1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
1 Dear friends, stop believing every spirit. Instead, test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit [speaking through a self-proclaimed prophet]; instead test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets and teachers have gone out into the world.
2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
2 This is how you can recognize God's Spirit: Every spirit who acknowledges that Jesus the Messiah has become human and remains so is from God.
2 By this you know and recognize the Spirit of God: every spirit that acknowledges and confesses [the fact] that Jesus Christ has [actually] come in the flesh [as a man] is from God [God is its source];
3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
3 But every spirit who does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist. You have heard that he is coming, and now he is already in the world.
3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus [acknowledging that He has come in the flesh, but would deny any of the Son’s true nature] is not of God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming, and is now already in the world.
4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
4 Little children, you belong to God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
4 Little children (believers, dear ones), you are of God and you belong to Him and have [already] overcome them [the agents of the antichrist]; because He who is in you is greater than he (Satan) who is in the world [of sinful mankind].
5 They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.
5 These people belong to the world. That is why they speak from the world's perspective, and the world listens to them.
5 They [who teach twisted doctrine] are of the world and belong to it; therefore they speak from the [viewpoint of the] world [with its immoral freedom and baseless theories—demanding compliance with their opinions and ridiculing the values of the upright], and the [gullible one of the] world listens closely and pays attention to them.
6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
6 We belong to God. The person who knows God listens to us. Whoever does not belong to God does not listen to us. This is how we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of deceit.
6 We [who teach God’s word] are from God [energized by the Holy Spirit], and whoever knows God [through personal experience] listens to us [and has a deeper understanding of Him]. Whoever is not of God does not listen to us. By this we know [without any doubt] the spirit of truth [motivated by God] and the spirit of error [motivated by Satan].
7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
7 Dear friends, let us continuously love one another, because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born from God and knows God.
8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
8 The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
8 The person who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
8 The one who does not love has not become acquainted with God [does not and never did know Him], for God is love. [He is the originator of love, and it is an enduring attribute of His nature.]
9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
9 This is how God's love was revealed among us: God sent his unique Son into the world so that we might live through him.
9 By this the love of God was displayed in us, in that God has sent His [One and] only begotten Son [the One who is truly unique, the only One of His kind] into the world so that we might live through Him.
10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
10 This is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.
10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation [that is, the atoning sacrifice, and the satisfying offering] for our sins [fulfilling God’s requirement for justice against sin and placating His wrath].
11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
11 Dear friends, if this is the way God loved us, we must also love one another.
11 Beloved, if God so loved us [in this incredible way], we also ought to love one another.
12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
12 No one has ever seen God. If we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.
12 No one has seen God at any time. But if we love one another [with unselfish concern], God abides in us, and His love [the love that is His essence abides in us and] is completed and perfected in us.
13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.
13 This is how we know that we abide in him and he in us: he has given us his Spirit.
13 By this we know [with confident assurance] that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given to us His [Holy] Spirit.
14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.
14 We have seen for ourselves and can testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.
14 We [who were with Him in person] have seen and testify [as eye-witnesses] that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.
15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
15 God abides in the one who acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, and he abides in God.
15 Whoever confesses and acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.
16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
16 And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and the one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him.
16 We have come to know and rely on the love that God has for us. God is love, and the person who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
16 We have come to know [by personal observation and experience], and have believed [with deep, consistent faith] the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides continually in him.
17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
17 This is how love has been perfected among us: we will have confidence on the day of judgment because, during our time in this world, we are just like him.
17 In this [union and fellowship with Him], love is completed and perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment [with assurance and boldness to face Him]; because as He is, so are we in this world.
18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
18 There is no fear where love exists. Rather, perfect love banishes fear, for fear involves punishment, and the person who lives in fear has not been perfected in love.
18 There is no fear in love [dread does not exist]. But perfect (complete, full-grown) love drives out fear, because fear involves [the expectation of divine] punishment, so the one who is afraid [of God’s judgment] is not perfected in love [has not grown into a sufficient understanding of God’s love].
20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
20 Whoever says, "I love God," but hates his brother is a liar. The one who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love the God whom he has not seen.
20 If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates (works against) his [Christian] brother he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.
21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.
21 And we have this command from Him: The one who loves God must also love his brother.
21 And this is the commandment that we have from him: the person who loves God must also love his brother.
21 And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should also [unselfishly] love his brother and seek the best for him.
Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers.
International Standard Version Copyright © 1996-2008 by the ISV Foundation.
King James Version Public Domain
New American Standard Bible Copyright ©1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif. All rights reserved. For Permission to Quote Information visit http://www.lockman.org