Internet Verse Search Commentaries Word Analysis ITL - draft

1 John 4:1

Context
NET ©

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, 1  but test 2  the spirits 3  to determine 4  if they are from God, because many false prophets 5  have gone out into the world.

NIV ©

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

NASB ©

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

NLT ©

Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world.

MSG ©

My dear friends, don't believe everything you hear. Carefully weigh and examine what people tell you. Not everyone who talks about God comes from God. There are a lot of lying preachers loose in the world.

BBE ©

My loved ones, do not put your faith in every spirit, but put them to the test, to see if they are from God: because a great number of false prophets have gone out into the world.

NRSV ©

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world.

NKJV ©

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.


KJV
Beloved
<27>_,
believe
<4100> (5720)
not
<3361>
every
<3956>
spirit
<4151>_,
but
<235>
try
<1381> (5720)
the spirits
<4151>
whether
<1487>
they are
<2076> (5748)
of
<1537>
God
<2316>_:
because
<3754>
many
<4183>
false prophets
<5578>
are gone out
<1831> (5758)
into
<1519>
the world
<2889>_.
NASB ©
Beloved
<27>
, do not believe
<4100>
every
<3956>
spirit
<4151>
, but test
<1381>
the spirits
<4151>
to see whether
<1487>
they are from God
<2316>
, because
<3754>
many
<4183>
false
<5578>
prophets
<5578>
have gone
<1831>
out into the world
<2889>
.
GREEK
agaphtoi
<27>
A-VPM
mh
<3361>
PRT-N
panti
<3956>
A-DSN
pneumati
<4151>
N-DSN
pisteuete
<4100> (5720)
V-PAM-2P
alla
<235>
CONJ
dokimazete
<1381> (5720)
V-PAM-2P
ta
<3588>
T-APN
pneumata
<4151>
N-APN
ei
<1487>
COND
ek
<1537>
PREP
tou
<3588>
T-GSM
yeou
<2316>
N-GSM
estin
<1510> (5748)
V-PXI-3S
oti
<3754>
CONJ
polloi
<4183>
A-NPM
qeudoprofhtai
<5578>
N-NPM
exelhluyasin
<1831> (5758)
V-RAI-3P
eiv
<1519>
PREP
ton
<3588>
T-ASM
kosmon
<2889>
N-ASM
NET © [draft] ITL
Dear friends
<27>
, do
<4100>
not
<3361>
believe
<4100>
every
<3956>
spirit
<4151>
, but
<235>
test
<1381>
the spirits
<4151>
to determine
<1381>
if
<1487>
they are
<1510>
from
<1537>
God
<2316>
, because
<3754>
many
<4183>
false prophets
<5578>
have gone out
<1831>
into
<1519>
the world
<2889>
.
NET ©

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, 1  but test 2  the spirits 3  to determine 4  if they are from God, because many false prophets 5  have gone out into the world.

NET © Notes

sn 1 John 4:1-6. These verses form one of three units within 1 John that almost all interpreters consider a single unit and do not divide up (the other two are 2:12-14 and 15-17). The subject matter is so clearly different from the surrounding context that these clearly constitute separate units of thought. Since the Holy Spirit is not the only spirit active in the world, the author needs to qualify for the recipients how to tell if a spirit comes from God. The “test” is the confession in 4:2.

tn According to BDAG 255 s.v. δοκιμάζω 1 the verb means “to make a critical examination of someth. to determine genuineness, put to the test, examine.”

sn Test the spirits. Since in the second half of the present verse the author mentions “false prophets” who have “gone out into the world,” it appears highly probable that his concept of testing the spirits is drawn from the OT concept of testing a prophet to see whether he is a false prophet or a true one. The procedure for testing a prophet is found in Deut 13:2-6 and 18:15-22. An OT prophet was to be tested on the basis of (a) whether or not his predictive prophecies came true (Deut 18:22) and (b) whether or not he advocated idolatry (Deut 13:1-3). In the latter case the people of Israel are warned that even if the prophet should perform an authenticating sign or wonder, his truth or falsity is still to be judged on the basis of his claims, that is, whether or not he advocates idolatry. Here in 1 John the idea of “testing the spirits” comes closer to the second OT example of “testing the prophets” mentioned above. According to 1 John 4:2-3, the spirits are to be tested on the basis of their christological confession: The person motivated by the Spirit of God will confess Jesus as the Christ who has come in the flesh, while the person motivated by the spirit of deceit will not confess Jesus and is therefore not from God. This comes close to the idea expressed by Paul in 1 Cor 12:3 where the person speaking charismatic utterances is also to be judged on the basis of his christological confession: “So I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, ‘Jesus is cursed,’ and no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit.”

tn The phrase “to determine” is not in the Greek text, but is supplied for clarity.

tn “False prophets” refers to the secessionist opponents (compare 2:19).



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