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1 John 1:5

    1 John 1:5 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    And this is the message which we have heard from him and announce unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    This is the word which came to us from him and which we give to you, that God is light and in him there is nothing dark.

    Webster's Revision

    And this is the message which we have heard from him and announce unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

    World English Bible

    This is the message which we have heard from him and announce to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    And this is the message which we have heard from him, and announce unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

    Clarke's Commentary on 1 John 1:5

    This then is the message - This is the grand principle on which all depends, which we have heard of απ' αυτου, From him; for neither Moses nor the prophets ever gave that full instruction concerning God and communion with him which Jesus Christ has given, for the only-begotten Son, who was in the bosom of the Father, has alone declared the fullness of the truth, and the extent of the blessings, which believers on him are to receive. See John 1:18.

    God is light - The source of wisdom, knowledge, holiness, and happiness; and in him is no darkness at all - no ignorance, no imperfection, no sinfulness, no misery. And from him wisdom, knowledge, holiness, and happiness are received by every believing soul. This is the grand message of the Gospel, the great principle on which the happiness of man depends. Light implies every essential excellence, especially wisdom, holiness, and happiness. Darkness implies all imperfection, and principally ignorance, sinfulness, and misery. Light is the purest, the most subtile, the most useful, and the most diffusive of all God's creatures; it is, therefore, a very proper emblem of the purity, perfection, and goodness of the Divine nature. God is to human soul, what the light is to the world; without the latter all would be dismal and uncomfortable, and terror and death would universally prevail: and without an indwelling God what is religion? Without his all-penetrating and diffusive light, what is the soul of man? Religion would be an empty science, a dead letter, a system unauthoritated and uninfluencing, and the soul a trackless wilderness, a howling waste, full of evil, of terror and dismay, and ever racked with realizing anticipations of future, successive, permanent, substantial, and endless misery. No wonder the apostle lays this down as a first and grand principle, stating it to be the essential message which he had received from Christ to deliver to the world.

    Barnes' Notes on 1 John 1:5

    This then is the message which we have heard of him - This is the substance of the announcement (ἐπαγγελία epangelia) which we have received of him, or which he made to us. The message here refers to what he communicated as the sum of the revelation which he made to man. The phrase "of him" (απ ̓ αὐτου ap' autou) does not mean respecting him, or about him, but from him; that is, this is what we received from his preaching; from all that he said. The peculiarity, the substance of all that he said, may be summed up in the declaration that God is light, and in the consequences which follow from this doctrine. He came as the messenger of Him who is light; he came to inculcate and defend the truths which flow from that central doctrine, in regard to sin, to the danger and duty of man, to the way of recovery, and to the rules by which men ought to live.

    That God is light - Light, in the Scriptures, is the emblem of purity, truth, knowledge, prosperity, and happiness - as darkness is of the opposite. John here says that "God is light" - φῶς phōs - not the light, or a light, but light itself; that is, he is himself all light, and is the source and fountain of light in all worlds. He is perfectly pure, without any admixture of sin. He has all knowledge, with no admixture of ignorance on any subject. He is infinitely happy, with nothing to make him miserable. He is infinitely true, never stating or countenancing error; he is blessed in all his ways, never knowing the darkness of disappointment and adversity. Compare the James 1:17 note; John 1:4-5 note; 1 Timothy 6:16 note.

    And in him is no darkness at all - This language is much in the manner of John, not only affirming that a thing is so, but guarding it so that no mistake could possibly be made as to what he meant. Compare John 1:1-3. The expression here is designed to affirm that God is absolutely perfect; that there is nothing in him which is in any way imperfect, or which would dim or mar the pure splendor of his character, not even as much as the smallest spot would on the sun. The language is probably designed to guard the mind from an error to which it is prone, that of charging God with being the Author of the sin and misery which exist on the earth; and the apostle seems to design to teach that whatever was the source of sin and misery, it was not in any sense to be charged on God. This doctrine that God is a pure light, John lays down as the substance of all that he had to teach; of all that he had learned from him who was made flesh. It is, in fact, the fountain of all just views of truth on the subject of religion, and all proper views of religion take their origin from this.

    Wesley's Notes on 1 John 1:5

    1:5 And this is the sum of the message which we have heard of him - The Son of God. That God is light - The light of wisdom, love, holiness, glory. What light is to the natural eye, that God is to the spiritual eye. And in him is no darkness at all - No contrary principle. He is pure, unmixed light.