Original Research

Understanding ‘sin’ in the Johannine epistles

D J van der Merwe
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 26, No 2 | a240 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v26i2.240 | © 2005 D J van der Merwe | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 October 2005 | Published: 03 October 2005

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D J van der Merwe, University of South Africa, South Africa

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The author of the Johannine Epistles has a good deal to say about sin. He abhors sin, seeing it as incompatible with God’ s character (oJ qeo;" fw`" ejstin, 1:5; [oJ qeo;"] divkaiov" ejstin, 2:29; and oJ qeo;" ajgavph ejstivn, 4:8) and with the status of believers as God’ s children. In this article attention is given to the following relevant aspects for understanding ‘hamartiology’  in the Johannine epistles from a ‘family perspective’: (1) the ‘family of God’  metaphor is used as the setting in which the author describes his symbolic narrative; (2) a differentiation is made between sin inside and sin outside the family; (3) sin outside the family is also described in terms of reciprocals to emphasize its condemnation; (4) finally, he focuses on the ‘forgiveness of sin’. This investigation is done against the socio-religious circumstances of the Johannine community in order to understand the Elder’ s ethical and doctrinal definitions of sin.


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Crossref Citations

1. Early Christian spiritualties of sin and forgiveness according to 1 John
Dirk G. Van der Merwe
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies  vol: 70  issue: 1  year: 2014  
doi: 10.4102/hts.v70i1.2014