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19 They went out from us, but they were not really of our number;[a] if they had been, they would have remained with us. Their desertion shows that none of them was of our number. 20 But you have the anointing that comes from the holy one,[b] and you all have knowledge.(A) 21 I write to you not because you do not know the truth but because you do, and because every lie is alien to the truth.(B)

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Footnotes

  1. 2:19 Not really of our number: the apostate teachers only proved their lack of faith by leaving the community.
  2. 2:20 The anointing that comes from the holy one: this anointing is in the Old Testament sense of receiving the Spirit of God. The holy one probably refers to Christ. True knowledge is the gift of the Spirit (cf. Is 11:2), and the function of the Spirit is to lead Christians to the truth (Jn 14:17, 26; 16:13).

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