Third John supplements statements on Christian hospitality in 2 John. It applauds a Christian named Gaius for living out the teachings of the apostles—he had welcomed traveling Christian missionaries into his home—while condemning Diotrephes, a selfish church leader who not only refused to help these itinerant, godly teachers but also had slandered and opposed those who disagreed with him. This book demonstrates that pride can divide Christians if they are not living by God’s Word. To avoid the dual dangers of false teaching and division within the church, believers should practice the dual virtues of love and discernment. The letter was probably written by the apostle John in the late first century a.d.
Greeting1 aThe elder to the beloved Gaius bwhom I love in truth. 2Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. 3For cI rejoiced greatly when the brothers ▼
▼Or brothers and sisters. The plural Greek word adelphoi (translated “brothers”) refers to siblings in a family. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, adelphoi may refer either to men or to both men and women who are siblings (brothers and sisters) in God’s family, the church; also verses 5, 10came and testified to your truth, as indeed you are walking in the truth. 4I have no greater joy than to hear that emy children are walking in the truth.
Support and Opposition5Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for fthese brothers gstrangers as they are, 6who testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their journey in a manner hworthy of God. 7For they have gone out for the sake of ithe name jaccepting nothing from the Gentiles. 8Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth. 9I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. 10So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, talking wicked nonsense against us. And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers, and also stops those who want to and puts them out of the church. 11Beloved kdo not imitate evil but imitate good. lWhoever does good is from God; mwhoever does evil has not seen God. 12Demetrius nhas received a good testimony from everyone, and from the truth itself. We also add our testimony, and oyou know that our testimony is true.
Final Greetings13 pI had much to write to you, but I would rather not write with pen and ink. 14I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face. 15Peace be to you. The friends greet you. Greet the friends qeach by name.
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