I John 2:27 as Midrash

Bill Tharp, in his article on interpretation, offered an interpretation of I John 2:27 that seemed to skirt the issue.

My speciality in Midrash, I believe, may shed light on this passage.  Much of the New Testament, I believe, is Midrash (commentary, explanation, elaboration) on Old Testament passages.  I believe I John 2:27 is a Midrash on Jeremiah 31:34 (ESV)

 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

Notice how similar I John 2:27 is:

But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.

Needless to say, Jeremiah 31 is about the New Covenant, and the New Covenant is the age of the Spirit, etc.  What makes the "New" Covenant "new," IMO, is not regeneration (which is seen throughout the Old Testament and called "circumcision of the heart)."  Rather, it is the fact that Messiah has come, that the Spirit is given, and that only those who know the Lord are under the New Covenant (unlike the Old Covenant, which included the unregenerate).

If I am right, John is saying, "You know everything required to have saving faith (as opposed to Gnostic or false teaching), evidenced by the Spirit who is the hallmark of the New Covenant.  "Everything" here parallels 2 Peter 1:3

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence

By "life," Peter is referring to eternal life, not this life.  In other words, the Gospel is enough.

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Huw's picture

From the moment of my conversion 1 John 2:27 was a fact. In fact many people, church and chapel people, were asking me 'how I knew what I knew'? and I always answered, 'doesn't everyone know that'?  I now know that not many have the experience of the verse, but most people will readily agree with it. Until someone comes amongst them and lives a life of trust and then they disagree with the 'literal' translation and teach that it's they that should be heard and followed....or else!

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Why would "the experience of the verse" be had by some and not by others?

Huw's picture

I am sitting here with a nasty dose of the flu and am manifesting all the symptoms. Anyone who does not manifest the ‘symptoms’ John described does not have the anointing. John was pointing out that he was not worried about them being seduced/deceived because they knew the truth and because of the anointing they would be able to separate truth from lies/false doctrine.

The scriptures speak of false prophets, false teachers, false apostles, anti messiahs and also false brethren. These people were able to seduce the un-anointed, but when it came to those that had the anointing it acted like a Firewall.

To the praise of the glory of His grace.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Where are the have-nots in John's statement? His argument assumes all his hearers had this anointing.

Huw's picture

The anointing teaches that when a statement is made in scripture the opposite can be taken to be true. John had no need in this place to mention those without the anointing.

Not everyone who reads the scripture can agree with it and that is the crux of the matter. Those that do not have the experience of the truth of what John is saying are not recipients of the anointing.
 

 

 

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

So are you claiming that because of the anointing you know that some Christians do not have the anointing even though the passage is simply addressed to the "children"?

Do you have any biblical evidence that some "children" of Christ have the anointing John speaks of and some do not?

Huw's picture

If they are true children then they have the anointing, but not all that read the scriptures are true children.