1 John 1:1-3 – That Which Was From the Beginning

1 John 1:1 That which was from the beginning, that which we have heard, that which we have seen with our eyes, that which we saw, and our hands touched, concerning the Word of life
1 John 1:2 (and the life was revealed, and we have seen, and testify, and declare to you the life, the eternal life, which was with the Father, and was revealed to us).
1 John 3:3 that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us. Yes, and our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son, Jesus Christ. – World English

That was from beginning, which we have heard, what we have seen to the eyes of us, which we viewed, and the hands of us felt, about the Logos of Life, and the life was manifested, and we have seen and we hearing witness and we are reported back to you the life everlasting which was with the Father and it was manifested to us, — which we have seen and we have heard, we are reporting back also to you, in order that you sharing, you may be having with us: the sharing with our Father and the Son of him, Jesus Christ. — 1 John 1:1,2, Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible translation.

1 John 1:1-3 is often cited to support the trinity doctrine. Actually, the trinitarian has to call upon his imagination so as add assumptions to, and read those assumptions into what John was stating, in order to “see” trinity in what John stated. Let us examine the verse carefully to see if John was writing about a triune God.

“That which was from the beginning.” It is often assumed that by “the beginning”, John was writing about the same “beginning” that he wrote of in John 1:1. We highly doubt this, since in 1 John 2:7, John again refers to “from the beginning”, but in the latter verse it should be obvious that the commandment those to whom John wrote had “from the beginning” is not speaking about their existence in the beginning before the world of mankind was made through Jesus.  (John 1:10; 17:5)  The “beginning” evidently is referring to the time period of when Jesus was yet in the days of his flesh (Hebrews 5:7), since John speaks of seeing the Logos with his eyes, and handling him with his hands; likewise, it was while Jesus was in the days of his flesh that he gave his commandments.

1 John 1:1,2 expresses in different words basically the same thing John spoke of elsewhere in his Gospel. In the human Jesus was life, a life in himself given to him by his God, a life which brought to light life and incorruption (1 Timothy 1:10), since, unlike Adam, who also had life in himself given to him by God (John 1:4; 5:26) yet gave up that life in disobedience, Jesus never disobeyed, and retained the right to that human life for eternity, but which life he willingly sacrificed for all who are dying due to Adam’s disobedience. — Romans 5:12-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22; 1 Timothy 2:5,6; Hebrews 10:10.

As a result of Jesus’ sacrifice of his rights to eternal human life, he became the means of such life to those who are dying in Adam, so that those who figuratively eat of his flesh and drink of his blood in faith may also be accounted, reckoned, imputed, as having been justified, having life in themselves as human sons of God, awaiting an actual placement as sons in the resurrection. — John 6:53; Romans 4:3-24; 6:11.

Some imagine that this reads “that was eternal”, and from that read that Jesus had an eternal past. However, the Hebrew word for “beginning” does not mean eternity, nor is there any reason to imagine such an idea as related to what John wrote (except that one would wish to satisfy the added-on dogma of man beyond what is written).

The life, the eternal life, which was with the Father, and was revealed to us. – The word “with” here is from the Greek word often transliterated as “pros” (Strong’s #4314). It is the same word that is usually translated “with” in John 1:1.  The word does not mean exactly the same as “with” in the sense as we often use that word in English, but it does express and intimate relationship. “The life” spoken in 1 John 1:2, however, is not the “life” that Jesus had when he was in celestial glory before the world of mankind was made through him. (John 1:10; 17:5; 1 Corinthians 15:40) John did not see the former celestial glory of Jesus while Jesus was in the days of his flesh, since Jesus did not possess that glory at that time. John did see the glory of terrestrial life, as Adam could have had it if Adam had remained obedient. While Jesus was in the days of his flesh, “in him was life” (John 1:4), and it was that glory that John saw, felt and touched. (John 1:14) Adam’s life, before he sinned, was “with God”, in intimate relationship with God, but that relationship became severed through sin. After his sin, Adam fell short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), and that fallen condition spread to all men through Adam; the effects of what Adam did are reversed in the life of Jesus. Jesus never disobeyed, and had everlasting life in him as a human, but he gave up that life in sacrifice to redeem what had been lost through Adam. — Romans 5:12-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22; 1 Timothy 2:5,6.

Our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son, Jesus Christ. – Some read into this that John was saying that the Father and his Son are equal to each other, and that they are therefore two persons of the one triune God.  Actually, there is no scriptural reason for assuming that the Son is equal to his Father, and certainly nothing in this that gives anyone reason to imagine and assume that Jesus and his Father are two persons of a triune God.

Now with regards “the Father” and the word “God”.  In 1 John 1:5, the word “God” is used, but does it refer to a triune God? It should be obvious that “God” in 1 John 1:5 identifies only person, and that is “the Father”, since 1 John 1:7 identifies Jesus Christ as the Son of this “God”. Thus, Jesus Christ is not being spoken of as a person of “God”, but is, in fact, being excluded from being the “God” that is referred to by John.



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