Daily Devotions from the Original Greek – 1 John 1:4 by Abidan Paul Shah

Papyrus 9, 1 John, 4,11–12,14–17 - recto
Papyrus 9, P. Oxy 402, 3rd century, 1 John, 4,11–12,14–17 – recto

Through the years many people have approached me with the desire to study the Bible in the original languages. Not that they don’t trust the Bible in their English translations, they just have a hunger for more. The pattern is quite familiar – They ask me for resources. I provide them with the best tools. They wade into the murky waters of Grammar, Syntax, and Critical Issues of the biblical text. Some go farther than others but inevitably they all turn to familiar shores, never to venture again. It is truly unfortunate… Hence, these “Daily Devotions from the Original Greek.” They are in no way exhaustive exegetical commentaries. They’re simply my personal devotions based on the original languages. Hopefully, they will inspire some to cast anchor and sail into uncharted waters. My prayer is that you won’t despair when the winds howl or the waves threaten to overturn the boat. οἱ ἄνεμοι καὶ ἡ θάλασσα ὑπακούουσιν αὐτῷ. (Matt. 8:27)

Text: 1 John 1:4 – καὶ ταῦτα γράφομεν ὑμῖν[1], ἵνα ἡ χαρὰ ἡμῶν[2] ᾖ πεπληρωμένη.

(For the meaning and parsing of each Greek word in the verse please see below under parsing.)

My Translation: 1 John 1:4 And these things we write to you so that our joy may be complete.

Some Devotional Thoughts: 

The phrase ‘these things we(I) write to you’ is repeated several times through the letter. It has several applications. One, John wants his readers to know that this letter is not just chit-chat. There is a greater purpose it and it is imperative that they take it seriously. So also for us – we need to take the Word of God seriously. It is not for entertainment but for serious application. Second, John says ‘we write’ here but later its only ‘I write.’ It implies that John wants his readers to understand that his teachings are not just his own creation but they are also supported and endorsed by other authoritative individuals. Christianity is not some isolated idiosyncracy of some eccentric indivdual or some socio-cultural phenomenon. It had a wide range of followers.

Ultimately, the goal of the writing is to bring joy. Although, some Byzantine mss are divided over whether it is personal joy or the joy of the readers, it is still joy that is the final outcome of reading and applying the truth of God’s Word. 


καὶ = and (conjunction from καί)

ταῦτα = these things (pronoun demonstrative accusative neuter plural from οὗτος)

γράφομεν = we write (verb indicative present active 1st person plural from γράφω)

ὑμῖν, = you all (pronoun personal dative plural from σύ)

ἵνα = so that (conjunction from ἵνα)

ἡ = the (definite article nominative feminine singular from ὁ)

χαρὰ = joy (noun nominative feminine singular from χαρά)

ἡμῶν = our (pronoun personal genitive plural from ἐγώ)

ᾖ = may be (verb subjunctive present active 3rd person singular from εἰμί)

πεπληρωμένη = complete/fulfilled (verb participle perfect passive nominative feminine singular from πληρόω)


[1] The Alexandrian manuscripts read ἡμεῖς while the Byzantine read ὑμῖν.

[2] The Byzantine text is divided at this point. Some read ἡμῶν, while others ὑμῶν.

[3] The parsing is taken from Bible Works 10

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