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1 John 2:27-28

Context

2:27 Now as for you, the anointing 1  that you received from him 2  resides 3  in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you. But as his 4  anointing teaches you about all things, it is true and is not a lie. Just as 5  it 6  has taught you, you reside 7  in him.

Children of God

2:28 And now, little children, remain 8  in him, 9  so that when 10  he appears we may have confidence and not shrink away from him in shame when he comes back. 11 

1 sn The anointing. The “anointing” (χρῖσμα, crisma) which believers have received refers to the indwelling Holy Spirit which has been given to them at their conversion.

2 sn The pronoun could refer to God or Jesus Christ, but a reference to Jesus Christ is more likely here.

3 tn This use of μένω (menw) has been translated “reside” both times in 2:27 because it refers to the current status of believers.

4 sn The pronoun could refer (1) to God or (2) to Jesus Christ, but a reference to Jesus Christ is more likely here.

5 tn Grk “and is not a lie, and just as.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.

6 tn Or “he.”

7 tn The verb may be read as either (1) indicative or (2) imperative mood. The same verb is found in the following verse, 2:28, but the address to the readers there seems clearly to indicate an imperative. On analogy some have called for an imperative here, but others have seen this as suggesting an indicative here, so that the author is not repeating himself. An indicative is slightly more likely here. Up to this point the thrust of the author has been reassurance rather than exhortation, and an indicative here (“…you reside in him”) balances the indicative in the first part of 2:27 (“the anointing which you received from him resides in you…”). With the following verse the author switches from reassurance (the readers at the time he is writing still ‘remain’; they have not yet adopted the teaching of the opponents) to exhortation (he is writing so that they will ‘remain’ and not succumb to the deception of the opponents).

8 tn Again, as at the end of 2:27, the verb μένετε (menete) may be read as either (1) indicative or (2) imperative mood. At the end of 2:27 the translation opted for an indicative because the author had been attempting to reassure his readers that they did indeed possess eternal life, and also because an indicative at the end of 2:27 balances the indicative reference to the “anointing” residing in the readers at the beginning of the verse. With the return in 2:28 to the eschatological note introduced in 2:18, however, it appears that the author switches from reassurance to exhortation. At the time he is writing them, the readers do still “remain” since they have not yet adopted the heretical teaching of the opponents. But now the author wants to forestall the possibility that they might do so at some point, and so he begins this section with an exhortation to the readers to “reside/remain” in Christ. This suggests that μένετε in the present verse should be read as imperative rather than indicative, a view made even more probable by the following ἵνα (Jina) clause which states the purpose for the exhortation: in order that at the parousia (second advent) when Jesus Christ is revealed, the readers may have confidence and not shrink back from him in shame when he appears.

9 sn A reference to Jesus Christ is more likely here. Note the mention of the second coming (second advent) at the end of this verse.

10 tn In this context ἐάν (ean) does not indicate uncertainty about whether or not Christ will return, but rather uncertainty about the exact time when the event will take place. In the Koine period ἐάν could mean “when” or “whenever” and was virtually the equivalent of ὅταν ({otan; see BDAG 268 s.v. ἐάν 2). It has this meaning in John 12:32 and 14:3.

11 tn Grk “at his coming.”

sn Have confidence…shrink away from him in shame when he comes back. Once again in the antithetical framework of Johannine thought (that is, the author’s tendency to think in terms of polar opposites), there are only two alternatives, just as there are only two alternatives in John 3:18-21, a key section for the understanding of the present passage in 1 John. Anyone who does not ‘remain’ demonstrates (just as the opponents demonstrated by their departure from the community in 2:19) that whatever profession he has made is false and he is not truly a believer.



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