1 John 2:20
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know.

King James Bible
But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.

Darby Bible Translation
And ye have the unction from the holy one, and ye know all things.

World English Bible
You have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all have knowledge.

Young's Literal Translation
And ye have an anointing from the Holy One, and have known all things;

1 John 2:20 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

But ye have an unction from the Holy One - The apostle in this verse evidently intends to say that he had no apprehension in regard to those to whom he wrote that they would thus apostatize, and bring dishonor on their religion. They had been so anointed by the Holy Spirit that they understood the true nature of religion, and it might be confidently expected that they would persevere. The word "unction" or "anointing" (χρίσμα chrisma) means, properly, "something rubbed in or ointed;" oil for anointing, "ointment;" then it means an anointing. The allusion is to the anointing of kings and priests, or their inauguration or coronation, (1 Samuel 10:1; 1 Samuel 16:13; Exodus 28:41; Exodus 40:15; compare the notes at Matthew 1:1); and the idea seems to have been that the oil thus used was emblematic of the gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit as qualifying them for the discharge of the duties of their office. Christians, in the New Testament, are described as "kings and priests," Revelation 1:6; Revelation 5:10, and as a "royal priesthood" 1 Peter 2:5, 1 Peter 2:9; and hence they are represented as "anointed," or as endowed with those graces of the Spirit, of which anointing was the emblem. The phrase "the Holy One" refers here, doubtless, to the Holy Spirit, that Spirit whose influences are imparted to the people of God, to enlighten, to sanctify, and to comfort them in their trials. The particular reference here is to the influences of that Spirit as giving them clear and just views of the nature of religion, and thus securing them from error and apostasy.

And ye know all things - That is, all things which it is essential that you should know on the subject of religion. See the John 16:13 note; 1 Corinthians 2:15 note. The meaning cannot be that they knew all things pertaining to history, to science, to literature, and to the arts; but that, under the influences of the Holy Spirit, they had been made so thoroughly acquainted with the truths and duties of the Christian religion, that they might be regarded as safe from the danger or fatal error. The same may be said of all true Christians now, that they are so taught by the Spirit of God, that they have a practical acquaintance with what religion is, and with what it requires, and are secure from falling into fatal error. In regard to the general meaning of this verse, then, it may he observed:

I. That it does not mean any one of the following things:

(1) That Christians are literally instructed by the Holy Spirit in all things, or that they literally understand all subjects. The teaching, whatever it may be, refers only to religion.

(2) it is not meant that any new faculties of mind are conferred on them, or any increased intellectual endowments, by their religion. It is not a fact that Christians, as such, are superior in mental endowments to others; nor that by their religion they have any mental traits which they had not before their conversion. Paul, Peter, and John had essentially the same mental characteristics after their conversion which they had before; and the same is true of all Christians.

(3) it is not meant that any new truth is revealed to the mind by the Holy Spirit. All the truth that is brought before the mind of the Christian is to be found in the Word of God, and "revelation," as such, was completed when the Bible was finished.

(4) it is not meant that anything is perceived by Christians which they had not the natural faculty for perceiving before their conversion, or which other people have not also the natural faculty for perceiving. The difficulty with people is not a defect of natural faculties, it is in the blindness of the heart.

II. The statement here made by John "does" imply, it is supposed, the following things:

(1) That the minds of Christians are so enlightened that they have a new perception of the truth. They see it in a light in which they did not before. They see it as truth. They see its beauty, its force, its adapted less to their condition and wants. They understand the subject of religion better than they once did, and better than others do. What was once dark appears now plain; what once had no beauty to their minds now appears beautiful; what was once repellant is now attractive.

(2) they see this to be true; that is, they see it in such a light that they cannot doubt that it is true. They have such views of the doctrines of religion, that they have no doubt that they are true, and are willing on the belief of their truth to lay down their lives, and stake their eternal interests.

(3) their knowledge of truth is enlarged. They become acquainted with more truths than they would have known if they had not been under the teaching of the Holy Spirit. Their range of thought is greater; their vision more extended, as well as more clear.

III. The evidence that this is so is found in the following things:

(1) The express statements of Scripture. See 1 Corinthians 2:14-15, and the notes at that passage. Compare John 16:13-14.

(2) it is a matter of fact that it is so.

continued...

1 John 2:20 Parallel Commentaries

Library
The Commandment, Old yet New
'I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning.... Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you.'--1 John ii. 7, 8. The simplest words may carry the deepest thoughts. Perhaps angels and little children speak very much alike. This letter, like all of John's writing, is pellucid in speech, profound in thought, clear and deep, like the abysses of mid-ocean. His terms are such as a child can understand; his sentences short
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

The Difference Between Walking by Sight, and Walking by Faith
"We walk by faith, not by sight." 2 Cor. 5:7. 1. How short is this description of real Christians! And yet how exceeding full! It comprehends, it sums up, the whole experience of those that are truly such, from the time they are born of God till they remove into Abraham's bosom. For, who are the we that are here spoken of? All that are true Christian believers. I say Christian, not Jewish, believers. All that are not only servants, but children, of God. All that have "the Spirit of adoption, crying
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions

Add to This, and Here is Cause to Cry Out More Piteously...
37. Add to this, (and here is cause to cry out more piteously,) that, if once we grant it to have been right for the saving of that sick man's life to tell him the lie, that his son was alive, then, by little and little and by minute degrees, the evil so grows upon us, and by slight accesses to such a heap of wicked lies does it, in its almost imperceptible encroachments, at last come, that no place can ever be any where found on which this huge mischief, by smallest additions rising into boundless
St. Augustine—Against Lying

(On the Mysteries. Iii. )
On Chrism. 1 John ii. 20-28 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, &c.....that, when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. 1. Having been baptized into Christ, and put on Christ [2415] , ye have been made conformable to the Son of God; for God having foreordained us unto adoption as sons [2416] , made us to be conformed to the body of Christ's glory [2417] . Having therefore become partakers of Christ [2418] , ye are properly called Christs, and
St. Cyril of Jerusalem—Lectures of S. Cyril of Jerusalem

Cross References
Proverbs 28:5
Evil men do not understand justice, But those who seek the LORD understand all things.

Jeremiah 31:34
"They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them," declares the LORD, "for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more."

Matthew 13:11
Jesus answered them, "To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted.

Mark 1:24
saying, "What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are-- the Holy One of God!"

John 14:26
"But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.

Acts 10:38
"You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.

1 Corinthians 2:15
But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one.

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