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1 John 4:8 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— He that loveth not, knoweth not God; for God is love.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— He that loves not has not known God; for God is love.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— He that doth not love, doth not understand God, because, God, is, love.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— he who is not loving did not know God, because God is love.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— He that loveth not knoweth not God: for God is charity.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Hee that loueth not, knoweth not God: for God is loue.
John Etheridge Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1849)
— For Aloha is Love; and every one who loveth not, knoweth not Aloha.
James Murdock Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1852)
— Because God is love; and whoever loveth not, doth not know God.

Strong's Numbers & Red-LettersGreek New TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
He that loveth 25
{0025} Prime
ἀγαπάω
agapao
{ag-ap-ah'-o}
Perhaps from ἄγαν [[agan]] (much; or compare [H5689]); to love (in a social or moral sense).
z5723
<5723> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Participle (See G5796)
Count - 2549
not 3361
{3361} Prime
μή
me
{may}
A primary particle of qualified negation (whereas G3756 expresses an absolute denial); (adverbially) not, (conjugationally) lest; also (as interrogitive implying a negative answer [whereas G3756 expects an affirmative one]); whether.
knoweth 1097
{1097} Prime
γινώσκω
ginosko
{ghin-oce'-ko}
A prolonged form of a primary verb; to 'know' (absolutely), in a great variety of applications and with many implications (as shown at left, with others not thus clearly expressed).
z5627
<5627> Grammar
Tense - Second Aorist (See G5780)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 2138 plus 1 in a variant reading in a footnote
not 3756
{3756} Prime
οὐ
ou
{oo}
A primary word; the absolutely negative (compare G3361) adverb; no or not.
God; 2316
{2316} Prime
θεός
theos
{theh'-os}
Of uncertain affinity; a deity, especially (with G3588) the supreme Divinity; figuratively a magistrate; by Hebraism very.
for 3754
{3754} Prime
ὅτι
hoti
{hot'-ee}
Neuter of G3748 as conjugation; demonstrative that (sometimes redundant); causatively because.
God 2316
{2316} Prime
θεός
theos
{theh'-os}
Of uncertain affinity; a deity, especially (with G3588) the supreme Divinity; figuratively a magistrate; by Hebraism very.
is 2076
{2076} Prime
ἐστί
esti
{es-tee'}
Third person singular present indicative of G1510; he (she or it) is; also (with neuter plural) they are.
z5748
<5748> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - No Voice Stated (See G5799)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 1612
love. 26
{0026} Prime
ἀγάπη
agape
{ag-ah'-pay}
From G0025; love, that is, affection or benevolence; specifically (plural) a love feast.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

1 John 4:8

_ _ knoweth notGreek aorist: not only knoweth not now, but never knew, has not once for all known God.

_ _ God is love — There is no Greek article to love, but to God; therefore we cannot translate, Love is God. God is fundamentally and essentially LOVE: not merely is loving, for then John’s argument would not stand; for the conclusion from the premises then would be this, This man is not loving: God is loving; therefore he knoweth not God IN SO FAR AS GOD IS LOVING; still he might know Him in His other attributes. But when we take love as God’s essence, the argument is sound: This man doth not love, and therefore knows not love: God is essentially love, therefore he knows not God.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

See commentary on 1 John 4:7-13.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

1 John 4:8

God is love — This little sentence brought St. John more sweetness, even in the time he was writing it, than the whole world can bring. God is often styled holy, righteous, wise; but not holiness, righteousness, or wisdom in the abstract, as he is said to be love; intimating that this is his darling, his reigning attribute, the attribute that sheds an amiable glory on all his other perfections.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

1 John 4:8

He that loveth not knoweth not God; (8) for God is love.

(8) A confirmation: for it is the nature of God to love men, of which we have a most manifest proof above all other, in that of his only free and infinite good will towards us his enemies, he delivered to death, not a common man, but his own Son, indeed his only begotten Son, to the end that we being reconciled through his blood might be partakers in his everlasting glory.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
knoweth:

1 John 2:4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
1 John 2:9 He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.
1 John 3:6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.
John 8:54-55 Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God: ... Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying.

God is:

1 John 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
Exodus 34:6-7 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, ... Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear [the guilty]; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth [generation].
Psalms 86:5 For thou, Lord, [art] good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.
Psalms 86:15 But thou, O Lord, [art] a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.
2 Corinthians 13:11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.
Ephesians 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
Hebrews 12:29 For our God [is] a consuming fire.
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Ex 34:6. Ps 86:5, 15. Jn 8:54. 2Co 13:11. Ep 2:4. He 12:29. 1Jn 1:5; 2:4, 9; 3:6.

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