1 John 4:20
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.

New Living Translation
If someone says, "I love God," but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don't love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see?

English Standard Version
If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.

New American Standard Bible
If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.

King James Bible
If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For the person who does not love his brother he has seen cannot love the God he has not seen.

International Standard Version
Whoever says, "I love God," but hates his brother is a liar. The one who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love the God whom he has not seen.

NET Bible
If anyone says "I love God" and yet hates his fellow Christian, he is a liar, because the one who does not love his fellow Christian whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But if a man will say, “I love God”, and he hates his brother, he is lying; for he who does not love his brother who is visible, how is it possible for him to love God who is invisible?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Whoever says, "I love God," but hates another believer is a liar. People who don't love other believers, whom they have seen, can't love God, whom they have not seen.

Jubilee Bible 2000
If anyone says, I love God and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he that does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?

King James 2000 Bible
If a man says, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar: for he that loves not his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?

American King James Version
If a man say, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar: for he that loves not his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?

American Standard Version
If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, cannot love God whom he hath not seen.

Douay-Rheims Bible
If any man say, I love God, and hateth his brother; he is a liar. For he that loveth not his brother, whom he seeth, how can he love God, whom he seeth not?

Darby Bible Translation
If any one say, I love God, and hate his brother, he is a liar: for he that loves not his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?

English Revised Version
If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, cannot love God whom he hath not seen.

Webster's Bible Translation
If a man sayeth, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar. For he that loveth not his brother, whom he hath seen, how can he love God, whom he hath not seen?

Weymouth New Testament
If any one says that he loves God, while he hates his brother man, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother man whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.

World English Bible
If a man says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who doesn't love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?

Young's Literal Translation
if any one may say -- 'I love God,' and his brother he may hate, a liar he is; for he who is not loving his brother whom he hath seen, God -- whom he hath not seen -- how is he able to love?
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

4:14-21 The Father sent the Son, he willed his coming into this world. The apostle attests this. And whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. This confession includes faith in the heart as the foundation; makes acknowledgment with the mouth to the glory of God and Christ, and profession in the life and conduct, against the flatteries and frowns of the world. There must be a day of universal judgment. Happy those who shall have holy boldness before the Judge at that day; knowing he is their Friend and Advocate! Happy those who have holy boldness in the prospect of that day, who look and wait for it, and for the Judge's appearance! True love to God assures believers of God's love to them. Love teaches us to suffer for him and with him; therefore we may trust that we shall also be glorified with him, 2Ti 2:12. We must distinguish between the fear of God and being afraid of him; the fear of God imports high regard and veneration for God. Obedience and good works, done from the principle of love, are not like the servile toil of one who unwillingly labours from dread of a master's anger. They are like that of a dutiful child, who does services to a beloved father, which benefit his brethren, and are done willingly. It is a sign that our love is far from perfect, when our doubts, fears, and apprehensions of God, are many. Let heaven and earth stand amazed at his love. He sent his word to invite sinners to partake of this great salvation. Let them take the comfort of the happy change wrought in them, while they give him the glory. The love of God in Christ, in the hearts of Christians from the Spirit of adoption, is the great proof of conversion. This must be tried by its effects on their temper, and their conduct to their brethren. If a man professes to love God, and yet indulges anger or revenge, or shows a selfish disposition, he gives his profession the lie. But if it is plain that our natural enmity is changed into affection and gratitude, let us bless the name of our God for this seal and earnest of eternal happiness. Then we differ from the false professors, who pretend to love God, whom they have not seen, yet hate their brethren, whom they have seen.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 20. - Ebrard and others make a new section begin here; but verses 21, 22 are in intimate connexion with what precedes. What is this love of which the apostle has been speaking? Is it the love of' God or of our fellow-men? Both; love of our brethren is organically bound up with love of God. To love God and hate one's brother is impossible. Sight, though not necessary to affection, aids it; and it is therefore easier to love men than God. If a man fails in the easier, will he succeed in the harder? Moreover, to hate one's brother is to hate God. "Whoso rejecteth you rejecteth me, and whoso rejecteth me rejecteth him that sent me." Note the negative, μή not οὐ. St. John has no definite person in view as ὁ οὐκ ἀγαπῶν, but any one who may happen to be of such a character, ὁ μὴ ἀγαπην. As before, ὁ μὴ ἀγαπῶν and ὁ μισῶν are treated as equivalent; there is no neutral term between "love" and "hate."

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

If a man say I love God, and hateth his brother,.... Than which profession nothing can be more contradictory, not black and white, or hot and cold in the same degree:

he is a liar; it is not truth he speaks, it is a contradiction, and a thing impossible:

for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen; his person, which might have drawn out his affection to him; and something valuable and worthy in him, which might have commanded respect; or his wants and distresses, which should have moved his pity and compassion:

how can he love God whom he hath not seen? it cannot be thought he should; the thing is not reasonable to suppose; it is not possible he should; See Gill on 1 John 4:12.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

20. loveth not … brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen—It is easier for us, influenced as we are here by sense, to direct love towards one within the range of our senses than towards One unseen, appreciable only by faith. "Nature is prior to grace; and we by nature love things seen, before we love things unseen" [Estius]. The eyes are our leaders in love. "Seeing is an incentive to love" [oeCUMENIUS]. If we do not love the brethren, the visible representatives of God, how can we love God, the invisible One, whose children they are? The true ideal of man, lost in Adam, is realized in Christ, in whom God is revealed as He is, and man as he ought to be. Thus, by faith in Christ, we learn to love both the true God, and the true man, and so to love the brethren as bearing His image.

hath seen—and continually sees.

1 John 4:20 Additional Commentaries
Context
Love Comes from God
19We love, because He first loved us. 20If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.
Cross References
John 13:35
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

1 Peter 1:8
Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,

1 John 1:6
If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.

1 John 1:8
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.

1 John 2:4
Whoever says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person.

1 John 2:9
Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness.

1 John 2:11
But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.

1 John 3:17
If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?

1 John 4:12
No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
Treasury of Scripture

If a man say, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar: for he that loves not his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?

a man. See on ch.

1 John 2:4 He that said, I know him, and keeps not his commandments, is a liar, …

1 John 3:17 But whoever has this world's good, and sees his brother have need, …

not. See on ver.

1 John 4:12 No man has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwells …

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