1 John 3:11

God Is Love, So We Must Love One Another

3:11 For this is the gospel message that you have heard from the beginning: that we should love one another,

1 John 3:23

3:23 Now this is his commandment: that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he gave us the commandment.

tn It could be argued (1) that the ὅτι (Joti) at the beginning of 3:11 is grammatically subordinate to the preceding statement at the end of 3:10. As BDF §456.1 points out, however, “Subordination with ὅτι and διότι is often very loose…and must be translated ‘for.’” Thus (2) ὅτι assumes an inferential sense, standing at the beginning of a new sentence and drawing an inference based upon all that has preceded. This is confirmed by the structural parallel between the present verse and 1:5.

tn The word “gospel” is not in the Greek text but is supplied to clarify the meaning. See the notes on the words “gospel” and “message” in 1 John 1:5.

tn See the note on the word “message” in 1 John 1:5, where this same phrase occurs.

sn For this is the gospel message…that we should love one another. The structure of this verse is parallel to 1:5, indicating the beginning of a second major section of the letter.

tn The καί (kai) is epexegetical/explanatory (or perhaps resumptive) of the commandment(s) mentioned in the preceding verse.

tn This verse begins with the phrase καὶ αὕτη ἐστίν (kai {auth estin; cf. the similar phrase in 3:11 and 1:5), which is explained by the following ἵνα (Jina) clause, “that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ.” The ἵνα thus introduces a clause which is (1) epexegetical (explanatory) or (2) appositional. By analogy the similar phrase in 3:11 is also followed by an epexegetical ἵνα clause and the phrase in 1:5 by an epexegetical ὅτι (Joti) clause.

sn His commandment refers to what follows – the commandment from God is to believe in his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another.

sn The author of 1 John repeatedly attributes the commandments given to believers as given by God the Father, even though in John 13:34-35 it was Jesus who gave the commandment to love one another. 2 John 4-5 also attributes the commandment to love one another directly to the Father. Thus it is clear that God the Father is the subject of the verb gave here in 3:23.