FIRST JOHN CHAPTER FIVE
I) [1 Jn 5:1]:
"Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves His child as well.
"Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God" =
A) TO BELIEVE THAT JESUS IS THE CHRIST IS TO TRUST IN THE MESSIAH, THE ONE TO COME TO PAY THE PENALTY FOR ONES SINS
Notice that faith that Jesus is the Christ, i.e., the Messiah which implies God incarnate paying the penalty for your sins per OT references, is a sign that one has been born of God, i.e., saved unto eternal life.
1) [Compare Gen 15:5-6]:
(v. 5) '''He took him outside and said, 'Look up at the heavens and count the stars - if indeed you can count them.' Then he said to him, 'So shall your offspring [lit. your Seed"] be.'
(v. 6) Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.'''
" 'So shall your offspring ([lit. your Seed") be.' " =
2) [Compare Gal 3:16]:
"The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his Seed. The Scripture does not say 'and to seeds,' meaning many people, but 'and to your seed,' meaning one person, who is Christ."
3) [Compare Jn 8:56]:
[Jesus said to the Jews]" 'Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing My day; he saw it and was glad.' "
[Our Lord is saying here that during Abraham's lifetime on earth he rejoiced at the thought of seeing the glory of the Messiah Jesus Christ's triumph over sin - demonstrating that he, Abraham, truly was born again]
4) [Compare Isa 53:2-6]:
(v. 2) "He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
(v. 3) He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
(v. 4) Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.
(v. 5) But He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.
(v. 6) We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all."
Notice that the sins of all mankind were laid upon Him that all mankind could to be healed of their sins.
B) THIS PASSAGE IS ABOUT EVIDENCE OF BEING REGENERATED. IT DOES NOT POINT TO HAVING TO BE REGENERATED BEFORE BELIEVING UNTO SALVATION
1) [Compare 1 Jn 4:19]:
"We love [present, active, indicative] because He first loved [aorist, active, indicative] us."
Notice that what is in view is the evidence of the believer's love for God because God first loved us and has provided salvation for us through faith in His Son.
Note that this does not stipulate some order in which one is to be regenerated then saved. It simply reflects on evidence that points to the fact that one has been saved, more specifically that we [believers] love God because He first loved us.
2) [Compare Ro 5:8-9]:
(v. 8) "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
(v. 9) Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him!"
This context continues in verse 1 with "Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God."
Thus one who believes, (Gk = "ho pisteuon' = nominative present participle, the believing one) that Jesus is the Christ gives evidence that he has been born of God.
This passage is not stipulating what it takes to become born of God, nor does it say that becoming born of God must precede belief that Jesus is the Christ. It is stating that if you love God or if you are a believer that Jesus is the Christ then that is evidence that you have been born of God.
3) [Compare 1 Jn 5:1b]:
"and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well."
From verse 1a the author moves to a truism from nature in 1b: whoever loves his progenitor (ton gennEsanta, KJV, 'him that begat'; NIV, 'the father') will also love those similarly born, even his brothers and sisters.
[Zane C. Hodges states, 'The Bible Knowledge Commentary', NT Edition, Walvoord & Zuck, Editors, Victor Books, USA, 1988, pp. 900-901]:
"If one asks who his Christian brother or sister is, the answer is that 'everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God' (cf. 'born of God' in 3:9; 4:7; 5:4; 18). Whether or not a believer exhibits an admirable life, he should be an object of his fellow Christian's love. This love does not spring from something lovable in the person himself, but from his paternity, since 'everyone who loves the Father loves His child as well' "
The context of evidence of having been saved continues in the next two verses:
II) [1 Jn 5:2-3]:
(v. 2) "This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out His commands.
(v. 3) This is love for God: to obey His commands. And His commands are not burdensome,"
[Hodges, op. cit., p. 901]:
"Moreover, love for God's children is not mere sentiment or verbal expression (cf. 3:18), but is inseparable from loving God and obeying His commands (5:2; cf. 2:3; 3:22, 24; 5:3)
If a further question is asked about what it means to love...God, the answer is, to obey His commands. Thus the apostle, by this series of statements, reduces love for God and one's fellow Christians to its fundamental character. A person who obeys God's commands is doing what is right, both toward God and toward his fellow believers and is thus loving both God and them. But it must be remembered that this includes the willingness to sacrifice for one's brother (cf. 3:16-17)."
III) [1 Jn 5:3-5]:
(v. 3) "This is love for God: to obey His commands. And His commands are not burdensome,
(v. 4) for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.
(v. 5) Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
[Notice that everyone born of God, i.e., those who believe that Jesus is the Christ, (v. 1), overcomes the world, i.e., will have the victory of eternal life; and it is reaffirmed here twice that it is solely by our faith, our belief "that Jesus is the Son of God" (v. 5) = "Jesus is the Christ", (v. 1), that one overcomes the world, (v. 1)" The concept of Christ being the Son of God incorporates the concept of His diety as well as His providing for the salvation of mankind:
Compare detailed study on the Son of God:
[Hodges, op. cit., p. 901]:
"As a matter of fact, God's commands are not burdensome (cf. Matt. 11:30). This is because the principle of victory resides in everyone born of God. Every such person has already overcome the world (cf. 1 Jn 4:4). His faith in Christ, by which he was regenerated, constitutes a victory over the world system which is satanically blinded to the gospel (cf. 2 Cor. 4:3-4). Who is it then that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. With these words, the writer affirmed that a believer is a world-conqueror by means of his faith in Christ. This suggests that such faith is the secret of his continuing victory and, for that reason, obedience to God's commands need not be burdensome."
IV) [1 Jn 5:6]:
(v. 6) This is the One Who came by water and blood - Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit Who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.
["Who came by water" = Our Lord's water baptism by John the Baptist testified to, (= testified, per v. 6b, 7), symbolically to His identification with His mission to die and pay the penalty for the sins of the whole world . Our Lord's water baptism symbolically pictures His actual death to pay for the whole world's sins, His burial and resurrection to which Christian water baptism identifies the believer symbolically with also.
"Who came by water and blood" = The words renderd "and blood" refer to our Lord's baptism of the cross .
This baptism refers to our LORD's shedding of blood for the sins of the world on the cross, (cf. 1 Jn 2:2). So 1 Jn 5:6 testified as well to the actual fulfillment of His mission to die and pay the penalty for the sins of the whole world:
A) [Compare Heb 9:12]:
"He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but He entered the Most Holy Place once for all by His own blood, having obtained eternal redemption."]
"And it is the Spirit Who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth" = This testifies to the ministry of God the Holy Spirit in the proclaiming of our Lord's mission through the Prophets of the Old Testament including John the Baptist himself, (Jn 1:15-33), and the Holy Spirit's testimony re: the water baptism of our Lord, (Mt 3:13-17; Jn 1:15-33) as well as the Holy Spirit's work in the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord and the proclamation of the gospel of Christ crucified and faith in Him alone unto eternal life, (Jn 14:26; 15:26; 16:8-15; Ac 5:32).
V) [1 Jn 5:7 NIV]:
(v. 7) "For these are three that testify"
A) [1 Jn 5:7-8]:
KJV HAS A DIFFERENT AND ERRONEOUS VERSION OF V. 7
Note: the KJV translation has a different version to verse 7 which it has been determined is not in the earliest and best manuscripts:
1) [1 Jn 5:7-8 KJV]:
"For there are three that bear record [in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one.
(v. 8) And there are three that bear witness on earth:] the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one"
[Hodges, op. cit., p. 901]:
"These verses are famous because because they involve the addition of material that is inadequately attested by the Greek manuscripts. The words enclosed above in brackets are well known because they were first introduced into an early printed edition of the Greek New Testament by Erasmus, the editor. They are often called 'The Johannine Comma' and they became part of the KJV when they were adopted by the translators of the first edition of 1611. But they are not found in the overwhelming majority of the surviving Greek manuscripts, their absence from these is a fatal argument against their originality.
Brown, Epistles, pp. 779-80, repeats the well-known story about how Erasmus was criticized for leaving the disputed words (the Johannine Comma) out of his first two editions of the Greek New Testament (1516, 1519). One of his critics, an Englishman named E. Lee, confronted Erasmus about the absence of the Comma from his editions and Erasmus replied that if he had found the words in a Greek manuscript he would have included them in his editions. Very conveniently, between May 1520 and June 1521, Erasmus was shown that the Comma was found in Greek in the Codex Montfortianus. This is an early 16th century manuscript copied from an earlier Codex (326 in the standard list) which did not contain the Comma in Greek. Along with some other insertions from the Latin Vulgate, the Comma was undoubtedly translated into Greek and introduced into Montfortianus. Erasmus proceeded to introduce the Comma into his third edition (1522), where it remained also in his fourth and fifth editions (1527, 1535). Since it already appeared in the Greek of the Complutension Polyglot Bible of Cardinal Ximenes (printed in 1514), but only published in 1522), after Erasmus adopted it subsequent editors of this general period tended to include it as well. Thus, it was found in Theodore Baza's 5th edition of the Greek New Testament (1598), which most probably was the Greek Testament used most by the translators of the KJV who put it into their translation. (CF. F.H.A. Scrivener, ed, The New Testament in the Original Greek according to the Text Followed by The Authorized Version together with the Variations Adopted in the Revised Version, New Ed., [Cambridge: at the University Press, 1894].)
The fact remains, however, that the Greek manuscript evidence supporting the Johannine Comma is numerically small and late in date. As presented in Nestle-Aland (27th ed.), the Greek support consists of the following:
a: Have it in the text: manuscripts 61 (Montfortianus; 16th century); 629 (14th or 15th century); 918 (16th century); 2318 (18th century).
b: Have it as a variant reading: 88 (12th century [18th century variant]: 221 (10th century); 429 (16th century); 636 (15th century).
It should be obvious that no reasonable theory of textual criticism can possibly account for such rare, and late, Greek attestation if the Comma was part of the autograph of the First Epistle. Nor does a claim to divine preservation of the original text carry any weight in a case like this, since such a claim carries its own refutation on its face. Clearly the sovereign hand of God on the transmissional process is far better seen when it is admitted that the original text has been preserved for 1 John 5:7-8 and that the original did not contain the Comma.
[ERASMUS AND THE TEXTUS RECEPTUS by William W. Combs
A third edition was published in 1522. Erasmus had been criticized because his first and second editions did not contain the famous heavenly witnesses passage of 1 John 5:7b8a (Comma Johanneum), which was in manuscripts of the Vulgate.
One of Erasmus critics was Diego López Zúñiga (better known by his Latin name, Stunica), who was one of the editors of the Complutensian NT. The Complutensian NT had included 1 John 5:7, though they translated it from Latin into Greek. Stunica could never cite any Greek manuscript which included the text, but only argued that Latin manuscripts were more reliable than Greek.
Another critic was Edward Lee, who was later to become Archbishop of York. Lee accused Erasmus of encouraging Arianism. 'Latin Christians since the early Middle Ages had considered this passage the clearest scriptural proof of the doctrine of the Trinity.'
But Erasmus had excluded it from his first two editions because he found it in 'no Greek manuscript, few Latin manuscripts of antique vintage, and only rarely in patristic works. He cited with approval the opinion of St. Jerome, that Latin copyists had introduced the passage on their own in order to refute the Arians and provide scriptural support for Trinitarian doctrine.'
In the many retellings of this famous episode, it has become the common tradition that Erasmus rashly made a promise to his critics that he would include the Comma if a single Greek manuscript could be brought forward as evidence. However, Henk J. de Jonge has recently demonstrated that nothing in Erasmus writings indicates he formally made such a promise. DeJonge suggests that the notion of a promise came from a misinterpretation of a passage in a 1520 response to Edward Lee (Responsio ad Annotationes Eduardi Lei).
Erasmus wrote: 'If a single manuscript had come into my hands, in which stood what we read (sc. in the Latin Vulgate) then I would certainly have used it to fill in what was missing in the other manuscripts I had. Because that did not happen, I have taken the only course which was permissible, that is, I have indicated (sc. in the Annotationes) what was missing from the Greek manuscripts.'
De Jonge suggests that Erasmus included the Comma Johanneum because he did not want his reputation ruined over a minor detail in the Greek text that might prevent his Latin translation from receiving wide distribution. When Erasmus was informed that the passage had been found in Codex 61, a 16th century manuscript then in England, he included it, though he notes in his Annotationes that he did not believe the Comma was genuine. Another part of this episode has also been incorrectly reported.
Again, Metzger, among others, has said that Erasmus believed that Codex 61 'had been prepared expressly in order to confute him. And Harris has shown that Codex 61 was, in fact, probably produced at the time of the controversy for the purpose of refuting Erasmus. But Erasmus himself had a different theory as to why Codex 61 contained the Comma. He believed that the Codex, like many other manuscripts, contained a text which had been revised after, and adapted to, the Vulgate. This was one of Erasmus stock theories, to which he repeatedly referred in evaluating Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. He regarded manuscripts which deviated from the Byzantine text known to him, and showed parallels with the Vulgate, as having been influenced by the Vulgate. Erasmus continued to include the Comma in his later editions. A fourth edition was published in 1527. Erasmus made use of the Complutensian Polyglot, especially in the book of Revelation. The text of the Vulgate was added in a third column. A fifth and final edition was published in 1535, one year before Erasmus death. The Vulgate was no longer included."
a) NOT IN ANY UNCIAL GK MANUSCRIPTS
It is not in any of the Uncial Greek manuscripts [ancient uncial letters were rounded capitals].
b) IT APPEARS FIRST IN A 15-16TH CENTURY CURSIVE GK MANUSCRIPT
It appears for first time in a cursive Greek manuscript translated in 15th or 16th century [appears in margins of one 11th and 12th century manuscript].
c) IT IS OMITTED IN ALL ANCIENT VERSIONS
It is omitted in all ancient versions, including the Vulgate by Jerome [though in modern Vulgate editions]
d) THE GREEK FATHERS DID NOT REFER TO IT
The so-called Greek "fathers" did not use it in writings to support the Trinity.
e) LATIN WRITERS IGNORE IT UNTIL THE END OF 5TH CENTURY
Latin writers omit it until end of the 5th century.
f) FIRST INCLUDED IN A 4TH CENTURY LATIN EXEGESIS
First included in a 4th century Latin exegesis by Cyprian [may have been written in the margin and later copied into the text]. (Adapted from Stott 182, 183; Woods 325, 326)
VI) [1 Jn 5:7-8]:
(v. 7) "For there are three that testify:
(v. 8) the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement."
[Hodges, op. cit., p. 901]:
"But the object of this faith must always be the One Who came by water and blood - Jesus Christ. It is simplest to take the term 'water' as a reference to the baptism of Jesus by which His public ministry was initiated [testified to, (v. 6b. 7)] (Mt 3:13-17; Mk 1:9-11; Lk 3:21-22). 'Blood' would then refer to His death, by which His earthly work was terminated. John's insistence that He did not come by water only, but by water and blood, suggests that he was refuting a false notion of the type held by Cerinthus..... Cerinthus taught that the divine Christ descended on the man Jesus at His baptism and left Him before His crucifixion. Thus he denied that one Person, Jesus Christ, came by both water and blood. Cerinthus was doubtless not alone in such views, which John regarded as utterly false and contrary to the pure testimony of the Holy Spirit. Indeed, there are three that testify: the Spirit, the water, and the blood: and the three are in agreement. The Spirit's witness may be thought of as coming through the prophets (including John the Baptist). The Spirit's witness, then, was augmented by the historical realities involved in 'the water' and 'the blood.' Both the baptism and the crucifixion of Jesus are strongly attested historical facts (cf. John 1:32-34; 19:33-37). All three witnesses ('water' and 'blood' are personified) "are in agreement" that a single divine Person, Jesus Christ, was involved in these events."
1 JN CHAPTER 5 CONTINUED