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1 John


Chapter 1

¹That which existed from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have examined, talking about the word of life, ²even that life has been revealed, and we have seen it, and we are bearing witness and announcing to you eternal life, which was with the Father and has been revealed to us.  ³What we have seen and heard we are declaring to you also, so you too may have fellowship with us.  And that fellowship of ours is with the Father, and with his son Jesus Christ.  And these things we write, so our mutual joy may be full.

And this is the message that we have heard from him and announce to you: that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.  If we say we are in fellowship with him, and are walking in darkness, we are lying, and not doing the truth.  If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his son cleanses us from all sin.  If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  ¹⁰If we say we have not sinned, we are calling him a liar, and his word is not in us.


Chapter 2

¹My children, these things I am writing to you so that you will not sin.  And if anyone sins, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; ²and he is the appeasement for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

³And by this we know that we have known him: if we keep his commandments.  Someone who says, “I know him,” and does not keep his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.  But whoever keeps his word, that is the person in whom the love of God really is accomplished.  By this we know that we are in him.  Someone who claims to abide in him ought also to walk just as he walked.

Beloved, I am not writing to you a new commandment, but an old commandment, that you have had from the beginning.  The old commandment is the word that you have heard.  Yet, it is a new commandment I am writing to you, which is true in him and in you, since the darkness passes away and the true light keeps shining even now.  Someone who claims to be in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness as of now.  ¹⁰Someone who loves his brother is abiding in the light, and there is no cause of stumbling in him.  ¹¹But someone who hates his brother is in the darkness, and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

¹²To you children, I write: “Your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake.”

¹³To you fathers, I write: “You know him who existed from the beginning.”

To you young men, I write: “You have overcome the evil one.”

¹I have written to you children that you have known the Father.  I have written to you fathers that you have known him who existed from the beginning.  I have written to you young men that you are strong and the word of God abides in you and you have overcome the evil one.

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.  If someone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  ¹⁶Because all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of possessions, is not of the Father, but is of the world.  ¹And the world passes away, along with the lust of it, but whoever who does the will of God abides for ever.

¹⁸Children, it is the last hour, and just as you have heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have arisen; for which reason we know it is the last hour.  ¹⁹They went out from us, but were not of us.  For had they been of us, they would have remained with us.  But they went out so that they be made apparent, that none of them are of us.  ²⁰And you have an anointing from the Holy One, and know all.   ²¹I have not written to you that you don’t know the truth, but that you do know it.  And that every lie is not of the truth.

²²Who is the liar, if not someone denying as follows, “Jesus is not the Anointed One”?  This is antichrist, someone denying the Father and the Son.  ²³Everyone who denies the Son, does not have the Father either.  Someone who confesses the Son, has the Father as well.

²⁴You, what you have heard from the beginning, let it abide in you.  If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also in the Son and in the Father will abide.  ²And this is the message that He announced to us:eternal life.  ²These things I have written to you because of those deceiving you.

²⁷And you, the anointing that you received from him, it abides in you, and you have no need that someone teach you.  But rather, as that anointing from him has taught you concerning all things, and is true and is not a lie, so also, just as it has taught you, you abide in him.  ²⁸And now, children, abide in him, so that when he is revealed, we may have confidence, and not feel ashamed because of him at his coming.  ²⁹If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of him.


Chapter 3

¹Behold what manner of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God.  And we are!  The reason the world does not know us is this: it has not known him.  ²Beloved, now we are children of God, though it is not yet revealed what exactly we will be.  We do know that when he is revealed, we will be like him.  For we will see him just as he is.  ³And everyone who has this hope on Him purifies himself, just as that one is pure.

Everyone practicing sin is also practicing lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.  And you know that he was revealed so that sins be taken away, and there is no sin in him.  Everyone abiding in him does not sin.  Everyone who keeps sinning has not seen him, neither known him.

Children, let no one deceive you: someone who practices righteousness is righteous just as that one is righteous.  Someone who practices sin is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning.  For this purpose the son of God has been revealed: to destroy the works of the devil.  Everyone born of God does not practice sin, because His seed abides in him, and it is not able to sin, because it is born from God.  ¹⁰By this the children of God are evident versus the children of the devil: everyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, and also someone who does not love his brother.

¹¹Because this is the message which you have heard from the beginning: that we should love one another.  ¹²Not like Cain, who was of the evil one, and killed his brother.  And what was the reason he killed him?  Because his own works were evil, and those of his brother were righteous.

¹³Do not marvel, brethren, if the world hates you.  ¹⁴We know that we have crossed over out of death into life, because we love the brethren.  Someone who does not love his brother still abides in death.  ¹⁵Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.  ¹⁶By this we know love: because He laid down his life for us.  And we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

¹⁷Now whoever has the substance of the world, and sees his brother having need of it, and closes off his compassion from him, how does the love of God abide in him?  ¹⁸Children, we should love, not in word or tongue, but in action and truth, ¹⁹and by this we will know that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before him ²⁰that when our heart accuses, that God is greater than our heart, and he knows all.  ²¹Beloved, when our heart does not accuse us, we have confidence with God, ²²and whatever we ask, we receive from him, because we are keeping his commandments, and doing the things that are pleasing in his sight.

²³And this is his commandment: that we believe in the name of his son Jesus Christ, and that we love one another, just as he gave us commandment.  ²⁴And someone keeping his commandments is abiding in Him, and He in that person.  And by this we know that we abide in him: by the Spirit which he has given to us.


Chapter 4

¹Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.  ²By this you know the spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh, is of God, ³and every spirit that does not confess Jesus [Christ has come in the flesh], is not of God.  And this is the spirit of antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and now is in the world already.  You are of God, children, and have overcome him, because greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world.  They are of the world; therefore speak they of the world, and the world hears them.  We are of God.  Someone who knows God hears us; someone who is not of of God does not hear us.  From this we recognize the spirit of truth versus the spirit of error.

Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God, and everyone who loves is born of God, and knows God.  Someone who does not love has not known God, for God is love.  To us the love of God was made known in this: that God sent his only begotten son into the world so we might be saved through him.  ¹⁰Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son as the appeasement for our sins.

¹¹Beloved, if that is how God loved us, we ought also to love one another.  ¹²No one has ever seen God.  When we love one another, God abides in us, and his love is accomplished in us.  ¹³By this we know that we are abiding in him and he in us: because he has given to us of his Spirit.

¹⁴And we have seen, and we bear witness, that the Father has sent the Son as savior of the world.  ¹⁵Whoever confesses that Jesus is the son of God, God abides in that person, and that person in God.  ¹⁶And we have known and believed the love that God has in us.  God is love; and someone who abides in love is abiding in God, and God in him.  ¹⁷In this, love is accomplished with us, so that in the day of judgment we may have confidence that just as that one is, we in this world also are.  ¹⁸There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.  Because fear has torment, and someone who is afraid is not accomplished in love.  ¹⁹We can love, because he first loved us.

²⁰If anyone says, “I love God,” and he hates his brother, he is a liar.  For someone who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.  ²¹And this commandment we have from him: that he who loves God must also love his brother.


Chapter 5

¹Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Anointed One is born of God, and everyone who loves the one who begat will also love someone begotten from him.  ²By this we know that we love the children of God: when we love God and are doing his commandments.  ³For this is love of God: that we keep his commandments.  And his commandments are not heavy to bear, because everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world.  And this is the victory that overcomes the world: our faith.  Who is overcomer of the world, except someone who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

He is the one who came through water and blood, Jesus Christ.  Not only by water, but by water and blood.  And the Spirit is one bearing witness, because the Spirit is truth.  For there are three that bear witness,[1] the Spirit and the water and the blood, and these three agree.[2]  If we accept the witness of human beings, the witness of God is greater.  For this is the witness of God that he has testified concerning his Son.  ¹⁰Someone who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself.  But someone who does not trust in God has called him a liar, because he has not trusted the testimony that God has testified concerning his Son.  ¹¹And this is the testimony:  God has given to us eternal life, and that life is in his Son.  ¹²Someone who has the Son of God has life.  Someone who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

¹³I have written these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you will know you have eternal life.  ¹⁴And this is the confidence that we have with him, that, if we ask for something that is in accordance with his will, he hears us.  ¹⁵And if we know that he hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of him.

¹⁶If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin not to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life, for those not sinning to death.  There is a sin to death; I am not saying to ask about that.  ¹⁷All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin not to death.  ¹⁸We know that everyone born of God does not practice sin, but instead what was generated of God keeps itself, and the evil one does not touch it.

¹⁹We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies captive in the evil one.  ²⁰And we know that the Son of God has come, and he has given us the understanding to know the truth.  And we are in the truth, in his son Jesus Christ.  He is the true God, and eternal life.

²¹Children, keep yourselves from idols.


To download this translation with many footnotes, and a table of all the Revelation Greek manuscripts, you can access the PDF edition here.  


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[1] 5:7-8 txt omit "in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Spirit, and these three are one.  And there are three that bear witness on earth," virtually all Greek witnesses.  See the notes in my edition of 1 John:

[2] 5:8 The point is that "every matter must be established by the agreement of two or three witnesses."