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3 John 1

New International Version

1 The elder, To my dear friend Gaius, whom I love in the truth. 2 Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. 3 It gave me great joy when some believers came and testified about your faithfulness to the truth, telling how you continue to walk in it. 4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. 5 Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers and sisters, even though they are strangers to you. 6 They have told the church about your love. Please send them on their way in a manner that honors God. 7 It was for the sake of the Name that they went out, receiving no help from the pagans. 8 We ought therefore to show hospitality to such people so that we may work together for the truth. 9 I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will not welcome us. 10 So when I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, spreading malicious nonsense about us. Not satisfied with that, he even refuses to welcome other believers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church. 11 Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God. 12 Demetrius is well spoken of by everyone--and even by the truth itself. We also speak well of him, and you know that our testimony is true. 13 I have much to write you, but I do not want to do so with pen and ink. 14 I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face. Peace to you. The friends here send their greetings. Greet the friends there by name.
English Standard Version

1 The elder to the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth. 2 Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. 3 For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified to your truth, as indeed you are walking in the truth. 4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. 5 Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for these brothers, strangers as they are, 6 who testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their journey in a manner worthy of God. 7 For they have gone out for the sake of the name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles. 8 Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth. 9 I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. 10 So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, talking wicked nonsense against us. And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers, and also stops those who want to and puts them out of the church. 11 Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God. 12 Demetrius has received a good testimony from everyone, and from the truth itself. We also add our testimony, and you know that our testimony is true. 13 I had much to write to you, but I would rather not write with pen and ink. 14 I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face. [15] Peace be to you. The friends greet you. Greet the friends, each by name.
King James Version

1 The elder unto the wellbeloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth. 2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. 3 For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth. 4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. 5 Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to the brethren, and to strangers; 6 Which have borne witness of thy charity before the church: whom if thou bring forward on their journey after a godly sort, thou shalt do well: 7 Because that for his name's sake they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles. 8 We therefore ought to receive such, that we might be fellowhelpers to the truth. 9 I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. 10 Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church. 11 Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God. 12 Demetrius hath good report of all men, and of the truth itself: yea, and we also bear record; and ye know that our record is true. 13 I had many things to write, but I will not with ink and pen write unto thee: 14 But I trust I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face. Peace be to thee. Our friends salute thee. Greet the friends by name.
New American Standard Bible

1 The elder to the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth. 2 Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers. 3 For I was very glad when brethren came and testified to your truth, that is, how you are walking in truth. 4 I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth. 5 Beloved, you are acting faithfully in whatever you accomplish for the brethren, and especially when they are strangers; 6 and they have testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God. 7 For they went out for the sake of the Name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles. 8 Therefore we ought to support such men, so that we may be fellow workers with the truth. 9 I wrote something to the church; but Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them, does not accept what we say. 10 For this reason, if I come, I will call attention to his deeds which he does, unjustly accusing us with wicked words; and not satisfied with this, he himself does not receive the brethren, either, and he forbids those who desire to do so and puts them out 11 Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. The one who does good is of God; the one who does evil has not seen God. 12 Demetrius has received a good testimony from everyone, and from the truth itself; and we add our testimony, and you know that our testimony is true. 13 I had many things to write to you, but I am not willing to write them to you with pen and ink; 14 but I hope to see you shortly, and we will speak face to face. (15) Peace be to you. The friends greet you. Greet the friends by name.
New Living Translation

1 This letter is from John, the elder. I am writing to Gaius, my dear friend, whom I love in the truth. 2 Dear friend, I hope all is well with you and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit. 3 Some of the traveling teachers recently returned and made me very happy by telling me about your faithfulness and that you are living according to the truth. 4 I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children are following the truth. 5 Dear friend, you are being faithful to God when you care for the traveling teachers who pass through, even though they are strangers to you. 6 They have told the church here of your loving friendship. Please continue providing for such teachers in a manner that pleases God. 7 For they are traveling for the Lord, and they accept nothing from people who are not believers. 8 So we ourselves should support them so that we can be their partners as they teach the truth. 9 I wrote to the church about this, but Diotrephes, who loves to be the leader, refuses to have anything to do with us. 10 When I come, I will report some of the things he is doing and the evil accusations he is making against us. Not only does he refuse to welcome the traveling teachers, he also tells others not to help them. And when they do help, he puts them out of the ch 11 Dear friend, don't let this bad example influence you. Follow only what is good. Remember that those who do good prove that they are God's children, and those who do evil prove that they do not know God. 12 Everyone speaks highly of Demetrius, as does the truth itself. We ourselves can say the same for him, and you know we speak the truth. 13 I have much more to say to you, but I don't want to write it with pen and ink. 14 For I hope to see you soon, and then we will talk face to face. [15] Peace be with you. Your friends here send you their greetings. Please give my personal greetings to each of our friends there.
Christian Standard Bible

1 The elder: To my dear friend Gaius, whom I love in the truth. 2 Dear friend, I pray that you are prospering in every way and are in good health, just as your whole life is going well. 3 For I was very glad when fellow believers came and testified to your fidelity to the truth--how you are walking in truth. 4 I have no greater joy than this: to hear that my children are walking in truth. 5 Dear friend, you are acting faithfully in whatever you do for the brothers and sisters, especially when they are strangers. 6 They have testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their journey in a manner worthy of God, 7 since they set out for the sake of the Name, accepting nothing from pagans. 8 Therefore, we ought to support such people so that we can be coworkers with the truth. 9 I wrote something to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have first place among them, does not receive our authority. 10 This is why, if I come, I will remind him of the works he is doing, slandering us with malicious words. And he is not satisfied with that! He not only refuses to welcome fellow believers, but he even stops those who want to do so and expels them from the 11 Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. The one who does good is of God; the one who does evil has not seen God. 12 Everyone speaks well of Demetrius--even the truth itself. And we also speak well of him, and you know that our testimony is true. 13 I have many things to write you, but I don't want to write to you with pen and ink. 14 I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face. 15 Peace to you. The friends send you greetings. Greet the friends by name.

What does 3 John 1 mean?

Third John consists of only 15 total verses (14 in some translations). It is the second-shortest book in the Bible. Only 2 John has fewer verses, at 13. This sometimes leads to confusion over verses. In truth, there are no "chapters" in 3 John, but it would be confusing to refer to verses as 3 John 1, 3 John 2, etc. So, to make things easier, verses are labelled as if they are in the "first" chapter of the book.

Verse 1 begins with an introduction from "the elder," traditionally the apostle John. He writes to Gaius, whom he loves "in truth." Truth is mentioned six times in these 15 verses.

Verses 2–8 highlight the positive traits of Gaius. He treats "the brethren," traveling Christian teachers, well (3 John 1:5) and they speak highly of him among the churches (3 John 1:6). Such traveling teachers serve "for the sake of the Name" and receive no financial support from Gentiles (3 John 1:7). They are to be supported by "us" as missionaries or messengers of the truth (3 John 1:8).

Verses 9–10 speak of the evil influence of Diotrephes, a prideful church leader who disregarded the authority of Gaius and John (3 John 1:9). John hoped to personally visit to speak against him and the ungodly actions Diotrephes had committed against God's people (3 John 1:10).

Verses 11–12 mention a third individual named Demetrius. Believers are to imitate good, not evil (3 John 1:11). Demetrius has a good testimony from all people as well as "from the truth itself" (3 John 1:12). John also spoke well of him.

Verses 13–15 offer a short conclusion. John wants to meet "face to face" (3 John 1:13–14) and offers a closing benediction of peace, saying those with him send greetings and to greet their common friends by name.