Amplified: And the Life [an aspect of His being] was revealed (made manifest, demonstrated), and we saw [as eyewitnesses] and are testifying to and declare to you the Life, the eternal Life [in Him] Who already existed with the Father and Who [actually] was made visible (was revealed) to us [His followers]. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
ESV: the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— (ESVBible.org)
KJV: (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;)
NLT: This one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then he was revealed to us. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: For it was life which appeared before us: we saw it, we are eye-witnesses of it, and are now writing to you about it. It was the very life of all ages, the life that has always existed with the Father, which actually became visible in person to us mortal men. (Phillips: Touchstone) (1John Online)
Wuest: And this aforementioned life was made visible, and we have seen it with discernment and have it in our mind’s eye, and are bearing witness and bringing back to you a message concerning the life, the eternal life, which is of such a nature as to have been in fellowship with the Father and was made visible to us. (Erdmans)
Young's Literal: and the Life was manifested, and we have seen, and do testify, and declare to you the Life, the age-during, which was with the Father, and was manifested to us
|AND THE LIFE WAS MANIFESTED, AND WE HAVE SEEN AND TESTIFY AND PROCLAIM TO YOU THE ETERNAL LIFE: kai e zoe ephanerothe, (3SAPI) kai eorakamen (1PRAI) kai marturoumen (1PPAI) kai apaggellomen (1PPAI) humin ten zoen ten aionion: (the life: 1Jn 5:11,20 Jn 1:4 11:25,26 14:6) (manifested: 1Jn 3:5,8 Ro 16:25,26 1Ti 3:16 2Ti 1:10 Tit 1:2)(testify: Jn 15:27 21:14 Ac 1:22 2:32 3:15 5:32 10:41 1Pe 5:1)(proclaim: 1Jn 5:20)(eternal: Jn 17:3)
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NET Bible Note -
And (kai) - Note that many of the translations omit this conjunction "and" (e.g., see ESV above). And (kai) points to another thought added to what has already been said, affirming the historical appearing and eternal nature of “the life” just mentioned.
Kistemaker writes that
John is confirming and amplifying 1Jn 1:1, especially explaining the word Life. Many commentators consider verse 2 a parenthesis (a "parenthetical remark"), in which John pauses so to speak to make an explanatory comment on what he has just stated in verse 1, and then resumes his train of thought in 1Jn 1:3.
The Life - What life? The Life of Christ Who is Life. Notice John's repetition for emphasis -- "The Word of Life"… "The Life"… "The Eternal Life." In short order John emphasizes Jesus is the personification of life.
"Life" in 1John - 1 John 1:1, 1:2, 2:16, 2:25, 3:14, 15, 16, 5:11, 12, 13, 16, 20
Ligon Duncan notes that
The life was manifested - Jesus Christ Who has always been God, became manifest in Human History as a flesh and blood Man, Who was seen by John. This is John's "shorthand" description of the incarnation of Christ. John's description parallels Paul's description stating that Jesus was "made in the likeness and men" (Phil 2:7-note) and was "found in appearance as a man" (Phil 2:8-note). The life Jesus manifested before His family, His disciples, and the world was a supernatural, eternal life, the life of God Himself.
Later in First John we read how one attains real life, eternal life in this short life on earth…
In his Gospel John notes that the Word had life writing that…
Later in this same Gospel Jesus declared that…
Preparatory to His resurrection of Lazarus Jesus declared to Martha…
Paul adds that Christ Jesus…
Near the end of this letter John again writes
Manifested (5319)(phaneroo from the adjective phanerós = manifest, visible, conspicuous from the verb phaino = to give light; to illuminate; to become visible from the noun phos = light) is literally "to bring to light" and primarily means "to make visible" or to cause to become visible. The basic meaning of phaneroo is to make known or to clearly reveal giving an external manifestation to the senses which is visible to all. Thayer adds that phaneroo means “to make manifest or visible or known what has been hidden or unknown”.
Note that the idea of to be manifested in the Scriptural sense means more than just to appear. For example, a person may appear in a false guise or without a disclosure of what he truly is (this is especially the meaning of phaneroo, see, e.g., John 3:21; 1Co 4:5; 2Cor. 5:10, 11; Ep 5:13). Thus as used of Jesus, phaneroo conveys the sense of Him being revealed in His true character.
In 1Jn 1:2 John, the apostle uses phaneroo to describe the revelation of the Lord at His first coming and in Col. 3:4-note the apostle Paul employs the same verb (phaneroo) to describe His Second Coming.
Phaneroo is frequently used in the Gospel of John to refer to Jesus’ revelation of Himself to His disciples (John 2:11, 21:1; 21:14).
Marvin Vincent has this note on phaneroo…
George G Findlay observes that…
We have seen (3708)(horao) refers not merely to the act of seeing, but also conveys the idea that there is the actual perception of what is seen. Notice John's use of "seen" is in the perfect tense which signifies, yes they saw Jesus and that image continues to be present in their mind. Wuest paraphrases it this way "we have seen it with discernment and have it in our mind’s eye." May God's Spirit so reveal Jesus to us through His Word that we like John might have His image "burned" forever in our mind and heart, in such a way that it motivates and energizes us to share that "image" with those who have never seen the Life, the Eternal One! Amen.
In 1Jn 3:6 John uses horao in a context which emphasizes that this verb means more than simply seeing, but includes the idea of seeing with discernment…
Horao is used by Jesus who declared to His disciples…
We testify (bear witness) (3140)(martureo from mártus = witness = one who has information or knowledge of something and can bring to light or confirm something. English = martyr) in its most basic sense refers to a legal witness. Thus the verb martureo means to be a witness, to testify, to give evidence, to give testimony, to bear record, to affirm that one has seen or heard or experienced something. John is using the verb in that sense, indicating that what he is saying is related to fact, not opinion, even as if he were giving sworn testimony in a courtroom setting.
Notice that testify (bear witness) and proclaim are both in the present tense, signifying this was John's lifestyle, his habitual practice and beloved it should also be our "reason for living" as they say! Let your light shine!
To bear witness of the real life and death and burial and resurrection of the God-Man, Christ Jesus was indeed the chief office to which the apostles were designed by Christ, and in order that they might be enabled to the faithful discharge of it, He promised the power of the Holy Spirit (Jn 15:26, 27; Acts 1:8). Beloved follower of Christ, does He not call us to the same task and provide us with the same Power, the permanent, personal possession of His indwelling Spirit? Are we faithfully discharging our duty by bearing witness of our Master Jesus, the Savior of the World? The first two letters in "Gospel" spell "Go" which is what the early church did for they could not stop speaking what they had seen and heard. (Acts 4:20)
Where does John continually testify? Clearly, he continues to testify to what he has seen of the Eternal Life in the Gospel which bears his name, writing…
Guy King adds that…
John MacArthur comments…
Seen… bear witness… proclaim - Vincent refers to these as "Three ideas in the apostolic message: experience, testimony, announcement." (Ibid) In "seen" the emphasis is on the communication of truth to the apostles (and now to us) and in "bear witness… proclaim" the emphasis is on the communication of truth to others who are dead in their trespasses and sin (Eph 2:1)! What is it that John (and the apostles) proclaim (and we are to proclaim today)? The life (that) was manifested, the incarnation of God in a Man, sent from His eternal fellowship with the Father on mission to die as sinful man's substitutionary sacrifice. This is the Good News we need to proclaim to those who have only bad news awaiting them outside of Christ! Are you sitting and soaking up the truth? Or are you diligently, intentionally seeking to proclaim the Truth, Word of Life, the Eternal Life?
William MacDonald writes that
THE DIVINE AND THE HUMAN IN CHRIST - The picture produced in the stereopticon (depicted above) is fuller, rounder and more natural than the same picture seen without the use of that instrument. But to produce the stereoscopic picture there must be two pictures blended into one by the use of the stereopticon, and both the eyes of the observer are brought into requisition at the same time, looking each through a separate lens. Thus Christ is only seen in His true and proper light, when the record of His human nature and the statement of His Divine are blended. It is a flat, unfinished Christ with either left out. But it is as seen in the Word, with the moral and mental powers of our being both engaged in the consideration, and thus only, that we get the full and true result.
Proclaim (518) (apaggello from apó = from + aggéllo = tell, declare from aggelos = messenger, one who speaks in place of one who has sent him) means to bring a message from any person or place. To bring tidings from a person or thing. To relate, inform, tell what has occurred. In the present context the idea is to announce openly. Apaggello is the carrying of tidings or messages from the authentic source. As discussed above, proclaim in this verse is in the present tense.
Note: Do not confuse apaggello with the similar word anaggello (see note).
Detzler comments on the root word aggéllo
Apaggello - 45x in 45v in the NAS - announced(1), declared(1), declaring(3), proclaim(4), report(10), reported(22), take word(1), tell(1), told(3).
Matthew 2:8 And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and search carefully for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may come and worship Him."
Matthew 8:33 The herdsmen ran away, and went to the city and reported everything, including what had happened to the demoniacs.
Matthew 11:4 Jesus answered and said to them, "Go and report to John what you hear and see:
Matthew 12:18 "BEHOLD, MY SERVANT WHOM I HAVE CHOSEN; MY BELOVED IN WHOM MY SOUL is WELL-PLEASED; I WILL PUT MY SPIRIT UPON HIM, AND HE SHALL PROCLAIM JUSTICE TO THE GENTILES.
Matthew 14:12 His disciples came and took away the body and buried it; and they went and reported to Jesus.
Matthew 28:8 And they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy and ran to report it to His disciples.
Matthew 28:10 Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid; go and take word to My brethren to leave for Galilee, and there they will see Me." 11 Now while they were on their way, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all that had happened.
Detzler comments: For the guards and their chiefs this was a disaster, but for believers it was the confirmation of all Christ had said. Now that is something to shout about! (New Testament Words in Today's Language)
Mark 5:14 Their herdsmen ran away and reported it in the city and in the country. And the people came to see what it was that had happened.
Wuest's note is helpful: The word “told” (reported in NAS) is apaggellō “to bring tidings from a person or thing, bring word.” The prefixed preposition (apo) which means “off from” adds to the meaning already existing in the simple verb aggellō “to announce,” the idea being that what one announces, he openly lays, as it were, off from himself. The swineherds were charged with the responsibility of safeguarding the animals under their care, and to have two thousand hogs piled up in heaps in shallow water, all dead, was something to explain. (Wuest, K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans or Logos or Wordsearch)
Mark 5:19 And He did not let him, but He said to him, "Go home to your people and report to them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He had mercy on you."
Mark 6:30 The apostles gathered together with Jesus; and they reported to Him all that they had done and taught.
Mark 16:10 She went and reported to those who had been with Him, while they were mourning and weeping.
Mark 16:13 They went away and reported it to the others, but they did not believe them either.
Luke 7:18 The disciples of John reported to him about all these things.
Luke 7:22 And He answered and said to them, "Go and report to John what you have seen and heard: the BLIND RECEIVE SIGHT, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the POOR HAVE THE GOSPEL PREACHED TO THEM.
Luke 8:20 And it was reported to Him, "Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, wishing to see You."
Luke 8:34 When the herdsmen saw what had happened, they ran away and reported it in the city and out in the country.
Luke 8:36 Those who had seen it reported to them how the man who was demon-possessed had been made well.
Luke 8:47 When the woman saw that she had not escaped notice, she came trembling and fell down before Him, and declared in the presence of all the people the reason why she had touched Him, and how she had been immediately healed.
Luke 9:36 And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent, and reported to no one in those days any of the things which they had seen.
Luke 13:1 Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices.
Luke 14:21 "And the slave came back and reported this to his master. Then the head of the household became angry and said to his slave, 'Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the city and bring in here the poor and crippled and blind and lame.'
Luke 18:37 They told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by.
Luke 24:9 and returned from the tomb and reported all these things to the eleven and to all the rest.
John 16:25 "These things I have spoken to you in figurative language; an hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figurative language, but will tell you plainly of the Father.
Acts 4:23 When they had been released, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them.
Acts 5:22 But the officers who came did not find them in the prison; and they returned and reported back,
Acts 5:25 But someone came and reported to them, "The men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people!"
Acts 11:13 "And he reported to us how he had seen the angel standing in his house, and saying, 'Send to Joppa and have Simon, who is also called Peter, brought here;
Acts 12:14 When she recognized Peter's voice, because of her joy she did not open the gate, but ran in and announced that Peter was standing in front of the gate.
Acts 12:17 But motioning to them with his hand to be silent, he described to them how the Lord had led him out of the prison. And he said, "Report these things to James and the brethren." Then he left and went to another place.
Acts 15:27 "Therefore we have sent Judas and Silas, who themselves will also report the same things by word of mouth.
Acts 16:36 And the jailer reported these words to Paul, saying, "The chief magistrates have sent to release you. Therefore come out now and go in peace."
Acts 16:38 The policemen reported these words to the chief magistrates. They were afraid when they heard that they were Romans,
Acts 22:26 When the centurion heard this, he went to the commander and told him, saying, "What are you about to do? For this man is a Roman."
Acts 23:16 But the son of Paul's sister heard of their ambush, and he came and entered the barracks and told Paul. 17 Paul called one of the centurions to him and said, "Lead this young man to the commander, for he has something to report to him."… 19 The commander took him by the hand and stepping aside, began to inquire of him privately, "What is it that you have to report to me?"
Acts 26:20 but kept declaring both to those of Damascus first, and also at Jerusalem and then throughout all the region of Judea, and even to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance.
Acts 28:21 They said to him, "We have neither received letters from Judea concerning you, nor have any of the brethren come here and reported or spoken anything bad about you.
1 Corinthians 14:25 the secrets of his heart are disclosed; and so he will fall on his face and worship God, declaring that God is certainly among you.
1 Thessalonians 1:9-note For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God,
Hebrews 2:12-note saying, "I WILL PROCLAIM YOUR NAME TO MY BRETHREN, IN THE MIDST OF THE CONGREGATION I WILL SING YOUR PRAISE."
1 John 1:2 and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us--3 what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.
Apaggello is used 234x in the Septuagint (Lxx). Here are a few examples to study…
Jesus came to proclaim (preach) Good News. He trained His disciples to do the same. John is doing what he was trained to do. Our mission today as His disciples is still the same -- to share the Eternal Life found in Christ with the lost world around us. Are you fulfilling your privileged duty (under grace not law, enabled by the Spirit, not your fallen flesh) of passing on the Word of Life, the Eternal Life, to those who live in spiritual darkness, with a sword of Damocles hanging over their head promising nothing but eternal spiritual death (Eph 2:1, 2)?
"THE EPISTLE OF
The Eternal Life - Literally this reads "the Life, the eternal." This descriptive phrase functions in this context as virtually a name of Jesus. It is notable that John's letter begins (1Jn 1:2) and ends (1Jn 5:20) with the theme of eternal life! John desires that his readers have full assurance of eternal life (1John 5:13).
A T Robertson writes that in 1John 1:2 eternal life "means the divine life which the Logos was and is (John 1:4; 1John 1:1)."
Robert Lightner sees another significance to this phrase that…
Eternal life - This important phrase is used six times in First John…
John emphasizes that Jesus, Who was manifest as a Man, is without beginning or end, a truth which counters the heretical teaching of many cults (eg, Jehovah's Witnesses) which say that Jesus was a created being, that He had a beginning. John would say "no"! As hard as it is for us to comprehend this truth, the life of Jesus is eternal! Let us who now possess the Hope (absolute certainty of future good) of this Eternal Life (Col 1:27b-note), praise Him for opening our blind eyes (Isa 29:18, Lk 4:18, Acts 26:18, 2Co 4:6) and our rebellious hearts (Ezek 11:19, 36:26 Acts 16:14, 2Cor 3:14, Lk 24:45) and revealing this glorious, transcendent truth! (See God's Attribute - Eternal)
Dr S Lewis Johnson writes that…
F F Bruce comments that John's epistle…
Jesus declared to the religious Jews…
Jesus explained to His disciples
Eternal (166)(aionios from aion) means existing at all times, perpetual, pertaining to an unlimited duration of time (Ro 1:20 - God's power, Mt 18:8 - God's place of judgment, Ro 16:26 - God's attribute, and here in 1Jn 1:2, God's life!).
Vincent writes that aionios or eternal in this verse
A T Robertson writes that…
Life (2222)(zoe) refers to the life of Jesus in this context. Thayer describes zoe as “the absolute fulness of life, both essential and ethical, which belongs to God.” In this verse, John uses the definite article "the Life", indicating not just any life, but the fullness of life in Jesus Christ. Simply put, the essence of life that God intends for His creation (and especially His children) is not a concept, but a Person, the God-Man Jesus Christ, Who Paul states is now and forever "our life." (Col 3:4-note, as does John in Jn 20:31, 14:19, 1Jn 5:11, 13).
Wuest adds that…
As someone has well written "Life with Christ is an endless hope, without Him a hopeless end." Genuine, fulfilling, lasting, meaningful life is to be found only in our mystical union, our perfect oneness, our new covenant bond with "the Life" Jesus Christ the Son of God.
Vincent comments on "The Life" noting that this describes Jesus…
WHICH WAS WITH THE FATHER AND WAS MANIFESTED TO US: etis en (3SIAI) pros ton patera kai ephanerothe (3SAPI) ehein: (which was: Pr 8:22-30 Jn 1:1,2,18 3:13 7:29 8:38 16:28 17:5 Ro 8:3 Ga 4:4)
Which (hostis > etis) - BDAG says "hostis" refers to "any person, whoever, every one who, in a generalizing sense." In the present context, the pronoun clearly refers to Jesus Christ, Who John has just identified as the Eternal Life.
According to Kenneth Wuest the pronoun "Which" is important because…
Was with (Greek = pros) the Father - "The life" (Jesus) was with the Father. Jesus showed that life to John and the other apostles. John and those who believed in the Lord Jesus saw this real life.
Vine explains that
Wuest adds that…
Harris notes that…
Eternal Life… was manifested to us (Literally - "and the life appeared") (Manifested = phaneroo same verb as above) - As previously noted, John's first use of "manifested" describes that which was previously invisible becoming visible in the incarnation of Jesus. The second use of "manifested" speaks of the spiritual eyes of John and the apostles being opened (by the Spirit) to see and discern the true character of Jesus the Man, His Message and His Mission.
Vincent agrees adding that…
Steven Cole (The Tests of True Christianity) amplifies Vincent's explanation of John's two uses of manifested, writing that…
George G Findlay calls us to…
Vine summarizes three facts about Jesus which John gives us in 1John 1:2…
In 1Timothy 3:16 Paul records what was probably a hymn that the first century Christians sang, a hymn which testified to Jesus' appearance as the God Man (As an aside, the words we sing are so important to our soul and should be thoroughly "Bibliocentric" - Does this describe the songs you sing in worship?)
He appeared in a body,
was vindicated by the Spirit,
was seen by angels,
was preached among the nations,
was believed on in the world,
was taken up in glory.
Compare Paul's words to the familiar (at least to some of us) "Apostle's Creed" (which was used by the church as early as A.D. 150) (As an aside, as you read and come to understand John's purpose for writing, you can begin to understand why the early church composed creeds - sadly the repeated recital of such creeds have had a tendency to become words simply mouthed rather than words truly believed. John would want them to be words we truly believe. You might want to take a moment now and prayerfully, ponderingly recite this ancient, albeit timeless, classic creed.)
Is this apostolic pattern not a good pattern
As we who have seen Jesus in His Word (cp 2Co 4:18, 2Co 5:7, Heb 11:1) taught by His Spirit practically live out His life in us enabled by His Spirit before the watching public, our supernaturally enabled conduct will give us a platform for public proclamation!
We can preach a better sermon with our lives than with our lips
The lost world reads us a great deal more than they read the Bible.
Don't let your behavior contradict the belief you profess.
We are illuminating the truth of the Gospel by our life and our lips.
The message we proclaim with our lips should match the message we proclaim with our lives.
Is my life "proclaiming" what my lips are "proclaiming"?
It's the life behind our words that makes our testimony ring true.
Don't let your life and your lips proclaim a mixed message!
When actions and words agree, the message is loud and clear.
Proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ and if necessary use words!
Let the acts of the offspring indicate similarity to the Father.
God put us on earth to shine as lights,
You are writing a Gospel,
Celebrate the Man - A survey of visitors at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, revealed that many of the park’s guests under the age of 15 didn’t know that Walt Disney was a real person. They thought that “Disney” was just a company name. When corporate officials planned the celebrations commemorating the 100th anniversary of Walt Disney’s birth, they made a special effort to highlight the life and impact of the real man.
Does your life shed light
Contact - We… declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us. —1John1:2
When Apollo 11 neared the moon in July 1969, the editors of The New York Times felt their coverage of the first step on lunar soil should go beyond headlines and photos to embrace an achievement shared by all humanity. So they asked Pulitzer Prize-winner Archibald MacLeish to write a poem. The day after Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin Jr. walked on the moon, the front page contained these words:
That day, through the hands of others, we "touched the moon."
The apostle John wrote some memorable words about an even more significant historical event—the visit of God’s Son to this planet. He wrote,
John touched Jesus. And today, so can we. As surely as John held Him in the flesh, we can grasp the Son of God through faith. We too can experience the joy of having a close relationship with the Father and the Son (1Jn 1:3, 4).
In faith, in fellowship, in times of greatest need, we can say, “Our hands have touched You.” — by David C. McCasland (Ibid)
We can come to Jesus
The Needed Antenna - How would you answer the question, “What is the meaning of life?” Jonathan Gabay of England has published a book containing the answers of well-known individuals to that query. One of them, a church leader, gave an arresting testimony. As a child, he says, he watched his family’s black and white TV, wishing that he could get a clearer picture. But he was glad they had even that unsatisfactory set.
O send Thy Spirit, Lord, now unto me,