New Testament Studies

3 John 9-10 Exegetical Commentary

The aptly named Third Epistle of John was written by the Apostle John, son of Zebedee. This letter, along with the other Johannine Epistles, was penned after John’s Gospel, somewhere between A.D. 90– 95.[1] In the first two epistles, one finds John’s treatment of heresies arising from those mishandling his Gospel.[2] Third John will function similarly, albeit with the distinction of addressing one straying from proper Christian and early-church praxis, rather than entertaining heresy. Third John was likely written from Ephesus, during the final years of the Apostle’s life.[3] This letter’s recipient, Gaius, is unknown – although he was ministering in a churched area, familiar to the Apostle. Diotrephes is similarly unfamiliar to Scripture. Of importance to this epistle is the prevalence of missionaries commissioned in the early church to teach and establish doctrine. Hospitality was expected in a Roman world where local inns were dirty, dangerous, and depraved.[4] It would have been expected for friendly locals to offer up lodging to any sojourner, especially those sharing the bond of common faith.[5] Not to do so was a fragrant display of prideful selfishness, not merely an act of preference or comfortability.  

Opting for the positional title of “the Elder,” John opens this letter with a direct address and commendation of Gaius. Gaius is clearly a beloved fellow believer of John, though his location and background is unknown. Indeed, one should extrapolate from textual evidence that John has never met Gaius personally, though the Apostle rightly assumes a position of authority. And John’s avuncular praise for Gaius is unequivocal. John writes of the positive testimony he had received regarding Gaius from various Christian brothers (cf. v. 3). The Apostle further commends Gaius for both his faithfulness to the Truth and hospitality (vv. 4; 5). Notably, these two aspects of Gaius’ faithfulness both describe his worthy walk (vv. 4b; 6b).

Recognizing Gaius’ integrity, John now requests his humble brother extend this hospitality by continuing to support those missionaries receiving Apostolic approval (v. 6b; 8). John expects humble submission from Gaius. He rightfully assumes Gaius will joyfully maintain Gospel unity by selflessly supporting strangers and accommodating fellow workers (vv. 6–8). Another church leader, from the same area as Gaius, will now be introduced in contrast to this image of Christian hospitality. This negative example will serve as a warning against not merely inhospitality, but the prideful selfishness which fuels such evil.

Commentary: 3 John 9–10

Verse 9

I wrote something to the church. Here John introduces a key fact unknown to Gaius. He had written something (implied to be a letter), in the past, as indicated by the aorist tense of Ἔγραψά. Some scholars argue this Gaius was centered in the same church as Diotrephes, whom John will condemn in short order. This cannot be the case, as John would have no need to inform Gaius of this past writing and subsequent rejection if these two believers were members of the same church.[6] Glenn Barker suggests Gaius lived in a nearby village, separated just far enough from Diotrephes’ church to be ignorant of the situation therein.[7] Quite simply, John informs Gaius of a past conflict with implications both present and future. As remains to be seen, Gaius was located near enough Diotrephes for this information to be relevant for his own ministry of hospitality.

John’s use of the definite article“τῇ” with “ἐκκλησίᾳ” (church) has proven to be a point of contention in scholarship. At first glance, it may appear John is necessarily referring to the specific church referenced in v. 6a, to which Gaius himself belongs. This conclusion, however, is gratuitous. A better inference would be that Gaius is simply familiar with this specific church, to which Diotrephes belongs.[8] One might also conclude the nature of Diotrephes’ illegitimate overextension in leadership based on the addressee being a collective church (as opposed to addressing Diotrephes individually). To be sure, the lost letter was clearly not written directly to Diotrephes, though the disgruntled leader either suppressed or destroyed it.  

but Diotrephes. Diotrephes now comes into focus, as a key point of contrast and opposition. John’s lost letter was purposeful, intended to promote hospitality, for the congregation’s benefit.[9] But Diotrephes interferes, casting himself in arrogance. Diotrephes was clearly a leader in the church, and a despotic one at that.[10] It’s unclear if Diotrephes had a legitimate leadership title in the church prior to John’s first letter. Regardless, it is evident that Diotrephes sought to usurp apostolic power while simultaneously stretching such authority beyond anything Scripturally defendable (cf. v. 10). As remains to be seen, the root of Diotrephes’ issue was simply sin; prideful selfishness leading to evil deeds.[11] Some scholars speculate that cultural, social, theological, or ecclesiastical considerations moved the leader to forcefully object outside influence. These unwarranted postulations assume about Diotrephes a background never included before or after the words “but Diotrephes”.

who loves to be first among them. This phrase constitutes a unique word in the Greek, which warrants further explication.φιλοπρωτεύων is a hapax legomenon in Greek literature.[12] Being a present participle, it has been translated by Raymond Brown as, “The-liking-to-be-first.”[13] This title suggests both Diotrephes’ arrogance in his pursuit of primacy, as well as his true position of leadership and authority.[14] In other words, Diotrephes truly had sway over “the church” to which John is referencing and thus has the capacity to destroy letters stamped with apostolic authority. Further, his power extends even to the unprecedented, despotic pronouncement of excommunication (cf. v. 10b).

Daniel Akin argues that Diotrephes’ “love for being first” indicates a desire to usurp the preeminence of Jesus. He further contests that Diotrephes isn’t desirous of John’s apostolic authority – for even this wouldn’t be sufficient to satiate his hunger for power.[15] This conclusion is unjustified, since Gaius is exclusively informed of Diotrephes’ blatant rejection of apostolic authority. If Diotrephes’ desire was to usurp the dominion of Christ, this apostacy would be treated with far greater consequence. One must conclude, however, that vying for preeminence points to the leader’s prideful heart, which places him in opposition to Christ. 

does not accept what we say. Indeed, Diotrephes’ arrogance and selfish zeal for self-sufficiency and magisterial power is no secret to John. Interestingly, the literal rendering of this phrase is “does not receive us”οὐκ ἐπιδέχεται ἡμᾶς.[16] This leads one to a better understanding of John’s abrupt use of the first-person plural pronoun here. John is drawing upon not only the cultural norm of hospitality, but more significantly, a way of thinking, “common in the Fourth Gospel, where to receive the ones sent is the same as receiving the one who sent them (cf. John 5:23; 12:44–45; 13:20; 14:24).”[17] Therefore, while John himself was not personally denied hospitality by Diotrephes, the latter’s refusal to accept the Apostle’s approved missionaries was just as unacceptable, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.”[18]

Indeed, there is no justification for taking a different sense of the word ἐπιδέχεται here.[19] John had sent approved workman to minister effectively in Diotrephes’ congregation, rightfully expecting proper Christian hospitality in return. But Diotrephes, likely in his fear of losing primacy, must have seen these servants as threats and thus refused to receive them.[20]

Verse 10

For this reason. John now responds to the subversive attitude of Diotrephes. Because of Diotrephes’ refusal accept his apostolic epistles and emissaries, John will now seek further confrontation and reproof.Implied here is a clear justification for John’s authoritative condemnation and future actions; justification which the elder will further expound in turn.

if I come. After having his ministers and letter rejected by Diotrephes, John desires to further express his concerns in a personal confrontation. Commentators are split on John’s use of ἐάν (if) here. Is the Apostle expressing an uncertainty regarding the timing of his coming or is he simply unsure if he will indeed come at all? Some scholars inexplicably ascribe certainty to this statement, suggesting that although the correct translation is “if”, John still conveys certainty regarding his impending visitation.[21] Of the three possible options, the most logical conclusion is to ascribe uncertainty to this potential visitation. Indeed, this inference is most faithful to the data and bodes well with a straightforward, face-value reading of the text. Even so, it is rightly suggested that one not linger much on the reasoning behind John’s uncertainty.[22]

I will call attention to his deeds which he does. Although translated here in the NASB as “I will call attention,” the literal meaning of the Greek wordὑπομνήσω as used here is, “I will remind.” This phrase can signify a negative reminder of some past infirmity which requires correction, such as is seen in 2 Timothy 2:14.[23]  Virtually all commentators and scholars agree that this confrontation would be a public rebuke before the congregation to which Diotrephes belongs. Such would accord with the mandate of 1 Timothy 5:20, “Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also will be fearful of sinning.”[24]John will now  reference these specific sinful deeds, which ultimately overflow from Diotrephes’ arrogant heart.[25]

John’s desire to rebuke Diotrephes displays several realities regarding the author of this epistle. Most prominently, one should rightly ascertain that the author is not merely an elder of the Johannine school – otherwise his power to rebuke would not extend over a leader of a foreign congregation. It is far more plausible that John, as the writer of this epistle, intends to assert his apostolic authority to publicly rebuke Diotrephes. Further, John will clearly seek to strip Diotrephes of his unearned leadership role, seeing as his rise to authority is faulty.

Some have concluded John’s previous uncertainty regarding a potential visit (ἐὰν ἔλθω If I come) is indicative of the author not possessing apostolic authority. These same scholars seek further support for this concept by suggesting the wording in this present phrase is rather mild. Indeed, the seriousness of this rogue leader’s sin would certainly warrant a strong rebuke.[26] A few commentators have used this supposed lack of confidence as definitive evidence against the author’s apostleship. This conjecture is simply unjustifiable. John merely displays love by abiding in the Scripture supported methodology of rebuking a brother.[27] While the congregants must be protected, it is also simultaneously true that restoration should be desired as laid out by Christ In Matthew 18:15-20. Here one should also conclude, with notable support from scholarship, that Diotrephes was at very least not a heretic. The Apostle’s words of condemnation alongside a clear desire to correct suggest Diotrephes’ had not apostatized but rather fallen into sin.

unjustly accusing us with wicked words. The Apostle now specifically mentions three “deeds” of Diotrephes which require “attention.” These deeds are clearly an overflow of the rogue leader’s arrogance and selfish desire for primacy, since he, “loves to be first.” John here uses the word φλυαρέω, which is a hapax legomenon in the New Testament (although its cognate noun is used in 1 Timothy 5:3).[28] This verb has been variously translated as, “to gossip, chatter, talk nonsense.”[29] Indeed, the cognate noun form unique to 1 Timothy 5:3 describes younger widows, who, although they’re believers, incur rebuke from Paul for being φλύαρος “gossipers.” John, however, adds that Diotrephes gossips “with wicked (evil) words.” This clearly adds to the severity and slanderous nature of such gossip, linking it indirectly with the Evil One.[30]

Regarding these “slanderous words,” some denying the apostolic authorship of 3 John have sought to categorize Diotrephes’ attacks as, “refer(ing) not to his (the author’s) personal character but to his role as an authoritative witness to the tradition.”[31] This conclusion is completely unwarranted by the text, and represents misguided eisegesis necessary to maintain authorship by a person (or persons) other than the Apostle John. Context clearly reveals the personal nature of these false charges, which again sought to cut directly at John’s Apostleship.[32] Regarding the use of the first-person plural pronoun, “us” – this is simply a logical continuation of the language used in verse 9. Again, the central thrust of this passage is the condemnation of Diotrephes for rejecting not simply John alone, but all those whom the Apostle sent out as missionaries. To reject these traveling teachers was to reject John himself.

and not satisfied with this. Here the downward spiral of Diotrephes’ prideful disposition continues past attitude and words into action. Karen Jobes argues that the writer’s use of “ἀρκούμενος ἐπὶ” represents an unusual and seemingly unnecessary use of the preposition ἐπὶ (with) in front of the dative ἀρκούμενος (which already has the propositional sense “with” built in).[33] Rather than concluding this is merely stylistic, Jobes states, “Although the preposition doesn’t change the translation, it does heighten the sense of provocation.”[34] This is the logical conclusion, and preferable to counting Paul’s use of ἐπὶ as superfluous. The author thus recognizes that Diotrephes was not content with mere slanderous words but would further express his opposition to John’s authority by rejecting even the apostolic emissaries.[35] The pronoun τούτοις (this) then clearly refers back to the “wicked (evil) words” of Diotrephes.

he himself does not receive the brethren, either. John now addresses the inhospitable schemes of Diotrephes, which are purposed to slight the Apostle’s authority. The verbs John employs are all in the present tense, signaling that Diotrephes was continuing to abide in his policies of inhospitality.[36] Notably, this verse contains a unique word mentioned in the New Testament only here and in verse 9.[37] This verb, ἐπιδέχεται, literally means, “to receive” or “to welcome.”[38] This term finds identical formation, placement, and usage in both verses 9 and 10. Even so, countless scholars argue verse 9 refers to a rejection of the author’s words.[39] Brooke explains the word’s contrived variation in meaning (as compared to the identical verse 10), as simply a usage, “ in a somewhat different sense.”[40] Regarding its operation in verse 9, Jobes states,

“English translations that render “he does not welcome us” (οὐκ ἐπιδέχεται) as “he rejects our authority” or something similar are providing an interpretation of his (Diotrephes’) motivation, which in context is likely a true insight into the relationship between the elder and Diotrephes. Nevertheless, the verb itself does not include the sense of authority and therefore should be understood as referring to a refusal to welcome those sent by the elder, regardless of the motivation.” [41]

This is incredibly significant in a proper exegesis of verse 10. Here, the identical usage of ἐπιδέχεται must be accepted as such. Both instances point to Diotrephes continual (present tense) refusal to welcome/receive those approved by the Apostle John. The repeated usage of ἐπιδέχεται emphasizes the severity of this inhospitable action specifically. Yet the second usage adds a distinct emphasis of personal, conscious rejection, “οὔτε αὐτὸς ἐπιδέχεται” properly translated, “he himself does not receive us.” The digression starts with Diotrephes’ own refusal to hospitably welcome the brothers and ends with his despotic suppression of Christian hospitality.[42]

and he forbids those who desire to do so. Diotrephes is described here as continually (present tense) disallowing congregants to extend hospitality toward the orthodox emissaries of John. Based on the grammar and syntax alone, one cannot determine whether Diotrephes had the power and position to excommunicate, or if he simply hindered the efforts of others by cunning.[43] Yet based on the cumulative evidence of verses 9 and 10, Diotrephes must have been a prominent church leader, likely even the pastor. Thus, his act of “forbidding” should be understood as the exertion of a despotic leader.

Significant also is Diotrephes’ control over those who merely “desire” to “receive the brethren.” For one, this shows Diotrephes’ utter disdain for the Apostle Paul (although the motivation for this hatred is clearly his personal quest for primacy). The disdainful leader would take whatever measures necessary to make sure he was first, as is expected from a despot.[44] Secondly, the reality that some within Diotrephes’ church did indeed desire to obey the elder is remarkable. This shows a widespread acceptance of John’s apostolic authority, bearing against the theory that Diotrephes’ entire congregation was obdurately in line with their despotic leader. It should also be concluded that the entire congregation was indeed aware of John’s requests for hospitality (one should not conclude, as Kruse, that this necessarily means they read the letter of verse 9a).[45] In conclusion, this displays the accepted apostleship of John alongside the illegitimate, albeit authoritarian, assertions of Diotrephes, who was likely viewed as a despot by his own congregation.    

and puts them out of the church. Virtually all commentatorsacknowledge that the verbal form of ἐκβάλλει represents the habitual action of expelling. Comparatively few scholars have addressed the possibility that the present tense is conative, rather than factual. If this is the case, Diotrephes would be understood as merely attempting to expel congregants.[46] Clearly this would have significant implications.

Although the conative conclusion bodes well with the idea that Diotrephes was a mere powerless congregant, it is contrived and unwarranted by the text. Although it’s impossible to say with certainty the specific leadership position he held, it’s clear Diotrephes had unprecedented power in his church. Some have argued no pastor or elder at this time would have authority to single handedly reject missionaries, let alone excommunicate congregants. Even if this cultural conclusion is valid, one must simply speculate Diotrephes acted via coercive action to sway his congregation away from proper praxis. Moreover, the Apostle John would rightly concern himself with a situation where church power structures were subverted by those with autocratical aspirations. If Diotrephes is understood as a usurper in this way, as the text warrants, then there’s no logical reason to suppose his desire to wrongfully cast out faithful congregants wasn’t realized.

With this in mind, significant conclusions can be made regarding the ἐκκλησίας “church” over which Diotrephes asserts his leadership. First of all, the term ἐκκλησίας is consequential in early Christian culture for several reasons. This word literally translates, “an assembly, or a regularly summoned legislative body.”[47] In Greek culture, public assemblies were held for the purpose of political or legislative discourse. In the Roman Empire, this practice was characteristically adapted, though as more of a cultural custom. Regardless, this nomenclature was widely recognizable in Roman culture and was understandably adapted by Christians who gathered together for purposes of worship. This is significant because the word translated “church” has none of the modern connotations now associated with specifically Christian gatherings. With the much-opposed emergence of Christianity in Rome, using the inconspicuous ἐκκλησία moniker was tremendously strategic.

Even decades after Christ’s death, these distinctly Christian “assemblies” were still scattered, unofficial (at least in government and society), small, and purposefully quiet. This explains the New Testament prominence of so called “house assemblies” (cf. Philemon 1:2; 1 Corinthians 16:19, Romans 16:5; et. al.). These gatherings are often referenced in the New Testament in relation to the homeowner, such as in Colossians 4:15, “Νύμφαν καὶ τὴν κατʼ οἶκον αὐτῆς ἐκκλησίαν.”[48] There’s little reason to believe Diotrephes’ “church” was anything other than a “house-church.”

Given the authority Diotrephes asserts and the lack of action taken against his tyranny, as well as his ability to expel John’s emissaries, it is logical to conclude Diotrephes himself hosted a house church. This also explains his separation from Gaius, who appears ignorant of the situation with the rogue leader, despite having residence near this wayward brother. Moreover, scholars argue whether Diotrephes was expelling individuals from his home or from the church to which he belonged. With a proper understanding of “house-churches,” both conclusions would be valid simultaneously.  

Conclusion: Synthesis of 3 John 9–10

John included verses 9 and 10 in his epistle to Gaius specifically to condemn Diotrephes’ arrogant attitude, slanderous words, and inhospitable actions. The despotic church leader is described to Gaius as rejecting proper submission to apostolic authority in his quest for primacy. This unchristian love for preeminence is exemplified by a habitual rejection of the Apostle’s orthodox missionaries, as well as a continuing pattern of deeds rightly described as evil. Although Diotrephes was a brother in Christ without any heretical variation in teaching, he was also a deeply egocentric man who required face to face rebuke from John himself. Without this intervention, Diotrephes would continue spreading lies about the Apostle and his ministers, while refusing to welcome missionaries associated with the Apostle whom he felt threatened by. Indeed, Diotrephes’ sinful rejection of John’s apostolic authority was so rampant, the tyrant was willing to excommunicate those with the mere desire to display Christlike hospitality to John’s missionaries.


Backgrounds, Surveys, and Introductions

DeSilva, David Arthur. An Introduction to the New Testament: Contexts, Methods & Ministry Formation. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2004.

Ferguson, Everett. Backgrounds of Early Christianity. 3rd ed. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003.

Hill, Charles E. The Johannine Corpus in the Early Church. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004.

Keener, Craig S. The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament. 2nd ed. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2014.

Köstenberger, Andreas J., L. Scott Kellum, and Charles L. Quarles. The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament. 2nd ed. Nashville: B&H Publishing Group, 2016.

Concordances, Dictionaries, and Encyclopedias

Bauer, Walter. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature. Edited by Frederick William Danker. Translated by William Arndt and F. Wilbur Gingrich. 3rd ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000.

Elwell, Walter A., Peter C. Craigie, and Barry J. Beitzel. Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible. Vol. 2. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1988.

Freedman, David Noel. Anchor Bible Dictionary. Vol. 3. 1st ed. New York: Doubleday, 1992.

Silva, Moisés, and Merrill C. Tenney. The Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible. Rev. ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2009.


Akin, Daniel L. 1, 2, 3 John. New American Commentary 38. Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 2001.

Barker, Glenn. W. 1, 2, 3 John. The Expositor’s Bible Commentary 12. Edited by Frank E. Gaebelein. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1982.

Boice, James Montgomery. The Epistles of John: An Expositional Commentary. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2004.

Brooke, Alan E. A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Johannine Epistles. International Critical Commentary. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1912.

Brown, Raymond Edward. The Epistles of John. Anchor Yale Bible 30. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1982.

Burdick, Donald W. The Letters of John the Apostle: An In-Depth Commentary. Chicago: Moody, 1985.

Derickson, Gary W. 1, 2 & 3 John. Evangelical Exegetical Commentary. Edited by H. Wayne House. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2014.

Hodges, Zane C. 3 John. The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures 2. Edited by John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985.

Jobes, Karen H. 1, 2, and 3 John. Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. Vol. 19. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2013.

Kruse, Colin G. The Letters of John. Pillar New Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000.

MacArthur, John. 1, 2, 3 John. MacArthur New Testament Commentary. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2007.

Marshall, I. Howard. The Epistles of John. New International Commentary on the New Testament 8. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1978.

Rosscup, James E. “Exposition of III John.” Unpublished class syllabus. The Master’s Seminary, 2004.

Smalley, Stephen S. 1, 2, 3 John. Word Biblical Commentary 51. Dallas: Word Books, 1984.

Stott, John R. W. The Epistles of John. Tyndale New Testament Commentary 19. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1988.

Thompson, Marianne Meye. 1–3 John. The IVP New Testament Commentary Series 19. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1992.

Walls, David, and Max Anders. I & II Peter, I, II & III John, Jude. Holman New Testament Commentary 11. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1999.

[1] Andreas J. Köstenberger, Scott Kellum, and Charles L. Quarles, The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament, 2nd ed. (Nashville: B&H Publishing Group, 2016), 895.

[2] Ibid., 904.

[3] Ibid., 905.

[4] Everett Ferguson, Backgrounds of Early Christianity, 3rd ed. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003), 89.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Glenn W. Barker, 1, 2, 3 John, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary 12, ed. Frank E. Gaebelein (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1982), 374.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Raymond Edward Brown, The Epistles of John, Anchor Yale Bible 30 (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1982), 715.

[9] Even those who posit 1/2 John constitutes the “lost letter” argue that these related epistles specifically promote hospitality (love). Thus, by rejecting either (or both) former epistles, Diotrephes was displaying his heart set on denying hospitality to John’s emissaries. This fits well with a larger, more significant understanding of Diotrephes’ obdurate lust for preeminence and tendency toward rejecting Apostolic authority, but there is simply no reason to postulate the lost letter was necessarily 1/2 John. More significant is Diotrephes’ blatant rejection of Johannine instruction regarding hospitality. For an argument defending the lost letter’s identity as 1/2 John, see: James E. Rosscup, “Exposition of III John,” unpublished class syllabus (Sun Valley, CA: The Master’s Seminary, 2004), 6.

[10] This is perhaps most evident by Diotrephes’ unprecedented power to excommunicate – see notes on verse 10.

[11] John R. W. Stott, The Epistles of John, Tyndale New Testament Commentary 19, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1988), 234.

[12] Stephen S. Smalley, 1, 2, 3 John, World Biblical Commentary 51 (Dallas: Word Books, 1984), 357.

[13] Brown, The Epistles of John, 717.

[14] Ibid.

[15] Daniel L. Akin, 1, 2, 3 John, New American Commentary 38 (Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 2001), 246.

[16] Colin G. Kruse, The Letters of John, Pillar New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000), 226.

[17] Ibid, 227.

[18] John 13:20, New American Standard Bible: 1995 update.

[19] As is further argued regarding the use of ἐπιδέχεται in verse 10b.

[20] Rosscup, “Exposition of III John”, 6.

[21] Smalley, 1, 2, 3 John, 357.

[22] Alan E. Brooke, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Johannine Epistles, International Critical Commentary (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1912), 189.

[23] Brown, The Epistles of John, 719.

[24] Akin, 1, 2, 3 John, 248.

[25] Ibid.

[26] Brown, The Epistles of John, 719.

[27] Howard I. Marshall, The Epistles of John, New International Commentary on the New Testament 8 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1978), 91.

[28] Smalley, 1, 2, 3 John, 358.

[29] Brown, The Epistles of John, 719.

[30] Ibid.

[31] Ibid.

[32] Zane C. Hodges, 3 John, The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures 2, ed. John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 914.

[33] Karen H. Jobes, 1, 2, and 3 John, Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament 19 (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2013), 320.

[34] Ibid.

[35] Ibid.

[36] Brown, The Epistles of John, 719.

[37] Brooke, Johannine Epistles, 189.

[38] Ibid.

[39] Hence the NASB translation, “does not accept what we say.”

[40] Brooke, Johannine Epistles, 189.

[41] Jobes, 1, 2, and 3 John, 313.

[42] Ibid., 320.

[43] Brooke, Johannine Epistles, 190.

[44] Kruse, The Letters of John, 228.

[45] Ibid.

[46] Gary W. Derickson, 1, 2 & 3 John, Evangelical Exegetical Commentary, ed. H. Wayne House (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2014), 692.

[47] Walter Bauer, “ἐκκλησία,”A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 3rd ed., ed. Frederick William Danker, trans. William Arndt and F. Wilbur Gingrich (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 303.

[48] Translated, “Nympha and the assembly that is in her house.”