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1. The elder. See on 2 John 1.
The well-beloved. Rev., the beloved. In the Greek order the name comes first. Gaius the beloved.
In the truth (en alhqeia). Rev., properly, omitting the article, in truth. See on 2 John 4.
I wish above all things (peri pantwn eucomai). Wrong. This sense of peri is contrary to New Testament usage. The preposition means concerning. So Rev. "I pray that in all things thou mayst prosper." Eucomai I pray or wish, occurs only here in John's writings, and not often elsewhere. See Acts xxvi. 29; Rom. ix. 3; Jas. v. 16.
Mayst prosper (euodousqai). Lit., have a prosperous journey. From ejn well, and oJdov a way. In this original sense, Rom. i. 10. The word occurs only three times in the New Testament. See 1 Cor. xvi. 2. Be in health (ugiainein). Used in the New Testament both in a physical and moral sense. The former is found only here and in Luke's Gospel. See Luke v. 31; vii. 10; xv. 27. Paul uses it of soundness in faith or doctrine. See 1 Timothy i. 10; vi. 3; 2 Tim. i. 13; Tit. ii. 2. Here of Gaius' bodily health, as is shown by soul in the next clause.
Soul (yuch). See on Mark xii. 30; Luke i. 46. The soul (yuch) is the principle of individuality, the seat of personal impressions. It has a side in contact with both the material and the spiritual element of humanity, and is thus the mediating organ between body and spirit. Its meaning, therefore, constantly rises above life or the living individual, and takes color from its relation to either the emotional or the spiritual side of life, from the fact of its being the seat of the feelings, desires, affections, aversions, and the bearer and manifester of the divine life-principle (pneuma). Consequently yuch is often used in our sense of heart (Luke i. 46; ii. 35; John x. 24; Acts xiv. 2); and the meanings of yuch soul and pneuma spirit, occasionally approach each other very closely. Compare John xii. 27, and xi. 33; Matt. xi. 29, and 1 Cor. xvi. 18. Also both words in Luke i. 47. In this passage yuch soul, expresses the soul regarded as moral being designed for everlasting life. See Heb. vi. 19; x. 39; viii. 17; 1 Pet. ii. 11; iv. 19. John commonly uses the word to denote the principle of the natural life. See John x. 11, 15; xiii. 37; xv. 13; 1 John iii. 16; Apoc. viii. 9; xii. 11; xvi. 3.
3. Rejoiced greatly. See on 2 John 4.
Brethren came (ercomenwn adelfwn). Lit., coming. The present participle denotes coming from time to time, and not coming on a single occasion, which would require the aorist. On brethren, see on 1 John ii. 9. Thou walkest in truth. See on 1 John i. 8. for the phrase walk in, see on 2 John 6. Thou is emphatic, suggesting a contrast with less faithful ones, as Diotrephes, ver. 9.
My children (ta ema tekna). Lit., mine own children.
Walk (peripatounta). Rev., rightly, walking. The participle expresses something habitual.
5. Thou doest faithfully (piston poieiv). Rev., thou doest a faithful work. A third interpretation is thou givest a pledge or guaranty, and a fourth, akin to this, thou makest sure. The Rev. is best. There is no parallel to justify the third and fourth. 73 Thou doest (ergash). Or lit., according to the eymology, workest (ergon work). See on Jas. ii. 9. The distinction between this verb and others signifying to do, such as poiein, prassein, dran, which last does not occur in the New Testament, is not sharply maintained in Attic Greek. In certain connections the difference between them is great, in others, it is hardly perceptible. On poiein and pra.ssein, see on John iii. 21.'Ergazomai, like prassein, contemplates the process rather than the end of action, carrying the ideas of continuity and repetition. It means to labor, to be active, to perform, with the idea of continued exertion, and therefore is used of servants, or of those who have an assigned business or office. See Matt. xxi. 28; xxv. 26; Luke xiii. 14; John v. 17; vi. 27; ix. 4; 1 Thessalonians ii. 9. For the phrase ejrgash eijv thou doest toward (Rev.), see Matt. xxvi. 10.
And to strangers (kai eiv touv xenouv). The best texts read, instead of eijv touv to the (strangers), touto, that; so that the sentence is, literally, "to them that are brethren, and that strangers." For the phrase and that, compare 1 Cor. vi. 6; Philip. i. 28; Eph. ii. 8.
6. The Church (ekklhsiav). See on Matt. xvi. 18.
Thou shalt do well (kalwv poihseiv). For the phrase, see Acts x. 33; Philip. iv. 14; Jas. ii. 8, 19; 2 Pet. i. 19. Rev., renders the whole: whom thou wilt do well to set forward on their journey worthily of God.
7. For His Name's sake (uper tou onomatov). His is supplied by the A.V. It is not in the text. Rev., correctly, for the sake of the Name. The Name (Jesus Christ) is used thus absolutely in Acts v. 41; compare James ii. 7. For a similar absolute use of the way, see on Acts iv. 2. See on 1 John i. 7.
Taking nothing of (mhden lambanontev apo). For the phrase taking of, or from, see on 1 John i. 5.
8. Ought (ofeilomen). See on 1 John ii. 6.
To receive (apolambanein). The best texts read uJpolambanein to support; i.e., to welcome with the provision of hospitality. Rev., welcome. The verb means, originally, to take underneath in order to raise. Hence, to support. Figuratively, to take upon the mind, to suppose, as Luke vii. 43; Acts ii. 15: to take up or follow in speech; hence to answer, as Luke x. 30. Fellow-helpers to the truth (sunergoi th alhqeia). Lit., fellow-workers. The expression is explained in two ways: either fellow-workers with the teachers (toioutouv such) in support of the truth; or fellow-workers with the truth. Adopt the latter, as Rev. 74
Diotrephes (Diotrefhv). The name is from Diov of Zeus (Jove), and trefw to nourish, and means Jove-nursed.
Who loveth to have the pre-eminence (o filoprwteuwn). From the adjective filoprwtov fond of being first. The word occurs here only.
Them that would. Those who were disposed to receive the strangers. Casteth them out. By excommunication, which, through his influence, he had power to bring about.
11. Follow (mimou). More correctly, as Rev., imitate. Elsewhere only 2 Thessalonians iii. 7, 9; Heb. xiii. 7. The kindred word mimhthv imitator, uniformly rendered follower in A.V., occurs 1 Cor. iv. 16; xi. 1; Eph. v. 1. Hence our word mimic; also pantomime. Mimov means both an actor and a kind of prose drama, intended as a familiar representation of life and character, and without any distinct plot. That which is evil - that which is good (to kakon - to agaqon). Compare ta ajgaqa good, ta faula evil, John v. 29.
12. Demetrius hath good report (Dhmhtriw memarturhtai). Lit., unto Demetrius witness hath been born. See John iii. 26.
13. I had (eicon). The imperfect tense: I was having, when I began to write.
14. Face to face. See on 2 John 12.