GENEVA BIBLE 1599
The Bible of the Pilgrims who founded America and also the Bible of the Reformation.
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1 That (1) which was from the beginning, which we have (a) heard, which we have seen with these our eyes, which we have looked upon, and these hands of ours have handled of that (b) Word of life,
(1) He beginneth with the description of the person of
Christ, whom he maketh one and not two; and him both God
from everlasting (for he was with the Father from the
beginning, and is that eternal life) and also made true man,
whom John himself and his companions, both heard and beheld,
(a) I heard him speak, I saw him myself with mine eyes, I handled with mine hands him that is very God, being made very man, and not I alone, but others also that were with me.
(b) That same everlasting Word, by whom all things are made, and in whom only there is life.
2 (For that life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and (c) shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was made manifest unto us.)
(c) Being sent by him; and that doctrine is rightly said to be shewed, for no man could so much as have thought of it, if it had not been thus shewed.
3 That, I say, which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, (2) that ye may also have fellowship with us, and that our fellowship also may be with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
(2) The use of this doctrine is this, that all of us being coupled and joined together with Christ by faith, might become the sons of God; in which only consisteth all true happiness.
4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
5 (3) This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God (*) is light, and in him is no darkness.
(3) Now he entereth into a question, whereby we may understand that we are joined together with Christ, to wit, if we are governed by his light, which is perceived by the ordering of our life. And thus he reasoneth, God is in himself most pure light, therefore he agreeth with them, which are lightsome, but with them which are darkness he hath no fellowship.
(*) John 8:12 .
6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in (*) darkness, we lie, and do not truly;
(*) In an evil conscience, and without the fear of God.
7 But if we walk in the (d) light as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, (4) and the (*) blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
(d) God is said to be light by his own nature, and to be in
light, that is to say, in that everlasting infinite
blessedness; and we are said to walk in light, in that the
beams of that light do shine unto us in the world.
(4) A digression or going from the matter he is in hand with to the remission of sins; for this our sanctification which walk in the light, is a testimony of our joining and knitting together, with Christ; but because this our light is very dark, we must needs obtain another benefit in Christ, to wit, that our sins may be forgiven us being sprinkled with his blood; and this in conclusion is the prop and stay of our salvation.
(*) Hebrews 9:28; 1 Peter 1:19; Revelation 1:5 .
8 (5) (*) If we say that we have no sin, we (e) deceive ourselves, and (f) truth is not in us.
(5) There is none but needeth this benefit, because there is none that is not a sinner.
(*) 1 Kings 8:46; 2 Chronicles 6:36; Proverbs 20:9 .
(e) This place doeth fully refute that perfectness, and works of supererogation which the Papists dream of.
(f) So then John speaketh not thus for modesty's sake, as some say, but because it is so indeed.
9 (6) If we acknowledge our sins, he is (g) faithful and just, to (h) forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
(6) Therefore the beginning of salvation is to acknowledge
our wickedness, and to require pardon of him, who freely
forgiveth all sins, because he hath promised so to do, and
he is faithful and just.
(g) So then our salvation hangeth upon the free promise of God, who because he is faithful and just, will perform that which he hath promised.
(h) Where are then our merits? For this is our true felicity.
10 (7) If we say we have not sinned, we make him (i) a liar, and his (k) word is not in us.
(7) A rehearsal of the former sentence wherein he condemned
all of sin without exception; in so much that if any man
persuade himself otherwise, he doeth as much as in him
lieth, make the word of God himself vain and to no purpose,
yea he maketh God a liar, for to what end either in times
past needed sacrifices or now Christ and the Gospel, if we
be not sinners?
(i) They do not only deceive themselves but are blasphemous against God.
(k) His doctrine shall have no place in us, that is, in our hearts.
1 Corinthians 14:8
And also if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to battle?
"Let not Geneva be forgotten or despised. Religious liberty owes it most respect." John Adams, the second president of the United States