3 John 1:1-14 ADDRESS: WISH FOR GAIUS' PROSPERITY: JOY AT HIS WALKING IN THE TRUTH. HOSPITALITY TO THE BRETHREN AND STRANGERS THE FRUIT OF LOVE. DIOTREPHES' OPPOSITION AND AMBITION. PRAISE OF DEMETRIUS. CONCLUSION.
8. We--in contradistinction to "the Gentiles" or "heathen" referred to, 3 John 1:7
therefore--as they take nothing from the Gentiles or heathen.
receive--The oldest manuscripts read, "take up." As they "take" nothing from the Gentiles, we ought to take them up so as to support them.
fellow helpers--with them.
to the truth--that is, to promote the truth.
9. I wrote--The oldest manuscripts add "something": a communication, probably, on the subject of receiving the brethren with brotherly love ( 3 John 1:8 3 John 1:10 the Spirit for the universal Church, or else it would have been preserved.
unto the church--of which Gaius is a member.
loveth . . . pre-eminence--through ambition. Evidently occupying a high place in the Church where Gaius was ( 3 John 1:10
among them--over the members of the Church.
receiveth us not--virtually, namely, by not receiving with love the brethren whom we recommended to be received ( 3 John 1:8 3 John 1:10 compare Matthew 10:40
10. if I come--( 3 John 1:14
I will remember--literally, "I will bring to mind" before all by stigmatizing and punishing.
prating--with mere silly tattle.
neither doth he . . . receive the brethren--with hospitality. "The brethren" are the missionaries on their journey.
forbiddeth them that would--receive them.
casteth them--those that would receive the brethren, by excommunication from the Church, which his influence, as a leading man ( 3 John 1:9 it, enabled him to do. NEANDER thinks that the missionaries were JEWS by birth, whence it is said in their praise they took nothing from THE GENTILES: in contrast to other Jewish missionaries who abused ministers' right of maintenance elsewhere, as Paul tells us, 2 Corinthians 11:22 ; Philippians 3:2 Philippians 3:5 Philippians 3:19 an ultra-Pauline party of anti-Jewish tendency, the forerunners of Marcion: Diotrephes possibly stood at the head of this party, which fact, as well as this domineering spirit, may account for his hostility to the missionaries, and to the apostle John, who had, by the power of love, tried to harmonize the various elements in the Asiatic churches. At a later period, Marcion, we know, attached himself to Paul alone, and paid no deference to the authority of John.
11. follow not that which is evil--as manifested in Diotrephes ( 3 John 1:9 3 John 1:10
but . . . good--as manifested in Demetrius ( 3 John 1:12
is of God--is born of God, who is good.
hath not seen God--spiritually, not literally.
12. of all men--who have had opportunity of knowing his character.
of the truth itself--The Gospel standard of truth bears witness to him that he walks conformably to it, in acts of real love, hospitality to the brethren (in contrast to Diotrephes), &c. Compare John 3:21 may be made manifest that they are wrought in God."
we also--besides the testimony of "all men," and "of the truth itself."
ye know--The oldest manuscripts read, "thou knowest."
13. I will not--rather as Greek, "I wish not . . . to write" more.
14. face to face--Greek, "mouth to mouth."
Peace--peace inward of conscience, peace fraternal of friendship, peace supernal of glory [LYRA].
friends--a title seldom used in the New Testament, as it is absorbed in the higher titles of "brother, brethren." Still Christ recognizes the relation of friend also, based on the highest grounds, obedience to Him from love, and entailing the highest privileges, admission to the intimacy of the holy and glorious God, and sympathizing Saviour; so Christians have "friends" in Christ. Here in a friendly letter, mention of "friends" appropriately occurs.
by name--not less than if their names were written [BENGEL].