FAQ       Top  >  Literary Structure of the Bible  >  First Epistle of John  >  1

Literary structure (chiasmus, chiasm) of First Epistle of John

Chiasmus and Concentric Structure of whole text


1-1

1 The word of life (1:1-4)
  2 God is light (1:5-2:6)
    3 A new commandment (2:7-17)
      4 Warning against Antichrists (2:18-3:12)
        5 Love one another (3:13-24)
      6 Testing the Spirits (4:1-6)
    7 God is love (4:7-5:5)
  8 Testimony of God (5:6-12)
9 Epilogue (5:13-21)
Former halfRelationLatter half
1 The word of life (1:1-4)
we have seen it and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was made visible to us(1:2)
Eternal life9 Epilogue (5:13-21)
I write these things to you so that you may know that you have eternal life, you who believe in the name of the Son of God. (5:13)
2 God is light (1:5-2:6)
If we say, "We have not sinned," we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1:10)
Being in us8 Testimony of God (5:6-12)
Whoever believes in the Son of God has this testimony within himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar by not believing the testimony God has given about his Son. (5:10)
3 A new commandment (2:7-17)
Beloved, I am writing no new commandment to you but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. (2:7)
Commandment to love one another7 God is love (4:7-5:5)
Beloved, let us love one another, (4:7)
4 Warning against Antichrists (2:18-3:12)
2:18 Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that the antichrist was coming, so now many antichrists have appeared. Thus we know this is the last hour.(2:18)
Coming of evils6 Testing the Spirits (4:1-6)
4:1 Beloved, do not trust every spirit but test the spirits to see whether they belong to God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.(4:1)

1-1-1

1 The word of life (1:1-4)
  2 God is light (1:5-2:6)
    3 A new commandment (2:7-17)
  4 Warning against Antichrists (2:18-3:12)
5 Love one another (3:13-24)
Former halfRelationLatter half
1 The word of life (1:1-4)
1:2 we have seen it and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life (1:2)
Eternal life5 Love one another (3:13-24)
3:15 no murderer has eternal life remaining in him. (3:15)
2 God is light (1:5-2:6)
But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, then we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of his Son Jesus cleanses us from all sin. (1:7)
Cleansing sins4 Warning against Antichrists (2:18-3:12)
You know that he was revealed to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. (3:5)

1-1-2

5 Love one another (3:13-24)
  6 Testing the Spirits (4:1-6)
    7 God is love (4:7-5:5)
  8 Testimony of God (5:6-12)
9 Epilogue (5:13-21)
Former halfRelationLatter half
5 Love one another (3:13-24)
3:15 no murderer has eternal life remaining in him. (3:15)
Eternal life9 Epilogue (5:13-21)
5:20 He is the true God and eternal life. (5:20)
6 Testing the Spirits (4:1-6)
4:5 They belong to the world; accordingly, their teaching belongs to the world, and the world listens to them. (4:5)
A liar8 Testimony of God (5:6-12)
5:10 Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar by not believing the testimony God has given about his Son. (5:10)

Citations of the Bible are from New American Bible, New Revised Standard Version and New Jerusalem Bible.

Creative Commons License
Literary Structure of the Bible by Hajime Murai is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Caution: The copyright of the cited Bible verses belongs to each translator and publisher.