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

1 John 2:2, NIV: He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

1 John 2:2, ESV: He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.

1 John 2:2, KJV: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

1 John 2:2, NASB: and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

1 John 2:2, NLT: He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins--and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.

1 John 2:2, CSB: He himself is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours, but also for those of the whole world.

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

This verse opens with a statement many find difficult to understand: "He is the propitiation for our sins." The Greek word hilasmos can be translated as "propitiation," "expiation," or "atonement." All of these refer to settling, satisfying, or repaying a debt. In other words, Jesus is the one and only sufficient payment for the sins of humanity. Without this payment, we are left separated from God. Notice that verse 1 described Jesus also as our "advocate." This means that Christ not only speaks to God on our behalf, He pays our debt for us, as well.

John was clear that this power of Jesus' sacrifice was made available to all people of the world. These words resemble John 3:16: "For God so loved the world…" This doesn't meant that every person will actually be saved. It does, however, mean that Christ's sacrifice was sufficient to pay the debt for anyone who comes to faith in Him (Revelation 22:17). There is a distinction between Christ's power to (potentially) save all people and those who actually come to Him for salvation.