3 John 1
Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament
The elder unto the wellbeloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth.
3 John 1:1. Ὁ πρεσβύτερος, The Elder) An appropriate title for a familiar Epistle, such as this, and the one that follows. And indeed the gravity of the argument, and the familiarity of the little Epistle, are wonderfully combined and adjusted. The parts of the Epistle are three.

I. THE INSCRIPTION, 3 John 1:1-3.

II. AN EXHORTATION to perseverance in true love and faith, 3 John 1:4-11.

III. THE CONCLUSION, 3 John 1:12-13.

ἐκλεκτῇ, elect) He calls her elect, from her spiritual condition: for that this name is appellative, is plain from the circumstance of its being attributed to her sister also, 3 John 1:13; and if it had been a proper name, it would have been ἐκλέκτη, from ἔκλεκτος. They were either widows, or women of piety beyond their husbands. But Κυρία [answering to the Hebrew Martha.—V. g.], as in other places, so here, is a proper name, as the Pæcile of Heuman teaches, T. 2, Book iii. art. 13, and T. 3, Book i. art. 2. Nor can any one doubt it, unless he is ignorant of the style of the ancients, or does not bear it in mind. The appellative Κυρία, a mistress, independently of the relation to her slaves, could scarcely be given to a queen at that time without exciting envy. Proper names were usually employed of old,

Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.
For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth.
3 John 1:3. Ἐχάρην, I rejoiced) This is enlarged upon in 3 John 1:4.—γὰρ, for) A healthy state of the soul is known by the works; and the prayers of the righteous further this state.—καθὼς, even as) is explanatory.—σὺ) thou; opposed to Diotrephes, 3 John 1:9.

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
3 John 1:4. Τούτων) than these, joys.

Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to the brethren, and to strangers;
3 John 1:5. Πιστὸν ποιεῖς, thou doest faithfully) thou doest something, which I readily promised myself and the brethren from you. Thus whatever harmonises.—ἐργάσῃ, thou shalt do) in the labour of love.—καὶ) and, that which is of the greatest consequence, to strangers in particular.

Which have borne witness of thy charity before the church: whom if thou bring forward on their journey after a godly sort, thou shalt do well:
3 John 1:6. Ἐνώπιον ἐκκλησίας, before the Church) These examples were publicly mentioned, for encouragement, [in a very familiar method.—V. g.]—καλῶς ποιήσεις, thou shalt do well) A characteristic [polite] form of exhortation. Thus it is used in the past and the present time, to express approbation: Thou hast spoken wellThou hast done well, etc., Luke 20:39; Acts 10:33; Mark 7:37; John 4:17; John 13:13; Jam 2:8; Jam 2:19; 2 Peter 1:19.—προπέμψας, bringing forward on their journey) with provision for the way, Titus 3:13. Continue to afford benefits even to the end.—ἀξίως τοῦ Θεοῦ, as is worthy of God) He, who honours such as are described in the following verse, honours God.

Because that for his name's sake they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles.
3 John 1:7. Τοῦ ὀνόματος, the name) Understand, of God: Leviticus 24:11. Comp. Jam 2:7.—[ἐξῆλθον, they went forth) either as exiles, or as preachers of the Gospel.—V. g.]—μηδὲν, nothing) They waived that to which they were justly entitled; and either received no reward for their labour, or submitted to the spoiling of their goods.—ἀπὸ, from) Construct this with they went forth.

We therefore ought to receive such, that we might be fellowhelpers to the truth.
3 John 1:8. Συνεργοὶ, fellow-helpers) that we may assist the truth, so that it may not be hindered.

I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.
3 John 1:9. Ἔγραψα, I wrote) concerning these things. That epistle is not extant.—τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ, to the church) of that place from which they went forth: 3 John 1:7. Here is the anticipation of an objection: lest Caius should say, Why do they come to us?—ὁ φιλοπρωτεύων αὐτῶν, who wishes to be the first of them) If even then, during the life of the apostle, Diotrephes exalted himself, what was not the case afterwards?—ἡμᾶς, us) who commend them, and those who are commended by us.

Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.
3 John 1:10. Ἐὰν ἔλθω, if I shall come) 3 John 1:14.—ὑπομνήσω, I will remind him) A Metonymia of the antecedent for the consequent: that is, I will notice (punish), I will set a mark of censure upon, so that he may feel.—λόγοις πονηροῖς, with malicious words) by which he endeavours to excuse himself.—τοὺς βουλομένους, those that wish) that is, to receive us and them.—ἐκβάλλει, he casts out) a great amount of insolence.

Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.
3 John 1:11. Τὸ κακὸν, that which is evil) in Diotrephes.—τὸ ἀγαθὸν, that which is good) in Demetrius.—ἐκ τοῦ Θεοῦ, from God) who is good.—ἔστιν, is) as born from Him.

Demetrius hath good report of all men, and of the truth itself: yea, and we also bear record; and ye know that our record is true.
3 John 1:12. Δημητρίῳ, Demetrius) He seems to have been a minister who was a pattern of hospitality.—ἡμεῖς, we) I, and they who are with me.—δὲ) yet: although Demetrius is already supplied with many testimonies.—καὶ οἴδατε, and ye know) for we do not deceive in anything.

I had many things to write, but I will not with ink and pen write unto thee:
But I trust I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face. Peace be to thee. Our friends salute thee. Greet the friends by name.
3John 1:15. Φίλους, friends) Compare John 15:15. A title seldom found in the New Testament, since it is absorbed by the greater one of brotherhood. Philosophers are mistaken in supposing that friendship is not prepared (formed) by faith.—κατʼ ὄνομα, by name) No less than if their names were written.[1]

[1] Bengel, J. A. (1866). Vol. 5: Gnomon of the New Testament (M. E. Bengel & J. C. F. Steudel, Ed.) (W. Fletcher, Trans.) (159–161). Edinburgh: T&T Clark.

Gnomon of the New Testament by Johann Bengel

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