1 John 1:8
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

King James Bible
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

American Standard Version
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

Douay-Rheims Bible
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

English Revised Version
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

Webster's Bible Translation
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

Weymouth New Testament
If we claim to be already free from sin, we lead ourselves astray and the truth has no place in our hearts.

1 John 1:8 Parallel
Commentary
Vincent's Word Studies

That we have no sin

Ὅτι that, may be taken merely as a mark of quotation: "If we say, sin we have not." On the phrase to have sin, see on John 16:22, and compare have fellowship, 1 John 1:3. Sin (ἁμαρτίαν) is not to be understood of original sin, or of sin before conversion, but generally. "It is obvious that this ἔχειν ἁμαρτίαν (to have sin), is infinitely diversified, according to the successive measure of the purification and development of the new man. Even the apostle John does not exclude himself from the universal if we say" (Ebrard).

Heathen authors say very little about sin, and classic paganism had little or no conception of sin in the Gospel sense. The nearest approach to it was by Plato, from whose works a tolerably complete doctrinal statement might be gathered of the origin, nature, and effects of sin. The fundamental idea of ἁμαρτία (sin) among the Greeks is physical; the missing of a mark (see on Matthew 1:21; see on Matthew 6:14); from which it develops into a metaphysical meaning, to wander in the understanding. This assumes knowledge as the basis of goodness; and sin, therefore, is, primarily, ignorance. In the Platonic conception of sin, intellectual error is the prominent element. Thus: "What then, I said, is the result of all this? Is not this the result - that other things are indifferent, and that wisdom is the only good, and ignorance the only evil?" ("Euthydemus," 281). "The business of the founders of the state will be to compel the best minds to attain that knowledge which has been already declared by us to be the greatest of all - they must continue to rise until they arrive at the good" ("Republic," vii., 519). Plato represents sin as the dominance of the lower impulses of the soul, which is opposed to nature and to God (see "Laws," ix., 863. "Republic," i., 351). Or again, as an inward want of harmony. "May we not regard every living being as a puppet of the gods, either their plaything only or created with a purpose - which of the two we cannot certainly know? But this we know, that these affections in us are like cords and strings which pull us different and opposite ways, and to opposite actions; and herein lies the difference between virtue and vice" ("Laws," i., 644). He traces most sins to the influence of the body on the soul. "In this present life, I reckon that we make the nearest approach to knowledge when we have the least possible communion or fellowship with the body, and are not infected with the bodily nature, but remain pure until the hour when God himself is pleased to release us. And then the foolishness of the body will be cleared away, and we shall be pure, and hold converse with other pure souls, and know of ourselves the clear light everywhere, which is no other than the light of truth" ("Phedo," 67).

We find in the classical writers, however, the occasional sense of the universal faultiness of mankind, though even Plato furnishes scarcely any traces of accepting the doctrine of innate depravity. Thus Theognis: "The sun beholds no wholly good and virtuous man among those who are now living" (615). "But having become good, to remain in a good state and be good, is not possible, and is not granted to man. God only has this blessing; but man cannot help being bad when the force of circumstances overpowers him" (Plato, "Protagoras," 344). " How, then: is it possible to be sinless? It is impossible; but this is possible, to strive not to sin" ("Epictetus," iv., 12, 19).

We deceive ourselves (ἑαυτοὺς πλανῶμεν)

Lit., we lead ourselves astray. See on Mark 7:24; see on Matthew 27:63, Matthew 27:64; see on Jde 1:13. Not only do we err, we are responsible for it. The phrase only here in the New Testament. For the verb as applied to deceivers of various kinds, see Matthew 24:4; Revelation 2:20; Revelation 13:14; Revelation 19:20; Revelation 12:9; Revelation 20:3. Compare πλάνοι deceivers (2 John 1:7); πλάνη error (Jde 1:11; 1 John 4:6).

The truth

The whole Gospel. All reality is in God. He is the only true God (ἀληθινός John 17:3; see on John 1:9). This reality is incarnated in Christ, the Word of God, "the very image of His substance," and in His message to men. This message is the truth, a title not found in the Synoptists, Acts, or Revelation, but in the Catholic Epistles (James 5:19; 1 Peter 1:22; 2 Peter 2:2), and in Paul (2 Corinthians 8:8; Ephesians 1:13, etc.). It is especially characteristic of the Gospel and Epistles of John. The truth is represented by John objectively and subjectively.

1. Objectively. In the person of Christ. He is the Truth, the perfect revelation of God (John 1:18; John 14:6). His manhood is true to the absolute law of right, which is the law of love, and is, therefore, our perfect pattern of manhood.

Truth, absolutely existing in and identified with God, was also, in some measure, diffused in the world. The Word was in the world, before as after the incarnation (John 1:10. See on John 1:4, John 1:5). Christ often treats the truth as something to which He came to bear witness, and which it was His mission to develop into clearer recognition and expression (John 18:37). This He did through the embodiment of truth in His own person (John 1:14, John 1:17; John 14:6), and by His teaching (John 8:40; John 17:17); and His work is carried out by the Spirit of Truth (John 16:13), sent by God and by Christ himself (John 14:26; John 16:7). Hence the Spirit, even as Christ, is the Truth (1 John 5:6). The whole sum of the knowledge of Christ and of the Spirit, is the Truth (1 John 2:21; 2 John 1:1). This truth can be recognized, apprehended, and appropriated by man, and can be also rejected by him (John 8:32; 1 John 2:21; John 8:44).

2. Subjectively. The truth is lodged in man by the Spirit, and communicated to his spirit (John 14:17; John 15:26; John 16:13). It dwells in man (1 John 1:8; 1 John 2:4; 2 John 1:2), as revelation, comfort, guidance, enlightenment, conviction, impulse, inspiration, knowledge. It is the spirit of truth as opposed to the spirit of error (1 John 4:6). It translates itself into act. God's true children do the truth (John 3:21; 1 John 1:6). It brings sanctification and freedom (John 8:32; John 17:17). See on John 14:6, John 14:17.

1 John 1:8 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

say.

1 John 1:6,10 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth...

1 John 3:5,6 And you know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin...

1 Kings 8:46 If they sin against you, (for there is no man that sins not,) and you be angry with them, and deliver them to the enemy...

2 Chronicles 6:36 If they sin against you, (for there is no man which sins not,) and you be angry with them, and deliver them over before their enemies...

Job 9:2 I know it is so of a truth: but how should man be just with God?

Job 14:4 Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.

Job 15:14 What is man, that he should be clean? and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous?

Job 25:4 How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be clean that is born of a woman?

Psalm 143:2 And enter not into judgment with your servant: for in your sight shall no man living be justified.

Proverbs 20:9 Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?

Ecclesiastes 7:20 For there is not a just man on earth, that does good, and sins not.

Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities...

Jeremiah 2:22,23 For though you wash you with nitre, and take you much soap, yet your iniquity is marked before me, said the Lord GOD...

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

James 3:2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.

we deceive.

1 Corinthians 3:18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seems to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.

Galatians 6:3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

2 Timothy 3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

James 1:22,26 But be you doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves...

2 Peter 2:13 And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes...

the truth.

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

1 Timothy 6:5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw yourself.

2 John 1:2 For the truth's sake, which dwells in us, and shall be with us for ever.

3 John 1:3 For I rejoiced greatly, when the brothers came and testified of the truth that is in you, even as you walk in the truth.

Cross References
1 Kings 8:46
"If they sin against you--for there is no one who does not sin--and you are angry with them and give them to an enemy, so that they are carried away captive to the land of the enemy, far off or near,

2 Chronicles 6:36
"If they sin against you--for there is no one who does not sin--and you are angry with them and give them to an enemy, so that they are carried away captive to a land far or near,

Job 15:14
What is man, that he can be pure? Or he who is born of a woman, that he can be righteous?

Proverbs 20:9
Who can say, "I have made my heart pure; I am clean from my sin"?

Jeremiah 2:35
you say, 'I am innocent; surely his anger has turned from me.' Behold, I will bring you to judgment for saying, 'I have not sinned.'

John 8:44
You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

Romans 3:10
as it is written: "None is righteous, no, not one;

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