1 John 4:8
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

New Living Translation
But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

English Standard Version
Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

New American Standard Bible
The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

King James Bible
He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

International Standard Version
The person who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

NET Bible
The person who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Because God is love, and everyone who does not love does not know God.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The person who doesn't love doesn't know God, because God is love.

Jubilee Bible 2000
He that does not love does not know God, for God is charity.

King James 2000 Bible
He that loves not knows not God; for God is love.

American King James Version
He that loves not knows not God; for God is love.

American Standard Version
He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

Douay-Rheims Bible
He that loveth not, knoweth not God: for God is charity.

Darby Bible Translation
He that loves not has not known God; for God is love.

English Revised Version
He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

Webster's Bible Translation
He that loveth not, knoweth not God; for God is love.

Weymouth New Testament
He who is destitute of love has never had any knowledge of God; because God is love.

World English Bible
He who doesn't love doesn't know God, for God is love.

Young's Literal Translation
he who is not loving did not know God, because God is love.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

4:7-13 The Spirit of God is the Spirit of love. He that does not love the image of God in his people, has no saving knowledge of God. For it is God's nature to be kind, and to give happiness. The law of God is love; and all would have been perfectly happy, had all obeyed it. The provision of the gospel, for the forgiveness of sin, and the salvation of sinners, consistently with God's glory and justice, shows that God is love. Mystery and darkness rest upon many things yet. God has so shown himself to be love, that we cannot come short of eternal happiness, unless through unbelief and impenitence, although strict justice would condemn us to hopeless misery, because we break our Creator's laws. None of our words or thoughts can do justice to the free, astonishing love of a holy God towards sinners, who could not profit or harm him, whom he might justly crush in a moment, and whose deserving of his vengeance was shown in the method by which they were saved, though he could by his almighty Word have created other worlds, with more perfect beings, if he had seen fit. Search we the whole universe for love in its most glorious displays? It is to be found in the person and the cross of Christ. Does love exist between God and sinners? Here was the origin, not that we loved God, but that he freely loved us. His love could not be designed to be fruitless upon us, and when its proper end and issue are gained and produced, it may be said to be perfected. So faith is perfected by its works. Thus it will appear that God dwells in us by his new-creating Spirit. A loving Christian is a perfect Christian; set him to any good duty, and he is perfect to it, he is expert at it. Love oils the wheels of his affections, and sets him on that which is helpful to his brethren. A man that goes about a business with ill will, always does it badly. That God dwells in us and we in him, were words too high for mortals to use, had not God put them before us. But how may it be known whether the testimony to this does proceed from the Holy Ghost? Those who are truly persuaded that they are the sons of God, cannot but call him Abba, Father. From love to him, they hate sin, and whatever disagrees with his will, and they have a sound and hearty desire to do his will. Such testimony is the testimony of the Holy Ghost.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 8. - In giving the opposite, St. John again varies the thought, this time very remarkably. Instead of "love is of God" (verse 7), we have "God is Love" - a far deeper thought; and instead of "knoweth not God," we have "knew not God," or, as we should say in English, "hath not known" or "never knew God." The man's not loving his brother shows that in no real sense has he ever in the past known God: he is of the world (chapter 3:1), not of God. We must beware of watering down "God is Love" into "God is loving," or even "God of all beings is the most loving." Love is not a mere attribute of God; like light, it is his very nature. As "God is Light" sums up the Being of God intellectually considered, so "God is Love" sums up the same on the moral side. Only when this strong meaning is given to the statement does St. John's argument hold, that "he that loveth not knoweth not God." A man who has no idea of any one of the attributes of God, as order, or beauty, or power, or justice, has an imperfect knowledge of God. But he who has no idea of love has no knowledge of God, for love is himself. God alone loves in the fullest and highest sense of the word; for he alone loves with perfect disinterestedness. It is love which alone can explain creation. Why should a Being perfectly blessed in himself create other beings, but to bestow a blessing upon them?

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

He that loveth not, knoweth not God,.... If a man loves not the children of God, those that are born of him, he does not know, so as to love God, the Father of them; for to pretend love to God, the begetter of them, whom he sees not, and not love those who are begotten by him, and are visible objects of respect, is a contradiction, and cannot be reconciled: see 1 John 4:20. This clause is left out in the Ethiopic version, and is transposed in the Syriac version, which reads the text thus, "for God, is love, and whoever loveth not, knoweth not God". By which reading, the following reason stands in close connection with 1 John 4:7.

For God is love; he loves himself; there is an entire love between the three divine Persons, who are in the strictest, and in the most inconceivable and inexpressible manner affected to each other; their love is natural and essential: God loves all his creatures as such, nor does he hate any of them, as so considered; and he bears an everlasting, unchangeable, and invariable love to his elect in Christ Jesus; of which an instance is given in the following verses, and is a reason why the saints should love one another; that they might be like their heavenly Father, by whom they are begotten, and of whom they are born, and whose children they are; seeing he is love itself, and in his breast is nothing else but love. So the Shekinah is, by the Cabalistic Jews (t), called "love".

(t) Shirhashirim Rabba, fol. 15. 1. & Lex. Cabal. p. 43, 44.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

8. knoweth not—Greek aorist: not only knoweth not now, but never knew, has not once for all known God.

God is love—There is no Greek article to love, but to God; therefore we cannot translate, Love is God. God is fundamentally and essentially LOVE: not merely is loving, for then John's argument would not stand; for the conclusion from the premises then would be this, This man is not loving: God is loving; therefore he knoweth not God IN SO FAR AS God is loving; still he might know Him in His other attributes. But when we take love as God's essence, the argument is sound: This man doth not love, and therefore knows not love: God is essentially love, therefore he knows not God.

1 John 4:8 Additional Commentaries
Context
Love Comes from God
7Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.…
Cross References
1 John 3:10
This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God's child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.

1 John 4:7
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.

1 John 4:16
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.
Treasury of Scripture

He that loves not knows not God; for God is love.

knoweth.

1 John 2:4,9 He that said, I know him, and keeps not his commandments, is a liar, …

1 John 3:6 Whoever stays in him sins not: whoever sins has not seen him, neither known him.

John 8:54,55 Jesus answered, If I honor myself, my honor is nothing: it is my …

God is.

1 John 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare …

Exodus 34:6,7 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The …

Psalm 86:5,15 For you, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy …

2 Corinthians 13:11 Finally, brothers, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of …

Ephesians 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love with which he loved us,

Hebrews 12:29 For our God is a consuming fire.

Jump to Previous
Destitute Love Loving
Jump to Next
Destitute Love Loving
Links
1 John 4:8 NIV
1 John 4:8 NLT
1 John 4:8 ESV
1 John 4:8 NASB
1 John 4:8 KJV

1 John 4:8 Bible Apps
1 John 4:8 Bible Suite
1 John 4:8 Biblia Paralela
1 John 4:8 Chinese Bible
1 John 4:8 French Bible
1 John 4:8 German Bible

Alphabetical: because does for God is know love not one The who Whoever

NT Letters: 1 John 4:8 He who doesn't love doesn't know God (1J iJ 1Jn i jn 1 jo) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools

Bible Hub
1 John 4:7
Top of Page
Top of Page