Re: 1 Jn 2:7-8, Contradiction?

From: Jonathan Robie (
Date: Thu Sep 25 1997 - 07:25:10 EDT

At 12:11 AM 9/25/97 EDT, Paul S. Dixon wrote:
>You would have a contradiction between 2:7 and 2:8 only if the ENTOLHN
>KAINHN of 2:7 and the ENTOLHN KAINHN OF 2:8 were identical. Just because
>they go by the same label does not mean they are the same.

To me, the commandment is, in both cases, to love. This is clearly the
"commandment" of 1 John.

It is not a new commandment, for we have had this commandment since the
beginning. Yet it is a true commandment, because it true in Him and in us,
and the light shines in the darkness. What is new is not the content of the
commandment, but the form - we have seen it demonstrated in the life of
Jesus, and it has been written on our hearts.

>Is this not exactly what John has in mind in v. 8 where he immediately adds,
>hO ESTIN ALNQES EN AUTWi KAI EN hUMIN? The new here is superior to the
>old because it is exemplied by the life of Christ, and because it is true
>in the life of the saints, implying it is something can and is obeyed by
>the children of God.

I agree - that is the difference. The content of the commandment is the same.

>Does John contradict himself in 1 Jn 2:7-8? No, there is no
>contradiction here, because his use of KAINOS differs in the two verses.
We seem to use the word "contradiction" differently, and contradictions seem
to be threatening to some people. I agree with Carl that this contradiction
sets up a riddle to be solved.


Jonathan Robie
POET Software, 3207 Gibson Road, Durham, N.C., 27703

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