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The Access Bible New Revised Standard Bible, written and edited with first-time Bible readers in mind.

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Commentary on 1 John

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1.1–4

Prologue. Themes borrowed from Jn 1.1–18 emphasize the humanity of Jesus.

1 :

Word of life: both message and person (Jn 1.1, 14 ).

2 :

Life was revealed in the Word (see Jn 1.4 ); the Word dwells in and is the source of eternal life: see 2.25; 3.14–15; 5.11–13, 20; Jn 3.15 .

3 :

Fellowship, among believers, with the Father and the Son (see 1.6, 7; Jn 1.14–18; 3.16 ).

4 :

We are writing (see 2.1, 7, 8, 12–14, 21, 25; 5.13 ) shows a self-consciously literary work.

1.5–2.27 :

Two tests.

1.5–2.17 :

The ethical test. Expressed as walking in the light, testing six of the seven assertions made by the opponents ( 1.6, 8, 10; 2.4, 6, 9; see 4.20 ).

1.5–2.2 :

Walking in the light: sin and sinlessness.

5 :

God is light: see 4.8 and Jn 4.24 . Light is the self-revealing character of God.

6–7 :

If we say: a formula introducing the first three assertions ( 1.6, 8, 10 ) of the opponents. Walking in the darkness falsifies the claim because God is light ( 1.5; see Jn 3.19–21; 8.12; 11.9–10; 12.35–36 ). Lying (see 2.4 ) is opposed to doing what is true (see Jn 3.21 ). The blood of Jesus (see 5.6–8 ) cleanses us from all sin, (see 1.9; 2.2; 5.16–17 ) through sacrifice.

8–9 :

We have no sin: self-deception (see 1.10 ). The way to deal with sin is not denial but confession. Faithful and just: better, “faithful and righteous” (see 2.1, 29; 3.7 ).

10 :

We have not sinned perhaps refers to past behavior; it is unclear how this differs from the second assertion.

2.1–2 :

The provision for one who sins is the presence of the advocate, elsewhere used only of the Holy Spirit (see Jn 14.16 ). Jesus is also the atoning sacrifice (see 4.10; Lev 16.16, 30 ) for the sins of the whole world (see 4.14; compare Jn 1.29 ).

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