So I’ve been trying to outline 1 John for our commentary project. “Trying” being the key word. As much as possible, I’ve been trying to deduce the structure without leaning on other commentators much; yet after several days of staring at 1 John saying, “Umm…” I finally gave in and began researching for some sort of outline.
Turns out nobody can outline 1 John. It made me feel better and worse all at once. Better because, “Yay! I’m not the only one who has trouble with this.” Worse, because, “Oh, no! This really is just that hard to sort out.” I decided it’s like trying to outline a pretzel. An apostolic pretzel. A beautiful, moving, inspired apostolic pretzel. John’s thoughts flow really nicely from one point to the next, but there’s not much of an overarching progression of the whole work. He starts a theme, branches off and develps another theme, and then returns to his first theme with a slightly different angle. Beautiful reading. Difficult outlining.
I am making headway though, and I’ll post my thoughts once they’ve had a little more time to simmer.