1 John 2:7 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 John 2:7, NIV: "Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard."

1 John 2:7, ESV: "Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard."

1 John 2:7, KJV: "Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning."

1 John 2:7, NASB: "Beloved, I am not writing a new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning; the old commandment is the word which you have heard."

1 John 2:7, NLT: "Dear friends, I am not writing a new commandment for you; rather it is an old one you have had from the very beginning. This old commandment--to love one another--is the same message you heard before."

1 John 2:7, CSB: "Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old command that you have had from the beginning. The old command is the word you have heard."

What does 1 John 2:7 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

John mentions "commandment" or "commandments" nearly a dozen times in this letter. Three of these mentions are in this single verse. He begins by noting that these directives are not new. What John has discussed are existing instructions, and he is simply giving a reminder. Further, these are commandments which have existed from the beginning of one's Christian faith. In context, this beginning focused on when John's audience first heard the gospel. John may have been personally responsible for bringing the gospel message to the audience of this letter, though this is uncertain.

John repeats his claim that this commandment is one the audience has already heard. This "word" includes the message of Jesus these believers had previously encountered. John's focus in this verse is reminding his readers of something previously known. The idea that a Christian's behavior is evidence of their salvation is not a new idea, but a core aspect of the gospel. This also heightens the reader's attention for the upcoming statement, found later in verse 9.