IS CHRIST CALLED “THE TRUE GOD” IN 1 JOHN 5:20? by: Bro. Duane Cartujano
At the end of the verse, the Greek is οὗτός and clearly means Jesus. “in his Son Jesus Christ. He (οὗτός) is the true God and eternal life.” οὗτός is the “near demonstrative pronoun” (“this [close] one” [Latin hic]), as contrasted with ἐκεἴνος which is the “far demonstrative pronoun” (“that [far] one” [Latin ille]). If John meant the Father, he’d write ἐκεἴνος.
The New Interpreter’s Bible: Hebrews – Revelation, Page 446:
This verse’s thought is so compressed that its components invite separation and labeling, in order to discern their inter-relation:
a. And we know that the Son of God has come
b. And has given us understanding
c. So that we may know him who is true;
d. And we are in him who is true.
e. In his Son Jesus Christ
f. He is the True god and eternal life.
This single verse coordinates at least four different kinds of claims. Segments a, e, and f are essentially Christological affirmations: Jesus the Son of God, is the true God and eternal life. The elder does not explain these affirmations of Jesus, whether in terms of pre-existence or some other concept. Rather, 1 John seems simply to presuppose the Fourth Gospel’s radical reappraisal of who God is and of how God is revealed in the light of Jesus Christ (John 5:18-19, 30; 10:30, 14:6; 17:3; 20:28). Because Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the true God and eternal life, It follows that those in Christ are also “in the truth.
According to A Commentary on the Manuscripts and text of the New Testament, Page 398:
“Jesus Christ, is identified as “the true God” and eternal life. “
According to Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, Page 327:
“But suffice it to say here that there are no grammatical reasons for denying that ἀληθινὸς θεὸς is descriptive of Jesus Christ.”