The Incarnation of the Word of Life

That which was from the beginning,(A) which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes,(B) which we have looked at and our hands have touched(C)—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared;(D) we have seen it and testify to it,(E) and we proclaim to you the eternal life,(F) which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard,(G) so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.(H) We write this(I) to make our[a] joy complete.(J)

Light and Darkness, Sin and Forgiveness

This is the message we have heard(K) from him and declare to you: God is light;(L) in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness,(M) we lie and do not live out the truth.(N) But if we walk in the light,(O) as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all[b] sin.(P)

If we claim to be without sin,(Q) we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.(R) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins(S) and purify us from all unrighteousness.(T) 10 If we claim we have not sinned,(U) we make him out to be a liar(V) and his word is not in us.(W)

My dear children,(X) I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate(Y) with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins,(Z) and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.(AA)

Love and Hatred for Fellow Believers

We know(AB) that we have come to know him(AC) if we keep his commands.(AD) Whoever says, “I know him,”(AE) but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person.(AF) But if anyone obeys his word,(AG) love for God[c] is truly made complete in them.(AH) This is how we know(AI) we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.(AJ)

Dear friends,(AK) I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning.(AL) This old command is the message you have heard. Yet I am writing you a new command;(AM) its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing(AN) and the true light(AO) is already shining.(AP)

Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister[d](AQ) is still in the darkness.(AR) 10 Anyone who loves their brother and sister[e] lives in the light,(AS) and there is nothing in them to make them stumble.(AT) 11 But anyone who hates a brother or sister(AU) is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness.(AV) They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.(AW)

Reasons for Writing

12 I am writing to you, dear children,(AX)
    because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.(AY)
13 I am writing to you, fathers,
    because you know him who is from the beginning.(AZ)
I am writing to you, young men,
    because you have overcome(BA) the evil one.(BB)

14 I write to you, dear children,(BC)
    because you know the Father.
I write to you, fathers,
    because you know him who is from the beginning.(BD)
I write to you, young men,
    because you are strong,(BE)
    and the word of God(BF) lives in you,(BG)
    and you have overcome the evil one.(BH)

On Not Loving the World

15 Do not love the world or anything in the world.(BI) If anyone loves the world, love for the Father[f] is not in them.(BJ) 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh,(BK) the lust of the eyes,(BL) and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away,(BM) but whoever does the will of God(BN) lives forever.

Warnings Against Denying the Son

18 Dear children, this is the last hour;(BO) and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming,(BP) even now many antichrists have come.(BQ) This is how we know it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us,(BR) but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.(BS)

20 But you have an anointing(BT) from the Holy One,(BU) and all of you know the truth.[g](BV) 21 I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it(BW) and because no lie comes from the truth. 22 Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son.(BX) 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.(BY)

24 As for you, see that what you have heard from the beginning(BZ) remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father.(CA) 25 And this is what he promised us—eternal life.(CB)

26 I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray.(CC) 27 As for you, the anointing(CD) you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things(CE) and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.(CF)

God’s Children and Sin

28 And now, dear children,(CG) continue in him, so that when he appears(CH) we may be confident(CI) and unashamed before him at his coming.(CJ)

29 If you know that he is righteous,(CK) you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of him.(CL)

See what great love(CM) the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!(CN) And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.(CO) Dear friends,(CP) now we are children of God,(CQ) and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears,[h](CR) we shall be like him,(CS) for we shall see him as he is.(CT) All who have this hope in him purify themselves,(CU) just as he is pure.(CV)

Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.(CW) But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins.(CX) And in him is no sin.(CY) No one who lives in him keeps on sinning.(CZ) No one who continues to sin has either seen him(DA) or known him.(DB)

Dear children,(DC) do not let anyone lead you astray.(DD) The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous.(DE) The one who does what is sinful is of the devil,(DF) because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God(DG) appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.(DH) No one who is born of God(DI) will continue to sin,(DJ) because God’s seed(DK) remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God. 10 This is how we know who the children of God(DL) are and who the children of the devil(DM) are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love(DN) their brother and sister.(DO)

More on Love and Hatred

11 For this is the message you heard(DP) from the beginning:(DQ) We should love one another.(DR) 12 Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one(DS) and murdered his brother.(DT) And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous.(DU) 13 Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters,[i] if the world hates you.(DV) 14 We know that we have passed from death to life,(DW) because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death.(DX) 15 Anyone who hates a brother or sister(DY) is a murderer,(DZ) and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.(EA)

16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.(EB) And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.(EC) 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them,(ED) how can the love of God be in that person?(EE) 18 Dear children,(EF) let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.(EG)

19 This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: 20 If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 21 Dear friends,(EH) if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God(EI) 22 and receive from him anything we ask,(EJ) because we keep his commands(EK) and do what pleases him.(EL) 23 And this is his command: to believe(EM) in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ,(EN) and to love one another as he commanded us.(EO) 24 The one who keeps God’s commands(EP) lives in him,(EQ) and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.(ER)


  1. 1 John 1:4 Some manuscripts your
  2. 1 John 1:7 Or every
  3. 1 John 2:5 Or word, God’s love
  4. 1 John 2:9 The Greek word for brother or sister (adelphos) refers here to a believer, whether man or woman, as part of God’s family; also in verse 11; and in 3:15, 17; 4:20; 5:16.
  5. 1 John 2:10 The Greek word for brother and sister (adelphos) refers here to a believer, whether man or woman, as part of God’s family; also in 3:10; 4:20, 21.
  6. 1 John 2:15 Or world, the Father’s love
  7. 1 John 2:20 Some manuscripts and you know all things
  8. 1 John 3:2 Or when it is made known
  9. 1 John 3:13 The Greek word for brothers and sisters (adelphoi) refers here to believers, both men and women, as part of God’s family; also in verse 16.

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