1 John 4:8 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 John 4:8, NIV: "Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love."

1 John 4:8, ESV: "Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love."

1 John 4:8, KJV: "He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love."

1 John 4:8, NASB: "The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love."

1 John 4:8, NLT: "But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love."

1 John 4:8, CSB: "The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love."

What does 1 John 4:8 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In the second sentence of this section, John adds the comment that those who don't love have no fellowship with God. The phrase "know God" uses the Greek root word ginosko. This is the same term used in verse 7, and many other places in the New Testament (John 17:3). To "know" God requires a person to have a relationship with Him, something John stresses often in this letter to Christian believers.

Love comes from God, so those who demonstrate love show they have fellowship with Him. The inverse is also true. The person who does not demonstrate love does not know God. John has already highlighted this message in previous chapters. However, the emphasis in this section is that God is love. Love is essential to Christian living because it is an essential part of God's identity.

This love includes God's creation of all things (Genesis 1—2), sustaining all things (Colossians 1:16–17), and redeeming believers through His Son Jesus (1 John 4:9). God is love, and He serves as the creator and sustainer of love in our world. Empowered by Jesus, we can experience God's love and share it with others through our lives.