3 John 1:9

I wrote somewhat unto the church (egrapsa ti th ekklhsiai). A few MSS. add an to indicate that he had not written (conclusion of second-class condition), clearly spurious. Not epistolary aorist nor a reference to II John as Findlay holds, but an allusion to a brief letter of commendation ( Acts 18:27 ; 2 Corinthians 3:1 ; Colossians 4:10 ) sent along with the brethren in verses 3 John 1:5-7 or to some other itinerant brethren. Westcott wrongly thinks that ti is never used of anything important in the N.T. ( Acts 8:9 ; Galatians 6:3 ), and hence that this lost letter was unimportant. It may have been brief and a mere introduction. Diotrepe (Dio and trepw, nourished by Zeus). This ambitious leader and sympathiser with the Gnostics would probably prevent the letter referred to being read to the church, whether it was II John condemning the Gnostics or another letter commending Demetrius and John's missionaries. Hence he sends Gaius this personal letter warning against Diotrephes. Who loveth to have the preeminence among them (o piloprwteuwn autwn). Present active articular participle of a late verb, so far found only here and in ecclesiastical writers (the example cited by Blass being an error, Deissmann, Light etc., p. 76), from piloprwto, fond of being first (Plutarch), and made like piloponew (papyri), to be fond of toil. This ambition of Diotrephes does not prove that he was a bishop over elders, as was true in the second century (as Ignatius shows). He may have been an elder (bishop) or deacon, but clearly desired to rule the whole church. Some forty years ago I wrote an article on Diotrephes for a denominational paper. The editor told me that twenty-five deacons stopped the paper to show their resentment against being personally attacked in the paper. Receiveth us not (ouk epidecetai hma). Present active indicative of this old compound, in N.T. only here and verse Galatians 10 . Diotrephes refused to accept John's authority or those who sided with him, John's missionaries or delegates (cf. Matthew 10:40 ).