1 John


The style is similar to John’s gospel and historically was believed to have been written by John. Polycarp, who knew John personally, believed it was written by John. The use of "we" in the letter suggests the letter from a group of people, this could have been John and his followers.

Who was it to?

No one really knows. Probably it was written to Christians in general around modern day Turkey. It seems to have been written to group of churches rather than one specific church.


Most people think it was around AD95 but it could have been before the destruction of the temple which would put it before AD70.


Early Christians were under severe pressure.. In the early years Christians often met in Synagogues, however by this time they had been expelled from the synagogues. Some Christians gave in to pressure, denied Jesus and returned to the synagogue.

A second pressure was from Rome who enforced some adherence to the imperial cult.

A third pressure traditionally connected with this letter is the rise of gnosticism which developed a range of believes including a claim Jesus never really became fully human. However Gnosticism did not gain a strong hold until the second century, so tackling gnosticism may not have been one of John's purposes.