Verses to review today: 1 John 4:13-5:5
New Verse: 1 John 5:6
This is he who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. (ESV)
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. (KJV)
Greek: οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ ἐλθὼν διʼ ὕδατος καὶ αἵματος, Ἰησοῦς Χριστός, οὐκ ἐν τῷ ὕδατι μόνον ἀλλʼ ἐν τῷ ὕδατι καὶ ἐν τῷ αἵματι• καὶ τὸ πνεῦμά ἐστιν τὸ μαρτυροῦν, ὅτι τὸ πνεῦμά ἐστιν ἡ ἀλήθεια.
Transliterated Greek: houtos estin ho elthōn di’ hydatos kai haimatos, Iēsous Christos, ouk en tō hydati monon all’ en tō hydati kai en tō haimati• kai to pneuma estin to martyroun, hoti to pneuma estin hē alētheia.
Literal Word for Word Translation: This is the one who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ, not with the water only but with the water and with the blood. And the Spirit is the one who is testifying, because the Spirit is the truth.
Vocab: ἐλθὼν, elthōn, he who is coming; ὕδατος, hydatos, water; αἵματος, haimatos, blood; μόνον, monon, only / alone; ὕδατι, hydati, water; αἵματι, haimati, blood; πνεῦμά, pneuma, spirit; μαρτυροῦν, martyroun, he who is bearing witness / testifying; ἀλήθεια, alētheia, truth.
Commentary: There are several interpretations of “water and blood,” however for the sake of brevity, let’s say that it is probably not as difficult as it seems. While the sacraments (Reformed view), or the piercing of Jesus’ side (Augustinian view) could be in view, and in a sense are both true, the most obvious understanding as to what was meant by John is the beginning and ending of Jesus’ ministry – His baptism and His crucifixion/resurrection. Jesus claimed that He had to be baptized. It was to show us how we enter into the faith of obedience (following Him through baptism) and was a form of righteousness (Mt 3:15). As well, the Spirit, in the form of a dove, testified to Jesus being the Anointed One (the Christ) during His baptism (Mt 3:16). The Spirit also testifies to His resurrection, which was only possible first by the shedding of blood (Rom 8:11; Mt 26:28; Heb 9:22; Eph 1:7). The Spirit is Truth and testifies to the truth (Jn 14:15-17; 15:26-27; 16:13).