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Verses of 1 John 5

18

1 John 5:18 Commentary - The Apologists Bible Commentary

The Apologists Bible Commentary

1 John 5

18 We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.

C O M M E N T A R Y from John Gill's Commentary ... 1Jo 5:18 - We know that whosoever is born of God,.... Who is regenerated by his Spirit and grace, and quickened by his power; who has Christ formed in him, and is made a partaker of the divine nature, and has every grace implanted in him: sinneth not; the sin unto death; nor does he live in sin, or is under the power and dominion of it, though he does not live without it; See Gill on 1Jo 3:9; but he that is begotten of God; the Vulgate Latin version reads, "the generation of God keeps or preserves him"; that is, that which is born in him, the new man, the principle of grace, or seed of God in him, keeps him from notorious crimes, particularly from sinning the sin unto death, and from the governing power of all other sins; but all other versions, as well as copies, read as we do, and as follows: keepeth himself; not that any man can keep himself by his own power and strength; otherwise what mean the petitions of the saints to God that he would keep them, and even of Christ himself to God for them on the same account? God only is the keeper of his people, and they are only kept in safety whom he keeps, and it is by his power they are kept; but the sense is, that a believer defends himself by taking to him the whole armour of God, and especially the shield of faith, against the corruptions of his own heart, the snares of the world, and particularly the temptations of Satan: and that wicked one toucheth him not; he cannot come at him so as to wound him to the heart, or destroy that principle of life that is in him, or so as to overcome and devour him; he may tempt him, and sift him, and buffet him, and greatly afflict and grieve him, but he can not touch his life, or hurt him with the second death; nay, sometimes the believer is so enabled to wield the shield of faith, or to hold up Christ the shield by faith, and turn it every way in such a manner, that Satan, who is here meant by the wicked one, because he is notoriously so, cannot come near him, nor in with him; cannot work upon him at all with his temptations, nor in the least hurt his peace, joy, and comfort: the saints know their perseverance from the promises of God and declarations of Christ; Psa 125:1.

G R A M M A T I C A L A N A L Y S I S Ò gennhqeiV ek tou qeou thpei {auton (NA27/UBS4) / `eauton (TR)} hO GENNКTHEIS EK TOU THEOU TКPEI {AUTON / hEAUTON} The [one] born out of (the) God keeps {him(self) / himself} AUTOS (G846) 1) himself, herself, themselves, itself; 2) he, she, it; 3) the same (Thayer ). "he," also means "self," in the reflexive pronouns "myself, thyself, himself," etc. (see, e.g., HE), expressing distinction, exclusion, etc. (Vine ). The reflexive pronouns emautou, seautou, heautou and heautôn (1st, 2nd, 3rd person plur...) have surrendered some of their original function to the simple personal pronoun in the NT (BDF , §283). Abbott holds that in John autos never means 'he,' either emphatic or unemphatic, but always 'himself.' But in Jo. 2:12 (autos kai ê mêtêr autou) there is little difference between the emphatic 'he' and 'himself.' ....The use of the personal pronoun in the reflexive sense survived longest in the vernacular. It is not "abnormal" therefore to find in the N.T. (vernacular koinê) the personal pronouns where a reflexive form might have been used (Robertson , p. 680).

O T H E R V I E W S C O N S I D E R E D Jehovah's Witnesses objection: Witness apologist Greg Stafford writes: "1 John 5:18 is referring to Jesus Christ, and therefore shows that the idea of Jesus' 'birth' from God was well known to John" (Stafford , p. 360). He considers the arguments presented by scholar Gerard Pendrick, but ultimately finds them unconvincing. response: Pendrick considers this example to be "uncertain." He refers his readers to commentator and author Raymond Brown for "evidence and arguments" regarding the various ways this verse has been understood by scholars, and therefore of the "uncertainty" of its referent. Mr. Stafford does not engage Brown's arguments at all, instead apparently thinking that if he can demonstrate that the variant "him" (Greek: auton) is more likely than "himself" (Greek: heauton), he has successfully rebutted Pendrick. Let's consider Mr. Stafford's arguments in order, supplying counterpoints from Brown and others, as necessary. First, Mr. Stafford acknowledges that the variant "himself" occurs in a number of manuscripts, but "him" (Greek: auton) is the preferred reading, citing Metzger . Metzger and the UBS Translation Committee rated auton as a {B} variant ("almost certain"), but the reading "himself" is very widely exampled. It exists in: Codex Sinaiticus, the corrector of Alexandrinus, the Byzantine tradition, the Peshitta, Sahidic, Armenian, and by Origen, Epiphanius, Didymus, Theophylact and the critical version of Merk, Vogels, and von Soden. It appears the UBS Committee did not give "him" an {A} rating due to this wide range of witnesses reading "himself." But the textual variant tells only part of the story. Even if one regards auton as the "almost certain" variant, this does not preclude the understanding that believers are the ones "born of God." Indeed, auton may be used as a reflexive, and - as Brown notes - this was the interpretation of many Greek church fathers. Thus, we must turn to internal evidence to determine just how likely it is that John here uses "begotten" of Jesus. This brings us to Mr. Stafford's second argument; namely that that if "himself" is the preferred reading, "we have a case where the believer who is spiritually 'born' from God 'protects himself'" (Stafford , p. 360). Mr. Stafford apparently believes that because elsewhere, (John 17:15 and 2 Thessalonians 3:3) it is God that protects sinners, this meaning is unlikely. However, it should be noted that the all translations of the Bible based on Textus Receptus (including the KJV, ASV, and RSV) read "himself," and yet no commentators using these versions found this reading to be theologically difficult. John Gill provides a typical example: keepeth himself; not that any man can keep himself by his own power and strength; otherwise what mean the petitions of the saints to God that he would keep them, and even of Christ himself to God for them on the same account? God only is the keeper of his people, and they are only kept in safety whom he keeps, and it is by his power they are kept; but the sense is, that a believer defends himself by taking to him the whole armour of God, and especially the shield of faith, against the corruptions of his own heart, the snares of the world, and particularly the temptations of Satan (Gill ). Further, modern scholars such as Raymond Brown who argue for "himself" as either the preferred textual variant or the preferred meaning have also had no trouble reconciling the sense of this verse with the Bible's teaching. Indeed, Brown notes that John himself speaks of Christians as "overcoming" the Evil One in 1 John 2:13-14. It would seem, then, that Pendrick's assertion that Jesus is never indisputably described by John as "begotten" is confirmed by the evidence. While it is possible that John uses "begotten" of Christ in this verse, it is not certain enough upon which to base a firm decision. As Brown notes: I find it hard to believe that if the Johannine writers thought that Jesus had been begotten by God, they would never elsewhere have used that language in the many passages on the subject. Notes ___________________________________________________ 1. Raymond Brown, The Epistles of John, p. 621. 2. BDF , 283. 3. Brown, p. 621. 4. Ibid. 5. Ibid, p. 622.

Verses of 1 John 5

18

Consult other comments:

1 John 5:18 - The Greek Testament

1 John 5:18 - Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible

1 John 5:18 - Joseph Benson’s Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

1 John 5:18 - Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

1 John 5:18 - Calvin's Complete Commentary

1 John 5:18 - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

1 John 5:18 - Adam Clarke's Commentary and Critical Notes on the Bible

1 John 5:18 - Commentary on the Holy Bible by Thomas Coke

1 John 5:18 - Companion Bible Notes, Appendices and Graphics

1 John 5:18 - Expository Notes of Dr. Constable (Old and New Testaments)

1 John 5:18 - Expositors Bible Commentary

1 John 5:18 - Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)

1 John 5:18 - The Expositor’s Greek Testament by Robertson

1 John 5:18 - Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

1 John 5:18 - Geneva Bible Notes

1 John 5:18 - John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

1 John 5:18 - Gnomon of the New Testament

1 John 5:18 - Henry Alford's Greek Testament

1 John 5:18 - Matthew Henry's Whole Bible Commentary

1 John 5:18 - The Apologists Bible Commentary

1 John 5:18 - Biblical Illustrator Edited by Joseph S. Exell

1 John 5:18 - Jamieson, Fausset and Brown's Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

1 John 5:18 - Expositions Of Holy Scripture by Alexander MacLaren

1 John 5:18 - Heinrich August Wilhelm Meyer's New Testament Commentary

1 John 5:18 - Commentary Series on the Bible by Peter Pett

1 John 5:18 - English Annotations on the Holy Bible by Matthew Poole

1 John 5:18 - The Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary Edited by Joseph S. Exell

1 John 5:18 - Old and New Testaments Restoration Commentary

1 John 5:18 - Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

1 John 5:18 - A Popular Commentary on the New Testament

1 John 5:18 - John Trapp's Complete Commentary (Old and New Testaments)

1 John 5:18 - The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

1 John 5:18 - You Can Understand the Bible: Study Guide Commentary Series by Bob Utley

1 John 5:18 - Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament

1 John 5:18 - Whedon's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

1 John 5:18 - Combined Bible Commentary

The Apologists Bible Commentary