Main Article Content
1 John has often been read as advocating a series of personal ‘tests of life’, by which individuals can evaluate the genuineness of their conversion. This article argues that framing 1 John’s teaching on assurance in this way distorts its teaching by failing to recognise the epistle’s rhetorical strategy. It argues that this epistle was intended to positively cultivate assurance in its original recipients by highlighting that they had already proven their possession of salvation by their perseverance in their confession, whereas others had recently abandoned it. This invites reflection on the role of pastoral evaluation and exhortation in cultivating assurance rather than on individualistic strategies alone.
The Author/s grant/s to the Journal the rights to edit the Work and to reproduce and distribute the Work in the Journal, in reprints, as a contribution to a collection published by the Journal, and by means of an Internet or Intranet site over which the Journal exercises effective control, and also by means of third-party online legal information providers. The Author/s grant/s the above rights without claim of royalties or other compensation. The copyright in the Work shall remain with the Author/s and the copyright in the reproduction format shall remain with the Journal. Notwithstanding, the copyright notice in publication shall be stated as belonging to the Journal. The Author/s agree/s not to publish the Work elsewhere without the permission of the Journal for a period of five years commencing from the date of first publication by the Journal.
Akin, Daniel L. 1, 2, 3 John, NAC 38 (Nashville: B&H Publishing Group, 2001).
Barclay, J.M.G. ‘Mirror-reading a Polemical Letter: Galatians as a Test Case’, JSNT 31 (1987), 73-93. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0142064X8701003105
Bass, Christopher D. That You May Know: Assurance of Salvation in 1 John, NACSBT 5 (Nashville: B&H, 2008).
Bauckham, Richard. Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony, 2nd edn (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2017).
Beeke, Joel R. The Quest for Full Assurance: The Legacy of Calvin and his Successors (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1999).
Brown, Raymond. The Epistles of John: Translated with Introduction, Notes & Commentary (London: Chapman, 1983). DOI: https://doi.org/10.5040/9780300261936
Campbell, Constantine R. Basics of Verbal Aspect in Biblical Greek (Michigan: Zondervan, 2008).
Campbell, Constantine R. Verbal Aspect, the Indicative Mood, and Narrative (New York: Peter Lang, 2007). DOI: https://doi.org/10.3726/978-1-4539-0586-9
Carson, D.A. ‘Johannine Perspectives on the Doctrine of Assurance in 1 John’, Justification and Christian Assurance, ed. R. J. Gibson, Explorations 10 (Sydney: MTC, 1996), 59-97.
Carson, D.A. ‘Reflections on Christian Assurance’, WTJ 54, no. 1 (1992), 1-29.
Derickson, Gary W. ‘What is the Message of 1 John?’, BS 150 (1993), 89–105.
Dodd, C. H. The Johannine Epistles (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1946).
Edwards, Ruth B. The Johannine Epistles, NTG (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1996).
Griffith, Terry. ‘A Non-Polemic Reading of 1 John’, TynBul 49 (1998), 253–276.
Griffith, Terry. Keep yourselves from Idols: A New Look at 1 John, JSNTSS 233 (London: Sheffield Academic Press, 2002).
Jensen, Matthew D. Affirming the Resurrection of the Incarnate Christ, ed. John M. Court, SNTSMS 153 (Cambridge: CUP, 2012). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139225748
Jensen, Matthew D. ‘John is No Exception: Identifying the Subject of ???? and Its Implications’, JBL 135, no. 2 (2016), 341–353. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1353/jbl.2016.0019
Jensen, Matthew D. ‘The Structure and Argument of 1 John’, JSNT 35 no. 1 (2012), 54–73. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0142064X12453662
Jobes, Karen H. 1, 2, and 3 John, ZECNT (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2014).
Kruse, Colin. The Letters of John, PNTC (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000).
Laniak, Timothy S. Shepherds after My on Heart: Pastoral Traditions and Leadership in the Bible, NSBT 20 (Leicester: Apollos, 2006).
Law, Robert. The Tests of Life: A Study of the First Epistle of St. John, 2nd edn (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1909).
Lieu, Judith. ‘Authority to Become Children of God: A Study of 1 John’, NT 23, no. 3 (1981), 210–228. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/1560682
Lieu, Judith. I, II, III John: A Commentary (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2008).
Marshall, I.H. The Epistles of John, NICNT (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1978).
Neufeld, Dietmar. Reconceiving Texts as Speech-Acts: An Analysis of 1 John, (Leiden: Brill, 1994). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004493513
Olsson, Birger. A Commentary on the Letters of John: An Intra-Jewish Approach, trans. Richard J. Erickson (Eugene: Pickwick, 2013).
Painter, John. 1, 2, 3 John, SP (Minnesota: Liturgical Press, 2002).
Perkins, William. A Case of Conscience, the greatest that ever was: How a man may know whether he be the Child of God or no. Resolved by the word of God. (London: Robert Robinson, 1592).
Rockwell, Stephen. ‘Assurance as the Interpretative Key to Understanding the Message of 1 John’, RTR 69, no. 1 (2010), 17-33.
Runge, Steven E. Discourse Grammar of the Greek New Testament: A Practical Introduction for Teaching and Exegesis (Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, 2010).
Schmidt, Hansjörg. ‘How to Read the First Epistle of John Non-Polemically’, Bib 85, no. 1 (2004), 24-41.
Schnackenburg, Rudolph. The Johannine Epistles: Introduction and Commentary (New York: Crossroad, 1992).
Schreiner, Thomas R. & Caneday, Ardel B. The Race Set Before Us: A Biblical Theology of Perseverance and Assurance (Downers Grove: IVP, 2001).
Smalley, Stephen S. 1, 2, 3 John, rev. edn, WBC 51 (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2007).
Stott, John R. The Letters of John, rev. ed., TNTC (Leicester: IVP, 1988).
Streett, Daniel R. They Went Out from Us: The Identity of the Opponents in First John, BZNW 177 (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2011). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110247718
Watson, D.F. “Keep Yourselves from Idols’: A Socio-Rhetorical Analysis of the Exodium and Peroratio of 1 John’, Fabrics of Discourse: Essays in Honor of Vernon K. Robbins, ed. D.B. Gowler (Harrisburg: Trinity Press International, 2003), 281-302.
Yarbrough, Robert W. 1–3 John, BECNT (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2008).