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Bible Commentaries
3 John 1

Vincent's Word StudiesVincent's Studies

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Verse 1

The elder. See on 2 John 1:0.

Gaius. The name occurs several times in the New Testament, as Acts 19:29; Acts 20:4; Romans 16:23; 1 Corinthians 1:14. The person addressed here cannot be identified.

The well - beloved. Rev., the beloved. In the Greek order the name comes first. Gaius the beloved.

In the truth [εν αληθεια] . Rev., properly, omitting the article, in truth. See on 2 John 1:4.

Verse 2

Beloved. Compare the plural, 1 John 3:2, 1 John 3:21; 1 John 4:1, 1 John 4:7, 1 John 4:11.

I wish above all things [περι παντων ευχομαι] . Wrong. This sense of peri is contrary to New Testament usage. The preposition means concerning. So Rev. "I pray that in all things thou mayst prosper." Eucomai I pray or wish, occurs only here in John's writings, and not often elsewhere. See Acts 26:29; Romans 9:3; James 5:16.

Mayst prosper [ευοδουσθαι] . Lit., have a prosperous journey. From ejn well, and oJdov a way. In this original sense, Romans 1:10. The word occurs only three times in the New Testament. See 1 Corinthians 16:2. Be in health [υγιαινειν] . Used in the New Testament both in a physical and moral sense. The former is found only here and in Luke's Gospel. See Luke 5:31; Luke 7:10; Luke 14:27. Paul uses it of soundness in faith or doctrine. See 1 Timothy 1:10; 1 Timothy 6:3; 2 Timothy 1:13; Titus 2:2. Here of Gaius' bodily health, as is shown by soul in the next clause.

Soul [ψυχη] . See on Mark 12:30; Luke 1:46. The soul [ψυχη] is the principle of individuality, the seat of personal impressions. It has a side in contact with both the material and the spiritual element of humanity, and is thus the mediating organ between body and spirit. Its meaning, therefore, constantly rises above life or the living individual, and takes color from its relation to either the emotional or the spiritual side of life, from the fact of its being the seat of the feelings, desires, affections, aversions, and the bearer and manifester of the divine life - principle [πνευμα] . Consequently yuch is often used in our sense of heart (Luke 1:46; Luke 2:35; John 10:24; Acts 14:2); and the meanings of yuch soul and pneuma spirit, occasionally approach each other very closely. Compare John 12:27, and John 11:33; Matthew 11:29, and 1 Corinthians 16:18. Also both words in Luke 1:47. In this passage yuch soul, expresses the soul regarded as moral being designed for everlasting life. See Hebrews 6:19; Hebrews 10:39; Hebrews 8:17; 1 Peter 2:11; 1 Peter 4:19. John commonly uses the word to denote the principle of the natural life. See John 10:11, John 10:15; John 13:37; John 14:13; 1 John 3:16; Revelation 8:9; Revelation 12:11; Revelation 16:3.

Verse 3

Rejoiced greatly. See on 2 John 1:4.

Brethren came [ερχομενων αδελφων] . Lit., coming. The present participle denotes coming from time to time, and not coming on a single occasion, which would require the aorist. On brethren, see on 1 John 2:9. Thou walkest in truth. See on 1 John 1:8. for the phrase walk in, see on 2 John 1:6. Thou is emphatic, suggesting a contrast with less faithful ones, as Diotrephes, ver. 9.

Verse 4

Joy [χαραν] . The texts vary; some reading carin grace or favor from God, on which see 2 John 1:3. Note the Greek order : greater joy than this have I not.

My children [τα εμα τεκνα] . Lit., mine own children.

Walk [περιπατουντα] . Rev., rightly, walking. The participle expresses something habitual.

Verse 5

Thou doest faithfully [πιστον ποιεις] . Rev., thou doest a faithful work. A third interpretation is thou givest a pledge or guaranty, and a fourth, akin to this, thou makest sure. The Rev. is best. There is no parallel to justify the third and fourth. 73 Thou doest [εργαση] . Or lit., according to the eymology, workest (ergon work). See on James 2:9. The distinction between this verb and others signifying to do, such as poiein, prassein, dran, which last does not occur in the New Testament, is not sharply maintained in Attic Greek. In certain connections the difference between them is great, in others, it is hardly perceptible. On poiein and pra. ssein, see on John 3:21. 'Ergazomai, like prassein, contemplates the process rather than the end of action, carrying the ideas of continuity and repetition. It means to labor, to be active, to perform, with the idea of continued exertion, and therefore is used of servants, or of those who have an assigned business or office. See Matthew 21:28; Matthew 25:26; Luke 13:14; John 5:17; John 6:27; John 9:4; 1 Thessalonians 2:9. For the phrase ejrgash eijv thou doest toward (Rev.), see Matthew 26:10.

And to strangers [και εις τους ξενους] . The best texts read, instead of eijv touv to the (strangers), touto, that; so that the sentence is, literally, "to them that are brethren, and that strangers." For the phrase and that, compare 1 Corinthians 6:6; Philippians 1:28; Ephesians 2:8.

Verse 6

The Church [εκκλησιας] . See on Matthew 16:18.

If thou bring forward on their journey [προπεμψας] . Lit., having sent forward. The aorist tense represents the act as accomplished. Compare Acts 14:3; Titus 3:13. Rev., set forward.

After a godly sort [αξιως του θεου] . Lit., worthily of God. So Rev. Compare 1 Thessalonians 2:12; Colossians 1:10.

Thou shalt do well [καλως ποιησεις] . For the phrase, see Acts 10:33; Philippians 4:14; James 2:8, James 2:19; 2 Peter 1:19. Rev., renders the whole : whom thou wilt do well to set forward on their journey worthily of God.

Verse 7

For His Name's sake [υπερ του ονοματος] . His is supplied by the A. V. It is not in the text. Rev., correctly, for the sake of the Name. The Name (Jesus Christ) is used thus absolutely in Acts 5:41; compare James 2:7. For a similar absolute use of the way, see on Acts 4:2. See on 1 John 1:7.

Taking nothing of [μηδεν λαμβανοντες απο] . For the phrase taking of, or from, see on 1 John 1:5.

The Gentiles [εθνικων] . This word occurs elsewhere only in the Gospel of Matthew. The more common word is eqnh, which is the reading of the Tex. Rec. here : ejqnwn. See on Luke 2:32.

Verse 8

Ought [οφειλομεν] . See on 1 John 2:6.

To receive [απολαμβανειν] . The best texts read uJpolambanein to support; i e., to welcome with the provision of hospitality. Rev., welcome. The verb means, originally, to take underneath in order to raise. Hence, to support. Figuratively, to take upon the mind, to suppose, as Luke 7:43; Acts 2:15 : to take up or follow in speech; hence to answer, as Luke 10:30. Fellow - helpers to the truth [συνεργοι τη αληθεια] . Lit., fellow - workers. The expression is explained in two ways : either fellow - workers with the teachers [τοιουτους συχη] in support of the truth; or fellow - workers with the truth. Adopt the latter, as Rev. 74

Verse 9

I wrote unto the Church. The best texts insert ti somewhat, which indicates that the apostle did not regard the communication as specially important.

Diotrephes [διοτρεφης] . The name is from Diov of Zeus (Jove), and trefw to nourish, and means Jove - nursed.

Who loveth to have the pre - eminence [ο φιλοπρωτευων] . From the adjective filoprwtov fond of being first. The word occurs here only.

Verse 10

Prating [φλυαρων] . From fluw to bubble up or boil over. Hence of talk which is both fluent and empty. Compare the kindred adjective fluaroi tattlers, 1 Timothy 5:13.

Them that would. Those who were disposed to receive the strangers. Casteth them out. By excommunication, which, through his influence, he had power to bring about.

Verse 11

Follow [μιμου] . More correctly, as Rev., imitate. Elsewhere only 2 Thessalonians 3:7, 2 Thessalonians 3:9; Hebrews 13:7. The kindred word mimhthv imitator, uniformly rendered follower in A. V., occurs 1 Corinthians 4:16; 1 Corinthians 11:1; Ephesians 5:1. Hence our word mimic; also pantomime. Mimov means both an actor and a kind of prose drama, intended as a familiar representation of life and character, and without any distinct plot. That which is evil - that which is good [το κακον - το αγαθον] . Compare ta ajgaqa good, ta faula evil, John 5:29.

Verse 12

Demetrius hath good report [δημητριω μεμαρτυρηται] . Lit., unto Demetrius witness hath been born. See John 3:26.

Verse 13

I had [ειχον] . The imperfect tense : I was having, when I began to write.

Pen [καλαμου] . Lit., reed. See Matthew 11:7. The staff or scepter placed in mockery in Jesus ' hand, Matthew 27:29. A measuring - reed, Revelation 11:1

Verse 14

Face to face. See on 2 John 1:12.

Bibliographical Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on 3 John 1". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/vnt/3-john-1.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.
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