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1 COMPARISON AND CONTRAST AMONG THE JOHANNINE LETTERS

Submitted to Dr. Jim Crouch (Ph.D)

A Partial Fulfillment for the Requirements of the Course (Master of Arts in Biblical Studies, NT): Johannine Writings (BIB 712)

Presented By: Olajide Michael

Matric Number 60813

Date 10 March, 2010

Olajide, Michael D.

Johannine Literature (Dr. Jim Crouch)

M A B S (60813)

1 JOHN Structure I. II. Prologue: 1:1-4 (concerning the word of life) Living in the Light (1:5-2:27) a. Forgiveness and Purification (1:5-10) b. Love (2:3-14) c. Separation from the World (2:15-19) d. The people of God Anointed by the Spirit of God (2:20-27) Growing in the Light (2:28-5:12) a. Regeneration (2:28-3:10) b. Love for one another and faith in Christ (3:10-24) c. Separation from spiritual darkness (4:1-6) d. Love for one another and love for God (4:7-5:6) e. The Son of God Anointed by His Heavenly Father (5:6-12) Epilogue: 5:13-21

III.

IV.

Background First John itself strongly suggests that the heresy arose within the church and was propagated by respected and able teachers in the community who had defected from the true faith and fellowship (2:19). Indeed, the seriousness of the situation probably derived from the fact that past leaders had become "false prophets," teaching untruths and becoming embodiments of Antichrist. That they were able to lead the community astray (2:26; 3:7) gives strong support to the idea they were secessionists/deserters, not intruders. The false teachers and teachings to which he alluded suggest that John wrote about conditions that existed in Asia: Judaism, Gnosticism, Docetism, the teachings of Cerinthus (a prominent Gnostic), and others.1 These philosophies extended beyond Asia, but they were present there during John's lifetime.

Authorship The letter contains no hint about the identity or location of the readers beyond the fact that they are Christians. Since early church tradition associates John with the Roman province of Asia (in western Turkey), it

Olajide, Michael D.

Johannine Literature (Dr. Jim Crouch)

M A B S (60813)

3 has often been though that the readers lived there. This may well be true especially since this association is confirmed by Revelation 2 and 3.2 In addition, the church tradition assumed that John the apostle wrote this letter although the author identified himself by name. Tertullian, Polycarp, and Irenaeus all argued for apostolic authorship of this letter. But evidence supporting apostolic authorship is the similar vocabulary between the Gospel of John and this epistle. Such terms as light, eternal life word (lo,goj) appear in both writings. The author claims that he was a companion of Christ during His earthly ministry (1:1-4). His description of his readers is dear children (2:1) indicates a person of sufficient authority to his audience in this manner. All these literary characteristics point toward an apostolic authority. Some scholars prefer to use John the elder in place of Apostle John. Aside from external evidence, the internal evidence supports Johannine authorship of this epistle, a position that this assignment holds. a. The author claims to be an eyewitness of the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ b. There are fifty one phrases that are found to be in common in the Gospel of John and 1 John. In summary B. F. Westcott remarks that no, address, no subscription, no name is contained in it of a person or place; no direct trace of the author, no indication of any special designation.3

Date/Place of Writing So a date for 1 John in the early 90s, A.D. 90-95, seems most probable. 4 The estimated dates ranges from about AD 85-97 with the earlier date being the most widely accepted. Since John ministered in and around Ephesus later in his life, Ephesus seems to be the most probable place from which he wrote this epistle.5

John F. Walvoord, Roy B. Zuck ed., The Bible Knowledge Commentary (Illinois: Victor Books, 1984), 881. B. F. Westcott, The Epistles of St. John: The Greek Text with Notes (4th ed.; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans 1966, 1883]), xxix. See Donald Guthrie, New Testament Introduction. 3 vols. 2nd ed. (London: Tyndale Press,1966), 205-6.

Olajide, Michael D.

Johannine Literature (Dr. Jim Crouch)

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4 The writer of 1 John was thus addressing a community, made up of a number of house-churches in and around Ephesus, which was split in three ways. It consisted of the following: (a) Johannine Christians who were committed to the apostolic gospel of Jesus as they had received it; (b) heretically inclined members from a Jewish background; (c) heterodox followers from a Hellenistic (and/or pagan) background. The problems relating to the two 'heretical' groups, (b) and (c), were primarily theological and (by extension) ethical; although related difficulties concerning eschatology and pneumatology may have been present also (see on 2:18 and 4:1).6 To complete the picture, it should be noted that the life of the Johannine community was marked by the presence of a fourth group of people: the secessionists. Whereas the members of the first three groups could be found within John's circle, the anti-Christian secessionists had begun to break away from it. These were heretically inclined adherents of the Johannine community. In some cases they may have been genuine, if uninformed, believers. But in other instances they perhaps never properly belonged to John's church (although they thought they did), because they never really belonged to God (see on 1 John 2:18-19; cf. also 2:22-23).7

Occasion It is clear from the internal evidence of 1 John that a developing schism within the Christian community led to its writing. The difficulty had already reached a point where some members, including teachers, had separated themselves from the others and were in the process of setting up their own community (2:19). Although the breach was complete, the dissidents continued to keep in touch with the rest of the membership and were actively trying to entice them to join the new group (2:26). The breach of fellowship also led to a

See D. Edmond Hiebert, An Introduction to the New Testament: The Non-Pauline Epistles and Revelation vol 3 (Chicago: Moody Press, 1977), 191-97.
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Stephen S. Smalley, 1, 2, 3 John. Word Biblical Commentary Series. (Waco: Word Books, 1984 ), xxiv. Ibid.

Olajide, Michael D.

Johannine Literature (Dr. Jim Crouch)

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5 breach in understanding the faith. What earlier may have been hypothetical questions now became tenets of the rival community, identified in John's letters primarily by what the false teachers denied. They denied: Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God (2:22; 5:1, 5); The coming of Christ in the flesh (4:2; 2Jn 7); The authority of Jesus' commands (2:4); Their own sinfulness (1:8, 10); Salvation through the work of Christ (2:2); The absolute demand that believers love one another (2:9); Righteous conduct as a requirement of fellowship with God (1:6; 2:29; 3:6, 10); The responsibility to live as Jesus had lived (2:4, 6; 3:7); The nature of the company of believers as a community of fellowship with the Father, with his Son, and with one another (1:3; 2:11); The authority of the writer of the letters as the proclaimer of the message that had been from the beginning (1:5; 3Jn 10). Purpose Apostle John states the purpose(s) of writing this epistle so that his/the readers joy would be complete (1:4) so that the readers will not sin (2:1a) so thta they would have the assurance of the complete redemptive work of Christ (2:1b-2) so that those who believe Christ may know that they have eternal life (5:13)

Argument Prologue ( 1 John 1:1-2 NIV) That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched-- this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. 2The Olajide, Michael D. Johannine Literature (Dr. Jim Crouch) M A B S (60813)

6 life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. (1 John 1:1-2 BGT) }O h=n avpV avrch/j( o] avkhko,amen( o] e`wra,kamen toi/j ovfqalmoi/j h`mw/n( o] evqeasa,meqa kai. ai` cei/rej h`mw/n evyhla,fhsan peri. tou/ lo,gou th/j zwh/j&2 kai. h` zwh. evfanerw,qh( kai. e`wra,kamen kai. marturou/men kai. avpagge,llomen u`mi/n th.n zwh.n th.n aivw,nion h[tij h=n pro.j to.n pate,ra kai. evfanerw,qh h`mi/n&

Apostle John begins his argument from the theological foundation, that is, chrisrian doctrine breeds christian character.

The writer confronts his heterodox readers with the very truth they were denying. The Apostles testimony to the historical revelation of God in the person of Jesus Christ involves his sense organs (v. 1) Heard Seen Looked Touched The use of the first person plural may indicate the presence of eyewitnesses.8 Thus the gospel which the apostles proclaim is historical.

Living in the Light (1 John 1:5 NIV) This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.6If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. (1 John 1:6 BGT) VEa.n ei;pwmen o[ti koinwni,an e;comen metV auvtou/ kai. evn tw/| sko,tei peripatw/men( yeudo,meqa kai. ouv poiou/men th.n avlh,qeian\6Kai. e;stin au[th h` avggeli,a h]n avkhko,amen avpV auvtou/ kai. avnagge,llomen u`mi/n( o[ti o` qeo.j fw/j evstin kai. skoti,a evn auvtw/| ouvk e;stin ouvdemi,a Johns thesis is that God is light Johns application is that the readers must live in the light and not in the darkness
8

Cf. J. R. W Stott, The Epistles of John. An Introduction and Commentary. Tyndale New Testament Commentaries. Leicester: Inter-Varsity Press/Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1964), 61-63; I. H. Marshall, The Epistles of John. NICNT. (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co./London: Marshall, Morgan & Scott, 1978), 106-107.

Olajide, Michael D.

Johannine Literature (Dr. Jim Crouch)

M A B S (60813)

7 The results of living in the light are fellowship (both vertical and horizontal) and purification

(1 John 1:9 NIV) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. ( 1 John 1:9 BGT) eva.n o`mologw/men ta.j a`marti,aj h`mw/n( pisto,j evstin kai. di,kaioj( i[na avfh/| h`mi/n ta.j a`marti,aj kai. kaqari,sh| h`ma/j avpo. pa,shj avdiki,aj

One of the propagated claims of the heretic teachers was the sinless-perfection, and the apostle aims to prove them wrong.

Confession9 is the human responsibility in order to receive forgiveness. John says that to acknowledge sin brings into play these two separate qualities in Gods character: his faithfulness, and his righteousness.

(1 John 2:1-2 NIV) My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense-- Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2 NIV 1 John 2:2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. ( 1 John 2:1 BGT) Tekni,a mou( tau/ta gra,fw u`mi/n i[na mh. a`ma,rthte kai. eva,n tij a`ma,rth|( para,klhton e;comen pro.j to.n pate,ra VIhsou/n Cristo.n di,kaion\2 kai. auvto.j i`lasmo,j evstin peri. tw/n a`martiw/n h`mw/n( ouv peri. tw/n h`mete,rwn de. mo,non avlla. kai. peri. o[lou tou/ ko,smou

In a very pastoral term, John discourages his readers/children from sinning but in case they fall into sin they should depend on the person and redemptive work of Christ.

(1 John 2:6 NIV) Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did. (1 John 2:6 BGT) o` le,gwn evn auvtw/| me,nein ovfei,lei kaqw.j evkei/noj periepa,thsen kai. auvto.j ou[twj peripatei/n

I. H. Marshall, suggests that although the verb confess () appears in a conditional clause (beginning with ), the whole phrase has the force of a command The Epistles of John. New Iinternational Commentary of the New Testament. (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co./London: Marshall, Morgan & Scott, 1978), 113; Also B. F. Westcott, comments that an element of public confession before others, as well as God, is involved; for elsewhere in the Johannine corpus the verb (to acknowledge) is used in the sense of open witness (see 2:23; John 1:20; Rev 3:5; cf. also Matt 10:32; Rom 10:9), The Epistles of St. John: The Greek Text with Notes, 23.

Olajide, Michael D.

Johannine Literature (Dr. Jim Crouch)

M A B S (60813)

8 C. H. Dodd comments that the test for the reality of the experience of union with God in Christ is the imitation of Christ.10 The true of evidence of being a believer in Jesus Christ is by imitating the Master.

(1 John 2:9-10 NIV). Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness.10NIV 1 (John 2:10 BGT) Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble. BGT 1 John 2:9-10. ~O le,gwn evn tw/| fwti. ei=nai kai. to.n avdelfo.n auvtou/ misw/n evn th/| skoti,a| evsti.n e[wj a;rti 10 o` avgapw/n to.n avdelfo.n auvtou/ evn tw/| fwti. me,nei kai. ska,ndalon evn auvtw/| ouvk e;stin\ Hatred of ones brother/sister is a sign of living in the spiritual darkness Love of ones brother/sister is a sign of living in the spiritual light The primary calling of a christian is to love his brother in Christ.

(1 John 2:15-17NIV) Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For everything in the world-- the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does-- comes not from the Father but from the world. 17The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever. (1 John 2:15-17 BGT) Mh. avgapa/te to.n ko,smon mhde. ta. evn tw/| ko,smw| eva,n tij avgapa/| to.n ko,smon( ouvk e;stin h` avga,ph tou/ patro.j evn auvtw/|\16o[ti pa/n to. evn tw/| ko,smw|( h` evpiqumi,a th/j sarko.j kai. h` evpiqumi,a tw/n ovfqalmw/n kai. h` avlazonei,a tou/ bi,ou( ouvk e;stin evk tou/ patro.j avllV evk tou/ ko,smou evsti,n17kai. o` ko,smoj para,getai kai. h` evpiqumi,a auvtou/( o` de. poiw/n to. qe,lhma tou/ qeou/ me,nei eivj to.n aivw/na

Those who love the world come from the world The world and its desires will pass away very soon Those who love the Father come from Him Obedience to the Father leads to eternal life.

(1 John 2:20 NIV) But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. (1 John 2:20 BGT) kai. u`mei/j cri/sma e;cete avpo. tou/ a`gi,ou kai. oi;date pa,ntej

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C. H. Dodd, The Johannine Epistles. Moffat New Testament Commentary. (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1946), 32.

Olajide, Michael D.

Johannine Literature (Dr. Jim Crouch)

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9 Our anointing comes from the Holy Spirit The Holy Spirit enables us to know this truth (a) The primary meaning of is undoubtedly anointing by the Spirit. (b) It is possible that some

of the heretical and schismatic members of Johns church had appealed directly to the teaching of the Gospel on the Paraclete, as the Spirit of truth, precisely in order to support their own claims to possess the right knowledge of Jesus and his gospel. If so, John is indicating that the objective word of Gods truth cannot be detached from the interior testimony of the Holy Spirit, present in the believer.11 The subject of anointing is later picked up and developed by the apostle. Growing in the Light (1 John 3:1-3 NIV) How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3 Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure. (1 John 3:1-3 BGT) i;dete potaph.n avga,phn de,dwken h`mi/n o` path.r( i[na te,kna qeou/ klhqw/men( kai. evsme,n dia. tou/to o` ko,smoj ouv ginw,skei h`ma/j( o[ti ouvk e;gnw auvto,n 2 avgaphtoi,( nu/n te,kna qeou/ evsmen( kai. ou;pw evfanerw,qh ti, evso,meqa oi;damen o[ti eva.n fanerwqh/|( o[moioi auvtw/| evso,meqa( o[ti ovyo,meqa auvto.n kaqw,j evstin 3 kai. pa/j o` e;cwn th.n evlpi,da tau,thn evpV auvtw/| a`gni,zei e`auto,n( kaqw.j evkei/noj a`gno,j evstin We are Gods children at present and also for eternity (vv1-2 respectively) Johns description of our relationship with the Father portrays Gods personal and loving nature and our status with Him. We hope to partake in the glory of Christ and that is why we must pursue purinty by following His

pattern.

Stephen S. Smalley, Word Biblical Commentary :1,2,3 John. Word Biblical Commentary vol. 51 (Dallas: Word Incorporated, 2002), 107.

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Olajide, Michael D.

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10 H. Baltensweiler points out that signifies a qualitative holiness or purity belonging to the deity,12 (1 John 3:6, 9 NIV) No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.9No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. (1 John 3:6, 9 BGT) pa/j o` evn auvtw/| me,nwn ouvc a`marta,nei\ pa/j o` a`marta,nwn ouvc e`w,raken auvto.n ouvde. e;gnwken auvto,n9Pa/j o` gegennhme,noj evk tou/ qeou/ a`marti,an ouv poiei/( o[ti spe,rma auvtou/ evn auvtw/| me,nei( kai. ouv du,natai a`marta,nein( o[ti evk tou/ qeou/ gege,nnhtai Every Christian shares in the nature of Christ Continuity in sin means absence of his knowledge and revelatory gospel The hallmark of one who belongs to Gods family is by ceasing to sin

(1 John 3:11, 16-18 NIV) This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. 16This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. 17If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? 18Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. (1 John 3:11, 16-18 BGT) {Oti au[th evsti.n h` avggeli,a h]n hvkou,sate avpV avrch/j( i[na avgapw/men avllh,louj(16evn tou,tw| evgnw,kamen th.n avga,phn( o[ti evkei/noj u`pe.r h`mw/n th.n yuch.n auvtou/ e;qhken\ kai. h`mei/j ovfei,lomen u`pe.r tw/n avdelfw/n ta.j yuca.j qei/nai17o]j dV a'n e;ch| to.n bi,on tou/ ko,smou kai. qewrh/| to.n avdelfo.n auvtou/ crei,an e;conta kai. klei,sh| ta. spla,gcna auvtou/ avpV auvtou/( pw/j h` avga,ph tou/ qeou/ me,nei evn auvtw/|18 Tekni,a( mh. avgapw/men lo,gw| mhde. th/| glw,ssh| avlla. evn e;rgw| kai. avlhqei,a|

Jesus Christ has laid down an example for us to be followed The command to love others is rooted in the directive of Jesus contained in the Fourth Gospel (John 13:3435; 15:12, 17).

Sharing material things with our fellow brothers/sisters is one least things we can do demonstrate our love to others

Our love should be based on truth and action and not just by confession

H. Baltensweiler The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology C. Brown ed. vol. 3 (Grand rapids: Zondervan, 1978), 100.

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(1 John 4:1-2 NIV) Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, ( 1 John 4:1-2 BGT) VAgaphtoi,( mh. panti. pneu,mati pisteu,ete avlla. dokima,zete ta. pneu,mata eiv evk tou/ qeou/ evstin( o[ti polloi. yeudoprofh/tai evxelhlu,qasin eivj to.n ko,smon2 evn tou,tw| ginw,skete to. pneu/ma tou/ qeou/\ pa/n pneu/ma o] o`mologei/ VIhsou/n Cristo.n evn sarki. evlhluqo,ta evk tou/ qeou/ evstin(

John is making a call for discernment/test of every spirit Bultmann makes sense by adding an element of acknowledgment do not come into the power of every spirit.13

How to identify a true spirit is one that aknowledges the incarnate Son of God

(1 John 4:7-8 NIV) Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:7-8 BGT) VAgaphtoi,( avgapw/men avllh,louj( o[ti h` avga,ph evk tou/ qeou/ evstin( kai. pa/j o` avgapw/n evk tou/ qeou/ gege,nnhtai kai. ginw,skei to.n qeo,n8o` mh. avgapw/n ouvk e;gnw to.n qeo,n( o[ti o` qeo.j avga,ph evsti,n

Love originates from God and that is why it is characteristic with divine dimension God is not only loving, not just the source of love rather God is love

(1 John 4:19 NIV) We love because he first loved us.1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. (1 John 4:19 BGT) h`mei/j avgapw/men( o[ti auvto.j prw/toj hvga,phsen h`ma/j1 Pa/j o` pisteu,wn o[ti VIhsou/j evstin o` Cristo.j( evk tou/ qeou/ gege,nnhtai( kai. pa/j o` avgapw/n to.n gennh,santa avgapa/| kai. to.n gegennhme,non evx auvtou/

Rudolf Bultmann, The Johannine Epistles. A Commentary on the Johannine Epistles. ed. R. W. Funk. TR R. P. OHara, L. C. McGaughy and R. W. Funk. (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1973), 61.

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12 John ephasizes Gods prior love for us Our love for God is dependent on His love for us John shows the relationship between faith and love How to that we love God is by loving any of His children

Epilogue (1 John 5:13 NIV) I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. (1 John 5:13 BGT) Tau/ta e;graya u`mi/n i[na eivdh/te o[ti zwh.n e;cete aivw,nion( toi/j pisteu,ousin eivj to. o;noma tou/ ui`ou/ tou/ qeou/

This verse resembles John 20:31 where the author sets out the purpose of writing the fourth Gospel Those who believe in Christ have eternal life and they should know that truth

(1 John 5:21NIV) Dear children, keep yourselves from idols. (1 John 5:21BGT) Tekni,a( fula,xate e`auta. avpo. tw/n eivdw,lwn Christians were surrounded by pagan idols as such, and needed to be warned against the dangers of idol worship Hellenism/idolatory were threats to Christinaity in the first early centuries.

Contextualization/Message This epistle is very relevant to the contemporary church in Africa (as the second readers) The Church in Africa must cease idolatry worship and avoid syncretism If we claim to love God then we must demonstrate this by loving our brethren irrespective of status Our mandate as Christians is to witness to the dark world Our loyalty is unto God and His righteousness and no longer under the shackle of sin

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2 JOHN Structure I. Epistolary Greeting: 1-3 II. The Occasion of the Letter: 4-7 a. Johns Joy (4-6) b. Johns Concern (7) III. Johns Purpose: 8-11 a. Johns Concern (8-9) b. Johns warning (10-11) IV. Epistolary Conclusion (12-13) Background Elder (~O presbu,teroj) can mean an old man, a senior person deserving respect, or a senior official of a local church (cf. Ac 11:30; 14:23; 1Ti 5:17). The author of this brief letter must have been so well known and established to those he was writing to that the title "elder" immediately identified him. That he assumes authority over them, though he is obviously not a member of their church, suggests that he was more than a local pastor. He probably held an influential position (like that of a bishop) in the region where his readers lived. That "the elder" was also the writer of the first letter and that he was the apostle John is a valid inference (see the introduction to 1 John). The designation of the letter's addressee raises questions. "Chosen lady" in Greek is evklekth/| kuri,a . From ancient times opinion has been divided as to whether this letter was addressed to an anonymous noble lady named "evklekth/|" or "kuri,a," or to a Christian community metaphorically identified as "the chosen lady and her children"; those differences continue yet today. If the Johannine church is called an elect lady, then its individual members would be her offspring ( ). The anonymity surrounding the recipients of 2 John (lady, offspring), and even the writer (the presbyter), may have been deliberate. At this time Christianity was not favored by the Roman authorities; and if the letter had fallen into hostile hands, its unspecific salutation would have made it appear as Olajide, Michael D. Johannine Literature (Dr. Jim Crouch) M A B S (60813)

15 a harmless letter to a friend (Dodd, 145). Nevertheless, the community addressed is a particular one. Bultmann (108) argues that the specific reference of 2 John (note the change from the third to the first and second person in the opening vv, and the epistolary conclusion at vv 1213) is a fiction. This assumption, how ever, is unwarranted. The Johannnine community as a whole seems to have included several house churches (in Ephesus). The recipients of 2 John belonged to the same group as that for which 1 John was written (cf. v 7; and 1 John 2:1819). But they formed a distinct unit on their own; and evidently the addressee of 3 John was the leader of another such unit. Occasion and Purpose The purpose of this epistle is in two fold: The Elder wrote this epistle to demonstrate his gratitude of joy for the love, truth and obedience of this elect lady The Elder wrote in order to alert the elect lady about the encroach of the false teachers

Argument (2 John 1:4 NIV) It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us. (2 John 1:4 BGT) VEca,rhn li,an o[ti eu[rhka evk tw/n te,knwn sou peripatou/ntaj evn avlhqei,a|( kaqw.j evntolh.n evla,bomen para. tou/ patro,j The elder expresses his joy for the elect ladys children living in the truth and obedience The practical purpose of this epistle comes to the fore; a usual literary characteristic of Johannine literature John associates his rejoicing with the spiritual state of those whom he is addressing.14

14

P. T. OBrien, Introductory Thanksgivings in the Letters of Paul (Leiden: Brill, 1977).

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16 Their spiritual condition was the obedient one

NIV 2 John 1:7 Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist.8Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. BGT 2 John 1:7 {Oti polloi. pla,noi evxh/lqon eivj to.n ko,smon( oi` mh. o`mologou/ntej VIhsou/n Cristo.n evrco,menon evn sarki,\ ou-to,j evstin o` pla,noj kai. o` avnti,cristoj8 ble,pete e`autou,j( i[na mh. avpole,shte a] eivrgasa,meqa avlla. misqo.n plh,rh avpola,bhte

Those who do not acknowledge the incarnation of Jesus Christ Antichrists Deceivers

The Elder warns his readers that The false teachers are present Holding to the truth will make them to have full reward If they are careless they will lose the object of their labour

(2 John 1:9-11 NIV) Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him.11Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work. (2 John 1:9-11 NIV) Pa/j o` proa,gwn kai. mh. me,nwn evn th/| didach/| tou/ Cristou/ qeo.n ouvk e;cei\ o` me,nwn evn th/| didach/|( ou-toj kai. to.n pate,ra kai. to.n ui`o.n e;cei10 ei; tij e;rcetai pro.j u`ma/j kai. tau,thn th.n didach.n ouv fe,rei( mh. lamba,nete auvto.n eivj oivki,an kai. cai,rein auvtw/| mh. le,gete\11 o` le,gwn ga.r auvtw/| cai,rein koinwnei/ toi/j e;rgoij auvtou/ toi/j ponhroi/j

The sign of a true messenger of God is by spreading the teaching of Christ The false teachers are not to be encouraged in any sense including hospitality; doing so means partnership15 Contextualization/Message

We must always test every spirit

15

A. E. Brooke, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Johannine Epistles. (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark Ltd., 1912),

179.

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17 We need Gods discernment ability to be able to test every spirit We should not be party to promoting false teaching in any sense Hospitality and support to any ministry entail Gods directive

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18 3 JOHN Structure I. II. III. IV. V. Epistolary introduction (1) The Elder s joy in Gaius (2-8) The case of Diotrephes ( 911) The case of Demetrius (12) Epistolary Conclusion (1315).16 Background Authorship There is little evidence for the use of 3 John before the third century. The brevity and lack of a specific address for the letter would have contributed to its neglect. Eusebius classified the letter among the disputed writings of the New Testament, later the church came to accept it as a product of the Apostle John. The use of the term elder in common with 2 John makes it likely that both writings came from the same writer. Both letters also make reference to the practice of walking in the truth (2 John 4; 3 John 3). These similar practices plus the opinion of early church leaders make the acceptance of apostolic authorship the wisest choice.17 In addition, the writer describes himself as the elder and many have seen this appellation for the aged John the Apostle. This epistle has similarity of style and vocabulary with 1 John and with Johns gospel. The false teaching of 2 John is similar to that of 1 John 4:1-3. Some have felt that an unknown John the elder wrote this epistle, but this elder is a shadowy figure whose existence is uncertain. It is best to consider 2 John to have been written by the same author who wrote 1 John and that would lead us to conclusion that Apostle John actually wrote it.

Occasion and Purpose


Alternatively R. W. Funk, sees the structure of 3 John, apart from the introduction and conclusion, as fivefold: thanksgiving, as a prelude to the writers request, vv 34; the request, vv 58; the presbyteral parousia (if I come, v 10), vv 910; paraenesis (v 11); and recommendation (v 12); Journal of Biblical Literature 86 (1967) 429,
17 16

Cf. Danny McCain, Notes on New Testament Introduction (Bukuru, Nigeria: ACTS Publication, 2002), 317.

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19 We do not have any hint/reference to the false teaching in this epistle and 1 & 2 John It appears, based on the text, that the Elder was addressing leadership issue in the church For although the situation presupposed in 3 John is chiefly practical and organizational (a picture of real life in the primitive church, as Williams, 13, calls it)18 Argument (3 John 1:5 NIV) Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers, even though they are strangers to you. (3 John 1:5BGT) VAgaphte,( pisto.n poiei/j o] eva.n evrga,sh| eivj tou.j avdelfou.j kai. tou/to xe,nouj( Gaius was a friend to the elder-that shows their intimacy The elder spoke well of Gauis for his faithfulness and love especially missionaries from the elder Gaius was very committed to the service of hospitality

(3 John 1:9NIV) I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will have nothing to do with us. (3 John 1:9 BGT) :Egraya, ti th/| evkklhsi,a|\ avllV o` filoprwteu,wn auvtw/n Diotre,fhj ouvk evpide,cetai h`ma/j Diotrephes was a threat to the unity of the Johannine church He was insubordinate to the authority He refused to welcome missionaries that came from the elder He rejected the writer and his petition, and was deliberately lacking in hospitality toward the brothers. The reason(s) for the disagreement bewteen the elder and Diotrephes could be doctrinal or polity as suggested by commentators (3 John 1:11 NIV) Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God. (3 John 1:11BGT) VAgaphte,( mh. mimou/ to. kako.n avlla. to. avgaqo,n o` avgaqopoiw/n evk tou/ qeou/ evstin\ o` kakopoiw/n ouvc e`w,raken to.n qeo,n
R. R. Williams, The Letters of John and James. The Cambridge Bible Commentary on the New English Bible. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1965), 13.
18

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20

Gaius was warned not to imitate evil (Diotrephes) but good (the elder and Demetrius) The soveriegnty of God was in place to have allowed Diotrephes to have come to the position of leadership

God teaches his children through all sorts of examples (either good or bad )

(3 John 1:12 NIV) Demetrius is well spoken of by everyone-- and even by the truth itself. We also speak well of him, and you know that our testimony is true. (3 John 1:12BGT) Dhmhtri,w| memartu,rhtai u`po. pa,ntwn kai. u`po. auvth/j th/j avlhqei,aj\ kai. h`mei/j de. marturou/men( kai. oi=daj o[ti h` marturi,a h`mw/n avlhqh,j evstin

The elder wrote a testimonia for Demetrius Demetrius was well spoken of by the truth, the elder and people19

Contextualization/Message Leadership entails responsibility and accountability One of the crises of leadership is the crisis of character The church in Africa is suffering from leadership turmoil as a result of bad example The potential leaders should imitate good leaders According to the sovereign plan of God, He allows both bad and good leaders to accomplish his good and perfect purpose

R.R. William interprets the truth as a metaphor for the orthodox Christian tradition guarded by the presbyter, and relates the two witnesses (everyone and the truth) to each other in corporate terms. Thus, according to Williams, Demetrius gets his testimonial from the whole active community of those animated by the truth; The Letters of John and James. The Cambridge Bible Commentary on the New English Bible, 72.

19

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21 BIBLIOGRAPHY Baltensweiler, H. The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology. C. Brown ed. vol. 3. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1978. Brooke, A. E. A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Johannine Epistles. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark Ltd., 1912. Bultmann, Rudolf. The Johannine Epistles. A Commentary on the Johannine Epistles. ed. R. W. Funk. TR R. P. OHara, L. C. McGaughy and R. W. Funk. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1973. Dodd. C. H. The Johannine Epistles. Moffat New Testament Commentary. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1946. Funk, R. W. Journal of Biblical Literature 86 (1967): 429. Guthrie, Donald. New Testament Introduction. 3 vols. 2nd ed. London: Tyndale Press,1966. Hiebert, D. Edmond An Introduction to the New Testament: The Non-Pauline Epistles and Revelation vol 3. Chicago: Moody Press, 1977. Marshall, I. H. The Epistles of John. NICNT. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co./London: Marshall, Morgan & Scott, 1978. McCain, Danny. Notes on New Testament Introduction. Bukuru, Nigeria: ACTS Publication, 2002. OBrien, P. T. Introductory Thanksgivings in the Letters of Paul. Leiden: Brill, 1977. Smalley, Stephen S. 1, 2, 3 John. Word Biblical Commentary Series. (Waco: Word Books, 1984), xxiv. Smalley, Stephen S. Word Biblical Commentary :1,2,3 John. Word Biblical Commentary vol. 51. Dallas: Word Incorporated, 2002. Stott, J. R. W. The Epistles of John. An Introduction and Commentary. Tyndale New Testament Commentaries. Leicester: Inter-Varsity Press/Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1964. Walvoord, John F. Roy B. Zuck ed., The Bible Knowledge Commentary. Illinois: Victor Books, 1984. Westcott, B. F. The Epistles of St. John: The Greek Text with Notes (4th ed.; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans 1966 [1883]. Williams, R. R. The Letters of John and James. The Cambridge Bible Commentary on the New English Bible. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1965.

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