I t is indeed lamentable that this typical farewell message from the apostle John to Gaius the Elder has been picked up and distorted by so many during the last few years. The result is that, except for the epistle to the Romans (which is really a theological treatise), the New Testament Epistles are generally not systematic discussions of a theological or moral topic. Others have said that the John 10 reference is to 'the life of eternity.' Go To 3 John Index. 3 John 1:2 KJV. May God continue to bless you with His wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of His Word. 3 John 1:2. 3. It is slightly shorter than 2 John (219 Greek words compared to 245 for 2 John), and is the shortest book of the Greek New Testament. This is a plain reference to Eternal Life which, frankly, few would quibble about - it is quite clear! John 12:42. The commendation of Gaius for his service to the missionaries, 3 John 1:5-6a 2. Is the Incarnation Logically Incoherent ? John 2 is the second chapter of the Gospel of John in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. A series of John’s letters. It is easy to see that we need to pay attention to the place where a given statement appears in an epistle. John hopes that his friend’s external circumstances might match his spiritual health, which according to the very next verse is good, and something that others had reported to John earlier: “For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified to your truth, as indeed you are walking in the truth” (3John3). There has been some debate about whether an author named It’s the support of friends like you that enables CRI to to post new articles on subjects of interest and continue our weekly podcast. John 3:16 is not about the greatness of the world but about the greatness of God. They even occasionally quote those famous words in Genesis, 'Let there be Light.' These words were spoken to a very religious leader of the Jews – a ruler and a teacher, who read his bible, worshiped on the right days and tried to keep the commandments of God. The Third Epistle of John, often referred to as Third John and written 3 John or III John, is the third-to-last book of the New Testament and the Christian Bible as a whole, and attributed to John the Evangelist, traditionally thought to be the author of the Gospel of John and the other two epistles of John. 3-john 1:1 The elder unto the wellbeloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth. 2 John Greeting. Indeed, if John the Apostle expresses his wish that the elder might prosper "in all things" does not this remark itself show that this is not being confined to ones financial life? Read full chapter. Thanks for the commentary on 3 John 2. For John, a Christian who believed in the primacy of the spiritual, no picture of welfare was complete unless it included a person’s soul as well as body. John 2:3. The Epistles, however, contain two sections that Greco-Roman letters lack. AND WHAT ISN'T IT. Philippians 2:9 Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name above all names, 3 John 1:8 Therefore we ought to support such men, so that we may be fellow workers for the truth. And frequently this is exactly how it is quoted, being lifted entirely out of its context! Grace be with you all” (Titus 3:15). Second John and Third John are the two shortest books in the Bible. This means that they were written in response to specific occasions in the life and times of the writer and his recipients. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good” (Rom.12:9). King James Version (KJV) < Previous Verse. 3 It gave me great joy when some believers came and testified about your faithfulness to the truth, telling how you continue to walk in it. KJV: King James Version . Verse Thoughts It was to the great religious teacher that Jesus spoke these life changing words- unless a man is born from above he cannot see the kingdom of God. 3 John 1:2. 1:29; 1 Pet. We should note in this regard that “prosperity” teachers attach an undue weight to the syntax that happens to appear in the English translation of 3 John 2. 3 and 2 John present the closest approximation in the New Testament to the conventional letter form of the contemporary Greco-Roman world, since they were addressed from an individual to individuals. 6:18). ... John uses the Greek word semeion meaning sign, or ergon meaning work, instead of the term the synoptics use, dynamis or act of power, for miracle. “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.”. They express the author’s wishes for the recipients: “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit” (Gal. "...to suffer for His sake." We know nothing about this man (or the other two individuals mentioned in this letter) except what we learn here. Beloved, I wish — Or, I pray, as ευχομαι is translated by Beza, Estius, Erasmus, Schmidius, Doddridge, and others. The salutations and closings of epistles are similar to this. https://www.insight.org/resources/bible/the-general-epistles/third-john The desire for the 'here and now' appears to be too great for some prosperity teachers, they seem to be far less concerned about the eternal state. To this plural answers the plural, John 3:7, “Ye must be born again.” The Antecedent … Kenneth Copeland, “How to Prosper from the Inside Out,” Kenneth Copeland Ministries, http://www.kcm.org/studycenter/finances/pdf/prosper_inside_out.pdf. I often begin an e-mail with the statement, “I hope that this communiqué finds you doing well.” If I find that too understated for a given recipient, I might write, “I hope that this finds you and yours flourishing in every way.” Are these promises? Khadga Magar on March 22, 2013 at 7:16 am Another important thing that we need to know is that letters in the ancient world fell into two categories, just as they do for us. 1 The elder,(A) To my dear friend Gaius, whom I love in the truth. The particular claim which one sometimes hears is that 'prosper' at the beginning of this verse concerns prosperity of a financial nature while 'prospers' at the conclusion of the verse only concerns spiritual matters. Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper, &c.] Or succeed in all temporal affairs, in … Thank you for your help. John’s prayer for him implies that his affliction was severe, that it was not a mere passing ailment. YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; The Pharisees were a Jewish sect from the second century B.C. Second, following the body or doctrinal section of a New Testament Epistle, we typically find a section of moral commands that goes by the Greek word paraenesis, which means “exhortations.” This section might contain groupings of proverbs, lists of vices and virtues, catalogs of commands about what to avoid and what to practice, or exhortations about a single moral topic. Prosperity teachers claim the word is all about prosperity which reveals their lack of knowledge of New Testament Greek. John did not identify himself by name in this letter, but he did adopt the term “elder” for himself (2 John 1:1). 3 John begins with a praescriptio, or introductory formula (vss. The statement of the wish, 3 John 1:2 2. But in Christ, believers experience God’s surprising, redeeming, and never-ending love. “Gaius the beloved” I. Deprivation. 2 Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. The moral behavior that is prescribed in the paraenesis is also binding on all people at all times. 1. Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. Bible Language English. 2 John Greeting. Some of those who uphold the 'prosperity gospel' say that God wants us all to be healthy and wealthy and we are denying ourselves these things by not 'claiming the promises in faith,' they also seem to imply that words themselves have some sort of magical properties to them, so that if we will only boldly say we will have this or have that, we can have those things! 2 Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. Epistolary Salutations. A specimen passage of paraenesis is this: “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience” (Col. 3:12). Not satisfied with that, he even refuses to welcome other believers. Grace will employ health. 1:1). These words of thanksgiving remind us of what we possess in Christ, but they are not a command to behave in a certain way, nor do they state a promise. They imply that we can have whatever we want, if we will only be bold enough to ask for it, but, just a moment, who is in charge? They were intended to be taken seriously as directives that applied generally to a number of people. While even some very basic research will show that 3 John 2 really cannot be abused in that way, prosperity adherents will often turn to John 10:10 to back up their point. 1 John 3:3 What a powerful motivation this is to become like Him now; to accept your circumstances, to stop quarreling with what God sends to you, and begin in everything to give thanks, allowing these strange instruments of God's grace to do their work in your life. Next Verse >. But this is entirely incorrect and - in both cases - the same Greek word is being used (eudow). 'But also to be healthy and wealthy??' When we pray for ourselves and others, we pray in confidence, but we do not presume to claim that God promises to send everything for which we pray. The reason for the wish, 3 John 1:3-4 . Interpreting the wish or prayer of 3 John 2 as a promise of “health and wealth” is not in line with what we know about salutations in epistles or, for that matter, with the general tenor of New Testament teaching that a mark of true spirituality is suffering (e.g., Rom. 4:1). Structure. Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. 2. It might be said to be a reference to the 'kingdom of God' which certainly, in a sense, starts to have relevance for Christians in this life, but any notion that Jesus is explicitly referring to financial prosperity here is, frankly, laughable. Gaius was deprived of physical health. The Social Dilemma and What it Means for Christians, The Historical Uniqueness of Jesus Christ Among the Founders of the World’s Major Religions, Do I Drink Virtuously? Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers. Here we find ideas that are universally applicable, not limited to the local conditions of a given church or the personal relationships between author and recipient. Second, we might note that John is claiming to be expressing a wish or prayer (nearly all English translations read “I pray,” although a handful, such as the King James Version, read “I wish”). If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.". John 3:3 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓] John 3:3, NIV: "Jesus replied, 'Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.'" Understanding the New Testament Epistles. to the first century A.D. ALL ABOUT FAITH; WHAT IS IT? For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that isin you, just as you walk in the truth. Likewise, they have what we would call the body of the letter, and they end with a conventional closing: “All who are with me send greetings to you. Again, as in 2 John, the author refers to himself as the elder. More specifically, the Greek word, eudoo (eudow), means 'to succeed in reaching' or 'to succeed in affairs, including business ones' but the word is not specifically concerned with prosperity. But the writer was an *elder overall the churches in a large area.Much of this letter is like John’s first letter. 4. 3 John, like 2 John, is written in the standard epistolary format. Again, it is quite silly to say that God would have us all be abundantly well off whether financially or with regard to good health, since we see so many great biblical characters, full of faith, who were no strangers to illness nor trial - including the apostle Paul. The grammar of 1 John 3:6 indicates that John is speaking of a settled, continued lifestyle of sin. This biblically-unwarranted claim is now usually called 'positive confession.' No: they are wishes. It could meanthat the person was old. 3 John 9-10 New International Version (NIV). They emphasize that God is light and love and every true believer will demonstrate God's light and love. 1. It consists of a prayer for spiritual welfare, as well as a remembrance or commendation of the spiritual riches of the recipient. 1. Here it means that the writer is a leader in the church. Paul’s thanksgiving in Colossians, for example, begins, “We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you” (Col. 1:3). The addressee’s name, Gaius, was a very common one in the Roman Empire and it is highly unlikely that the person addressed here is the same Gaius associated with Paul (Rom 16:23; 1 Cor. The other is that this interpretation implies that the wish that the writer of the epistle expresses has the force of a promise from God. 1:14; Acts 19:29, 20:4). Now this is REAL New Testament teaching; the prosperity teachers show no understanding of the cross of Christ which we too have to bear in varying degrees during this life. How to Have a Civil Discussion about Abortion, Why Do I Call Myself Good? I She means this: I would wish you to withdraw, in order that the rest also may withdraw, before that the scarcity be made evident to all. There are no hidden or esoteric spiritual truths embodied in a conventional epistolary salutation. Copy good men in the way that you live (3 John verses 11-12) v11 Dear friend, do not imitate what is … Finally, the New Testament Epistles are what literary people call occasional pieces. No! B The reader, 3 John 1:1b C The wish, 3 John 1:2-4 . Ὑστερήσαντος, failing [coming short]) How many days the marriage-feast lasted, on what day of it the Lord came and the wine failed, is not known.— οὐκ ἔχουσι) The newly-wedded couple have not. The New Testament Epistles have these same ingredients. Unlike 2 John, which I believe was written to a local church, 3 John is written to an individual, Gaius. John has already told us in 1 John 1:8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. Museltof Like 2 John, this one-page letter was written from “the elder,” whom conservative scholars agree is the aged apostle John. 3 John 1:2-4. In short, an epistolary salutation is just that—a salutation in which one of the conventional niceties is for the sender to express a desire for the well-being of the recipient. Verse2 of the epistle of 3 John appears as part of the salutation. But, let us close by considering what Paul told the Philippians. The shortest book in the English language is different depending on which translation (version) you look at. One is that it construes the statement “even as” in a cause and effect way: spiritual prosperity will produce financial prosperity. AND WHAT ISN'T IT? Greet those who love us in the faith. In the beginning of the salutation (v.1), John calls the recipient “beloved Gaius.” The first thing we might note from this is that John is writing to a personal friend. John 3:2. νυκτός, by night) There is never a time that Christ does not receive comers to Him.— οἴδασμεν, we know) I, and those like me: the rulers rather than the Pharisees, ch. A Look at Virtue Signaling. a. Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in … 'Prosper' here in the Greek simply means something like 'to go well with you.' that is fine, but there is no suggestion of financial well-being in the Greek. A series of John’s letters. The Third Epistle of John, often referred to as Third John and written 3 John or III John, is the third-to-last book of the New Testament and the Christian Bible as a whole, and attributed to John the Evangelist, traditionally thought to be the author of the Gospel of John and the other two epistles of John. The salutation, thanksgiving, and closing, however, are phrased in a different kind of rhetoric. There are three ways that we can use the word ‘*elder’. At the start of the letter, the writer calls himself the‘*elder’. This is where Jesus said, "...I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.". First, in most of the Epistles, the opening salutation is followed by a thanksgiving. 1 a The elder to the elect lady and her children, b whom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all who c know d the truth, 2 e because of the truth that abides in us and will be with us forever: 3 f Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us, from God the Father … These people seem to hijack the biblical understanding of faith (which is always tied in with the will and sovereignty of God) turning it into something which requires God to give us whatever we want, if we will only be bold and brazen enough to ask for it! [45] John chapter 3 KJV (King James Version) 1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:. Official letters were public in content and tone. 2 Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. I was given this promise just two hours ago, as my promise for the year, and my soul is truly blessed. 3-john 1:2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. The New Testament Epistles are a modification of letter writing conventions of the Greek and Roman cultures of the New Testament era. Written by John the Elder to house church believers, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John echo the gospel of John. CAN OUR 'POSITIVE CONFESSION' FORCE GOD TO CHANGE COURSE? Soul prosperity is the greatest blessing on this side heaven. He is not stating a general promise for all Christians. These lists of virtues and vices, and of commands regarding what to do and avoid, are straightforward directives: “Let love be genuine. It is the third in a series of 3 epistles that bear the Apostle John’s name. The person who receives my expression of good wishes does not claim it as something assured. We can note two things in this interpretation of 3 John 2. Above all things — Or, with respect to all things, as περι παντων rather signifies; that thou mayest prosper and be in health — Namely, of body; even as, I doubt not, thy soul prospereth — In faith, love, and every virtue. Thomas F. Johnson, 1, 2, and 3 John (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1993), 167. In 1 John 1:8, the grammar indicates John is speaking about occasional acts of sin. The phrase “just as” or “even as,” then, has the force of a coordinate link, not a cause and effect link. John 2 is the second chapter of the Gospel of John in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. Cancel. Purpose of Writing: John’s purpose in writing this third epistle is threefold. This individual is well-known to the author of 3 John, but it is not so certain whether they had met in person before or not, since the report of Gaius’ conduct toward the brothers is heard second-hand by the author. t is indeed lamentable that this typical farewell message from the apostle John to Gaius the Elder has been picked up and distorted by so many during the last few years. 3 John 1:2(NASB) 9 I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will not welcome us. ... John uses the Greek word semeion meaning sign, or ergon meaning work, instead of the term the synoptics use, dynamis or act of power, for miracle. This teaching is so odd and so decidedly unsciptural that it might be considered amazing that any would ever listen to it, unfortunately however, many who are not well grounded in the Word of God do listen to it! One is that it construes the statement “even as” in a cause and effect way: spiritual prosperity will produce financial prosperity. "Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers" (3 John 2). When a friend sends good wishes to us in a letter, we know very well that our actual circumstances might be far from what our friend has wished for us. Read Scripture. Change Language {{#items}} {{local_title}} John is expressing a wish for the complete well-being of his friend. Written by John the Elder to house church believers, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John echo the gospel of John. If God had faith in His Word, we can have faith in our words, they tell us, so that we too can boldly bring what we desire into existence! Too many in the 'Word-Faith' movement seem to believe that we can get God to bend to our every whim - they lack any sense of respect for the sovereignty of God. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church. Read Scripture. 3 John 1:2, ESV: "Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul." 3-john 1:3 For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth. It comes from two root words one of which means 'to accomplish,' 'to do,' to make,' or 'to finish,' the other meaning 'to progress,' or 'to further' (as on a journey). Greeks and Romans, too, wished prosperity and good health to the recipients of their letters. Nor is it certain whether Gaius … She writes, “God’s plan is for us to grow financially as we grow spiritually.” The reason: God “knows it is dangerous to put great wealth into the hands of someone who is too spiritually immature to handle it.” She, too, interprets John’s wish as a divine promise: “God wants us to increase financially at the same rate we increase spiritually.”3. We can note two things in this interpretation of 3 John 2. To say that first-century pagans used the same formula in their epistolary salutations does not mean that the sentiment that John expresses is not inspired or is anything less than Christian; but some Bible interpreters have a way of implying that they have unlocked a secret and very special message that ordinary Christians have overlooked. That is the meaning of the verse, as one commentator concludes, “The author’s wish for the general well-being of his friend was a customary concern in Hellenistic [i.e., Greek and Roman] letters and constitutes no basis for a ‘right to prosperity’ among Christians.”4. 1 a The elder to the elect lady and her children, b whom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all who c know d the truth, 2 e because of the truth that abides in us and will be with us forever: 3 f Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us, from God the Father … Interpreting the Various Sections of the New Testament Epistles. Date of Writing: The Book of 3 John would most likely have been written at about the same time as John’s other letters, 1 and 2 John, between A.D. 85-95. 3 John 2; What is the Meaning? Let us think about the salutations in the letters and e-mail messages that we ourselves send and receive. Yet the New Testament quite clearly promises us trials and hardships in order to equip us with what we need for the kingdom of God! 2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. One might carefully read Hebrews 12: 1-11 !! A statement in the doctrinal body of an epistle has the status of authoritative truth. The letters in these cultures typically included three elements: an opening salutation, which included the sender’s name, the addressee, and a greeting; the body of the letter in which the main topics were stated and elaborated; and the closing, which included additional greetings and final wishes. 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