|New International Version (©2011)|
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.
New Living Translation (©2007)
This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all.
English Standard Version (©2001)
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.
King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (©2009)
Now this is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light, and there is absolutely no darkness in Him.
International Standard Version (©2012)
This is the message that we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light, and in him there is no darkness—none at all!
NET Bible (©2006)
Now this is the gospel message we have heard from him and announce to you: God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all.
Aramaic Bible in Plain English (©2010)
And this is The Good News that we have heard from him and we evangelize to you: God is Light, and there is no darkness at all in him.
GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
This is the message we heard from Christ and are reporting to you: God is light, and there isn't any darkness in him.
King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
American King James Version
This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
American Standard Version
And this is the message which we have heard from him and announce unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
And this is the declaration which we have heard from him, and declare unto you: That God is light, and in him there is no darkness.
Darby Bible Translation
And this is the message which we have heard from him, and declare to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
English Revised Version
And this is the message which we have heard from him, and announce unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
Webster's Bible Translation
This then is the message which we have heard from him, and declare to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
Weymouth New Testament
This is the Message which we have heard from the Lord Jesus and now deliver to you--God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness.
World English Bible
This is the message which we have heard from him and announce to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
Young's Literal Translation
And this is the message that we have heard from Him, and announce to you, that God is light, and darkness in Him is not at all;
|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:5-10 A message from the Lord Jesus, the Word of life, the eternal Word, we should all gladly receive. The great God should be represented to this dark world, as pure and perfect light. As this is the nature of God, his doctrines and precepts must be such. And as his perfect happiness cannot be separated from his perfect holiness, so our happiness will be in proportion to our being made holy. To walk in darkness, is to live and act against religion. God holds no heavenly fellowship or intercourse with unholy souls. There is no truth in their profession; their practice shows its folly and falsehood. The eternal Life, the eternal Son, put on flesh and blood, and died to wash us from our sins in his own blood, and procures for us the sacred influences by which sin is to be subdued more and more, till it is quite done away. While the necessity of a holy walk is insisted upon, as the effect and evidence of the knowledge of God in Christ Jesus, the opposite error of self-righteous pride is guarded against with equal care. All who walk near to God, in holiness and righteousness, are sensible that their best days and duties are mixed with sin. God has given testimony to the sinfulness of the world, by providing a sufficient, effectual Sacrifice for sin, needed in all ages; and the sinfulness of believers themselves is shown, by requiring them continually to confess their sins, and to apply by faith to the blood of that Sacrifice. Let us plead guilty before God, be humble, and willing to know the worst of our case. Let us honestly confess all our sins in their full extent, relying wholly on his mercy and truth through the righteousness of Christ, for a free and full forgiveness, and our deliverance from the power and practice of sin.
Verse 5-1 John 2:28. - 2. FIRST MAIN DIVISION. God is Light. Verse 5-1 John 2:6. -
(1) Positive side. What walking in the light involves; the condition and conduct of the believer.
(2) 1 John 2:7-28. Negative side. What walking in the light excludes; the things and persons to be avoided. Verse 5. - This verse constitutes the text and basis of this division of the Epistle, especially on its positive side. And the message which we have heard... is this. Again we have a remarkable parallel between Gospel and Epistle; both begin with a καί (which connects the opening with the introduction in a simple and artless manner), and with the same kind of sentence: "And the witness of John is this." The reading ἐπαγγελία (1 John 2:25, and frequent in the New Testament) must be rejected here and in 1 John 3:11 in favour of ἀγγελία (which occurs nowhere else in the New Testament), on overwhelming evidence. Ἐπαγγελία in the New Testament means "promise," which would be almost meaningless here. The change from ἐπαγγέλλομεν (verses 2, 3) to ἀναγγέλλομεν is noteworthy: the one is "declare," the other "announce." The message received from Christ, the apostle announces or reports (renunciat) to his readers. He does not name Christ ἀπ αὐτοῦ; he is so full of the thought of Christ that he omits to name him (cf. John 20:7, 9, 15). Ἀναγγέλλω is used of authoritative announcements; of priests and Levites in the LXX; of the Messiah (John 4:25); of the Spirit (John 16:13, 14, 15); of the apostles (Acts 20:20, 27; 1 Peter 1:12). St. John speaks with authority. God is light; not the Light, nor a light, but light; that is his nature. This sums up the Divine essence on its intellectual side, as "God is love" on its moral side. In neither case has the predicate the article: ὁ Θεὸς φῶς ἐστίν ὁ Θεὸς ἀγάπη ἐστίν. Light and love are not attributes of God, but himself. The connexion between this message and the introduction is not at first obvious. But St. John writes with his Gospel before him, and the prologue to that supplies the link. There, as here, three ideas follow in order: λόγος ζωή φῶς. There, as here, φῶς immediately suggests its opposite, σκοτία. It is on the revelation of the Λόγος as φῶς, and the consequent struggle between φῶς and σκοτία, that the Gospel is based. And this revelation is the highest: men alone are competent to receive or reject it. Other organisms exhibit the creative power as life: none but men can recognize it as light. And to know the Λόγος as light is to know the Father as light; for the Λόγος is the Revelation of the Father's nature. That God is, in his very nature, light, is an announcement peculiar to St. John. Others tell us that he is the Father of lights (James 1:17), the Possessor of light (1 Peter 2:9), dwelling in light (1 Timothy 6:16); but not that he is light. To the heathen God is a God of darkness, an unknown Being; a Power to be blindly propitiated, not a Person to be known and loved. To the philosopher he is an abstraction, an idea, not directly cognizable by man. To the Jews he is a God who hideth himself; not light, but a consuming fire. To the Christian alone he is revealed as light, absolutely free from everything impure, material, obscure, and gloomy. Light was the first product of the Divine creative energy, the earnest and condition of order, beauty, life, growth, and joy. Of all phenomena it best represents the elements of all perfection. "This word 'light' is at once the simplest and the fullest and the deepest which can be used in human discourse. It is addressed to every man who has eyes and who has ever looked on the sun." It tells not only "of a Goodness and Truth without flaw; it tells of a Goodness and Truth that are always seeking to spread themselves, to send forth rays that shall penetrate everywhere, and scatter the darkness which opposes them" (Maurice). In like manner, darkness sums up the elements of evil - foulness, secrecy, repulsiveness, and gloom. In all but the lowest forms of existence it inevitably produces decay and death. Everything of the kind is excluded from the nature of God. And hence St. John, in his characteristic manner, immediately emphasizes the great announcement with an equivalent negative statement: Darkness in him there is not any at all (comp. verse 8; 1 John 2:4, 23, 27; 1 John 3:6; 1 John 4:2, 3, 6-8; 1 John 5:12). He does not say, "in his presence," but "in him." Darkness exists, physical, intellectual, moral, and spiritual; there is abundance of obscurity, error, depravity, sin, and its consequence, death. But not a shade of these is "in him." The Divine Light is subject to no spots, no eclipse, no twilight, no night; as a Source of light it cannot in any degree fail.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
This then is the message,.... Of God by his Son the Word, or from Christ by his apostles. The Syriac version renders it, "this is the Gospel"; which is good news from a far country, a message sent from the King of kings to sinful men: or this is the annunciation, or declaration; that is, the thing declared, or showed. Some render it, "this is the promise", that whereas God is light, such who walk in the light shall have communion with him, and others shall not:
which we have heard of him; of Christ, who has declared him, that he is light without any mixture of darkness; that is a pure Spirit, and must be worshipped in a spiritual way; and that only spiritual worshippers are such as he seeks, and admits to communion with him. Moreover, they might hear and learn this of Christ, by his telling them that he himself was light, who is the image of the invisible God, insomuch, that he that has seen the Son, has seen the Father also. Wherefore, if the one is light, the other must be likewise; nor is there any coming to the Father, and enjoying communion with him, but through Christ; all which our Lord told his disciples. The Ethiopic version reads, "which ye have heard", very wrongly; for the words regard the apostles, who made a faithful declaration of the message they heard, and had from Christ, which is as follows:
and declare unto you that God is light; that is, God the Father, as distinguished from "him", Christ, of whom they had heard this message, and from Jesus Christ his Son, 1 John 1:7, what is declared of him, agreeably to the report of Christ, is, that he is "light"; that is, as light is opposed to the darkness of sin; he is pure and holy in his nature and works, and of such pure eyes as not to behold iniquity; and so perfectly holy, that angels cover their times before him, when they speak of his holiness: and as light is opposed to the darkness of ignorance, he is wise and knowing; he knows himself, his own nature, being, and perfections, his Son and Spirit, and their distinct modes of subsisting; he sees clearly all things in himself, all things he could do, or has determined shall be done; he has perfect knowledge of all creatures and things, and the darkness and the light are alike unto him, nor can the former hide from him: he is knowable, and to be discerned; he is clothed with light, and dwells in it; he may be known by the works of creation and providence; even the invisible things of him, his eternal power and Godhead, may be clearly seen and understood by them, and especially in his word, and most clearly in his Son; it is owing to the darkness of men, and not to any in and about God, who is light, that he is so little known as he is: and, like the light, he illuminates others; he is the Father of lights, the author and giver of all light; of the light of reason to men in general; and of grace here, and glory hereafter, to his own people, which are both signified by light; in whose light they see light; and he refreshes and delights their souls with the light of his countenance now, and with his glorious presence in the other world:
and in him is no darkness at all; no darkness of sin; nothing is more contrary to him, or more distant from him: nor any darkness of error and ignorance; what is unknown to men, as the times and seasons; what angels were ignorant of, and even Christ, as man, as the day and hour of Jerusalem's destruction, were known to the Father; in him is no ignorance of anything whatever; nor is there any variableness or shadow of turning in him, as there is in the luminous body of the sun; but God is always the same pure and holy, wise and knowing Being. It is usual with the Cabalistic Jews (e), to call the supreme Being light the most simple light, hidden light, and infinite light, with respect to his nature, glory, and majesty, and with regard also to his grace and mercy, justice and judgment; though, as R. Sangart says (f), this is to be understood of him figuratively.
(e) Lex. Cabalist, p. 63, 64. (f) Sepher Cosri, par. 2. sect. 2. fol. 61. 2.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5. First division of the body of the Epistle (compare Introduction).
declare—Greek, "announce"; report in turn; a different Greek word from 1Jo 1:3. As the Son announced the message heard from the Father as His apostle, so the Son's apostles announce what they have heard from the Son. John nowhere uses the term "Gospel"; but the witness or testimony, the word, the truth, and here the message.
God is light—What light is in the natural world, that God, the source of even material light, is in the spiritual, the fountain of wisdom, purity, beauty, joy, and glory. As all material life and growth depends on light, so all spiritual life and growth depends on God. As God here, so Christ, in 1Jo 2:8, is called "the true light."
no darkness at all—strong negation; Greek, "No, not even one speck of darkness"; no ignorance, error, untruthfulness, sin, or death. John heard this from Christ, not only in express words, but in His acted words, namely, His is whole manifestation in the flesh as "the brightness of the Father's glory." Christ Himself was the embodiment of "the message," representing fully in all His sayings, doings, and sufferings, Him who is LIGHT.
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