Introduction to Three John

by Dr. Henry M. Morris:

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

As in his second epistle, John, rather than mentioning his name, introduces this letter as coming simply from “the elder.” zTerm is even more personal than yTerm, being addressed to an individual, “the wellbeloved Gaius” (zTerm 1), apparently a responsible leader in a church where John had formerly ministered (note the reference to “my children” in zTerm 4).

Presumably this epistle, in common with xTerm and yTerm, were written by the Apostle John from Ephesus some time around a.d. 90 (see the Introduction to xTerm and Introduction to yTerm). His occasion for writing Gaius was to encourage him in handling a disagreement in the church between two men, Diotrephes and Demetrius. The former was trying to rule the church in a tyrannical fashion, and needed to be rebuked, whereas Demetrius was sincerely trying to implement John's teachings. John himself was hoping soon to visit the church (zTerm 14), just as he was hoping to visit that of the “elect lady” of yTerm 12.

John places great emphasis on “the truth” in all three epistles. It is significant that he not only stresses teaching the truth, but also doing the truth (xTerm 1:6) and “walking in” the truth (yTerm 4; zTerm 3-4). He even notes that Demetrius had a “good report” of the truth (zTerm 12).

Note also the Introductions to John, xTerm, yTerm and Revelation, all of which were written by the same man, John the Apostle.