1 Aug 1999

First John

Submitted by theshovel
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Important: First John needs to be read from John's perspective, not Paul's. Ignore this and you may see what John was NOT saying, but you'll miss most of what he WAS saying.

John wrote this letter to a group of believers who were doubting their own relationship to God. Do you think he spoke so much about having confidence because they felt so confident? Listen:

I have NOT written to you because you do NOT know the truth, but BECAUSE YOU DO KNOW it,1 John 2:21

Hmmm . . . sound like maybe they THOUGHT they didn't know the truth? So, why do we read this letter and come away with MORE reasons to doubt? It doesn't fit. This lack of confidence was being fueled by people among them who did NOT belong to God. These impostors created the illusion of having such a deep relationship with God that it caused the believers to question their own.

These things I have written to you concerning those who are trying to deceive you.1 John 2:26

Too obvious to have fooled them? How often has hindsight revealed your OWN gullibility?

John's letter might throw us off, but it made sense to those he wrote it to. They understood that WE didn't refer to THEM, but to the APOSTLES as that group sent by Jesus to proclaim the message of union with God. He contrasts WE with THEY because there was another group vying for this position of authority - the DECEIVERS. [The fact that ALL believers are ALSO sent by Christ is a reality found in what the APOSTLES had to say; the lies of the DECEIVERS would have us believe that only those who meet up to special criteria are qualified.] My paraphrase is from the perspective of John doing a rewrite for our benefit. I've inserted some related thoughts from John & 1 John to reinforce the letter's train of thought. I've even restructured some of the grammar just to keep our favorite verses from breaking the flow of the whole letter.

New Testament: 


Hello, I am very glad about your articles. And I indeed thank you for them! However, is it possible that these 'translation' be at some time in the future made available for downloading?
theshovel's picture

Hello dear friend, Guess what? My articles are already available for downloading! If you will take a careful look at the links that show up after any given article you should see an Adobe icon with linkable text that says "PDF version". It creates an on-the-fly PDF file. :) When you click on any of the Shovelation PDF links, it creates the whole book in PDF form. I hope this helps. :) Jim

Hello! Thank you for pointing that out. Quite obvious, isn't it? I copy-pasted them and made them into pdf. I intend on printing them. They are excellent for reading. I sincerely hope you would be writing something on Romans :> Best regards
theshovel's picture

Yes, Romans has been on my to-do list from way back. I'm going to have to give myself a kick-start on this project again. :) Jim

Now that you have said it, I cannot wait! God be with you in Christ.

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Random Shovelquote: The Word Received (view all shovelquotes)

The understanding of what it would be for the very word (expression) of God to be made flesh can only be received if that same Word is now within us. source