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The Book of First John Introduction ...

The First Book of John – Introduction


Author: John the Apostle – (Author of the Gospel of John) … First John is so like the Gospel of John in language, style, and theology that few have ever disputed that the two books were written by the same man …


Date: The letter cannot be dated with certainly … Its similarity to John’s Gospel, the presence among the recipients of a Christianized form of Gnosticism, and the apparent age of its author suggest a time late in John’s life, about the same time as he wrote his gospel – (AD 90-95) …


Major Theme: TEST OF TRUE CHRISTIAN LIFE … Jesus Christ, the Incarnate God, reveals the light – (1John 1:5-7), LOVE – (1John 4:7-11), AND LIFE – (1John 5:11-13) of the Father, as contrasted with the darkness – (1John 1:6), HATRED – (1John 2:9-11), AND DEATH – (1John 5:12) of the present world … First John is a commentary on the reality of baptism, chrismation, and the Eucharist in our lives: SUBTHEMES INCLUDE:


1: Our communion with God and with each other …

2: The close relationship of faith, love, obedience, and life …

3: The close relationship between love of God and love of others …

4: The crucial importance of holding true faith …

5: A stark, eschatological contrast between the children of God and the children of the world …


Background: First John is a polemic against two identifiable groups: (a): false teachers with a gnostic bent; and (b): former members of the Church who were a threat to the faith of those remaining – (1John 2:27; and 1John 3:7) … The polemic is mostly pastoral and positive, to protect God’s people … While the addressee is not mentioned, this may be an encyclical to John’s diocese of Asia …






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