THE THIRD EPISTLE OF JOHN
John the Elder writes the New Testament's closest thing to a typical
personal letter. He writes to his friend and fellow Christian, Gaius,
for help with disciplining Diotrephes, who is resisting John's
leadership. The letter probably originally accompanied a letter to a
larger house church, perhaps either 1 or 2 John.
This short letter gives us a window into issues of leadership, authority, and hospitality in early Christianity.
The Third Letter of John is the twenty-fifth book in the New Testament.
It is the last of the three "Johannine Letters," a collection of
writings that share much in common with each other and with the Gospel
The "elder" who wrote this letter is often identified as John, the same
person who probably wrote the Gospel of John (maybe in cooperation with
other writers). This elder may or may not be the Apostle John, son of
The Third Letter of John comes from around 90 C.E. It was probably written before 1 John, but after the Gospel of John.
John the Elder writes to his friend and coworker Gaius, asking for help
with the discipline of Diotrephes, another leader in a local house
Read this letter in its social and historical context, written from John
the Elder to his friend and fellow leader in a local church, Gaius.
Notice the theme of hospitality and the need to apply discipline to
other leaders in the church.
AUTHOR: Alan Padgett, Professor of Systematic Theology
1 The elder unto the wellbeloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth.
2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.
3 For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth.
4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
5 Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to the brethren, and to strangers;
have borne witness of thy charity before the church: whom if thou bring
forward on their journey after a godly sort, thou shalt do well:
7 Because that for his name's sake they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles.
8 We therefore ought to receive such, that we might be fellowhelpers to the truth.
9 I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.
if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us
with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he
himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and
casteth them out of the church.
follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth
good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.
hath good report of all men, and of the truth itself: yea, and we also
bear record; and ye know that our record is true.
13 I had many things to write, but I will not with ink and pen write unto thee:
14 But I
trust I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face. Peace
be to thee. Our friends salute thee. Greet the friends by name.