APOSTLE JOHN LEFT THE HOLY LAND, early church writers reported. He may have left about the time the Jerusalem Jews stoned to death James, the brother of Jesus and when Romans executed Peter and Paul. That happened in the 60s, some 30 years after the Crucifixion.
That’s also when Jews revolted against Rome.
Lots of Christians left Israel then. They anticipated the war to come.
John landed in Ephesus, early church leaders said. From there, he reportedly wrote the Gospel of John and the three letters of 1-3 John.
1-3 John is live on Casual English Bible
I’ve just released a paraphrase, leader’s guide, and atlas for 1-3 John.
Here’s the first chapter, minus the footnotes. It’s short. Like each of the three letters.
1 JOHN 1. GOD DOESN’T HAVE A DARK SIDE
“We’re writing you…because it makes us happy.”
1:1. When everything in our world got started, the living Word of God was there to start it. We know it because we have seen him with our own two eyes. We’ve not only looked at him, we’ve heard him and we’ve touched him with our hands. I’m writing to you about this Word that gives us life.
2. This Word that gives life came to us. We saw him. We’re witnesses. So, we’re telling you what we saw and what we learned about life that never ends. It came from the Father and was shown to us.
3. We’re telling you what we’ve seen and heard. We want you to get in on this so you can share it with us and become part of our community. I’m talking about God’s community. We’re in this with the Father and his Son Jesus, the Messiah.
4. We’re writing you about this because it makes us happy to deliver news like this.
If we’re sin-free, God’s a liar
5. Here’s what Jesus told us. And I’m telling it to you now. God is light. He doesn’t have a dark side. There’s no darkness in him.
6. We’re lying if we say we’re part of God’s community, but we live in the shadows to hide what we’re doing.
7. If we live in the light, we’re in good company because God’s there. We can enjoy the fellowship of being together. Whatever sins we’ve committed have been erased, washed away by the blood of Jesus.
8. Yet if we say we’re sin-free because we haven’t done anything wrong, we’re kidding ourselves. We’re a walking, talking lie.
9. Yet if we confess our sins when we commit them, we can count on him to do the right thing. He’ll forgive us for what we did. And he’ll wash away everything that would make us ashamed and unfit to be with him.
10. But folks, if we say we’re sin-free, we’re calling God liar. And the message he wants us to get hasn’t sunk in yet.