What does 1 John 2:13 mean?
ESV: I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, children, because you know the Father.
NIV: I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one.
NASB: I am writing to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I have written to you, children, because you know the Father.
CSB: I am writing to you, fathers, because you have come to know the one who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have conquered the evil one.
NLT: I am writing to you who are mature in the faith because you know Christ, who existed from the beginning. I am writing to you who are young in the faith because you have won your battle with the evil one.
KJV: I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.
NKJV: I write to you, fathers, Because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, Because you have overcome the wicked one. I write to you, little children, Because you have known the Father.
Verse Commentary:
Verse 13 features three sentences in John's six-sentence poem addressing various audiences. First, John writes to "fathers," and refers to God's eternal existence. These "fathers" are those older, more mature, more experienced believers. They both know Christ as Lord and "know" Him in the deepest sense of having walked with Him long-term, likely for several years.

The third phrase of John's poem targets a third audience: "young men," who have "overcome the evil one." These young men are distinct from the "young children"—new believers—of verse 12, but are not yet the "fathers" of the church. These younger warriors for Christ have "overcome," an idea John mentions again in verse 14. This letter also refers to "overcoming" in 1 John 4:4, 5:4, and 5:5. John defines an "overcomer" in 1 John 5:5 with a question: "Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?" Every true believer in Christ is an overcomer.

The fourth phrase of the poem begins its second half. In this half, the same groups are mentioned in the same order. First are the "little children," who know God (1 John 2:12).
Verse Context:
First John 2:12–14 is a six-line poem where John addresses three different groups of believers. John speaks to new Christians, older Christians, and those in between, in that order. He then talks to each again, in the same order. New Christians are reminded of their forgiveness through Christ, older Christians of their faith in an eternal God, and other of their spiritual strength to overcome “the evil one.”
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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