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The Third Epistle of St. John. The 3 rd Epistle of St. John Author: + St. John the Beloved is the author. + He did not recite his name out of his humbleness,

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Presentation on theme: "The Third Epistle of St. John. The 3 rd Epistle of St. John Author: + St. John the Beloved is the author. + He did not recite his name out of his humbleness,"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Third Epistle of St. John

2 The 3 rd Epistle of St. John Author: + St. John the Beloved is the author. + He did not recite his name out of his humbleness, and introduced himself as ‘The Elder,’ in the same way he opened his 2 nd epistle. The word in its Greek original is believed to be translated, ‘Presbyter,’ meaning a priest or a bishop, who could be of an old age. “The Elder,” (3 John 1:1) Recipient: + The epistle was addressed to ‘Gaius.’ This is the Greek form of the Latin name ‘Caius,’ which means ‘Happy:’

3 The 3 rd Epistle of St. John “To the beloved Gaius” (3 john 1:1) + ‘Gaius’ was a common Roman name, and it appears 5 times in the New Testament. The name is mentioned twice in the book of Acts, and twice in the epistles of St. Paul, in addition to here in this epistle. Out of these were Gaius of Derbe, Gaius the Macedonian and Gaius the Corinthian, whom St. Paul baptized and who was St. Paul’s host in Corinth. Some claim Gaius of Corinth to be the addressee of this epistle, but this is not confirmed: “I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius” (1 Corinthians 1:14) “Gaius, my host and the host of the whole church, greets you” (Romans 16:23)

4 The 3 rd Epistle of St. John + Gaius was a rich man, and was known of his hospitality, especially towards the ministers of the word. Those were sent by the Church to preach everywhere and they were generally poor and could not afford accommodation in hotels, in addition to the bad reputation of these hotels, being used as places for sin. + Gaius might have been sick, therefore St. John was praying for him: “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers” (3 John 1:1) Date and Location of Writing: The epistle was written towards the end of the first century ( A.D.), from Ephesus.

5 The 3 rd Epistle of St. John Characteristic Points about the Epistle: 1. The epistle, being addressed to one person, shows how a faithful and loving shepherd had an individual relationship and care for his disciples, not just ministering generally to the whole flock. 2. This epistle is the most personal letter in the New Testament. 3. Nevertheless, the epistle has universal value to the church of all ages, where it has an importance in showing the nature of church leaderships with different viewpoints. 4. St. John highlights on ‘truth’ as a source of his love. It dwells in the believers, being translated into actions. ‘Truth’ is the key word in the epistle, and is mentioned 6 times:

6 The 3 rd Epistle of St. John “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth” (3 John 1:4) 5. The role of tradition in Church could be sensed on seeing St. John hoping to speak verbally, rather than writing, while having many things he wanted to tell. Therefore the teachings that the apostles delivered to the church were not all necessarily given in writing, but also verbally as well: “But I hope to see you shortly, and we shall speak face to face” (3 John 3:14) 6. The epistle utilizes much the same language and ideas as St. John’s other two epistles. This affirms St. John the Beloved as its author. 7. This epistle shows an obvious similarity in the style of writing to St. John’s 2 nd epistle:

7 The 3 rd Epistle of St. John “I had many things to write, but I do not wish to write to you with pen and ink” (3 John 1:13) “Having many things to write to you, I did not wish to do so with paper and ink” (2 John 1:12) 8. In Comparison to St. John’s 2 nd epistle: a) The 2 nd epistle is more general but the 3 rd epistle is more personal in dealing with specific cases; Gaius, Diotrephes and Demetrius. b) The 3 rd epistle of St. John deals with more of a personal issue than a doctrinal issue. If we could say this epistle stresses integrity of doctrine, then the 2 nd epistle stresses the truth of doctrine.

8 The 3 rd Epistle of St. John c) Both epistles are concerned with the relationship between ‘truth’ and hospitality but for different reasons. Whereas the 2 nd epistle is a condemnation for giving hospitality to false teachers, the 3 rd epistle is a commendation for giving hospitality to teachers of the truth: “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds” (2 John 1:10-11) “We therefore ought to receive such, that we may become fellow workers for the truth” (3 John 1:8)

9 The 3 rd Epistle of St. John The Purpose of Writing the Epistle: 1. To Commend Gaius for Generosity and to Encourage Him in His Hospitality: “Beloved, you do faithfully whatever you do for the brethren and for strangers, who have borne witness of your love before the church” (3 John 1:5-6) 2. To Warn Against Self-Exaltation in the Leadership of Diotrephes and Promote Following the Good Example: “Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God” (3 John 1:11)

10 The 3 rd Epistle of St. John Contents: I. Salutation: (vv. 1) “Whom I love in truth” (3 John 1:1) II. Confirmation of Gaius: (vv. 2-8) 1. Rejoicing Over Gaius: “For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth” (3 John 1:3) 2. Commending and Encouraging Gaius in His Hospitality:

11 The 3 rd Epistle of St. John “If you send them forward on their journey in a manner worthy of God, you will do well, because they went forth for His name’s sake, taking nothing from the Gentiles” (3 John 1:6-7) III. The Condemnation of Diotrephes: (vv. 9-11) “I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, does not receive us” (3 John 3:9) “And not content with that, he himself does not receive the brethren, and forbids those who wish to, putting them out of the church” (3 John 3:10) IV. The Commendation of Demetrius: (v. 12)

12 The 3 rd Epistle of St. John “Demetrius has a good testimony from all, and from the truth itself. And we also bear witness, and you know that our testimony is true” (3 John 3:12) V. Farewell Greeting: (vv ) “Peace to you. Our friends greet you. Greet the friends by name” (3 John 1:14)


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