1 John 2:19 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 John 2:19, NIV: They went out from us, 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.

1 John 2:19, ESV: They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.

1 John 2:19, KJV: They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

1 John 2:19, NASB: They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be evident that they all are not of us.

1 John 2:19, NLT: These people left our churches, but they never really belonged with us; otherwise they would have stayed with us. When they left, it proved that they did not belong with us.

1 John 2:19, CSB: They went out from us, but they did not belong to us; for if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us. However, they went out so that it might be made clear that none of them belongs to us.

What does 1 John 2:19 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

John further describes the traits of "antichrists" as those who "went out from us, but they were not of us." These false teachers claimed to be believers, but were not. John explains why: "if they had been of us, they would have continued with us." John uses the idea of "continuing" to refer to ongoing or repeated action. Those who did not last in the faith, particularly those who claimed to be leaders in the church, but turned against God, were literally against Christ or antichrists.

John adds, "But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us." This abandonment of the faith offered proof or evidence that these false teachers were not true believers (1 John 2:22–23). In contrast with those who had been anointed (1 John 2:20), these false teachers did not have God's Spirit within them. They did not know the truth (1 John 2:21), denied Jesus is the Christ (1 John 2:22), and deceived others (1 John 2:26).