What does 1 John 2:18 mean?
ESV: Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour.
NIV: Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour.
NASB: Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour.
CSB: Children, it is the last hour. And as you have heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. By this we know that it is the last hour.
NLT: Dear children, the last hour is here. You have heard that the Antichrist is coming, and already many such antichrists have appeared. From this we know that the last hour has come.
KJV: Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
NKJV: Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.
Verse Commentary:
This verse begins a new section, extending through verse 27, focused on warning against "antichrists." These are not the same as the end-times figure mentioned in the book of Revelation. John begins with the preface, "Children, it is the last hour." He considered his time as part of the "last hour" or end times. Though the end times are hotly debated today, it is clear the apostles believed they lived in some sense of "the end times," starting after the ascension of Jesus.

John's reason for referring to the current time as "the last hour" was the emergence of so many of these antichrists. John had personally encountered those who were against Christ, teaching against the true gospel and character of Jesus. John is the only writer to mention the word antichrist, defining an antichrist as "he who denies the Father and the Son" (1 John 2:22), does not confess Jesus (1 John 4:3), and does not confess Jesus as coming in the flesh (2 John 1:7).

Verse Context:
First John 2:18–27 warns against those who oppose Christ in their teachings. These ''anti-Christs'' deny that Jesus is God. They reject Him as part of the Trinity, or claim He did not appear in the flesh. John again makes reference to truth ''abiding'' in someone, encouraging his readers to hold to the gospel that saved them.
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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