Lectionary Year B
May 7, 2000
1 John 3:1-7

Step I: Acquaintance


The Contemporary English Version begins their translation with the imperative, "Think how much the Father loves us". The New Living Translation and the New Revised Standard Version translate the verb, "See . . ." Then, the NLT reads, "how very much our heavenly Father . . ."
The NRSV has, after the verb, "what love the Father has given us." The CEV ends the sentence there and begins the next one, "He loves us so much that he lets us be called his children," while the NLT continues the opening sentence, "for he allows us to be called his children," and the NRSV, "that we should be called the children of God;".

Then, the CEV reads, "as we truly are." The NLT has, "and we truly are!" The NRSV has, "and that is what we are."

In the next sentence, CEV adds, "since the people", the NLT has, "But the people who" and the NRSV, "The reason the world . . ." Then the CEV reads, "who do not know Christ", with a footnote, "Christ: The Greek text has ‘he' and may refer to God." The NLT has, "don't know God," and the NRSV has, "it did not know him."

Verse 2 begins in the CEV, "My dear friends," in the NLT, "Yes, dear friends," and the NRSV, "Beloved, . . ." Then in place of the CEV's and the NLT's "already", NRSV reads, "now;" followed by the CEV's "although what we will be hasn't yet been seen." There, the NLT translates, "and we can't even imagine what we will be like when Christ returns." The NRSV reads, "What we will be has not yet been revealed." The CEV begins a new sentence next, with, "But we do know that when Christ returns," NLT has, "But we do know that when he comes", and NRSV reads, "What we do know is this: when he (footnote: Or [it]) is revealed,".

The third verse in the CEV begins, "This hope makes us keep ourselves holy, just as Christ (footnote, "Christ: The Greek text has ‘that one' and may refer to God.) is holy." There the NLT reads, "And all who believe this will keep themselves pure," and the NRSV, "And all who have this hope in him purify themselves,".

Verse 4 begins a new paragraph in the CEV and the NRSV. CEV and NRSV begin that verse with the pronoun, "Everyone". NLT has, "Those who . . ." CEV continues, "who sins breaks God's law," NLT, "are opposed to the law of God," and NRSV, "commits sin is guilty of lawlessness;" CEV concludes that verse, "because sin is the same as breaking God's law." NLT does it, "for all who sin oppose the law of God." And, the NRSV, "sin is lawlessness."

In verse 5, CEV and the NLT say that the one who came is called, "Christ", where the NRSV has a pronoun, "he". Where CEV and NLT say he "came", NRSV says he "was revealed". Thereafter, the CEV begins another sentence, "He isn't sinful," while the NLT concludes that

Verse 6 in the CEV begins, "and people who stay one in their hearts with him won't keep on sinning." There, the NLT reads, "So if we continue to live in him, we won't sin either." And the NRSV has, "No one who abides in him sins;" followed by, "If they do keep on sinning," in the CEV and "But those keep on sinning" according to the NLT and "no one who sins" in the NRSV.

The CEV explains, "the don't know Christ and they have never seen him." The NLT explains, "have never known him or understood who he is." The NRSV, "either seen him or known him." In the last verse, CEV addresses, "Children," while NLT addresses, "Dear children" and NRSV, "Little children," followed by the CEV admonishing them, "don't be fooled." There the NLT suggests, "don't let anyone deceive you about this:" and the NRSV says, "let no one deceive you."

Then, the CEV concludes, "Anyone who does right is good, just like Christ himself." The NLT ends by stating, "When people do what is right, it is because they are righteous, even as Christ is righteous." The NRSV ends, "Everyone who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous."


Several editors want to change the second verb and pronoun/object in the first verse from a perfect tense to an aorist and/or from a first person to a second person. The majority of witnesses, though, prefer to leave it as received, as do I.

The final clause in that first sentence, "kai esmen", gets omitted in part of the tradition.

In the second sentence in that first verse, a majority of the tradition would alter the pronoun to become another second person. However, Papyrus 74 and other Uncials would retain the Textus Receptus.

The initial verb in the 5th verse finds some of the tradition preferring to change from the second person to the third person. Then, a majority of the witnesses would add a first person genetive pronoun to the second person. More seem to prefer the received text.

Some of the tradition prefers a different word for those addressed, "poidai" in the 7th verse.

Then, later, some would read a different couple of words, sounding like the Textus Receptus' "medeis". They prefer, "me tis", as it sounds like the original, "medeis" when spoken, recited, quoted or read.


      1 Become aware of what sort of love has given to us the father, that children of God we should be called, and (that) we are. Through this the world not does know us, that not did they know him. 2 Beloved, now children of God we are, and not yet was made known what we shall be. We (do) know that whenever he is made known, like him we shall be, so that we ourselves shall experience ourselves him according as he is. 3 And all who having possessed this hope in themselves unto themselves shall purify themselves, according to that purity they are.

      4 All who are doing the sinfulness the lawlessness he/she/they do, and the sinfulness is the lawlessness. 5 And you have known that this one was revealed, so that the sinfulness he should take away, and sinfulness in him not is. 6 All in him abiding not do they sin; all those sinning not are they perceiving him nor are they knowing him. 7 Children, not to be mistaken are you; all doing the right righteous are, according the one righteous who is.

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