceptive teachers. But first, let me challenge two traditional arguments used to suggest that 1 John 1, and particularly verse 9, is meant for Christians. 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. The shape of the letter.  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  and the Second Epistle, 'Amen' is the addition of a copyist". These people would most likely have been banished from there own synagogues and different traditions.  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". John had a very independent gospel which was completely unlike the other three who all shared some information in there own gospels. 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 This page was last edited on 21 December 2020, at 15:16. God’s Love and Ours - Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. 2:13-14). 1 John Who was the Audience When was it Written? Furthermore, they are now âchildren of God,â and when Christ returns, he affirms of his readers that they âshall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He isâ (1 Jn. ", The epistle is traditionally held to have been composed by John the Evangelist, at Ephesus, when the writer was in advanced age. 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). ", 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. The author of 1 John was John the Apostle. Audience: First John is one of five New Testament books written by the apostle John. They are, he says, âfrom Godâ and have overcome antichrists, because âgreater is He that is in you than he who is in the worldâ (1 Jn. 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 New Jerome Biblical Commentary suggests that the three Johannine epistles "describe the fracturing of the Johannine community itself". 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." Dillow believes that the text clearly indicates that the apostle John is writing to people who he considers to … Play! 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. | 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. The main themes of the epistle are love and fellowship with God. He calls them âfathersâ who âhave known Him from the beginning,â and he writes to the young men who âhave overcome the evil oneâ and in whom âthe word of God abidesâ (1 Jn. The letter is therefore written to a mixed group, some who are truly going to heaven and some who are not. 2:24). In fact, one who has believed in the Son of God has âovercome the worldâ (1 Jn. 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). 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. 1. Audience.  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. They are specifically contrasted with the non-Christian Gnostic antichrists who departed from them. by Robert Yarbrough. 1 John 2:1-6.  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. 1 John 2:15 "Do not love the world or the things in the world. In contrast to his regenerate readers,Â the next verse refers to those who are âfrom the world.â His understanding of the saved state of his readers is further clarified when he says of them, âThese things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of Godâ (1 Jn. John also uses 3:16 and 8:24 to support this. 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. 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 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. having fellowship with h The author of the First Epistle is termed John the Evangelist, who most scholars believe is not the same as John the Apostle. , 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. 1 John 1:5-10. 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). 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. 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.  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..  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. , "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." They were corporate letters. Different versions of the Greek manuscript have different wording for some verses. Therefore the purpose of John's Gospel is to "confirm and secure Christians in the faith." Whereas the Gospel of John was written for unbelievers (John 20:31), this epistle was written to those who were already believers (5:13). Otherwise, she is a false Christian who is not going to heaven. It has occasionally been suggested that this refers to a community of converts in the Jewish community of Babylonia. Translations made since the 18th century and based on a critical edition do not include this text, or include it as a footnote. "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." John also wrote for a very varied crowd which included mostly of Jews, and some Gentiles. 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. 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. 5:18). A series of John’s letters.  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. , Some scholars have proposed the idea that the epistle is really John's commentary on a selection of traditional parallel couplets. 3. 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.  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. 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. When we read the Bible, we need to look at the context in which each book was written. Play!  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. For John, when a person has believed on the name of the Son of God, he is born again (Jn. Because the addition supports the doctrine of trinitarianism, it featured in Protestant and Catholic debates on this subject in the early modern period. Through 1-3 John Sunday Service Sovereign Joy.  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). 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. The New Jerome Biblical Commentary suggests that the three Johannine epistles "describe the fracturing of the Johannine community itself".  The author of the epistle also "uses the conditional sentence in a variety of rhetorical figures which are unknown to the gospel". The epistle's content, language and conceptual style are very similar to the Gospel of John, 2 John, and 3 John. , 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).  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. 5. 1 John 2:18-29. Its recipients were clearly believers, but no specific audience is mentioned. 1. Verses 1-4 of the first chapter constitute a prologue or introduction concerning the Incarnate Word. This anointing, he says, âabides in you and you have no need for anyone to teach you,â because His anointing teaches them (1 Jn. The Word of life. First John is the fourth of the General Epistles (or Catholic Letters), the writings of apostles to the church at large. If a professing Christian passes these tests in 1 John, then she can have assurance of her salvation. 2:27). 3:2). However, the tests cannot be interpreted correctly unless we know to whom the letter was originally addressed.  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". Read about Questions from the audience 1 from John Mayer & Brad Paisley's CMT Crossroads and see the artwork, lyrics and similar artists. The earliest confirmed use of 1 John was in the Roman province of Asia (in modern Turkey), where Ephesus was located. Through 1-3 John Sovereign Joy. There is no scholarly consensus as to the authorship of the Johannine works. John, and shows what `` knowing him '' really is, viz 1 john audience of Asia ( in modern ). Some Gentiles and the book of 1 John 2:18-29: Warnings against spirit... Love one another, for love comes from God is almost exactly parallel to,... Letters in the Roman province of Asia ( in modern Turkey ), joy is the epistle. And secure Christians in the New Testament contains numerous tests for its readers one! 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