What is the meaning of "water and blood" in 1 John 5:6?

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| PentecostalTheology.com


In 1 John 5:6 John uses water and blood as symbolic short hand, clearly expecting his audience to know the meaning of these two liquids.

6 This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. He did not
come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who
testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7 For there are three that
testify: 8 the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are
in agreement. 9 We accept human testimony, but God’s testimony is
greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about
his Son.

At its most basic 1 John 5:6 operates as a counter claim to those who hold that Jesus Christ came in water but not in blood. John holds that Jesus Christ came by both water and blood. A counter group appears to believe He came only in water. The structure of this verse as an implicit rebuttal begs the question of what does it refute. What is the meaning of water and blood?


  • Louise Cummings
    Reply February 3, 2017

    Louise Cummings

    Could it mean the Living Word becoming flesh ( John 1:1,4) which is symbolized by water ) and then as the Lamb OF God Who took away the sin of the world, which came by the Shedding Of His Blood on the Cross of Calvary.

  • Dan Irving
    Reply February 4, 2017

    Dan Irving

    This speaks of Christ’s testimony while “in the earth,” as this is two of the three that “bear record in the earth.” John speaks as if to remind the Church (as that now left to “bear record in the earth”) that there is a third witness which must be borne. #1 The SPIRIT, bore testimony to the Life, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and our JUSTIFICATION based upon faith in God’s work (ie. His Life, Death, and Resurrection.) #2 The WATER, signifies SANCTIFICATION (Holiness, a distinct principle from that of Justification.) #3 The BLOOD, signifies the principle of laying down our life, taking up our Cross, and following Christ. This is why John expresses it in such a way as to warn believers not to be in neglect of this complete testimony. Note John says that while the FATHER/WORD/HOLY SPIRIT are “ONE, he does not say this about earth’s witness; only that they “AGREE AS ONE.” Therefore, SANCTIFICATION is simply the fulfillment of our JUSTIFICATION. GLORIFICATION (through conformity with the Cross) is the fulfillment of Sanctification. (See Rom 8:30)

  • Louise Cummings
    Reply February 4, 2017

    Louise Cummings

    One Bible commentary says Water probably refers to the baptism of Jesus, when the Father declared His identity as the Son and anointed Him for His ministry. Blood refers to the Crucifixion , by which Christ completed His work. The Spirit testifies concerning Christ at every point of His life. This is what one Bible Commentary said which I think sounds pretty good.

  • Louise Cummings
    Reply February 4, 2017

    Louise Cummings

    I think what you brought out sounds good also. I do believe in the born again experience. I kinda explain Sanctification as getting the root of sin out. I mean your life changes until love for the world or sin is dead. And your love for Christ is alive. I believe The Blood does mean the Crucifixionof Christ. We must come through the Blood to be saved. You have to believe in that Jesus Christ Is Lord.

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