2:20 Nevertheless you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know. 1 2:21 I have not written to you that 2 you do not know the truth, but that 3 you do know it, and that 4 no lie is of the truth. 2:22 Who is the liar but the person who denies that Jesus is the Christ 5 ? This one is the antichrist: the person who denies the Father and the Son. 2:23 Everyone who denies the Son does not have the Father either. The person who confesses the Son has the Father also. 6
2:24 As for you, what you have heard from the beginning must remain 7 in you. If what you heard from the beginning remains in you, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. 2:25 Now this 8 is the promise that he 9 himself made to 10 us: eternal life. 11 2:26 These things I have written to you about those who are trying to deceive you. 12
2:27 Now as for you, the anointing 13 that you received from him 14 resides 15 in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you. But as his 16 anointing teaches you about all things, it is true and is not a lie. Just as 17 it 18 has taught you, you reside 19 in him.
1 tc πάντες (pantes, nominative plural in “you all know”) is read by א B P Ψ sa. A C 049 33 1739 Ï latt sy bo have the accusative πάντα (panta, “you know all things”). The evidence favors the nominative reading, but it is not overwhelming. At the same time, the internal evidence supports the nominative for a variety of reasons. A scribe would naturally tend to give the transitive verb a direct object, especially because of the parallel in the first half of the verse. And intrinsically, the argument seems to be in balance with v. 19: The “all” who have gone out and are not “in the know” with the “all” who have an anointing and know that they are true believers. Further, as R. E. Brown points out, “the fact of their knowledge (pantes), not the extent of its object (panta), seems best to fit the reassurance” (Epistles of John [AB], 349). Brown further points out the connection with the new covenant in Jer 31 with this section of 1 John, esp. Jer 31:34 – “they all [pantes] shall know me.” Since 1 John alludes to Jer 31, without directly quoting it, this is all the more reason to see the nominative as original: Allusions are often overlooked by scribes (transcriptional evidence), but support the intrinsic evidence. Thus, the evidence is solidly (though not overwhelmingly) behind the nominative reading.
sn The statement you all know probably constitutes an indirect allusion to the provisions of the new covenant mentioned in Jer 31 (see especially Jer 31:34). See also R. E. Brown, The Epistles of John [AB], 349.
2 tn The interpretation of the three ὅτι clauses in v. 21 is very difficult: (1) All three instances of ὅτι (Joti) may be causal (so NASB, NIV, NEB). (2) The first two may be causal while the third indicates content (declarative or recitative ὅτι, so KJV, RSV, TEV, NRSV). (3) However, it is best to take all three instances as indicating content because this allows all three to be subordinate to the verb ἔγραψα (egraya) as compound direct objects. The author writes to reassure his readers (a) that they do indeed know the truth (first two uses of ὅτι) and (b) that no lie is of the truth (third use).
5 tn Or “the Messiah”
6 tc The Byzantine text, almost alone, lacks the last eight words of this verse, “The person who confesses the Son has the Father also” (ὁ ὁμολογῶν τὸν υἱὸν καὶ τὸν πατέρα ἔχει, Jo Jomologwn ton Juion kai ton patera ecei). Although shorter readings are often preferred (since scribes would tend to add material rather than delete it), if an unintentional error is likely, shorter readings are generally considered secondary. This is a classic example of such an unintentional omission: The τὸν πατέρα ἔχει of the preceding clause occasioned the haplography, with the scribe’s eye skipping from one τὸν πατέρα ἔχει to the other. (Readings such as this also suggest that the Byzantine text may have originated [at least for 1 John and probably the general epistles] in a single archetype.)
7 tn The word translated “remain” may also be translated “reside” (3 times in 2:24). See also the notes on the translation of the Greek verb μένω (menw) in 2:6 and in 2:19. Here the word can really have both nuances of “residing” and “remaining” and it is impossible for the English reader to catch both nuances if the translation provides only one. This occurs three times in 2:24.
8 tn It is difficult to know whether the phrase καὶ αὕτη ἐστιν (kai Jauth estin) refers (1) to the preceding or (2) to the following material, or (3) to both. The same phrase occurs at the beginning of 1:5, where it serves as a transitional link between the prologue (1:1-4) and the first major section of the letter (1:5-3:10). It is probably best to see the phrase here as transitional as well; thus καί (kai) has been translated “now” rather than “and.” The accusative phrase at the end of v. 25, τὴν ζωὴν τὴν αἰώνιον (thn zwhn thn aiwnion), stands in apposition to the relative pronoun ἥν (Jhn), whose antecedent is ἡ ἐπαγγελία (Jh epangelia; see BDF §295). Thus the “promise” consists of “eternal life.”
9 tn The pronoun could refer to God or Jesus Christ, but a reference to Jesus Christ is more likely here.
10 tn Grk “he himself promised.” The repetition of the cognate verb “promised” after the noun “promise” is redundant in English.
11 sn The promise consists of eternal life, but it is also related to the concept of “remaining” in 2:24. The person who “remains in the Son and in the Father” thus has this promise of eternal life from Jesus himself. Consistent with this, 1 John 5:12 implies that the believer has this eternal life now, not just in the future, and this in turn agrees with John 5:24.
12 sn The phrase those who are trying to deceive you in 1 John 2:26 is a clear reference to the secessionist opponents mentioned earlier in 1 John 2:19, who are attempting to deceive the people the author is writing to.
13 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.
14 sn The pronoun could refer to God or Jesus Christ, but a reference to Jesus Christ is more likely here.
16 sn The pronoun could refer (1) to God or (2) to Jesus Christ, but a reference to Jesus Christ is more likely here.
17 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.
18 tn Or “he.”
19 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).