1 John 1:1
New International Version
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.

New Living Translation
We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning, whom we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of life.

English Standard Version
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—

Berean Study Bible
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our own eyes, which we have gazed upon and touched with our own hands—this is the Word of life.

Berean Literal Bible
That which was from the beginning, that which we have heard, that which we have seen with our eyes, that which we have gazed upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life--

King James Bible
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;

New King James Version
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life—

New American Standard Bible
What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life—

NASB 1995
What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life—

NASB 1977
What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we beheld and our hands handled, concerning the Word of Life—

Amplified Bible
[I am writing about] what existed from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life [the One who existed even before the beginning of the world, Christ]—

Christian Standard Bible
What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have observed and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—

Holman Christian Standard Bible
What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have observed and have touched with our hands, concerning the Word of life—

American Standard Version
That which was from the beginning, that which we have heard, that which we have seen with our eyes, that which we beheld, and our hands handled, concerning the Word of life

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
We evangelize to you that which was from the beginning, that which we have heard and we have seen, that which we have perceived with our eyes and we have touched with our hands- him who is The Word of Life.

Contemporary English Version
The Word that gives life was from the beginning, and this is the one our message is about. Our ears have heard, our eyes have seen, and our hands have touched this Word.

Douay-Rheims Bible
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the word of life:

English Revised Version
That which was from the beginning, that which we have heard, that which we have seen with our eyes, that which we beheld, and our hands handled, concerning the Word of life

Good News Translation
We write to you about the Word of life, which has existed from the very beginning. We have heard it, and we have seen it with our eyes; yes, we have seen it, and our hands have touched it.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The Word of life existed from the beginning. We have heard it. We have seen it. We observed and touched it.

International Standard Version
What existed from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we observed and touched with our own hands—this is the Word of life!

Literal Standard Version
That which was from the beginning, that which we have heard, that which we have seen with our eyes, that which we beheld, and our hands handled, concerning the Word of Life—

NET Bible
This is what we proclaim to you: what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and our hands have touched (concerning the word of life--

New Heart English Bible
That which was from the beginning, that which we have heard, that which we have seen with our eyes, that which we saw, and our hands touched, concerning the Word of life

Weymouth New Testament
That which was from the beginning, which we have listened to, which we have seen with our own eyes, and our own hands have handled concerning the Word of Life--

World English Bible
That which was from the beginning, that which we have heard, that which we have seen with our eyes, that which we saw, and our hands touched, concerning the Word of life

Young's Literal Translation
That which was from the beginning, that which we have heard, that which we have seen with our eyes, that which we did behold, and our hands did handle, concerning the Word of the Life --

Additional Translations ...
Context
The Word of Life
1That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our own eyes, which we have gazed upon and touched with our own hands— this is the Word of life. 2And this is the life that was revealed; we have seen it and testified to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us.…

Cross References
Luke 1:2
just as they were handed down to us by the initial eyewitnesses and servants of the word.

Luke 24:39
Look at My hands and My feet. It is I Myself. Touch Me and see--for a spirit does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have."

John 1:1
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:4
In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.

John 1:14
The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 19:35
The one who saw it has testified to this, and his testimony is true. He knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe.

John 20:27
Then Jesus said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and look at My hands. Reach out your hand and put it into My side. Stop doubting and believe."


Treasury of Scripture

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked on, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;

That which.

1 John 2:13
I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.

Proverbs 8:22-31
The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old…

Isaiah 41:4
Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I the LORD, the first, and with the last; I am he.

which we have heard.

1 John 4:14
And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.

Luke 1:2
Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word;

John 1:14
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

and our.

Luke 24:39
Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.

John 20:27
Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.

the Word.

1 John 5:7
For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

John 1:14
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

John 5:26
For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;









[1.The Exordium (1John 1:1-4).

(1)OBJECT AND PURPOSE OF THE APOSTOLIC PREACHING: The setting forth of the historical Christ for the spread of human fellowship with the Father and the Son (1John 1:1-3).

(2)DESIGN OF THE EPISTLE: Fulness of joy for those who should read it (1John 1:4).]

(1) That which was from the beginning.--The profound emotion, the hearty sympathy, the tender anxiety which St. John feels as he begins his counsels to his friends, mark off this introduction very distinctly from the parallel passage in the Gospel. There it was calm contemplation of the height and depth of Christ's existence; here he vehemently insists on the personal relation between the Word and those to whom He had been revealed.

As in the Gospel, he starts with the grandeur of an indefiniteness beyond which no eye can pierce: At the beginning of all that concerns us, be it world or universe or all creation, there was----that which we are announcing. "That which," not "Him who," because it is not merely the Person of Christ which he is going to declare, but also His Being, all that relates to Him, His gospel, the treasures of wisdom that lay in Him, His truth, all that could be known about Him by human ken.

The vibrating eloquence of the passage makes the construction at first sight obscure. But take "that declare we unto you" (1John 1:3) as the principal verb, set aside 1John 1:2 as a parenthesis, notice the rising climax of 1John 1:1 (heard, seen, looked upon, handled), pause at the end of 1John 1:1 to sum up the results of this climax in the words "of (or, that which concerns) the Word of life," and at the beginning of 1John 1:3 resume the thoughts interrupted by the parenthesis, and all is at once clear. . . .

Verse 1. - The first clause states what or how the object is in itself; the next three state St. John's relation to it; "which," in the first clause nominative, in the others is accusative. The neuter () expresses a collective and comprehensive whole (John 4:22; John 6:37; John 17:2; Acts 17:23, etc.); the attributes of the Λόγος rather than the Λόγος himself are indicated. Or, as Jelf expresses it, "the neuter gender denotes immaterial personality, the masculine or feminine material personality." In the beginning is not quite the same as in John 1:1; there St. John tells us that the Word was in existence before the world was created; here that he was in existence before he was manifested. Thus far all is indefinite; the philosopher, about to expound a law of nature, might begin, "That which was from the beginning declare we unto you." What follows is in a climax, making the meaning clearer at each step: seeing is more than hearing, and handling than seeing. The climax is in two pairs, of perfects and of aorists; the aorists giving the past acts, the perfects the permanent results. Together they sum up the apostolic experience of that boundless activity of Christ, of which the world could not contain the full account (John 21:25). Beheld ἐθεασάμεθα is more than have seen ἑωράκαμεν. Seeing might be momentary; beholding implies that steady contemplation, for which the beloved disciple had large and abundantly used opportunities. In our hands handled we may see a reference to Luke 24:39, where the same verb is used ψηλαφήσατε; and still more to John 20:27, where the demanded test of handling is offered to St. Thomas, provoking the confession of faith to which the whole Gospel leads up, "My Lord and my God!" Had St. John merely said "heard," we might have thought that he meant a doctrine. Had he merely said "heard and seen," we might have understood it of the effects of Christ's doctrine. But "our hands handled" shows clearly that the attributes of the Word become flesh are what St. John insists on, and probably as a contradiction of Docetism. "Those who read his letter could have no doubt that he was referring to the time when he saw the face of Jesus Christ, when he heard his discourses, when he grasped his hand, when he leaned upon his breast" (Maurice). Between the first clause and what follows lies the tremendous fact of the Incarnation; and St. John piles verb on verb, and clause on clause, to show that he speaks with the authority of full knowledge, and that there is no possible room for Ebionite or Cerinthian error. The first clause assures us that Jesus was no mere man; the others assure us that he was really man. Precisely that Being who was in existence from the beginning is that of whom St. John and others have had, and still possess, knowledge by all the means through which knowledge can have access to the mind of man. (For "seeing with the eyes," cf. Luke 2:30; for θεᾶσθαι of contemplating with delight [Stark 16:11, 14], John 1:14, 34; Acts 1:11.) Concerning the Word of life. "Concerning" περί may depend on "have heard," and, by a kind of zengma, on the other three verbs also; or on the main verb," we declare." "The Word of life" means "the Word who is the Life," like "the city of Rome,... the Book of Genesis;" the genitive case is "the characterizing or identifying genitive." The περί is strongly against the interpretation, "the word of life," i.e., the life-giving gospel. Had St. John meant this, he would probably have written ὅν ἀκηκόαμεν... τὸν λόγον τῆς ζωῆς ἀπαγγέλλομεν (John 5:24, 37; John 8:43; John 14:24); περί is very frequent of persons (John 1:7, 8, 15, 22, 30, 48, etc.). Moreover, the evident connexion between the introductions to his Gospel and Epistle compels us to understand ὁ Λόγος in the same sense in both (see on John 1:1 in this Commentary, and in the 'Cambridge Greek Testament' or 'Bible for Schools'). What St. John has to announce is his own experience of the Eternal Word incarnate, the Eternal Life made manifest (John 14:6); his hearing of his words, his seeing with his own eyes his Messianic works, his contemplation of the Divinity which shone through both; his handling of the body of the risen Redeemer.

Parallel Commentaries ...


Greek
That which
(Ho)
Personal / Relative Pronoun - Nominative Neuter Singular
Strong's 3739: Who, which, what, that.

was
ἦν (ēn)
Verb - Imperfect Indicative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's 1510: I am, exist. The first person singular present indicative; a prolonged form of a primary and defective verb; I exist.

from
ἀπ’ (ap’)
Preposition
Strong's 575: From, away from. A primary particle; 'off, ' i.e. Away, in various senses.

[the] beginning,
ἀρχῆς (archēs)
Noun - Genitive Feminine Singular
Strong's 746: From archomai; a commencement, or chief.

which
(ho)
Personal / Relative Pronoun - Accusative Neuter Singular
Strong's 3739: Who, which, what, that.

we have heard,
ἀκηκόαμεν (akēkoamen)
Verb - Perfect Indicative Active - 1st Person Plural
Strong's 191: To hear, listen, comprehend by hearing; pass: is heard, reported. A primary verb; to hear.

which
(ho)
Personal / Relative Pronoun - Accusative Neuter Singular
Strong's 3739: Who, which, what, that.

we have seen
ἑωράκαμεν (heōrakamen)
Verb - Perfect Indicative Active - 1st Person Plural
Strong's 3708: Properly, to stare at, i.e. to discern clearly; by extension, to attend to; by Hebraism, to experience; passively, to appear.

with
τοῖς (tois)
Article - Dative Masculine Plural
Strong's 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

our own
ἡμῶν (hēmōn)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Genitive 1st Person Plural
Strong's 1473: I, the first-person pronoun. A primary pronoun of the first person I.

eyes,
ὀφθαλμοῖς (ophthalmois)
Noun - Dative Masculine Plural
Strong's 3788: The eye; fig: the mind's eye. From optanomai; the eye; by implication, vision; figuratively, envy.

which
(ho)
Personal / Relative Pronoun - Accusative Neuter Singular
Strong's 3739: Who, which, what, that.

we have gazed upon
ἐθεασάμεθα (etheasametha)
Verb - Aorist Indicative Middle - 1st Person Plural
Strong's 2300: A prolonged form of a primary verb; to look closely at, i.e. perceive; by extension to visit.

and
καὶ (kai)
Conjunction
Strong's 2532: And, even, also, namely.

touched [with]
ἐψηλάφησαν (epsēlaphēsan)
Verb - Aorist Indicative Active - 3rd Person Plural
Strong's 5584: From the base of psallo; to manipulate, i.e. Verify by contact; figuratively, to search for.

our
ἡμῶν (hēmōn)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Genitive 1st Person Plural
Strong's 1473: I, the first-person pronoun. A primary pronoun of the first person I.

[own]
αἱ (hai)
Article - Nominative Feminine Plural
Strong's 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

hands—
χεῖρες (cheires)
Noun - Nominative Feminine Plural
Strong's 5495: A hand.

[this is ]
περὶ (peri)
Preposition
Strong's 4012: From the base of peran; properly, through, i.e. Around; figuratively with respect to; used in various applications, of place, cause or time.

the
τοῦ (tou)
Article - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

Word
Λόγου (Logou)
Noun - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's 3056: From lego; something said; by implication, a topic, also reasoning or motive; by extension, a computation; specially, the Divine Expression.

of life.
ζωῆς (zōēs)
Noun - Genitive Feminine Singular
Strong's 2222: Life, both of physical (present) and of spiritual (particularly future) existence. From zao; life.


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NT Letters: 1 John 1:1 That which was from the beginning that (1J iJ 1Jn i jn 1 jo)
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