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New Testament
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1 John
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3 John
Jude
Revelation


3 John is the third of three canonical books of the New Testament written by John the Apostle.

Fourteen verses addressed to Gaius, a private individual. This Gaius seems to have been not an ecclesiastic but a layman of means. He is praised by John for his hospitality to visiting brethren (verses 2-9). The Apostle then goes on: "I had written perhaps to the church; but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the pre-eminence among them, doth not receive us" (verse 9). This Diotrephes may have been the bishop of the Church. He is found fault with roundly, and Demetrius is set up for an example. This short letter, "twin sister", as St. Jerome called it, to the second of John's letters, is entirely a personal affair. No doctrine is discussed. The lesson of hospitality, especially of care for the preachers of the Gospel is insisted on. The earliest certain recognition of this letter as Apostolic is by St. Denis of Alexandria (third century). Eusebius refers to the letters called "the second and third of John, whether these chance to belong to the evangelist or to someone else with a name like to his" ("Hist. eccl.", III xxv; Schwartz, II, 1, p. 250). The canonicity of the letter has already been treated. The greeting and ending of this letter are internal evidence of composition by the author of the previous Johannine letter. The simple and affectionate style, the firmness of the rebuke of Diotrephes are strictly Johannine. Nothing certain is known as to time and place of writing; but it is generally supposed that the two small letters were written by John towards the end of his long life and in Ephesus.

PD-icon.svg.png This article incorporates text from the public domain Catholic Encyclopedia, available online.


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