Friday, December 21, 2012

3 John: Ancient Church Politics

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Let's take a look at the wikipedia page. The wikipedia page on previous books of John said that all 4 were likely written by the same person, but this one says that is maybe not so. It says 2 & 3 John are similar and likely written by John the Presbyter, but a fourth century council of Rome said he should be distinguished from John the Evangelist who wrote the other 2 books. The dating of the writing is also all over the place, ranging from 60 to 115.

Greeting (v. 1-4)

John is apparently writing to someone named Gaius. He is happy to hear that Gaius is a strong believer.

Support and Opposition (v. 5-12)

John gives praise to Gaius for doing good and sending some brothers out to spread the word of God. John wants to support these people who have been sent out, but complains that Diotrephes is trying to stop his efforts from within the church.

So basically he is trying to get support from the church for his guys, but someone else within the church doesn't want to help them. This is just some ancient church politics, why is this in the bible?

This is great, I glanced through Guzik's commentary, and found this gem.
Diotrephes not only failed to receive John and the other apostles, but he also spoke against them. His malicious gossip against the apostles showed what kind of man he really was.
So the complain is that Diotrephes was speaking against John, this is proof that he was a bad guy. Isn't that exactly what John is doing to him?

Be good, don't be evil.

Nice vacuous statement there.

Final Greetings (v. 13-15)

I have a lot to say but wish to do it face to face.

For the overview post (If you think I should add or remove stuff from this list please let me know, I think it would make good conversation)


3 John 9 Petty bickering between church leaders

"I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority."

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