« AnteriorContinuar »
as the use of stone implements (Réville) persisted after the discovery and employment of various metals. Through all the Johannine epistles stress falls not on the appeal to scripture or the sayings of Jesus, but on the authority and personality of the writer conveyed usually viva voce and specially in writing, as well as on tradition (år åpxńs) and the spiritual conscience. Individually, the notes have a certain distinctiveness. In the first epistlel the atmosphere is the antinomian Gnosticism and libertine tendencies of the second century. Between the epistle and the gospel there is a manifest identity of phrases and ideas, and although the former has its own characteristics, these are not psychologically incompatible with the unity of authorship. They are explicable upon the supposition that some years later the author of the gospel had occasion to re-state in another and more polemical form some of his convictions and principles in view of a more developed situation. His main concern is with the inward errors and dangers which were in operation (46) throughout the Christian society in regard to the person of Christ and the moral obligations of faith ; 2 the extension and organisation of the church are not upon his horizon. The unimportant, homely notes which have been preserved under the titles 2 and 3 John have quite an ecclesiastical tinge. Evidently they were written by some one familiar with the Johannine circle of ideas, but fortunately their date does not depend upon their authorship. Their world is the world of 1 John, partially of the “pastoral epistles," and they afford but a glimpse into one corner of that world. Like drops of water under a microscope, these tiny letters nevertheless can be made to disclose a teeming activity of life, though it is limited withal and comparatively speaking petty.
1 Cp. a lucid article by A. Zahn (Wanderungen durch Schrift und Geschichte, 1891, pp. 3–74) on the conception of sin in the first epistle of John, especially chap. i., with Wiesinger's analysis of the book in SK (1899), pp. 575-581, and Karl's paragraphs (Johan. Studien, 1. 1898, pp. 97-104).
2 Häring, ThA, pp, 187-200. Evidently the church has been able to shed off the unsound members of her communion (1 Jn 219 44). But the state of matters corroborates the impression of trouble with the Asiatic churches which is left by the earlier record in Ac 2029. 30.
1 John is a writing meant to controvert an antinomian Gnosticism. It is a defence of that true Gnosis, which upon the one hand finds in the incarnate Son of God the full knowledge of God and all that pertains to that knowledge (even life eternal), while upon the other hand it feels the need of breaking with sin and showing love ; nor can it urge too often against the pride of the so-called “spirituals,” that what we possess in religion and morals is a gift of God. Every sentence of our epistle is in aid of such a defence. The author never thinks he has brought forward sufficient arguments. Over and again he comes back to what he has already handled, nor does he fear to contradict himself. Indeed, he brings out from his world of thought whatever will be of service in this battle against moral and religious anarchy, doing so not for its own sake, but simply as he can make use of it in order to strengthen the confidence of his readers in anti-Gnostic Christianity.
There is a striking connection between 1 John and the gospel of John, which is explained with the greatest probability when the epistle is regarded as a later composition of the evangelist. His reason for allowing it to follow the earlier work was not to present the main thoughts of that great predecessor in a popular form, or to express them over again as propositions that could be remembered. It was because his gospel and conceptions of Christianity were seriously threatened now by Gnostics, who frankly made a partial use of his forniulas to recommend themselves to the ignorant, and indeed found many points in his own views with which they coincided. In composing his defence, he chose the form of an “ epistle,” which, thanks to Paul, had come into high favour ; but this did not materially alter his own style.-Jülicher.
11-4 Introduction : fellowship with God and man.
the forgiveness of sins.
218-29 Truth and falsehood: the dangers of fellowship
the spirit of antichrist. 31-12 Children of God and children of the devil : the character of
fellowshipsinlessness and love.
313_519 Brotherly love: resulting in, confidence towards God. 41-6
moral and spiritual insight.
union with God.
based upon faith in the Son of God the victory of faith. 513-21 Epilogue: a résumé.
That which was from the beginning :
concerning the word of life
yea, the life was disclosed,
the life eternal,
and was disclosed to us-
that our joy may be complete.
5 And the message which we have learned from him and disclose to you is this:
“God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” 6 If we say, “ We have fellowship with him," and walk in the darkness,
We lie and we do not practise the truth : 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light,
We have fellowship one with another,
And the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say, “We have no sin,"
We lead ourselves astray,
And the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins,
Faithful is he and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from
all iniquity. 10 If we say, “We have not sinned,"
We make him a liar,
And his word is not in us.
That you may not sin.
We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the upright. 2 And he is the propitiation for our sins,
Yet not for ours only, but also for the whole world. 3 And hereby we know that we know him,
If we keep his commandments. 4 He who says, “I know him," and keeps not his commandments, Is a liar, and the truth is not in him :
5 But whoever keeps his word,
God's love has really been perfected in him. Hereby we know we are in him ; 6. He who says he “remains in him,” is bound also to walk himself
even as he walked.
7 Beloved, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning :
The old commandment is the word which you have learned. 8 Again I write a new commandment to you,
Namely, that which is true in him and in you :
For the darkness is passing away, and already the true light shines. 9 He who says he is “in the light," and yet hates his brother, is still in
the darkness : He who loves his brother remains in the light, and in him there is no
pitfall. But he who hates his brother is in the darkness, and walks in the
darkness, and knows not where he is going, because the darkness
has blinded his eyes. 12 Little children, I write to you,
Because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake: 13 Fathers, I write to you,
Because you know him who is from the beginning:
Because you have conquered the evil one.
Because you know the Father : 14 Fathers, I have written to you,
Because you know him who is from the beginning :
Because you are strong, and the word of God remains in you, and
you have conquered the evil one. 15 Love not the world, nor yet what is in the world :
If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, The desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, the proud glory of life,
Is not of the Father but is of the world ; 17 And the world is passing away with its desire,
But he who obeys the will of God remains for ever.
18 Little ones, it is the last hour;
And as you have heard that “antichrist is coming," many anti
christs have appeared even now. Hence we know it is the last hour. • 19 From us they went out, but of us they were not : Had they been of us, they would have remained with us,
But they went out, to make it plain that they were none of us. 20 And you have an anointing from the holy One, and you all have
knowledge : 21 I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but
because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth. 22 Who is the liar if not he who denies that Jesus is the Christ ?
The denier of the Father and of the Son, he is the anti23 Whoever denies the Son, has not the Father :
He who confesses the Son has the Father also. 24 Let that remain in you which you have learned from the beginning :
If what you have learned from the beginning remain in you, you
also shall remain in the Son and in the Father ; 25 And this is the promise which he has given us, the life eternal. 26 I have written to you thus concerning those who lead you astray :
Yet as for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you,
and you have no need of anyone to teach you. Nay, his anointing teaches you concerningallthings, and is true, and is nolie;
And even as it has taught you, you remain in him. 28 And now, little children, remain in him,
That we may have confidence when he is disclosed,
And not shrink from him in shame, at his arrival. 29 As you know that he is upright,
You know that every one who practises uprightness is born
of him. 3 1 Look, what a love the Father has given to us, that we should be called
" children of God”; and children of God we are.
The world knows us not, for this reason, that it knew not him. 2 Beloved, we are children of God now;
Yet what we shall be has not yet been disclosed. When he is disclosed, we know we shall be like him,
For we shall see him even as he is. 3 And every one who sets this hope on him
Purifies himself, even as he is pure. 4 Anyone who commits sin commits lawlessness also;
Yea, sin is lawlessness. 5 And you know that he was disclosed to take away sins,
And in him is no sin. 6 Anyone who abides in him sins not:
Anyone who sins has neither seen him nor known him. 7 Little children, let no one lead you astrayHe who practises uprightness is upright,
Even as God is upright: 8 He who commits sin is of the devil,
For the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this the Son of God was disclosed,
To destroy the deeds of the devil. 9 Anyone born of God commits no sin,
Because his Birth remains in him :
Because he is born of God. .10 Herein the children of God and the children of the devil are to be
recognised. Anyone who does not practise uprightness is not of God,
Nor is he who loves not his brother. 11 For the message you have learned from the beginning is this :
That we should love one another. 12 Not as Kain was of the evil one,
And slew his brother.
i Reading kaná.