What does 1 John 2:11 mean?
ESV: But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
NIV: But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.
NASB: But the one who hates his brother or sister is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
CSB: But the one who hates his brother or sister is in the darkness, walks in the darkness, and doesn't know where he's going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
NLT: But anyone who hates a fellow believer is still living and walking in darkness. Such a person does not know the way to go, having been blinded by the darkness.
KJV: But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.
NKJV: But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
Verse Commentary:
Verses 9–10 described how those who show hate for Christians lack fellowship with Christ. Verse 11 completes this thought with more clear, direct language. Hate for others is totally incompatible with fellowship in Christ. Saved believers are capable of such a sin, but those who do so demonstrate serious spiritual sickness.

The idea of "walking in darkness" is often associated with evil or sin. This is not the same as "stumbling," or "falling," which implies a temporary situation. There is a difference between stumbling briefly into darkness and "walking" in darkness as a matter of habit. The person who walks in darkness is in a position of grievous spiritual danger. They have no clear vision or purpose, simply because without light they cannot see. Darkness is blinding.

In other words, hatred of others is a sin which prevents a person from being able to truly follow Christ. Though darkness is powerful, the Gospel of John declares: "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it" (John 1:5). God's love is far more powerful than the sin of this world.

Verse Context:
First John 2:7–11 reminds the reader that these are not new commandments. From the very beginning of one’s faith, a Christian is taught that how they behave demonstrates their relationship with Christ. A powerful indicator of this relationship is how one thinks about, acts towards, and treats other professing believers. As with other tests mentioned in 1 John, these are markers of one’s intimacy with and knowledge of Christ.
Chapter Summary:
Chapter 2 explains the fellowship Christians have with God. Christ is our advocate, even when we sin. Christians are not to love things of the world, or to love the world. Instead, we are to live, love, and act like Christ. False teachers, and those who deny Jesus are called ''liars.'' Those who demonstrate a Christ-like behavior are ''born of'' God.
Chapter Context:
Chapter 1 introduced the primary themes of John’s letter. Chapters 2 and 3 lay out a detailed description of how Christian conduct is meant to be marked by obedience to the truth. Christians are called to live like Christ. Therefore, those who do not (live that way) do not have ''the truth'' in them. Later chapters of this letter will fill in how Christian love and conduct give us confidence in our daily lives.
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.
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