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Bible Dictionaries
Diotrephes

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament

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An otherwise unknown man named in 3 John 1:9 as ambitious, masterful, and tyrannical. As the authorship of the Epistle, its destination, and date are all doubtful, any attempt to identify Diotrephes is futile. His main interest for the student of the Apostolic Church is that he is a witness to the opposite currents of thought which disturbed it. The writer of 3 John was apparently responsible for a band of travelling evangelists to whom Diotrephes refused a welcome. The ground of refusal appears, from the references to ‘truth’ in the Epistle, to have been a difference of doctrine. If the writer was a ‘pneumatic’ teacher, Diotrephes would probably be a Catholic officer of influence, but of lower standing than the writer. If the writer, on the other hand, was a Catholic teacher, Diotrephes was probably a man of Docetic views. The name occurs in profane Greek twice-once as son of Heraclitus in the 3rd cent. b.c., and once as the name of an Antiochene rhetorician (Pauly-Wissowa [Note: auly-Wissowa Pauly-Wissowa’s Realencyklopädie.] , s.v.).

W. F. Cobb.

Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Diotrephes'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/​dictionaries/​eng/​hdn/​d/diotrephes.html. 1906-1918.
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