Are John’s statements in verse 20 “ye know all things” and his statement in verse 27 “ye need not that any man teach you…” meant to be understood as universal statements without limitation?
1 John 2:20-27 “But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth…These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie…”
For those who may have missed our first post, consider reading Should Christians Hesitate to Use Bible Study Tools Like Commentaries and Studies Bibles Based on 1 John 2:20-27 and John 16:12-14? for context:
If the answer to our first question is yes, consider the implications of such a position. First, there would be no need for a believer to attend any kind of school even for a secular vocational training, he would have no need to sit under any pastoral or lay teaching for instruction in Christian doctrine, nor would he have any need to be discipled by an older more mature believer. In this view, the Holy Spirit would be his only teacher, and he would be wise to shut himself off from all opposing voices that could muddy the waters of what the Spirit is teaching him. In addition, there would be no need for mature spirit-filled believers to debate amongst themselves on doctrinal matters, because they would all believe essentially the same thing, seeing that they all are mature and guided by the same Holy Spirit. We would even expect to see the Great Commission and apostolic instruction in the epistles articulate a different paradigm then the one we find in the New Testament. Having stated these observations without much explanation, I will address these thoughts more thoroughly under question four: “How does the rest of Scripture relate to John’s statement in 1 John 2?”
On the other side, if the answer is no, then in what ways are the scope of these statements limited by the context of John’s epistle? Our next post will discuss that question: “What is the specific situation that John is addressing in this epistle?”