1 John 2My little children. This is a term of endearment; it was rendered appropriate in this case by the venerable age of the apostle.
He is the propitiation for our sins; having made atonement for them by his death.
Perfected; exemplified and fulfilled.
To walk; to live and act.
I write no new commandment; that is, in the principle which he had been inculcating above, namely, that a conformity to the will of God in heart and life, is the only test of the honesty of religious professions.
A new commandment; the precept enjoining brotherly love, enforced in the following verses. John designates it as a new commandment, in imitation of the language used by the Savior in John 13:34.—Is true in him; is exemplified in him.
Many conjectures have been offered in regard to the distinctions intended by the writer in the several classes of persons addressed in this passage (12-14,) and in the nature and appropriateness of the reasons assigned in each case. But it is not certain that any accurate logical distinctions were intended. We are probably to regard the changes in the forms of expression as only designed to give variety to the mode of presenting the considerations by which the various classes of Christians should feel impelled to give most serious and earnest attention to the instructions which they received.
Him that is from the beginning; the Redeemer. (ch. 1:1.)
Antichrists; false teachers; whose doctrines and characters are more particularly described in verses which follow.—Whereby we know, &c. The Savior had predicted the appearance of false Christs and false prophets, as a sign of the approach of great changes, the nature of which was only obscurely intimated. (Mark 13:22-30.) It is probable that John here refers to that prediction. In precisely what sense, however, he uses the expression the last time, is somewhat uncertain.
An unction; an anointing, considered as the ceremony or induction to office. The idea is, that they had been admitted to the station and privileges of the children of God by the Holy One himself, and would not prove apostate, like those mentioned in the preceding verse.
No lie is of the truth; no false doctrine can come from true piety.
Antichrist, that denieth, &c.; that is, by denying that Jesus is the Christ, he denies both the Father and the Son, as is shown in the next verse.
The latter part of this verse is so printed in all copies of the common English version, on account of a doubt by the translators, whether the words which represent it properly belong in the original, They are found in some manuscripts, and are wanting in others.
Let that therefore; that belief.
Them that seduce you; the false teachers.
The anointing; the unction referred to in v. 20.
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