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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible

3 John 1

 

 

Verse 1

3 John 1:1. Salutation.—Gaius (or Caius) was a common Roman name, being applied elsewhere in the NT to men belonging to Macedonia (Acts 19:29), Derbe (Ac. 204) and Corinth (1 Cor. 114). The Gaius of 3 Jn. may have been distinct from all these, though early tradition says that Gaius of Corinth acted as John's scribe, and that the apostle appointed a Gaius as Bishop of Pergamum.


Verses 1-14

3 John 1:12. Commendation of Demetrius.—He was probably the bearer of this letter and one of the evangelists. The name was so common that any identification with the Demetrius of Acts 19:24 is improbable.

3 John 1:13-14. Conclusion.—The writer adds no more because he hopes soon to visit Gaius. He sends greetings from himself and others.

3 John 1:14. the friends: this is almost a technical expression denoting an inner circle in the churches to which the writer and Gaius belonged. Those constituting each group were drawn together by moral affinities and love of the truth. Here "the friends" at Ephesus send a greeting to Gaius and "the friends" in his church.


Verses 2-8

3 John 1:2-8. Commendation of Gaius.—John expresses his delight at the witness borne to the moral integrity of Gaius by some who had visited the apostle. He prays that Gaius may have prosperity and health commensurate with his spiritual wellbeing. Gaius is also commended for the hospitality which he is known to give to evangelists who travelled in the interests of the Gospel. To entertain such men and set them on their way in a worthy fashion was gracious service to the truth.

3 John 1:3. brethren: possibly the visitors who reported to "the elder" the facts named in 2 John 1:4.

3 John 1:5. brethren and strangers: these would be Christians compelled, for some reason, to travel, and especially itinerant evangelists, who went forth from some Christian community to visit other churches and to break up new ground (see Introduction). Such Christians usually received hospitality from brother Christians, the public inns, because of their low moral tone, being undesirable halting-places for Christian travellers and evangelists (p. 615).

3 John 1:6. the church: i.e. that to which the writer belonged.

3 John 1:7. the Name: i.e. that of Christ (cf. Acts 5:40 f.). They went forth out of love for Christ and zeal for the Gospel. For that reason, and to avoid contact with idolatry, they were unwilling to accept the hospitality sometimes offered them in heathen homes.


Verses 9-11

3 John 1:9-11. Diotrephes and his Evil Doings.—This leading official in the church of which Gaius was a member is denounced because of his ambition, and his inhospitable treatment of "the elder" and his friends.

3 John 1:9 a. See Introduction. Diotrephes: his name ("nourished of Zeus") suggests heathen birth. He appears to have been the leading official of his church; beyond this nothing is known of him.

3 John 1:10. casteth . . . church: i.e. expelled them from membership. This suggests that Diotrephes was a presiding elder, and therefore one who, by virtue of his office, ought himself to have entertained John's missionaries.

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on 3 John 1:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/3-john-1.html. 1919.

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