I taught on 1 John for a few months at the end of last year and on into the beginning of 2008. I wish I would have been learning how to translate the words from zhubert.com back then. I knew about the program, but I suppose I was too busy and wasn't interested at the time in learning Greek this way. Anyway, I am now overly excited about the wonderful riches of truth firmly fixed within the Holy Spirit inspired, inerrant and sufficient Word of Truth - the Bible, as I read it and meditate on it. I thank God for the Bible, because it shows us so clearly who our Savior really is. And now, here is my personal translation of 1 John 1:1-4 and following are my notes from today:
1 John Chapter 1
1 About the Word of Life, who was from the beginning, whom we heard, whom we saw with our eyes, whom we looked at and our hands touched.
2 The Life appeared and we have seen it, and we bear witness to it. We proclaim to you the Life eternal, who was with the Father and whom we have seen.
3 Whom we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you also may have fellowship with us, and our fellowship is with the Father and the Son Jesus Christ.
4 And these things we are writing so that our joy will be full.
This is one of the most amazing introductions in the Bible. It is clear and to the punch. It is straightforward in its bold statements of fact. "We have seen... We have heard... We have touched... the Logos of Life, i.e. the Word of Life." Such a powerful statement totally exposes any false ideas coming from the gnostic heresies, and boldly declares the truth about the Son of God. The gnostics were a group of pagans who mixed Christianity with their false ideas. They denied that Jesus had human flesh, claiming He was only a spirit. They also believed in many gods, not unlike the mormon church reportedly does. Others, such as Jews, did not believe in the Deity of Christ, but thought He was only a man and nothing more. Others said Jesus was an exalted Angel, sort of like the JW's do today.
John left no room for such false beliefs right from the get-go. If you don't believe Jesus came in the flesh - Bam! Your black in the eye. If you don't believe Jesus is eternally Divine with the Father, and yet one God - Pow! Your knocked out. John hit between the eyes in this introduction. He just thrust his sword right through the dragon's throat. He left no room for such false ideas in this introduction of who Jesus is.
And notice how the purpose for writing is stated in verses three and four. The proclamation of the plain truth about Christ, was so that we might also have fellowship with the apostles, and with God as both Father and Son. And verse four is special, in that it was written "so that our joy is full." Who's joy is "our" joy? It would have to be those who are truly saved, those walking in the light and abiding in the truth (1 John 1:7), and so experiencing genuine fellowship. For anyone else, the implied call is to immediate repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as God in the flesh, the Son of the Father. Those who genuinely repent and believe this testimony are also promised genuine fellowship.
John's bold statement would have been clear to any Hellenistic (Greek cultured) person reading this, "The Life appeared and we have seen it, and we bear witness to it. We proclaim to you the eternal Life who is from the Father, and whom we have seen."
[Caution: I just read and watched some videos about Todd Bentley, and felt like what I wrote above sounded a little too much like his false enthusiasm. Forgive me, my point was that the apostle John was very sharp in correcting the heresies that were arising in the early church, and not that we should go around beating people up in the name of Jesus like a maniac. Thanks.]