Compare 1 John 1:9-10 in Four Translations

1 John 1:9 GW

God is faithful and reliable. If we confess our sins, he forgives them and cleanses us from everything we’ve done wrong. If we say, “We have never sinned,” we turn God into a liar and his Word is not in us.
GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)
Meaning-for-Meaning (Closest Natural Equivalence)

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
English Standard Version (ESV)
Word-for-Word (Formal Equivalence)

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But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.
New Living Translation (NLT)
Thought-for-Thought (Functional Equivalence)

On the other hand, if we admit our sins—simply come clean about them—he won’t let us down; he’ll be true to himself. He’ll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing. If we claim that we’ve never sinned, we out-and-out contradict God—make a liar out of him. A claim like that only shows off our ignorance of God.
The Message (MSG)
Paraphrase (Retelling)

Visit our Bible Translation Guide for more information about the major differences between the clear, natural English of God’s Word and other translations.


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