1 John 1:1-4

Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by Glad4Mercy, Oct 29, 2015.

  1. #1 Glad4Mercy, Oct 29, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2015
    1:1- What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life--

    "From the beginning" is a phrase that is often used in the writings of John. John writes of

    a. Jesus (being from the beginning) (1 John 2:14),

    b. the message which was heard from the beginning (1 John 3:11),

    c. the commandment received from the beginning (1 John 2:7),

    d. and John exhorts us to allow what we heard from the beginning to abide in us. (1 John 2:24)

    When I first began to study 1 John, I thought that the first five words of the book ("that which was from the beginning"), were referring to Jesus Himself. Later I discovered that the pronoun is in the neuter gender, not the masculine, apparently meaning that the pronoun is referring to the content of the message, i.e the message concerning the WORD of LIFE, who is Jesus.

    What I think that John is saying is that Jesus, as the WORD of LIFE, is the embodiment of the full councel of God, the perfect SELF REVELATION OF GOD TO MAN. The message that the disciples received was not only heard, it was also seen, looked upon (watched intently), and even touched. Jesus not only spoke the WORD of God, He was the WORD of GOD made flesh. He not only spoke of God's love, He PERFECTLY demonstrated it, being the fulness of the Godhead in a body.

    This is an important lesson, because we need to not only speak the Word of God, but we need to live it out in our daily lives, so that the world will not only hear our confession, but also see our possession. I want to shine brightly for Jesus. Jesus is the TRUE LIGHT that came into the world, and we are called to reflect His Light all around us.

    Another important point is that John seems to be refuting a doctrinal heresy in these verses. There was a group of false teachers called the "docetists", who taught that Jesus was not truly human, did not possess flesh and blood, but only appeared or seemed to be human. Basically they denied the real INCARNATION of Jesus. John opposes this teaching by saying that the apostles did not only see and hear Jesus, they also touched Him. Christ had a body in His life, and He had a body after His Resurrection. It was necessary for Him to possess full humanity as well as full DEITY, because if He didnt, how could He have been tempted in all points without sin, how could He have shed blood for our sins, and how could He have RISEN bodily from the dead as the Firstfruit of all believers who will also rise, who though they die, yet they shall live!!!

    These wonderful truths bring joy into our lives, yes in Christ our joy can be FULL
    CCW95A, Fish Catcher Jim and Cturtle says Amen and like this.
  2. Isn't it interesting how when Jesus appeared to His diciples after He was resurrected He said handle me a spirit hath not flesh and bone (Luke 24:39) .....He didn't mention blood for i believe His veins were filled with the glory of God.
    Glad4Mercy and Fish Catcher Jim say Amen and like this.
  3. #3 Glad4Mercy, Nov 3, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2015
    THAT (neuter pronoun) which was from (the) beginning....

    I want to address the neuter pronouns used in the prologue of 1 John, because I started second guessing what I wrote in the first post. There is a wide range of disagreement among Bible expositors why John uses the neuter instead of the masculine. Here are some resources...

    (about him?

    This has puzzled many scholars. F.F. Bruce states that the neuter gender of ‘that which was from the beginning’ points to the gospel rather than to the personal Christ, although indeed the gospel is so completely bound up with the personal Christ that which is primarily true of the one may be said of the other; R.C.H. Lenski proposes the neuter allows not only a reference to Jesus as the Son of God, but also all “he was and is and will ever be for us.” Roy Lanier, Jr. adds, “this unique person compassed both time and eternity, earth and heaven, God and man. The use of “Word” (LOGOS) both here and in the Gospel will have much of the same connotation, a comprehensiveness, an entirety of Jesus’ earth-bound experiences being told by John and his associates.” Finally, Stephen Smalley suggests that, even if John has the person of Jesus at the back of his mind, the stress at the opening of this verse is on the message about Jesus.

    No doubt John refers to the Person of the Son of God, much the same as he did in the introduction to the Gospel (John 1:1–3). In 1 John 1:1 John used the neuter gender word (ho – “that which”) four times rather than (he – “who”) which is a masculine word. John Dobbs says that the four relative pronouns are a literary device to attract the attention of the readers. The neuter relative pronoun noun is used instead of the masculine, because at the start John does not want to reveal his subject is a man. Another consideration for using the neuter pronoun is to refer to all that for which Christ stands, hence the neuter for the collective whole.

    These are a few possibilities for John’s use of the neuter gender instead of the masculine gender.) http://www.wedopreaching.com/messengerblog/2015/2/23/that-which-was-from-the-beginning

    (Verse 1. - The first clause states what or how the object is in itself; the next three state St. John's relation to it; "which," in the first clause nominative, in the others is accusative. The neuter (ὅ) expresses a collective and comprehensive whole (John 4:22; John 6:37; John 17:2; Acts 17:23, etc.); the attributes of the Λόγος rather than theΛόγος himself are indicated. Or, as Jelf expresses it, "the neuter gender denotes immaterial personality, the masculine or feminine material personality.) Pulpit Commentary

    (1. That which was from the beginning] The similarity to the opening of the Gospel is manifest: but the thought is somewhat different. There the point is that the Word existed before the Creation; here that the Word existed before the Incarnation. With the neuter ‘that which’ comp. John 4:22; John 6:37; John 17:2;Acts 17:23 (R. V.). The Socinian interpretation, that ‘that which’ means the doctrine of Jesus, and not the Incarnate Word, cannot stand: the verbs, ‘have seen’, ‘beheld’, ‘handled’, are fatal to it. In using the neuter S. John takes the most comprehensive expression to cover the attributes, words and works of the Word and the Life manifested in the flesh) Cambridge Bible.

    Many commentators state that the pronoun refers to the preincarnate Christ without explaining the use of the Neuter instead of the masculine. I tend to agree with this except the use of the neuter is a puzzle to me.

    Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Of course, we know that the subject IS Christ, without question. But I just wanted to kind of explore this question a little bit.
  4. Just my own thoughts here. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." That which was from the beginning is the Word. The word "Word" is "logos" which is were we get our English word, "logic". Not only does logos mean "to speak", it also means "purpose, and a reason". No human being ever does anything with out "first" having a purpose or reason. It makes no "logical" sense to do some thing with out having a reason of why. Sense Jesus Christ is the "Word" of God" , and he is the beginning, he is also the reason, and the purpose why everything exists.
    "All things were made by him, and all things were made for him" Jesus Christ is the purpose why every thing exists whether it be visible, or invisible.
    Not only is Jesus the Word from the beginning he is also the message to all mankind, and the purpose why every thing exists. If Jesus is our head and we are his body, then every thing in existence was made for Christ and His Church.
  5. Can we as a child of God sitting on the right hand of God in Christ able to handle the Word of life? I believe we can as we are told "to lay hold unto eternal life" (1 Tim 6:12)(Heb 6:18) Can we see Jesus, to look upon him in this life?

    Heb 12:2.. Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

    Heb 2:8.. Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.
    Heb 2:9.. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

    There is another "profound" statement by John that boggles our carnal human mind......

    1Jn 1:3.. That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

    John was declaring these things to us so we could have fellowship with the saints in "light". "That you might have fellowship with us."
    If we will walk in the light as he is in the light we will have fellowship with one another.
    (1 John 1:7) How many people do you think actually believe this?
  6. So then you seem to agree with the Pulpit Commentary said, ie that John used the neuter to indicate a description of the collective and comprehensive whole of what the word LOGOS signifies. Is this correct?
  7. To the first part, I believe that even though we cannot see Jesus with our physical eye, we can clearly see Him with the spiritual eyes God has given us.

    Jesus is more real to me than what I can see with my physical eyes.

    To the second part, the fellowship we have with God and one another is indispensible to Christianity. We cannot claim to be Christians without it. I can meet a Christian for the first time, and there is already an invisible bond between us.
    Cturtle and CCW95A say Amen and like this.
  8. #8 CCW95A, Nov 3, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2015
    I believe that Jesus is the expressed exact image of God, as in Christ lives and dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.
    Inside the Word of God dwells all of the God head in their fullness.
    Glad4Mercy likes this.
  9. Amen!

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