1 John 5:20
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.

New Living Translation
And we know that the Son of God has come, and he has given us understanding so that we can know the true God. And now we live in fellowship with the true God because we live in fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the only true God, and he is eternal life.

English Standard Version
And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.

Berean Study Bible
And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true--in His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.

Berean Literal Bible
Now we know that the Son of God is come and has given us understanding, so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.

New American Standard Bible
And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.

King James Bible
And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath 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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding so that we may know the true One. We are in the true One--that is, in His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.

International Standard Version
We also know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding so that we may know the true God. We are in union with the one who is true, his Son Jesus the Messiah, who is the true God and eternal life.

NET Bible
And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us insight to know him who is true, and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. This one is the true God and eternal life.

New Heart English Bible
We know that the Son of God has come, and has given us an understanding, that we know him who is true, and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And we know that The Son of God has come and he has given us a mind to know The True One and to be in The True One- in his Son, Yeshua The Messiah. This One is The True God and The Life Eternal.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
We know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding so that we know the real God. We are in the one who is real, his Son Jesus Christ. This Jesus Christ is the real God and eternal life.

New American Standard 1977
And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding, in order that we might know Him who is true, and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.

Jubilee Bible 2000
But we know that the Son of God is come and has given us 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.

King James 2000 Bible
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.

American King James Version
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.

American Standard Version
And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath 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.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And we know that the Son of God is come: and he hath given us understanding that we may know the true God, and may be in his true Son. This is the true God and life eternal.

Darby Bible Translation
And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us an understanding that we should know him that [is] true; and we are in him that [is] true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.

English Revised Version
And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath 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.

Webster's Bible Translation
And we know that the Son of God hath come, and hath 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.

Weymouth New Testament
And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we know the true One, and are in union with the true One--that is, we are in union with His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and the Life of the Ages.

World English Bible
We know that the Son of God has come, and has given us an understanding, that we know him who is true, and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

Young's Literal Translation
and we have known that the Son of God is come, and hath given us a mind, that we may know Him who is true, and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ; this one is the true God and the life age-during!
Study Bible
Concluding Remarks
19We know that we are of God, and that the whole world is under the power of the evil one. 20And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true — in His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. 21Little children, keep yourselves from idols.…
Cross References
Luke 24:45
Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.

John 1:18
No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is Himself God and is at the Father's side, has made Him known.

John 8:42
Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on My own, but He sent Me.

John 14:6
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

John 14:9
Jesus replied, "Philip, I have been with you all this time, and still you do not know Me? Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'?

John 17:3
Now this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.

1 John 1:2
And this is the life that was revealed; we have seen it and testified to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us.

1 John 2:23
No one who denies the Son can have the Father; whoever confesses the Son has the Father as well.

1 John 5:5
Who then overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

1 John 5:11
And this is that testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.
Treasury of Scripture

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.

we know.

1 John 5:1 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every …

1 John 4:2,14 Hereby know you the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that …

and hath.

Matthew 13:11 He answered and said to them, Because it is given to you to know …

Luke 21:15 For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries …

Luke 24:45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,

John 17:3,14,25 And this is life eternal, that they might know you the only true …

1 Corinthians 1:30 But of him are you in Christ Jesus, who of God is made to us wisdom, …

2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined …

Ephesians 1:17-19 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory…

Ephesians 3:18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and …

Colossians 2:2,3 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, …

him that.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man …

John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know you the only true …

Revelation 3:7,14 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things …

Revelation 6:10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true…

Revelation 15:3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song …

Revelation 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat …

and we.

1 John 2:6,24 He that said he stays in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked…

1 John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God has to us. God is …

John 10:30 I and my Father are one.

John 14:20,23 At that day you shall know that I am in my Father, and you in me, …

John 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, …

John 17:20-23 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe …

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things …

Philippians 3:9 And be found in him, not having my own righteousness, which is of …

This is.

1 John 5:11-13 And this is the record, that God has given to us eternal life, and …

1 John 1:1-3 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we …

Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given: and the government …

Isaiah 44:6 Thus said the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD …

Isaiah 45:14,15,21-25 Thus said the LORD, The labor of Egypt, and merchandise of Ethiopia …

Isaiah 54:5 For your Maker is your husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and …

Jeremiah 10:10 But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting …

Jeremiah 23:6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: …

John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the …

John 14:9 Jesus said to him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet have …

John 20:28 And Thomas answered and said to him, My LORD and my God.

Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore to yourselves, and to all the flock, over the …

Romans 9:5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ …

1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was …

Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the …

Hebrews 1:8 But to the Son he said, Your throne, O God, is for ever and ever: …

Verse 20. - And we know. The "and" δέ is here rightly given - it sums up the whole with a final asseveration. Whatever the world and its philosophy chooses to assert, Christians know that the Son of God has come in the flesh, and has endowed them with mental faculties capable of attaining to a knowledge of the true God. The Christian's certainty is not fanaticism or superstition; he is "ready always to give answer to every man that asketh a reason concerning the hope that is in him" (1 Peter 3:15); by the gift of Christ he is able to obtain an intelligent knowledge of him who is indeed God. "Him that is true" does not mean God, who is not, like the devil, a liar, but "very God," as opposed to the idols against which St. John goes on to warn them. The Greek is ἀληθινός, not ἀληθής. Thus the Epistle ends as it began, with a fulfillment of Christ's prayer. In chapter 1 John 1:3 we had, "That ye also may have fellowship with us," which is identical with "That they may be one, even as we are" (John 17:11). And here we have, "That we know him that is true," which coincides with "That they should know thee the only true God" (John 17:3). This prayer of the great High Priest is fulfilled. "We are in him that is true," says the apostle, "(by being) in his Son Jesus Christ." This is the true God, and eternal life. Does "this" refer to God or to Christ? We must be content to leave the question open; both interpretations make excellent sense, and none of the arguments in favour of either are decisive. The question is not important. "That Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God," who was with the Father from all eternity, is the very foundation of St. John's teaching in Gospel and Epistles; and it is not of much moment whether this particular text contains the doctrine of the Divinity of Christ or not. But if, with St. Athanasius, we interpret "this" of Christ, the conclusion of the letter is brought into striking harmony with the opening of it, in which (1 John 1:2) Christ is spoken of as "the Eternal Life which was with the Father, and was manifested to us." Moreover, we obtain a striking contrast with what follows. "This Man, Jesus Christ, is the true God: it is no idolatry to worship him. Whosoever says that he is not God makes us idolaters. But idolatry is to us an abomination." And we know that the Son of God is come,.... That the second Person in the Godhead, who is equal to the Father, and of the same nature with him, is come from the Father, from heaven into this world, not by local motion, but by assumption of nature; that he is come in the flesh, or is become incarnate, in order to work out salvation for his people, by his obedience, sufferings, and death; and this John and others knew, for they had personal knowledge of him, and converse with him; they saw him with their eyes, heard him, and handled him: he dwelt among them, preached to them, wrought miracles before them, which proved him to be what he was; and it may be known that the Messiah must become, since Daniel's weeks, which fixes the time of his coming, are long ago up; the sceptre is departed from Judah, and the second temple is destroyed, neither of which were to be till the Messiah came; and that Jesus of Nazareth is he who is come may be known by the characters of him, and the works done by him:

and hath given us an understanding; not a new faculty of the understanding but new light into it; a knowledge of spiritual things of himself, and of God in him, and of the truths of the Gospel, and of all divine and heavenly things; for he, the Son of God, is come a light into the world, and gives spiritual light to men:

that we may know him that is true; or "the true God", as the Alexandrian copy and some others, and the Vulgate Latin, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions read; that is, God the Father, who is the true God, in opposition to the false gods of the Heathens, though not to the exclusion of the Son and Spirit; and the spiritual knowledge of him as the Father of Christ, and as a covenant God and Father in him, is only given to men by Christ, and this is life eternal; see Matthew 11:27;

and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ; the words "Jesus Christ" are left out in the Alexandrian copy, and in the Vulgate Latin version; however, certain it is, that Jesus Christ is meant by his Son, who is the Son of the true and living God, and is himself "true"; not only true God, as hereafter asserted, but true man, having a true body and a reasonable soul, and was true and faithful in the discharge of his offices, as prophet, priest, and King; he faithfully declared the whole will of God, and taught the way of God in truth; he was faithful to him that appointed him, by securing his glory when he made reconciliation for the sins of the people; and all the administrations of his kingly office are just and true; yea, he is truth itself, the substance of all the types, in whom all the promises are yea and amen, and who has all the truths of the Gospel and treasures of wisdom in him; now his people are in him; they were secretly in him before the world was, being loved by him, chosen in him, put into his hands, preserved in him, and represented by him; and openly, at conversion, when they are anew created in him, brought to believe in him, and live upon him, and he lives in them, and they are in him as branches in the vine; and this is known by his Spirit being given them, by the communication of his grace unto them, and by the communion they have with him.

This is the true God and eternal life; that is, the Son of God, who is the immediate antecedent to the relative "this"; he is the true God, with his Father and the Spirit, in distinction from all false, fictitious, or nominal deities; and such as are only by office, or in an improper and figurative sense: Christ is truly and really God, as appears from all the perfections of deity, the fulness of the Godhead being in him; from the divine works of creation and providence being ascribed to him; and from the divine worship that is given him; as well as from the names and titles he goes by, and particularly that of Jehovah, which is incommunicable to a creature; and he is called "eternal life", because it is in him; and he is the giver of it to his people; and that itself will chiefly consist in the enjoyment and vision of him, and in conformity to him. 20. Summary of our Christian privileges.

is come—is present, having come. "He is here—all is full of Him—His incarnation, work, and abiding presence, is to us a living fact" [Alford].

given us an understanding—Christ's, office is to give the inner spiritual understanding to discern the things of God.

that we may know—Some oldest manuscripts read, "(so) that we know."

him that is true—God, as opposed to every kind of idol or false god (1Jo 5:21). Jesus, by virtue of His oneness with God, is also "He that is true" (Re 3:7).

even—"we are in the true" God, by virtue of being "in His Son Jesus Christ."

This is the true God—"This Jesus Christ (the last-named Person) is the true God" (identifying Him thus with the Father in His attribute, "the only true God," Joh 17:3, primarily attributed to the Father).

and eternal life—predicated of the Son of God; Alford wrongly says, He was the life, but not eternal life. The Father is indeed eternal life as its source, but the Son also is that eternal life manifested, as the very passage (1Jo 1:2) which Alford quotes, proves against him. Compare also 1Jo 5:11, 13. Plainly it is as the Mediator of ETERNAL LIFE to us that Christ is here contemplated. The Greek is, "The true God and eternal life is this" Jesus Christ, that is, In believing in Him we believe in the true God, and have eternal life. The Son is called "He that is TRUE," Re 3:7, as here. This naturally prepares the way for warning against false gods (1Jo 5:21). Jesus Christ is the only "express image of God's person" which is sanctioned, the only true visible manifestation of God. All other representations of God are forbidden as idols. Thus the Epistle closes as it began (1Jo 1:1, 2).5:18-21 All mankind are divided into two parties or dominions; that which belongs to God, and that which belongs to the wicked one. True believers belong to God: they are of God, and from him, and to him, and for him; while the rest, by far the greater number, are in the power of the wicked one; they do his works, and support his cause. This general declaration includes all unbelievers, whatever their profession, station, or situation, or by whatever name they may be called. The Son leads believers to the Father, and they are in the love and favour of both; in union with both, by the indwelling and working of the Holy Spirit. Happy are those to whom it is given to know that the Son of God is come, and to have a heart to trust in and rely on him that is true! May this be our privilege; we shall thus be kept from all idols and false doctrines, and from the idolatrous love of worldly objects, and be kept by the power of God, through faith, unto eternal salvation. To this living and true God, be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
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