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PARALLEL BIBLE - 1 John 5:16

CHAPTERS: 1 John 1, 2, 3, 4, 5     

VERSES: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21




King James Bible - 1 John 5:16

If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.

World English Bible

If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life for those who sin not leading to death. There is a sin leading to death. I don't say that he should make a request concerning this.

Douay-Rheims - 1 John 5:16

He that knoweth his brother to sin a sin which is not to death, let him ask, and life shall be given to him, who sinneth not to death. There is a sin unto death: for that I say not that any man ask.

Webster's Bible Translation

If any man shall see his brother sin a sin which is not to death, he shall ask, and he will give him life for them that sin not to death. There is a sin to death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.

Greek Textus Receptus

1437 τις 5100 ιδη 1492 5632 τον 3588 αδελφον 80 αυτου 846 αμαρτανοντα 264 5723 αμαρτιαν 266 μη 3361 προς 4314 θανατον 2288 αιτησει 154 5692 και 2532 δωσει 1325 5692 αυτω 846 ζωην 2222 τοις 3588 αμαρτανουσιν 264 5723 μη 3361 προς 4314 θανατον 2288 εστιν 2076 5748 αμαρτια 266 προς 4314 θανατον 2288 ου 3756 περι 4012 εκεινης 1565 λεγω 3004 5719 ινα 2443 ερωτηση 2065 5661

Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge

VERSE (16) -
Ge 20:7,17 Ex 32:10-14,31,32; 34:9 Nu 12:13; 14:11-21 De 9:18-20

SEV Biblia, Chapter 5:16

Si alguno viere pecar a su hermano pecado que no es de muerte, pedir a Dios , y l le dar vida; digo a los que pecan no de muerte: Hay pecado de muerte, por el cual yo no digo que ruegues.

Clarke's Bible Commentary - 1 John 5:16

Verse 16. A
sin which is not unto death] This is an extremely difficult passage, and has been variously interpreted. What is the sin not unto death, for which we should ask, and life shall be given to him that commits it? And what is the sin unto death, for which we should not pray? I shall note three of the chief opinions on this subject:- 1. It is supposed that there is here an allusion to a distinction in the Jewish law, where there was htyml hafj chattaah lemithah, "a sin unto death;" and htyml al hafj chattaah lo lemithah, "a sin not unto death;" that is, 1. A sin, or transgression, to which the law had assigned the punishment of death; such as idolatry, incest, blasphemy, breach of the Sabbath, and the like. And 2.

A sin not unto death, i.e. transgressions of ignorance, inadvertence, &c., and such is, in their own nature, appear to be comparatively light and trivial. That such distinctions did exist in the Jewish synagogue both Schoettgen and Carpzovius have proved.

2. By the sin not unto death, for which intercession might be made, and unto death, for which prayer might not be made, we are to understand transgressions of the civil law of a particular place, some of which must be punished with death, according to the statutes, the crime admitting of no pardon: others might be punished with death, but the magistrate had the power of commuting the punishments, i.e. of changing death into banishment, &c., for reasons that might appear to him satisfactory, or at the intercession of powerful friends. To intercede in the former case would be useless, because the law would not relax, therefore they need not pray for it; but intercession in the latter case might be prevalent, therefore they might pray; and if they did not, the person might suffer the punishment of death. This opinion, which has been advanced by Rosenmuller, intimates that men should feel for each other's distresses, and use their influence in behalf of the wretched, nor ever abandon the unfortunate but where the case is utterly hopeless.

3. The sin unto death means a case of transgression, particularly of grievous backsliding from the life and power of godliness, which God determines to punish with temporal death, while at the same time he extends mercy to the penitent soul. The disobedient prophet, 1 Kings xiii. 1-32, is, on this interpretation, a case in point: many others occur in the history of the Church, and of every religious community. The sin not unto death is any sin which God does not choose thus to punish. This view of the subject is that taken by the late Rev. J. Wesley, in a sermon entitled, A Call to Backsliders. - WORKS, vol ii. page 239.

I do not think the passage has any thing to do with what is termed the sin against the Holy Ghost; much less with the popish doctrine of purgatory; nor with sins committed before and after baptism, the former pardonable, the latter unpardonable, according to some of the fathers. Either of the last opinions (viz., 2 and 3) make a good sense; and the first (1) is not unlikely: the apostle may allude to some maxim or custom in the Jewish Church which is not now distinctly known. However, this we know, that any penitent may find mercy through Christ Jesus; for through him every kind of sin may be forgiven to man, except the sin against the Holy Ghost; which I have proved no man can now commit. See the note on Matt. xii. 31, 39.

John Gill's Bible Commentary

Ver. 16. If anyone see his brother sin , &c.] Those who have such an interest at the throne of grace, and such boldness and freedom there, should make use of it for others, as well as themselves, and particularly for fallen believers; for a brother; not in a natural or civil sense, but in a spiritual sense, one that is judged to be born again, and belongs to the family and household of God, and is a member of a Gospel church; and so is under the watch, inspection, and care of the saints; and is observed to sin, as the best of men are not without it, nor the commission of it, in thought, word, or deed: and this sin of his is a sin [which is] not unto death ; every sin, even the least sin, is in its own nature mortal, or deserving of death; the proper wages of sin is death, yea, death eternal; yet none of the sins of God's elect are unto death, or issue in death, in fact; which is owing not to any different nature there is in their sins, or to their good works which counterbalance them; but to the grace of God, and to the blood and righteousness of Christ, by which they are pardoned and justified, and freed from obligation to punishment, or eternal death, the just demerits of them: but how should another man know that a brother's sin is not unto death, when it is of the same nature and kind with another man's? it is known by this, that he does not continue in it; he does not live in the constant commission of it; his life is not a course of iniquity; that sin he sins is not a governing one in him; though he falls into it, he rises up out of it through divine grace, and abides not in it; and he has a sense of it, and is sorry for it, after a godly sort, loaths it, and himself for it; is ashamed of it, ingenuously confesses it, and mourns over it and forsakes it: now when any strong believer or spiritual man sees or knows that a brother has sinned, and this is his case, he shall ask ; he shall pray to God for him, that he would administer comfort to him, discover his love, and apply his pardoning grace to him, and indulge him with his presence and the light of his countenance: and he shall give him life ; that is, God shall give the sinning brother life; by which may be meant comfort, that which will revive his drooping spirits, and cause him to live cheerfully and comfortably, that so he may not be swallowed up with over much sorrow; or he shall grant a discovery of the pardon of his sin unto him, which will be as life from the dead, and will give him a comfortable hope of eternal life, of his right unto it, and meetness for it: for them , or to them that sin not unto death , as the Syriac and Arabic versions render it; for this phrase is only descriptive of the persons to whom life is given by God, upon the prayers of saints for them, and not that this life is given to him that prays, and by him to be given to the sinning person. The Vulgate Latin version renders the whole thus, and life shall be given to him that sins not unto death; which leaves the words without any difficulty: the Ethiopic version indeed renders it, and he that prays shall quicken him that sins [a sin] not unto death; and this sense some interpreters incline to, and would have with this text compared ( 1 Timothy 4:16 James 5:20). There is a sin unto death ; which is not only deserving of death, as every other sin is, but which certainly and inevitably issues in death in all that commit it, without exception; and that is the sin against the Holy Ghost, which is neither forgiven in this world nor in that to come, and therefore must be unto death; it is a sinning wilfully, not in a practical, but doctrinal way, after a man has received the knowledge of the truth; it is a wilful denial of the truth of the Gospel, particularly that peace, pardon, righteousness, eternal life, and salvation, are by Jesus Christ, contrary to the light of his mind, and this joined with malice and obstinacy; so that there is no more or other sacrifice for such a sin; there is nothing but a fearful looking for of wrath and fury to fall on such opposers of the way of life; and as the presumptuous sinners under Moses's law died without mercy, so must these despiteful ones under the Gospel; (see Matthew 12:31,32 Hebrews 10:26-29). Some think there is an allusion to one of the kinds of excommunication among the Jews, called shammatha, the etymology of which, according to some Jewish writers, is htym v , there is death f65 . I do not say that he shall pray for it ; the apostle does not expressly forbid to pray for the forgiveness of this sin, yet what he says amounts unto it; he gives no encouragement to it, or any hopes of succeeding, but rather the reverse; and indeed where this sin is known, or can be known, it is not to be prayed for, because it is irremissible; but as it is a most difficult point to know when a man has sinned it, the apostle expresses himself with great caution. Ver. 17. All unrighteousness is sin , &c.] All unrighteousness against God or man is a sin against the law of God, and the wrath of God is revealed against it, and it is deserving of death; yet all unrighteousness is not unto death, as the sins of David, which were unrighteousness both to God and man, and yet they were put away, and he died not; Peter sinned very foully, and did great injustice to his dear Lord, and yet his sin was not unto death; he had repentance unto life given him, and a fresh application of pardoning grace: and there is a sin not unto death ; this is added for the relief of weak believers, who hearing of a sin unto death, not to be prayed for, might fear that theirs were of that kind, whereas none of them are; for though they are guilty of many unrighteousnesses, yet God is merciful to them and forgives, ( Hebrews 8:12), and so they are not unto death.

Matthew Henry Commentary

Verses 13-17 - Upon all this evidence, it is but right that we believe on the name of the Son of
God. Believers have eternal life in the covenant of the gospel. Then let us thankfully receive the record of Scripture. Alway abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that our labour is not in vain in the Lord. The Lord Christ invites us to come to him in all circumstances, with our supplications and requests, notwithstanding the sin that besets us. Our prayers must always be offered in submission to the will of God. In some things they are speedily answered; in other they are granted in the best manner, though not as requested. We ough to pray for others, as well as for ourselves. There are sins that wa against spiritual life in the soul, and the life above. We cannot pra that the sins of the impenitent and unbelieving should, while they ar such, be forgiven them; or that mercy, which supposes the forgivenes of sins, should be granted to them, while they wilfully continue such But we may pray for their repentance, for their being enriched with faith in Christ, and thereupon for all other saving mercies. We shoul pray for others, as well as for ourselves, beseeching the Lord to pardon and recover the fallen, as well as to relieve the tempted an afflicted. And let us be truly thankful that no sin, of which any on truly repents, is unto death.

Greek Textus Receptus

1437 τις 5100 ιδη 1492 5632 τον 3588 αδελφον 80 αυτου 846 αμαρτανοντα 264 5723 αμαρτιαν 266 μη 3361 προς 4314 θανατον 2288 αιτησει 154 5692 και 2532 δωσει 1325 5692 αυτω 846 ζωην 2222 τοις 3588 αμαρτανουσιν 264 5723 μη 3361 προς 4314 θανατον 2288 εστιν 2076 5748 αμαρτια 266 προς 4314 θανατον 2288 ου 3756 περι 4012 εκεινης 1565 λεγω 3004 5719 ινα 2443 ερωτηση 2065 5661

Vincent's NT Word Studies

16. If any man see (ean tiv idh). A supposed case.

His brother. Christian brother.

Sin a sin (amartanonta amartian). Lit., as Rev., sinning a sin. There is no exact parallel to the phrase in the New Testament. Compare the promise which He promised, ii. 25.

Not unto death (mh prov qanaton). Describing the nature of the sin. The preposition unto, signifies tendency toward, not necessarily involving death. See on ver. 17.

He shall ask (aithsei). In prayer. The future tense expresses not merely permission (it shall be permitted him to ask), but the certainty that, as a Christian brother, he will ask. An injunction to that effect is implied. He shall give. He may refer either to God or to the petitioner, as being the means of bestowing life through his intercession, as in Jas. v. 20. The former explanation is the more natural. So Rev.

Him (autw). The brother for whom intercession is made.

For them that sin (toiv amartanousin). In apposition with aujtw to him. God shall give life unto him (the erring brother), even unto them that sin. The plural generalizes the particular ease described by aJmartanonta aJmartian sinning a sin.

There is a sin (estin amartia). Rev., margin, better, sin. A sin would express a specific act as such. Sin describes the character of a class of acts. Unto death. The difficulty of the passage lies in the explanation of these words. It is impossible to determine their exact meaning with certainty. Some of the many explanations are as follows: Such sin as God punishes with deadly sickness or sudden death. All those sins punished with excommunication (so the older Catholic theologians). An unrepented sin. Envy. A sinful state or condition. The sin by which the Christian falls back from Christian life into death. The anti-Christian denial that Jesus is the Christ.

The phrase labein aJmartian qanhtoforon to incur a death-bearing sin (A. V., bear sin and die), occurs Num. xviii. 22, Sept., and the distinction between sins unto death and sins not unto death is common in Rabbinic writings. However John's expression may have been suggested by these, it cannot be assumed that they determine the sense in which he uses it. Life and death in the passage must correspond. Bodily death and spiritual life cannot be meant. The passage must be interpreted in the light of John's utterances elsewhere concerning life and death. In ver. 12, he says: He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. In iii. 14, 15, he says that he that loveth not abideth in death: that he that hateth his brother is a manslayer, and that no manslayer hath eternal life abiding in him. These canons of interpretation point to the explanation, in which some of the best authorities agree, that the sin unto death does not refer to a specific act, but to a class or species of sins, the tendency of which is to cut the bond of fellowship with Christ. Hence the passage is in the key-note of fellowship which pervades the Epistle. Whatever breaks the fellowship between the soul and Christ, and, by consequence, between the individual and the body of believers, is unto death, for there is no life apart from Christ. It is indeed true that this tendency inheres in all sin. Sin is essentially death. But a distinction is to be made, as Canon Westcott observes, between sins which flow from human imperfection and infirmity, and sins which are open manifestations of a character alien from God. "All unrighteousness is sin, and there is a sin not unto death." It must be carefully born in mind in the study of the passage, that John is speaking of sinful acts as revelations of character, and not simply in themselves. So Huther: "Such sinning as is characterized, not by the object with which it is connected, but by the disposition from which it proceeds." 68 I do not say that he shall pray for it (ou peri ekeinhv legw ina erwthsh). Lit., not concerning this do I say that he should make request. So Rev. Prayer even for this sin unto death is not forbidden, but John says that he does not enjoin it. Note the sharp distinctness with which that terrible sin is thrown out by the pronoun of remote reference and its emphatic position in the sentence. Note also the words make request (erwthsh), and compare aijtnsei he shall ask. On the distinction, see on Luke xi. 9. Aijtew to ask, is used of the petition of an inferior, and is never used of Christ's own requests to God. Hence it is properly used here of the humble and affectionate petition of a Christian to God on behalf of a sinning brother. Erwtaw is used of the request of an equal, or of one who asks on equal terms. Hence it may mark a request based upon fellowship with God through Christ, or it may hint at an element of presumption in a prayer for a sin unto death. Westcott cites a very early inscription in the Roman Catacombs as an illustration of the use of ejrwtan in the sense of Christian prayer for Christians: ejrwta uJper hJmwn pray for us.

CHAPTERS: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
VERSES: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21


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