little children

1 John 2:12

2:12 little children. The aged apostle, in I John 2:12-14, is addressing three special groups. “Little children,” in I John 2:12, is from the Greek word meaning “infants,” thus referring to spiritual babes in Christ (same as in I John 2:1). However, “little children,” in I John 2:13, is from a Greek word meaning “young child,” evidently referring to half-grown Christians (same in I John 2:18). “Young men” (I John 2:13-14) apparently refers to strong Christians, active and mature in the faith, but not yet ready for full leadership. Finally, “fathers” (I John 2:13-14) must mean those who, like John himself, were Christians “from the beginning,” dating from the time of Jesus’ earthly ministry, and thus presumably older Christians both physiologically and spiritually.

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