1 John 2:11 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 John 2:11, NIV: "But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them."

1 John 2:11, ESV: "But whoever 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."

1 John 2:11, KJV: "But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes."

1 John 2:11, NASB: "But the one 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."

1 John 2:11, NLT: "But anyone who hates another brother or sister is still living and walking in darkness. Such a person does not know the way to go, having been blinded by the darkness."

1 John 2:11, CSB: "But the one who hates his brother or sister is in the darkness, walks in the darkness, and doesn't know where he's going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes."

What does 1 John 2:11 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Verses 9–10 described how those who show hate for Christians lack fellowship with Christ. Verse 11 completes this thought with more clear, direct language. Hate for others is totally incompatible with fellowship in Christ. Saved believers are capable of such a sin, but those who do so demonstrate serious spiritual sickness.

The idea of "walking in darkness" is often associated with evil or sin. This is not the same as "stumbling," or "falling," which implies a temporary situation. There is a difference between stumbling briefly into darkness and "walking" in darkness as a matter of habit. The person who walks in darkness is in a position of grievous spiritual danger. They have no clear vision or purpose, simply because without light they cannot see. Darkness is blinding.

In other words, hatred of others is a sin which prevents a person from being able to truly follow Christ. Though darkness is powerful, the Gospel of John declares: "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it" (John 1:5). God's love is far more powerful than the sin of this world.