1 John 2:20 Commentary

Part of the ongoing Verse Quick Reference project.

1Jn 2:20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things.

1 John 2:20 uses wording that mirrors a phrase used in the very next chapter. In context, John is telling his followers that they “know all things”. In the next chapter, John writes that God “knows all things”.

1Jn 3:20 For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.

This verse is often one of the first that people cite about God’s omniscience. They will read 2:20 casually, hyperbolically, and idiomatically. They will then read the exact same phrase about God and instantly jump to metaphysics.

This demonstrates two things:
1. The ease of which “omniscience” statements are just casually understood in contexts not concerning God. Metaphysical omniscience of all past, present, and future is not even considered an option.
2. The double standards in reading the same phrases in the same contexts about God and texts about man.

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