Are there very real opponents that motivated the writing of 1 John? This article offers a reading to understand the treatment of sin and Christology in 1 John that does not require Gnosticism or Docetic-like opponents to account for its outline. The ethical debate about sin (1 John 1:6-1 John 2:11; 1 John 3:4-17; 1 John 4:20; 1 John 5:16-18) can be explained without reference to what the group that left the Johannine community believed. The same is true for the confessional statements about Jesus in 2:22 and 4:2-3, 15, and 5:1, 5, 6. The issues at stake focus on the messiahship of Jesus and the need to reinforce the limits of the believing community.
Source: Tyndale Bulletin, 1998. 24 pages.