Concordia Theological Monthly

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fellowship, christian, 1st john, epistle, faith, jews, forgiveness, lenski, luther

Submission Type

Bible Study; Lecture; Sermon Prep


The chief isagogical problem of the Epistle is its structure. Dr. R. C.H. Lenski states: “A curious circumstance about the letter is the fact that it seems to have no divisions. Commentators divide it in one way or in another, and state their reasons for such a division; but when one reads the letter, the proposed divisions do not satisfy. They are upset by the series of repetitions and reiterations that occur throughout the letter. That fact makes some interpreters complain about the lack of logic; but this letter has no formal parts, such as we commonly use and expect. It is constructed according to a different and a higher method .... John rises above formal divisions and parts. This letter is built like an inverted pyramid or cone. First the basic apex is laid down in 1:1-4; then the upward broadening begins.


Biblical Studies

Scripture References in this Resource (separated by semi-colons)

1 John 1:1-4; 1 John 1:5-10; 1 John 5:21; 1 John 1:5-2:28; 1 John 2:29-3:22; 1 John 3:23-5:1; 1 John 5:2-12; 1 John 5:13-21;

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Submission Audience

Laity; Ministers; Scholars