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The New Oxford Annotated Bible New Revised Standard Study Bible that provides essential scholarship and guidance for Bible readers.

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Commentary on The First Letter of John

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1.1–4 : Introduction.

1–2 :

From the beginning echoes the opening of John' Gospel (Jn 1.1–18 ) in which Jesus is the Word, life and light made flesh. Here, the phrase refers to the beginning of Christian faith. We, teachers in the Johannine community, charged with handing on the tradition. Heard, seen, looked at, touched insist on the human reality of the Son against false teachers (see Introduction).

3–4 :

Fellowship with the Father and Son and abiding joy are two signs of genuine Christian community in the Johannine tradition (Jn 15.11; 17.13 ).

1.5–10 : Holiness in the community.

5 :

Light is a common symbol for the holiness and perfection of God (Ps 4.6; Isa 60.1–2 ). God' light is a guide for the righteous (Ps 27.1 ).

6–7 :

No one can claim fellowship with God who does not follow God' commands (Jn 3.19; 1 Jn 2.11 ). Christians do not claim to be perfect. They receive forgiveness thanks to Jesus' death on the cross (cf. Rev 1.5; 5.9 ).

8–10 :

The false teachers, who reject the saving death of Jesus (see Introduction), may have claimed that true believers did not sin. Such teaching makes God a liar (v. 10 ). False views about God and sin are typical of the wicked (Ps 53 ).

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