In that case, what are homilies for?


#1

1 john 2

20 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.

21 I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.

End quote.

What does this mean. And if it applies to us than why did he give some to be apostles, some prophets, some pastors, teachers and evangelists?


#2

New American Bible version of 1 Jn 2:20-21
But you have the anointing that comes from the holy one, and you all have knowledge.
I write to you not because you do not know the truth but because you do, and because every lie is alien to the truth.

Well, first, it is a challenge to know what John is referring to, of course. At the time of this writing, the kerygma ( the essentials of Christ’s pascal sacrifice and resurrection ) are probably what is referred to here.

If John thought they already had “all” knowledge, then why was he even writing this letter?

I haven’t studied this letter in any detail, but I believe he is urging them not to be led astray by false disciples – who were spreading lies “alien to the truth.” That itself is a homily and that is why we still have homilies - to continually encourage us and increase our knowledge of the faith.


#3

This question came to my attention in conversation with a Lone Ranger Christian.
Here is what I came up with so far.

Do you think “you have no need that anyone teach you” is on the same lines as “being crafty I caught you with guile.”? It seems mighty odd that he would give some to be teachers if there were no need for anyone with an anointing to be taught. Clearly john is writing to a group of mixed experience based on other comments in the book. He says, I am not telling you this because you don’t know it, but because you do. This seems to be about two things. One he is rejecting the idea that a new and novel doctrine is worth considering. he is saying the gospel you already received that you already know by which you already received the Spirit is sufficient.
Two, he is saying as to a teenager who might take insult at being told something again, I know you know this but I am repeating it so it’s in your thick head when somebody comes to offer you something new. In that sense he both articulates and demonstrates a need for revelation to be guarded in a community–positive peer pressure. And if somebody comes along saying I have an anointing listen to this special doctrine I know, don’t follow them.

The passage on john is being used as a rational for why canonicity of scripture is irrelevant. “I have an anointing so I know the truth and that’s that.”

Please correct my interpretation.


#4

For more context (RSVCE version):

"18 Children, it is the last hour and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come; therefore we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out, that it might be plain that they all are not of us. 20 But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all know. 21 I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and know that no lie is of the truth. 22 Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father. He who confesses the Son has the Father also. 24 Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you will abide in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is what he has promised us, eternal life.

26 I write this to you about those who would deceive you; 27 but the anointing which you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that any one should teach you; as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie, just as it has taught you, abide in him.

28 And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. 29 If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that every one who does right is born of him."

I don’t know for certain, and I also haven’t studied this passage in any depth. BUT, I would never take one passage alone, especially if someone is using a passage to argue against something we do in the Catholic Church…scripture will always support the Church…we often forget it is OUR book, we “made” it (compiled it). Right? The Church is not based on scripture, but rather Scripture came from the Church…and so be confident it will always be on our side.

Taking it in context, What it looks like to me, is that John is giving a warning to be wary of false-prophets and false-teachers (“antichrists”). It looks like he is saying that since you know the truth (i.e. you know know Jesus…Jesus is Truth) you know enough to be able to spot the antichrists and their false teachings. You know what comes from Christ because you know Christ, having been anointed by him.

…Just my thoughts. I’m sure there will be better scholars here who can give better input.


#5

The passage also makes a reference to having already been previously taught… “let what you heard from the beginning abide in you”, and if you do that you will abide in the truth. I cannot see it making a claim of lone ranger Christians being able to interpret based on their own. It’s in the context of the truth they’ve already been taught.

"20 But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all know. 21 I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and know that no lie is of the truth. 22 Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father. He who confesses the Son has the Father also. 24** Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you will abide in the Son and in the Father.** 25 And this is what he has promised us, eternal life.

26 I write this to you about those who would deceive you; 27 but the anointing which you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that any one should teach you; as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie, just as it has taught you, abide in him."


#6

Most translations of verse 20 use the phrase “you all have knowledge”. But the KJV uses, “you have all knowledge”. The KJV really doesn’t make sense because no one can have all knowledge.

IMO, John is referring to a very specific piece of knowledge; that being the fact that if you stay in Christ, you stay in the light, and vice versa, which is stated several times in several different ways leading up to chapter 3.


#7

D-R Bible, Haydock Commentary:

Ver. 20-21. You have an unction from the holy one. You are sufficiently instructed by the grace and spirit of God against such false teachers. (Witham) — An unction, &c. That is, grace and wisdom from the Holy Ghost. (Challoner) — And you know all things, as to what you ought to believe and practise, and therefore I have not written to you as to ignorant persons. (Witham) — The true children of God’s Church, remaining in unity, under the guidance of their lawful pastors, partake of the grace of the Holy Ghost, promised to the Church and her pastors; and have in the Catholic Church all necessary knowledge and instruction, so as to have no need to seek it elsewhere, since it can be only found in that society of which they are members. (Challoner)


#8

biblehub.com/1_john/2-20.htm
“Most” is a slight exaggeration. It looks like translators themselves couldn’t figure out which it was.


#9

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