3 John Summary
3 John is a letter or epistle that forms a part of New Testament of the Christian Bible. It is also known as Third John or the Third Epistle of John, and like the other two Johannine epistles its authorship is traditionally accredited to Saint John the Evangelist. 3 John epistle is actually a private letter addressed to a man called Gaius, suggesting to him a Christian group led by Demetrius that had arrived in an area where he lived for preaching the gospel. The main aim of the epistle is to strengthen Gaius and boost his morale, and to inform him about Diotrephes, a man who refused to co-operate with the letter’s author.
Like the First and Second Epistles of John, 3 John is authored by an individual who refers to himself only as “the elder” or the “presbyteros”. The identity of the person to whom 3 John the letter is addressed, i.e. Gaius or Caius, is not known for sure. A quite common name during the ancient Roman times, the name of Gaius can refer to any of the following individuals: Gaius of Macedonia, Gaius of Derbe or Caius in Corinth. As with the first two epistles of John, scholars are divided as to the real authorship of 3 John even though John the Evangelist is widely held responsible for the creation of these works. Most scholars however agree on the fact that it was created much later, i.e. approximately within the years 90 AD and 120 AD.
The letter of 3 John is written to Gaius with the aim of commending to him a Christian group led by Demetrius who were new to the area where Demetrius resided. This group had arrived there to spread the teachings of the gospel. The exact location of the act is however not identified. 3 John also addresses the letter to the city’s church, which might or might not be identical to the church mentioned in Second John. 3 John is asking Gaius for hospitality and care for all of his missionary friends.
Further 3 John complains that the letter he sent to the church earlier was not acknowledged or that its leader Diotrephes refused to share communion with him altogether. From the 3 John letter claims, we come to know that Diotrephes is a man who likes to control and dominate others but doesn’t acknowledge the rightful people. Whether Diotrephes’ uncooperative stance is a result of political motivation or is there any major theological questions at stake here is not clear. It is however quite evident from what the author says about Diotrephes that he is not going to take care of the brothers and even expel those who do so from his church.
Hence the author of 3 John encourages the recipient Gaius to provide his men with hospitality and go against the local authority. From the author’s tone, a schism can be clearly noted when he says that Diotrephes is spreading false ideas about the author and his men and that the author does not consider the church leader to be in keeping with God’s will. Sign up now to receive free bible quotes from 3 John or any other book of the bible.