The Fallacy of Preaching Pascal by AP Staff



The Fallacy of Preaching Pascal

by  AP Staff

Preachers and authors in the religious community sometimes commit inadvertent fallacies in what they teach and write. These can stem from a lack of understanding of vital fields, such as biblical languages, church and secular history, psychology, and philosophy. While some of these fallacies are harmless, others can do more damage to a person’s soul through their inaccuracies than if nothing had been said at all. One such fallacy is that of mistakenly “preaching Pascal.”

Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) was a French scientist, mathematician, and philosopher. He was a brilliant young man whose father educated him, and who published his first work, an essay on geometry, at the tender age of sixteen. He continued to publish works in the fields of science and mathematics, but he died before publishing his most important philosophical works: Pensées and De l’Esprit Géométrique. Theologically, Pascal was a Jansenist—i.e., a member of a group within the Catholic Church that followed the views of Cornelius Jansen—and spent much of his time refuting the Jesuits. Pensées [Thoughts] is the title posthumously given to a series of notes that Pascal originally intended to publish under the title Apologie de la religion chrétienne [Apology for the Christian Religion] (Popkin, 1967, 6:51-52). It was in these notes that Pascal’s now-famous “wager” was constructed. The wager, simply put, goes something like this:

  • If it is impossible for a person to believe with certainty that God exists, then that person should believe in God anyway—“just in case” He does exist.
  • If it turns out that God does exist, the believer “wins” the wager by receiving an eternal reward.
  • If it turns out that God does not exist, the person who believes has lost nothing (except perhaps some temporal pleasures, the loss of which is outweighed by freedom from the angst of unbelief).
  • If God does not exist, and a person does not believe, then he may gain some temporal pleasures.
  • If God exists, and a person does not believe, then that person is punished eternally for his unbelief.

Who never “loses” the wager? The believer. Why so? If God does exist, the believer “wins” by going to heaven. If God does not exist—the believer lives and dies, end of story—again, he has lost nothing (except a few finite pleasures). In both cases, the believer wins because he chose the “safe” thing to do.

But who loses 50% of the time? The unbeliever. If God exists, he “loses” by not believing, and therefore goes to hell. If God does not exist—the unbeliever lives and dies, end of story—he (like the believer) has lost nothing.

One of the two “gamblers” never loses; one loses half the time. Thus, Pascal concluded, it is safer to believe in God that not to believe. [Pascal continued in his reasoning by suggesting that if someone does not know how to believe, then he should follow the customs and rites of those who do believe—as if he himself were a believer. Eventually, then, according to Pascal, the person will become a believer (Pascal, 1995, pp. 121-125).]

  One believes One does not believe
God exists Eternal reward Eternal punishment
God does not exist Freedom from angst Temporal pleasures

Some ministers of the Gospel preach Pascal’s Wager in an effort to convert people, suggesting that belief in God makes more sense than non-belief because of the 50% risk that is involved if God does exist.

What does this show, and why is it wrong to use Pascal’s line of reasoning in the conversion of non-believers? First, preaching this seems to show a lack of faith on the part of the minister himself. If a preacher’s argument for the existence of God is based on a gamble—even if it is not his only argument for God—then he should re-examine his own beliefs and see if he has truly built his faith on the solid rock of the moral, cosmological, and teleological proofs for God, or if he has built his faith upon the sands of guesswork (Matthew 7:24-27). This is damaging to the congregation for which such a man preaches, because a solid congregation needs a solid man to preach solid truths, and believing in God just because it is “prudent” to do so, shows a lack of solidarity.

Moreover, what of the man who believes in God because of preaching Pascal’s Wager? Since “faith is the substance of things hoped for” and “the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1), a pseudo-belief in God based on statistical risk and/or wager produce a pseudo-Christian. Faith is based on knowledge and certainty, not on probabilities, and someone who believes based on a wager is someone who cannot possess true faith in God and His existence. Paul said that we will be “above reproach in His sight—if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard” (Colossians 1:22b-23a). Pascal’s Wager does not produce a faith “grounded and steadfast,” because it does not build faith. However, faith in God is easy to build through other means, “because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:19-20).

As Christians who are called to handle the Bible correctly (2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16-17), let us not give in to philosophies that are not in keeping with God’s Word (Colossians 2:8). In our preaching, let us be honest with people and teach them to “hold fast” to faith and truth (1 Corinthians 15:1-2), and not let them be led into believing in God just because it makes the “best sense in a gamble.”


Pascal, Blaise (1995), Pensées, trans. A.J. Krailsheimer (New York: Penguin).

Popkin, Richard H. (1967), “Pascal, Blaise,” The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, ed. Paul Edwards (New York: MacMillan).

The Euthyphro Dilemma by Dave Miller, Ph.D.



The Euthyphro Dilemma

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.


 What do atheists mean when they speak of the “Euthyphro Dilemma” as a means to discredit theism?


The so-called Euthyphro Dilemma has its genesis in Plato’s dialogue Euthyphro in which Socrates and Euthyphro discuss the nature of piety: “Is the pious  loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is loved by the gods?” (2008). Over time, philosophers have sharpened the salient point of the dilemma by presenting it in a modified form. The world-renowned late atheist philosopher Antony G.N. Flew worded the argument this way: “Are the things which are good good because God approves of those things, or is it the case that God approves of those things which are good because they are good?” (Warren and Flew, 1977, p. 26). By this thorny contention, the atheist hopes to dismiss the notion of God by placing the theist in an untenable dilemma.

On the one hand, if an action is right simply because God approves it, then morality would be the product of the arbitrary will of God, which He could just as easily alter. Instead of saying that lying and murder are wrong, He could just as well have said they are right—and that divine intention would make them so. On the other hand, if God approves of an action because it is inherently good, then an objective standard exists outside of God that He merely acknowledges. Such a law would therefore be above and higher than God. By the Euthyphro Dilemma, atheists think they have demonstrated that good is either above or beneath God and thereby proof that God is not God (see Figure 1).

Figure 1:
The Euthyphro Dilemma

Figure 2: Reality

But this dilemma is impotent in that it fails to take into account the nature, being, and character of the perfect God of the Bible who is eternal and infinite in all of His attributes. Goodness, like all God’s other attributes, flows from His very being as the Ultimate Good (see Figure 2). Good is neither above nor below God (cf. Mark 10:18; 1 John 4:8; Psalm 33:5). God’s attributes and God’s will are inseparable. The alternatives posed by the atheist do not pose a proper dilemma.


Plato (2008), Euthyphro, trans. Benjamin Jowett, http://www.gutenberg.org/files/1642/1642-h/1642-h.htm.

Warren, Thomas and Antony G.N. Flew (1977), The Warren-Flew Debate on the Existence of God (Ramer, TN: National Christian Press), info@nationalchristianpress.net.

The Intricate and Masterful Design of the Human Ear by Aaron R. Morrison, M.D.



The Intricate and Masterful Design of the Human Ear

by  Aaron R. Morrison, M.D.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: One of the strengths of Apologetics Press for the past 28 years has been the way A.P. publications have reflected an accurate blending of science and Bible. Since the Creator produced both the Bible and the physical Universe, no contradiction between the two is possible. Yet much of the “science” being alleged today is pseudo-science rooted in evolutionary theory. And much of the “religion” being perpetrated today is pseudo-religion rooted in human theology. In reality, true science is in complete harmony with a correct interpretation of the teaching of the Bible.

Through all these years, A.P. has maintained its longstanding tradition of providing the public with cutting edge analysis of the central scientific and religious issues of the day. In that spirit, we are expanding our science department by building a team of scientists who are academically credentialed in their respective fields of scientific expertise. They are well-qualified to address matters of science as they relate to the overall creation/evolution controversy. Articles by these auxiliary staff scientists will be appearing both in Reason & Revelation as well as on the A.P. Web site.

With this issue of R&R, we provide our readers with the first of these articles written by one of our scientific writers. Dr. Morrison holds an M.D. from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine and is completing his residency in Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery.]

Have you ever escaped the haste of society and taken refuge on an ocean beach, lakeshore, or riverbank, and listened to the calming sound of the waves as they collapsed upon the shore? Have you been amazed at the powerful crash of thunder overhead during a thunderstorm? Do you enjoy listening to the peaceful and varied songs of nature’s winged vocalists? Do you ever take solace hearing the comforting words of a loving friend or family member?

The human hearing mechanism is tremendously complex and wonderfully designed. A brief look at the structure and function of the ear will, at a minimum, lead one to a greater appreciation for the complexity of the ear. More important, it should lead one to a greater appreciation for the One who is responsible for the intelligent design of the ear. For those who contend that organic evolution is responsible for the development of the human body (and nature in general), a closer look at this organ system ought to provoke reconsideration and an honest assessment of the impossibility of random events leading to such marvelous complexity.

The ear is divided into three parts: the external, middle, and inner divisions. The structures of the inner ear are responsible not only for sound processing, but also balance. First, let us identify the structures contained within each division of the ear; then we will examine how a sound wave travels through each portion of the ear and eventually is perceived as sound.


Figure 1: The Pinna

The external ear is composed of the pinna (auricle), the external auditory canal (EAC), or simply ear canal, and the outer layer of the tympanic membrane (TM), also known as the eardrum. [NOTE: The TM itself is composed of three layers: the outer squamous epithelial layer, the middle layer of tough connective tissue, and the inner layer of cuboidal epithelium.]

The pinna confers an acoustical advantage of approximately 2-5 decibels (dB) in humans (see Figure 1). The EAC serves not only to protect the middle ear but also enhances hearing by 5-10 dB at frequencies near 2000 Hertz (Hz) which are important frequencies for understanding human speech. The outer third of the EAC is surrounded by cartilage while the inner two-thirds are surrounded by bone.


The middle ear is composed of the middle and inner layers of the TM, the ossicles, also known as the malleus (or hammer), incus (or anvil), and stapes (or stirrup), the smallest bones in the human body (see Figure 2), the two smallest muscles in the body, the stapedius and tensor tympani, and the opening to the Eustachian tube.

Figure 2: The Ossicles

Together, the middle ear structures function as a transformer of sound energy from the air (in the EAC) to the fluids of the inner ear (cochlea). As sound waves contact the TM and create movement of the eardrum, the ossicles (malleus, incus, and stapes) are set in motion. The malleus is connected to the TM, while the incus is connected to the malleus, and also to the stapes. The stapes, in turn, is in contact with the oval window of the cochlea (see Figure 3). The stapes is the smallest ossicle and, interestingly, is of adult size and form at birth (Lee, 2003, p. 13). The stapes’ foot plate rests in the oval window of the cochlea and acts like a piston. Carefully note the beautiful design of this mechanism: as sound energy is collected over the relatively large surface area of the TM and concentrated on the small footplate of the stapes, the mechanical advantage results in an increased auditory sensitivity of approximately 24-25 decibels. An additional auditory advantage of 2-3 decibels is obtained by the lever action of the ossicles themselves, resulting in a total middle ear auditory advantage of approximately 27 decibels (Templer, et al., 1987, p. 21).

Middle Ear
Figure 3: The Middle Ear
Fig. 1,2,3 LifeArt image copyright 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
All rights reserved.

It is interesting to note that the two smallest muscles in the human body are located in the middle ear space. The smaller of these two muscles, the stapedius, is just over one millimeter in length. As its name suggests, it is attached to the stapes. What is the function of the smallest muscle in the body? When loud sounds are encountered (sounds louder than approximately 80 decibels), the stapedius contracts and holds the ossicular chain in a more rigid position in order to prevent excessive movement of the stapes (Calhoun, et al., 2001, p. 1624). This serves to buffer the intensity of sound wave transmission to the cochlea. If an individual develops paralysis of the stapedius, this buffering mechanism is lost and loud noises become deafening.

The stapedius plays a very important role in preserving our hearing. The “hair cells” in the cochlea (discussed below) are highly sensitive and repeated exposure to loud noises over time destroys hair cell function and is irreversible. Hearing loss is the unfortunate consequence of hair cell destruction. This is why otolaryngologists encourage everyone to use hearing protection when they are working around loud machinery or taking part in recreational activities that result in significant noise exposure (e.g., gunfire).

The second smallest muscle in the human body is the tensor tympani. Despite years of technical research and study, the role of this muscle is not fully understood. Among other functions, it has been credited with decreasing the amplitude of sound energy transmitted to the cochlea. However, acoustic reflex data has suggested that the tensor tympani does not normally respond to intense sounds (Calhoun, et al., 2001, p. 1624). The tensor tympani is connected to the malleus, the ossicle which itself is connected to the tympanic membrane. When the tensor tympani muscle contracts, it pulls on the malleus and tenses, or tightens, the tympanic membrane (hence the name, tensor tympani). This appears to dampen the vibrations of the eardrum and may indeed reduce the amount of energy carried along the ossicles to the cochlea.

Figure 4
Figure 4

The eustachian tube connects the middle ear with the nasopharynx (the area behind the nasal passages and above the oral cavity) and serves to equalize the middle ear pressure (see Figure 4). When individuals suffer from eustachian tube dysfunction (where the eustachian tube fails to open and close normally), there is development of excess negative pressure in the middle ear space. This leads to retraction of the tympanic membrane and decreased efficiency of the conductive mechanism that transmits sound from the eardrum to the cochlea (via the ossicles). The negative pressure also can lead to fluid accumulation in the middle ear space, which further impedes the conduction of sound energy. Children suffer from eustachian tube dysfunction more frequently than adults. Consequently, many children must undergo myringotomy (incision in the tympanic membrane) and placement of pressure equalization tubes (i.e., ear tubes) to relieve the negative middle ear pressure and allow drainage of fluid that may have collected in the middle ear space.


The internal ear is composed of the cochlea and the vestibular system. The vestibular system is composed of the semicircular canals, utricle, and saccule.

Cochlear Anatomy

The cochlea is shaped like a snail, having approximately 2¾ turns, and is surrounded by the hardest bone in the human body. The cochlea is composed of three fluid-filled cavities that wind around the central portion of the cochlea, known as the modiolus (See Figure 5).

Inner ear
Figure 5: The Cochlea
LifeArt image copyright 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. All rights reserved.

These three fluid-filled cavities are known as scalae (from the Latin meaning “a stairway”)—the scala vestibuli, the scala media, and the scala tympani. The scala vestibuli and scala tympani are connected via a duct at the apex of the cochlea (the helicotremma). The scala media is suspended between the scala vestibuli and scala tympani. There are two different fluids that fill the scalae of the cochlea: perilymph and endolymph. The perilymph is contained within the two continuous scalae (i.e., the scala vestibuli and scala tympani). Perilymph is very similar in composition to extracellular fluid in the human body (high sodium concentration and low potassium concentration). Endolymph is contained within the scala media and is similar in composition to intracellular fluid (high potassium content and low sodium content) (Pasha, 2006, p. 302).

If you could enter the scala vestibuli at the base of the cochlea (through a structure known as the oval window) and “swim” upward through the perilymph in a curving fashion to the apex of the cochlea, you would cross over to the scala tympani at the helicotremma and follow the curve of the cochlea downhill through perilymph, exiting through a structure known as the round window (which is covered by a thin membrane). With this understanding of cochlear anatomy, perhaps it will be easier to appreciate the path of the fluid wave that passes through the cochlea when a sound wave contacts the TM and is conducted to the oval window via the ossicles. The stapes footplate (the oval-shaped bony portion of the stapes) rests in the oval window. The movement of the ossicles and piston-like action of the stapes creates a fluid wave in the scala vestibuli. The fluid wave then travels through the scala media (which contains endolymph and is suspended between the scala vestibuli and scala tympani) and then to the scala tympani. Further discussion of cochlear anatomy is necessary to understand what happens next.

The scala media is bounded by Reissner’s membrane (upper border) and the basilar membrane (lower border). The organ of Corti (the sensory end organ for hearing) rests on the basilar membrane. The organ of Corti has special “hair cells” that rise to terminate in (or near) the tectorial membrane. There are approximately 30,000 hair cells in the cochlea (Whitehead, 2006). As the fluid wave causes vibration of the scala media, the motion of the hair cells leads to stimulation of nerve cells at the base of each hair cell. There are approximately 30,000 neurons (nerve cells) that connect these hair cells to the brain (Calhoun, 2001, p. 1631). This neural signal is communicated along the cochlear division of the vestibulocochlear nerve to the brain, where further processing takes place.

As the stapes moves inward and outward in the oval window (like a piston), a wave is created in the fluids of the inner ear (the perilymph and endolymph). This wave travels from the base of the cochlea to the apex. The wave ultimately leads to hair cell motion in the organ of Corti. The mechanical properties of the basilar membrane determine the distance that the wave travels toward the apex of the cochlea. The traveling wave activity for high-frequency sounds is more pronounced at the base of the cochlea, whereas wave activity at the apex of the cochlea is more pronounced with low-frequency sounds.

Thus, the cochlea is said to be tonontopically organized, i.e., because high frequency sounds correspond with the mechanical movement of the basilar membrane at the base of the cochlea and low frequency sounds are associated with movement of the basilar membrane at the apex of the cochlea (Templer, et al., 1987, p. 14). The cochlea also performs place analysis because of the spatial representation of frequency information (p. 14). Additionally, the traveling wave results in frequency information which is encoded by the rate of neuron (nerve cell) firing. Individual nerve cells may fire at rates up to (and beyond) 1000 times per second (p. 14). It is interesting to note that when single fibers of the cochlear nerve are studied, each neuron is specifically tuned to be activated with a low threshold at a characteristic frequency. Once again, the characteristic frequency of a nerve fiber is determined by the place of attachment to the cochlea, i.e, the low frequency fibers terminate in the apex of the cochlea while the high frequency fibers terminate in the base of the cochlea (p. 15). As one author has observed: “[T]he ear has the capability to encode acoustic signals on an array of neurons that carry frequency specific information. The resolving power of the cochlea enables extraordinary discrimination among complex signals” (p. 15, emp. added).

Note how the ear converts sound wave energy into mechanical energy as sound travels through the EAC, contacts the TM, and sets the ossicles in motion. Mechanical energy is then converted into hydraulic energy when the stapes creates a fluid wave in the cochlea. Finally, the hydraulic energy is converted into electrical (neural) energy with movement of the hair cells in the cochlea. Ultimately, this neural energy is transmitted along the vestibulocochlear nerve and interpreted by the brain as sound. Such sophistication and complexity simply could not have evolved.

Vestibular System

As noted earlier, the vestibular system is also contained within the internal ear. The vestibular system includes the semicircular canals, which detect rotational acceleration and play a large role in maintaining balance (Pasha, 2006, p. 302). Also within the vestibular system are the utricle and saccule (see Figure 6), which detect linear acceleration and changes in gravity, and therefore also play a significant role in maintaining balance (p. 303). Disruptions in the function of the vestibular system can lead to debilitating symptoms of vertigo, imbalance, nausea, and vomiting.

Figure 6
Figure 6

Central Auditory System

The information collected in the cochlea and vestibule is then transmitted to the brain in the form of electrical signals (via the eighth cranial nerve, also known as the vestibulocochlear nerve). This nerve passes through the internal auditory canal, and the cochlear division of the nerve proceeds to an area in the brain known as the cochlear nucleus. The vestibular portion of the nerve travels to the vestibular nuclei.

Review of the pathways that the electrical signals navigate in the brain is beyond the scope of this article. The continued complexity of the signal transduction and processing in the brain is a separate study that further illustrates the amazing design in the hearing mechanism. The brain processes and interprets the information from the cochlear nerve, enabling us to understand speech, enjoy the relaxing sound of the waves on the seashore, or recognize warning signals such as a siren or fire alarm. The brain interprets the information that is transmitted via the vestibular nerve, allowing the body to maintain balance. As long as the vestibular system is free of any pathological condition, our body’s inner ear recognizes rotational and linear acceleration as well as the effects of gravity and processes this information in a seamless manner, allowing us to move about without giving a thought to balance. Truly,

[t]he human ear is a rather wondrous instrument. It is composed of tens of thousands of component parts, can work quite flawlessly from well before we are born to more than a century of age, and is capable of performing extremely sophisticated auditory tasks. And, it works 24 hours a day! (Whitehead, 2006).


This brief examination of the marvelous mechanism of hearing should lead to a greater appreciation for our Creator as well as His creation, and serve as a reminder that our spiritual “ears” must be attuned to hearing the Lord’s teaching and instruction (Matthew 11:15; 13:9,43). Of course, those who are physically deaf can still “hear” the Lord by reading and understanding the inspired Scriptures. In Proverbs 18:15, the author writes: “The heart of the prudent acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.” Jesus made it clear that if we suffer from spiritual hearing loss, we will be unable to enjoy the blessings that are found in Him: “For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed...lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them” (Matthew 13:15, emp. added). Jesus went on to say: “But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it” (Matthew 13:16-17).

The apostle Paul also discussed the topic of hearing. He warned Timothy of individuals who desire to hear false doctrine rather than the sound teaching of our Lord and Savior: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (2 Timothy 4:3-4). We must attune our ears to listen intently to God’s Word alone and not be turned aside to the teachings or creeds of man. In doing so, we have the reassurance that we can overcome and partake of the tree of life: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God” (Revelation 2:7).

Certainly, the wonderful structure, function, and complexity of the human ear is evidence of the Mighty Creator, the Designer not only of the ear, but the heavens and the Earth as well (“God, who made the world and everything in it...,” Acts 17:24). David certainly appreciated God’s design of the human body when he declared: “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). Indeed, “[i]f we had no other piece of evidence in the Universe to study, the human ear would be sufficient proof of the existence of the Creator” (Miller, 2006, 12:91).

While it is interesting to learn of the intricate detail and divine design used in creating the human ear, infinitely more wonderful is the knowledge (through the Scriptures) that the Creator’s ear is open to the petitions of His children: “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil” (1 Peter 3:12). May we stand in awe of the matchless Creator, the Redeemer of mankind, and listen to His inspired Word, knowing that His ears are open to our prayers if we walk according to His will.


Bailey, Byron, et al. (2001), Head & Neck Surgery—Otolaryngology (Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins).

Lee, K.J. (2003), Essential Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery (New York: McGraw-Hill).

Miller, Dave (2006), “Listen For Design,” Discovery, 12:91, December.

Pasha, Raza (2006), Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Clinical Reference Guide (San Diego, CA: Plural Publishing).

Templer, Jerry, et al. (1987), Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery: Principles & Concepts (St. Louis, MO: Ishiyaku EuroAmerica).

Whitehead, Gordon (2006), “A Brief Journey Through the Ear,” [On-line], URL: http://www.digital-recordings.com/audiocd/journey.html#eighth.

"THE GOSPEL OF JOHN" The Insufficiency Of The Scriptures (5:37-40) by Mark Copeland



The Insufficiency Of The Scriptures (5:37-40) 

1. The all-sufficiency of the Scriptures is an important doctrine...
   a. For the Scriptures are completely adequate - 2Ti 3:16-17
   b. God has provided all that we need for life and godliness - 2 Pe 1:3
   c. We do not need further revelation, we have the faith delivered
      "once for all" to the saints - Jude 3
   -- Thus we have that which is able to build us up and give us our
      inheritance - Ac 20:32

2. Yet there can come a time... when the Scriptures are insufficient...
   a. When despite its power, the Word of God is unable to save
   b. When despite diligent study, it does not benefit those who search through it
   -- There can be a time when the Scriptures are insufficient!

3. We find such an occasion in the gospel of John...
   a. When Jesus was confronted by unbelieving Jews - cf. Jn 5:16-18
   b. Who had rejected various sources bearing witness to Jesus - cf. Jn 5:33-36

[In what serves as our text (Jn 5:37-40), we learn when and how the
Scriptures can be insufficient, as it proved to be in the case of the Jews...]


      1. As indicated in our text - Jn 5:39
         a. The KJV has Jesus commanding them to search the Scriptures
         b. The ASV, NKJV, NASB has Jesus acknowledging their study of the Scriptures
         c. "The form here can be either present active indicative
            second person plural or the present active imperative second
            person plural. Only the context can decide. Either makes
            sense here, but the reason given 'because ye think' (clearly
            indicative), supports the indicative rather than the
            imperative." - Robertson's Word Pictures
      2. The Jews were diligent students of the Scriptures
         a. Moses was read in the synagogues every Sabbath - cf. Ac 15:21
         b. "Hillel used to say, 'More law, more life...He who has
            gotten himself words of law has gotten himself the life of
            the world to come' (Talmud). In their zeal for the
            Scriptures the Jews had counted every letter of them,
            expecting to find life in the laws and precepts..." McGarvey's Fourfold Gospel
      -- One could hardly be a more diligent student of the Scriptures than the Jews!

      1. They were unwilling to believe in Him of whom the Scriptures testified - Jn 5:39-40
      2. Failing to believe in Jesus led to the Father's Word not abiding in them - cf. Jn 5:38
      -- Unwilling to believe in Him of whom the Scriptures testified,
         the Scriptures proved insufficient to be the Word of life for them!

[How sad that many Jews who had the benefit of receiving "the oracles of
God" (Ro 3:1-2) and studied them so diligently fell short of receiving
their true benefit.  Yet the same occurs often today...]


      1. Indeed we should be diligent students of the Word!
         a. The gospel is God's power to save - Ro 1:16
         b. The Word of God is living and powerful - He 4:12
         c. The Word is able to save our souls - Jm 1:21
         d. The Word is able to make one born again - 1Pe 1:22
         e. The Word is able to help us grow - 1Pe 2:2
         f. The Word is able to give us that inheritance among those sanctified - Ac 20:32
      2. Many people are diligent students of the Word!
         a. Every denomination has its scholars, people well-versed in the Word
         b. People read the Bible daily, study it in church frequently
         c. Some can even quote entire sections from memory
      -- Many are like the Berean Jews in their study of the Scriptures- Ac 17:11

      1. If we do not have faith - He 4:1-2
         a. We may come short of our promised rest
         b. Like the Israelites who fell in the wilderness
      2. If we are not doers of the Word
         a. If we are only hearers, we deceive ourselves - Jm 1:21-25
         b. If we are only hearers, we will not stand in times of trial - Mt 7:24-27
      -- Unless we believe and obey the Word of God , it remains
         insufficient to save us!


1. The Word of God is truly all-sufficient..
   a. To do the work God designed it do - Isa 55:10-11
   b. To bear fruit in the noble and good heart - Lk 8:11,15

2. Yet "people of the Book" (as the Koran calls Jews and Christians) should take heed...
   a. The Word cannot bear fruit in some hearts - Lk 8:12-14
   b. We must let the Word lead us to Him Who is the giver of life - cf. Jn 5:40

Indeed, "the all-sufficiency of the Word" must be understood in its
context, for the Word alone does not save.  To be saved we also need
faith (Jn 8:24), we need blood (Ep 1:7), we even need water (Ep 5:26),
the last being an allusion to baptism where the Word, God's grace,
Christ's blood and our faith comes together to provide remission of
sins! - cf. Ac 2:38; 22:16 
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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Prayer and U.S. Constitution by Ken Weliever, The Preacherman



Prayer and U.S. Constitution

Alabama sheriff Nick Smith is in trouble. At least with some folks. In their eyes, he’s engaged in an egregious activity that should be censured.

“What has sheriff Smith done” you wonder. “How has he violated his oath of office?”

Recently in the face of two local tragedies, sheriff Smith has asked the community to pray.

In one case, a 14-year-old boy riding a four-wheeler was accidentally hit by a sheriff’s deputy. In response, Smith posted on his facebook page: “It’s at this very trying time that we, as a county, should fall to our knees and pray fervently for mercy and peace. Now is not the time to place blame. Not on the deputy, not on the young boy, and most definitely not on his parents.”

This caught the attention of the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), an organization, described by one reporter as “dedicated to challenging benign expressions of religiosity at every level of government.”

On November 26, the group wrote a letter to Sheriff Smith complaining about his prayer request and encouraging him to cease from this practice which they claim is unconstitutional.

“We consider it a great honor to be considered and to have received a wonderful letter from the ‘Freedom From Religion’ organization,” Sheriff’s Office community relations officer, T.J. Armstrong responded. “Proud to have a Sheriff that won’t bow to political pressure or the devices of the enemy!”

The FFRF is wrong. Both Biblically and constitutionally. The First Amendment of the Constitution provides freedom of religion. It was not intended to eradicate religion and purge religious speech from the public square.

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals once ruled, “The purpose behind the Establishment Clause was not to create “a wall of separation between church and state.”

Furthermore, the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) observed First Congress that approved the language of the Establishment Clause also provided for the appointment of chaplains in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

The ACLJ also pointed out that on the same day Congress also passed the Northwest Ordinance, “providing for a territorial government for lands northwest of the Ohio River, which declared: “Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”

It also worth noting that on March 23, 1798, less than 12 years after the signing of the U.S. Constitution, our 2nd President, John Adams, called for a day of national prayer.

“The safety and prosperity of nations ultimately and essentially depend on the protection and the blessing of Almighty God, and the national acknowledgment of this truth is not only an indispensable duty which the people owe to Him, but a duty whose natural influence is favorable to the promotion of that morality and piety without which social happiness cannot exist nor the blessings of a free government be enjoyed.”

Similarity, our 4th President, James Madison called for a day of prayer on July 9, 1812. And our 16th President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of fasting in 1863.

It is apparent that our founding fathers from Franklin, Hamilton, and Washington believed in prayer and Divine Providence.

President Ronald Reagan expressed it this way:

“Of the many influences that have shaped the United States of America into a distinctive Nation and people, none may be said to be more fundamental and enduring than the Bible. Deep religious beliefs stemming from the Old and New Testaments of the Bible inspired many of the early settlers of our country . . . [and] laid the foundation for the spirit of nationhood that was to develop in later decades. The Bible and its teachings helped form the basis for the Founding Fathers’ abiding belief in the inalienable rights of the individual – rights which they found implicit in the Bible’s teachings of the inherent worth and dignity of each individual. This same sense of man patterned . . . the ideals set forth in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution”

So, kudos to Sheriff Nick Smith for refusing to bow to the pressure of this godless group. More than ever in these turbulent times we need to follow the inspired Biblical command to pray.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:6-7)

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

Believing What Jesus Believed by Kyle Butt, M.Div.




Believing What Jesus Believed

by Kyle Butt, M.Div.

It has become increasingly popular to accept certain parts of the Bible and to reject other parts. Such amazing events as the miracle of Creation, Jonah’s being swallowed by a sea creature, and the Flood of Noah often are brushed aside as mere myth, while more “credible” things such as the teachings of Jesus are accepted as fact. Although this line of reasoning might have some initial appeal to our “enlightened” society that rejects biblical miracles off hand, it contains a major flaw. When the teachings of Jesus are analyzed, it can be shown that Jesus Himself believed and taught the Old Testament stories that some label as myth.
For instance, the story of Jonah has come under attack due to its extraordinary details. According to the Old Testament Scriptures, God’s prophet Jonah disobeyed the Lord and was swallowed by a great sea creature. For three days, he dwelt as a damp denizen of that creature’s belly, until finally he was vomited onto the land and given another chance to obey God. To certain scholars, the story of Jonah finds a place in the Scriptures, not as a factual narrative of a specific historical account, but as a myth or allegory. What did Jesus believe about the story of Jonah? His sentiments in this regard were emphatically stated.
Then certain of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, Teacher, we would see a sign from thee. But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given it but the sign of Jonah the prophet: for as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh shall stand up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, a greater than Jonah is here (Matthew 12:38-41).
Quite clearly, Jesus accepted the story of Jonah as an accurate description of a real, historical event. He included not only the fact that Jonah spent three days in the belly of the fish, but also affirmed that the city of Nineveh repented at the preaching of Jonah. If the story of Jonah were simply an allegory or myth, Jesus’ entire point about being in the belly of the Earth for as long as Jonah was in the belly of the fish would be weakened to the point of ridiculousness. For, if Jonah wasn’t ever really in the belly of the fish, then what would that say about the Son of Man actually being in the belly of the Earth?
Another story endorsed by Christ is the formation of man and woman at the beginning of Creation. Some scholars, in an attempt to find a compromise between the Bible and organic evolution, have postulated that the Creation account of Genesis need not be taken literally, and that room can be found in Genesis to accommodate the idea that humans evolved gradually in Earth’s recent past. What did Jesus say about this idea?
During His earthly sojourn, Christ spoke explicitly regarding Creation. In Mark 10:6, for example, He declared: “But from the beginning of the creation, male and female made he them.” Note these three paramount truths: (1) The first couple was “made”; they were not biological accidents. Interestingly, the verb “made” in the Greek is in the aorist tense, implying point action, rather than progressive development (which would be characteristic of evolutionary activity). W.E. Vine made this very observation with reference to the composition of the human body in his comments on 1 Corinthians 12:18 (1951, p. 173). (2) The original pair was fashioned “male and female”; they were not initially an asexual “blob” that eventually experienced sexual diversion. (3) Adam and Eve existed “from the beginning of the creation.” The Greek word for “beginning” is arché, and is used of “absolute, denotingthe beginning of the world and of its history, the beginning of creation.” The Greek word for “creation” is ktiseos, and denotes the “sum-total of what God has created” (Cremer, 1962, pp. 113,114,381, emp. in orig.). Christ certainly did not subscribe to the notion that the Earth is millions or billions of years older than humanity.
Accepting the testimony of Jesus Christ further demands that the global Flood of Noah be taken as a literal, historic event. The Lord Himself addressed the topic of the great Flood in Luke 17:26-30 (cf. Matthew 24:39) when He drew the following parallel:
And as it came to pass in the days of Noah, even so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They ate, they drank, they married, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise even as it came to pass in the days of Lot; they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; but in the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all: after the same manner shall it be in the day that the Son of man is revealed (emp. added).
The Lord depicted an impending doom that was to befall the Jews of His day who would not heed the Word of God. For the purpose of this article, however, note the context in which Jesus discussed the Flood destruction of Genesis 6-8. He placed the Flood alongside the destruction of Sodom, and He also placed it alongside the destruction of the ungodly at His Second Coming. John Whitcomb correctly noted that the word “all” must refer to the totality of people on the entire Earth in Noah’s day, and in Sodom during Lot’s time. Jesus’ argument would be weakened considerably if some of the people on the Earth, besides Noah’s family, escaped the Flood, or if certain Sodomites survived the fiery destruction sent from Heaven (1973, pp. 21-22). It is evident from the text that Jesus affirmed that the same number of ungodly sinners who escaped the Flood will be the same number of disobedient people who escape destruction at His Second Coming—none. From His remarks, one can clearly see that Jesus accepted the Genesis account of a global flood as a historical fact.
The sayings of Jesus contain numerous references to some of the Old Testament’s most extraordinary events. A person cannot consistently maintain a belief in Jesus and His teachings, while denying the details of the accounts that He endorsed as factual. The testimony of Jesus and the factual accuracy of the stories He commended stand together.


Cremer, H. (1962), Biblico-Theological Lexicon of New Testament Greek (London: T & T Clark).
Vine, W.E. (1951), First Corinthians (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).
Whitcomb, John C. (1973), The World That Perished (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).

John's Second Letter by Charles Hess



John's Second Letter
Copyright ©1999, Charles Hess, Ridgefield, Washington
[ 01 ] [ 02 ] [ 03 ] [ 04 ] [ 05 ] [ 06 ] [ 07 ] [ 08 ] [ 09 ] [ 10 ]
[ 11 ] [ 12 ] [ 13 ]


The letter of 2 John was just about the size of a postcard with its thirteen verses. It is written by "the elder." Because of the similar style and because of the letter's acceptance by early churches, it is commonly agreed that "the elder" was the apostle John.<713> After considering objections made by Moffatt, Dodd and others, I find no valid reason to doubt this. When the apostles were chosen, John was probably the youngest.<714> Some think the other apostles had all died by the time he wrote this letter. If so, as the last surviving apostle, John would have been "the" elder (eldest) of the apostles.


I do not even know the approximate year 2 John was written. It is difficult to suggest even a probable date. As a matter of fact, I have had a great amount of difficulty establishing a date for John's other writings as well. Some NT books are perplexing as to date, but John's are next to impossible. I do not even know the chronological sequence of his books. I suppose Cerinthus, Basilides or someone like them is referred to but I have been unable to pin down the dates of their sinister activity.


There is uncertainty about who is addressed because the "chosen lady" or "elect lady" may be taken literally or figuratively (see extensive note under To the elect lady, verse 1). We are at least sure the letter was written to Christians.


The short letter is cordial and personal but contains sharp warnings about erroneous teachings. The same or similar false teachers alluded to in 1 John are again countered in this letter. They did not believe that Christ came in the flesh. Instead, they taught that "Christ" came upon Jesus at His baptism and left Him before He died on the cross.


1:1, 2 The elder to the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all who know the truth, 2 because of the truth abiding in us. And with us it will be for ever.

  1. To the elect lady and her children (verses 1-4).
  2. Love one another (verses 5, 6).
  3. Many deceivers have gone out into the world (verses 7-11).
  4. Conclusion (verses 12, 13).

  1. To the elect lady and her children (verses 1-4).
      a. Whom I love in truth.
      b. Because of the truth.
      c. In truth and love.
      d. I rejoice greatly that I have found some of your children walking in truth.
  2. Love one another (verses 5, 6).
      a. And this is love: that we walk according to His commandments.
  3. Many deceivers have gone out into the world (verses 7-11).
      a. Who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh.
      b. Watch out for yourselves, that you do not lose what you have worked for.
      c. Anyone going beyond -- and not remaining in -- the teaching of Christ, does not have God.
      d. If anyone does not bring this teaching, do not receive him.
  4. Conclusion (verses 12, 13).
      a. Hope to come to you, and to speak face to face.
      b. Children of your elect sister greet you.

The elder.<716> At the time of writing, John was HO PRESBUTEROS, the elder.<717> He was a senior citizen, a member of the older generation (compare 1Ti 5:1, 2; 1Pe 5:5). Was he also an elder of the church? We know the apostle Peter was an elder of the church (1Pe 5:1, 2). Some think John also was an elder in this sense.<718> As an apostle, John was also a PRESBEUO, an ambassador of Christ, a position usually held by older men (see notes on 2Co 5:20; Eph 6:20; Phm 9). If the other apostles had gone on to be with the Lord, he might refer to himself as "the elder" because he was the only apostle still on earth.

  1. You shall know the truth (Joh 8:32).
  2. Established in the truth which is present with you (2Pe 1:12).
  3. The truth abides in us (2Jo 2).
  4. The truth will be with us for ever (2Jo 2; compare 1Pe 1:25).

To the elect lady [unto, the chosen lady, to the lady chosen by God].<719> The Greek KURIA<720> lady is thought by some to have been a personal name. If so, we might anglicize it as Kyria, Kuria, Cyria or Curia. The Greek EKLEKTEE elect or chosen is generally taken as an adjective modifying KURIA. Thus the letter was addressed to the chosen lady or the elect Cyria.

Some take EKLEKTEE as a proper name but I doubt that. Would her "elect" sister have a name so much like hers? Does it not seem odd that the sister of the EKLEKTEE KURIA elect lady would be named ADELPHES EKLEKTEES elect or chosen sister (verse 13)? Some have postulated that the "elect lady" was a certain Christian woman whom John appreciated for her works' sake. The identity of the woman has never been confirmed. Was the letter "catholic" and addressed to the universal church termed the "elect lady"? I doubt that also. If that were the case, who was her chosen sister?

"Elect" is an adjective applied appropriately to all Christians (see 1Pe 5:13<721>). Was the "elect lady" one local church and her "elect sister" another congregation of the churches of Christ? The use of HUMAS and HUMIN, plurals of "you" and "to you" (verses 10, 12) does not help much in this matter since the letter was addressed to more than one person -- to the elect lady and her children.

  1. An unnamed woman called "the elect lady" because she was a Christian?
  2. A woman whose name means "elect", "lady" or "elect lady"?
  3. Figuratively, the entire church of Christ?
  4. Figuratively, a congregation or certain congregations?

One rule of biblical interpretation is to take a passage literally unless there is a good reason to understand it figuratively. Applying this rule with some caution, one might say the book was personal, that it was addressed to a certain unidentified Christian lady.

The letter might have been addressed to a local congregation of the elect using a cryptic designation in times of persecution, or alluding to the church as the wife of Christ (2Co 11:2; Eph 5:25-33; Re 21:2,9; 22:17).

In any case, lessons in the letter apply to Christians and churches today.

And her children.<722> This may be explained as the literal offspring of the "elect lady" or, possibly, her converts. If the elect lady is a congregation, then her children might have been the members of the congregation or other congregations begun by that local church.<723> Her sister could be the congregation where John was when he wrote (verse 13). Since John sent greetings from the sister's children, we may infer that they were with him when he wrote.

Whom.<724> The word "whom" includes the elect lady and her children.

I love.<725> John uses the word AGAPOO, a word for love that signifies the kind of unselfish love God has for man and which Christians have for each other. The Greek present tense suggests John had a continuing love for them.

In truth [in the truth].<726> John sincerely loved the "elect lady" and her children. His love was profound because of the common bond due to their obedience to the truth of the gospel (see 1Pe 1:22).

And not only I [I only, I alone].<727>

But also all who know the truth [but also all they that, those who, have known the truth].<728> When one comprehends the great love of God he begins to return that love. He cannot love Him without obeying His commandments. When one loves God, he also loves God's children (see 1Jo 4:20, 21; 5:1, 2). John's love for the elect lady and her children was shared by all Christians.

The truth is knowable (see note on Joh 8:32). In the sense in which John uses the term, knowing the truth means becoming a Christian. The truth cannot really abide in one who does not respond to it in obedience.

Because of the truth [for the sake of the truth, for the truth's sake].<729> The truth is according to "the commandment we received from the Father" (verse 4) and "His commandments" (verse 6). It is identical to "the teaching of Christ" (verse 9). It is the same truth in which Peter's readers were "established" (2Pe 1:12; see chart Because of the truth).

Abiding [which abides, abideth, dwelleth, lives, that dwells].<730>

In us [among us].<731> The truth is the gospel seed that abides within the heart of faithful Christians (see note on 1Jo 3:9; compare Lu 8:11).

And with us it will be [and shall be, and it shall be with us].<732> In Greek "And with us" is in the emphatic position at the beginning of the phrase. Unlike the seed on the path that was removed by birds (Satan), the seed on the good ground will germinate and produce. It will spring up to eternal life (compare Mt 13:4, 8; Lu 8:12, 15; Joh 4:14).

For ever.<733> The word of God is permanent (Mt 24:35; Lu 21:33; compare Ps 119:89, 152; Isa 40:8; Mt 5:18; 1Pe 1:25).


1:3 Grace, mercy and peace will be with us from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father's Son, in truth and love.

Grace, mercy and peace.<734> Our loving God extends grace that takes the form of mercy which, when properly received by man, relieves guilt and misery and brings life and peace (Joh 3:16; Ro 5:1). In six other passages, John uses the same Greek word [CHARIS] for grace (Joh 1:14, 16, 17; 3Jo 4; Re 1:4; Re 22:21).

Will be with us [be with you, shall be with us].<735>

From God the Father.<736>

And from Jesus Christ [the Lord Jesus Christ].<737> Grace, mercy and peace are blessings from both God the Father and from Jesus Christ. Though not conclusive, this is strongly indicative of the deity of Christ.

The Father's Son [the Son of the Father].<738> John also wrote, "No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him" (Joh 1:18 CH). John wrote in his first epistle, "And our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ" (1Jo 1:3; compare 2:22, 23).

In truth and love.<739> The truth is sincerity (verses 1a, 3). It is also the gospel truth in which Christians walk (verses 1b, 4).


1:4 I rejoice greatly that I have found some of your children walking in truth, according to the commandment we received from the Father.

I rejoice greatly [was very glad, rejoiced, was delighted, it has given me great joy].<740> Joy and gladness are prominent traits of Christians (see Ro 14:17; 15:13; 15:32; 1Co 16:17; 2Co 1:24; 2:3; 7:13; 8:2; Ga 5:22; Php 1:1, 4; 2:2; 4:1, 10; 1Th 1:6; 2:19, 20; 3:9; 2Ti 1:4; 3Jo 3:3).

That I have found [found].<741> The use of the Greek perfect tense suggests that the information John found out about the children of the elect lady was still true. The Greek verb does not require that John personally located her children. He could have learned about them from a message, from response to an inquiry or by direct revelation.

Some of your children [certain of thy children, that some of your children].<742> It is intimated that some of the children of the elect lady may have become unfaithful. However, John does not stress that.

Walking in truth [living by the truth].<743> John was elated when people were living according to the truth. He was delighted that the brethren who came to him bore witness that the beloved Gaius was "walking in truth" (3Jo 3). He was always glad to know of his converts living faithfully. He termed this "walking in truth." The term "walking" alludes to all activities of life, not just "religious" duties.

According to the commandment [commandment to do, a commandment, as the father commanded us, as we were commanded by the Father].<744> On the Mount of Transfiguration, the Father said, "This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; hear Him!" "Hear Him" amounts to a command to give heed to Christ in the sense of obedience to Him. John developed the thought of this command when he wrote, "And this is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us" (1Jo 3:23).

We received from the Father, [just as we have received, as we received, have received, even as we received].<745>


1:5 And now I entreat you, lady, not as though I were writing a new commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning, that we should love one another.

And now I entreat you [beseech, plead with, ask, have a request to make of].<746>

Lady [dear lady].<747> See note on verse 1. I like the translation "dear lady" mostly because of the modern English to which I am accustomed. In our vernacular, "lady" is slightly abrupt. It was not considered so by NT writers. Similarly, when Jesus' said to Mary, "Woman, behold, your son!" (Joh 19:26), He meant no disrespect by the term "woman." Neither did John by referring to his reader as "lady."

Not as though I were writing [wrote, I am not writing you].<748> Just because John is not writing a new commandment, it is fallacious reasoning to try to infer that this letter was written after 1 John or even after the Gospel of John. Consider the command to love in the OT as well as the oral teaching by Christ on the subject as well as by the inspired apostles (see notes in three paragraphs below).

A new commandment to you [command].<749> Notice that love is commanded. Is it possible to invoke or summon a desired emotion upon demand? Perhaps some can. But the love commanded here is not primarily a feeling. It is active, caring good will (see the notes below on We walk and According to His commandments, verse 6). Compassion and empathy generally follow naturally when one obeys the command to love (but see 1Pe 1:22).

But that which we have had [but one, had].<750> John defines what he meant by not writing a new commandment. It was one which they had for some time, that is, from "the beginning." In 1 John, he said it was an old commandment. "Beloved, I am not writing a new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard" (1Jo 2:7).

From the beginning.<751> When Jesus gave the command to love, He said it was new. "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another" (Joh 13:34 NASV; see note on From the beginning at 1Jo 3:11). That which came from Christ had the stability of being older than the "new" untried message of the false teachers.

That we love one another [let us love one another].<752> John reiterates the love command Christ gave. "For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning: that we should love one another" (1Jo 3:11; compare 1Jo 3:16-18).


1:6 And this is love: that we walk according to His commandments. This -- as you have heard from the beginning -- is the commandment in which you should walk.

  1. Receiving false teachers into your house (2Jo 10).
  2. Giving a greeting to false teachers (2Jo 10).
  3. Participating in the evil deeds of false teachers (2Jo 11).

And this is love [love means].<753> Love, according to John, is not some sweet feeling but is daily living itself, walking according to God's commandments.

Love without obedience is counterfeit.

Obedience without love is artificial.

  1. Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat their bread with impure hands? (Mk 7:5 NASV).
  2. In order that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit (Ro 8:4 NASV).
  3. For if because of food your brother is hurt, you are no longer walking according to love (Ro 14:15 NASV).
  4. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men? (1Co 3:3 NASV).
  5. I ask that when I am present I may not be bold with the confidence with which I propose to be courageous against some, who regard us as if we walked according to the flesh (2Co 10:2 NASV).

That.<754> The intent and object of love is to walk according to God's commandments.

We walk [we should walk, following].<755> Love is a walk. By this, John implies that it is not an emotion but actions. It especially consists of acts of obedience to the commands of God.

According to His commandments [after his commandments, in obedience to his commands, the commands of God].<756> Walking "according to" the commandments is to obey them. "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome" (1Jo 5:3); see charts According To Commandments (OT); According To Commandments (NT).<757>

  1. Thus Noah did; according to all that God had commanded him, so he did (Ge 6:22 NASV; 7:5).
  2. Now the sons of Israel had done according to the word of Moses (Ex 12:35 NASV; compare 12:50; 17:1; 39:42).
  3. And thus you shall do to Aaron and to his sons, according to all that I have commanded you (Ex 29:35 NASV).
  4. The anointing oil also, and the fragrant incense . . . they are to make them according to all that I have commanded you (Ex 31:11 NASV; compare Le 10:7).
  5. And they observed the Passover . . . according to all that the Lord had commanded Moses, so the sons of Israel did (Nu 9:5 NASV).
  6. This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it (Jos 1:8 NASV).

  1. On the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus (Ro 2:16 NASV).
  2. To Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery (Ro 16:25 NASV).
  3. But now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith (Ro 16:26 NASV).
  4. Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us out of this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father (Ga 1:4 NASV).
  5. At the proper time manifested, even His word, in the proclamation with which I was entrusted according to the commandment of God our Savior (Tit 1:3 NASV).
  6. "See," He says, "that you make all things according to the pattern" (Heb 8:5 NASV).

This --

As you have heard [just as, even as, ye heard].<758>

From the beginning<759> (see note above on verse 5).

-- is the commandment [command, his command is].<760> It is interesting to note how John alternates between the singular commandment and the plural commandments (see charts The Commandment [Singular] and The Commandments [Plural]; compare also Joh 13:34; 15:12 with 14:15, 21; 15:10). "The commandment" is to love one another while "the commandments" are the various details or required actions that come under the main heading of love (see Mt 7:12; 22:40; charts OT Commands A, B and C; NT Commands A, B and C [the "love" commands encompass them all]; on Ro 13:9; note on His commandments, 1Jo 5:3).

  1. Beloved, I am not writing a new commandment to you (1Jo 2:7).
  2. On the other hand, I am writing you a new commandment (1Jo 2:8).
  3. And this is His commandment, that we should believe in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another according to the commandment He gave us (1Jo 3:23).
  4. And this commandment we have from Him, that he who loves God should love his brother also (1Jo 4:21).
  5. I rejoice greatly that I have found some of your children walking in truth, according to the commandment we received from the Father (2Jo 4).
  6. Not as though I were writing a new commandment to you (2Jo 5).
  7. This -- as you have heard from the beginning -- is the commandment in which you should walk (2Jo 6).

  1. And by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments (1Jo 2:3).
  2. He who says, I know Him, and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him (1Jo 2:4).
  3. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we are keeping His commandments and doing the things that are pleasing in His sight (1Jo 3:22).
  4. And He who keeps His commandments remains in Him, and He in him (1Jo 3:24).
  5. And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments (2Jo 6).

In which you should walk [that ye, you, should walk in it].<761> The antecedent of "in which" is love (compare Eph 5:2). Christians are to walk in the kind of love that is according to God's commandments. Without obedience from the heart to the correct form of doctrine, one cannot truly claim to love God (see Ro 6:17). There is entirely too much mushy, gooey, "touchy-feely" love being advocated by religious huxters. Those who proclaim, "All we need is love, sweet love" too often overlook the detailed commandments of God, without obedience to which there can be no Scriptural love.


1:7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world, they who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist.

For many deceivers.<762> "For" bridges the previous thought with this verse. That thought was to love and walk according to God's commandments. A sincere life of love and obedience is preventive against accepting false doctrine. Nevertheless, one should not become complacent or self-righteous. One should not allow himself to become over-confident. Remember, anyone who denies he has sin deceives himself (1Jo 1:8).

Jesus Himself predicted the coming of false prophets who would deceive (see Mt 7:15, 16; 24:11, 24-26; Mk 13:5, 6, 22; Lu 21:8). The false teachers John describes were having some success in deceiving people. How could they do it when they denied that Jesus Christ came in the flesh? Impossible? Yet, they did that very thing!

Have gone out into [are gone forth into, entered into].<763>In NT times, preachers of the truth "went out for the sake of the Name" (3Jo 7). Deceivers went out to oppose the truth and promulgate error.

The world.<764> Jesus commanded his apostles to "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation" (Mk 16:15). Wherever truth was proclaimed there seemed to be false teachers at work. In the present context, false teachers went out into the world as counterfeit teachers of the gospel with the intent to deceive.

They who do not confess.<765> When threatened with death, many early Christians were called upon to save their lives by denying their faith in Christ. Multitudes confessed Him under such duress and were subsequently killed.

The coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh.<766> Faith in the humanity of Jesus is important. So is belief in His deity. If He had been only God, the temptations He resisted would have been inconsequential. To walk as He walked would have been easy for God, but for a man it was surprisingly improbable (see 1Jo 2:6).

This is the deceiver [a deceiver, any such person is the deceiver].<767> The persons described by John were blasting at the very substructure of the doctrine of Christ. What deceiver could be worse than one who denied that Jesus Christ came in the flesh?

And the antichrist [an antichrist].<768> Although some translations use the indefinite article, the definite article is present in Greek! Notice that when it says "This is the deceiver and the antichrist" it is referring back to the "many" deceivers in the world. John said many antichrists had arisen in his day (see 1Jo 2:18).

It is difficult to imagine a more derogatory term to be applied to a human being than "Satan" (compare Mt 16:23; Mk 8:33). A horribly wicked person is sometimes called "the devil himself." Yet, even more disgraceful is the term "antichrist."


Cerinthus taught that "after His baptism Christ descended upon [Jesus] in the form of a dove, from the power that is over all things, and then He proclaimed the unknown Father and accomplished miracles. But at the end, Christ separated again from Jesus, and Jesus suffered and was raised again, but Christ remained impassible, since he was pneumatic."<769>


Another false teacher, by the name of Basilides, was just as bad. He taught that the Father "sent his first-born NOUS<770> -- He is the one who is called the Christ -- to liberate those who believe in Him from the power of those who made the world. . . . He appeared on earth as a man and performed miracles. . . . He did not suffer, but a certain Simon of Cyrene was compelled to carry His cross for Him; and this [Simon] was transformed by Him [Jesus] so that he was thought to be Jesus himself, and was crucified through ignorance and error. Jesus however, took the form of Simon, and stood by laughing at them."<771> This paragraph and the one above it contain the kind of error John so strongly spoke against.


1:8 Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what you* have worked for, but that you might receive a full reward.
[* Early manuscripts are about equally divided between 'you' and 'we'.]

Watch yourselves [look to yourselves].<772> In view of the error being taught, John admonished Christians to watch themselves. The reason? They might find themselves embracing error to their eternal doom.

That you do not lose [ye, we lose not, so that you may not lose].<773> Christians who listened to false teachers were faced with the threat of a great loss. John warns them. The fact that the false teachers were never "really of us" (1Jo 2:19), did not prevent faithful Christians from following bad doctrine and being lost too. They had to be on guard against error.

What you* have worked for [those things which we have wrought, ye wrought, all that we worked for].<774> Manuscript evidence is divided between you (Sinaiticus, Alexandrinus and others) and we (Vaticanus and others). "You" would be John's readers and "we" the apostles. In either case the risk was the same, namely, losing what had been accomplished by their acceptance and application of the apostles' teaching.<775>

But that you might receive [ye, we, may receive].<776>

A full reward [be rewarded fully, your reward in full].<777> The "fullness" of this reward refers to its abundance. This does not mean there is a partial reward for some and a full reward for others. Verse 9 affirms: "Anyone going beyond -- and not remaining in -- the teaching of Christ, does not have God." I take it that someone who does not have God is lost. So were Christians who followed the deceivers.

    REWARD (2Jo 8)
  1. Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great (Mt 5:12 NASV).
  2. Already he who reaps is receiving wages, and is gathering fruit for life eternal (Joh 4:36 NASV).
  3. Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor (1Co 3:8 NASV).
  4. The time to give their reward to Thy bond-servants the prophets and to the saints and to those who fear Thy name (Re 11:18 NASV).
  5. Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done (Re 22:12 NASV).


1:9 Anyone going beyond -- and not remaining in -- the teaching of Christ, does not have God. He who remains in the teaching, has both the Father and the Son.

Anyone going beyond [who goes too far, who runs ahead, whosoever goeth onward, transgresses, transgresseth].<778> Notice the word "anyone." It does not matter whether the person is a Christian or not -- if anyone does not abide in the teaching of Christ, he does not have God and is lost.

In OT days, the Jews were to abide in the Lord's teaching as given by Moses. They had to watch themselves. "So watch yourselves, lest you forget the covenant of the LORD your God, which He made with you, and make for yourselves a graven image in the form of anything against which the LORD your God has commanded you" (De 4:23 NASV). The reason? They had a tendency to forget. "Beware lest you forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments and His ordinances and His statutes which I am commanding you today" (De 8:11 NASV; compare De 8:19, 20). Through Malachi, God warned the Jews: "Remember the law of Moses My servant, even the statutes and ordinances which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel" (Mal 4:4 NASV).

And not remaining in [does not abide, and abideth not, and does not continue, and does not stand].<779>

The teaching [doctrine].<780> To remain in the teaching of Christ is to believe and live by His revealed truth. Jesus taught, "My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me" (Joh 7:16 NASV). "If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine" (Joh 8:31 NASV). One cannot abide in His word without abiding in Him. Notice the converse in Jesus' statement. "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you" (Joh 15:7 NASV).

Of Christ.<781> The teaching "of Christ"<782> is what Christ taught (see Heb 1:1). In the present context, the teaching of Christ is "the truth abiding in us" (2Jo 2). It is "the truth" in which Christians walked (2Jo 4). And that walk is "according to His commandments" (2Jo 6). Acknowledging that Jesus Christ came in the flesh was basic but that was an acceptance of only part of Christ's teaching. Likewise, His teaching about love was fundamental but it did not delineate all the other essential commands.

The teaching of Balaam was what Balaam taught (Re 2:14). The teaching of the Nicolaitans was what the Nicolaitans taught (Re 2:15). What Christ taught is not limited to personal sayings that appear in red letters in some Bibles. What the Holy Spirit guided the apostles and NT prophets to teach is also from Christ. He told the apostles, "The one who listens to you listens to Me, and the one who rejects you rejects Me; and he who rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me" (Lu 10:16 NASV). He said further, "My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me" (Joh 7:16 NASV; compare 15:15).

To illustrate: when Philip went down to Samaria, he preached "Christ" to them (Ac 8:5). From Acts 8:12, we infer that preaching Christ included preaching about "the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ" and also baptism (compare Ac 8:35-38).

  1. The high priest therefore questioned Jesus about His disciples, and about His teaching (Joh 18:19 NASV).
  2. How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard (Heb 2:3 NASV).

Does not have God [hath not God, is without God].<783> To "not have God" is the opposite of having "both the Father and the Son." If one does not have "the Son" he does not have "God." In other words, one who does not have God is lost.

He who remains in the teaching [whoever continues, the one who abides, he that abideth, in the doctrine of Christ, stands by that doctrine].<784> It is urgent that doctrine be kept pure. "Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them" (Ro 16:17 NASV). Judaizing teachers had changed the gospel by adding some of the Law of Moses to it (see Ac 15:1). Paul wrote to the Galatians about that point, saying, "I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you, and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed" (Ga 1:6-9 NASV). When giving the qualifications of elders, he taught them what they should do with reference to the truth and those who contradicted it. "Holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, that he may be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict" (Tit 1:9 NASV).

Has both the Father and the Son [he, the same, hath, possesses].<785> Jesus said to Judas (not Iscariot), "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him" (Joh 14:23 NASV). God promised to dwell within His people only when they separated themselves from idolatry and immorality (2Co 6:16). By faith, Christ dwells in the hearts of faithful Christians (Eph 3:17). John wrote, "If what you heard from the beginning remains in you, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father" (1Jo 2:24). Christ Himself walks among the golden lampstands which are His churches (Re 1:20, 2:1).

1:10, 11 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not bid him welcome. 11 For he who bids him welcome, shares in his evil works.

If anyone comes to you [cometh unto you, if there come any unto you].<786> The mood of the Greek verb implies there was someone actually coming to see "the elect lady and her children."

And does not bring [who does not bring, and bring not, and bringeth not].<787> Teachers are under consideration. Elders must be careful in recognizing leaders lest they harbor, encourage or fellowship false teachers. No one is justified in flirting with error. Just because teachers are on the "cutting edge" or because someone wants to hear the "other side" is no excuse to depart from the faith and endorse them.


This teaching [doctrine].<788> "This teaching" refers to the teaching of Christ (see note above on verse 9). Those who did not bring "this teaching" were spouting religious propaganda of the rankest kind. Yet, it sounded so innocent to the untrained ear that the average person might not perceive it as a threat. That is why John sounded a plain warning. His admonition about false teachers needs to be emblazoned in bold letters before God's church today. In this time of "enlightenment," the tolerance, yea acceptance, of religious error is the order of the day in what were once faithful churches of the Lord.

The denominations are no better. When their own scholars produce honest studies<789> of the Scriptures that bring out the truth, they are often repudiated by their denominational boards and associations. In such cases, the boards and associations will be held accountable for their renunciation of the truth and their ill-treatment of their scholarly brothers.

Do not receive him into your house [receive him not, do not welcome him, do not take him into your house].<790> The Greek verb "forbids the continuance of that which was customary." In the early church, it was routine for the saints to invite visiting Christians into their own homes. They washed their feet, fed and housed them. It was a special honor to lodge a gospel preacher. John cautions against granting any degree of honor to deceivers. Let it be heard today that it is a sin to give a false teacher any encouragement! This includes allowing them to teach, preach or appear on college lectureships.

And do not bid him welcome [give him a greeting, neither bid him God speed, nor greet him, and give him no greeting, or welcome him].<791> CHAIREIN greeting was the word used in the "Jerusalem letter" for the greeting by the elders and apostles (Ac 15:23). It was used by Claudius Lysias to greet Felix in his letter (Ac 23:26). James used the word as he greeted the twelve tribes of the dispersion (Jas 1:1). It is a greeting that recognizes and honors the one addressed.

For he who bids him welcome [the one who gives him a greeting, anyone who welcomes him, that biddeth him God speed, for he that giveth him greeting, who greets him].<792> The Greek verb is more comprehensive than "biddeth him God speed." Any kind of greeting that gives recognition or honor to a false teacher is sinful. The support of visiting teachers or preachers has become largely financial. It is definitely a sin to contribute one dime to a false teacher or to give a nickel to a false church!

Shares [participates, is partaker, partaketh, is an accomplice].<793> We may not participate, even indirectly, in things that are sinful and wrong. Paul wrote, "Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people's sins; keep yourself pure" (1Ti 5:22 NKJV; see note on 1Jo 1:3).

In his evil works [evil deeds, wicked work].<794> They who fellowship those in error are guilty by association.


1:12 Having many things to write to you, I did not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to come to you, and to speak face to face, that our joy may be complete.

Having many things [I have much]<795> (compare 3Jo 13).

To write to you [unto you].<796>

I did not want [do not, would not, did not wish, do not care, would rather not].<797> (Mt 1:18).

To use paper [write with, write them with].<798>

And ink.<799> Alfred Edersheim has provided such an excellent description of writing materials in Bible times that I am constrained to reproduce the entire section.
"The materials on which the Jews wrote were of the most divers kind: leaves, as of olives, palms, the carob, etc.; the rind of the pomegranate, the shell of walnuts, etc.; the prepared skins of animals (leather and parchment); and the product of the papyrus, used long before the time of Alexander the Great for the manufacture of paper, and known in Talmudic writings by the same name, as Papir (the Talmudic Tractate Sotah, on the Woman accused of adultery 49b) or Apipeir (Kelim, on the purification of furniture and vessels 24.7), but more frequently by that of Nayyar -- probably from the stripes (Nirin) of the plant of which it was made. But what interests us more, as we remember the 'tablet' (PINAKIDION) on which Zacharias wrote the name of the future Baptist, is the circumstance that it bears not only the name, Pinaques or Pinquesa, but that it seems to have been of such common use in Palestine. It consisted of thin pieces of wood (the Luach) fastened or strung together. The Mishnah (Kelim, on the purification of furniture and vessels 24.7) enumerates three kinds of them: those where the wood was covered with papyrus, those where it was covered with wax, and those where the wood was left plain to be written on with ink. The latter was of different kinds. Black ink was prepared of soot (the Deyo), or of vegetable or mineral substances.<800> Gum Arabic and Egyptian (Qumos and Quma) and vitriol (Qanqanthos) seem also to have been used in writing. It is curious to read of writing in colors and with red ink or Siqra, and even of a kind of sympathetic [sic] ink, made from the bark of the ash, and brought out by a mixture of vitriol and gum. We also read of a gold-ink, as that in which the copy of the Law was written which, according to the legend, the High-Priest had sent to Ptolemy Philadelphus for the purpose of being translated into Greek by the LXX (Josephus, Antiquities 12.2.10). But the Talmud prohibits copies of the Law in gold letters, or more probably such in which the Divine Name was written in gold letters. In writing, a pen, Qolemos, made of reed (Qaneh) was used, and the reference in an Apostolic Epistle to writing 'with ink and pen' (dia melanos kai kalamou) finds even its verbal counterpart in the Midrash, which speaks of Milanin and Qolemin (ink and pens). Indeed, the public 'writer'--a trade very common in the East--went about with a Qolemos, or reed-pen, behind his ear, as badge of his employment. With the reed-pen we ought to mention its necessary accompaniments; the penknife (mentioned in Jer 36:23), the inkstand (which, when double, for black and red ink, was sometimes made of earthenware, Qalamarim), and the ruler--it being regarded by the stricter set as unlawful to write any words of Holy Writ on any unlined material, no doubt to ensure correct writing and reading."<801>

Instead, I hope to come to you [I trust, unto you, to see you, to visit you].<802>

And to speak face to face [and talk with you].<803> The translation "face to face" is a paraphrase of the Greek which is, literally, "mouth to mouth." The same applies to 3 John 13. In 1 Corinthians 13:12, however, a literal translation of PROSOPON PROS PROSOPON is "face to face."

That our joy may be complete [so that, your joy, be full]<804> (see chart That Our Joy May Be Complete A and B).

  1. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom's voice. And so this joy of mine has been made full (Joh 3:29 NASV).
  2. And these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy made full in themselves (Joh 17:13 NASV).
  3. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full (Joh 15:11 NASV).
  4. Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be made full (Joh 16:24 NASV).

  1. Make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose (Php 2:2 NASV).
  2. And we are writing these things so our joy may be complete (1Jo 1:4).
  3. I hope to come to you, and to speak face to face, that our joy may be complete (2Jo 12).

1:13 The children of your elect sister greet you.

The children.<805> "Children" may be taken literally. If the "elect lady" is a congregation, then the "elect sister" is another local church. Since the children desired to be remembered to the elect lady and her children, it may be inferred that these Christians were with John when he wrote.

Of your elect sister [of thy, of thine, chosen sister, of your sister chosen by God]<806> (see note above; also on verse 1).

Greet you [thee, salute thee, send their greetings].<807> "Greet" is from a different Greek word than that used in verses 11, 12. When the "children" sent greetings, they expressed their fellowship to the saints to whom John wrote.

Amen. This word is carried by the KJ and NKJ versions. When man uses it, he means, "So be it." When God uses it, He means, "Be it so!"


<713> Irenaeus, Against Heresies 3.16.5, 8 attributes 1 John to "the disciple of the Lord." That Irenaeus believed "the disciple of the Lord" was John the apostle is shown by his reference to "the disciple that Jesus loved" and he who "leaned on his breast" (Irenaeus, Against Heresies. 1.9.2; 2.22.5; 3.1.1). Clement also tells of "John the apostle" who "removed from the island of Patmos to Ephesus" (Who is the Rich Man? 42.1; Roberts 11). Eusebius (Historia Ecclesiastica 3.25.3) refers to "the so-called second and third Epistles of John which may be the work of the evangelist or of some other with the same name." Eusebius, of course, assumed that the evangelist (that is, the author of the Gospel) also composed 1 John (I. Marshall 31).
<714> Estimates of John's age when called to be an apostle range from 17 to 30 years of age.
<716> HO PRESBUTEROS, the elder (Marshall 947); originally of seniority in age. So Luke 15:25. Afterward as a term of rank or office. Applied to members of the Sanhedrin [Mt 16:21; Ac 6:12]. Those who presided over the Christian assemblies or churches [Ac 11:30; 1Ti 5:17, 19]). The twenty-four members of the heavenly court in John's vision [Re 4:4, 10; 5:5, 6, 8, 11, 14]. Here with reference to official position, coupled, presumably with age (Vincent 2.391); an adjective, the comparative degree of PRESBUS, an old man, an elder (Vine 350).
<717> Jews used the term "elders" to refer to certain honored men (Mk 7:3, 5) and for other leaders (Mk 8:31).
<718> In the first century, most every congregation had elders appointed to oversee the local work (see Ac 11:30; 14:23; 15:4, 6, 23; 16:4; 20:17; 1Ti 5:17, 19; Tit 1:5; Jas 5:14). These men had charge of the flock of God "among" them (see Ac 20:28; 1Pe 5:2). In NT times, men designated as elders were also known as presbyters, pastors, shepherds, overseers, and bishops. The practice of having one man as bishop over several congregations was introduced after the NT was completed.
<719> EKLEKTEE KURIA, to [the] chosen lady (Marshall 947); an expression which baffles all the commentators (Vincent 2.391); the person addressed in 2 John 1 and 5. Not improbably it is a proper name [English, Cyria], in spite of the fact that the full form of address in verse 1 is not quite in accord, in the original, with those in verse 13 and 3 John 1. The suggestion that the Church is addressed is most unlikely. Possibly the person is one who had a special relation with the local church (Vine 636).
<720> KURIA is the feminine of KURIOS lord.
<721> "Chosen" in 1 Peter 5:13 is SUNEKLEKTEE co-chosen.
<722> KAI TOIS TEKNOIS AUTEES, and to the children of her (Marshall 947); may be taken either in a literal or in a spiritual sense (Vincent 2.391); universally and without regard to sex, children . . . "In St. Paul the expressions 'sons of God', 'children of God', mostly convey the idea of liberty [see however Php 2:15], in St John of guilelessness and love; in accordance with this distinction St. Paul uses HUIOI as well as TEKNA, St. John TEKNA only" [Bishop Lightfoot] (Thayer 617, 618).
<723> There is an example in non-biblical literature where the church is presented as the spiritual mother of believers (see Cyprian, De Unitate 6).
<724> HOUS, whom (Marshall 947); comprehensive, embracing the mother and the children of both sexes (Vincent 2.391).
<725> EGOO AGAPOO, I love (Marshall 947); AGAPOO is first person singular, present active indicative of AGAPAOO (Han 433); a reasoning, discriminating attachment, founded in the conviction that its object is worthy of esteem, or entitled to it on account of benefits bestowed (Vincent 2.135).
<726> EN ALEETHEIA, in truth (Marshall 947); omit the. The expression in truth marks the atmosphere or element of truth in which something is said, or felt, or done. . . . equivalent to truly, really (Vincent 2.392); subjectively, truthfulness, truth, not merely verbal, but sincerity and integrity of character (Vine 1171); see also verses 3, 4.
<727> KAI OUK EGOO MONOS, and not I alone (Marshall 947).
<728> ALLA KAI PANTES HOI EGNOOKOTES TEEN ALEETHEIAN, but also all the [ones] having known the truth (Marshall 947); EGNOOKOTES is the perfect active participle, nominative plural masculine of GINOOSKOO (Han 433); either have come to know or know. The perfect tense of GINOOSKOO to learn to know, is rendered as a present: I have learned to know, therefore I know (Vincent 2.392); in particular, GINOOSKOO, to become acquainted with, to know, is employed in the NT of the knowledge of God and Christ, and of the things relating to them or proceeding from them . . . the nature of God the Father, especially the holy will and affection by which he aims to sanctify and redeem men through Christ (Thayer 117); perfect tense, those who have come to know [the truth] and continue to do so (Ferguson 153).
<729> DIA TEEN ALEETHEIAN, because of the truth (Marshall 947); the truth, as taught in the Christian religion, respecting God and the execution of his purposes through Christ, and respecting the duties of man, opposed alike to the superstitions of the Gentiles and the inventions of the Jews, and to the corrupt opinions and precepts of false teachers even among Christians . . . the truth which is the gospel or which the gospel presents (Thayer 26).
<730> TEEN MENOUSAN, remaining (Marshall 947); MENOUSAN is the present active participle, accusative singular feminine of MENOO (Han 433); enlarging on the idea of the truth: that which abideth (Vincent 2.392); abides, of place, metaphorically, of qualities, the truth (Vine 2); an inward, enduring personal communion . . . of truth (Arndt 504).
<731> EN HEEMIN, among us (Marshall 947).
<732> KAI METH' HEEMOON ESTAI, and with us will be (Marshall 947); ESTAI is third person singular, future middle indicative of EIMI (Han 433); with us has the emphatic position in the sentence: and with us it shall be (Vincent 2.392).
<733> EIS TON AIOONA, unto the age (Marshall 947); literally, unto the age, for ever (Vine 377).
<734> CHARIS ELEOS EIREENEE, grace[,] mercy[,] peace (Marshall 947); the sentiment [of mercy] in God assumes the character of pitying love. Mercy is kindness and good-will toward the miserable and afflicted, joined with a desire to relieve them (Vincent 2.393); translate: "There shall be with us grace." Mercy is the compassion of God for us in our misery (Harrison 1480).
<735> ESTAI METH' HEEMOON, will be with us (Marshall 947); ESTAI is third person singular, future middle indicative of EIMI (Han 433); the verb is in the future tense: shall be; the best texts read "with us" (Vincent 2.392, 393).
<736> PARA THEOU PATROS, from God [the] Father (Marshall 947).
<737> KAI PARA 'IEESOU CHRISTOU, and from Jesus Christ (Marshall 947); note the repeated preposition [PARA from], bringing out the twofold relation to the Father and Son (Vincent 2.393).
<738> TOU HUIOU TOU PATROS, the Son of the Father (Marshall 947); the phrase occurs nowhere else (Vincent 2.393).
<739> EN ALEETHEIA KAI AGAPEE, in truth and love (Marshall 947); the words indicate the contents of the whole Epistle (Vincent 2.393); subjectively, truthfulness, truth, not merely verbal, but sincerity and integrity of character (Vine 1171); the truth, as taught in the Christian religion, respecting God and the execution of his purposes through Christ, and respecting the duties of man, opposed alike to the superstitions of the Gentiles and the inventions of the Jews, and to the corrupt opinions and precepts of false teachers even among Christians . . . the truth which is the gospel or which the gospel presents (Thayer 26).
<740> 'ECHAREEN LIAN, I rejoiced greatly (Marshall 948); 'ECHAREEN is first person singular, second aorist passive indicative of CHAIROO (Han 433); the word LIAN greatly is found in John's writings only here and 3 John 3 (Vincent 2.393); I rejoice very, exceedingly (Vine 506, 942); aorist (Harrison 1480).
<741> HOTI HEUREEKA, because I have found (Marshall 948); HEUREEKA is first person singular, perfect active indicative of HEURISKOO (Han 433); I have found (Vincent 2.394); to find, either with previous search, for example, Matthew 7:7, 8, or without, for example Matthew 27:32 (Vine 430); perfect tense; what John found continued to be true (Harrison 1480).
<742> EK TOON TEKNOON SOU, [some] of the children of thee (Marshall 948); the ASV rightly supplies certain (Vincent 2.394); universally and without regard to sex, children . . . "In St. Paul the expressions 'sons of God', 'children of God', mostly convey the idea of liberty [see however Php 2:15], in St John of guilelessness and love; in accordance with this distinction St. Paul uses HUIOI as well as TEKNA, St. John TEKNA only" [Bishop Lightfoot] (Thayer 617, 618).
<743> PERIPATOUNTAS EN ALEETHEIA, walking in truth (Marshall 948); PERIPATOUNTAS is the present active participle, accusative plural masculine of PERIPATEOO (Han 433); subjectively, truthfulness, truth, not merely verbal, but sincerity and integrity of character; figuratively, "signifying the whole round of the activities of the individual life" in truth (Vine 1171, 1207).
<744> ENTOLEEN ... PARA TOU PATROS, commandment from the Father (Marshall 948).
<745> KATHOOS ELABOMEN, as we received (Marshall 948); ELABOMEN is first person plural, second aorist active indicative of LAMBANOO (Han 433).
<746> KAI NUN EROOTOO SE, and now I request thee (Marshall 948); EROOTOO is first person singular, present active indicative of EROOTAOO (Han 433); asks . . . suggests that the petitioner is on a footing of equality or familiarity with the person whom he requests (Vine 71); EROOTAOO, a personal request, rather than PARAKALEOO, a general request [which word is never used by John] (Harrison 1480).
<747> KURIA, lady (Marshall 948); the use of the vocative here underlines the personal appeal which is being made by the writer (I. Marshall 66).
<748> OUCH HOOS ... GRAPHOON SOI, not as writing to thee (Marshall 948); GRAPHOON is the present active participle, nominative singular masculine of GRAPHOO (Han 433).
<749> ENTOLEEN ... KAINEEN, commandment a new (Marshall 948); new, of that which is unaccustomed or unused, not new in time, recent, but new as to form or quality, of different nature from what is contrasted as old (Vine 781).
<750> ALLA HEEN EICHOMEN, but which we had (Marshall 948); EICHOMEN is first person plural, imperfect active indicative of ECHOO (Han 433); the apostle identifies himself with his readers (Vincent 2.394).
<751> AP' ARCHEES, from [the] beginning (Marshall 948); in a relative sense, of the beginning of the thing spoken of: as soon as instruction was imparted (Thayer 76).
<752> HINA AGAPOOMEN ALLEELOUS, in order that we should love one another (Marshall 948); AGAPOOMEN is first person plural, present active subjunctive of AGAPAOO (Han 433).
<753> KAI HAUTEE ESTIN HEE AGAPEE, and this is love (Marshall 948); ESTIN is third person singular, present active indicative of EIMI (Han 433); the love just mentioned in the verb we love (Vincent 2.393); Christian love has God for its primary object, and expresses itself first of all in implicit obedience to His commandments. ... Self will, that is, self-pleasing, is the negation of love to God (Vine 693).
<754> HINA, in order that (Marshall 948); its predominant sense is intent, purpose, purport or object. Hence that, as representing HINA, is to be taken in the sense of to the end or intent that; in order that (Vincent 2.251).
<755> PERIPATOOMEN, we should walk (Marshall 948); first person plural, present active subjunctive of PERIPATEOO (Han 433); figuratively, "signifying the whole round of the activities of the individual life" after the commandments of the Lord (Vine 1207).
<756> KATA TAS ENTOLAS AUTOU, according to the commandments of him (Marshall 948).
<757> Other OT "according to" passages include Exodus 31:1; 32:28; 36:1; 40:16; Numbers 9:12, 20; Deuteronomy 1:3; Joshua 4:10; Judges 11:10; 1 Kings 16:34; 17:1, 5, 15, 16; 2 Kings 4:38, 42-44; 5:14; 23:15, 16; compare verse 25; 1 Chronicles 11:3; compare verse 10; 15:15; 2 Chronicles 29:15; Ezra 6:14; 10:2, 3; Isaiah 8:20; Jeremiah 36:1-3, and especially verses 4, 8; Jonah 3:3; Haggai 2:1, 2, and especially verses 4, 5). Among the 127 NT "according to" passages are Luke 2:22 [Le 12:2-6]; 2:39; 23:56; 18:31; Acts 7:44; 13:23 [1Ki 8:56; Jos 23:14]; 22:3, 12; 24:6; Ro 1:1-4; 2:2; 8:27, 28; 10:2; 15:5; 1 Corinthians 3:10; 15:3, 4; 2 Corinthians 4:13 [Ps 116:10]; 13:10; Galatians 3:29; Ephesians 3:10, 11, 20; Colossians 1:25; 1 Timothy 1:11; 6:3; 2 Timothy 1:8; Hebrews 7:5; 8:4; 9:19; James 2:8; 1 Peter 1:17; 1 John 5:14, 15; Revelation 2:23; 18:6; 20:12, 13). My thanks to Goebel Music in Behold the Pattern, pages 61-65 for these references.
<758> KATHOOS EEKOUSATE, as ye heard (Marshall 948); EEKOUSATE is second person plural, first aorist active indicative of AKOUOO (Han 433).
<759> AP' ARCHEES, from [the] beginning (Marshall 948); with evident allusion to the first word of Genesis. John elevates the phrase from its reference to a point of time, the beginning of creation, to the time of absolute pre-existence before any creation, which [in John 1] is not mentioned until verse 3. This beginning had no beginning (Vincent 2.24).
<760> HAUTEE HEE ENTOLEE ESTIN, this the commandment is (Marshall 948); ESTIN is third person singular, present active indicative of EIMI (Han 433).
<761> HINA EN AUTEE PERIPATEETE, in order that in it ye should walk (Marshall 948); PERIPATEETE is second person plural, present active subjunctive of PERIPATEOO (Han 433); in love: not the commandment (Vincent 2.394).
<762> HOTI POLLOI PLANOI, because many deceivers (Marshall 948); properly, an adjective, signifying wandering, or leading astray, seducing . . . used as a noun, it denotes an impostor of the vagabond type, and so any kind of deceiver or corrupter, . . . 2 John 7 [twice] in the last of which the accompanying definite article necessitates the translation "the deceiver" (Vine 272). Versions like the NIV and NEB that fail to translate HOTI for or because miss the link with verses 4-6.
<763> EXEELTHON EIS, went forth into (Marshall 948); EXEELTHON is third person plural, second aorist active indicative of EXERCHOMAI (Han 433); are gone forth into. The KJ follows the reading EISEELTHON entered into. The tense is aorist, strictly rendered, went forth. It may indicate a particular crisis, at which they went forth from the Christian society (Vincent 2.394).
<764> TON KOSMON, the world (Marshall 948); the world as the habitation of mankind (Arndt 446).
<765> HOI MEE HOMOLOGOUNTES, the [ones] not confessing (Marshall 948); HOMOLOGOUNTES is the present active participle, nominative plural masculine of HOMOLOGEOO (Han 433); the article with the participle describes the character of this class of deceivers and does not merely assert a definite fact concerning them (Vincent 2.394); one is said [to acknowledge] that of which he is convinced and which he holds to be true (Thayer 446).
<766> 'IEESOUN CHRISTON ERCHOMENON EN SARKI, Jesus Christ coming in [the] flesh (Marshall 948); ERCHOMENON is the present middle participle, accusative singular masculine of ERCHOMAI (Han 433); present participle, coming, which describes the manhood of Christ as still being manifested (Vincent 2.395); literally, coming [a participle] (Harrison 1480).
<767> HOUTOS ESTIN HO PLANOS, this is the deceiver (Marshall 948); ESTIN is third person singular, present active indicative of EIMI (Han 433); any kind of deceiver or corrupter . . . 2 John 7 [twice] in the last of which the accompanying definite article necessitates the translation "the deceiver" (Vine 272).
<768> KAI HO ANTICHRISTOS, and the antichrist (Marshall 948); definite article, the antichrist (Vincent 2.395); can either mean against Christ or instead of Christ, or perhaps, combining the two, "one who, assuming the guise of Christ, opposes Christ" [Westcott]; of the many antichrists who are forerunners of the Antichrist himself (Vine 53, 54); the antichrist (Harrison 1480).
<769> Irenaeus, Against Heresies 1.26.1, quoted from I. Marshall 70, 71.
<770> NOUS is Greek for mind or intellect.
<771> Irenaeus, Against Heresies 1.24.4, quoted from I. Marshall 71.
<772> BLEPETE HEAUTOUS, see yourselves (Marshall 948); BLEPETE is second person plural, present active indicative of BLEPOO (Han 433); primarily, have sight, see, then, observe, discern, perceive, frequently implying special contemplation (Vine 685).
<773> HINA MEE APOLESEETE, lest ye lose (Marshall 948); APOLESEETE is second person plural, first aorist active subjunctive of APOLLUMI (Han 433); ye lose [some texts read APOLESOOMEN we lose] HINA in order that, marks the intent of the caution (Vincent 2.395); signifies [I] In the active voice, (a) destroy, destroy utterly, kill, for example, Matthew 10:28; Mark 1:24; 9:22; (b) lose utterly, for example, Matthew 10:42, of losing a reward; Luke 15:4 [first part], of losing a sheep; Luke 9:25, of losing oneself [of the loss of well-being hereafter]; metaphorically, John 6:39, of failing to save; 18:9, of Christ's not losing His own; [II] in the Middle Voice, (a) perish, of things, for example, John 6:12 "[that nothing] be lost"; of persons, for example, Matthew 8:25, "we perish;" of the loss of eternal life (Vine 690).
<774> HA EERGASAMETHA, [the] things which we wrought (Marshall 948); EERGASAMETHA is first person plural, first aorist middle indicative of ERGAZOMAI (Han 433); worked, [used] transitively, worked something, produced, performed, etc. (Vine 1243).
<775> Because of variations in the manuscripts, the pronouns vary greatly in translations of this verse: "that we lose not those thing which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward" (KJV); "that ye lose not the things which we have wrought, but that ye receive a full reward" (ASV); "that you may not lose what you have worked for, but may win a full reward" (RSV); "that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may receive a full reward" (Confraternity); "that you might not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward" (NASV); "that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward" (NKJV). The translator of the Old Paths Version considered the manuscript evidence to be strongest for "you" in all three cases. But I believe, along with F. F. Bruce and others, that the second instance should be "we" as in the NASV.
<776> ALLA ... APOLABEETE, but ... ye may receive (Marshall 948); APOLABEETE is second person plural, second aorist active subjunctive of APOLAMBANOO (Han 433); ye receive [some texts read APOLABOOMEN we receive]. The compounded preposition APO has the force of back: receive back from God (Vincent 2.395); signifies receive from another, receive as one's due (Vine 927).
<777> MISTHON PLEEREE, reward a full (Marshall 948); full, in the sense of being complete, of a reward hereafter; primarily wages, hire, and then, generally, reward . . . to be received hereafter (Vine 466, 966).
<778> PAS HO PROAGOON, everyone going forward (Marshall 948); PROAGOON is the present active participle, nominative singular masculine of PROAGOO (Han 433); [some texts read PAS HO PARABAINOON, whoever transgresses]. The meaning is, whosoever advances beyond the limits of Christian doctrine (Vincent 2.395); in 2 John 9, where the best manuscripts have this verb [instead of PARABAINOO to transgress, KJ], the ASV renders it "goeth onward" [margin "taketh the lead"], of not abiding in the doctrine of Christ (Vine 487).
<779> KAI MEE MENOON, and not remaining (Marshall 948); MENOON is the present active participle, nominative singular masculine of MENOO (Han 433); abide, of place, metaphorically of the Word of God (Vine 2).
<780> EN TEE DIDACHEE, in the teaching (Marshall 948); teaching (Vincent 2.395).
<781> TOU CHRISTOU, of Christ (Marshall 948); not the teaching concerning Christ but the teaching of Christ Himself and of His apostles. . . . So according to NT usage (Vincent 2.396); that which he taught at his coming (Harrison 1481).
<782> Most regard "of Christ" as subjective genitive, meaning the teaching given by Christ. Some consider it to be objective genitive, that is, teaching about Christ.
<783> THEON OUK ECHEI, God not has (Marshall 948); ECHEI is third person singular, present active indicative of ECHOO (Han 433).
<784> HO MENOON EN TEE DIDACHEE, the [one] remaining in the teaching (Marshall 948); MENOON is the present active participle, nominative singular masculine of MENOO (Han 433); teaching; omit of Christ (Vincent 2.396); abide, of place, metaphorically of the Word of God (Vine 2).
<785> HOUTOS KAI TON PATERA KAI TON HUION ECHEI, this one both the Father and the Son has (Marshall 948); ECHEI is third person singular, present active indicative of ECHOO (Han 433).
<786> EI TIS ERCHETAI PROS HUMAS, if anyone comes to you (Marshall 948); ERCHETAI is third person singular, present middle indicative of ERCHOMAI (Han 433); if anyone cometh. The indicative mood assumes the fact: if any one comes, as there are those that come. Cometh is used in an official sense as of a teacher (Vincent 2.396); come, the most frequent verb, denoting either to come, or to go (Vine 195).
<787> KAI ... OU PHERI, and brings not (Marshall 948, 949); PHERI is third person singular, present active indicative of PHEROO (Han 433); bring, bear, or carry (Vine 143).
<788> TAUTEEN TEEN DIDACHEEN, this teaching (Marshall 948, 949); denotes teaching, either that which is taught, or the act of teaching, instruction (Vine 323).
<789> An example is the forthright work on Baptism in the New Testament by G. R. Beasly-Murray, published by Eerdmans, Grand Rapids in 1962. For the most part, this fine work has been rejected by the Baptists. Another example is the Adventist who made an exhaustive study of the Sabbath. Yet many in his denomination declined to accept it. Also, after the death of Herbert W. Armstrong, when the Worldwide Church of God discovered they were no longer under the Law of Moses, Gerald Flurry and others rejected that and still cling to Armstrong as an apostle and a prophet.
<790> MEE LAMBANETE AUTON EIS OIKIAN, do not ye receive him into [your] house (Marshall 949); LAMBANETE is second person plural, present active indicative of LAMBANOO (Han 433); denotes either to take or to receive; a house, a dwelling (Vine 566, 926); present imperative, forbidding the continuance of what was customary (Harrison 1481); house, literally, as a building . . . into your house (Arndt 557).
<791> KAI CHAIREIN AUTOO MEE LEGETE, and to rejoice him not tell ye [that is, do not greet him] (Marshall 949); CHAIREIN is the present active infinitive of CHAIROO; LEGETE is the second person plural, present active indicative of LEGOO (Han 433); literally, and say not unto him "greeting!" CHAIREIN rejoice, hail, was the customary form of salutation. It was also used in bidding farewell; but in the NT always of greeting (Vincent 2.396); [and do not] rejoice. In 2 John 10, 11, the ASV substitutes the phrase [to give] greeting, for the KJ [to bid] God speed (Vine 508); present imperative, forbidding the continuance of what was customary. God speed is a good translation of the broad idea contained in the word CHAIREIN (Harrison 1481).
<792> HO LEGOON GAR AUTOO CHAREIN, the [one] telling for him to rejoice (Marshall 949); LEGOON is the present active participle, nominative singularmasculine of LEGOO (Han 433); in 2 John 10, 11, the RV substitutes the phrase [to give] greeting, for the AV [to bid] God speed (Vine 508); used as a formula of greeting -- as a form of address, often on meeting people . . . welcome, good day, hail [to you], I am glad to see you, sometimes . . . = how do you do? or even the colloquial hello . . . good morning. . . . greet someone, bid someone the time of day (Arndt 874); give one greeting, salute (Thayer 664).
<793> KOINOONEI ... AUTOU shares in the works of him evil (Marshall 949); KOINOONEI is third person singular, present active indicative of KOINOONEOO (Han 433); the verb occurs nowhere else in John's writings. The kindred noun KOINOONIA fellowship, is peculiar to the First Epistle (Vincent 2.396); has a share of, shares with, takes part in (Vine 834).
<794> TOIS ERGOIS TOIS PONEEROIS, in the works of him evil (Marshall 949); [akin to PONOS labor, toil], denotes evil that causes labor, pain, sorrow, malignant evil; used with the meaning bad, worthless, of things (Vine 380); literally, his deeds, his evil deeds. Emphasis [is] on the evil character of his works (Harrison 1481).
<795> POLLA ECHOON, many things having (Marshall 949); ECHOON is the present active participle, nominative singular masculine of ECHOO (Han 433).
<796> HUMIN GRAPHEIN, to you to write (Marshall 949); GRAPHEIN is the present active infinitive of GRAPHOO (Han 433).
<797> OUK EBOULEETHEEN, not I purpose (Marshall 949); EBOULEETHEEN is first person singular, first aorist passive indicative of BOULOMAI (Han 433); of decisions of the will after previous deliberation (Arndt 146).
<798> DIA CHARTOU, by means of paper (Marshall 949); the Egyptian papyrus or byblus, Cyperus papyrus, anciently very common, but now found within the limits of the country. It is a tall, smooth flag or reed, with a large triangular stalk, containing the pith which furnished the paper. The paper was manufactured by cutting the pith into strips, arranging them horizontally, and then placing across them another layer of strips, uniting the two layers by a paste, and subjecting the whole to a heavy pressure (Vincent 2.397); a sheet of paper made of strips of papyrus [whence English "paper"], English chart, charter, etc.; the word is used in 2 John 12. The papyrus reed grew in ancient times in great profusion in the Nile and was used as a material for writing. From Egypt its use spread to other countries and it was the universal material for writing in general in Greece and Italy during the most flourishing periods of their literature. . . . Papyrus continued to be used until the seventh century AD, when the conquest of Egypt by the Arabs led to the disuse of the material for literary purposes and the use of vellum till the 12th century (Vine 829).
<799> KAI MELANOS, and ink (Marshall 949); literally, that which is black. . . . prepared of soot or of vegetable or mineral substances. Gum and vitriol were also used. Colored inks, red and gold, were also employed (Vincent 2.397); the neuter of the adjective MELAS black, denotes ink (Vine 591).
<800> The Deyo seems to have been a dry substance which was made into black ink. Ink from gall-nuts appears to be of later invention.
<801> Edersheim 2.270.
<802> ALLA ELPIZOO GENESTHAI PROS HUMAS, I am hoping to be with you (Marshall 949); ELPIZOO is first person singular, present active indicative of ELPIZOO (Hana 433); or, to be present with you (Vincent 2.397).
<803> KAI STOMA PROS STOMA LALEESAI, and mouth to mouth to speak (Marshall 949); LALEESAI is the first aorist active infinitive of LALEOO (Han 433); literally, mouth to mouth (Vincent 2.397); literally, mouth to mouth [STOMA a mouth] (Vine 398).
<804> HINA HEE CHARA HEEMON PEPLEEROOMENEE EE, in order that the joy of us having been fulfilled may be (Marshall 949); EE is third person singular, present active subjunctive of EIMI (Han 433); PEPLEEROOMENEE is the perfect passive participle, nominative singular feminine of PLEERO'OO (Han 433); fulfilled (Vincent 2.397); signifies fulfil, of joy (Vine 465).
<805> TA TEKNA, the children (Marshall 949); universally and without regard to sex, children . . . "In St. Paul the expressions 'sons of God', 'children of God', mostly convey the idea of liberty [see however Php 2:15], in St John of guilelessness and love; in accordance with this distinction St. Paul uses HUIOI as well as TEKNA, St. John TEKNA only" [Bishop Lightfoot] (Thayer 617, 618).
<806> TEES ADELPHEES SOU TEES EKLEKTEES, of the sister of thee chosen (Marshall 949); chosen out, select sister, of natural relationship . . . [or] spiritual relationship based upon faith in Christ (Vine 182, 1049).
<807> 'ASPAZETAI SE, greets thee (Marshall 949); 'ASPAZETAI is third person singular, present middle indicative of ASPAZOMAI (Han 433); signifies, greet, welcome or salute. . . . The verb is used as a technical term for conveying greetings at the close of a letter (Vine 507).
Copyright ©1999, Charles Hess, Ridgefield, Washington, U.S.A.
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Copyright © 1997, 1998, Roy Davison, Belgium. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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