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Bible Commentaries
3 John 1

Poole's English Annotations on the Holy BiblePoole's Annotations

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3 John 1:1-4 The apostle, after a kind salutation to Gaius, testifieth his joy in his piety,

3 John 1:5-8 commending his hospitality towards the preachers of the gospel.

3 John 1:9,3 John 1:10 He censureth Diotrephes, and threateneth him for his ambitious opposition.

3 John 1:11 The ill example of such is not to be followed.

3 John 1:12 He beareth testimony to the good character of Demetrius.

3 John 1:13,3 John 1:14 He hopeth to see Gaius shortly, and concludeth with salutations.

Verses 1-2

This Gaius was well known by the apostle, not only to be a stedfast professor of the truly Christian, uncorrupted faith, (which is implied in his avowing his love to him in the truth, or upon the Christian account), but to be so improved and well-grown a Christian, that he reckons he might well make the prosperous state of his soul the measure of all the other prosperity he could wish unto him.

Verses 3-4

The truth is familiarly used to signify the pure doctrine of Christianity, which in its principal design aims at correspondent practice. That his children, i.e. such as had been converted to Christ by his ministry, {as 1 Corinthians 4:15} of whom it appears Gaius was one, did

walk in the truth; ( an apt expression of such correspondent practice); was greatest matter of joy to this holy apostle, especially when the godly lives of such, to whose conversion he had been instrumental, were so observable, as to gain them a testimony from all others that knew them, as it was in the present instance.

Verse 5

Charity to Christians is reckoned fidelity to Christ, being shown to them upon the Christian account, which is intimated to have been done by this pious person, who so kindly treated

the brethren, and strangers, i.e. even though they were strangers.

Verse 6

After a godly sort; i.e. after a manner (as the Greek expression is) worthy of God, viz. as becomes them who bear the name of God, as thou dost, or are intent upon his work, as they are; which latter notion is confirmed by what follows.

Verses 7-8

They went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles; it thence appears these were Jews, who went out from their own country to serve the interest of the gospel, which therefore he should serve in helping them.

Verses 9-10

I wrote unto the church; this was probably some church of which Gaius was.

Diotrephes, one who had received or usurped some office or authority in it, to so ill a purpose, as when he had no inclination to be hospitable himself to fellow Christians, prevented others from being so; and upon pretence of the little differences of these Jewish from the Gentile Christians, excluded them their communion.

Verse 11

Follow not; Mη μιμου by following here he means imitation, i.e. the deformity of evil appearing in the practice of some, and the beauty of true goodness in others, (examples being given of both sorts, 3 John 1:9, and 3 John 1:12), he exhorts to decline the former, and imitate the other; and enforces the exhortation by the weightiest arguments.

He that doeth good; a doer of good, one made up of kindness and benignity (as the contest draws the sense to that special kind of goodness); αγαθοποιων and ο κακοποιων, signify doing well or ill, from a fixed, prevailing habit, 1 John 3:7,1 John 3:8.

Is of God; is allied to heaven, born of God, his offspring.

But he that doeth evil hath not seen God; an evil-doer, on the other hand, such a one as is a composition of spite, envy, and malice, is a mere stranger to him, hath not been, or known, or had to do with him.

Verse 12

Some eminent Christian, whom he could with confidence recommend as a pattern.

Verse 13

Having much more to say, as 2 John 1:12, he resolved on a more immediate, grateful, and effectual way of imparting and even impressing his sense, as the term, writing, is used in a greater latitude, Proverbs 3:3, and elsewhere.

Verse 14

Speak face to face; otoma prov stoma, viz. by oral conference, which he hoped ere long to have opportunity for. He concludes with the usual Christian salutations.

Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 3 John 1". Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/mpc/3-john-1.html. 1685.
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