Saturday, August 16, 2014

II John

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The III John post has done better than most articles for pageviews but more importantly I am truly glad if it can assist others as well as provide learning for me.

As I noted on my Facebook page, perhaps that new page does help with marketing my blogs.

The Facebook page may be providing what some had hoped Twitter would provide for me.

Documentation from the previous III John post which is also relevant for this II John article: 

Authorship and Date

R.W. Orr holds to the once universal belief that I John, II John and III John and the works of the Gospel of John and Revelation, are written by the Apostle John. Orr (1986: 1571).

He reasons that the evidence from I-III is not based on a definite in-text claim but from 'the ancient testimony of the Church'. Orr (1986: 1571). There is another view that the books could be from a 'Johannine School' as presented by New Testament scholar, Donald Guthrie in New Testament Introduction of 1962. Orr (1986: 1571).

After the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, John departed for residence in Ephesus (1571); the island of Patmos being nearby. Orr (1986: 1571). Orr reasons these works were written within the about thirty years after the AD 70 events.

Robert Gundry, dates II John late 80s or early 90s A.D. (page 364).

Text

The letter is addressed to 'the chosen lady' (and her children). The views are expressed this could be a lady that hosted a house church or it could be the 'personification of a particular church'. Encountering (2013: 352).

Encountering notes that the message is the same regardless (352).

As in I John, the necessity of those in the Church walking in love is heavily emphasized. (352). This is a command Christians were to follow from the beginning (verses 5-6). This being entirely theologically and intellectually consistent with the Gospel of John, Chapter 15.

The author warns of those who deny both the humanity and deity of Jesus Christ (352) and that they were many. They are known as 'deceiver and antichrist' (352).

There were many in the New Testament era and many today. Some working within the Church I reason, some outside of the Church.

New American Standard Bible

II John

7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. 8 Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward. 9 [a]Anyone who [b]goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son.

Those who reject the true Gospel are themselves to be rejected. (352).

10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; 11 for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.

I take this is a spiritual and theological separation.

This would not, in a 21st century context, exclude Christian evangelism and theological discussion to those with a false gospel but would exclude any private or public acceptance of that gospel from the Biblical Christian.

Orr writes that love will prevent schism in the Church, in verse 5 (1587), and that the Church fellowship will be maintained only if the original Biblical gospel is held (1587).

Heretical teachers existed that challenged the true Gospel (1587), verses 7-11.

So called 'advanced' (1587) teaching that leaves the original gospel is definitely of the antichrist and is 'antichristian' (1587).

Note that I will use philosophical theology to better assist in gospel understanding and in Biblical teaching. I reason that all truth is God's truth.

However, I will not leave the original gospel for any kind of so called advanced theology or philosophy. The idea being that as the Scripture is true religious history, revealed from God through persons, it reveals accurate theology. To seek understandings supposedly more advanced than this is in reality to ignore God and trust in finite, human speculation. Humanity also tainted by sin in nature and choice.

I am not opposed to philosophy of religion, obviously from my academic background and writings, but I use it with contextual Biblical Studies, not instead of.

Orr, notes, that fellowship and 'appearance of approval' of heresy is to be avoided in verses 10-11 (1587).

The author, states that he wishes to visit in person to further discuss matters.

ELWELL, WALTER AND YARBROUGH, ROBERT W., Third Edition (2013) Encountering The New Testament, Grand Rapids, Baker Academic.

GUNDRY, ROBERT (1981) A Survey of the New Testament, Grand Rapids, Zondervan.

ORR, R.W. (1986) 'The Letters of John' in The International Bible Commentary, Grand Rapids, Zondervan.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

III John

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Authorship and Date

R.W. Orr holds to the once universal belief that I John, II John and III John and the works of the Gospel of John and Revelation, are written by the Apostle John. Orr (1986: 1571).

He reasons that the evidence from I-III is not based on a definite in-text claim but from 'the ancient testimony of the Church'. Orr (1986: 1571).

There is another view that the books could be from a 'Johannine School' as presented by New Testament scholar, Donald Guthrie in New Testament Introduction of 1962. Orr (1986: 1571).

After the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, John departed for residence in Ephesus (1571); the island of Patmos being nearby. Orr (1986: 1571). Orr reasons these works were written within the about thirty years after the AD 70 events.

Robert Gundry, dates III John late 80s or early 90s A.D. (page 364).

Text

The letter is addressed to the elder Gaius (1571) and unlike II John this letter has an explicit recipient. Encountering (2013: 352).

Gaius is a convert of John and is commended for his faithful walk in the truth (3-4) and for his hospitality and support for Christian workers, missionaries and evangelists (8). Encountering (2013: 352).

He is contrasted, it appears with Diotrephes that is not willing to work with other Christian workers, 'gossips, rejects John's advice and expels from the church those who seek to help those laboring to further the true gospel (9-10)'. Encountering (2013: 352).

Apparently, this is a matter of ego, as he 'wants to be first' (352). Demetrius, on the other hand, has a good reputation (352).

The Biblical author states that further communication would be better served taking place in person.

III John is a short text and is often overlooked in importance as I result I would reason.

However, as far as application is concerned, theologically it can be seen that within the book there is perhaps the 'classic' if we take Christian history forward, example of a Christian worker that is true to the Scripture and Biblical authority. In the case of Gaius, who was taught personally by John.

There is also the example of Diotrephes that does not want to follow the teachings of the Apostle John. The Apostle with lofty credentials of being guided by the Holy Spirit to write Scripture and was a disciple of Jesus Christ, personally,

In the 21st century, this would be comparable to a Christian teacher, or pseudo-Christian teacher that for a variety of reasons, including ego, and perhaps wanting to be first, does not want to follow and teach Biblical, Scriptural teaching in context. This is not living and teaching under the submission of the Holy Spirit through the Bible.

It can be observed that III John, although a very short book, with a few audio listens, a read through and a few commentaries is quite theologically relevant today...

ELWELL, WALTER AND YARBROUGH, ROBERT W., Third Edition (2013) Encountering The New Testament, Grand Rapids, Baker Academic.

GUNDRY, ROBERT (1981) A Survey of the New Testament, Grand Rapids, Zondervan.

ORR, R.W. (1986) 'The Letters of John' in The International Bible Commentary, Grand Rapids, Zondervan.