Intro to 3 John

Introduction to NIV Study Bible | Go to 3 John


The author is John the apostle. In the first verses of both 2 John and 3 John the author identifies himself as “the elder.” Note other similarities: “love in the truth” (v. 1 of both letters), “walking in the truth” (v. 4 of both letters) and the similar conclusions. See Introductions to 1 John and the Gospel of John: Author.


The letter was probably written about the same time as 1 and 2 John (a.d. 85–95). See Introduction to 1 John: Date.

Occasion and Purpose

personSee Introduction to 2 John: Occasion and Purpose. Itinerant teachers sent out by John were rejected in one of the churches in the province of Asia by a dictatorial leader, Diotrephes, who even excommunicated members who showed hospitality to John’s messengers. John wrote this letter to commend Gaius for supporting the teachers and, indirectly, to warn Diotrephes.


  • Greetings (1–2)
  • Commendation of Gaius (3–8)
  • Condemnation of Diotrephes (9–10)
  • Exhortation to Gaius (11)
  • Example of Demetrius (12)
  • Conclusion, Benediction and Final Greetings (13–14)

© Zondervan. From the Zondervan NIV Study Bible. Used with Permission.

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