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The Three Witnesses, the Spirit,
I JOHN, V.
the Water, and the Blood. testimony to Jesus' Sonship and Messiahship they but to a part of a man, though that is his nobler give by the sacramental prace in the water of bap- part, the soul separated from the body : at and after tism, received by the penitent believer by the atoping the resurrection (3.) perfectional. This life is not only efficacy of His blood, and by the internal witness of natural, consisting of the union of the soul and the His Spirit (v. 10) : answering to the testimony given to body as that of the reprobate in eternal pain, which Jesus' Sonship and Messiahship by His baptism, His I ought to be termed death eternal, not life), but also crucifixion, and the Spirit's manifestations in Him spiritual, the union of the soul to God, and supremely (Note, v. 6). It was by His coming by water (i.6., His blessed for ever (for life is another term for happiness. baptism in Jordan) that Jesus was solemnly inaugu- (PEARSON on Creed.) 13. These things-This epistle, rated in office, and revealed Himself as Messiah: this He, towards the close of his gospel (John, 20. 30. 31). must have been peculiarly important in John's estima- | wrote similarly, stating his purpose in having written, tion, who was first led to Christ by the testimony of In ch. 1. 4. he states the object of his writing this the Baptist. By the baptism then received by Christ, epistle to be. "that your joy may be full." To " know and by His redeeming blood shedding, and by that that we have eternal life" is the sure way to "joy in which the Spirit of God, whose witness is infallible, God." 13. The oldest MSS. and versions read, "These has effected, and still effects. by Him, the Spirit, the things have I written unto you (omitting that believe water, and the blood, unite, as the threefold witness, to on the name of the Son of God) that ye may know that verify His Divine Messiahship. (NEANDER.) 9. If, ye have eternal life (cf. v. 11), THOSE (of you I mean) &c. - We do accept and rightly so) the witness of who believe (not as English Version reads, and that veracious men, fallible though they be much more I we may believe) on the name of the Son of God." Eng. ought we to accept the infallible witness of God (the lish Version, in the latter clause, will mean, " that ye Father). "The testimony of the Father is, as it were, I may continue to believe," &c. (cf. v. 12). 14. the confithe basis of the testimony of the Word and of the dence—" boldness" (ch. 4. 17) in prayer, which results Holy Spirit; just as the testimony of the Spirit is, as from knowing that we have eternal life o. 13: ch.3 19 22. it were, the basis of the testimony of the water and according to his will-which is the believer's will, and the blood." (BENGEL.) for- This principle applies in which is therefore no restraint to his prayers. in so the present case, FOR, &c. which-In the oldest MSS. I far as God's will is not our will, we are not abiding in "Because He hath given testimony concerning His faith, and our prayers are not accepted. ALFORD well Son." What that testimony is we find above in v. 1, 6, / says, If we knew God's will thoroughly, and submitted * Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God;" and below in to it heartily, it would be impossible for us to ask any0. 10. 11. 10. hath the witness-of God, by His Spirit thing for the spirit or for the body, which He should (v. 8). in himself-God's Spirit dwelling in him and not perform : it is this ideal state which the apostle eoitnessing that "Jesus is the Lord," "the Christ." has in view. It is the Spirit who teaches us inwardly, and "the Son of God" (v. 1, 5). The witness of the | and Himself in us asks according to the will of God. Spirit in the believer himself to his own sonship is not | 15. hear-Greek, "that He heareth us." we have the here expressed, but follows as a consequence of be- petitions that we desired of him-we have, as present poslieving the witness of God to Jesus' Divine Sonship. sessions, everything whatsoever we desired (asked, from believeth not God-credits not His witness. made him Him. Not one of our past prayers offered in faith, aca liar-& consequence which many who virtually, or cording to His will, is lost. Like Hannah, we can reeven avowedly, do not believe, may well startle back joice over them as granted even before the event, and from as fearful blasphemy and presun ption (ch, 1. 10. can recognise the event when it comes to pass, as not believeth not the record-Greck, "believeth not in the from chance, but obtained by our past prayers. Cf. record, or witness." Refusal to credit God's testimony also Jehoshaphat's believing confidence in the issue ("believeth not God") is involved in refusal to believe of his prayers, so much so that he appointed singers IN to rest one's trust in) Jesus Christ, the object of to praise the Lord beforehand. 16. If any...see-on any God's record or testimony. “Divine faith is an assent particular occasion : Greek aorist. his brother-a felunto something as credible upon the testimony of low-Christian sinning - in the act of sinning, and God. This is the highest kind of faith; because the continuing in the sin : present. not unto death-proobject bath the highest credibility, because grounded vided that it is not unto death. he shall give - The upon the testimony of God which is infallible." (PEAR- asker shall be the means, by his intercessory prayer, Sox on Creed] "The authority on which we believe of God giving life to the sinning brother. Kindly reis divine : the doctrine which we follow is divine," proof ought to accompany his intercessions. Life was [LEO.) gave-Greek,“ hath testified, and now testifies." in process of being forseited by the singing brother, of-concerning 11. hath given-Greek aorist: "Gave" when the believer's intercession obtained its restoraonce for all. Not only "promised" it. life is in his tion. for them- Resuming the proviso put forth in the Sou-essentially (John, 1. 4; 11. 25; 14. 6); bodily (Co- beginning of the verse, "Provided that the sin is not lossians, 2. 9, ; operatively (2 Timothy, 1. 10). (LANGE unto death." "Shall give life," I say, to, i.e., obtain in ALFORD) It is in the second Adam, the Son of life "for in the case of), them that sin not unto God, that this life is secured to us, which, if left to de- death." I do not say that he shall pray for it-The Greek pend on us, we should lose, like the first Adam. 12. the for "pray" means a REQUEST as of one on an equality, Son...life-Greek. "THE life." BENGEL remarks, The or at least on terms of familiarity, with him from whom verse has two clauses: in the former the Son is men- | the favour is sought. "The Christian intercessor for
faned without the addition of God," for believers his brethren, St. John declares, shall not assume the know the Son, in the second clause the addition “of authority which would be implied in making request God" is made, that unbelievers may know thereby for a sinner who has sinned the sin unto death (1 Sam. What a serious thing it is not to have Him. In the uel, 15. 36; 16. 1; Mark, 3. 29), that it might be forgiven armer clause "has" bears the emphasis; in the second, him." (TRENCH, Synonyms of New Testament.) CP.
To hare the Son is to be able to say as the bride. Deuteronomy, 3. 26. Greek "ask" implies the humble ram my Beloved's, and my Belored is mine." Faith | petition of an inferior : so that our Lord never uses is the mean whereby the regenerate DAVE Christ as a it, but always uses (Greek) "request." Martha, from present possession, and in having Him have life in ignorance, once uses "askin His case (John, 11. 22). Its germ and reality now, and shall have life in its "Asking" for a brother sinning not unto death, is a
v developed manifestation hereafter. Eternal life humble petition in consonance with God's will. To Tere is (1.) initial, and is an earnest of that which is to "request" for a sin unto death (intercede, as it were, Jiow: in the intermediate state (2.) partial, belonging l authoritatively for it, as though we were more merciful
ere is (1.) initial, and is an earnest of the sternal life humble petition inimesinning not unto death, is a
Truths Repealed at the Clogo:
1 JOHN. V.
Farewell Warning. than God) would savo ir of presumption : prescrib- seltes from ev. l. is certain. C. John, 17. 15, especially ing to God in a matter which lies out of the bounds with this verse. that wicked one toucheth him not-50 of our brotberly yearning (because one sinning unto as to hurt him. In so far as he realizes his regeneradeath would thereby be demonstrated not to be, nor tion-life, the prince of this world hath nothing in his ever to have been, truly a brother, ch. 2. 19), how He to fasten his deadly temptations on, as in Christ's own shall inflict and withhold His righteous judgments." case. His Divine regeneration has severed once for all Jesus Himself intercedes, not for the world which his connexion with the prince of this world. 19. world hardens itself in unbelief, but for those given to Him lieth in wickedness-rather, "lieth in the wicked one," 2.9 out of the world. 17. "Every unrighteousness (even the Greek is translated v. 18: ch. 2. 13, 14; cf. ch. 4.4: that of believers, cf.ch, 1. 3; 3. 4. Every coming short John, 17. 14, 15. The world lieth in the power of, and of right) is sin:" (but) not every sin is the sin unto abiding in, the wicked one, as the resting place and death. and there is a sin uot unto death-in the case of lord of his slaves: cf. “abideth in death," ch... 14: oudwhich, thorefore, believers may intercede, Death and I trast v. 20. " We are in Him that is true." Whilst the life stand in correlative opposition (v. 11-13). The sin believer has been delivered out of his power, the whole unto death must be one tending towards" (so the world lieth helpless and motionless still in it, just 85 Greek), and so resulting in, death. ALFORD makes it it was; including the wise, great, respectable, and all to be an appreciable acr of sin, viz., the denying Jesus who are not by vital union in Christ. 20. Summary to be the Christ, the Son of God (in contrast to confess- of our Christian privileges. is come-is present, has ing this truth, v. 1, 5), ch. 2. 19, 22; 4. 2, 3; 5. 10. Such ing come. “HE IS HERE-all is full of Him-His ini wilful deniers of Christ are not to be received into carnation, work, and abiding presence, is to us a living one's house, or wished "God speed." Still, I think fact." (ALFORD.) given us an understanding--Christ's with BENGEL, not merely the act, but also the state of office is to give the inner spiritual understanding to apostasy accompanying the act, is included- “state discern the things of God. that we may know-Sowe of soul in wbich faitb, love, and hope, in short, the oldest MSS. read, "So) that we lenovo." hin that is trte new life, is extinguished. The chief commandment is God, as opposed to every kind of idol or false god faith and love. Therefore, the chief sin is that by which (v. 21). Jesus, by virtue of His oneness with God, is faith and love are destroyed. In the former case is also "He that is true" (Revelation, 3, 7). erenlife; in the latter, death. As long as it is not evident are in the true God, by virtue of being in His Sou (Note.see.' v. 16, tbat it is a sin unto death, it is law. Jesus Christ." This is the true God-"This Jeses ful to pray. But when it is a deliberate rejection of Christ (the last named Person) is the true God" denti grace, and the man puts from him life thereby, how fying Him thus with the father in His attribute, the can others procure for him liser Contrast James, 6. only true God," John, 17. 3, primarily attributed to tbe 14-18. CI. Matthew, 12. 31, 32, as to the wilful rejection | Father). and eternal life - Predicated of the Son of of Christ, and resistance to the Holy Ghost's plain tes-God: ALFORD wrongly says, He was the life, but not timony to Him as the Divine Messiah. Jesus, on the eternal life. The Father is indeed eternal life as ita cross, pleaded only for those who KNEW NOT what they source, but the Son also is that eternal life manifestee were doing in crucifying Him, not for those wilfully as the very passage ch. 1. 2) wbich ALFORD Quotes, resisting grace and knowledge. If we pray for the proves against him. C. also v. 11, 13. Plainly it is as im penitent, it must be with humble reference of the the Mediator of ETERNAL LIFE to us that Christ is bere matter to God's will, not with the intercessory request | contemplated. The Greek is, "The true God and eter which we should offer for a brother when erring. 18. nal life is this" Jesus Christ, i.e., in believing in Hin (Ch.3.0.) We know-Thrice repeated emphatically, to we believe in the true God, and have eternal life. The enforce the three truths which the words preface, as Son is called "He that is TRUE," Revelation, a I, 18 matters of the brethren's joint experimental know here. This naturally prepares the way for farning ledge. This v. 18 warns against abusing v, 16, 17, as against salse gods (v. 21). Jesus Christ is the only *e warranting carnal security. whosoever--Greek, "every | press image of God's person" which is sanctioned, the one who," &c. Not only advanced believers, but every only true visible manifestation of God. All other to one who is born again, "sinneth not." he that is be- presentations of God are forbidden es idola. Thus the gotten-Greek aorist. " has been (once for all in past epistle closes as it began (ch. 1. 1. 2. 21. Affectiona32 time) begotten of God:" in the beginning of the verse it parting caution. from idols-Christians were then etety is perfect, "Is begotten," or " born" as a continuing where surrounded by idolaters with whom it was 15.state. keepeth himsel.-The Vulgate translates. "The possible to avoid intercourse. Hence the need of being having been begotten of God keepeth HIM" (80 one of on their guard against any even indirect compro the oldest MSS. reads): 80 ALFORD. Lit.."He having l or act of communion with idolatry. Some st Peruk been begotten of God (nominative pendent), it (the mos, in the region whepce Jobn wrote, fell into the divine generation implied in the nominative) keepeth snare of eating things sacrificed to idols. The moweet him." So ch. 3. 9, "His seed remaineth in him. Still, in we cease to abide " in Him that is true (by abiding in English Version reading, God's working by His Spirit Jesus Christ," we become part of the world tbat leth inwardly, and man's working under the power of that in the wicked one." given up to spiritual, if not in Spirit As a responsible agent, is what often occurs else- places literal, idolatry (Ephesians, 5. 5; Colossius where. That God must keep us, if we are to keep our. 1 3. 6.)
THE SECOND EPISTLE GENERAL OF
AUTHENTICITY.-That these two epistles were written by the same author, appears from their similarity of tone, she
1 and sentiments. That John, the beloved disciple, was the author of the second and third epistle, as of the first appears from Irenaeus, adversus Hærex 8, 1. 16. 3, who quotes 2 John, 10, 11; and in 3., 16. 8, he quotes : John, 7. mistak it, however, as if oocurring in 1 John Clement of Alexandria (A.D. 192), Stromata 2 66, implies bis knowledge of the
Introduction, epistles of John besides the first epistle; and in fragments of his adumbrations (p. 1011), he says, "John's second epistle which was written to the virgins (Greck parthenous: perhaps Parthos is wbat was meant) is the simplest: but it was writ. ten to a certain Babylonian named the Elect lady." Dionysius of Alexandria (in Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, 7. 25), observes that John never names himself in his epistles, not even in the second and third epistles, although they are short epistles, hut simply calls himself the presbyter," a confutation of those who think John the apostle distinct from Job the presbyter. Alexander of Alexandria, cites 9 John, 10, 11, as John's (Socrates, Historia Ecclesiastica, 1. 6). Cyprian, de Hareticis Baptizandis, in referring to the bishops at the council of Carthage, says, "John the apostle, in his epistle, has said, If any come to you" (2 John, 10): so that this epistle, and therefore its twin sister, 3 John, was recognised as apostolic in the North African church. The Muratori fragment is ambiguous. The second and third epistles were not in the Peschito or old Syriac version; and Cosmas Indicopleustes in the sixth century, says, that in bis time the Syriac church only acknow. ledged three out of the Catholic epistles, 1 Peter, 1 John, and James. But Ephrem Syrus quotes the second epistle of John. Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, reckons both epistles among the antilegomena or controverted Scriptures, as distinguished from the homologoumena or universally acknowledged from the first. Still bis own opinion was that the two minor epistles were genuine, remarking as he does in Demonstratio Evangelica, 3.5, that in John's "epistles" he does not mention his own name, nor calls himself an apostle or evangelist, but an "elder" (2 John, 1; 3 John, 1). Origen in Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, 6. 25, mentions the second and third epistles, but adds "not all admit [implying that most authorities do, their genuineness." Jerotne, de Viris Illustribus, 9, mentions the two latter epistles as attributed to John the presbyter, whose sepulchre was shown among the Ephesians in his day. But the designation "elder," was used of the apostles by others (eg. Papias ir Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, 3 89), and is used by St. Peter, an apostle, of himself (1 Peter, 5.1). Wby, then, should not John also use this desiguation of himself, in consonance with the humility which leads him not to name himself or his apostleship even in the first epistle? The antilegomena were generally recognised ax canonical soon after the council of Nice (A.D. 325). Thus Cyril of Jerusalem, A.D. 319, enumerates fourteen epistles of Paul, and seven Catholic epistles. So Gregory of Nazianzum, in A.D. 389. The councils of Hippo, 393, and Carthage, 397, adopted a catalogue of New Testament books exactly agreeing with our canon. So our oldest extant Greek MSS. The second and third epistles of John from their brevity (which Origen notices), and the private nature of their eontents, were less generally read in the earliest Christian assemblies, and were also less quoted by the fathers; hence arose their non-universal recognition at the first. Their private nature makes them the less likely to be spurious, for there seems no purpose in their forgery. The style and colouring too accord with the style of the first epistle.
TO WHOM ADDRESSED.--The third epistle is directed to Gaius or Caius; whether Gaius of Macedonia (Acts, 19. 29). or Gaius of Corinth Romans, 16. 23; 1 Corinthians, 1. 14), or Gaius of Derbe (Acts, 20. 4), it is hard to decide. Mill believes Gaius bishop of Pergamos (Apostolic Constitutions, 7. 40), to be the person addressed in 3 John,
The address of the second episile is more disputed. It opens, "The Elder unto the Elect lady." And it closes, "The children of the elect sister greet thee," Now, 1 Peter, 1. 1, 2, addresses the elect in Asia, &c., and cluses (1 Peter, 5.13), “The church that is at Bavylon, elected together with you, saluteth you." Putting together these facts, with the quotations (above) from Clement of Alexandria, and the fact that the word "church" comes from a Greek word (kyriake) cognate to the Greek for ** lady" (kyria, belonging to the Lord, kyrios), Wordsworth's view is probable. As Peter in Babylon had sent the salutations of the elect church in the then Parthian (see above on Clement of Alexandria) Babilon to her clict sister in Asia. So John, the metropolitan president of the elect church in Asia, writes to the elect lady, i.e., church, in Babylon. Neander,
Alford, &c., think the Greek kyria not to mean " lady," but to be her proper name; and that she had a "sister, a Christian matron," then with John.
DATE AND PLACE OF WRITING.-Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History. 3. 25, relates that Jobn, after the death of Domitian, returned from his exile in Patmos to Ephesus, and went on missionary tours into the heathen regions around, and also made visitations of the churches around, and ordained bishops and clergy. Such journeys are mentioned, 2 John, 19; 3 John, 10, 14. If Eusebius be right, both epistles must have been written after the Apocalypse in his old age, which harmonizes with the tone of the epistles, and in or near Ephesus. It was on one of his visitation tours that he designed to rebuke Diotrephes (3 John, 9, 10).
Ver. 1-13. ADDRESS: GREETING: THANKSGIVING love on account of the truth." dwelleth in us, and shall FOR THE ELECT LADY'S FAITSFULNESS IN THE be with us for ever-in consonance with Christ's promise. TRUTH: ENJOINS LOVE: WARNS AGAINST DECEIVERS, 3. Grace be with you-One of the oldest MSS. and several LEST WE LOSE OUR REWARD: CONCLUSION. 1. The versions have "us" for you. The Greek is lit., "Grace elder-In a familiar letrer John gives himself a less shall be with us," i.e., with both you and me. A prayer. authoritative designation than "apostle." so i Peter, 6. however, is implied besides a confident affirmation, 1. lady-BENGEL takes the Greek as & proper name grace.. mercy... peace-"Grace" covers the sins of men; Kyria, answering to the Hebrew "Martha." Being a "mercy," their miseries. Grace must first do away verson of influence,"deceivers" 0. 7) were insinuating with man's guilt before his misery can be relieved by themselves into her family to seduce her and her chil mercy. Therefore grace stands before mercy. Peace is dren from the faith (TIRINUS), whence John felt it the result of both, and therefore stands third in order. necessary to write a warning to her. But see my In-Casting all our care on the Lord, with thanksgiving. troduction, and i Peter, 6. 13.) A particular church, maintains this peace. the Lord-The oldest MSS. and probably that at Babylon, was intended. "Church"! most of the oldest versions omit "the Lord." John is derived from Greek Kuriake, akin to Kuria, or never elsewhere uses this title in his epistles, but Kyria here: the latter word among the Romans and | “the Son of God." in truth and love-The element or Athenians means the same as ecclesia, the term appro- sphere in which alone grace, mercy, and peace, have priated to designate the church assembly. love in the place. He mentions truth in v. 4; lore, in v. 5. Paul truth-Christian lore rests on the Christian truth (v. 3. / uses FAITH and loce: for farth and truth are close end). Not merely "I love in truth," but "I love in akin, 4. I found-probably in one of his missionary The truth." all-All Christians form one fellowship, I tours of superintendence. See Introduction at the rejoicing in the spiritual prosperity of one another. I end, and v. 12; 3 John, 10, 14. of thy children-some.
The communion of love is as wide as the communion in truth-i.e., in the gospel truth. as-even as. "The of faith." (ALFORD.) 2. For the truth's sake-Joined Father's con mandment" is the standard of "the cih Uove." . They who love in the truth, also I truth. 5. I beseech-Rather Icl. Note, 1 John. 6. 16).
Circumspection, with a
Vier to the Full Reward "I request thee," implying some degree of authority. heavenly reward proportioned to the degrees of apa not...new commandment-It was old in that Christiansbility of receiving heavenly blessedness. Each vessel heard it from the first in the gospel preaching : new. of glory hanging on Jesus shall be fully happy. But in that the gospel rested love on the new principle of the larger the vessel, the greater will be its capacity filial imitation of God who first loved us, and gave for receiving heavenly bliss. He who with one pound Jesus to die for us, and also in that love is now set made ten, received authority over ten cities. He who forth with greater clearness than in the Old Testa made five pounds received five cities: each according ment dispensation. Love performs both tables of the to his capacity of rule, and in proportion to his faithlaw, and is the end of the law and the gospel alike (cf. fulness. Cf. 1 Corinthians, 15. 41. There is no falf Note, 1 John, 2. 7, 8). that we-Implying that he already reward of the saints. It is either lost altogether, or rehad love, and urging her to join him in the same Chris ceived in full: in full communion with God." (BENGEL tian grace. This verse seems to me to decide that a Still no service of minister or people shall fail to rechurch, not an individual lady, is meant. For a man ceive its reward. 9. The loss (0.8) meant is bere er to urge a woman ("THEE;" not thee and thy children) | | plained: the not having God, which results from that he and she should love one another, is hardly like abiding not in the doctrine of Christ. transgresselban apostolic precept, however pure may be the love | The oldest MSS. and versions read. "Every one who enjoined: but all is clear if the lady" represent a | takes the lead: lit., goes, or leads on before ; ci, Jolin, church. 6. "Love is the fulfilling of the law." and the 10. 4, "He goeth before them" (not the same Grect. fulfilling of the law is the sure test of love. This is CP. 3 John, 9,"Loveth to have the pre-emencRCE. the coinmandment - Greek, "The commandment is hath not God-(1 John, 2. 23; 6. 15.) The second of this," viz., love, in which all God's other command Christ" is omitted in the oldest MSS., but is under ments are summed up. 7. As love and truth go hand stood in the sense. he-Emphatical: He and He alone in hand (v. 3, 4), he feels it needsul to give warning | 10. If there come any-as & teacher or brother. The against teachers of untruth. For-Giving the reason Greek is indicative, not subjunctive: implying that why he dwelt on truth and on love, which manifests such persons do actually come, and are sure to con: itself in keeping God's commandments (v. 6). many when any comes, as there will. True love is combined -1 John, 2. 18; 4. 1.) are entered-The oldest MSS. with hearty renunciation and separation from all the read, “have gone forth," piz., from us. confess not... is false, whether persons or doctrines. receive him not Jesus...in the flesh--the token of antichrist. is come ... neither bid him God speed- This is not said of those Greek, * coming." He who denies Christ's coming in who were always aliens from the church, but of those the flesh, denies the possibility of the incarnation : he who wish to be esteemed bretbren, and subvert the who denies that he has come, denies its actuality. | true doctrine. (GROTIUS.) The greeting salutation They denied the possibility of a Messiah's appearing. forbidden in the case of such a one is that waal or coming, in the flesh. (NEANDER.) I think the among Christian brethren in those days, not a mere Greek present participle implies both the first and the formality, but & token of Christian brotherhood. Ik second advent of Christ. He is often elsewhere called | By wishing & false brother or teacher "God (or pood the Coming One (Greele), Matthew. 11, 3: Hebrews, 10. speed," you imply that he is capable as sucha of good 37. The denial of the reality of His manifestation in speed and joy (the lit. meaning of the Greek), and that the flesh, at His first coming, and of His personal l you wish him it whilst opposing Christ: 80 you idenadvent again, constitutes anticbrist. "The world | tify yourself with "his evil deeds." The Greek di turns away from God and Christ, busily intent upon “partaker is “having communion with." We cand its own husks; but to OPPOSE God and Christ is of the have communion with saints and with antichrist ! leaven of Satan." (BEXGEL) This is a--Greek, "This once. Here we see John's naturally flery zeal directed (such a one as has been just described) is the deceiver | to a right end. POLYCARP, the disciple of Jobin, told and the antichrist." The many who in a degree fulfill contemporaries of IRENÆUS, who narrates the story the character, are forerunners of the final personal I on their authority, that on one occasion when Joba antichrist, who shall concentrate in bimself all the was about to bathe, and heard that Cerinthus, tho features of previous anti-Christian systems. 8. Look heretic, was within, he retired with abhorredor, Elle to yourselves-amidst the wide-spread prevalence of claiming, Surely the house will fall in ruins since the deception so many being led astray. So Christ's warn-enemy of the truth is there. 12. I would not writeing, Matthew, 24, 4, 5, 24. we lose not ... we receive heart full of love pours itself out more ireely face to The oldest MSS. and versions read, "That ye lose not, face, than by letter. paper-made of Egyptian papyrus, but that re receive." which we have wrought-So one Pens were then reeds split. ink-made of sout usd oldest MS. reads. Other very old MSS., versions, and water, thickened with gum. Parchment was used bt fathers, read," which Ye have wrought." The we being the permanent MSS, in which the epistles were pre seemingly the more difficult reading is less likely to served. Writing tablets were used merely for tempo have been a transcriber's alteration. Look that ye lose ary purposes, as our slates, face to face-lit,“ mouth 1 not the believing state of "truth and love," which we mouth." fuil-Greek, "filled full." Your joy will be (as God's workmen, 2 Corinthians, 6.1; 2 Timothy, 2. complete in hearing from me in person the joyful gospel 16) were the instruments of working in you. a fnll re- / truths which I now defer communicating till I see you ward-of grace, not of debt. Fully consummated glory. I on other occasions his writing the glad truths was ik If "which ye have wrought" be read with very old the same purpose. 13. ALFORD confesses, The LORauthorities, the reward meant is, that of their “work mention of the "lady" herself here seems rather to tof faith) and labour of love." There are degrees of favour the hypothesis that a church is meant
THE THIRD EPISTLE OF
Ver. 1-14. ADDRESS: WISH FOR GAIUS PROS-Gentiles, we onght to take them up so as to support PERITY: JOY AT HIS WALKING IN THE TRUTII. His them. fellow-helpers-with them. to the truth-ie.. HOSPITALITY TO TUE BRETHREN AND STRANGERS, to promote the truth. 9. I wrote-The oldest MSS. add THE FRUIT OF LOVE. DIOTREPHES' OPPOSITION AND "something." a communication, probably, on the subAMBITION. PRAISE OF DEMETRIUS, CoxCLUSION. 1. ject of receiving the brethren with brotherly love (v. 8. I-Emphatical: I personally, for my part. On Gaius or 10). That epistle was not designed by the Spirit for Caius, see Introduction before second epistle. love in the universal church, or else it would have been prethe truth-12 John, 1.) "Beloved" is repeated often in served. unto the church-of which Caius is a member. this epistle, indicating strong affection (v. 1, 2, 6, 11). 2. loveth... pre-eminence-through ambition. Evidently above all things-Creek, "concerning all things:" so occupying a high place in the church where Cains was ALFORD:in all respects. But WAHL justifies English | (v. 10). among them-over the members of the church. Version cf. 1 Peter, 4.8). Of course, since his soul's receiveth us not-virtually, riz, by not receiving with prosperity is presupposed, "above all things" does not love the brethren whom we recommended to be reimply that John wishes Caius' bodily health above ceived (v. 8, 10; cf. Matthew, 10. 40). 10. if I comethat of his soul, but as the first object to be desired (v.14.) I will remember-lit., "I will bring to mind" before neat after spiritual health. I know you are prospering all, by stigmatizing and punishing. prating-with mere in the concerns of your soul, I wish you similar silly tattle. neither doth he...receive the brethren-with prosperity in your body. Perhaps John had heard | hospitality. "The brethren" are the missionaries on from the brethren (v. 3) that Caius was in bad health, their journey. forbiddeth them that would - receive and was tried in other ways 'v. 10), to which the wish, I them. casteth them-those that would receive the v. 2. refers, prosper-in general. be in health-in par. | brethren, by excommunication from the church, which ticular. testified of the truth that is in thee-Greek, "of his influence, as a leading man (v. 9) in it, enabled him for to) thy truth" thy share of that truth in which to do. NEANDER thinks that the missionaries were thou walkest. (ALFORD.) even as thou-In contrast | Jews by birth, whence it is said in their praise they to Diotrephes (0.9). 4. my children-members of the took nothing from THE GENTILES: in contrast to church; confirming the view that the elect lady is a other Jewish missionaries who abused ministers' right church. 5, faithfully--an act becoming a faithful man of maintenance elsewhere, as Paul tells us, 2 Corinwhatsoever thou doest-A distinct Greele word from the thians, 11. 22; Philippians, 3, 2, 5, 19. Now in the Gen former "doest;" translate, “workest;" whatsoever tile churches there existed an ultra Pauline party of work, or labour of love, thou dost perform. So Mat | anti-Jewish tendency, the forerunners of Marcion: thew. 28. 10. "She hath wrought a good work upon me." Diotrephes possibly stood at the head of this party, and to strangers-The oldest MSS." And that (i.e., and which fact, as well as his domineering spirit, may those brethren) strangers." The fact of the brethren account for his hostility to the missionaries, and to whom thou didst entertain being "strangers," en-| the apostle John, who had, by the power of love, tried hances the love manifested in the act. 6. borne witness to harmonize the various elements in the Asiatic of thy charity before the church-to stimulate others by 1 churches. At & later period Marcion, we know, the good example. The brethren so entertained by attached himself to Paul alone, and paid no deference Chius were missionary evangelists (v.7); and, probably, to the authority of John. 11. follow not that which is in the course of narrating their missionary labours for evil-as manifested in Diotrephes (v. 9, 10). but...good the edification of the church where John then was, -as manifested in Demetrius (v. 12). is of God-is born incidentally mentioned the loving hospitality shown of God, who is good. bath not seen God-spiritually, them by Cains. bring forward on their journey-"ir | not literally. 12, of all men-who have had opportunity thou (continue to) forward on their journey by giving of knowing his character of the truth itself-The them provisions for the way. after a godly sort-Greek, I gospel standard of truth bears witness to him that he
in 8 manner worthy of God," whose ambassadors walks conformably to it, in acts of real love, hospithey are, and whose servant thou art. He who tality to the brethren (in contrast to Diotrephes), &c. honours God's missionary servants (v. 7), honours Cf. John, 3. 21, "He that doeth truth cometh to the God. 7. his name's sake-Christ's. went forth-as mis- light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they sionaries. taking nothing-refusing to receive aught are wrought in God" we also-besides the testimony by way of pay, or maintenance, though justly entitled of "all men." and of "the truth itself." ye knowto it. As Paul at Corinth and at Thessalonica, Gen. The oldest MSS. read, "thou knowest." 13. I will not tiles-the Christians just gathered out by their labours - rather as Greek, "I wish not...to write" more. 14. from among the heathen. As Caius himself was & face to face-Greek, “mouth to mouth." peace-Peaco Gentile convert, "the Gentiles" here must menn the inward of conscience, peace fraternal of friendship. concerts just made from the heathen, the Gentiles to | peace supernal of glory (LYRA). friends-a title selwhom they had gone forth. It would have been inex- dom used in the New Testament, as it is absorbed in pedient to have taken aught (the Greek meden implies, the higher title of "brother, brethren." Still Christ not that they got nothing, though they had desired it. recognises the relation of friend also, based on the but that it was of their own choice they took nothing) highest grounds, obedience to Him from love, and from the infant churches among the heathen: the case entailing the highest privileges, admission to the inti
as different in receiving hospitality from Caius, 8. macy of the holy and glorious God and sympathizing We In contradistinction to "the Gentiles" or "hea. Saviour: so Christians have "Friends" in Christ. Here then” referred to, t. 7. therefore-as they take nothing in a friendly letter, mention of "friends" appropriately From the Gentiles or heathen, receive-The oldest occurs. by name-no less than if their names were WISS. read, "take up." As they take nothing from the written. (BENGEL)