Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

3 John 1:13

I had many things to write to you, but I am not willing to write them to you with pen and ink;
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Writing;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Pen;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Writing;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

I had many things to write - That is, I have many things that I might write; but having the hope of seeing thee shortly, I will not commit them to paper. Ink and pen are here mentioned; paper and ink in the preceding epistle.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 3 John 1:13". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/3-john-1.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

I had many things to write … - This Epistle closes, as the second does, with a statement that he had many things to say, but that he preferred waiting until he should see him rather than put them on paper. Perhaps there were some things which he wished to say which he would not like to have exposed to the possibility of being seen by the public eye.

But I will not with ink and pen … - Notes at 2 John 1:12.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 3 John 1:13". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/3-john-1.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

I had many things to write unto thee, but I am unwilling to write them to thee with ink and pen:

"The conclusion here is the same as that of the Second Epistle; and possibly the journey contemplated in both is the same."[40] The usually admitted opinion that all of these letters were written "in quick succession" would seem to bear this out.

Wilder also point out that, "Since this is a personal note, the greetings are more intimate than in 2 John 1:1:13."[41] See 3 John 1:1:14.

Unwilling to write with ink and pen ... This is a very curious deviation from John's words in 2 John 1:1:12, "I would not write them with paper and ink." "Ink and pen ... paper and ink ..." It is impossible to believe that any forger, or pseudonymous writer, would have dared to make a change like this.

[40] Ibid.

[41] Amos N. Wilder, op. cit., p. 313.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 3 John 1:13". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/3-john-1.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

I have many things to write,.... With regard to churches, and particular persons, and concerning hospitality to the poor brethren:

but I will not with ink and pen write unto thee; suggesting he should take another method of communicating his mind to him, which he next mentions.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on 3 John 1:13". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/3-john-1.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

I will not — rather as Greek, “I wish not … to write” more.

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 3 John 1:13". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/3-john-1.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

I had (ειχονeichon). Imperfect active of εχωechō when I began to write (γραπσαιgrapsai ingressive aorist active infinitive of γραπωgraphō).

I am unwilling to write (ου τελω γραπεινou thelō graphein). “I do not wish to go on writing them.”

With ink and pen (δια μελανος και καλαμουdia melanos kai kalamou), “by means of (διαdia) black (ink) and reed (used as pen).” See 2 John 1:12 for μελανοςmelanos and Matthew 11:7 for καλαμοςkalamos used for papyrus and parchment, as γραπειονgrapheion (a sharp stilus) for wax tablets.

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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright © Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on 3 John 1:13". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/3-john-1.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

I had ( εἷχον )

The imperfect tense: I was having, when I began to write.

Pen ( καλάμου )

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.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on 3 John 1:13". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/3-john-1.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

13 I had many things to write, but I will not with ink and pen write unto thee:

Ver. 13. I will not with ink] In vain is the word written in books, unless it be also written in our hearts, Jeremiah 31:33.

With paper] Which was of old made of a certain plant of Nile called Papyrus, but now it is made of rags, miro ingenio, et utili rebus mortalium, to the great benefit of mankind. (Aretius.)

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 3 John 1:13". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/3-john-1.html. 1865-1868.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Thus our apostle concludes his epistle with an apology for the brevity of it, hoping in a short time to see him, and to speak face to face unto him; he concludes with his apostolic valediction, Peace be to thee; unto which adding the brethren's salutations, it teaches us, that kind remembrances and greetings are suitable to Christian friendship: Our friends salute thee. Greet the friends by name.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on 3 John 1:13". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/3-john-1.html. 1700-1703.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

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.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 3 John 1:13". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/3-john-1.html. 1685.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘I had many things to write to you, but I am unwilling to write them to you with ink and pen, but I hope shortly to see you, and we shall speak face to face.’

We saw the same idea in 2 John 1:12. John preferred face to face contact. He probably felt that long letters were too impersonal. Possibly both letters were written around the same time and went with Demetrius to the same area.

3 John 1:13, ‘Peace be to you. The friends salute you. Salute the friends by name.’

He finishes with a greeting of peace, a common ancient greeting among the Jews. ‘The friends’ probably signifies ‘the brethren’ at John’s end with a hint that these are friendly towards Gaius even if Diotrephes is not, and the other ‘friends’ at Gaius’ end are presumably those who still retain friendly relations with John. John clearly felt that he could not pass on salutations to those who were opposing him, as it might have caused unnecessary nastiness. There is here an indication of his tact. To have used ‘brethren’ of his own church would have emphasised the difference when he used ‘friends’ of those at Gaius’ end, and he did not want to do that, so he called his brethren ‘friends’ as well. He may have had in mind John 15:13-15, ‘you are my friends if you do what I command you.’ Diotrephes was definitely not ‘friendly’.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on 3 John 1:13". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/3-john-1.html. 2013.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

will. App-102.

with = by means of. App-104. 3 John 1:1.

ink. See 2 Corinthians 3:3.

pen. Greek. kalamos. Elsewhere translated "reed".

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 3 John 1:13". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/3-john-1.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

I had many things to write, but I will not with ink and pen write unto thee: I will not, [ theloo (Greek #2309)] - 'I wish not ... to write' more.

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 3 John 1:13". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/3-john-1.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(3) (13) I had many things to write.—Rather, There were many things which I wished to write.

But I will not.—Comp. 2 John 1:12.

(14) Peace be to thee.—The best wish which the Apostle can form, instead of the usual Greek ending, “Be strong,” or “Farewell!” It was our Lord’s resurrection greeting; the internal peace of a good conscience, the external peace of universal friendship, the heavenly peace of future glory begun even in this life. (Comp. John 20:19; John 20:26; Rom. 5:33; Galatians 6:16; Ephesians 6:23; 2 Thessalonians 3:16; 1 Peter 5:14.)

Our friends salute thee.—Rather, The friends. By this appellation, uncommon in the New Testament, St. John recalls our Lord’s words in John 15:13-15.

Greet the friends by name.—Each friend was to receive a personal message from the Apostle, and Caius would know who they were as well as if St. John wrote them down. In a short private Letter it would be unsuitable to have a long list of special messages as in a Pauline Epistle, especially as the Apostle hoped shortly to see them. John perhaps thinks of his Master’s ideal in John 10:3.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 3 John 1:13". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/3-john-1.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

I had many things to write, but I will not with ink and pen write unto thee:
2 John 1:12
Reciprocal: Acts 15:27 - who

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 3 John 1:13". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/3-john-1.html.

E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

This has the same meaning as 2 John 1:12.

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Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on 3 John 1:13". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/znt/3-john-1.html. 1952.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

13.Many things to write—Compare note on 2 John 1:12.

Pen—The calamus or reed.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 3 John 1:13". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/3-john-1.html. 1874-1909.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

3 John 1:13. , aor. of the complete composition in the Apostle’s mind; , pres. of the process of putting it on paper. (in full ), a reed-pen, as distinguished from , a sharp-pointed stilus for writing on waxed tablets. Plutarch (Dem., 29, 3) says that Demosthenes, when meditating and writing, was accustomed to bite his .

 

 

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Bibliographical Information
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on 3 John 1:13". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/3-john-1.html. 1897-1910.

The Bible Study New Testament

13. I have so much. This Letter ends much the same as 2 John. John feels it best to write this short letter and deal with things in detail when he can be there in person.

 

 

 

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Bibliographical Information
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on 3 John 1:13". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/3-john-1.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.