Οιδαμεν ὁτι πας ὁ γεγεννημενος εκ του Θεου ουχ ἁμαρτανει, αλλ' ὁ γεννηθεις εκ του Θεου τηρει αυτον, και ὁ πονηρος ουχ ἁπτεται αυτου. οιδαμεν ὁτι εκ του Θεου εσμεν, και ὁ κοσμος ὁλος εν τω πονηρω κειται. οιδαμεν δε ὁτι ὁ υιος του Θεου ἡκει, και δεδωκεν ἡμιν διανοιαν, ἱνα γινωσκωμεν τον αληθινον· και εσμεν εν τω αληθινω, εν τω υιω αυτου Ιησου Χριστω. ουτος εστιν ὁ αληθινος Θεος και ἡ ζωη αιωνιος. Τεκνια, φυλαξατε ἑαυτους απο των ειδωλων. αμην.
Scimus quoniam omnis qui natus est ex Deo non peccat, sed generatio Dei conservat eum et malignus non tangit eum. Scimus quoniam ex Deo sumus et mundus totus in maligno positus est. Et scimus quoniam Filius Dei venit, et dedit nobis sensum ut cognoscamus verum Deum et simus in vero, Filio eius; hic est verus et vita æterna. Filioli custodite vos a simulachris.
We know that whosoever is born of God sins not; but he that is begotten of God keeps, himself, and that wicked one touches him not. And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in wickedness. And we know that the Son of God is come, and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true, and we are in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.
We know that whosoever is begotten of God sins not; but He that was begotten of God keeps, him, and the evil one touches him not. We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in the evil one. And we know that the Son of God is come, and has given us an understanding that we know Him that is true, and we are in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. My little children, guard yourselves from idols.
We know that whosoever is born of God sins not: but the Begotten of God keeps, him, and the evil one touches him not.
We know that we are from God and the world lies wholly in the evil one.
We know moreover that the Son of God has come and is here, and has given us understanding that we know Him that is the Very God: and in His Son Jesus Christ (this is the Very God and eternal life), we are in the Very (God). Children, guard yourselves from the idols.[Pg 275]
Ch. v. 18-21.
Ver. 18, 19, 20. Three seals are affixed to the close of this Epistle --- three postulates of the spiritual reason; three primary canons of spiritual perception and knowledge. Each is marked by the emphatic "we know," which is stamped at the opening its first line. The first "we know," is of a sense of purity made possible to the Christian through the keeping by Him Who is the one Begotten of God. The evil one cannot touch him with the contaminating touch which implies connection. The second "we know" involves a sense of privilege; the true conviction that by God's power, and love, we are brought into a sphere of light, out of the darkness in which a sinful world has become as if cradled on the lap of the evil one. The third "we know" is the deep consciousness of the very Presence of the Son of God in and with His Church. And with this comes all the inner life --- supremely a new way of looking at things, a new possibility of thought, a new cast of thought and sentiment, "understanding" (διανοια). Words denoting intellectual faculties and processes are rare in St. John. This word is used in the sense just given in Plat., Rep., 511, and Arist., Poet., vi. (in the last, however, rather of the sentiment of the piece than of the author), "He has given us understanding that we know continuously the very [God]." And in "His Son Jesus Christ [this is the very God and eternal life] we are in the very God." This interpretation of the passage is supported by the position of the pronoun which cannot be referred naturally to any subject but Jesus Christ. Waterland quotes Irenæus. "No man can know God unless God has taught him; that is to say, that without God, God cannot be known."
Ver. 21. The Epistle closes with a short, sternly affectionate exhortation. "Children, guard yourselves" (the aorist imperative of immediate final decision) "from the idols." These words are natural in the atmosphere of Ephesus (Acts xix. 26, 27). The Author of the Apocalypse has a like hatred of idols. (Apoc. ii. 14, 15, ix. 20, xx. 1-8, xxii. 15.)
It would appear that the Gnostics allowed people to eat freely things sacrificed to idols. Modern, like ancient unbelief, has sometimes attributed to St. John a determination to exalt the Master whom he knew to be a man to an equality with God. But this is morally inconsistent with the Apostle's unaffected shrinking from idolatry in every form. (See Speaker's Commentary, N. T., iv., 347).
THE SECOND EPISTLE OF ST. JOHN.
Ο πρεσβυτερος εκλεκτη κυρια και τοις τεκνοις αυτης, ους εγω αγαπω εν αληθεια, και ουκ εγω μονος αλλα και παντες οι εγνωκοτες την αληθειαν, δια την αληθειαν την μενουσαν εν ἡμιν, και μεθ' ἡμων εσται εις τον αιωνα. εσται μεθ' ἡμων χαρις, ελεος, ειρηνη, παρα Θεου πατρος και παρα Κυριου Ιησου Χριστου του υιου του πατρος, εν αληθεια και αγαπη. Εχαρην λιαν ὁτι ευρηκα εκ των τεκνων σου περιπατουντας εν αληθεια, καθως εντολην ελαβομεν παρα του πατρος. και νυν ερωτω σε, κυρια, ουχ ὡς εντολην γραφων σοι καινην, αλλα ἡν ειχομεν απ' αρχης, ἱνα αγαπωμεν αλληλους. και αυτη εστιν ἡ αγαπη, ἱνα περιπατωμεν κατα τας εντολας αυτου. αυτη εστιν ἡ εντολη, καθως ηκουσατε απ' αρχης, ἱνα εν αυτη περιπατητε· ὁτι πολλοι πλανοι εισηλθον εις τον κοσμον, οι μη ὁμολογουντες Ιησουν Χριστον ερχομενον εν σαρκι· ουτος εστιν ὁ πλανος και ὁ αντιχριστος· βλεπετε ἑαυτους, ἱνα μη απολεσωμεν α ειργασαμεθα, αλλα μισθον πληρη απολαβωμεν. πας ὁ παραβαινων και μη μενων εν τη διδαχη του Χριστου Θεον ουκ εχει· ὁ μενων εν τη διδαχη ουτος και τον πατερα και τον υιον εχει. ει τις ερχεται προς ὑμας και ταυτην την διδαχην ου φερει, μη λαμβανετε αυτον εις οικιαν, και χαιρειν αυτω μη λεγετε· ὁ γαρ λεγων αυτω χαιρειν κοινωνει τοις εργοις αυτου τοις πονηροις. Πολλα εχων ὑμιν γραφειν ουκ ηβουληθην δια χαρτου και μελανος· αλλα ελπιζω ελθειν προς ὑμας και στομα προς στομα λαλησαι, ἱνα ἡ χαρα ἡμων η πεπληρωμενη. Ασπαζεται σε τα τεκνα της αδελφης σου της εκλεκτης. αμην.
Senior electæ dominæ et natis eius, quos ego diligo in veritate, et non ego solus sed et omnes qui cognoverunt veritatem, propter veritatem quæ permanet in nobis et nobis cum erit in æternum. Sit nobiscum gratia misericordia pax a Deo Patre et Christo Iesu Filio Patris in veritate et caritate. Gavisus sum valde quoniam inveni de filii tuis ambulantes in veritate sicut mandatum accepimus a Patre. Et nunc rogo te, domina, non tamquam mandatum novum scribens tibi, sed quod habuimus ab initio, ut diligamus alterutrum. Et hæc est caritas, ut ambulemus secundum mandata eius. Hoc mandatum est ut quemadmodum audistis ab initio in eo ambuletis. Quoniam multi seductores exierunt in mundum qui non confitentur Iesum Christum venientem in carne. Hic est seductor et antichristus. Videte vosmet ipsos, ne perdatis quæ operati estis, sed ut mercedam plenum accipiatis. Omnis qui præcedit et non manet in doctrina Christi, Deum non habet: qui permanet in doctrina, hic et Filium et Patrem habet. Si quis venit ad vos, et hanc doctrinam non adfert, nolite recipere eum in domumnec ave ei dixeritis: qui enim dicit illi ave, communicat operibus illius malignis. Plura habens vobis scribere, nolui per cartam et atramentum: spero enim me futurum apud vos et os ad os loqui, ut gaudium vestrum sit plenum. Salutant te filii sororis tuæ electæ.
The elder to the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth; for the truth's sake, which dwells, in us, and shall be with us for ever. Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love. I rejoiced greatly that I found of your children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father. And now I urgently request you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. And this[Pg 280] is love, that we walk after His commandments. This is the commandment, That, as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it. For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have created, but that we receive a full reward. Whosoever transgresses,, and abides not in the doctrine of Christ, has not God. He that abides in the doctrine of Christ, he has both the Father and the Son. If there come any to you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that bids, him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. Having many things to write to you, I would not write with paper and ink: but I trust to come to you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full. The children of your elect sister greet you. Amen.
The elder to the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth; and not I only, but also all they that know the truth; for the truth's sake which abides in us, and it shall be with us for ever: Grace, mercy, peace shall be with us, from God the Father, and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love. I rejoice greatly that I have found certain of your children walking in truth, even as we received commandment from the Father. And now I urgently request you, lady, not as though I wrote to you a new commandment, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is love, that we should walk after His commandments. This is the commandment, even as you heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it. For many deceivers are gone forth into the world, even they that confess not that Jesus Christ comes, in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. Look to yourselves, that you lose not the things which we have created, but that you receive a full reward. Whosoever goes onward and abides not in the teaching of Christ, has not God: he that abides in the teaching, the same has both the Father and the Son. If any one comes, to you, and brings, not this teaching, receive him not into your house, and give him no greeting: for he that gives, him greeting partakes, in his evil works. Having many things to write to you, I would not write them with paper and ink: but I hope to come to you, and to speak face to face, that your joy may be fulfilled. The children of your elect sister salute you.
The Elder to the excellent Kyria and her children whom I love in truth, (and not I only, but also all they that know the truth) for the truth's sake which abides in us --- yea, and with us it shall be for ever. There shall be with you grace, mercy, peace from God the Father, and from Jesus Christ the Son of the Father, in truth and love. I was exceeding glad that I found of your children walking in truth even as we received commandment from the Father. And now I urgently request you Kyria, not as though writing a fresh commandment to you, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is the love, that we should walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment as you heard from the beginning that you should walk in it. For many deceivers are gone out into the world, even they who are not confessing Jesus Christ coming in the flesh. This the deceiver, and the antichrist. Look to yourselves that you lose not the things which you have worked, but that you receive reward in full. Every one leading forward and not abiding in the doctrine which is Christ's has not God: he that abides in the doctrine, the same has both the Son and the Father. If there come to you any and [Pg 281]brings, not the doctrine, receive him not into your house, and no good speed wish him. For he that wishes him good speed partakes, in his works which are evil. Having many things to write to you I would not write with paper and ink, but I hope to be with you and to speak face to face, that our joy may be fulfilled. The children of your elect sister greet you.
From The Epistles Of St. John by WILLIAM ALEXANDER, D.D., D.C.L. Oxon., Hon. LL.D. Dublin, published by Hodder and Stoughton, 27, Paternoster Row, MDCCCXCVI Lightly updated to the language of the 21st century by D. N. Pham. (c) 2012.
Insights of the past for the present
Epistles of John 2/2 - W. Alexander
ON THE BOOK SHELF
May your insights be worthy.