04 January, 2017
Search The Scriptures —Study 0 — The Epistles of John
Study 0 From the Books of John is: The introduction of the Epistles of John
1 John and the Epistle to the Hebrews are the only two New Testament letters written anonymously; and in 2 and 3 John, the author merely introduces himself as 'the elder'. It is clear, however, that the three Johannine Epistles are by the same person, and there is a very strong case for saying that it is the same person as the author of John's Gospel. The evidence of the letters themselves, and the witness of early Christians, suggest that the writer is the apostle John. He writes as an eye-witness who has personally known the Lord (1:1-4; 4:14) . He writes as a teacher with great, indeed, with apostolic authority (2:8, 17; 3:6; 4:1; 5:20, 21). He writes as a pastor, with a deep concern both to defend and confirm the faith of the Church (2:1, 26; 4:1-6; 2 Jn. 9; 3 Jn. 4)
In the first Epistle, John sets forth three marks of a true knowledge of God and of fellowship with God. These marks are, first, righteousness of life, second, brotherly love, and third, faith in Jesus as God incarnate. Such characteristics distinguish true Christians from false teachers who, for all their lofty profession and Christian language, neither believe nor obey the truth.
In 2 and 3 John, the writer deals with the problem of giving hospitality to visiting Christians. False teachers were abusing the generosity of Christian people, and some advice was needed to help Christians in dealing with the situation.