What does 1 John 1:2 mean?
ESV: the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us —
NIV: The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us.
NASB: and the life was revealed, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was revealed to us—
CSB: that life was revealed, and we have seen it and we testify and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us —
NLT: This one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then he was revealed to us.
KJV: (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)
NKJV: the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us—
Verse Commentary:
This short verse actually consists of six distinct parts related to Jesus.

First, Jesus—"the life"—was revealed to John and to others.

Second, John was not alone in seeing Jesus. The statement here says, "we." There were many eyewitnesses to Christ's miracles and His resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:3–8).

Third, John could attest to these things. Like a witness in a courtroom, John could give testimony of being with Jesus, watching Him perform miracles, watching His death, seeing the empty tomb, and experiencing Christ resurrected.

Fourth, John could announce eternal life, which is Jesus Himself, to everyone. The phrase "eternal life" is often used in John's Gospel, and six times in this letter alone (1 John 2:25; 3:15, 5:11, 13, 20).

Fifth, Jesus was with the Father in heaven prior to coming to earth. Again, John emphasizes Christ's deity prior to coming to earth.

Sixth, that Jesus came to earth in flesh-and-blood form. John ends the verse as it began, describing how Jesus was "made manifest," or shown, and was revealed to us.

Verse Context:
First John 1:1–4 introduces this letter written by the apostle John. John references Jesus’ eternal existence, and His identical nature to God the Father. John also makes a claim to eyewitness testimony: he has personally seen these things he is teaching others about. Mutual fellowship, between Christians, and in Christ, is also mentioned here.
Chapter Summary:
Chapter 1 re-states the fact that Jesus is the eternal Son of God. John confirms that he has personally seen and heard the things he is teaching. God’s truth is presented as “light,” while false teachings are presented as “darkness.” Those who hold to the truth are saved from sin; those who claim to have no sin at all are self-deceived.
Chapter Context:
Chapter 1 sets the stage for the rest of John’s letter. The concepts of truth vs. falsehood, light vs. darkness, and rightness vs. self-deception are explored in more detail later on. By claiming to be an eyewitness, and marking the difference between God’s truth and error, Chapter 1 gives a sense of how serious this subject is. In fact, the distinction between truth and error is a primary marker used for spiritual self-reflection.
Book Summary:
First John seems to assume that the reader is familiar with the gospel. Rather than re-state these facts, John is concerned with building confidence in Christian believers. At the same time, his words encourage believers to examine their own lives for signs of their relationship with Christ. This letter also challenges false teachers and their incorrect claims about Jesus. Many themes are shared with the Gospel of John.
Accessed 6/18/2024 9:39:06 PM
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