GENEVA BIBLE 1599
The Bible of the Pilgrims who founded America and also the Bible of the Reformation.
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1 Whosoever (1) believeth that Jesus is that (a) Christ, is born of God, and every one that loveth him, which begat, loveth (b) him also which is begotten of him.
(1) He goeth on forward in the same argument, shewing how
both those loves come unto us from the love wherewith God
loveth us, to wit, by Jesus our Mediator laid hold on by
faith, in whom we are made the children of God, and do
loveth the Father of whom we are so begotten, and also our
brethren which are begotten with us.
(a) Is the true Messiah.
(b) By one he meaneth all the faithful.
2 (2) In this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his (c) commandments.
(2) The love of our neighbor doeth so hang upon the love
wherewith we love God, that this last must needs go before
the first; whereof it followeth, that that is not to be
called love, when men agree together to do evil, neither
that, when as in loving our neighbors, we respect not God's
(c) There is no love where there is no true doctrine.
3 (3) For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments; (4) and his (*) commandments are not (d) burdenous.
(3) The reason: for to love God, is to keep his
commandments, which being so, and seeing that both the loves
are commanded of one and the selfsame lawmaker, (as he
taught before) it followeth also that we do not love our
neighbor, when we break God's commandments.
(4) Because experience teacheth us that there is no ability in our flesh, neither yet will to perform God's commandments, therefore lest the Apostle should seem, by so often putting them in mind of the keeping of the commandments of God, to require things that are impossible, he pronounceth that the commandments of God are not in such sort grievous or burdensome, that we can be oppressed with the burden of them.
(*) Matthew 11:30 .
(d) To them that are regenerate, that is to say, born anew, who are led by the Spirit of God, and are through grace delivered from the curse of the Law.
4 (5) For all that is born of God, overcometh this world; (6) and this is that victory that (e) hath overcome this world, even our (f) faith.
(5) A reason: Because by regeneration we have gotten
strength to overcome the world, that is to say, whatsoever
striveth against the commandments of God.
(6) He declareth what that strength is, to wit, Faith.
(e) He useth the time that is past to give us to understand, that although we be in the battle, yet undoubtedly we shall be conquerors, and are most certain of the victory.
(f) Which is the instrumental cause, and as a means and hand whereby we lay hold on him who indeed doeth perform this, that is, hath and doeth overcome the world, even Christ Jesus.
5 (*) (7) Who is it that overcometh this world, but he which believeth that Jesus is that Son of God?
(*) 1 Corinthians 15:57 .
(7) Moreover he declareth two things, the one, what true faith is, to wit, that which resteth upon Jesus Christ the Son of God alone; whereupon followeth the other, to wit, that this strength is not proper to faith, but by faith as an instrument is drawn from Jesus Christ the Son of God.
6 (8) This is that Jesus Christ that came by (*) water (♣) and blood; (9) not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is that (g) Spirit that beareth witness, for that Spirit is truth.
(8) He proveth the excellency of Christ, in whom only all things are given us by six witnesses, three heavenly, and three earthly, which wholly and fully agree together. The heavenly witnesses are: the Father who sent the Son, the Word itself which became flesh, and the holy Ghost. The earthly witnesses are water, (that is, our sanctification) blood, (that is, our justification) the Spirit, (that is, acknowledge of God the Father in Christ by faith through the testimony of the holy Ghost.)
(*) That is, regeneration.
(♣) The water and blood that came out of his side, declare
that we have our sins washed by him, and he hath made full
sanctification for the same.
(9) He warneth us not to separate water from blood, (that is, sanctification from justification, or righteousness, begun from righteousness imputed) for we stand not upon sanctification, but so far forth as it is a witness of Christ's righteousness imputed unto us; and although this imputation of Christ's righteousness be never separated from sanctification, yet it is only the matter of our salvation.
(g) Our spirit, which is the third witness, testifieth that the holy Ghost is truth, that is to say, that that is true which he telleth us, to wit, that we are the sons of God.
7 For there are three, which bear record in heaven, the Father, the (h) Word, and the holy Ghost; and these three are (i) one.
(h) Look at John 8:13-14 .
(i) Agree in one.
8 And there are three, which bear record in the earth, the Spirit, and the Water, and the Blood; and these three agree in one.
9 (10) If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for (k) this is the witness of God, which he testified of his Son.
(10) He sheweth by an Argument of comparison, of what great
weight the heavenly testimony is, that the Father hath given
of the Son, unto whom agreeth both the Son himself and the
(k) I conclude this aright; for that testimony which I said is given in heaven, cometh from God, who so setteth forth his Son.
10 (*) (11) He that believeth in that Son of God, hath the witness (♣) in himself; he that believeth not God, hath made him a liar, because he believed not the record, that God witnessed of that his Son.
(*) John 3:16 .
(11) He proveth the sureness of the earthly witness by every man's conscience, having that testimony in itself, which conscience he saith cannot be deceived, because it consenteth the heavenly testimony, which the Father giveth of the Son; For otherwise the Father must needs be a liar, if the conscience, which accordeth and ascendeth to the Father, should lie.
(♣) Of God.
11 (12) And this is that record, to wit, that God hath given unto us eternal life, and this life is in that his Son.
(12) Now at length he sheweth what this testimony is, that is confirmed with so many witnesses; to wit, that life or everlasting felicity, is the mere and only gift of God, which is in the Son, and proceedeth from him into us, which by faith are joined with him, so that without him, life is nowhere to be found.
12 He that hath that Son, hath that life; and he that hath not that Son of God, hath not that life.
13 (13) These things have I written unto you, that believe in the Name of that Son of God, that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe in the Name of that Son of God.
(13) The conclusion of the Epistle wherein he sheweth first of all, that even they which already believe, do stand indeed of this doctrine, to the end that they may grow more and more in faith, that is to say, to the end that they may be daily more and more certified of their salvation in Christ through faith.
14 (14) And this is that assurance that we have in him, (*) that if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us.
(14) Because we do not yet in effect obtain that which we hope for, the Apostle joineth invocation or prayer with faith, which he will have to proceed from faith, and moreover to be conceived in such sort, that nothing be asked but that which is agreeable to the will of God; and such prayers cannot be vain.
(*) Matthew 7:7; Matthew 21:22; 1 John 3:22 .
15 And if we know that he heareth us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions, that we have desired of him.
16 (15) If any man see his brother sin a sin that is not unto death, let him (l) ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. (*) There is a sin unto death, I say not that thou shouldest pray for it.
(15) We have to make prayers not only for ourselves, but
also for our brethren which do sin, that their sins be not
unto them; and yet he accepteth that sin, which is never
forgiven, or the sin against the holy Ghost, that is to say,
a universal and willful falling away from the known truth of
(l) This is as much as if he said, Let him desire the Lord to forgive him, and he will forgive him being so desired.
(*) Matthew 12:31; Mark 3:29 .
17 (16) All unrighteousness is sin, but there is a sin not unto death.
(16) The taking away of an objection: Indeed all iniquity is comprehended under the name of sin, but yet we must not despair therefore, because every sin is not deadly, and without hope of remedy.
18 (17) We know that whosoever is born of God, sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.
(17) A reason why not all, nay rather why no sin is mortal to some: to wit, because they be born of God, that is to say, made the sons of God in Christ, and being endued with his Spirit, they do not serve sin, neither are deadly wounded of Satan.
19 (18) We know that we are of God, and this whole world lieth in wickedness.
(18) Every man must particularly apply to himself the general promises, that we may certainly persuade ourselves, that whereas all the world is by nature lost, we are freely made the sons of God, by the sending of Jesus Christ his Son unto us, of whom we are lightened with the knowledge of the true God, and everlasting life.
20 But we know that the Son of God is (*) come, and hath gave us a mind to know him, which is true; and we are in him that is true, that is, in that his Son Jesus Christ. This same is that very (m) God, and that eternal life.
(*) Luke 24:45 .
(m) The divinity of Christ is most plainly proved by this passage.
21 (19) Little children, keep yourselves from idols, Amen.
(19) He expresseth a plain precept of taking heed of idols; which he setteth against the only true God, that with this seal as it were he might seal up all the former doctrine.
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