The Fool by Dave Miller, Ph.D.



The Fool

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

Perhaps many Americans are unaware of the extent to which atheism and agnosticism have blanketed the country. Virtually every department in our state universities has been infiltrated by godless, humanistic presuppositions. Study and research are conducted from an evolutionary, relativistic framework that either jettisons the notion of God altogether, or dilutes it sufficiently to effectively nullify the biblical representation of deity. The psalmist anticipated all such behavior centuries ago when he wrote: “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God’ ” (Psalm 14:1; 53:1).

Because of their inability to discern spiritual things (1 Corinthians 2:14), the Soviet cosmonauts looked out of their spacecraft in the 1960s and, in ridicule, asked, “Where is God?,” echoing again the words of the psalmist: “Why should the nations say, ‘Where now is their God?’ But our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases” (Psalm 115:2-3). Pride is a deadly pitfall that blinds one to the truth: “The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God; all his thoughts are, ‘There is no God’ ” (Psalm 10:4).

But the Universe “declares” the plain work of the Creator (Psalm 19:1). Would we not consider a person a “fool” were he to pick up a watch and proclaim, “There is no watchmaker”? Though he had never empirically encountered the creator and designer of the watch, the mere existence of the watch proves the existence of a watchmaker. It takes very little investigation to see that a watch is a crude, simplistic instrument compared to the glorious, complex chronometers of the Universe. Those who see “the things that are made” and deny the very One Who made it all are “without excuse” (Romans 1:20).

Recognition of the existence of the Creator should lead a person to pursue His will. One may express verbal belief in the existence of God while being a practical atheist. Such a person professes, “There is no God” by his or her actions. By failing to be devoted to God, even while considering oneself to be a Christian, he or she is denying the Lord (1 Timothy 5:8; 2 Timothy 3:5; Titus 1:16). One can deny His great act of love, mercy, and grace (Titus 2:11-12; Hebrews 2:3). One can forget and ignore the great dissolution to come (2 Peter 3:10-12).

Who desires to be a fool? Who really wants to live a foolish existence? The wise, insightful, noble person is the one who examines the evidence and draws the warranted conclusion (Acts 17:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:21). Only a fool would affirm: “There is no God.”

Is God the Cause of Evil in the World? by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Is God the Cause of Evil in the World?

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

Based upon the rendering of Isaiah 45:7 in the KJV, ASV, and other translations,1 skeptics have maintained that God is the author of evil. The verse reads: “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.” But is God the cause of evil in the world?

In order to answer that question, one must first define terms and, more specifically, ascertain the meaning behind the original word from which an English translation is taken. After all, the current state of English is such that we use the word “evil” to refer to spiritual, moral evil, i.e., sin or wickedness. But is that the meaning of the Hebrew word that lies behind the word “evil” in this verse?

As a matter of fact, the Hebrew word translated “evil” (rah) has various shades of meaning. It often has the meaning of distress, misery, injury, calamity, and adversity.2 For example, consider its use in Amos 6:3—“Woe to you who put far off the day of doom” (NKJV). The NASB has “the day of calamity.” Jeremiah 42:6 reads in the ESV: “Whether it is good or bad, we will obey the voice of the Lord our God.” The NKJV has: “Whether it is pleasing or displeasing, we will obey the voice of the LORD our God.” Isaiah 31:2 renders the word “disaster” in the NKJV: “Yet He also is wise and will bring disaster.” In Micah 1:12 “good” is contrasted with “disaster.”

Ahab complained to Jehoshaphat that the prophet Micaiah never prophesied “good” concerning him, but only “evil” (1 Kings 22:8,18). He was referring to the misfortune that came upon himself.3 In the great admonition that Moses issued to the younger generation near the end of his life, he urged: “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil” (NKJV). The NASB rightly renders the verse: “See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity” (Deuteronomy 30:15). “Good” and “evil” here refer, not to sin or moral evil, but to “prosperity” vs. “adversity.” The previous generation grumbled against Moses in the desert: “And why have you made us come up out of Egypt, to bring us to this evil place?” (Numbers 20:5). They did not mean that the desert was immoral or sinful. They meant it was a “wretched place” (NASB/NRSV), a “terrible place” (CJB/ISV/NIV), a “horrible place” (EHV).

The NKJV renders Job 31:29 as: “If I have rejoiced at the destruction of him who hated me, or lifted myself up when evil found him.” A clearer rendering is: “If I have rejoiced at my enemy’s misfortune or gloated over the trouble that came to him” (NIV). What did Jacob mean when he explained to Pharaoh “few and evil have the days of the years of my life been” (Genesis 47:9)? He used the word to mean “poor, not beneficial.”4 The CJB renders it: “they have been few and difficult.” The NCV has: “short and filled with trouble.” Many additional verses manifest similar meanings for rah that have nothing to do with sin, moral evil, or wickedness.

One final observation regarding Isaiah 45:7. Based on the way Hebrew parallelism functions, the verse itself offers assistance in defining its use of the word “evil.” It is placed in antithesis to the word “peace.” The opposite of “peace” is not moral evil or wickedness—but physical disturbance, trouble, and adversity. The same is true in verse 11:

Therefore evil shall come upon you;
You shall not know from where it arises.
And trouble shall fall upon you;
You will not be able to put it off.
And desolation shall come upon you suddenly,
Which you shall not know.”

Hebrew parallelism in this verse demonstrates that “evil” = “trouble” = “desolation.”

Returning to verse 7, the NKJV reflects the parallelism nicely:

“I form the light and create darkness,
I make peace and create calamity;
I, the LORD, do all these things.”

God is not the author of evil. Intrinsic evil, by definition, refers to violations of God’s will, i.e., sin (1 John 3:4). Sin is committed when human beings5 exercise their free will and choose to transgress God’s laws, thus committing evil. Humans are the source of evil in the world—not God.6


1 In addition to the KJV and ASV, these translations also render the Hebrew term “evil”: BRG, DARBY, DRA, GNV, JUB, LEB, WYC, and YLT.

2 Francis Brown, S.R. Driver, and Charles A. Briggs (1906), The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2000 reprint), p. 948.

3 L. Koehler, W. Baumgartner, M.E.J. Richardson, & J.J. Stamm (1994-2000), The Hebrew and Aramaic lexicon of the Old Testament (Leiden: E.J. Brill, electronic ed.), p. 1252.

4 Ibid., p. 1250.

5 Satan and other angelic beings also chose to violate God’s will (e.g., John 8:44).

6 God’s allowance of suffering to exist in the world is likewise not evil. See Dave Miller (2015), Why People Suffer (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press); Dave Miller and Kyle Butt (2009), “The Problem of Human Suffering,” Apologetics Press, https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=890&topic=330.


3 Things We Can Learn From Atheists by Eric Lyons, M.Min.



3 Things We Can Learn From Atheists

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

God’s people have always been in the learning business. While “fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7), “the heart of the prudent acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge” (Proverbs 18:15). Christians are primarily interested in learning from God, His Word (Psalm 119), and from those who imitate Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1). However, we can also learn some valuable lessons from unbelievers,1 including those who contend an all-powerful, all-knowing Creator God does not exist.

#1—Atheists Rightly Point Out How Unloving and Cowardly Christians Are Who Do Not Evangelize

Penn Jillette is a famous comedian, actor, and entertainer, as well as a very outspoken atheist. In 2010, he made a five-minute personal video about a kind gentleman who handed him a Bible after one of his shows. Jillette said: “I believe he knew that I was an atheist. But he was not defensive and he looked me right in the eyes…. He was really kind, and nice, and sane…and talked to me and then gave me this Bible.”2

Although many (perhaps most) atheists do not want to be approached with the Gospel, Jillette went on to say:

I don’t respect people who don’t proselytize. I don’t respect that at all. If you believe that there is a Heaven and a Hell, and people could be going to Hell or not getting eternal life or whatever, and you think it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward…how much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize? How much do you have to hate somebody to believe that everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?3

The fact is, Jillette was simply using logic in drawing this conclusion: If Christians believe what they say they believe about eternal life and eternal death (Matthew 25:46), then they will teach the Gospel to others in a kind, loving, Christ-like manner.4

#2—Atheists Correctly Call Out the Hypocrisy of Pretend Christianity, But They Illogically Conclude That Pretend Christianity Justifies a Rejection of the Real Thing

One atheist was reported to have said a few years ago: “We hear an awful lot from conservatives in the Bible Belt and on the TV about how we all should be living. Certainly a culture that teaches the conservative religious values of the Christian right must have clean living written all over it. And lots of ripe fruit from their morally superior lives abounding. It doesn’t. Far from it. People that talk the loudest may be the ones walking the slowest. Joining its history of Biblically correct bigotry and discrimination, it is an area with the highest divorce, murder, STD/HIV/AIDS, teen pregnancy,” etc.5 The fact is, many people who call themselves Christians do not walk in the light of the Lord, but sadly stroll in the devil’s darkness.

Consider one example. In 2014, 86% of Alabamians claimed to be Christians.6 In Montgomery, the state’s capital city of about 200,000 people,7 the proverbial phrase “you’ll find a church on every corner” rightly portrays this city of over 250 churches.8 Sadly, in 2015, this “Christian city” was statistically crowned “the most sexually diseased city in the nation.”9

Indeed, atheists should call out such blatant hypocrisy on the part of many “Christians.” In fact, they are doing what Christian parents, preachers, and Bible teachers should be doing continually—warning those who claim to be Christians not to live in sin, including any kind of sexual sin.10 No doubt, hypocrisy runs wild in “Christian America” today11 in part because (a) so many churches seem more interested in social gatherings and entertainment than preaching on sin and salvation,12 and (b) most churches appear too politically correct to address specific sinful situations in their midst, which only exacerbates the problems in churches across the country (cf. 1 Corinthians 5:1-13).

Still, for all the disheartening hypocrisy among the religious today, just as a counterfeit $100 bill does not prove that genuine $100 bills do not exist, counterfeit Christianity is not a logical reason to reject authentic Christianity. Neither Cain’s unacceptable religious sacrifice nor his murder of Abel made true worship and service to God illogical. What’s more, neither Judas’s thievery nor his betrayal of Jesus made the religion of Jesus invalid. God condemns hypocrisy (Matthew 5:20), but He gives everyone sufficient evidence to know the Truth and obey it (John 8:32)—to follow the evidence where it leads and to become real, genuine Christians, like Peter and Paul, Philip and Phoebe, and Aquila and Priscilla.

#3—Atheists Correctly Point Out the Illogical, Blind Faith of Many “Christians,” But They Fail to Acknowledge that Atheism (Not Christianity) is Based Upon “Blind Faith”

In his book The End of Faith, atheist Sam Harris addressed beliefs and the importance of evidence and reason. He was especially critical of Christians, saying:

Tell a devout Christian that his wife is cheating on him, or that frozen yogurt can make a man invisible, and he is likely to require as much evidence as anyone else, and to be persuaded only to the extent that you give it. Tell him that the book he keeps by his bed was written by an invisible deity who will punish him with fire for eternity if he fails to accept its every incredible claim about the universe, and he seems to require no evidence whatsoever.13

Sadly, Harris’s words seem to accurately describe many (perhaps most) who profess to be Christians. Rather than being real truth seekers and evidence followers, many are “Christians” because of mere feelings, emotions, preferences, and traditions. Atheists rightly call out such illogical, evidence-less faith. “That’s how I was raised,” or “I just feel it in my heart” are not real reasons to be a Christian (or anything else for that matter). To claim to be a Christian for irrational, mere feel-good reasons is unreasonable, unbiblical, and unChristlike. The fact is, God has always expected man to be reasonable, just as the prophets, the apostles, and Jesus were reasonable (1 Samuel 12:7; John 5:31-47; 10:37-38; Acts 26:22-25; 2 Peter 1:16). [For proof that reason and divine revelation go hand-in-hand, be sure to read Is Christianity Logical? available from Apologetics Press.14]

While atheists correctly point out the illogical, blind faith of many Christians, the truth is, the evidence actually disproves atheism and supports genuine Christianity.15 If, as the First Law of Thermodynamics indicates, in nature, matter and energy are neither created nor destroyed, then a Universe could not create itself from nothing.16 Thus, if naturalistic atheism is true (and at one time absolutely nothing existed),17 then there should be absolutely nothing today. Yet, here we are—an entire Universe, which is perhaps the greatest evidence for the existence of God. Indeed, matter demands a Maker. The existence of intricate, self-replicating life demands an original life Giver.18 Complex, functional design in nature demands a Designer, not an accidental explosion of a tiny ball of matter.19 Intelligence in the material realm demands an intelligent Creator (i.e., intelligence does not arise from dust, dirt, rocks, water, or mud, much less from “nothing”). The Bible’s supernatural attributes demand a supernatural Author.20 And the historical, miracle-working, resurrected-from-the-dead Jesus Christ demands a supernatural explanation.21


It can be helpful for atheists to point out any flaws in those who claim to be Christians. The truthful, logical criticisms of others combined with humble hearts can lead to necessary repentance and renewed dedication to our Creator, Savior, and Judge (Luke 13:3,5; Acts 2:38; 17:30-31). Let’s just be sure not to “throw the baby out with the bathwater.” While faithful Christians are still imperfect (1 John 1:5-10; 5:13), and while phony, hypocritical Christians have always been with us, such flaws are in no way a logical argument against the Flawless One (1 Peter 2:21-24), His Word, and the need to be faithful members of His Church.22 In fact, the evidence will lead any honest, good-hearted, seeking soul to this conclusion (Proverbs 8:17; Luke 8:4-15).


1 Recall how Jesus told the parable of the unjust steward in hopes of His hearers learning an important lesson (Luke 16:1-8)—seemingly that if an unrighteous man is willing to take drastic measures to prepare for his physical future, how much more should the righteous be willing to do in preparation for eternity?

2 Penn Jillette (2010), “A Gift of a Bible,” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6md638smQd8.

3 Ibid.

4 After all, Jesus’ main purpose was “to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15). Jesus sent His apostles out with this same commission (Mark 16:15-16), and the early Church “went everywhere preaching the word” (Acts 8:4). Evangelizing is simply the natural response to having Christ-like, agape love for mankind.

5 James Veverka as quoted in B.A. Robinson (2000), “U.S. Divorce Rates for Various Faith Groups, Age Groups, & Geographic Areas,” http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_dira.htm.

6 Kay Campbell (2015), “How Alabama’s ‘Religious Landscape’ Has Changed since 2007,” https://www.al.com/living/2015/05/us_religious_landscape.html.

7 “Montgomery, AL Population” (2021), World Population Review, https://worldpopulationreview.com/us-cities/montgomery-al-population.

8 According to www.churchfinder.com/churches/al/montgomery.

9 Kym Klass (2015), “Montgomery Rated Most Sexually Diseased City in Nation,” July 27, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2015/07/27/montgomery-rated-sexually-diseased-city-nation/30722091/.

10 Consider the many warnings that Paul made to various first-century churches about sin, including repeated admonitions about refraining from all manner of sexual immorality: Romans 1:24-32; 1 Corinthians 5:1-7:9; Galatians 5:19-21; Ephesians 5:1-14; Colossians 3:1-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8.

11 The leading cause surely being the breakdown of the home, even among so many who claim to be Christians.

12 This is not a criticism of Christian fellowship and social gatherings, which are extremely important to the life of the Church. However, the preaching of the saving-from-sin Gospel of Christ (in all its power—Romans 1:16) must not take a back seat to anything in the life of God’s people.

13 Sam Harris (2005), The End of Faith (New York: W.W. Norton), p. 19.

14 https://store.apologeticspress.org/products/is-christianity-logical?_pos=1&_sid=a38615988&_ss=r.

15 For a brief, 100-page survey of evidences for God, the Bible, Jesus, and true belief in Jesus, see Eric Lyons and Kyle Butt (2017), Reasons to Believe (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press), https://store.apologeticspress.org/collections/books/products/apbkkbel0003

16 For more information, see Jeff Miller (2013), Science vs. Evolution (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press), pp. 19-39, https://store.apologeticspress.org/collections/books/products/apbkjm001.

17 Atheistic cosmologist Stephen Hawking stated on national television in 2011, “Nothing caused the Big Bang” [“Curiosity: Did God Create the Universe?” (2011), Discovery Channel, August 7, emp. added].

18 See Jeff Miller, pp. 61-110.

19 See Dave Miller, ed. (2017), Does God Exist? (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press), pp. 62-126, https://store.apologeticspress.org/collections/books/products/apbkdm007

20 See Kyle Butt (2007), Behold! The Word of God (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press), https://store.apologeticspress.org/collections/books/products/apbkkb0004. 

21 See Kyle Butt and Eric Lyons (2006), Behold! The Lamb of God (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press), https://store.apologeticspress.org/collections/books/products/apbkkbel03

22 See Dave Miller (2007), What the Bible Says About the Church of Christ (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press), https://store.apologeticspress.org/collections/books/products/apbkdm0018.

"THE GOSPEL OF JOHN" Two Kinds Of Food (6:27) by Mark Copeland



Two Kinds Of Food (6:27)


1. Among the miracles of Jesus that attracted great attention was the
   feeding of 5000 with five loaves of bread and two fish - Jn 6:1-13
   a. Many came to believe in Him as the Prophet to come - Jn 6:14; cf.Deut 18:15
   b. Some wanted to take Him by force and make Him king - Jn 6:15
   c. People sought to follow Him - Jn 6:22,24-25

2. Jesus, who knew the hearts of men (Jn 2:25), perceived their selfish motives...
   a. They were interested only in the food, not what the miracle indicated - Jn 6:26
   b. Prompting Jesus to warn them about the food for which they labor- Jn 6:27

[The words of Jesus in our text (Jn 6:27) reveal there are "Two Kinds Of
Food", one that perishes and another that endures.  As we seek to apply
Jesus' admonition to our own lives, let's consider...]


      1. Literally, it is the food we eat
         a. It quickly perishes, even with the benefit of preservatives
         b. It fails to satisfy for long, soon we are hungry and thirsty again - cf. Jn 4:13
      2. Figuratively, there are other "foods" which soon perish
         a. The food of human wisdom
         b. The food of folly
         c. The food of mirth and pleasure
         d. The food of great wealth and industrious labor
         -- Which Solomon found to provide no lasting fulfillment - cf.
            Ec 1:17; 2:1-2,3-11

      1. This does not mean we are to make no effort to supply our needs
         a. A Christian is to provide for his family - 1Ti 5:8
         b. If a man does not work, neither should he eat - 2Th 3:10-12
      2. But that we not do so to the neglect of food which endures
         a. The "food" which perishes should not be our priority in life- cf. Mt 6:33
         b. A lesson that Martha needed to learn - Lk 10:38-42

[Sadly, many people expend much time, energy, and money for "food" which
soon perishes.  Jesus would have people direct their life's efforts toward...]


      1. In other texts, it is the Word of God
         a. By which man truly lives - cf. Mt 4:4
         b. Which Job treasured more than necessary food - Job 23:12
         c. Which David valued more than gold and fine food - Ps 19:10;
         d. Which Jeremiah found to be the rejoicing of his heart - Jer 15:16
         e. Which causes rebirth, and endures forever - 1Pe 1:22-25
      2. In our text, it is Jesus, the Word of God
         a. Jesus, the Logos (Word) of God - Jn 1:1,14,18
         b. He is the true bread from the Father in heaven - Jn 6:31-35
         c. He is the bread of life who offers everlasting life  - Jn 6:47-51

      1. Jesus must be the primary focus of our labors, in which we strive:
         a. To believe in Him, for therein is everlasting life - Jn 6:28-29,40
         b. To follow Him, for He has the words of eternal life - Jn 6:66-69
         c. To know Him, for that is eternal life - Jn 17:1-3
         d. To obey Him, for to those who obey He is the author of eternal life - He 5:9
      2. Are we laboring for the food which endures to everlasting life?
         a. Let Paul's attitude be our example - Php 3:7-15
            1) Seeking to know the Lord more and more
            2) Never content with our current understanding, always pressing further
         b. Let Peter's exhortation to diligence in growing in the
            knowledge of Jesus Christ set the standard - 2Pe 1:5-8; 3:18
            1) Seeking to become like the Lord more and more
            2) Always abounding, always growing in grace and knowledge


1. Dear friends and brethren, for what "food" do you labor...?
   a. Is your focus in life on that which is temporary?
   b. Do you strive for that which cannot truly satisfy?
   -- If so, consider what Isaiah wrote 700 years before Christ came Isa 55:1-4

2. Jesus is the true bread of life, the living water, who truly satisfies...
   a. He alone provides the hope of eternal life - Jn 6:40
   b. He alone offers the abundant life even now - Jn 10:11

Though written by Isaiah, these words may serve as the invitation Jesus
offers to all...

   "Why do you spend money for [what is] not bread, And your wages
   for [what] does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat
   [what is] good, And let your soul delight itself in abundance.
   Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live;
   And I will make an everlasting covenant with you - The sure mercies
   of David." (Isa 55:2-3)             
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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Why is Evil Rampant in our Country? by Ken Weliever, The Preacherman



Why is Evil Rampant in our Country?

Following the horrific mass murders in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, politicians and pundits are asking the same questions, promoting familiar explanations, and making urgent demands that we’ve all heard before.

“One question no one is asking,” raised columnist Cal Thomas is “Why is evil rampant in our country?”

Thomas further explained, “I don’t mean obvious evil like the all too frequent mass murders. There are other evils, which seem to have come from the ‘pit’ and are roaming among us uncontrolled.”

“We seem to tolerate everything these days and oppose controlling what once was called evil behavior,” he observed. “Bad behavior is now considered good and good behavior is thought to be bad. Those who practice good behavior are often labeled with words that end in “-phobe.” Societal norms have been undermined. Normal is what individuals think is true for them.”

Thomas’ conclusion, in the words of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, is that “Men have forgotten God.”

I’m reminded of Moses’ warning to the children of Israel as they stood on the brink of the promised land. “Beware, lest you forget the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage” (Deut 6:11). He knew the danger of them inheriting a land that they didn’t work for, enjoying prosperity, but forgetting it was God who blessed them and provided their material abundance.

In the United States, our money is inscribed, “In God We Trust.” Do we really? Our pledge of allegiance contains the words “One Nation Under God?” Are we? Our actions and attitudes as a nation suggest a painfully negative answer.

During the Presidency of Abraham Lincoln, when our nation was torn apart by a Civil War, on March 30, 1863, he issued a Proclamation for a Day of Humiliation, Fasting, and Prayer. His words ought to serve as a wake-up call for us today.

“And, insomuch as we know that, by His divine law, nations, like individuals, are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world, may we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war, which now desolates the land, may be but a punishment, inflicted upon us, for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole People?”

“We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!”

“It behooves us then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.”

I don’t labor under any illusion that this little blog will be read by politicians who take it to heart. Nor, do I naively think that these warnings will have some dramatic impact on our culture.

However, maybe they will remind all of us who claim allegiance to Christ of who we are. Of what we are to be. Or why we’re here on earth. And of how our lives ought to be transformed by the Word, not conformed to the world around us.

In fact, before we become self-righteous in our finger-pointing of a world that has forgotten God, maybe it’s good to ask, “Have I forgotten God?”

In my quest for success, have I forgotten God?

In my pursuit of pleasure, have I forgotten God?

In my fervor for financial freedom, have I forgotten God?

In my accumulation of material possessions, have I forgotten God?

Does my treatment of other people signal that I have forgotten God?

Does the atmosphere and environment in my home indicate that I have forgotten God?

Even though I’m faithful in church attendance, is it possible that I’ve allowed traditions to replace Truth and have forgotten God?

And in my zeal to promote my political agenda and espouse my patriotic loyalty, could I have misplaced my spiritual priorities and forgotten God?

I can’t control what happens in the White House. The courthouse. Or the houses of Congress. But I can begin in my house. My life. My heart.

May I “set my hope in God, and forget not the works of God. But keep His commandments” (Ps 78:7).

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman





Can ignorance be claimed as an excuse for rejecting the words of Jesus?

Mark 16:16 "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. (NKJV)

Is it a valid excuse to claim ignorance when denying that immersion in water is essential in order to be saved?

Acts 17:30 "Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent,

Ephesians 4:18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardening of their heart;(NKJV)

Can men reject water baptism for the remission of sins and be excused because of their hard heart.

1 Timothy 1:13 although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.(NKJV)

The key here is "formerly" ignorant.  The apostle Paul never denied that water baptism was in order to receive forgiveness.

Galatians 1:6-9 ......9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received let him be accursed. (NKJV)

Can those who claim Jesus as savior and have read the New Testament Scriptures claim ignorance when they deny that water baptism is essential for forgiveness from sin?

Will the ignorance excuse work on Judgment Day?


John's Third Letter by Charles Hess



John's Third Letter
Copyright ©2000, Charles Hess, Ridgefield, Washington
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[ 11 ] [ 12 ] [ 13 ] [ 14 ]



Unlike the letters of 1 and 2 John, the third epistle of John does not mention false teachers. The "postcard" was written mainly to counter the influence of Diotrephes, a garrulous, unyielding would-be boss of the church where Gaius was a faithful member. John sets forth a method of dealing with someone who wants to be head man of a congregation. He also threatens to visit the congregation and put Diotrephes in his place. Some faithful disciples intended to visit the congregation of which Gaius was a member "for the sake of the Name," that is, on behalf of the cause of Christ. Since these traveling evangelists were reluctant to accept contributions from Gentiles, John encourages Christians to support them.

  1. Introduction: To The beloved Gaius (3Jo 1).
  2. Compliments to Gaius (3Jo 3-8).
  3. The opposition of Diotrephes (3Jo 9, 10).
  4. Encouragement to do good (3Jo 11).
  5. The good report of Demetrius (3Jo 12).
  6. Closing remarks; desire to speak with Gaius face to face (3Jo 13,14).

  1. Introduction: To the beloved Gaius (3Jo 1).
    a. Desire that he prosper (3Jo 2).
  2. Compliments to Gaius.
    a. Rejoicing that he walks in the truth (3Jo 3).
    b. Rejoicing that children walk in truth (3Jo 4).
    c. Praise for his hospitality to brethren and strangers (3Jo 5-8).
  3. The opposition of Diotrephes.
    a. John's previous letter not accepted by Diotrephes (3Jo 9).
    b. John's intent to personally call attention to his deeds, including wicked accusations, forbidding the receiving of missionaries and disfellowshipping those who would receive them (3Jo 10).
  4. Encouragement to do good.
    a. Imitate what is good (3Jo 11).
  5. The good report of Demetrius (3Jo 12).
  6. Closing remarks including a desire to speak more with Gaius face to face (3Jo 13, 14).


Like 2 John, this short letter was written by "the elder." Many words and phrases are similar to those in 1 and 2 John. There is no reason in the world to doubt they were written by the same man. Although his name does not appear, it is commonly accepted by those who believe in the inspiration of the NT that the apostle John is the writer.


I do not really know a precise date. It was written after the church was established on Pentecost and prior to John's death. It was also written after John's previous letter to the church where Diotrephes attended (3Jo 9).


This short letter is written to a fine Christian named Gaius, a faithful man whom John had converted who was noted for his hospitality. Gaius was a rather common name in NT times. The name is mentioned five times in the NT to describe possibly four different men (see chart Some Men Named Gaius). Some have combined the references and applied some of them to the Gaius to whom John wrote but to do this is speculative. There is a suggestion that Gaius of Corinth (1Co 1:14) whom Paul baptized might be the same man. He also was known for his hospitality (Ro 16:23).


Sometime after the church was established on Pentecost (Ac 2) and the death of the apostle John. The fact that the writer calls himself "the elder" suggests the letter was written after he had gotten old.


1:1 THE ELDER, To the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth.

THE ELDER.<808> Since John calls himself "the elder," we may assume he wrote this letter during his later life. It is possible he was an elder of a local congregation but if so, since each congregation had a plurality of elders, it is strange that he would call himself "the" elder. Some think as the last surviving apostle he was "the elder" apostle still living on earth.

  1. In the Demetrius riot at Ephesus, Gaius and Aristarchus were dragged into the theater (Ac 19:29).
  2. Gaius of Derbe travelled with Paul on part of his third missionary tour (Ac 20:4).
  3. Gaius sent greetings to the saints at Rome (Ro 16:23).
  4. Paul baptized Gaius who was host to him and the whole church at Corinth (1Co 1:14).

To the beloved Gaius [unto the well-beloved, to dear Gaius, unto Gaius the beloved].<809> I am uncertain as to the precise identity of this particular Gaius (see chart Some Men Named Gaius). He was a good friend and brother, well-loved by John and others.

Whom I love.<810> The love John had for Gaius was agape unselfish love. In addition to being "beloved" by the others mentioned above, John loved him. The emphatic position of the Greek pronoun suggests that some did not.

In truth [in the truth].<811> John's love for Gaius was sincere and it was the kind of love Christians are taught in Scripture to have toward each other. "Walking in truth" means living according to the revealed word of God (2Jo 4). John loved him in truth according to God's word.


1:2 Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.

Beloved [my dear Gaius].<812> The singular 'AGAPEETE beloved points to Gaius.

I pray.<813> Although the Greek EUCHOMAI may be translated "I desire" or "I wish," John undoubtedly prayed that Gaius would enjoy material blessings -- that he would prosper financially and be in good physical health. His soul already prospered.
That you may prosper in all things [in all respects, that all may go well with you].<814> The related term EUODOOTHEESOMAI I may succeed was used in Paul's prayer request regarding his trip to Rome (Ro 1:10). To the Corinthians, Paul commanded each to contribute as EUODOOTAI he may prosper (1Co 16:2). These are the only two other instances where this word is used in the NT. John desired that Gaius succeed and prosper both in physical and spiritual aspects.

May I say a word here about the "prosperity gospel" that is being preached by certain TV and radio evangelists. Being prosperous does not prove that one is righteous (see Ps 37:16, 35). Some of God's people have been destitute (see Heb 11:37, 38).

    GOD AND HEALTH (3Jo 2)
  1. If you diligently heed the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you (Ex 15:26).
  2. And the LORD will take away from you all sickness, and will afflict you with none of the terrible diseases of Egypt which you have known, but will lay them on all those who hate you (De 7:15).
  3. My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart; For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh (Pr 4:20-22).
  4. For I will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds (Jer 30:17).

And be in health [in good health, you may enjoy good health].<815> Because "just as your soul prospers" alludes to spiritual well-being, it is implied that "be in good health" refers to physical health (compare Lu 5:31; 7:10; 15:27). It does not necessarily follow that Gaius was ill.

    THE SOUL (3Jo 2)
  1. Used interchangeably with heart or mind.
    a. My soul magnifies the Lord (Lu 1:46).
    b. A sword will pierce through your own soul also (Lu 2:35).
    c. How long will You keep PSUCHEEN HEEMOON us (our souls) in doubt? (Joh 10:24).
    d. The Jews who disbelieved poisoned the PSUCHAS minds of the Gentiles (Ac 14:2).
  2. Used almost interchangeably with spirit.
    a. You will find rest for your PSUCHAIS souls (Mt 11:29; compare Jer 6:16).
    b. Now my PSUCHEE soul is troubled (Joh 12:27); He groaned in the PNEUMATI spirit and was troubled (Joh 11:33).
    c. For they have refreshed my PNEUMA spirit (1Co 16:18).

    (3Jo 2)
  1. Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness (2Co 9:10).
  2. But, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head -- Christ (Eph 4:15).
  3. And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you (1Th 3:12).
  4. Let us go on to perfection (Heb 6:1).
  5. As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby (1Pe 2:2).
  6. Adding the Christian graces (2Pe 1:5-7).
  7. Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2Pe 3:18).

Just as your soul [as I know with, even as your soul, thy soul].<816> Soul and spirit are sometimes used together (see Lu 1:46, 47). In this reference in Luke "soul" is equivalent to "heart" (see chart The Soul). "Soul" sometimes denotes an enduring part of the inner man (Heb 6:19; 10:39; 13:17; 1Pe 2:11; 4:19). It sometimes means "life" (see Lu 21:19 [compare Mt 10:39]; Joh 10:11, 15; 12:27; 15:13; 1Jo 3:16; Re 8:9; 12:11; 16:3). John has reference to Gaius' spiritual life.

Prospers [prospereth, it goes well].<817> The spiritual status of Gaius was one of righteousness. He was enriched by God's grace. He was walking in truth.


1:3 For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth.

For I rejoiced greatly [was very glad, was delighted].<818> Joy and gladness are prominent themes in the lives of Christians (see Ro 14:17; 15:13; 15:32; 1Co 16:17; 2Co 1:24; 2:3; 7:13; 8:2; Ga 5:22; Php 1:1, 4; 2:2; 4:1, 10; 1Th 1:6; 2:19, 20; 3:9; 2Ti 1:4; 3Jo 3:3).

When brethren came [the brethren, some of the brethren came].<819> The Greek present participle indicates that certain Christians from time to time came to visit the apostle John, who was most likely at Ephesus. They may or may not have been identical to those mentioned in verses 5-8.

And testified [bore witness, told me].<820>

Of the truth that is in you [to your truth, how true you have been].<821> Gaius was not only sincere. He believed the truth of the gospel and had great respect for it.

Just as you walk in the truth [how you are walking in truth, even as thou walkest in].<822> Even though brethren had come to John again and again, they always gave a good report about Gaius. Not only did Gaius believe the truth, he lived it. He "practiced" it (compare 1Jo 1:6). That is, he walked "according to the commandments" (see 2Jo 6).

    JOY (3Jo 4)
  1. And there was great joy in that city [Samaria] (Ac 8:8).
  2. The eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing (Ac 8:39).
  3. We rejoice in hope of the glory of God (Ro 5:2).
  4. I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation (2Co 7:4).
  5. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory (1Pe 1:8).


1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

I have no greater joy [nothing gives me greater joy, greater joy have I none than this].<823> The happiest Christians in the world are those whose children, both natural and spiritual, are faithful to Christ.

Than to hear that my children.<824> Apparently John had converted Gaius and counted him as a faithful child in Christ.

Walk in truth [walk in the truth, are living by the truth].<825> Gaius had not drifted into Docetism or Gnosticism. He had not lapsed into Judaism, immorality or idolatry. He was growing. Only when developing, is a Christian truly walking in the truth.


1:5, 6 Beloved, you do faithfully whatever you do for the brethren and for strangers, 6 who have borne witness of your love before the church. If you send them forward on their journey in a manner worthy of God, you will do well.

Beloved [my dear friend].<826> The singular "beloved" refers to Gaius as in verses 1, 2.

You do faithfully [you are acting faithfully, thou doest a faithful work, you show a fine loyalty].<827> Gaius had been acting faithfully toward the brethren, especially strangers (compare Mt 25:40). This reminds one of the hospitality of Gaius whom Paul called "my host and the host of the whole church" (Ro 16:23).

Whatever you do [in whatever you accomplish, whatsoever thou doest, in everything that you do].<828>

For the brethren [toward them that are, to the brethren].<829>Christians are expected to love and do good to one another (see Ga 6:10; 1Pe 1:22). Gaius was active in a positive way toward visiting brethren.

And for strangers [especially when they are strangers, and to, and strangers withal, strangers though they are to you].<830> Gaius showed hospitality to Christians, both to those who were known to him and to those who were not (compare Ro 16:23). Some of those he did not know were foreigners. It is pretty easy to love people we know well and with whom we have something in common. It is not so easy to love strangers or those of another race. These things did not matter to Gaius. He loved the faithful brethren regardless of who they were or where they were from.

Who have borne witness [and they bear witness, who bare witness].<831> Apparently the Christians who had been lodged by Gaius had traveled on to the congregation at Ephesus (or wherever John was). There they publicly declared Gaius' kindness toward them. They may have been the ones who delivered John's previous letter to that church (see 3Jo 9).

Of your love [to your love, thy love, of thy charity, your kindness].<832> The love Gaius had for God was exemplified in his kindness toward Christians who enjoyed his hospitality (see notes on 1Jo 4:20, 21).

Before the church [the congregation here].<833> The word "church" is used in two senses in the NT. It is first used by Christ when He promised to build His church (Mt 16:18). In that passage it carries the aggregate meaning and alludes to the church universal -- the body of Christ composed of all the saved. The word "church" is also used in the local sense of a congregation, either assembled or unassembled. For example, Paul wrote to "the church of God which is at Corinth" (1Co 1:2). Alluding to various congregations of the saints, Paul wrote, "All the churches of Christ greet you" (Ro 16:16). It is in the latter sense that John uses the word in the present context. In modern usage, there is a third meaning. Referring to a denomination, the word "church" is supposed to designate a body larger than a local church but smaller than the universal body of Christ. This usage appears nowhere in the NT. Denominationalism is thus never mentioned as an acceptable option. It is a concept not endorsed by inspiration.

If you send them forward on their journey [to send them on their way, help them on their journey].<834> It was the practice of brethren in the first century to "send" people on their way. That is, they supplied provisions for the journey. Often certain members of the church would travel part of the way with them. Especially was the practice conscientiously performed for preachers, teachers and other religious workers as they carried the gospel to various localities (see notes on Ac 15:3; Ro 15:24; 2Co 1:16; Tit 3:13). Probably due to the vehement opposition of Diotrephes, Gaius was encouraged to act as an individual and send the brethren on their way. He did not have to wait for elder approval nor for the okay of Diotrephes (see verse 10).

In a manner worthy of God [of the God we serve, worthily of God].<835> Service to God is a serious undertaking. In serving Him, one should always put his best foot forward. A manner worthy of God requires one's best. Gospel preachers stepped out on faith. This does not mean that they left home without any money but that they declined to receive financial aid from the Gentiles to whom they preached. Christians should "have a walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God" (Col 1:10), they should "have a walk worthy of the God who calls" them (1Th 2:12).

You will do well [whom thou wilt, shalt do well, please].<836> The Greek pronoun is singular, indicating that Gaius was encouraged to continue to extend kindness to the Christians and strangers.


1:7 Because they went forth for His name's sake, taking nothing from the Gentiles.

    (3Jo 7, 8)
  1. They went forth for His name's sake.
  2. They took nothing from the Gentiles.
  3. We ought [are bound] to support such men.
  4. To be fellow-workers for the truth.

Because they went forth [for they went out].<837> Early Christians had learned from the apostles that it was their duty and privilege to teach all nations. They did this by preaching the gospel to all creation (see Mt 28:19; Mk 16:15; Col 1:23). They certainly were not preaching for money.

    (3Jo 7)
  1. They suffered for His name's sake (Mt 5:11; Ac 9:16).
  2. They were hated because of it (Mt 10:22).
  3. They gave their lives, sometimes in the literal sense (Mt 10:39; 2Co 4:11; compare 12:10; Php 1:29).
  4. They were willing to forsake property and those near and dear to them in order to serve Him (Mt 19:29; Heb 10:34).

For His name's sake [for the sake of the Name, because of the Name].<838> To first century Christians, wearing the name of Christ meant having an abiding trust in Him together with a willingness to obey Him. Yet there is an additional meaning. They enjoyed an identity with their Lord and shared His compassion for the lost (see charts Wearing The Name Of Christ; For The Sake Of The Name). Their entire lives were motivated by an intense conviction. Dedication to the Name prompted Paul to write, "We are fools for Christ's sake" (1Co 4:10).

    (3Jo 7)
  1. But all these things they will do to you for My name's sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me (Joh 15:21).
  2. So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name (Ac 5:41).
  3. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name (Php 2:9).
  4. Do they not blaspheme that noble name by which you are called? (Jas 2:7).
  5. Because they went forth for His name's sake, taking nothing from the Gentiles (3Jo 7).

Taking nothing from [accepting nothing from, and they would accept nothing from].<839> Paul set the example in not taking money from various Gentile churches (see notes on 1Co 9:15, 18; 2Co 12:13). Following his lead, many traveling teachers refused to accept contributions from their hearers. Their desire was the salvation of souls, not their own enrichment.

The Gentiles [pagans].<840> All non-Jewish people were classified by them as Gentiles or pagans. Although Paul preached to Gentiles for nothing, he pointed out that they owed a debt of gratitude to Jewish Christians for their knowledge of Christ. This aroused in them a desire to make a large contribution for the relief of poor saints in Jerusalem (see Ro 15:27).


1:8 We therefore ought to receive such, that we may become fellow workers for the truth.

We therefore.<841> "Therefore" points up a reason to send traveling missionaries on their way or support them. The reason they needed support is because they had preached the gospel to the Gentiles for nothing.

Ought [are bound].<842> The word "ought" is a word of obligation. The reasons are (1) because Scripture so ordains and (2) compassion constrains one to do so. John used a related word in his first letter. "He who says he abides in Him OPHEILEI ought himself also to walk just as He walked" (1Jo 2:6). Christians everywhere were indebted to those who brought the gospel to them without cost. They ought to do something in return.

To receive such [welcome such, support such men].<843> It is only right to support men and women who teach the gospel without charge. "Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches" (Ga 6:6).


That we may become fellow workers for the truth [that we may be fellow-workers with the truth, might be fellow-helpers to the truth, and so play our part in spreading the truth].<844> There is something good to be said for cooperation. It is effective in prayer (see Mt 18:19), in traveling together to preach the gospel (Ac 13:2; 15:40), in "striving together for the faith of the gospel" (Php 1:27) and in financially supporting the spreading of the word by others (see Php 4:16, 17).


1:9 I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, does not receive us.

I wrote to the church [wrote, have written something to the church, to the congregation].<845> The Greek aorist tense probably refers to a letter John wrote in the past.<846> Some have suggested that because he wrote TI somewhat or something to the church that he had a light regard for what he had written. The language does not warrant such a conclusion. Besides, it is not advisable to make a major point on a textual variation unless the text can be established. Some manuscripts omit TI something entirely.

What did John write to the church? Has the letter been preserved? Possibly. Could it be 1 or 2 John? If one of these letters, it was written to the church, presumably to the congregation where Diotrephes was. If it was 2 John, "the chosen lady" must be taken figuratively to be the church (see note on 2Jo 1). Personally, I doubt that the letter was either 1 or 2 John. My reason is that it apparently had something to do with recommending that the traveling missionaries be received, a subject not mentioned in those letters.

    (3Jo 9,10)
  1. Loved to be first.
  2. Did not accept what apostles said.
  3. Unjustly accused them with wicked words.
  4. Did not receive the brethren.
  5. Forbade others to receive them.
  6. Put those who wanted to receive them out of the church.

    (3Jo 9)
  1. Handsome appearance.
  2. Good speaking ability.
  3. Successful in business.
  4. Secular education.
  5. Pleasing personality.

But Diotrephes.<847> It is generally thought that Diotrephes was a leader in the congregation where Gaius was a member. He craved the position of chief executive of the congregation. His overbearing and domineering attitude handicapped the work of the church.

Who loves to have the preeminence among them [who loves to be first among them].<848> In contrast to what Jesus taught about the greatest being the greatest servant, Diotrephes wanted to be head man (compare Lu 22:26). Divine wisdom is observed in the provision for a plurality of elders in each congregation. In spite of that, a haughty, domineering spirit of self-exaltation has been a detriment to some of the churches of Christ down through the ages.

    (3Jo 9)
  1. It is not good to eat much honey; So to seek one's own glory is not glory (Pr 25:27).
  2. A man's pride will bring him low, But the humble in spirit will retain honor (Pr 29:23).
  3. Whoever exalts himself will be abased (Mt 23:12).
  4. Give preference to one another in honor (Ro 12:10).
  5. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up (Jas 4:10; compare Job 22:29; 1Pe 5:5).


Does not receive us [does not accept what we say, will have nothing to do with us].<849> Proud Diotrephes challenged the very authority of the apostles. John has certainly changed since the days when Christ was on earth. He then desired a first position in the kingdom of Christ for himself.<850> Now he opposes Diotrephes who desires more authority than Christ had ever delegated to the apostles. Apostolic authority was "for edification and not for your destruction" (2Co 10:8). Diotrephes wanted power for his own personal grandeur.

Sometimes good men's imaginations get carried away. It is sad when they begin to read into the Scriptures what is not there. An example of this is the following comment by Plummer:<851> "Perhaps the meaning is that Diotrephes meant to make his Church independent; hitherto it had been governed by Saint John from Ephesus, but Diotrephes wished to make it autonomous to his own glorification." This comment contains a bit of fantasy. Plummer inserts into the first century a practice that did not come into vogue until later.<852> Even if we grant that the inspired apostles exercised some supervision over various NT churches, there is no Scripture forbidding congregational autonomy. As a matter of fact, autonomy is authorized (compare Ac 14:23; 20:28; Heb 13:7, 17; 1Pe 5:1). Nor is there documentation that John was governing churches in absentia except through his inspired letters. Such unwarranted conclusions as the above have given support to the unscriptural Roman hierarchy. Similar thoughts are also used to justify the detrimental denominational "one-man pastor system" with national governing boards and all the trimmings (compare Mt 23:12; Php 2:3-8).


1:10 Therefore, if I come, I will call to mind his deeds which he does, prating against us with malicious words. And not content with that, he himself does not receive the brethren, and forbids those who wish to, putting them out of the church..

Therefore [for this reason].<853> Diotrephes was not about to accept the words of John from a letter. When he arrived in person it would be different!

If I come.<854> It was John's hope to see Gaius and speak to him "shortly" (verse 14).

I will call to mind [call attention, bring to remembrance, bring up].<855> When John came to a congregation, his work as an apostle required him to call attention to the sinful deeds of members of the church. Not only would he speak kindly to Gaius, he would renounce Diotrephes. This reminds one of Paul's warning before he visited Corinth. "If I come again, I will not spare" (2Co 13:2; compare 1Co 5:3-5). He added, "Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the authority which the Lord has given me for edification and not for destruction" (2Co 13:10).

Apparently Diotrephes had done his evil work in public and deserved a public rebuke (compare Ga 2:14; 1Th 5:20). It was not necessary to follow the steps for a private offense (see Mt 18:15-17).

His deeds which he does [his works, the things he is doing].<856> Diotrephes was not just a talker. He carried out his evil threats.

    (3Jo 10)
  1. So Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' assistant, one of his choice men, answered and said, "Moses my lord, forbid them!" Then Moses said to him, "Are you zealous for my sake? Oh that all the LORD'S people were prophets and that the LORD would put His Spirit upon them!" (Nu 11:28, 29).
  2. But when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying out in the temple and saying, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" they were indignant (Mt 21:15).
  3. Then they brought young children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them (Mk 10:13).
  4. They did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem (Lu 9:53).
  5. They all murmured, saying, "He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner" (Lu 19:7).

Prating against us [unjustly accusing us, he lays baseless charges against us].<857> John's opposition to Diotrephes was not merely a personality conflict. Fluent Diotrephes had kept on spouting off false and baseless charges against him and other apostles.

With malicious words [wicked, spiteful words].<858> Diotrephes' senseless accusations carried a malicious intent. His words were designed to do harm.

And not content with that [and not satisfied with this].<859> The evil-speaking Diotrephes not only slandered others, he took action against them. He agitated the faithful members. He kept them in turmoil by kicking out of the church some who were more dependable and devoted.


He himself does not receive [neither does he himself, he refuses].<860> A leader in the church has a responsibility to receive faithful brethren who visit. Diotrephes failed in this point.

The brethren.<861> Unlike Gaius who genuinely received and assisted missionaries who were loyal to the truth (see verses 5, 6), Diotrephes was inhospitable and disrespectful toward them. Leaders of churches need to avoid that kind of attitude. Not even one faithful Christian should ever be denied full and complete fellowship. Elderships who consistently give audience to faithful visiting missionaries are to be commended.

And forbids those [interferes with those].<862> Diotrephes had exalted himself to a high position in the church and was getting away with it. He was pushing his own agenda to the extent that he forbade others to exercise Christian hospitality. Some of them were refusing to receive visiting evangelists into their homes because of his tirades.

Who wish to [desire to do so].<863> Diotrephes opposed those who were inclined to receive the strangers. All the local members had to do to get on his black list was to express a desire to do what was right toward the loyal traveling preachers.

Putting them [and puts them out, and casteth them out, and tries to expel them].<864> Diotrephes had assumed authority in the church. He got his own way in the matter of fellowship. Surprisingly, he was able to convince the congregation to withdraw fellowship from good brethren. What was the charge? Nothing more than that some members showed hospitality to faithful Christians from other localities or even expressed a desire to do so!<865>

Out of the church [from the congregation].<866> The "church" in this verse is the local congregation (see note on verse 6).

    COPYING EVIL (3Jo 11)
  1. You shall not follow a crowd to do evil (Ex 23:2).
  2. When the LORD your God cuts off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess, and you displace them and dwell in their land, take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, 'How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.' (De 12:29, 30).
  3. Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, "No, but we will have a king over us, that we also may be like all the nations" (1Sa 8:19, 20).
  4. They followed idols, became idolaters, and went after the nations who were all around them, concerning whom the LORD had charged them that they should not do like them (2Ki 17:15).
  5. But do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do (Mt 23:3).

    (3Jo 11)
  1. Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly (Ps 1:1).
  2. Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk in the way of evil (Pr 4:14).
  3. Make no friendship with an angry man, and with a furious man do not go, lest you learn his ways and set a snare for your soul (Pr 22:24, 25).
  4. Do not be envious of evil men, nor desire to be with them (Pr 24:1).
  5. Not to keep company with immoral people (1Co 5:9).
  6. Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? (2Co 6:14).


1:11 Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God.

Beloved [my dear friend].<867> All the saved are "beloved<868> of God" (Ro 1:7). However, in the present verse, the singular "Beloved" refers to Gaius (see notes on verses 2, 5). "Beloved" was one of John's favorite designations for Christians (see 1Jo 2:7; 3:2, 21; 4:7, 11).

Do not imitate [imitate not, follow not].<869>

What is evil [that which is evil].<870> "Do not be deceived: 'Evil company corrupts good habits'" (1Co 15:33).

But what is good [but that which is good].<871> The apostle urges Gaius to follow the example of good people and imitate their good deeds.

He who does good [the one who does good, the well-doer].<872>

    (3Jo 11)
  1. Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ (1Co 11:1).
  2. To make ourselves an example of how you should follow us (2Th 3:9).
  3. Though dead, Abel still speaks through his faith (Heb 11:4).
  4. My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience (Jas 5:10).
  5. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps (1Pe 2:21).

Is of God [is a child of God].<873> Jesus went about doing good (Ac 10:38). A child of God imitates Him and does good also.

But he who does evil [the one who does evil, the evil-doer].<874>

Has not seen God [has never seen God].<875> By mentioning one who has not seen God, John characterizes an unsaved person. In this context, seeing God has reference to seeing Him in the example of Jesus Christ and thus knowing His will (see Joh 14:9, 10). A similar idea is expressed in 1 John 3:6. The concept is almost equivalent to salvation.

    (3Jo 12)
  1. From all.
  2. From the truth itself.
  3. We also bear witness.
  4. You know our testimony is true.


1:12 Demetrius has a good testimony from all, and from the truth itself. And we also bear witness, and you know that our testimony is true.

Demetrius has a good testimony [has received a good testimony, hath good report, the witness, gets a good testimonial].<876> All of a sudden, John mentions the name "Demetrius." Who was he? Some have speculated that possibly the Demetrius of Acts 19:24 became a Christian.<877> Although possible, there is no evidence to support the idea. If it was the same man, his evil past, like Paul's, was forgiven and not mentioned by the apostle.

From all [from everyone, of all men, from everybody].<878> It is doubtful that Demetrius was accepted by Diotrephes. "All" is used in a general sense.

And from the truth itself [and of the truth itself].<879>

And we also bear witness [yea, we also bear witness, and we also bear record, I add my testimony].<880>

And you know.<881>

That our testimony is true [our witness, my testimony].<882>


1:13, 14 I had many things to write, but I do not wish to write to you with pen and ink; 14 but I hope to see you shortly, and we shall speak face to face. Peace to you. Our friends greet you. Greet the friends by name.

I had many things [I have much].<883>

To write [to write to you].<884>

But I do not wish [but I am not willing, unwilling, but I will not, but I do not care].<885> It was not John's desire to communicate everything that was on his heart in this letter. Does the fact that he chose not to write everything bother you? It should not (compare 1Co 14:32).

To write to you [to write them to you].<886> Whether John or another inspired man wrote, God has preserved for us the unabridged revelation of NT truth.

With pen.<887> (See note from Edersheim on ancient writing materials at 2 John 12.)

And ink.<888>

But I hope [am hoping].<889> John planned to visit the congregation where Diotrephes and Gaius worshipped.

To see you shortly [very soon].<890> John's desire was to have a pleasant conversation with Gaius. I am sure he did not look forward to a standoff with Diotrephes.

And we shall speak [will talk].<891> It is good for faithful brethren to get together and just talk.

Face to face.<892> The translation "face to face" is the English equivalent of the Greek idiom "mouth to mouth." The same applies to 2 John 12. In 1 Corinthians 13:12, however, "face to face" is a literal translation of PROSOPON PROS PROSOPON.

Peace to you [be with you].<893> In my Greek texts and the RSV, this phrase begins verse 15 instead of being a part of verse 14. The NIV makes a paragraph division but most other versions follow the KJ with these and all remaining words in verse 14, which verse ends the letter.

Our friends greet you [the friends greet you, salute you, send their greetings].<894> I am not certain if the friends were friends of Gaius or Paul, possibly both.

Greet the friends by name [salute the friends by name, greet our friends individually.<895> John asks Gaius to give personal greetings to "the friends." "By name" is reminiscent of the Good Shepherd who calls His sheep by name (Joh 10:3, 14, 27).


<808> HO PRESBUTEROS, the elder (Marshall 949); originally of seniority in age. So Luke 15:25. Afterward as a term of rank or office. Applied to members of the Sanhedrin [Mt 16:21; Ac 6:12]. Those who presided over the Christian assemblies or churches [Ac 11:30; 1Ti 5:17, 19]). The twenty-four members of the heavenly court in John's vision [Re 4:4, 10; 5:5, 6, 8, 11, 14]. Here with reference to official position, coupled, presumably with age (Vincent 2.391); an adjective, the comparative degree of PRESBUS, an old man, an elder (Vine 350); see note on 2 John 1.
<809> GAIOO TOO AGAPEETOO, to Gaius the beloved (Marshall 949); the person addressed here cannot be identified (Vincent 2.399); GAIOO is sometimes anglicized "Caius" (Thayer 108).
<810> HON EGOO AGAPO, whom I love (Marshall 949); AGAPOO is first person singular, present active indicative of AGAPAO (Han 434); the beloved. In the Greek order the name comes first. Gaius the beloved; a reasoning, discriminating attachment, founded in the conviction that its object is worthy of esteem, or entitled to it on account of benefits bestowed (Vincent 2.135, 399); the I is emphatic, as if implying that there were some who were hostile to Gaius (Harrison 1483).
<811> EN ALEETHEIA, in truth (Marshall 949); properly omitting the article, in truth. The expression in truth marks the atmosphere or element of truth in which something is said, or felt, or done. . . . equivalent to truly, really (Vincent 2.392, 399); subjectively, truthfulness, truth, not merely verbal, but sincerity and integrity of character (Vine 1171).
<812> 'AGAPEETE, beloved (Marshall 949); compare the plural ['AGAPEETOI] in 1 John 3:2, 21; 4:1, 7, 11 (Vincent 2.399).
<813> PERI PANTOON EUCHOMAI, concerning all things I pray (Marshall 949); EUCHOMAI is first person singular, present middle indicative of EUCHOMAI (Han 434); the preposition [PERI] means concerning. EUCHOMAI I pray or wish (Vincent 2.399); wish; even when the ASV and KJ translate by "I would," or "wished for" or "could wish," the indication is that prayer is involved (Vine 871, 1234); in all things (Harrison 1483). The NKJ corrects the KJ "above all things" with "in all things."
<814> SE EUODOUSTHAI, thee to prosper = that thou mayest prosper (Marshall 949); EUODOUSTHAI is the present passive infinitive of EUODOO (Han 434); literally, have a prosperous journey [from EU well, and HODOS a way] (Vincent 2.399); [EU well, HODOS a way or journey], in 3 John 2, of the prosperity of physical and spiritual health (Vine 897).
<815> KAI HUGIAINEIN, and to be in health (Marshall 949); HUGIAINEIN is the present active infinitive of HUGIAINO (Han 434); used in the NT both in a physical and moral sense. . . . of Gaius' bodily health, as is shown by soul in the next clause (Vincent 2.399, 400); be healthy, sound, in good health [English hygiene] (Vine 534).
<816> KATHOOS SOU HEE PSUCHEE, as of thee the soul (Marshall 949); the soul [PSUCHEE] is the principle of individuality, the seat of personal impressions. It has a side in contact with both the material and the spiritual element of humanity, and is thus the mediating organ between body and spirit. Its meaning, therefore, constantly rises above life or the living individual, and takes color from its relation to either the emotional or the spiritual side of life, from the fact of its being the seat of the feelings, desires, affections, aversions, and the bearer and manifester of the divine life-principle [PNEUMA] (Vincent 2.400); the inward man, the seat of the new life (Vine 1067).
<817> EUODOUTAI, prospers (Marshall 949); third person singular, present passive indicative of EUODOO (Han 434); [EU well, HODOS a way or journey], in 3 John 2, of the prosperity of physical and spiritual health (Vine 897).
<818> ECHAREEN GAR LIAN, for I rejoiced greatly (Marshall 949); ECHAREEN is first person singular, second aorist passive indicative of CHAIROO (Han 434); the word LIAN greatly is found in John's writings only here and 2 John 4 (Vincent 2.393); I rejoice very, exceedingly (Vine 506, 942).
<819> ERCHOMENOON ADELPHOON, coming brothers = when [some] brothers came (Marshall 949); ERCHOMENOON is the present middle participle, genitive plural masculine of ERCHOMAI (Han 434); literally, coming. The present participle denotes coming from time to time, and not coming on a single occasion, which would require the aorist (Vincent 2.400); present tense, not on one occasion but on several (Harrison 1483); come from one place to another . . . as one who is about to do something in a place must necessarily come thither, in the popular narrative style the phrases ERCHETAI KAI, EELTHE KAI, etc., are usually placed before verbs of action (Thayer 250).
<820> KAI MARTUROUNTOON, and bearing witness = and bore witness (Marshall 949); MARTUROUNTOON is the present active participle, nominative singular masculine OF MARTUREOO (Han 434); denotes be a MARTUS [witness], or bear witness to, sometimes rendered testify, used of the witness of believers to one another (Vine 1238); bore witness unto thy truth, how great it is (Thayer 391).
<821>SOU TEE ALEETHEIA, of thee in the truth (Marshall 949, 950).
<822> KATHOOS SU EN ALEETHEIA PERIPATEIS, as thou in truth walkest (Marshall 950); PERIPATEIS is second person singular, present active indicative of PERIPATEOO (Han 434); thou emphatic, suggesting a contrast with less faithful ones, as Diotrephes, verse 9 (Vincent 2.400); subjectively, truthfulness, truth, not merely verbal, but sincerity and integrity of character; figuratively, "signifying the whole round of the activities of the individual life" in truth (Vine 1171, 1207); who testify to your truth, namely how you walk in the truth (Arndt 391).
<823> MEIZOTERAN TOUTOON OUK ECHOO CHARAN, greater [than] these things I have no joy (Marshall 950); greater joy than this have I not; texts vary; some reading CHARIN grace or favor from God (Vincent 2.400); the literal order is bold: Greater than these [tidings of your stand] I have no joy. Some manuscripts read grace instead of joy (Harrison 1483); joy, gladness (Thayer 664).
<824> HINA AKOUOO TA EMA TEKNA, in order that I hear my children (Marshall 950); AKOUOO is first person singular, present active indicative of AKOUOO (Han 434); literally, mine own children (Vincent 2.401); a thing comes to one's ears, to find out [by hearsay], learn, [hear (of) mediately]; just as in Hebrew Syriac, Arabic, Persian, so in the NT pupils or disciples are called children of their teachers, because the latter by their instruction nourish the minds of their pupils and mold their characters (Thayer 23).
<825> EN TEE ALEETHEIA PERIPATOUNTA, in the truth walking (Marshall 950); PERIPATOUNTA is the present active participle, accusative singular masculine of PERIPATEOO (Han 434); walking. The participle expresses something habitual (Vincent 2.401); figuratively, "signifying the whole round of the activities of the individual life" in truth (Vine 1207); the habit of their lives (Harrison 1483).
<826> 'AGAPEETE, beloved (Marshall 950).
<827> PISTON POIEIS, faithfully thou doest (Marshall 950); POIEIS is second person singular, present active indicative of POIEOO (Han 434); thou doest a faithful work (Vincent 2.400).
<828> HO EAN ERGASEE, whatever thou workest (Marshall 950); ERGASEE is second person singular, first aorist active subjunctive of ERGAZOMAI (Han 434); or literally, according to the etymology, workest [ERGON work]. . . . 'ERGAZOMAI, like PRASSEIN, contemplates the process rather than the end of action, carrying the ideas of continuity and repetition. It means to labor, to be active, to perform, with the idea of continued exertion, and therefore is used of servants, etc. (Vincent 2.401); denotes work [ERGON work], in 3 John 5, "thou doest" (Vine 322).
<829> EIS TOUS ADELPHOUS, for the brothers (Marshall 950).
<830> KAI TOUTO XENOUS, and this strangers (Marshall 950); [some texts read EIS TOUS to the strangers]; literally, "to them that are brethren, and that strangers" (Vincent 2.401); strangers, foreigners, adjective, used as a noun (Vine 1093); foreigners, strangers (Thayer 432); strangers, aliens (Arndt 548).
<831> HOI EMARTUREESAN, who bore witness (Marshall 950); EMARTUREESAN is third person plural, first aorist active indicative of MARTUREOO (Han 434); denotes be a MARTUS [witness], or bear witness to, sometimes rendered testify, used of the witness of believers to one another (Vine 1238).
<832> SOU TEE AGAPEE, of thee in love (Marshall 950); Christian love has God for its primary object, and expresses itself first of all in implicit obedience to His commandments (Vine 693).
<833> ENOOPION EKKLEESIAS, before [the] church (Marshall 950); [from EN in, and OPS the eye], the neuter of the adjective ENOPIOS, used prepositionally, in one's sight or hearing; EKKLEESIAS, in the singular number, to a company consisting of professed believers (Vine 76, 100).
<834> PROPEMPSAS, sending forward (Marshall 950); the first aorist active participle, nominative singular masculine of PROPEMPOO (Han 434); literally, having sent forward. The aorist tense represents the act as accomplished (Vincent 2.402); send forth, bring on one's way (Vine 144).
<835> AXIOOS TOU THEOU, worthily of God (Marshall 950); literally, worthily of God (Vincent 2.402); worthily . . . of assisting servants of God in a way which reflects God's character and thoughts (Vine 1249).
<836> HOUS KALOOS POIEESEIS, whom well thou wilt do (Marshall 950); POIEESEIS, is second person singular, future active indicative of POIEOO (Han 434); whom thou wilt do well to set forward on their journey worthily of God (Vincent 2.402); finely [akin to KALOS good, fair], is usually translated "well," indicating what is done rightly. . . . The neuter form of the adjective KALOS, with the article and the present participle of POIEO, to do [KALON POIOUNTES], is translated "well-doing" in Galatians 6:9 (Vine 1219).
<837> GAR EXEELTHAN, for they went forth (Marshall 950); EXEELTHAN is third person plural, second aorist active indicative of EXERCHOMAI (Han 434).
<838> HUPER TOU ONOMATOS, on behalf of the name (Marshall 950); for the sake of the Name. His is supplied by the KJ. It is not in the text (Vincent 2.402); for all that a name implies, of authority, character, rank, majesty, power, excellence, etc., of everything that the name covers. . . . of the name of Christ (Vine 772).
<839> MEEDEN LAMBANONTES APO, nothing taking from (Marshall 950); LAMBANONTES is the present active participle, nominative plural masculine of LAMBANOO (Han 434).
<840> TOON ETHNIKOON, the Gentiles (Marshall 950); the more common word is ETHNEE which is the reading of the Textus Receptus here: ETHNOON (Vincent 2.402); an adjective used as a noun, "the Gentiles" (Vine 474).
<841> OUN, THEREFORE (Marshall 950).
<842> HEEMEIS OPHEILOMEN, we ought (Marshall 950); owe (Vine 820); OPHEILOMEN is first person plural, present active indicative of OPHEILOO (Han 434); obligated, with infinitive following one must, one ought (Arndt 598); to be under obligation, bound by duty or necessity, to do something; it behooves one; one ought; used thus of a necessity imposed either by law and duty, or by reason, or by the times, or by the nature of the matter under consideration (Thayer 469).
<843> HUPOLAMBANEIN TOUS TOIOUTOUS, to entertain such men (Marshall 950); to HUPOLAMBANEIN is the present active infinitive of HUPOLAMBANOO (Han 434); to support; that is, to welcome with the provision of hospitality (Vincent 2.402); to take or bear up [HUPO under], to receive (Vine 927). Some texts read APOLAMBANEIN [APO from].
<844> HINA SUNERGOI GINOOMETHA TEE ALEETHEIA, in order that co-workers we may become in the truth (Marshall 950); GINOOMETHA is first person plural, present middle subjunctive of GINOMAI (Han 434); literaly, fellow-workers. The expression is explained in two ways: either fellow-workers with the teachers [TOIOUTOUS such] in support of the truth; or fellow-workers with the truth. Adopt the latter (Vincent 2.402, 403); workers with (Vine 1244).
<845> EGRAPSA TI TEE EKKLEESIA, I wrote something to the church (Marshall 950); ERGRAPSA is first person singular, first aorist active indicative of GRAPHOO (Han 434); TI somewhat indicates that the apostle did not regard the communication as specially important (Vincent 2.403); [wrote] something to someone (Arndt 167).
<846> There is a variation in Greek texts here causing James Macknight and others to render the phrase, "I would have written." Then there is the possibility that John was using the "epistolary aorist" to refer to the letter of 3 John. The epistolary aorist is a literary device in which the writer puts himself in the place of the reader. Thus when the recipient read 3 John, the writing had obviously already taken place, so "I wrote" would be appropriate.
<847> ALL' DIOTREPHEES, but Diotrephes (Marshall 950); the name is from DIOS of Zeus [Jove], and TREPHOO to nourish, and means Jove-nursed (Vincent 2.403).
<848> HO PHILOPROOTEUNOON AUTOON, the loving to be first of them (Marshall 950); PHILOPROOTEUNOON is the present active participle, nominative singular masculine of PHILOPROOTEUOO (Han 434); from the adjective PHILOPROOTOS fond of being first (Vincent 2.403); literally, to love to be pre-eminent [PHILOS loving], to strive to be first, is said of Diotrephes (Vine 875).
<849> OUK EPIDECHETAI HEEMAS, not receives us (Marshall 950); EPIDECHETAI is third person singular, present middle indicative of EPIDECHOMAI (Han 434); literally, accept besides [EPI upon], accept [found in the papyri, of accepting the terms of a lease], is used in the sense of accepting in 3 John 9; said negatively concerning Diotrephes (Vine 928).
<850> See Mark 10:37.
<851> A. Plummer, The Epistles of Saint John, Cambridge Greek Testament, University Press, Cambridge, 1886, page 149, quoted from Harrison 1484.
<852> "After we cross the limit of the first century we find that with each board of elders there is a person to whom the name 'bishop' is especially applied" (George Park Fisher, History of the Christian Church, Scribner's, New York, 1827, page 51, quoted from Dawson 37).
<853> DIA TOUTO, therefore (Marshall 950).
<854> EAN ELTHOO, if I come (Marshall 950); EAN is a conditional particle [derived from EI AN], which makes reference to time and to experience, introducing something future, but not determining, before the event, whether it is certainly to take place; if, in case (Thayer 162).
<855> HUPOMNEESOO AUTOU, I will remember of him (Marshall 950); HUPOMNEESOO is first person singular, future active indicative of HUPOMIMNEESKOO (Han 434); signifies cause one to remember, put one in mind of [HUPO under, often implying suggestion, and MIMNEESKOO, to remember], "I will bring to remembrance" (Vine 946).
<856> TA ERGA HA POIEI, the works which he does (Marshall 950); POIEI is third person singular, present active indicative of POIEOO (Han 434).
<857> PHLUAROON HEEMAS, prating against us (Marshall 950); PHLUAROON is the present active participle, nominative singular masculine of PHLUAREOO (Han 434); from PHLUOO to bubble up or boil over. Hence of talk which is both fluent and empty (Vincent 2.403); raising false accusations (Vine 871); talking nonsense (Harrison 1484); the word occurring nowhere else in the NT means to overflow with talk, to talk much without weight, or to little purpose; to be loquacious; to trifle; or, to use an expression common among us, and which accords well with the Greek, to run on in talk, without connection or sense (Barnes 10.376).
<858> LOGOIS PONEEROIS, words with evil (Marshall 950); wicked, [akin to PONOS labor, toil], denotes evil that causes labor, pain, sorrow, malignant evil; used with the meaning bad, worthless, of things (Vine 380, 1226).
<859> KAI MEE ARKOUMENOS EPI TOUTOIS, and not being satisfied on [with] these (Marshall 950); ARKOUMENOS is the present middle participle, nominative singular masculine of ARKEOO (Han 434); primarily signifies [not] sufficient, possessed of sufficient strength, strong enough for a thing; hence defend, ward off; in the middle voice, satisfied, contented with . . . "not content therewith" (Vine 226).
<860> OUTE AUTOS, neither he (Marshall 950).
<861> EPIDECHETAI TOUS ADELPHOUS, receives the brothers (Marshall 950); EPIDECHETAI is third person singular, present middle indicative of EPIDECHOMAI (Han 434); in the sense of receiving with hospitality . . . said negatively concerning Diotrephes (Vine 928).
<862> KAI KOOLUEI, and he prevents (Marshall 950); KOOLUEI is third person singular, present active indicative of KOOLUOO (Han 434); hinders, restrains, withholds, forbids [akin to KOLOS docked, lopped, clipped], is most usually translated forbids, often an inferior rendering to that of hindering or restraining (Vine 447).
<863> TOUS BOULOMENOUS, the [ones] purposing (Marshall 950); BOULOMENOUS is the present middle participle, accusative plural masculine of BOULOMAI (Han 434); wish, will deliberately, expresses more strongly than THELOO [to will to wish] the deliberate exercise of the will (Vine 291).
<864> KAI EK EKBALLEI, and out puts out (Marshall 950); EKBALLEI is third person singular, present active indicative of EKBALLOO (Han 434); casts out of, from, forth (Vine 164); expel a person from a society: banish from a family (Thayer 192, 193); expel someone from a group, repudiate someone (Arndt 237).
<865> The word them is supplied by translators. Therefore, I am not absolutely certain that Diotrephes was casting out of the church the visiting missionaries or those in the church who desired to receive them. Scholars are divided on this point.
<866> TEES EKKLEESIAS, of the church (Marshall 950); [from EK out of, and KLEESIS, a calling, KALEOO to call], in the singular number . . . a company consisting of professed believers (Vine 76).
<867> 'AGAPEETE, beloved (Marshall 950); [from AGAPAOO to love], often, as a form of address (Vine 110).
<868> AGAPEETOIS beloved is plural in Romans 1:7.
<869> MEE MIMOU, imitate not (Marshall 950); MIMOU is second person singular, present middle imperative of MIMEOMAI (Han 434); [do not] imitate (Vincent 2.403); a mimic, an actor [English mime], of imitating that which is good, 3 John 11. The verb is always used in exhortations, and always in the continuous tense, suggesting a constant habit or practice (Vine 578); literally, imitate (Harrison 1484).
<870> TO KAKON, the bad (Marshall 950); whatever is evil in character, base (Vine 380); bad (Harrison 1484).
<871> ALLA TO AGATHON, but the good (Marshall 950, 951); that which, being good in its character or constitution, is beneficial in its effect (Vine 493).
<872> HO AGATHOPOIOON, the [one] doing good (Marshall 951); AGATHOPOIOON is the present active participle, nominative singular masculine of AGATHOPOIEOO (Han 434); [from AGATHOS good and POIEOO to do], is used in a general way, does well (Vine 496).
<873> EK TOU THEOU ESTIN, of God is (Marshall 951); the source [EK "of"] of his life is God (Harrison 1484).
<874> HO KAKOPOIOON, the [one] doing ill (Marshall 951); KAKOPOIOON is the present active participle, nominative singular masculine of KAKOPOIEOO (Han 434); signifies does evil (Vine 382).
<875> OUCH HEOORAKEN TON THEON, has not seen God (Marshall 951); HEOORAKEN is third person singular, perfect active indicative of HORAOO (Han 434); seen, of bodily vision, for example, John 6:36; and mental, for example, Matthew 8:4; it is said of Christ as seeing the Father, John 6:46, and of what He had seen with the Father, 8:38. It especially indicates the direction of the thought to the object seen (Vine 1009); know God's will (Thayer 451).
<876> DEEMEETRIOO MEMARTUREETAI, to Demetrius witness has been borne (Marshall 951); MEMARTUREETAI is third person singular, perfect passive indicative of MARTUREOO (Han 434); literally, unto Demetrius witness hath been borne (Vincent 2.404); witness, evidence, testimony (Vine 1133); Greek DEEMEETRIOS belonging to Demeter (Zondervan 212).
<877> Demetrius of Ephesus was a jeweler and metalworker who incited a mob against Paul. He had a profitable business making silver images of the goddess Diana. Explorers in Ephesus have unearthed the name of a "Demetrius" who was a warden of the Ephesian temple (Zondervan 212).
<878> HUPO PANTOON, by all (Marshall 951).
<879> KAI HUPO AUTEES TEES ALEETHEIAS, and by [it]self the truth (Marshall 951).
<880> KAI HUMEIS DE MARTUROUMEN, and we also bear witness (Marshall 951); MARTUROUMEN is first person plural, present active indicative of MARTUREOO (Han 434); denotes be a MARTUS [witness], or bear witness to, sometimes rendered testify, used of the witness of believers to one another (Vine 1238); emphatically; utter honorable testimony, give a good report (Thayer 391).
<881> KAI OIDAS, and thou knowest (Marshall 951); OIDAS is second person singular, perfect active indicative of OIDA (Han 434).
<882> HOTI HEE MARTURIA HEEMON ALEETHEES ESTIN, that the witness of us true is (Marshall 951); primarily, unconcealed, manifest [A negative, LEETHOO to forget, = LANTHANOO to escape notice], hence, actual, true to fact. . . . of things, true, conforming to reality (Vine 1170).
<883> POLLA EICHON, many things I had (Marshall 951); EICHON is first person singular, imperfect active indicative of ECHOO (Han 434); imperfect tense: I was having, when I began to write (Vincent 2.404); imperfect tense, referring to the time when he began the letter (Harrison 1484).
<884> GRAPSAI SOI, to write to thee (Marshall 951); GRAPSAI is the first aorist active infinitive of GRAPHOO (Han 434).
<885> ALL' OU THELOO, but not I wish (Marshall 951); THELOO is first person singular, present active indicative of THELOO (Han 434).
<886> SOI GRAPHEIN, to thee to write (Marshall 951); GRAPHEIN is the present active infinitive of GRAPHOO (Han 434).
<887> KAI KALAMOU, and pen (Marshall 951); literally, reed (Vincent 2.404).
<888> DIA MELANOS, by means of ink (Marshall 951); the neuter of the adjective MELAS black, denotes ink (Vine 591).
<889> ELPIZOO DE, but I am hoping (Marshall 951); ELPIZOO is first person singular, present active indicative of ELPIZOO (Han 434); hope, hope for [also expect, foresee . . . with indication of what is hoped for (Arndt 252).
<890> EUTHEOOS SE IDEIN, immediately thee to see (Marshall 951); IDEIN is the second aorist active infinitive of HORAOO (Han 434).
<891> KAI LALEESOMEN, and we will speak (Marshall 951); LALEESOMEN is first person plural, future active indicative of LALEOO (Han 434).
<892> STOMA PROS STOMA, mouth to mouth (Marshall 951); literally, mouth to mouth (Vincent 2.397); literally, mouth to mouth [STOMA a mouth] (Vine 398).
<893> EIREENEE SOI, peace to thee (Marshall 951).
<894> ASPAZONTAI SE HOI PHILOI, greet thee the friends (Marshall 951); ASPAZONTAI is third person plural, present middle indicative of ASPAZOMAI (Han 434).
<895> ASPAZOU TOUS PHILOUS KAT' ONOMA, greet thou the friends by name (Marshall 951); ASPAZOU is second person singular, present middle imperative of ASPAZOU (Han 434).

Copyright ©2000, Charles Hess, Ridgefield, Washington, U.S.A.
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The basic Scripture text in this commentary on 3 John
is the New King James Version,
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