A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
John 13:34 NKJV

Jesus is speaking these words. In the NKJV, above, this is a direct command from Jesus. Love others as Jesus has loved us. Immediately, we think, how are we going to be able to love others as Jesus loves us? Impossible. Well, right. Impossible, unless we are relying in God’s Spirit and His power, like a branch relies on the tree trunk (vine).

In the NIV, the verse is rendered, adding the word, “must.” As in, “so you -must- love one another.”

Must, or what? “Must,” or we aren’t saved? “Must,” or Jesus will no longer love us? “Must,” or there is some other threat?

That “must” is not in the original Greek, but was added in the bad translation of this verse.

The NIV is a very beautiful English rendering of the Bible, but it is verses like this that make using it very problematic, because it gives the wrong idea, or suggests the wrong idea.

A command was given by Jesus: love one another as I have loved you.

The concept of “must” is not in that verse, stated or implied, but was added presumably because of the Lordship salvation ideas of the translators.

Salvation is a free gift received by believing in Jesus as Savior (Ephesians 2:8,9). Lordship salvation false doctrine adds the wrong idea that obeying Jesus in acts of discipleship is part of what saves us. This is a false idea.

Adding anything to faith in Jesus for salvation is condemned in the strongest possible terms (two damnation curses) by the apostle Paul in Galatians chapter one verses eight and nine.

–Curtis Smale