John opens his writing with what Raymond Brown calls a “grammatical obstacle course”. Here are 5 observations that will help you navigate this challenging passage without breaking too much of a sweat.
1. The main verb – we proclaim to you – occurs in the third verse. It is buried beneath numerous relative clauses (that which …). These clauses expand on the idea communicated by the main verb. They (along with the prepositional phrase) will tell us what is being proclaimed. Continue reading
Do you have a favorite book of the Bible? The one you think is the most important and stands out to you in some special way. For Luther it was Romans (see his preface), for Calvin it was the book of Ephesians (see this TGC article), and for Wesley it was 1 John.
I began expounding the deepest part of the Holy Scripture, namely, the first Epistle of St. John; by which above all other, even inspired writings, I advise every young preacher to form his style. Continue reading
The writing we call 1 John is written by the Apostle John to deal with a specific situation occurring in the churches he oversaw in Asia Minor. False teachers had caused his flock to doubt that they possessed eternal life (1 John 5:13).
1. The false teachers (or prophets) were part of the Johannine Community. They have left the church, or perhaps were forced out. They likely were in leadership positions based on their influence and the fact that they are teachers (1 John 2:18-19; 2 John 1:7-11; 4:1). Continue reading