John Byron, «Slaughter, Fratricide and Sacrilege. Cain and Abel Traditions in 1 John 3», Vol. 88 (2007) 526-535
Cain symbolizes the antithesis of brotherly love and stands in direct contrast to Christ. The choice of terminology used to describe the slaughter of Abel in 1 John 3,11-18 retains the ritual overtones that pervade the original story in Genesis 4. This terminology was often used to describe murders linked to a ritual act as well as fratricide. The ritual overtones in the passage emphasize the contrast with Christ. By linking those who 'hate their brothers' with Cain, the author of 1 John accused them of an act that stood in contrast to the self-sacrificial act of Christ. Hatred of others meant they were guilty of communal fratricide, which is a sacrilege.