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What Does 1 John 5:6 - 8 Really Mean?

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1John 5:6 "This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.
5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
5:8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one."


I have thought on these three verses many times. There are a few different interpretations of these verses of what it really means, "Water & Blood". I thought it would be a valuable study to nail down what each of us believe about what exactly is the water & blood meaning.

I have included a statement by, Albert Barnes on some different interpretations and finally what he believes is the right one. I also will give you what I believe. Now I want to know what you fine Theologians have to say.

Come on you folk who have recently joined this great Forum. Get your feet wet, join in here with your :twocents.

This is rather long, and I feel that the information here will help you all make up your minds to the true meaning of "Water and the Blood".

Albert Barnes,
This is he - This Son of God referred to in the previous verse. The object of the apostle in this verse, in connection with 1Jo_5:8, is to state the nature of the evidence that Jesus is the Son of God. He refers to three well-known things on which he probably had insisted much in his preaching - the water, and the blood, and the Spirit. These, he says, furnished evidence on the very point which he was illustrating, by showing that that Jesus on whom they believed was the Son of God. “This,” says he, “is the same one, the very person, to whom the well-known and important testimony is borne; to him, and him alone, these undisputed things appertain, and not to any other who should claim to be the Messiah and they all agree on the same one point,” 1Jo_5:8.
That came - ὁ εἰδὼν ho eidōn. This does not mean that when he came into the world he was accompanied in some way by water and blood; but the idea is, that the water and the blood were clearly manifest during his appearing on earth, or that they were remarkable testimonials in some way to his character and work. An ambassador might be said to come with credentials; a warrior might be said to come with the spoils of victory; a prince might be said to “come” with the insignia of royalty; a prophet comes with signs and wonders; and the Lord Jesus might also be said to have come with power to raise the dead, and to heal disease, and to cast out devils; but John here fixes the attention on a fact so impressive and remarkable in his view as to be worthy of special remark, that he “came” by water and blood.
By water - There have been many opinions in regard to the meaning of this phrase. See Pool’s Synopsis. Compare also Lucke, “in loc.” A mere reference to some of these opinions may aid in ascertaining the true interpretation.
(1) Clement of Alexandria supposes that by “water” regeneration and faith were denoted, and by “blood” the public acknowledgment of that.
(2) Some, and among them Wetstein, have held that the words are used to denote the fact that the Lord Jesus was truly a man, in contradistinction from the doctrine of the “Docetae;” and that the apostle means to say that he had all the properties of a human being - a spirit or soul, blood, and the watery humors of the body.
(3) Grotius supposes that by his coming “by water,” there is reference to his pure life, as water is the emblem of purity; and he refers to Eze_36:25; Isa_1:16; Jer_4:14. As a sign of that purity, he says that John baptized him, Joh_1:28. A sufficient objection to this view is, that as in the corresponding word “blood” there is undoubted reference to blood literally, it cannot be supposed that the word “water” in the same connection would be used figuratively. Moreover, as Lucke (p. 287) has remarked, water, though a “symbol” of purity, is never used to denote “purity itself,” and therefore cannot here refer to the pure life of Jesus.
(4) Many expositors suppose that the reference is to the baptism of Jesus, and that by his “coming by water and blood,” as by the latter there is undoubted reference to his death, so by the former there is reference to his baptism, or to his entrance on his public work. Of this opinion were Tertullian, OEcumenius, Theophylact, among the fathers, and Capellus, Heumann, Stroth, Lange, Ziegler, A. Clarke, Bengel, Rosenmuller, Macknight, and others, among the moderns. A leading argument for this opinion, as alleged, has been that it was then that the Spirit bare witness to him, Mat_3:16, and that this is what John here refers to when he says, “It is the Spirit that beareth witness,” etc. To this view, Locke urges substantially the following objections:
(a) That if it refers to baptism, the phrase would much more appropriately express the fact that Jesus came baptizing others, if that were so, than that he was baptized himself. The phrase would be strictly applicable to John the Baptist, who came baptizing, and whose ministry was distinguished for that, Mat_3:1; and if Jesus had baptized in the same manner, or if this had been a prominent characteristic of his ministry, it would be applicable to him. Compare Joh_4:2. But if it means that he was baptized, and that he came in that way “by water,” it was equally true of all the apostles who were baptized, and of all others, and there was nothing so remarkable in the fact that he was baptized as to justify the prominence given to the phrase in this place.
(b) If reference be had here, as is supposed in this view of the passage, to the witness that was borne to the Lord Jesus on the occasion of his baptism, then the reference should have been not to the “water” as the witness, but to the “voice that came from heaven,” Mat_3:17, for it was that which was the witness in the case. Though this occurred at the time of the baptism, yet it was quite an independent thing, and was important enough to have been referred to. See Lucke, “Com. in loc.” These objections, however, are not insuperable. Though Jesus did not come baptizing others himself Joh_4:2, and though the phrase would have expressed that if he had, yet, as Christian baptism began with him; as this was the first act in his entrance on public life; as it was by this that he was set apart to his work; and as he designed that this should be always the initiatory rite of his religion, there was no impropriety in saying that his “coming,” or his advent in this world, was at the beginning characterized by water, and at the close by blood. Moreover, though the “witness” at his baptism was really borne by a voice from heaven, yet his baptism was the prominent thing; and if we take the baptism to denote all that in fact occurred when he was baptized, all the objections made by Lucke here vanish.
 
Loyal
My two cents would be, The "water" would be a absolute necessity that the "last" Adam be born of a woman. The last Adam would be the only one who could bring salvation to the first Adam, and to his descendants. As Jesus once said, "unless a man be born of the "water", and of the Spirit he can not enter the Kingdom of God. Referring to physical birth, and then spiritual birth.

The "blood" to me would be, God always avenges his elect who cry out to him day, and night. The first "murder" on earth was when Cain killed his brother Abel. Abel was declared righteous because of his sacrifice to God

Heb 11:4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

The "blood" of Able even though he was dead was still speaking!!!

God said to Cain.......

Gen 4:10 And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground.

Jesus said that God would avenge his elect speedily....

Luke 18:7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?
Luke 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

God prophesied that the seed of the woman would crush Satan head one day. I believe that Jesus came as a man to avenge the blood of Abel whose blood cries out day, and night for vengeance.
We now have another persons blood crying out day, and night opposite to what Abel's blood cried out for.


Heb 12:22 But rather, you have come to Mount Zion, even to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to countless multitudes of angels in festal gathering,
Heb 12:23 And to the church (assembly) of the Firstborn who are registered [as citizens] in heaven, and to the God Who is Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous (the redeemed in heaven) who have been made perfect,
Heb 12:24 And to Jesus, the Mediator (Go-between, Agent) of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood which speaks [of mercy], a better and nobler and more gracious message than the blood of Abel [which cried out for vengeance]. (AMP)

5:8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one."

On earth now we have Spirit of God bearing witness of the truth of the "water" (Word of God) and the "blood" of Jesus crying out for "mercy", and all three agree in one.
 
Moderator
Staff Member
@Chopper
Thanks for sharing Brother! Was in this Chapter today in replying to another post.

If brother Curtis entry was "two cents" consider mine a "mite". :smile:

My initial thought in reading the verses were of His death and then of His birth. Both were of water and blood. The mothers afterbirth containing both water and blood during His birth and of cause the spearing by the soldier while Jesus was on the Cross in which both water and blood came out from the wound confirming His death.

Always with the Love of Christ Jesus.
YBIC
Nick
<><
 
Active
Thank you both, Curtis & Nick. I believe you two Theologians are correct. Water speaks to me as the human birth of Jesus, and Blood speaks of His death that takes away our sins....Hebrews 9:22 "And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission."
 
Member
1John 5:6 "This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.
5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
5:8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one."


I have thought on these three verses many times. There are a few different interpretations of these verses of what it really means, "Water & Blood". I thought it would be a valuable study to nail down what each of us believe about what exactly is the water & blood meaning.

I have included a statement by, Albert Barnes on some different interpretations and finally what he believes is the right one. I also will give you what I believe. Now I want to know what you fine Theologians have to say.

Come on you folk who have recently joined this great Forum. Get your feet wet, join in here with your :twocents.

This is rather long, and I feel that the information here will help you all make up your minds to the true meaning of "Water and the Blood".

Albert Barnes,
This is he - This Son of God referred to in the previous verse. The object of the apostle in this verse, in connection with 1Jo_5:8, is to state the nature of the evidence that Jesus is the Son of God. He refers to three well-known things on which he probably had insisted much in his preaching - the water, and the blood, and the Spirit. These, he says, furnished evidence on the very point which he was illustrating, by showing that that Jesus on whom they believed was the Son of God. “This,” says he, “is the same one, the very person, to whom the well-known and important testimony is borne; to him, and him alone, these undisputed things appertain, and not to any other who should claim to be the Messiah and they all agree on the same one point,” 1Jo_5:8.
That came - ὁ εἰδὼν ho eidōn. This does not mean that when he came into the world he was accompanied in some way by water and blood; but the idea is, that the water and the blood were clearly manifest during his appearing on earth, or that they were remarkable testimonials in some way to his character and work. An ambassador might be said to come with credentials; a warrior might be said to come with the spoils of victory; a prince might be said to “come” with the insignia of royalty; a prophet comes with signs and wonders; and the Lord Jesus might also be said to have come with power to raise the dead, and to heal disease, and to cast out devils; but John here fixes the attention on a fact so impressive and remarkable in his view as to be worthy of special remark, that he “came” by water and blood.
By water - There have been many opinions in regard to the meaning of this phrase. See Pool’s Synopsis. Compare also Lucke, “in loc.” A mere reference to some of these opinions may aid in ascertaining the true interpretation.
(1) Clement of Alexandria supposes that by “water” regeneration and faith were denoted, and by “blood” the public acknowledgment of that.
(2) Some, and among them Wetstein, have held that the words are used to denote the fact that the Lord Jesus was truly a man, in contradistinction from the doctrine of the “Docetae;” and that the apostle means to say that he had all the properties of a human being - a spirit or soul, blood, and the watery humors of the body.
(3) Grotius supposes that by his coming “by water,” there is reference to his pure life, as water is the emblem of purity; and he refers to Eze_36:25; Isa_1:16; Jer_4:14. As a sign of that purity, he says that John baptized him, Joh_1:28. A sufficient objection to this view is, that as in the corresponding word “blood” there is undoubted reference to blood literally, it cannot be supposed that the word “water” in the same connection would be used figuratively. Moreover, as Lucke (p. 287) has remarked, water, though a “symbol” of purity, is never used to denote “purity itself,” and therefore cannot here refer to the pure life of Jesus.
(4) Many expositors suppose that the reference is to the baptism of Jesus, and that by his “coming by water and blood,” as by the latter there is undoubted reference to his death, so by the former there is reference to his baptism, or to his entrance on his public work. Of this opinion were Tertullian, OEcumenius, Theophylact, among the fathers, and Capellus, Heumann, Stroth, Lange, Ziegler, A. Clarke, Bengel, Rosenmuller, Macknight, and others, among the moderns. A leading argument for this opinion, as alleged, has been that it was then that the Spirit bare witness to him, Mat_3:16, and that this is what John here refers to when he says, “It is the Spirit that beareth witness,” etc. To this view, Locke urges substantially the following objections:
(a) That if it refers to baptism, the phrase would much more appropriately express the fact that Jesus came baptizing others, if that were so, than that he was baptized himself. The phrase would be strictly applicable to John the Baptist, who came baptizing, and whose ministry was distinguished for that, Mat_3:1; and if Jesus had baptized in the same manner, or if this had been a prominent characteristic of his ministry, it would be applicable to him. Compare Joh_4:2. But if it means that he was baptized, and that he came in that way “by water,” it was equally true of all the apostles who were baptized, and of all others, and there was nothing so remarkable in the fact that he was baptized as to justify the prominence given to the phrase in this place.
(b) If reference be had here, as is supposed in this view of the passage, to the witness that was borne to the Lord Jesus on the occasion of his baptism, then the reference should have been not to the “water” as the witness, but to the “voice that came from heaven,” Mat_3:17, for it was that which was the witness in the case. Though this occurred at the time of the baptism, yet it was quite an independent thing, and was important enough to have been referred to. See Lucke, “Com. in loc.” These objections, however, are not insuperable. Though Jesus did not come baptizing others himself Joh_4:2, and though the phrase would have expressed that if he had, yet, as Christian baptism began with him; as this was the first act in his entrance on public life; as it was by this that he was set apart to his work; and as he designed that this should be always the initiatory rite of his religion, there was no impropriety in saying that his “coming,” or his advent in this world, was at the beginning characterized by water, and at the close by blood. Moreover, though the “witness” at his baptism was really borne by a voice from heaven, yet his baptism was the prominent thing; and if we take the baptism to denote all that in fact occurred when he was baptized, all the objections made by Lucke here vanish.
Your like speaking Chinese.
 
Active
I like this.
Water is an interesting subject. Jesus was ...born of water, from his Mother's womb! Water is essential to life, you are born of it and live primarily composed of it. In a reference to the Kingdom of God, Jesus told Nicodemus, who was thoroughly confused, "You must be born again"!...he explained further that you need to have two births, one of water ( Mother's womb) and, again, a second birth of the Spirit. Thank God for his first gift of being "born of water" and, his second gift of spiritual birth!
 
Active
Hmm
Water...baptism, or washing of the Word
Spirit...holy ghost..breath, power
Blood ...of Jesus, the sacrifice of the lamb
 
Active
I think maybe why water and blood is emphaised, rather than just water only...is because Jesus death on the cross. It wasnt just all the miracles he did or the baptisms...it was his sacrifice and blood that is the witness. None of the other prophets blood could pay for our sin...nor the blood of bulls and goats as they said in Hebrews.
 
Active
At his death, blood and water came out of his side which was witnessed in heaven and earth that Jesus died for the remission of sins.
Blood, water and the Holy Spirit “witness” and testify in agreement that Christ was a Man; that He died for our sins; that He was resurrected and that He lives His life again in His disciples today; and that we–human beings—are condemned to die because of our sins; but that by our repentance and our belief in Christ’s shed blood, we can obtain forgiveness of our sins.
 
Active
Born Again 2004 is correct. The proof was what he said about the spear entering Christ's side. Water and Blood came out. The testimony of the Holy Spirit and the audible voice of the Father was at Christ's Baptism. We need to be careful not to connect the "water" to baptism. It is the water in every human being along with blood.

Folks, I am so delighted that in two Christian Forums of which I'm a member, so far, all believe as my good friend Born Again 2004.
 
Active
Oh ok..but isnt baptism still important? I wouldnt dismiss it. Its an important and essential part of a christians life.
 
Active
Well thats good.
You wouldnt want to be a member of a christian forum where nobody actually believed in Him.
 

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