1 John 5:19
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.

King James Bible
And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.

Darby Bible Translation
We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in the wicked one.

World English Bible
We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.

Young's Literal Translation
we have known that of God we are, and the whole world in the evil doth lie;

1 John 5:19 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

And we know that we are of God - We who are Christians. The apostle supposed that true Christians might have so clear evidence on that subject as to leave no doubt on their own minds that they were the children of God. Compare 1 John 3:14; 2 Timothy 1:12.

And the whole world - The term "world" here evidently means not the material world, but the people who dwell on the earth, including all idolaters, and all sinners of every grade and kind.

Lieth in wickedness - "In the wicked one," or under the power of the wicked one - ἐν τῷ πονηρῷ en tō ponērō. It is true that the word πονηρῷ ponērō may be used here in the neuter gender, as our translators have rendered it, meaning "in that which is evil," or in "wickedness;" but it may be in the masculine gender, meaning "the wicked one;" and then the sense would be that the whole world is under his control or dominion. That this is the meaning of the apostle seems to be clear, because:

(1) the corresponding phrase, 1 John 5:20, ἐν τῷ ἀληθινῷ en tō alēthinō, "in him that is true," is evidently to be construed in the masculine, referring to God the Saviour, and meaning "him that is true," and not that we are "in truth."

(2) it makes better sense to say that the world lies under the control of the wicked one, than to say that it lies "in wickedness."

(3) this accords better with the other representations in the Bible, and the usuage of the word elsewhere. Compare 1 John 2:13, "Ye have overcome the "wicked" one;" 1 John 5:14, "ye have overcome the "wicked" one;" 1 John 3:12, "who was of that "wicked" one." See also the notes at 2 Corinthians 4:4, on the expression "the god of this world;" John 12:31, where he is called "the prince of this world;" and Ephesians 2:2, where he is called "the prince of the power of the air." In all these passages it is supposed that Satan has control over the world, especially the pagan world. Compare Ephesians 6:12; 1 Corinthians 10:20. In regard to the fact that the pagan world was pervaded by wickedness, see the notes at Romans 1:21-32.

(4) it may be added, that this interpretation is adopted by the most eminent critics and commentators. It is that of Calvin, Beza, Benson, Macknight, Bloomfield, Piscator, Lucke, etc. The word "lieth" here (κεῖται keitai) means, properly, to lie; to be laid; to recline; to be situated, etc. It seems here to refer to the "passive" and "torpid" state of a wicked world under the dominion of the prince of evil, as acquiescing in his reign; making no resistance; not even struggling to be free. It lies thus as a beast that is subdued, a body that is dead, or anything that is wholly passive, quiet, and inert. There is no energy; no effort to throw off the reign; no resistance; no struggling. The dominion is complete, and body and soul, individuals and nations, are entirely subject to his will. This striking expression will not unaptly now describe the condition of the pagan world, or of sinners in general. There would seem to be no government under which people are so little restive, and against which they have so little disposition to rebel, as that of Satan. Compare 2 Timothy 2:26.

1 John 5:19 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Spiritual Worship
"This is the true God, and eternal life." 1 John 5:20. 1. In this Epistle St. John speaks not to any particular Church, but to all the Christians of that age; although more especially to them among whom he then resided. And in them he speaks to the whole Christian Church in all succeeding ages. 2. In this letter, or rather tract, (for he was present with those to whom it was more immediately directed, probably being not able to preach to them any longer, because of his extreme old age,) he does not
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions

The Witness of the Spirit
Discourse II "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God." Rom. 8:16 I. 1. None who believe the Scriptures to be the word of God, can doubt the importance of such a truth as this; -- a truth revealed therein, not once only, not obscurely, not incidentally; but frequently, and that in express terms; but solemnly and of set purpose, as denoting one of the peculiar privileges of the children of God. 2. And it is the more necessary to explain and defend this truth,
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions

Of the Unity of the Godhead and the Trinity of Persons
Deut. vi. 4.--"Hear, O Israel The Lord our God is one Lord."--1 John v. 7 "There are three that bear record in heaven the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost and these three are one." "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness," 2 Tim. iii. 16. There is no refuse in it, no simple and plain history, but it tends to some edification, no profound or deep mystery, but it is profitable for salvation. Whatsoever
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

The victory of Faith
(First Sunday after Easter.) 1 John v. 4, 5. Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory which overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? What is the meaning of 'overcoming the world?' What is there about the world which we have to overcome? lest it should overcome us, and make worse men of us than we ought to be. Let us think awhile. 1. In the world all seems full of chance and change.
Charles Kingsley—Town and Country Sermons

Cross References
Luke 4:6
And the devil said to Him, "I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.

John 12:31
"Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out.

John 17:15
"I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one.

Galatians 1:4
who gave Himself for our sins so that He might rescue us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,

1 John 4:6
We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

1 John 5:15
And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.

1 John 5:18
We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.

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