No! In fact, sometimes the recipients of my letters share with me the difficulties through which they are currently passing. 3 John 1:2. Version. If we put the components of John’s well-wishes together, they add up to a picture of complete or total well-being. John 2 is the second chapter of the Gospel of John in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. a. Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in … 2. 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.'" The grammar of 1 John 3:6 indicates that John is speaking of a settled, continued lifestyle of sin. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good” (Rom.12:9). 8:17; Phil. The salutations and closings of epistles are similar to this. Purpose of Writing: John’s purpose in writing this third epistle is threefold. 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. 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. Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations are from the English Standard Version. 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. AND WHAT ISN'T IT? 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? 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. Finally, the New Testament Epistles are what literary people call occasional pieces. 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. Copy good men in the way that you live (3 John verses 11-12) v11 Dear friend, do not imitate what is … Grace will employ health. The reason for the wish, 3 John 1:3-4 . 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). 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. 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. 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 … 10 So when I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, spreading malicious nonsense about us. The person who receives my expression of good wishes does not claim it as something assured. They emphasize that God is light and love and every true believer will demonstrate God's light and love. The Epistles, however, contain two sections that Greco-Roman letters lack. Khadga Magar on March 22, 2013 at 7:16 am John is expressing a wish for the complete well-being of his friend. For further information or to subscribe to the Christian Research Journal go to: http://www.equip.org, “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth” (3 John 2 KJV).1, In an article entitled “How to Prosper from the Inside Out,” Kenneth Copeland asks, “How does God prosper His people?” The answer, he says, is in 3 John 2: God “blesses you materially as your soul prospers on His Word.” Copeland asserts that most Christians believe that God will make them prosper “as the economy prospers or even as [their] employers decide to promote [them].” This is wrong, he says; instead, “as the seeds of prosperity are planted in your mind, in your will and in your emotions…they eventually produce a great financial harvest.”2, Gloria Copeland interprets the verse in a similar way. THE SHAME OF THE GOSPEL MONEY-MEN Grace and health are rich companions. One might carefully read Hebrews 12: 1-11 !! 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. Gaius was deprived of physical health. The shortest book in the English language is different depending on which translation (version) you look at. “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.”. 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. 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. John’s prayer for him implies that his affliction was severe, that it was not a mere passing ailment. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church. 2 John Greeting. 2 Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. We can note two things in this interpretation of 3 John 2. Written by John the Elder to house church believers, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John echo the gospel of John. "Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers" (3 John 2). 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. 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. 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. 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. Why should God want to turn us into 'spiritual spoiled brats' when even human parents quickly learn the folly of spoiling children? 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. The commendation of Gaius for his service to the missionaries, 3 John 1:5-6a 2. Let us think about the salutations in the letters and e-mail messages that we ourselves send and receive. 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. 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." A series of John’s letters. 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”). 3 John, like 2 John, is written in the standard epistolary format. 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. To this plural answers the plural, John 3:7, “Ye must be born again.” The Antecedent … 3 John 9-10 New International Version (NIV). I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. 1. Each localchurch had its leaders who were the ‘elders’. One is that it construes the statement “even as” in a cause and effect way: spiritual prosperity will produce financial prosperity. Again, as in 2 John, the author refers to himself as the elder. 2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. Museltof 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. We can note two things in this interpretation of 3 John 2. Soul prosperity is the greatest blessing on this side heaven. 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. This is a plain reference to Eternal Life which, frankly, few would quibble about - it is quite clear! ευοδουσθαι verb - present passive middle or passive deponent euodoo yoo-od-o'-o: to help on the road, i.e. Is the Incarnation Logically Incoherent ? Apart from the love of God, the world stands under God’s condemnation. Here is how Paul finishes his sentence, here is the other vital thing 'granted to us,' 4:1). 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). Prosperity teachers claim the word is all about prosperity which reveals their lack of knowledge of New Testament Greek. 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. II The Message, 3 John 1:5-12 . Official letters were public in content and tone. And frequently this is exactly how it is quoted, being lifted entirely out of its context! What Does 3 John 1:2 Mean? A Look at Virtue Signaling. 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. John 2:3. They were intended to be taken seriously as directives that applied generally to a number of people. 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. 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). Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. This biblically-unwarranted claim is now usually called 'positive confession.' Written by John the Elder to house church believers, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John echo the gospel of John. 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. B The reader, 3 John 1:1b C The wish, 3 John 1:2-4 . 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. It consists of a prayer for spiritual welfare, as well as a remembrance or commendation of the spiritual riches of the recipient. The New Testament Epistles are a modification of letter writing conventions of the Greek and Roman cultures of the New Testament era. Kenneth Copeland, “How to Prosper from the Inside Out,” Kenneth Copeland Ministries, http://www.kcm.org/studycenter/finances/pdf/prosper_inside_out.pdf. 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. "For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also..." What comes next? 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? 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? 1:1). For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that isin you, just as you walk in the truth. John 2 is the second chapter of the Gospel of John in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. 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. https://www.insight.org/resources/bible/the-general-epistles/third-john 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! We know nothing about this man (or the other two individuals mentioned in this letter) except what we learn here. 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. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.". This article first appeared in the Practical Hermeneutics column of the Christian Research Journal, volume 28, number 1 (2005). 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. (passively) succeed in reaching; figuratively, to succeed in business affairs -- … 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. In 1 John 1:8, the grammar indicates John is speaking about occasional acts of sin. 1:14; Acts 19:29, 20:4). 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. 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. 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 truth is, this message is little different to one which we use all the time today, 'I trust that this letter finds you well.'. Gloria Copeland, “Build Your Financial Foundation,” Kenneth Copeland Ministries, http://www.kcm.org/studycenter/finances/pdf/foundation.pdf. 3 John 1:2 KJV. It is the third in a series of 3 epistles that bear the Apostle John’s name. 3 John 1:2. A The obligation to support the missionaries, 3 John 1:5-8 . They considered the entire Old Testament to be authoritative – unlike the Sadduccees who only accepted the first five books. 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! 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. ALL ABOUT FAITH; WHAT IS IT? First, in most of the Epistles, the opening salutation is followed by a thanksgiving. Bible Language English. There are no hidden or esoteric spiritual truths embodied in a conventional epistolary salutation. 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. AND WHAT ISN'T IT. Philippians 2:9 Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name above all names, 3 John 1:8 Therefore we ought to support such men, so that we may be fellow workers for the truth. 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! 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. 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. 2 John Greeting. Dr. John W. Tweeddale is academic dean and professor of theology at Reformation Bible College. But this is entirely incorrect and - in both cases - the same Greek word is being used (eudow). They emphasize that God is light and love and every true believer will demonstrate God's light and love. King James Version (KJV) < Previous Verse. Verse2 of the epistle of 3 John appears as part of the salutation. "...to suffer for His sake." A statement in the doctrinal body of an epistle has the status of authoritative truth. 3 John 1:2. The New Testament Epistles have these same ingredients. This is where Jesus said, "...I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.". Nor is it certain whether Gaius … Cancel. Greet those who love us in the faith. But in Christ, believers experience God’s surprising, redeeming, and never-ending love. Others have said that the John 10 reference is to 'the life of eternity.' 1. 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. 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. 9 I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will not welcome us. These lists of virtues and vices, and of commands regarding what to do and avoid, are straightforward directives: “Let love be genuine. Thomas F. Johnson, 1, 2, and 3 John (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1993), 167. May God continue to bless you with His wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of His Word. Second John and Third John are the two shortest books in the Bible. 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. They even occasionally quote those famous words in Genesis, 'Let there be Light.' 'Prosper' here in the Greek simply means something like 'to go well with you.' ... 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. 2002, With regard to the 'positive confession' and prosperity teaching, you may also wish to read the following articles, 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? The writer is instead responding to the questions or topics that have been directed to him. Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper, &c.] Or succeed in all temporal affairs, in … 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. ... 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