1 John 4:8 KJV
He that loveth not
knoweth not God;
for God is love.
Berean Study Bible and New International Version
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
New Living Translation
But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
English Standard Version
Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
Berean Literal Bible
The one not loving has not known God, because God is love.
New King James Version
He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
New American Standard Bible
The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
NASB 1995 and NASB 1977
The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
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.]
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He that loveth not, knoweth not God
If a man loves not the children of God, those that are born of Him, he does not know, so as to love God, the Father of them; for to pretend love to God, the begetter of them, whom he sees not, and not love those who are begotten by Him, and are visible objects of respect, is a contradiction, and cannot be reconciled (see 1 John 4:20).
This clause is left out in the Ethiopic version,
and is transposed in the Syriac version, which reads the text thus, “for God, is love, and whoever loveth not, knoweth not God”.
Knoweth not God
▪︎ Has no true acquaintance with God;
▪︎ has no just views of Him,
▪︎ and no right feelings toward him.
The reason for this is implied in what is immediately stated, that “God is love,” and of course if they have no love reigning in their hearts, they cannot pretend to be like him.
Greek aorist: It doesn’t not only mean knoweth not now, but also never knew, has not once for all known God.
For God is love
- He is not merely benevolent,
- He is benevolence itself.
- Never was a more important declaration made than this;
- never was more meaning crowded into a few words than in this short sentence – “God is love.”
In the darkness of this world of sin; in all the sorrows that come now upon the race, and that will come upon the wicked hereafter; we have the assurance that a God of infinite benevolence rules over all.
And though we may not be able to reconcile all that occurs with this declaration, or see how the things which he has permitted to take place are consistent with it, yet in the exercise of faith on his own declarations we may find consolation in “believing” that it is so, and may look forward to a period when all his universe shall see it to be so.
In the midst of all that occurs on the earth of sadness, sin, and sorrow, there are abundant evidences that God is love.
In the original structure of things before sin entered, when all was pronounced “good;” in the things designed to promote happiness, where the only thing contemplated is happiness, and where it would have been as easy to have caused pain; in the preservation of a guilty race, and in granting that race the opportunity of another trial; in the ceaseless provision which God is making in his providence for the wants of unnumbered millions of his creatures; in the arrangements made to alleviate sorrow, and to put an end to it; in the gift of a Saviour more than all, and in the offer of eternal life on terms simple and easy to be complied with – in all these things, which are the mere expressions of love, not one of which would have been found under the government of a malignant being, we see illustrations of the sublime and glorious sentiment before us, that “God is love.”
Even in this world of confusion, disorder, and darkness, we have evidence sufficient to prove that he is benevolent, but the full glory and meaning of that truth will be seen only in heaven.
Meantime, let us hold on to the truth that he is love.
- Let us believe that he sincerely desires our good, and that what seems dark to us may be designed for our welfare; and amidst all the sorrows and disappointments of the present life;
- Let us feel that our interests and our destiny are in the hands of the God of love.
There is no Greek article to love, but to God; therefore we cannot translate, Love is God.
God is fundamentally and essentially LOVE: not merely is loving, for then John’s argument would not stand; for the conclusion from the premises then would be this:
This man is not loving: God is loving; therefore he knoweth not God IN SO FAR AS God is loving; still he might know Him in His other attributes.
But when we take love as God’s essence, the argument is sound: This man doth not love, and therefore knows not love: God is essentially love, therefore he knows not God.
Since love is His very nature, and that God is love, those that love are born of Him, partake from Him that excellent and most delectable nature, know Him by a transformative knowledge;
But they that love not, they are mere strangers to Him, and never had to do with Him.
For God is love; He loves himself; there is an entire love between the three divine Persons, who are in the strictest, and in the most inconceivable and inexpressible manner affected to each other; their love is natural and essential.
God loves all his creatures as such, nor does He hate any of them, as so considered; and He bears an everlasting, unchangeable, and invariable love to His elect in Christ Jesus; of which an instance is given in the following verses, and is a reason why the saints should love one another; that they might be like their heavenly Father, by whom they are begotten, and of whom they are born, and whose children they are; seeing He is love itself, and in His breast is nothing else but love. So the Shekinah is, by the Cabalistic Jews, called “love”.
Whoever ☆ ὁ (ho) ☆ Article – Nominative Masculine Singular ☆ The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.
Does not love ☆ ἀγαπῶν (agapōn) ☆ Verb – Present Participle Active – Nominative Masculine Singular ☆ To love, wish well to, take pleasure in, long for; denotes the love of reason, esteem. Perhaps from agan; to love.
Does not know ☆ ἔγνω (egnō) ☆ Verb – Aorist Indicative Active – 3rd Person Singular ☆ A prolonged form of a primary verb; to ‘know’ in a great variety of applications and with many implications.
God ☆ Θεόν (Theon) ☆ Noun – Accusative Masculine Singular ☆ A deity, especially the supreme Divinity; figuratively, a magistrate; by Hebraism, very.
Because ☆ ὅτι (hoti) ☆ Conjunction ☆ Neuter of hostis as conjunction; demonstrative, that; causative, because.
God ☆ Θεὸς (Theos) ☆ Noun – Nominative Masculine Singular ☆ A deity, especially the supreme Divinity; figuratively, a magistrate; by Hebraism, very.
Is ☆ ἐστίν (estin) ☆ Verb – Present Indicative Active – 3rd Person Singular ☆ I am, exist. The first person singular present indicative; a prolonged form of a primary and defective verb; I exist.
Love ☆ ἀγάπη (agapē) ☆ Noun – Nominative Feminine Singular ☆ From agapao; love, i.e. Affection or benevolence; specially a love-feast.
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