Setting and Purpose of the Letters of John

1 John 1 John was written to address a situation brought about by a schism in a Christian community (1 Jn 2:19). The sense of the verb exerchesthai in 1 Jn 2:19 is usually taken to mean that a group separated itself from the author's group by its own will (as opposed to being expelled). … Continue reading Setting and Purpose of the Letters of John

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Genre of the Letters of John

2 and 3 John The literary genre of 2 and 3 John is clearly the letter in the Greco-Roman form. Both documents contain common features of letters: named addressee or author (2Jn 1:1; 3Jn 1:1), greeting or prayer (2Jn 1:3; 3Jn 1:2), thanksgiving (2Jn 1:4; 3Jn 1:3-4), and closing greeting to others (2Jn 1:12-13; 3Jn … Continue reading Genre of the Letters of John

Style of the Letters of John

1 John The progression of thought in 1 John is not a simple linear development. Certain themes and expressions recur throughout the letter and are addressed in slightly different ways in different locations. These themes and expressions include: from the beginning (1:1; 2:7, 13, 24) life (1:1-2; 2:25; 3:14-16; 5:11-13, 16, 20) fellowship (1:3, 7, … Continue reading Style of the Letters of John

Text of the Letters of John

The Johannine Epistles, in part or as a whole, have been preserved in about six hundred manuscripts, including two papyri (Klauck 1991: 4). They offer "relatively few text-critical problems," and no proposed emendation has found wide assent (1991: 5, 8).1 The texts of 1, 2, and 3 Jn are well preserved. They are not strongly … Continue reading Text of the Letters of John

Early External Attestation to the Letters of John

Introduction This post notes quotations, allusions, and references to Letters of John from the first few centuries of the Christian Era. Some of the quotations, allusions, and references may be debatable but are included for completeness. This is particularly the case for the earliest writings in the list in an attempt to find the earliest … Continue reading Early External Attestation to the Letters of John

Commentary on 1 John 5:13-21

Notes (NET Translation) 13 I have written these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. The phrase "these things" may refer to what was just written in ch. 5 (Derickson, Strecker) or to the entire epistle (Akin, Brown). Here … Continue reading Commentary on 1 John 5:13-21

Commentary on 1 John 5:6-12

Notes (NET Translation) 6 Jesus Christ is the one who came by water and blood - not by the water only, but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. The author is using phraseology that was familiar to his original readers but … Continue reading Commentary on 1 John 5:6-12