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but[a] every spirit that refuses to confess[b] Jesus,[c] that spirit[d] is not from God, and this is the spirit[e] of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming, and now is already in the world.

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  1. 1 John 4:3 tn The καί (kai) which begins 4:3 introduces the “negative side” of the test by which the spirits might be known in 4:2-3. Thus it is adversative in force: “every spirit that confesses Jesus as Christ who has come in the flesh is from God, but every Spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God.”
  2. 1 John 4:3 tn Or “refuses to acknowledge”; Grk “that does not confess,” but the literal rendering can be misread by an English reader as a double negative with the following clause.
  3. 1 John 4:3 tc A number of variants are generated from the simple τὸν ᾿Ιησοῦν (ton Iēsoun, “Jesus”), some of which turn the expression into an explicit object-complement construction. ᾿Ιησοῦν κύριον (Iēsoun kurion, “Jesus as Lord”) is found in א, ᾿Ιησοῦν Χριστόν (Iēsoun Christon, “Jesus as Christ”) is read by 5 (442 1175) 1243 1735 2492 M, τὸν Χριστόν (“the Christ”) is the reading of 1846, τὸν Χριστὸν ᾿Ιησοῦν (“Christ Jesus” or “Jesus as the Christ”) is the wording of 307, and ᾿Ιησοῦν without the article is found in 1881 2464. But τὸν ᾿Ιησοῦν is well supported by A B Ψ 33 81 436 1611 1739 1852 2344, and internally best explains the rise of the others. It is thus preferred on both external and internal grounds.
  4. 1 John 4:3 tn The words “that spirit” are not in the Greek text, but are supplied in the translation to make clear that it is the spirit mentioned in the preceding clause (that is, the spirit that refuses to confess Jesus) that is not from God.
  5. 1 John 4:3 tn Here “spirit” is not in the Greek text but is implied, and is necessary in the English translation; Grk “and this is the of the antichrist.”