Questions about John's first letter. It contains both warnings about false teachers and spiritual themes about Jesus Christ.

The first and longest of the three letters associated with "John", although it is anonymous -- the other two letters are both sent by an "Elder", otherwise unnamed. Their authorship and identification with the author of the gospel of has thus been a matter of dispute. Their traditional association is the result of many common features, themes, and common language between them.

The occasion of this letter, like the others, is related to some schism within the community. The "structure" of 1 John has been a particular issue in its description and interpretation, as the fluid movement from one theme to the next, and the recurrence of themes in short compass, has given rise to manifold attempts to describe its structure.

  • see further: D. Moody Smith, "John, Letters of", in the Harper’s Bible Dictionary, ed. by Paul J. Achtemier (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1985).