1 John 5:21
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.

King James Bible
Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

Darby Bible Translation
Children, keep yourselves from idols.

World English Bible
Little children, keep yourselves from idols.

Young's Literal Translation
Little children, guard yourselves from the idols! Amen.

1 John 5:21 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Little children - Τεκνια· Beloved children; he concludes with the same affectionate feeling with which he commenced.

Keep yourselves from idols - Avoid the idolatry of the heathens; not only have no false gods, but have the true God. Have no idols in your houses, none in your churches, none in your hearts. Have no object of idolatrous worship; no pictures, relics, consecrated tapers, wafers, crosses, etc., by attending to which your minds may be divided, and prevented from worshipping the infinite Spirit in spirit and in truth.

The apostle, says Dr. Macknight cautioned his disciples against going with the heathens into the temple of their idol gods, to eat of their feasts upon the sacrifices they had offered to these gods; and against being present at any act of worship which they paid them; because, by being present, they participated of that worship, as is plain from what St. Paul has written on the subject, 1 Corinthians 8:10 (note).

That is a man's idol or god from which he seeks his happiness; no matter whether it be Jupiter, Juno, Apollo, Minerva, Venus, or Diana; or pleasure, wealth, fame, a fine house, superb furniture, splendid equipage, medals, curiosities, books, titles, human friendships, or any earthly or heavenly thing, God, the supreme good, only excepted. That is a man's idol which prevents him from seeking and finding his All in God.

Wiclif ends his epistle thus: My little sones, kepe ye you fro mawmitis, i.e. puppets, dolls, and such like; for thus Wiclif esteemed all images employed in religious worship. They are the dolls of a spurious Christianity, and the drivellings of religion in nonage and dotage. Protestants, keep yourselves from such mawmets!

Amen - So be it! So let it be! And so it shall be, God being our helper, for ever and ever!

Subscriptions in the Versions: -

The end of the Epistle of the Apostle John. - Syriac.

The First Epistle of John the apostle is ended. - Syr. Philoxenian.

Nothing in either the Coptic or Vulgate.

Continual and eternal praise be to God! - Arabic.

The end. - Aethiopic;

In this version the epistle is thus introduced: -

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, one God, the Epistle of John, the son of Zebedee, the evangelist and apostle of our Lord Jesus Christ; may his intercession be with us for ever and ever! Amen.


Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Little. See on ch.

1 John 2:1 My little children, these things write I to you, that you sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father...


Exodus 20:3,4 You shall have no other gods before me...

1 Corinthians 10:7,14 Neither be you idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play...

2 Corinthians 6:16,17 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? for you are the temple of the living God; as God has said, I will dwell in them...

Revelation 9:20 And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands...

Revelation 13:14,15 And deceives them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast...

Revelation 14:11 And the smoke of their torment ascends up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image...

Amen. See on

Matthew 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For your is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

The World Our Enemy.
"We know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness."--1 John v. 19. Few words are of more frequent occurrence in the language of religion than "the world;" Holy Scripture makes continual mention of it, in the way of censure and caution; in the Service for Baptism it is described as one of three great enemies of our souls, and in the ordinary writings and conversation of Christians, I need hardly say, mention is made of it continually. Yet most of us, it would appear, have very
John Henry Newman—Parochial and Plain Sermons, Vol. VII

Spiritual Idolatry
"Little children, keep yourselves from idols." 1 John 5:21. 1. There are two words that occur several times in this Epistle, -- paidia and teknia, both of which our translators render by the same expression, little children. But their meaning is very different. The former is very properly rendered little children; for it means, babes in Christ, those that have lately tasted of his love, and are, as yet, weak and unestablished therein. The latter might with more propriety be rendered, beloved children;
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions

The Blessing of Full Assurance
We do not wonder that certain men do not receive the epistles, for they were not written to them. Why should they cavil at words which are addressed to men of another sort from themselves? Yet we do not marvel, for we knew it would be so. Here is a will, and you begin to read it; but you do not find it interesting: it is full of words and terms which you do not take the trouble to understand, because they have no relation to yourself; but should you, in reading that will, come upon a clause in which
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 34: 1888

1 John 5:4-5. victory
[8] "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God I" 1 John 5:4-5. IT ought to be our practice, if we have any religion, to examine the state of our souls from time to time, and to find out whether we are "right in the sight of God" (Acts 8:21). Are we true Christians? Are we likely to go to heaven when we die? Are we born again,--born of
John Charles Ryle—The Upper Room: Being a Few Truths for the Times

Cross References
1 Corinthians 10:7
Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: "The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry."

1 Corinthians 10:14
Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry.

1 Thessalonians 1:9
for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God,

1 John 2:1
My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father--Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.

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