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Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

1 John 1

Verses 1-10

Fellowship with God in Light

1. Observe the grammatical form of 1 John 1:1-3. In 1 John 1:1 a sentence is begun which, interrupted by the parenthesis in 1 John 1:2, is continued in 1 John 1:3. The sense is, ’We declare unto you that which was from the beginning, that which we have heard, etc., concerning the Word of Life.’ From the beginning] cp. John 1:1. Heard.. handled] the evidence of eyewitness. The Docetists taught that Christ was a mere phantom: cp. Luke 24:39. Of the Word of life] RV ’concerning the Word of life’: cp. ’bread of life,’ John 6:35. For ’the Word’ (Logos) see on John 1:1.

2. This v. is parenthetical, reiterating the fact that the preëxistent Eternal Word was manifested to men. In 1 John 1:3 this manifestation is said to determine man’s relation to God.

3. Declare we unto you] RV adds ’also,’ Fellowship with us] i.e. union with us in Christian fellowship. And truly] RV ’yea, and.’ Fellowship with Christian teachers involves fellowship with God in Christ.

4. That your joy may be full] RV ’that our joy may be fulfilled.’ ’Fellowship with Christ and with the brethren is the measure of the fulness of joy’ (Westcott).

5. Light.. darkness] The one suggests truth and goodness, the other falsehood and evil. All truth and goodness emanate from God. To walk in the light, therefore, i.e. to possess and practise these, is to have fellowship with Him. On the other hand, to be without these is to be without God (1 John 1:6).

7. One with another] i.e. with other Christians, the result of fellowship with God. The blood of Jesus Christ] RV omits ’Christ.’ Only those who ’walk in the light’ can appropriate the cleansing efficacy of the life laid down upon the Cross. Cleanseth] The present tense denotes a continuous process—the progressive sanctification of the believer’s soul: cp. John 13:10.

8. Deceive ourselves] lit. ’lead ourselves astray.’

9. Just] RV ’righteous.’

Forgive.. cleanse] ’Forgive’ refers to the remission of punishment, ’cleanse’ to the removal of pollution.

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on 1 John 1". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.