3 John 1THE THIRD EPISTLE OF JOHN. Chronological Notes relative to this Epistle. -Year of the Constantinopolitan era of the world, or that used by the Byzantine historians, and other eastern writers, 5593. -Year of the Alexandrian era of the world, 5587. -Year of the Antiochian era of the world, 5577. -Year of the world, according to Archbishop Usher, 4089. -Year of the world, according to Eusebius, in his Chronicon, 4311. -Year of the minor Jewish era of the world, or that in common use, 3845. -Year of the Greater Rabbinical era of the world, 4444. -Year from the Flood, according to Archbishop Usher, and the English Bible, 2433. -Year of the Cali yuga, or Indian era of the Deluge, 3187. -Year of the era of Iphitus, or since the first commencement of the Olympic games, 1025. -Year of the era of Nabonassar, king of Babylon, 834. -Year of the CCXVIth Olympiad, 1. -Year from the building of Rome, according to Fabius Pictor, 832. -Year from the building of Rome, according to Frontinus, 836. -Year from the building of Rome, according to the Fasti Capitolini, 837. -Year from the building of Rome, according to Varro, which was that most generally used, 838. -Year of the era of the Seleucidae, 397. -Year of the Caesarean era of Antioch, 133. -Year of the Julian era, 130. -Year of the Spanish era, 123. -Year from the birth of Jesus Christ, according to Archbishop Usher, 89. -Year of the vulgar era of Christ's nativity, 85. -Year of Artabanus IV., king of the Parthians, 4. -Year of the Dionysian period, or Easter Cycle, 86. -Year of the Grecian Cycle of nineteen years, or Common Golden Number, 10; or the year before the fourth embolismic. -Year of the Jewish Cycle of nineteen years, 7; or the year before the third embolismic. -Year of the Solar Cycle, 10. -Dominical Letter, it being the first year after the Bissextile, or Leap Year, B. -Day of the Jewish Passover, the twenty-seventh of March, which happened in this year on the Jewish Sabbath. -Easter Sunday, the third of April. -Epact, or age of the moon on the 22d of March, (the day of the earliest Easter Sunday possible,) 9. -Epact, according to the present mode of computation, or the moon's age on New Year's day, or the Calends of January, 17. -Monthly Epacts, or age of the moon on the Calends of each month respectively, (beginning with January,) 17, 19, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 24, 24, 25, 27, 27. -Number of Direction, or the number of days from the twenty-first of March to the Jewish Passover, 6. -Year of the Emperor Flavius Domitianus Caesar, the last of those usually styled the Twelve Caesars, 5. -Roman Consuls, Domitianus Augustus Caesar, the eleventh time, and T. Aurelius Fulvus or Fulvius. -The years in which Domitian had been consul before were, A. D. 71, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 80, 82, 83, and 84. It should be observed that the date of this epistle is very uncertain. The above is only upon the supposition that it was written about A. D. 85. III JOHN. The apostle's address to Caius, and his good wishes for his prosperity in body and soul, 1, 2. He commends him for his steadiness in the truth, and his general hospitality, especially to the itinerant evangelists, 3-8. Speaks of the bad conduct of Diotrephes; his abuse of his power in the Church; and his slander of the apostles, 9, 10. Exhorts Caius to avoid his example, and to follow what is good, 11. Commends Demetrius, 12. Excuses himself from writing more fully, and proposes to pay him a visit shortly, 13, 14. This epistle being of nearly the same complexion with the former, and evidently written about the same time, and incontestably by the same person, it is not necessary to give it any particular preface; as the subject of the authenticity of all the three epistles has been treated already so much at large, not only in the introduction to them, but in the notes in general. This and the preceding epistle are, by Dr. Lardner, supposed to have been written between A. D. 80 and 90. There are no notes of time in the epistles themselves to help us to fix any date, therefore all is conjecture concerning the time in which they were written: but to me it appears as likely that they were written before the destruction of Jerusalem as after; for it is scarcely to be supposed that so signal a display of the justice of God, and such a powerful argument in favour of Christianity and of the truth of Christ's predictions, could be passed unnoticed and unappealed to by any of the inspired persons who wrote after that event. However, where there is no positive evidence, conjecture is useless. NOTES ON III. JOHN. Verse 1. The elder] See on the first verse of the preceding epistle, and also the preface. The well-beloved Gaius] γαιος Gaius, is the Greek mode of writing the Roman name Caius; and thus it should be rendered in European languages. Several persons of the name of Caius occur in the New Testament. 1. In the Epistle to the Romans, Ro 16:23, St. Paul mentions a Caius who lived at Corinth, whom he calls his host, and the host of the whole Church. 2. In 1Co 1:14, St. Paul mentions a Caius who lived at Corinth, whom he had baptized; but this is probably the same with the above. 3. In Ac 19:29, mention is made of a Caius who was a native of Macedonia, who accompanied St. Paul, and spent some time with him at Ephesus. This is probably a different person from the preceding; for the description given of the Caius who lived at Corinth, and was the host of the whole Church there, does not accord with the description of the Macedonian Caius, who, in the very same year, travelled with St. Paul, and was with him at Ephesus. 4. In Ac 20:4, we meet a Caius of Derbe, who was likewise a fellow traveller of St. Paul. This person cannot be the Corinthian Caius, for the host of the Church at Corinth would hardly leave that city to travel into Asia: and he is clearly distinguishable from the Macedonian Caius by the epithet δερβαιος, of Derbe. 5. And lastly, there is the Caius who is mentioned here, and who is thought by some critics to be different from all the above; for, in writing to him, St. John ranks him among his children, which seems, according to them, to intimate that he was converted by this apostle. Now, whether this Caius was one of the persons just mentioned, or whether he was different from them all, is difficult to determine; because Caius was a very common name. Yet if we may judge from the similarity of character, it is not improbable that he was the Caius who lived at Corinth, and who is styled by St. Paul the host of the whole Church; for hospitality to his Christian brethren was the leading feature in the character of this Caius to whom St. John wrote, and it is on this very account that he is commended by the apostle. Besides, St. John's friend lived in a place where this apostle had in Diotrephes a very ambitious and tyrannical adversary; and that there were men of this description at Corinth is evident enough from the two epistles to the Corinthians, though St. Paul has not mentioned their names. See Michaelis. The probability of this Caius being the same with the Corinthian Caius has suggested the thought that this epistle was sent to Corinth; and consequently that the second epistle was sent to some place in the neighbourhood of that city. But I think the distance between Ephesus, where St. John resided, and Corinth, was too considerable for such an aged man as St. John is represented to be to travel, whether by land or water. If he went by land, he must traverse a great part of Asia, go through Thrace, Macedonia, Thessaly, and down through Greece, to the Morea, a most tedious and difficult journey. If he went by water, he must cross the AEgean Sea, and navigate among the Cyclades Islands, which was always a dangerous voyage. Now as the apostle promises, both in the second and in this epistle, to see the persons shortly to whom he wrote, I take it for granted that they could not have lived at Corinth, or anywhere in the vicinity of that city. That St. John took such a voyage Michaelis thinks probable; "for since Corinth lay almost opposite to Ephesus, and St. John, from his former occupation, before he became an apostle, was accustomed to the sea, it is not improbable that the journey or voyage which he proposed to make was from Ephesus to Corinth." In answer to this I would just observe, 1. That the voyage was too long and dangerous for a man at John's advanced age to think of taking. 2. That John had never been accustomed to any such sea as the AEgean, for the sea of Galilee, or sea of Tiberias, on which, as a fisherman, he got his bread, was only an inconsiderable fresh water lake; and his acquaintance with it could give him very few advantages for the navigation of the AEgean Sea, and the danger of coasting the numerous islands dispersed through it.
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