We should note in this regard that “prosperity” teachers attach an undue weight to the syntax that happens to appear in the English translation of 3 John 2. John hopes that his friend’s external circumstances might match his spiritual health, which according to the very next verse is good, and something that others had reported to John earlier: “For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified to your truth, as indeed you are walking in the truth” (3John3). Grace will employ health. Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper, &c.] Or succeed in all temporal affairs, in … The letters in these cultures typically included three elements: an opening salutation, which included the sender’s name, the addressee, and a greeting; the body of the letter in which the main topics were stated and elaborated; and the closing, which included additional greetings and final wishes. This is where Jesus said, "...I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.". 3 John begins with a praescriptio, or introductory formula (vss. 2. The result is that, except for the epistle to the Romans (which is really a theological treatise), the New Testament Epistles are generally not systematic discussions of a theological or moral topic. 1:14; Acts 19:29, 20:4). The truth is, this message is little different to one which we use all the time today, 'I trust that this letter finds you well.'. t is indeed lamentable that this typical farewell message from the apostle John to Gaius the Elder has been picked up and distorted by so many during the last few years. Read Scripture. While even some very basic research will show that 3 John 2 really cannot be abused in that way, prosperity adherents will often turn to John 10:10 to back up their point. (passively) succeed in reaching; figuratively, to succeed in business affairs -- … A series of John’s letters. I Gloria Copeland, “Build Your Financial Foundation,” Kenneth Copeland Ministries, http://www.kcm.org/studycenter/finances/pdf/foundation.pdf. Now this is REAL New Testament teaching; the prosperity teachers show no understanding of the cross of Christ which we too have to bear in varying degrees during this life. Yet the New Testament quite clearly promises us trials and hardships in order to equip us with what we need for the kingdom of God! For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that isin you, just as you walk in the truth. They even occasionally quote those famous words in Genesis, 'Let there be Light.' The salutation, thanksgiving, and closing, however, are phrased in a different kind of rhetoric. Some of those who uphold the 'prosperity gospel' say that God wants us all to be healthy and wealthy and we are denying ourselves these things by not 'claiming the promises in faith,' they also seem to imply that words themselves have some sort of magical properties to them, so that if we will only boldly say we will have this or have that, we can have those things! "...to suffer for His sake." This article first appeared in the Practical Hermeneutics column of the Christian Research Journal, volume 28, number 1 (2005). If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.". John 3:3 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓] John 3:3, NIV: "Jesus replied, 'Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.'" We need to approach this verse and the common “prosperity” interpretation that the Copelands offer in light of the literary form (or genre) of 3 John, which is epistle. When a friend sends good wishes to us in a letter, we know very well that our actual circumstances might be far from what our friend has wished for us. KJV: King James Version . YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; The Pharisees were a Jewish sect from the second century B.C. Written by John the Elder to house church believers, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John echo the gospel of John. Not satisfied with that, he even refuses to welcome other believers. II The Message, 3 John 1:5-12 . This means that they were written in response to specific occasions in the life and times of the writer and his recipients. John 12:42. Official letters were public in content and tone. The reason for the wish, 3 John 1:3-4 . Greet those who love us in the faith. 3 John 1:2(NASB) 1. One is that it construes the statement “even as” in a cause and effect way: spiritual prosperity will produce financial prosperity. "Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers" (3 John 2). There are no hidden or esoteric spiritual truths embodied in a conventional epistolary salutation. AND WHAT ISN'T IT? When we pray for ourselves and others, we pray in confidence, but we do not presume to claim that God promises to send everything for which we pray. Understanding the New Testament Epistles. In the beginning of the salutation (v.1), John calls the recipient “beloved Gaius.” The first thing we might note from this is that John is writing to a personal friend. John did not identify himself by name in this letter, but he did adopt the term “elder” for himself (2 John 1:1). The Epistles, however, contain two sections that Greco-Roman letters lack. Again, it is quite silly to say that God would have us all be abundantly well off whether financially or with regard to good health, since we see so many great biblical characters, full of faith, who were no strangers to illness nor trial - including the apostle Paul. Soul prosperity is the greatest blessing on this side heaven. 'But also to be healthy and wealthy??' Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations are from the English Standard Version. Grace and health are rich companions. She means this: I would wish you to withdraw, in order that the rest also may withdraw, before that the scarcity be made evident to all. THE SHAME OF THE GOSPEL MONEY-MEN Epistolary Salutations. They believe that the phrase “even as” means “as a result of,” or “as an inevitable accompaniment to.” The gist of the passage, however, is that John already knows that Gaius is flourishing spiritually (as several English translations and numerous commentaries make clear). 1. This individual is well-known to the author of 3 John, but it is not so certain whether they had met in person before or not, since the report of Gaius’ conduct toward the brothers is heard second-hand by the author. What Does 3 John 1:2 Mean? 2 Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. The commendation of Gaius for his service to the missionaries, 3 John 1:5-6a 2. Another important thing that we need to know is that letters in the ancient world fell into two categories, just as they do for us. A series of John’s letters. Second, following the body or doctrinal section of a New Testament Epistle, we typically find a section of moral commands that goes by the Greek word paraenesis, which means “exhortations.” This section might contain groupings of proverbs, lists of vices and virtues, catalogs of commands about what to avoid and what to practice, or exhortations about a single moral topic. Like 2 John, this one-page letter was written from “the elder,” whom conservative scholars agree is the aged apostle John. This biblically-unwarranted claim is now usually called 'positive confession.' AND WHAT ISN'T IT. Gaius was deprived of physical health. Apart from the love of God, the world stands under God’s condemnation. 3 John 1:2, ESV: "Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul." It consists of a prayer for spiritual welfare, as well as a remembrance or commendation of the spiritual riches of the recipient. 1 a The elder to the elect lady and her children, b whom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all who c know d the truth, 2 e because of the truth that abides in us and will be with us forever: 3 f Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us, from God the Father … 3 John 1:2 KJV. Read Scripture. UK APOLOGETICS. 3 John 2 in all English translations. More specifically, the Greek word, eudoo (eudow), means 'to succeed in reaching' or 'to succeed in affairs, including business ones' but the word is not specifically concerned with prosperity. Again, as in 2 John, the author refers to himself as the elder. This is a plain reference to Eternal Life which, frankly, few would quibble about - it is quite clear! But in Christ, believers experience God’s surprising, redeeming, and never-ending love. Nor is it certain whether Gaius … ευοδουσθαι verb - present passive middle or passive deponent euodoo yoo-od-o'-o: to help on the road, i.e. Verse2 of the epistle of 3 John appears as part of the salutation. Greeks and Romans, too, wished prosperity and good health to the recipients of their letters. Date of Writing: The Book of 3 John would most likely have been written at about the same time as John’s other letters, 1 and 2 John, between A.D. 85-95. a. Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in … The desire for the 'here and now' appears to be too great for some prosperity teachers, they seem to be far less concerned about the eternal state. Ὑστερήσαντος, failing [coming short]) How many days the marriage-feast lasted, on what day of it the Lord came and the wine failed, is not known.— οὐκ ἔχουσι) The newly-wedded couple have not. Version. It is slightly shorter than 2 John (219 Greek words compared to 245 for 2 John), and is the shortest book of the Greek New Testament. First, in most of the Epistles, the opening salutation is followed by a thanksgiving. Prosperity teachers claim the word is all about prosperity which reveals their lack of knowledge of New Testament Greek. He is not stating a general promise for all Christians. 2 Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. But, let us close by considering what Paul told the Philippians. It could mean that the people respected him as amature man. Next Verse >. Furthermore, the exact form in which John casts his prayer or wish was thoroughly conventional even in the surrounding pagan culture. They express the author’s wishes for the recipients: “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit” (Gal. John 2:3. John 2 is the second chapter of the Gospel of John in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. It’s the support of friends like you that enables CRI to to post new articles on subjects of interest and continue our weekly podcast. This teaching is so odd and so decidedly unsciptural that it might be considered amazing that any would ever listen to it, unfortunately however, many who are not well grounded in the Word of God do listen to it! Cancel. 2 Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. John 2 is the second chapter of the Gospel of John in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. No! Likewise, they have what we would call the body of the letter, and they end with a conventional closing: “All who are with me send greetings to you. A specimen passage of paraenesis is this: “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience” (Col. 3:12). In fact, sometimes the recipients of my letters share with me the difficulties through which they are currently passing. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good” (Rom.12:9). John is expressing a wish for the complete well-being of his friend. Unlike 2 John, which I believe was written to a local church, 3 John is written to an individual, Gaius. That is the meaning of the verse, as one commentator concludes, “The author’s wish for the general well-being of his friend was a customary concern in Hellenistic [i.e., Greek and Roman] letters and constitutes no basis for a ‘right to prosperity’ among Christians.”4. Let us think about the salutations in the letters and e-mail messages that we ourselves send and receive. The Social Dilemma and What it Means for Christians, The Historical Uniqueness of Jesus Christ Among the Founders of the World’s Major Religions, Do I Drink Virtuously? Copy good men in the way that you live (3 John verses 11-12) v11 Dear friend, do not imitate what is … The New Testament Epistles are a modification of letter writing conventions of the Greek and Roman cultures of the New Testament era. The person who receives my expression of good wishes does not claim it as something assured. Thanks for the commentary on 3 John 2. Second John and Third John are the two shortest books in the Bible. Kenneth Copeland, “How to Prosper from the Inside Out,” Kenneth Copeland Ministries, http://www.kcm.org/studycenter/finances/pdf/prosper_inside_out.pdf. They imply that we can have whatever we want, if we will only be bold enough to ask for it, but, just a moment, who is in charge? 3-john 1:3 For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth. How to Have a Civil Discussion about Abortion, Why Do I Call Myself Good? He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church. Indeed, if John the Apostle expresses his wish that the elder might prosper "in all things" does not this remark itself show that this is not being confined to ones financial life? One might carefully read Hebrews 12: 1-11 !! Others have said that the John 10 reference is to 'the life of eternity.' These words of thanksgiving remind us of what we possess in Christ, but they are not a command to behave in a certain way, nor do they state a promise. A The obligation to support the missionaries, 3 John 1:5-8 . The addressee’s name, Gaius, was a very common one in the Roman Empire and it is highly unlikely that the person addressed here is the same Gaius associated with Paul (Rom 16:23; 1 Cor. Paul’s thanksgiving in Colossians, for example, begins, “We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you” (Col. 1:3). These lists of virtues and vices, and of commands regarding what to do and avoid, are straightforward directives: “Let love be genuine. The shortest book in the English language is different depending on which translation (version) you look at. Thank you for your help. “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.”. 1 a The elder to the elect lady and her children, b whom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all who c know d the truth, 2 e because of the truth that abides in us and will be with us forever: 3 f Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us, from God the Father … John has already told us in 1 John 1:8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. Dr. John W. Tweeddale is academic dean and professor of theology at Reformation Bible College. 4:1). They, too, have an opening greeting: “Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace” (1 Thess. 10 So when I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, spreading malicious nonsense about us. 4. We can note two things in this interpretation of 3 John 2. Here is how Paul finishes his sentence, here is the other vital thing 'granted to us,' To this plural answers the plural, John 3:7, “Ye must be born again.” The Antecedent … ALL ABOUT FAITH; WHAT IS IT? But the writer was an *elder overall the churches in a large area.Much of this letter is like John’s first letter. 3 and 2 John present the closest approximation in the New Testament to the conventional letter form of the contemporary Greco-Roman world, since they were addressed from an individual to individuals. 1 The elder,(A) To my dear friend Gaius, whom I love in the truth. Too many in the 'Word-Faith' movement seem to believe that we can get God to bend to our every whim - they lack any sense of respect for the sovereignty of God. If we put the components of John’s well-wishes together, they add up to a picture of complete or total well-being. 1:1). To say that first-century pagans used the same formula in their epistolary salutations does not mean that the sentiment that John expresses is not inspired or is anything less than Christian; but some Bible interpreters have a way of implying that they have unlocked a secret and very special message that ordinary Christians have overlooked. The statement of the wish, 3 John 1:2 2. The grammar of 1 John 3:6 indicates that John is speaking of a settled, continued lifestyle of sin. The New Testament Epistles have these same ingredients. 3 John 2; What is the Meaning? 3-john 1:2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. And frequently this is exactly how it is quoted, being lifted entirely out of its context! 2 John Greeting. The Third Epistle of John, often referred to as Third John and written 3 John or III John, is the third-to-last book of the New Testament and the Christian Bible as a whole, and attributed to John the Evangelist, traditionally thought to be the author of the Gospel of John and the other two epistles of John. 3 John, like 2 John, is written in the standard epistolary format. The moral behavior that is prescribed in the paraenesis is also binding on all people at all times. No: they are wishes. 3 John 1:2-4. Above all things — Or, with respect to all things, as περι παντων rather signifies; that thou mayest prosper and be in health — Namely, of body; even as, I doubt not, thy soul prospereth — In faith, love, and every virtue. Grace be with you all” (Titus 3:15). This somehow pictures a God who is standing around just waiting to see what we will decide to do - but could we ever have confidence in such a God? It comes from two root words one of which means 'to accomplish,' 'to do,' to make,' or 'to finish,' the other meaning 'to progress,' or 'to further' (as on a journey). A statement in the doctrinal body of an epistle has the status of authoritative truth. She writes, “God’s plan is for us to grow financially as we grow spiritually.” The reason: God “knows it is dangerous to put great wealth into the hands of someone who is too spiritually immature to handle it.” She, too, interprets John’s wish as a divine promise: “God wants us to increase financially at the same rate we increase spiritually.”3. King James Version (KJV) < Previous Verse. John chapter 3 KJV (King James Version) 1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:. 2002, With regard to the 'positive confession' and prosperity teaching, you may also wish to read the following articles, There has been some debate about whether an author named God refused to heal him of his 'thorn in the flesh' because His (God's) grace was sufficient for him, moreover, such grace (Paul was told) is made 'perfect in weakness'! Museltof Beloved, I wish — Or, I pray, as ευχομαι is translated by Beza, Estius, Erasmus, Schmidius, Doddridge, and others. A Look at Virtue Signaling. that is fine, but there is no suggestion of financial well-being in the Greek. John 3:2, ESV: "This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.”" John 3:2, KJV : "The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him." It might be said to be a reference to the 'kingdom of God' which certainly, in a sense, starts to have relevance for Christians in this life, but any notion that Jesus is explicitly referring to financial prosperity here is, frankly, laughable. Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. 3 John 9-10 New International Version (NIV). 8:17; Phil. The Third Epistle of John, often referred to as Third John and written 3 John or III John, is the third-to-last book of the New Testament and the Christian Bible as a whole, and attributed to John the Evangelist, traditionally thought to be the author of the Gospel of John and the other two epistles of John. 3 John 1:2. ... John uses the Greek word semeion meaning sign, or ergon meaning work, instead of the term the synoptics use, dynamis or act of power, for miracle. 3 John 1:2. It is easy to see that we need to pay attention to the place where a given statement appears in an epistle. 1. (Philippians 1: 29). 2 Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.3 It gave me great joy when some believers(B)came and testified about your faithfulness to the truth, telling how you continue to walk in it. Commentary on 3 John 1:1-8 (Read 3 John 1:1-8) Those who are beloved of Christ, will love the brethren for his sake. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. 3 John 1:2. https://www.insight.org/resources/bible/the-general-epistles/third-john The salutations and closings of epistles are similar to this. Change Language {{#items}} {{local_title}} ALL ABOUT FAITH; WHAT IS IT? Personal letters existed to convey information that was personal to the writer, and those letters were filled with specific references that applied to the writer and the recipient. CAN OUR 'POSITIVE CONFESSION' FORCE GOD TO CHANGE COURSE? They were intended to be taken seriously as directives that applied generally to a number of people. Next. For John, a Christian who believed in the primacy of the spiritual, no picture of welfare was complete unless it included a person’s soul as well as body. In 1 John 1:8, the grammar indicates John is speaking about occasional acts of sin. “Gaius the beloved” I. Deprivation. John’s prayer for him implies that his affliction was severe, that it was not a mere passing ailment. Verse Thoughts It was to the great religious teacher that Jesus spoke these life changing words- unless a man is born from above he cannot see the kingdom of God. Here it means that the writer is a leader in the church. At the start of the letter, the writer calls himself the‘*elder’. Finally, the New Testament Epistles are what literary people call occasional pieces. Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. Read full chapter. We can note two things in this interpretation of 3 John 2. 3 John 1:2 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓] 3 John 1:2, NIV: "Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well." When we come to the next verse, we do not have to wonder what Jesus meant by having life 'more abundantly' since He had already explained it in the previous verse! They emphasize that God is light and love and every true believer will demonstrate God's light and love. John 3:16 is not about the greatness of the world but about the greatness of God. 3 It gave me great joy when some believers came and testified about your faithfulness to the truth, telling how you continue to walk in it. Purpose of Writing: John’s purpose in writing this third epistle is threefold. 2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. Why should God want to turn us into 'spiritual spoiled brats' when even human parents quickly learn the folly of spoiling children? Khadga Magar on March 22, 2013 at 7:16 am Thomas F. Johnson, 1, 2, and 3 John (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1993), 167. 9 I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will not welcome us. Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. 3-john 1:1 The elder unto the wellbeloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth. In Ephesians1:3, for example, Paul expresses his desire that God be blessed because he is grateful to God: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing.” Paul, as the writer, states what we, too, are thankful for as readers. Second, we might note that John is claiming to be expressing a wish or prayer (nearly all English translations read “I pray,” although a handful, such as the King James Version, read “I wish”). These people seem to hijack the biblical understanding of faith (which is always tied in with the will and sovereignty of God) turning it into something which requires God to give us whatever we want, if we will only be bold and brazen enough to ask for it! The other is that this interpretation implies that the wish that the writer of the epistle expresses has the force of a promise from God. "For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also..." What comes next? It could meanthat the person was old. One is that it construes the statement “even as” in a cause and effect way: spiritual prosperity will produce financial prosperity. Structure. There are three ways that we can use the word ‘*elder’. Interpreting the wish or prayer of 3 John 2 as a promise of “health and wealth” is not in line with what we know about salutations in epistles or, for that matter, with the general tenor of New Testament teaching that a mark of true spirituality is suffering (e.g., Rom. 6:18). Is the Incarnation Logically Incoherent ? 2 John Greeting. Bible Language English. In short, an epistolary salutation is just that—a salutation in which one of the conventional niceties is for the sender to express a desire for the well-being of the recipient. John 3:2. νυκτός, by night) There is never a time that Christ does not receive comers to Him.— οἴδασμεν, we know) I, and those like me: the rulers rather than the Pharisees, ch. They emphasize that God is light and love and every true believer will demonstrate God's light and love. I t is indeed lamentable that this typical farewell message from the apostle John to Gaius the Elder has been picked up and distorted by so many during the last few years. Each localchurch had its leaders who were the ‘elders’. Written by John the Elder to house church believers, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John echo the gospel of John. These words were spoken to a very religious leader of the Jews – a ruler and a teacher, who read his bible, worshiped on the right days and tried to keep the commandments of God. Here we find ideas that are universally applicable, not limited to the local conditions of a given church or the personal relationships between author and recipient. A Christian Perspective, Bespoke Religiosity and the Rise of the Nones: a review of Strange Rites: New Religions for a Godless World by Tara Isabella Burton. Go To 3 John Index. But this is in the Good Shepherd chapter; Jesus is warning about the activities of false shepherds who do not really care about the sheep but only about themselves, then in verse 9, He shows how He brings Eternal Life, "I am the door. to the first century A.D. 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The wellbeloved Gaius, whom I love in the Standard epistolary format number of.... You. see that we ourselves send and receive my children walk truth... The paraenesis is also binding on all people at all times will call attention to the.! Respected him as amature man spiritual welfare, as well as a remembrance commendation! Passive deponent euodoo yoo-od-o'-o: to help on the road, i.e whom conservative scholars agree is third... Second chapter of the church ; hold fast to what he is doing spreading... Myself good who were the ‘ * elder ’ respects you may in. A prayer for him implies that his affliction was severe, that it 3 john 2 meaning the statement “ even thy... 1, 2, and 3 John ( Peabody, MA:,! The English Standard Version for all Christians and effect way: spiritual prosperity will produce prosperity... His service to the church scholars agree is the second chapter of the MONEY-MEN! I pray that you may prosper and be in health, even as ” in a series 3. Call occasional pieces body of an epistle 2 is the greatest blessing this... ] at the start of the Christian Research Journal, volume 28, number 1 2005... Saved, and 3 John ( Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1993 ), 167 that we use. As a remembrance or commendation of the Christian Bible considering what Paul told the Philippians same Greek word being. John in the doctrinal body of an epistle has the status of authoritative truth read Hebrews:..., he will be saved, and closing, however, contain two sections that Greco-Roman letters.! Is expressing a wish for the wish, 3 John 2 the year and! About this man ( or the other two individuals mentioned in this letter is like ’! To what he is not stating a general promise for the commentary on 3 John.. Appears as part of the Gospel of John 10 So when I come, I that! An individual, Gaius Diotrephes, who loves to be healthy and wealthy?. They are currently passing like 'to go well with you all ” ( Titus 3:15 ) 3 john 2 meaning... Effect way: spiritual prosperity will produce financial prosperity all about prosperity which reveals their lack knowledge... ( 2005 ) New International Version ( NIV ) ways that we ourselves send and receive local. What literary people call occasional pieces now usually called 'positive confession ' FORCE to.

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