1 John 5:9-13

1 John 5:9-13
Seventh Sunday of Easter B


If we receive humanA testimony,B the testimony of GodC is greater; for this is the testimony of God that he has testifiedD to his Son. 

Notes on verse 9

A “human” = anthropos. Probably from aner (man, male, husband) + ops (eye, face). This is human, humankind. Used for all genders.
B “testimony” = marturia. From martureo (to bear witness, testify, give evidence; to testify in a literal or figurative sense); from martus (a witness whether having heard or seen something; witness literally, judicially, or figuratively; by analogy, a martyr). This is testimony, witness, evidence, record, reputation.
C “God” = Theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.
D “testified” = martureo. Related to “testimony” in v9. See note B above.

10 Those who believeE in the Son of God have the testimony in their hearts.F Those who do not believe in God have madeG him a liarH by not believing in the testimony that God has givenI concerning his Son. 

Notes on verse 10

E “believe” = pisteuo. From pistis (faith, faithfulness, belief, trust, confidence; to be persuaded or come to trust); from peitho (to have confidence, urge, be persuaded, agree, assure, believe, have confidence, trust). This is to believe, entrust, have faith it, affirm, have confidence in. This is less to do with a series of beliefs or doctrines that one believes and more to do with faithfulness, loyalty, and fidelity. It is trusting and then acting based on that trust.
F “hearts” = hautou. 9x in NT. Related to heautou (of him, her, or itself, alone); from autos (third person pronoun). This is one’s own, each other, home, or heart.
G “made” = poieo. This is to make, do, act, construct, abide, or cause.
H “liar” = pseustes. 10x in NT. From the same as pseudomai (to lie, deceive, falsify). This is liar, one who deceives or distorts.
I “given” = martureo. Same as “testified” in v9. See note D above.

11 And this is the testimony: God gave us eternalJ life,K and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

13 I write these things to you who believe in the nameL of the Son of God, so that you may knowM that you have eternal life.N

Notes on verses 11-13

J “eternal” = aionios. From aion (an age, length of time). This is age-long, forever, everlasting. Properly, that which lasts for an age. This is where eon comes from.
K “life” = zoe. From zao (to live, be alive). This is life including the vitality of humans, plants, and animals – it is life physical and spiritual and life everlasting.
L “name” = onoma. May be from ginosko (know, recognize, learn from firsthand experience). This is a name, authority, cause, character, fame, reputation. The name was thought to include something of the essence of the person so it was not thought to be separate from the person.
M “know” = eido. This is to know, consider perceive, appreciate, behold, or remember. It means seeing with one’s eyes, but also figuratively, it means perceiving – seeing that becomes understanding. So, by implication, this means knowing or being aware.
N Some manuscripts add “and that you may believe in the name of the Son of God.”

Image credit: “United we Stand, Together our Hearts” by Mark, 2011.

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