1 John 2:2
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.

King James Bible
And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

Darby Bible Translation
and he is the propitiation for our sins; but not for ours alone, but also for the whole world.

World English Bible
And he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the whole world.

Young's Literal Translation
and he -- he is a propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the whole world,

1 John 2:2 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

And he is the propitiation for our sins - The word rendered "propitiation" (ἱλασμός hilasmos) occurs nowhere else in the New Testament, except in 1 John 4:10 of this Epistle; though words of the same derivation, and having the same essential meaning, frequently occur. The corresponding word ἱλαστήριον hilastērion occurs in Romans 3:25, rendered "propitiation" - "whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood;" and in Hebrews 9:5, rendered mercy-seat - "shadowing the mercy-seat." The verb ἱλάσκομαι hilaskomai occurs also in Luke 18:3 - God be merciful to me a sinner;" and Hebrews 2:17 - "to make reconciliation for the sins of the people." For the idea expressed by these words, see the notes at Romans 3:25. The proper meaning of the word is that of reconciling, appeasing, turning away anger, rendering propitious or favorable. The idea is, that there is anger or wrath, or that something has been done to offend, and that it is needful to turn away that wrath, or to appease. This may be done by a sacrifice, by songs, by services rendered, or by bloody offerings. So the word is often used in Homer - Passow. We have similar words in common use, as when we say of one that he has been offended, and that something must be done to appease him, or to turn away his wrath. This is commonly done with us by making restitution; or by an acknowledgment; or by yielding the point in controversy; or by an expression of regret; or by different conduct in time to come. But this idea must not be applied too literally to God; nor should it be explained away. The essential thoughts in regard to him, as implied in this word, are:

(1) that his will has been disregarded, and his law violated, and that he has reason to be offended with us;

(2) that in that condition he cannot, consistently with his perfections, and the good of the universe, treat us as if we had not done it;

(3) that it is proper that, in some way, he should show his displeasure at our conduct, either by punishing us, or by something that shall answer the same purpose; and,

(4) that the means of propitiation come in here, and accomplish this end, and make it proper that he should treat us as if we had not sinned; that is, he is reconciled, or appeased, and his anger is turned away.

This is done, it is supposed, by the death of the Lord Jesus, accomplishing, in most important respects, what would be accomplished by the punishment of the offender himself. In regard to this, in order to a proper understanding of what is accomplished, it is necessary to observe two things - what is not done, and what is.

I. There are certain things which do not enter into the idea of propitiation. They are such as these:

(a) That it does not change the fact that the wrong was done. That is a fact which cannot be denied, and he who undertakes to make a propitiation for sin does not deny it.

(b) It does not change God; it does not make Him a different being from what He was before; it does not buy Him over to a willingness to show mercy; it does not change an inexorable being to one who is compassionate and kind.

(c) The offering that is made to secure reconciliation does not necessarily produce reconciliation in fact. It prepares the way for it on the part of God, but whether they for whom it is made will be disposed to accept it is another question.

When two men are alienated from each other, you may go to B and say to him that all obstacles to reconciliation on the part of A are removed, and that he is disposed to be at peace, but whether B will be willing to be at peace is quite another matter. The mere fact that his adversary is disposed to be at peace, determines nothing in regard to his disposition in the matter. So in regard to the controversy between man and God. It may be true that all obstacles to reconciliation on the part of God are taken away, and still it may be quite a separate question whether man will be willing to lay aside his opposition, and embrace the terms of mercy. In itself considered, one does not necessarily determine the other, or throw any light on it.

II. The amount, then, in regard to the propitiation made for sin is, that it removes all obstacles to reconciliation on the part of God: it does whatever is necessary to be done to maintain the honor of His law, His justice, and His truth; it makes it consistent for Him to offer pardon - that is, it removes whatever there was that made it necessary to inflict punishment, and thus, so far as the word can be applied to God, it appeases Him, or turns away His anger, or renders Him propitious. This it does, not in respect to producing any change in God, but in respect to the fact that it removes whatever there was in the nature of the case that prevented the free and full offer of pardon. The idea of the apostle in the passage before us is, that when we sin we may be assured that this has been done, and that pardon may now be freely extended to us.

And not for our's only - Not only for the sins of us who are Christians, for the apostle was writing to such. The idea which he intends to convey seems to be, that when we come before God we should take the most liberal and large views of the atonement; we should feel that the most ample provision has been made for our pardon, and that in no respect is there any limit as to the sufficiency of that work to remove all sin. It is sufficient for us; sufficient for all the world.

But also for the sins of the whole world - The phrase "the sins of" is not in the original, but is not improperly supplied, for the connection demands it. This is one of the expressions occurring in the New Testament which demonstrate that the atonement was made for all people, and which cannot be reconciled with any other opinion. If he had died only for a part of the race, this language could not have been used. The phrase, "the whole world," is one which naturally embraces all people; is such as would be used if it be supposed that the apostle meant to teach that Christ died for all people; and is such as cannot be explained on any other supposition. If he died only for the elect, it is not true that he is the "propitiation for the sins of the whole world" in any proper sense, nor would it be possible then to assign a sense in which it could be true. This passage, interpreted in its plain and obvious meaning, teaches the following things:

continued...

1 John 2:2 Parallel Commentaries

Library
The Commandment, Old yet New
'I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning.... Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you.'--1 John ii. 7, 8. The simplest words may carry the deepest thoughts. Perhaps angels and little children speak very much alike. This letter, like all of John's writing, is pellucid in speech, profound in thought, clear and deep, like the abysses of mid-ocean. His terms are such as a child can understand; his sentences short
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

The Difference Between Walking by Sight, and Walking by Faith
"We walk by faith, not by sight." 2 Cor. 5:7. 1. How short is this description of real Christians! And yet how exceeding full! It comprehends, it sums up, the whole experience of those that are truly such, from the time they are born of God till they remove into Abraham's bosom. For, who are the we that are here spoken of? All that are true Christian believers. I say Christian, not Jewish, believers. All that are not only servants, but children, of God. All that have "the Spirit of adoption, crying
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions

Add to This, and Here is Cause to Cry Out More Piteously...
37. Add to this, (and here is cause to cry out more piteously,) that, if once we grant it to have been right for the saving of that sick man's life to tell him the lie, that his son was alive, then, by little and little and by minute degrees, the evil so grows upon us, and by slight accesses to such a heap of wicked lies does it, in its almost imperceptible encroachments, at last come, that no place can ever be any where found on which this huge mischief, by smallest additions rising into boundless
St. Augustine—Against Lying

(On the Mysteries. Iii. )
On Chrism. 1 John ii. 20-28 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, &c.....that, when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. 1. Having been baptized into Christ, and put on Christ [2415] , ye have been made conformable to the Son of God; for God having foreordained us unto adoption as sons [2416] , made us to be conformed to the body of Christ's glory [2417] . Having therefore become partakers of Christ [2418] , ye are properly called Christs, and
St. Cyril of Jerusalem—Lectures of S. Cyril of Jerusalem

Cross References
Leviticus 16:10
"But the goat on which the lot for the scapegoat fell shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make atonement upon it, to send it into the wilderness as the scapegoat.

John 4:42
and they were saying to the woman, "It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world."

John 11:51
Now he did not say this on his own initiative, but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation,

Romans 3:25
whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed;

Hebrews 2:17
Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.

1 John 3:5
You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin.

1 John 4:10
In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

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