The Epistle
of 1 John
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As to the reception of the Epistle in the church, it is needless to cite any later witness than
Eusebius (circa 325), who classes it among the books (homologoumena) whose canonical
rank was undisputed. It is quoted by Dionysius, bishop of Alexandria (247-265), by the
Muratorian Canon, Cyprian, Origen, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, and Irenaeus. Papias
(who is described by Irenaeus as a "hearer of John and a companion of Polycarp") is stated by
Eusebius to have "used some testimonies from John's former epistle"; and Polycarp's Epistle
to the Philippians (circa 115) contains an almost verbal reproduction of 1Jo 4:3. Reminiscences
of it are traced in Athenagoras (circa 180), the Epistle to Diognetus, the Epistle of Barnabas,
more distinctly in Justin (Dial. 123) and in the Didache; but it is possible that the earliest of
these indicate the currency of Johannine expressions in certain Christian circles rather than
acquaintance with the Epistle itself. The evidence, however, is indisputable that this Epistle, one
of the latest of the New Testament books, took immediately and permanently an unchallenged
position as a writing of inspired authority. It is no material qualification of this statement to add
that, in common with the other Johannine writings, it was rejected, for dogmatic reasons, by
Marcion and the so-called Alogi; and that, like all the catholic epistles, it was unknown to the
Canon of the ancient Syrian church, and is stated to have been "abrogated" by Theodore
(Bishop of Mopsuestia, 393-428 AD). – ISBE

    
    INTERNATIONAL STANDARD BIBLE ENCYCLOPEDIA
The First Epistle of
John was written from
Ephesus somewhere
after 65 a.d.
The epistle explores the relationship between faith, righteousness and love, emphasizing them
from various angles.

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our
eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the
life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal
life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and
heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our
fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto
you, that your joy may be full. (1 John 1:1-4 KJV)
Prologue (1.1-4)
Fellowship with God.(1.5-2.28)
Divine Sonship. (2.29-4.6)
Life of Love. (4.7-5.3)
Eternal Life. (5.3-5.21)
Tested by Faith, Righteousness & Love
Emphasis on Commandments
2.4,7; 3.11,23,24; 4.21; 5.3
These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye
may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
(1 John 5:13 KJV)

John emphasizes one must have faith, live righteous, and above all love – God, Christ, the truth
and brethren.
1 John 5:7 is referred to the Johannine Comma. The inclusion of this verse is probably the most
controversial point of the KJV. As the chart to the left points out, the passage is only found in
possibly (it is only found in the margin of some) twelve (12) Greek manuscripts before the 10th
century while being missing from over four hundred (400+) manuscripts. Taking into
consideration all the factors, it does not seem possible to justify the inclusion of this verse.