A quick glance at the letter of 1 John can be misleading. It is not uncommon for the casual reader to think, This is brief and the words seem simple and easy to read—after all, they were written by a man who was once a fisherman—this letter can’t be all that complex. Wrong! Ask any serious student of the Scriptures for an opinion of this letter and you will hear that it is one of the most challenging of all the New Testament letters. Furthermore, it doesn’t get complicated later on—it is complicated from the very beginning. The first four verses, which serve as a preface to the letter, represent a grammatical knot. John may have been 90 years old and may have on the surface seemed like a simple-hearted follower of Jesus, but as we go deeper into the letter, we see that what he wrote was profound.
1 John 1:1-4
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