The Inclusive and the
Particular in 1 John
By Jonathan Mitchell

This study will consider the use of the singular pas (all people; all humanity; everybody) and its plural cognates in 1 Jn., and will observe its corporate and inclusive interaction with the particular, or singular, subjects in this letter. We recognize from the text that this letter was written to called-out covenant communities in Christ, although the term ekklesia is not used. We will find here phrases and expressions that are similar to those found in the Gospel of John, so there may be correlations between the views and perspectives of these two texts. While noting some of these, this short study will focus on this letter.

We will begin with 1 Jn. 1:1, noting its correspondence with Jn. 1:1, 4 and 14.

"The One who was continuously existing from a beginning (or: He Who was progressively being parted away from [the] Source, Headship and Rule). The One whom we have listened to, and still hear; the One whom we have seen, and now yet perceive with our eyes (or: in our eyes); the One whom we gazed upon as a public spectacle (as an exhibit in a theater) and our hands handled (felt about for and touched) - groping around the Word of the Life (or: the Logos, which is the Life; the thought which pertains to life; the Information and Idea from the Life; the message with the character and qualities of the Life; the Reason which belongs to the Life; [note: I have treated ho as the definite article in the first four phrases here and in vs. 3; many treat it as a neuter relative and render it: That which])."

In vs. 3 we observe the Father and the Son mentioned, which calls to mind Jn. 1:14, again. Here, the Son is identified as Jesus Christ. Next, we find an echo of Jn. 1:4-5 in vs. 5 of our text,

"And this is the message (or: And it is this message) which we have heard - and still hear - from Him, and we are continually bringing back tidings (or: announcing again) to and among you people that God continuously exists being (or: is) Light, and within Him darkness and obscurity do not exist - not even one (or: and so, there is absolutely no dimness or shadiness in Him)."

Verses 6-7 of this 1st chapter hold allusions to Jn. 3:19-21, and to Jesus being the Truth in Jn. 14:6. So with these few of the numerous ties between this letter and John's Gospel, let us begin our investigation. The word family of pas (all, etc.) is used twenty-seven times in this short letter. Its prominence here has prompted our study. We will only consider the uses that seem pertinent to our topic.

Our first glance at the inclusiveness in 1 Jn. is seen in the first chapter, where John's statements would apply to all humanity, not just to those of the covenant communities:

8. If we should up and say that we have no error (or: do not periodically possess deviation or hold sin and mistake), we are continuously leading ourselves astray (or: deceiving ourselves and driving ourselves off the Path), and the Truth is not (or: reality does not exist) within us.

9. If it would be our habit to confess (admit; avow; say the same thing as; speak in accordance with; or: would continue in agreement [about]) our error (our failure; our sin; our mistake), He is constantly faithful and just (fair; in accord with the Way pointed out and in right relationship; rightwised), to the end that He would at once send away for us (or: dismiss or pardon and cause to flow away in us) the errors ([some MSS add: our] failures, mistakes and deviations) and then would cleanse [other MSS: He will cleanse] us from all injustice (all that is contrary to the Way pointed out; every unrighteousness; all unfairness, inequity and unrighteous relationships; every behavior that is turned in the wrong direction).

10. If we would say that we have not failed to hit the target (or: sinned; made a mistake; erred; deviated), and exist thus, we habitually make Him a liar (one who utters falsehood), and His Word (Thought; Idea; message; Logos) does not exist among (or: is not within) us.

Chapter 2 opens with a statement of particularity ("My little children") in vs. 1, but moves to a statement of the inclusive at the end of vs. 2:

1. My little children (born ones), I am writing these things to you (or: for you) to the end that you may not fail to hit the target (deviate from the goal; sin). And if anyone should at some point fail (or: suddenly commit sin, make a mistake or deviate), we constantly have One called alongside to help, give relief and guide us toward the Father (or: we continuously possess a Paraclete, face to face with the Father): Jesus Christ, [the] One in accord with the Way pointed out (or: a Just One; [the] Righteous One; [the] Fair One who is in right relationship with all; a Rightwised One; [the] right one; a Person that is turned in the right direction).

2. And He Himself exists continually being a cleansing, sheltering cover around our mistakes and errors, sheltering us from their effects so that we can be in peaceful and rightwised relationships (or: being the act by which our sins and failures are cleansed and made ineffective, effecting conciliation [to us]), yet not only around those pertaining to us (or: having their source in us), but further, even around the whole ordered System (secular realm and dominating world of culture, economy, religion and government; or: universe; or: aggregate of mankind)!

A bridge set between the first clause of vs. 2 and the following, final phrase should be noted: "yet NOT ONLY around those pertaining to US." This bridge in turn throws emphasis on the final phrase, "but further, even around THE WHOLE ordered System (secular realm and dominating world of culture, economy, religion and government; or: universe; or: aggregate of mankind)!" A more inclusive statement is hard to find. But don't forget what exists "around this aggregate of mankind" - "He Himself" as "a cleansing, sheltering covering" around everyone's sins, as stated in the first clause.

John next moves to the particulars that characterize Christ's followers, in vss. 3-15. Some of these are seen in vss. 3-5:

"be continuously watchful and would habitually keep, guard, observe, and maintain His implanted purposes and internalized goals (or: inner projections of destiny)... progressively know through experience and continue to recognize with insight, because we have come to know Him.... habitually keeping (attentively guarding to observe) His Word... within this person God's Love has been perfected and brought to its goal... we continuously exist within the midst of Him, and in union with Him."

Still addressing the believers, he says in vs. 8,

"within you [other MSS: us], that the Darkness (the obscure dimness of the realm of the shadows and of lack of the light of the Day; [note: a figure of the ignorance of the prior system and realm]) is progressively being caused to pass by, and the True Light (or: = real knowledge and understanding; = Light of the new Day) is already (before now) progressively shining and appearing."

Those particular folks continue being addressed in vss. 13-15,

"you have by experience known, and now have intimate insight of, the One [Who is] from [the] beginning (or: the Original One)... you have overcome (conquered; are victorious over) the one bringing a gush of misery and this now exists as a decided are (or: exist being) constantly strong, and God's Word (Logos; Thought; Idea; Reason; message; Information) continuously dwells (abides; remains) within you and you have overcome (conquered; are the victor over) the one (or: person) bringing a gush of misery....If anyone is in the habit of loving the world (ordered arrangement of religion, or of secular society), the Father's [other MSS: God's] Love (or: the love which the Father has; the Love which is the Father) does not exist within him"

In vs. 16 we have pas in its neuter form, pan (everything), which explains the preceding final statement of vs. 15, above:

"because everything within the world (ordered but dominating System of the secular and the religious) - the flesh's over-desire (full passion of the alienated human nature; lust of the estranged self; earnest wants of the false persona that was conformed to the System), and the eyes' over-desire, and the arrogant ostentation (haughty, presumptuous or pretentious egoism) pertaining to living (= the biological and sociological life we live), is not out of the Father as a source (or: does not proceed from the Father), but rather is continuously forth from out of the world (the ordered System of society, culture and religion)."

Furthermore, he explains the situation in vs. 17,

"and the world (ordered System of religion, society, culture, economy and government) is progressively (or: constantly; repeatedly) being caused to pass along (pass by; pass away), as well as its over-desire (full passion; earnest wants; lust), yet the person constantly doing (or: performing) God's will (intent; purpose; desire) remains (abides; dwells) on into the Age (= the time and sphere characterized by the Messiah)."

So in these two verses he moved back to the inclusive, "the world," but let us keep in mind that this is the same "world" that God desperately loves (Jn. 3:16). Then in vss. 18-20 he returns to the particulars of the end of his age:

"it continues being (or: is progressively) a last hour (= an eschaton of the Day, or the closing moment [of the age])... an antichrist (or: anti-anointing; that which is instead of, or in the place of, Christ or the Anointing) repeatedly comes.... They came (or: come; go; or: went) out from us, but they were not existing out of us (or: they were not [a part] of us).... you folks continue having the effects (or: constantly hold and progressively possess the results) of an anointing from the set-apart One (or: the Holy One), and so you all have seen and are aware."

Our term of inclusiveness (pas, a masculine, singular) is now seen in vs. 23,

"Everyone, who (or: All mankind, which) in continuously contradicting or denying the Son, does not even have (or: not even is he possessing; neither holds) the Father. The one habitually speaking like the Son (or: the one continuously confessing and avowing the Son; the one habitually speaking in accord with or saying the same thing as the Son) also constantly has (possesses) the Father."

The term "Everyone" can also be rendered, "All mankind." The verse would then be thus constructed:

"All mankind - which (or: who; or: that) is continuously contradicting or denying the Son - does not even have the Father. That humanity habitually speaking like the Son, and confessing/avowing the Son, also constantly has the Father."

This would be descriptive of the two humanities, the two Adams, of 1 Cor. 15:45-47. So either a particular reading, or an inclusive reading can be seen in this verse. John returns to his listeners in vs. 24,

"As for you folks... you also will continue remaining (abiding; dwelling; staying) within the Son, even within the midst of and in union with the Father! (or: you will dwell both in the Son and in the Father)."

Wow! What a statement; what a reality. He further explains this in vs. 25:

"And this is (continues being) the Promise which He Himself promised (or: promises) to us [other MSS: to you]: the Life of the Age." [note: in Acts 1:4-5 the "Promise" was the Holy Spirit]

Particularistic statements are made in vss. 27-28,

"the effect of the anointing which you folks received (or: receive) from Him constantly remains (abides; dwells; makes its home) within you folks.... you are continuously (or, reading as imperative: keep on) dwelling (abiding; remaining; staying) within and in union with Him, to the end that if (or: whenever) He may be manifested (or: it can be made visible, apparent and shown in clear light) we can (or: may; should; would) have confident boldness (freedom in speaking associated with citizenship; complete outspoken bluntness) and may not feel or receive shame (disgrace; dishonor; humiliation) from Him, within His presence (or: may not be shamed away from Him in the midst of His presence)." [cf 1 Cor. 15:34]

His presence is seen in Rev. 1:20-2:1, where He is constantly walking among the called-out communities. Now again, in vs. 29b we find John's familiar inclusive term, pas (All mankind; Everyone).

"that everyone habitually making or doing fair and equitable dealing (accomplishing that which is right and in accord with the Way pointed out; practicing justice; constructing righteousness; producing rightwised [existence]) has been born and now exists being a born-one (or: now stands begotten), from out of the midst of Him (and: with Him as the Source)."

An alternate rendering of this dependent clause is:

"Because all people who are (or: all mankind which is) constantly producing what is right and is in accord with rightwised living in the Way pointed out now stands begotten with Him as the Source."

This is a general statement about folks who produce the right fruit (of the Breath-effect), without any reference to religious cultus or performance.

In chapter 3, vss. 1-3 return to the particular, individual, though corporate "us/we" statements that describe the situation of the new arrangement in the new creation:

1. You people at once consider (or: look and perceive) what kind of love (or: acceptance) the Father has given to (or: in; for) us [other MSS: you], which we now have as a gift, to the end that we can (would) be called God's children! And we are! Because of this the System (the world; the realm of the secular and religious; the ordered arrangement of culture, religion, economy and government) is not habitually having experiential or intimate knowledge of us [other MSS: you] because it did not know (or: it does not have an intimate, experiential knowledge of) Him.

2. Beloved ones, now (at the present time) we continuously exist being God's children and it has not yet been made visible (or: it is not yet apparent or manifested) what we will proceed in being. We have perceived, and thus know that if it (or: He) should be (or: whenever it {or: He} may be) made visible, apparent and manifested, [then] folks like to Him (ones like Him) we will be existing, because we will continue seeing and will be progressively perceiving Him just as (according and exactly as; in the manner that) He constantly exists (or: He is). [cf Ps. 17:15; Col. 3:4; Rom. 8:17-18]

3. So everyone, who (or: all mankind, which) in continuously having (or: habitually holding) this expectation (or: expectant hope) [placed; resting] upon Him is [by this] constantly (repeatedly; progressively) purifying himself, just as (in the way that) That One is pure.

Expressed more inclusively, vs. 3 can be rendered:

"So all mankind - which now in continuously holding this expectation, based upon Him - progressively purifies itself, in the way that That One is pure."

This "expectation" is because of the incarnation of the Logos, and the death and resurrection of Jesus. It has given all mankind an expectant hope. Paul speaks to this expectation in Col. 3:4,

"Whenever the Christ, our life [other MSS: your life], can be brought to light (or: may or should be manifested), you folks also will proceed being brought to light (or: will keep on being manifested), together with Him, within the midst of glory (or: in union with a manifestation which calls forth praise; or: in a good reputation; or: = in His manifest presence). (or: When Christ, the Anointing, can be manifested, then your life - even you yourself, together with Him - will continue being manifested in His assumed appearance)."

This verse is followed by another inclusive expression (vs. 4):

"Everyone, who (or: All mankind, which) in constantly practicing (habitually committing; progressively producing) the error (or: deviation; missing of the target; sin; failure), is also constantly practicing the lawlessness (or: habitually commits a lawless act, or progressively does the violation of custom), and the error (or: the failure to hit the target; the deviation; the sin) exists being (or: is) the lawlessness (or: the violation of law or the act apart from custom is the mistake and the error)."

Again, in vs. 6, pas is the subject:

"Everyone, who (or: All mankind, which) in continuously remaining (dwelling; keeping his residence; abiding; staying) within and in union with Him, is not habitually missing the target (practicing sin; repeatedly failing in his purpose). Everyone, who (All mankind, which) in continually failing to hit the target (habitually sinning; progressively in error), has neither seen Him, nor come to know Him by intimate experience or insight."

Here, these two renderings present first the particular application, then, parenthetically, the inclusive view; both renderings, in both compound clauses, present statements of fact. The first half of the verse speaks of the last Adam, the Second Humanity; the second half of the verse speaks of the first Adam and the first humanity. Verses 7 and 8 return to an admonition to the communities, and then describe characteristics of the two realms of existence, and particulars about aspects of the past ages, prior to the manifestation of the Son and His work for mankind. Next, we return to the inclusive paradigm again in vs. 9:

"Everyone, who (or: All mankind, which) in having been given birth, and is now in the state of having been born from out of the midst of God, is not habitually practicing failure to hit the target (repeatedly doing sin; constantly producing error), because His Seed (sperm) is continuously remaining (dwelling; abiding) within him (or: within, and in union with, Him), and he is not able (or: he has no power) to constantly fail to hit the target (repeatedly sin; continuously deviate; go on failing; continue in error), because he has been born forth from out of God."

The inclusive, "All mankind," rendering may seem absurd when we look around at people still living in the first Adam. This reading can only existentially apply to those living their lives in the reality of Eph. 2:6, where,

"He jointly roused and raised (or: suddenly awakens and raises) [us] up, and caused [us] to sit (or: seats [us]; = enthroned [us]) together within the things situated upon [thus, above] the heavens."

This is the kingdom realm, and can only be observed through the eyes of the spirit. But this rendering looks to the timeless realm of the spirit, the kingdom realm, where the ultimate goal of the finished work of Christ is seen with His Seed finally planted in the heart of every human being. We read in Job 32:8,

"Rather, there is a spirit in mortals, and it is a breath of the Almighty that teaches" (N.E.T.S; LXX)

Verse 10 continues this line of reasoning, with the first clause describing the two Adams (which includes all individuals), or the two humanities. Recall Jesus words to the leaders of Judea,

"You folks, in particular, are (exist and have your being) from out of, and have your source in, the ancestor who cast [an object] through [someone] (or: the father, the devil; or: the devil father; or: the father - the one thrusting [words or issues] through [folks/groups] and dividing them)..." (Jn. 8:40b).

But the next section of our verse 10, here, continues with the inclusive window:

"everyone, who (or: all humanity, which) in not practicing righteousness (not habitually doing justice; not progressively constructing his life turned in the right direction to accord with the Way pointed out; not being fair or equitable; not being in [covenant] relationships) - as well as the person not continuously loving his brother (= a believer, or fellowman), is not existing out of God (= is not living with God being his source of life and direction)."

We who live in the Last Adam, the Second Humanity, have heard the message (as stated in vs. 11),

"so that we are habitually (or: to the end that we would or could progressively be) loving (accepting and participating in) one another."

Then vs. 12 explains the situation of the first Adam/humanity, using the story of Cain:

"He was existing, and continued being, from out of the condition (or: situation; or: one; thing; = influence) causing misery and hard labor (the unprofitable attitude; the worthless mindset; the wicked intent; the toilsome situation; the sorry plight), and so he slaughtered (killed by cutting his jugular vein) his brother."


"Because his works (actions) were gushed with misery and hard labor (were wicked or evil; were toilsome; were unprofitable and worthless), but those of his brother [were] ones in accord with the Way pointed out."

But we are "not like Cain," because we have been moved into the new humanity, which is Christ. But keep in mind that we were once like Cain, and were a part of the first Adam (cf Rom. 5:12ff). Individuals, in God's economy, can represent corporate realities in His stories. Jacob became Israel, and from then on Israel represented an entire people, who in turn were to represent all of humanity. The particular individual points to the inclusive whole. John Gavazzoni points us to the reality that God's reign does not come in a way that can be observed (Lu. 17:20), and then cites Isa. 45:15,

"You are a God who hides Himself."

This Gavazzoni correlates this to Paul in Col. 3:3,

"for you folks died, and your life has been hidden so that it is now concealed together with the Christ, within the midst of God (or: in union with God)."

The new, the Second, is hidden within the old, the First, until it is manifested: Rom. 8:19,

"For the looking away and watching with the head stretched forward alertly (or: the peak expectation, premonition or intuitive opinion; or: = the concentrated and undivided focus) of the creation is constantly receiving and taking away from out of the unveiling of God's sons (or: = the uncovering and revealing of folks who have the character and qualities of God; or: the disclosure pertaining to the sons of God; or: the unveiling and revelation which belongs to God's sons; or, as an ablative: the disclosure from God's sons)."

Just as Cain hated Abel, so the System hates the counter-culture of Christ in the called-out communities (vs. 13). We are aware that

"that we have walked together (or: proceeded to change, passing from) out of the Death into the Life, because we are habitually loving the brothers."

The System is representative of the Death from out of which we have walked, as we travel the Way (Christ) that has been pointed out to us. Yet,

"the person not habitually loving [some MSS add: his brothers] continues remaining (dwelling; abiding; staying) within the Death" (vs. 14)

which exists within the System. Now vs. 15a states this same thing in inclusive language:

"Everyone, who (or: All humanity, which) in constantly hating (or: regarding with ill-will or detaching from) his brother, constantly exists being a person-slayer (a murderer), and you have seen so as to be aware that every person-slayer does not presently have (or: is not continuously holding) life having its source in, or having the quality of, the Age (or: eonian life) presently remaining within him (or: continuously dwelling and abiding in union with him)."

Yet we see that 15b continues with a particularistic view.

Then vs. 16a presents the corporate contrast:

"Within this we have come to know the Love (acceptance which drives to overcome estrangement and achieve reunion) by intimate experience: that That One placed (or: places; sets; deposited) His soul over us." But That One (Christ) was just the Seed, and we are the firstfruits of His harvest, so, "We ourselves are also constantly indebted (obligated) to place [our] souls over the brothers (folks of the same womb [Eve]: fellow humans; = [God's] family)" (16b).

Now lest we view this statement about "the brothers" in an exclusive way, remember that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the World (4:14, below). The Love that caused Christ to place (deposit) His soul, was the Father's Love for the entire aggregate of humanity (Jn. 3:16). As we "follow Him," we are called to do what He did - and thus produce ever-increasing harvests throughout our existential living.

The rest of chapter 3 presents further statements of the truth and reality ensuing from the Christ Event, but these wonderful verses are beyond the scope of this study and so we shall proceed into chapter 4, where vs. 4a explains that God is the source of Love, and then our next encounter with pas is in 4:7b,

"And so, everyone, who (or: all humanity, which) in continuously loving, has been born, and exists being a born-one, from out of the midst of God, and constantly experiences intimate knowledge of God (or: comes to know by experiences from God; gains knowledge and insight by the experience which is God)."

Lest the reader thinks that this statement is too inclusive, recall Jn. 1:9,

"It was (or: He was, and continued being) the True and Genuine Light which (or: Who) is continuously (repeatedly; progressively) enlightening (giving light to) every person (or: all humanity) continuously (repeatedly; progressively; constantly; one after another) coming into the world."

Verse 8 proceeds to balance the context with a particular:

"The one not habitually loving has not come to know God by intimate experience, because God continuously exists being Love (or: for God is Love and Acceptance)."

If we read behind this statement, we will see the first Adam, or Cain, above. It also reaches back to 3:15, above. Now 4:9-16, below, presents instruction about God's love and Its/His relation to the called-out community; a particularistic presentation. But in 16b John makes another inclusive statement:

"God exists continually being Love (Unrestricted Acceptance), and the person continuously remaining (dwelling; abiding) within, and in union with, the Love, is continuously remaining (dwelling; abiding) within, and in union with, God - and God constantly dwells (remains) within the midst of him and abides in union with him."

This sounds a lot like 4:7b, above. Our traditions might want to add qualifiers to this statement, but these are not in the text. And think hard on vs. 19, below:

"We ourselves are [some MSS add: now] habitually loving (or, as a subjunctive: can and should be constantly loving) because He Himself first loved (or: urges to reunion with) us."

His love for "the world," or, "the aggregate of mankind," is that which will also enable everyone to love - when their existential time comes for them to be born from above (Jn. 3:7; 1 Cor. 15:23a). Next, let us examine the inclusive statement in vs. 17b,

"because just as That One is, we also continuously exist being: within the midst of this ordered System and within the midst of the aggregate of humanity."

So, note the connection between the called-out communities and the whole of humanity; also between God and the whole of humanity. Just as we are a part of the aggregate of humanity, or, of the world, so is God.

The rest of the chapter deals more with love, and ends with,

"And we continuously hold (or: have) this implanted goal (impartation of the finished product within; inward and purposed directive of destiny) from Him, to the end that the person continuously loving God can, should and would also habitually love his brother" (vs. 21).

The first word in chapter 5 is our word pas. John seems to want to nail this connection of trust, love and being born from out of God:

1. Everyone, who (or: All mankind, which) in continuously believing, constantly being convinced and progressively trusting that Jesus is (or: exists being) the Christ (the Anointed One; = the Messiah), has been brought to birth and is now a born-one (= is a child) from out of God. And everyone, who (or: all mankind, which) in continuously loving (urging toward reunion with) the One bearing and giving birth (the Parent), should and would also love (accept in unity) the person having been born (the child) out of Him.

Now the first half of this verse is easy to accept, for it involves belief, conviction and trust (the present participle pisteuon), but we should keep the now obvious element of inclusion in mind. And the second half of the verse unpacks two points:
a) All mankind can love and urge toward union with God - the One giving birth to folks - and we see no expressed restrictions or requirements.
b) If we, or anybody, love God, we should love all His children.
Verses 2 and 3 give more particular instruction on love:

2. Whenever we are (or: may be) habitually loving God, and then may be habitually doing or producing His implanted goals (impartations of the finished product within; inward, purposed directives), in this [condition and situation] we progressively come to know by insight and intimate experiences that we are [also] normally loving God's children.

3. You see, that we would continuously observe His imparted and implanted goals is itself the Love of God (or: the love which pertains to God; the Love which is God).

Verse 4, however, moves the text to an even broader and more inclusive context by the use of the neuter, pan (everything; all that exists), and the inclusive kosmos (the world; the controlling System):

"because everything having been born from out of the midst of God continuously overcomes (habitually conquers and is progressively victorious over) the controlling System (ordered world of religion, secular culture, economy and government). And this is the victory (or: conquest) at once overcoming (conquering; victorious over) the controlling System (ordered world of religion, culture, economy and government): our trust, confidence, faith and loyalty!"

Here we are reminded of Jn. 3:6b,

"the thing being birthed, having been born forth from out of the Spirit, is spirit (or: what is birthed out of the Breath-effect continues being Breath-effect; or: what is born from the Attitude is an attitude)."

Paul lends insight into this in Rom. 8:

6. For the result of the thinking (mind-set; effect of the way of thinking; disposition; result of understanding and inclination; the minding; the opinion; the thought; the outlook) of the flesh (= from the human condition or the System of culture and cultus; or: = Torah keeping) [is; brings] death, yet the result of the thinking (mind-set; disposition; thought and way of thinking; outlook) of the spirit (or: from the Spirit; which is the Breath-effect) [is; brings] Life and Peace (joining).

7. Because of that, the result of the thinking (disposition; thought processes; mind-set, outlook) of the flesh (= attention to Torah boundary-markers, custom and cultus; or: = from the human condition) [is; brings] enmity, alienation and discord [streaming] into God (or: hostility unto, or active hatred with a view to, God), for it continues not being humbly aligned and supportive (habitually placed under and submitted; or, as a middle: subjecting, humbly arranging or marshaling itself) to the principle and law which is God (or: in God's principle; by the Law from God), for neither is it able nor does it have power....

9. Yet you folks are not constantly existing within the midst of flesh (or: you are not in union with nor centered on [the alienated human condition, or Torah-keeping with flesh sacrifices]), but rather within spirit, in union with Breath-effect and centered on [His] attitude, since indeed God's Spirit (or: if so be that [the] Breath-effect which is God; or: if as is the fact that an attitude which corresponds to God) is continuously housing Itself (making His abode; residing; dwelling; by idiom: cohabiting; living together as husband and wife) within and among you folks....

11. Now since the Breath-effect (or: Spirit; Attitude) of the One arousing and raising Jesus forth from out of the midst of dead folks is continuously housing Itself (making His abode; residing; making His home; by idiom: living together as husband and wife) within, and in union with, you folks, the One raising Christ Jesus forth from out of dead ones will also continue progressively giving Life to (or: will even habitually make alive) the mortal bodies of you folks (or: your mortal bodies) through the constant indwelling of His Spirit within and among you folks....

13. for you see, if you folks are continuously living down on the level of, and in accord with, flesh, you are progressively about to be dying away. Yet since (or: if) in spirit (or: by [the] Breath-effect; with [His] Spirit), you folks constantly put to death (or: deprive of life) the practices and activities of the body (= works of flesh traditions; Torah cultus) you will continue living.

14. For it follows that as many as are being continuously led by God's Spirit (or: habitually brought or conducted in [the] Breath-effect which is God; progressively driven along with an attitude from God), these folks are God's sons.

The word "Spirit" (or: spirit; pneuma) in Greek is neuter, or, neutral. All of this informs 1 Jn. 5:4, above, when it speaks, using the neutral pan, of

"everything having been born from out of the midst of God."

What God gives birth to is a form, essence or manifestation of God, or what we might call "godness," and we understand that

"God is Spirit/spirit" (Jn. 4:24).

This argument put forth by Paul, in Rom. 8, illumines 5:4 of our present text, and speaks universally, since it speaks of pan being born out of the midst of God. We can turn to Paul, again, in Rom. 11:36, to receive another picture of the scope of pan coming out of God:

"Because, forth from out of the midst of Him, then through the midst of Him (or: through means of Him), and [finally] into the midst of Him, [is; will be] the whole (everything; [are] all things (ta panta, the plural, neuter, of pas)."

Or, as Paul instructs us in 2 Cor. 5:18,

"Yet further, all things [are] (or: the Whole {ta panta} [is]; = all the things that exist [are]) forth from out of the midst of God - the One transforming us to be completely other [than we were] in Him."

Our last verse in 1 Jn. that uses pas is in 5:18, and we will let John speak his own closing to us:

18. We have seen and thus know that everyone, who (or: all mankind, which) in having been born from out of the midst of God, is not habitually failing to hit the target (erring; deviating; sinning; falling short of the Purpose), but rather, the person at some point being born from out of God habitually keeps a guarded watch over himself (or: keeps himself; [other MSS: for instead, the One born from the midst of God continuously watches over and keeps him]), and so the fellow (the one; the person) that causes misery or painful labor is not habitually touching him (or: the disadvantageous and worthless situation does not repeatedly lay hold of him; the base fellow is not constantly assailing him; wickedness and evil are not continuously fastening upon him; the misery-gushed [attitude] is not repeatedly affecting him).

19. We have seen and thus know that we are continuously existing from out of the midst of God, yet the whole ordered System (or: the entire realm of the religious and the secular) is continuously lying outstretched (lying as asleep, idle or dead; reclining) within the gush of misery (within the disadvantageous, laborious and worthless situation; within the sorry plight; in union with wickedness and evil; in the midst of the misery-gushed [attitude and existence]),

20. yet we have seen and thus know that God's Son has arrived and is continuously here, and He has given thorough understanding (comprehension; faculty of thought; intelligence; intellectual capacity; input throughout the mind) to the end that we would constantly know [other MSS: so that we do constantly know] by experience the True One (or: the true, the real and the genuine), and we constantly exist within and in union with the True One (or: in the real [situation]; in the midst of Reality): within His Son, Jesus Christ. This One is the True (Real; Genuine) God, and Life pertaining to and having the qualities of the Age (or: life having its source in the Age [of Messiah]; eonian life; Life of, for and on through, the ages).

21. Little children (born ones) keep yourselves in custody (or: guarded)! - away from the idols (the external appearances; the forms; or: = false concepts)!

We began this study with 1 Jn. 1:1 and its correlation with Jn. 1:1. In connections with the Logos also being "the Information," Keith Ward concludes that,

"[The] ultimate ontological reality is indeed information.... 'shaping' information and semantic information.... a 'shorthand' explanation for complex cases, or as involving new laws governing the behavior of emergent complex systems. Cosmic holistic explanation seeks to explain parts of the cosmos in terms of its total structure and history. This suggest the idea of an ultimate informational principle for the universe... The notion of semantic information is extensible to cover the idea of a cosmic, unembodied consciousness, which carries and transmits the informational code for the construction of this and any possible universe. That is the mind of God" ("God as the ultimate informational principle," in Information and the Nature of Reality; From Physics to Metaphysics, Cambridge Uni. Press, 2010, Ed. By Paul Davies and Niels Henrik Gregersen, pp 299-300).

The "ultimate and ontological reality" and "ultimate informational principle" are found in what may be considered John's and Paul's "shorthand," in their use of the Greek pas, and particularly in the totally inclusive pan (and the plural, ta panta). And so ends our investigation into the Inclusive and the Particular in 1 John. May these short observations engender new insights from His Spirit that is within the midst of you.


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