3 John

3 John

3 Γιάννης

Reading 0,03 - 1 Chapter - 14 verses - 299 words

Vital Statistics


The author is John the apostle. In the first verses of both 2 John and 3 John the author identifies himself as "the elder". Note other similarities: "love in the truth" (v. 1 of both letters), "walking in the truth" (v. 4 of both letters) and the similar conclusions.


The letter was probably written about the same time as 1 and 2 John (A.D. 85-95). See the introduction to 1 John: Date

Occasion and purpose

See introduction to 2 John: Occasion and Purpose. Itinerant teachers sent out by John were rejected in one of the churches in the province of Asia by a dictatorial leader, Diotrephes, who even excommunicated members who showed hospitality to John's messengers. John wrote this letter to commend Gaius for supporting the teachers and indirectly, to warn Diotrephes.

How to read 3 John

Hospitality is important to God. He is the most hospitable being in the universe! His arms are always open wide to welcome all who want to join his family. He invites us to join him in this kingdom ministry. John’s words help us to see hospitality as a powerful, practical expression of the love of God. John’s words will also lead you to value the many diverse gifts at work within the church and encourage you to seek unity within the body of Christ.

This letter is an important companion piece to 2 John. In the earlier letter the apostle warned believers against supporting false teachers. In this one, he encourages believers to warmly welcome and strongly support those who do bring the truth of God to us. Taken together, these two letters focus us on the incredible value of the truth of the gospel and the need for both love and discernment. It will challenge you to consider how you can express God’s hospitality to others more fully.

3 John Interpretive Challenges

Some think that Diotrephes may either have been a heretical teacher or at least favored the false teachers who were condemned by 2 John. However, the epistle gives no clear evidence to warrant such a conclusión, especially since one might expect that John would have mentioned Diotrephes’s heretical views. The epistle indicates that his problems centered around arrogance and disobedience, which is a problem for the orthodox as well as the heretic.


I. Greetings (1-2)

II. Commendation of Gaius (3-8)

III. Condemnation of Diotrephes (9-10)

IV. Exhortation to Gaius (11)

V. Example of Demetrius (12)

VI. Conclusion, Benediction and Final Greetings (13-14)

3 John Horizontal

God's character in 3 John

  1. God is good - verse 11

Christ in 3 John

Unlike 1 and 2 John, 3 John does not directly mention the name of Jesus Christ. However, in verse 7, John describes the missionaries as describes "forth for His name's sake" (see Rom 1:5). The truth of Christ's sacrifice on the cross remains the basis of spreading the Good News to all people.