This didn't stop His enemies from criticizing Him, however (Luke 15:1–2). The moral behavior that is prescribed in the paraenesis is also binding on all people at all times. Let us think about the salutations in the letters and e-mail messages that we ourselves send and receive. In fact, sometimes the recipients of my letters share with me the difficulties through which they are currently passing. Official letters were public in content and tone. 1:29; 1 Pet. While even some very basic research will show that 3 John 2 really cannot be abused in that way, prosperity adherents will often turn to John 10:10 to back up their point. One might carefully read Hebrews 12: 1-11 !! This article first appeared in the Practical Hermeneutics column of the Christian Research Journal, volume 28, number 1 (2005). We should note in this regard that “prosperity” teachers attach an undue weight to the syntax that happens to appear in the English translation of 3 John 2. We can note two things in this interpretation of 3 John 2. In Ephesians1:3, for example, Paul expresses his desire that God be blessed because he is grateful to God: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing.” Paul, as the writer, states what we, too, are thankful for as readers. A Christian Perspective, Bespoke Religiosity and the Rise of the Nones: a review of Strange Rites: New Religions for a Godless World by Tara Isabella Burton, Perspective Matters: Looking “At” vs. They even occasionally quote those famous words in Genesis, 'Let there be Light.' 1:1). Beloved, I wish — Or, I pray, as ευχομαι is translated by Beza, Estius, Erasmus, Schmidius, Doddridge, and others.Above all things — Or, with respect to all things, as περι παντων rather signifies; that thou mayest prosper and be in health — Namely, of body; even as, I doubt not, thy soul prospereth — In faith, love, and every virtue. I t is indeed lamentable that this typical farewell message from the apostle John to Gaius the Elder has been picked up and distorted by so many during the last few years. Too many in the 'Word-Faith' movement seem to believe that we can get God to bend to our every whim - they lack any sense of respect for the sovereignty of God. It comes from two root words one of which means 'to accomplish,' 'to do,' to make,' or 'to finish,' the other meaning 'to progress,' or 'to further' (as on a journey). In the beginning of the salutation (v.1), John calls the recipient “beloved Gaius.” The first thing we might note from this is that John is writing to a personal friend. No: they are wishes. The particular claim which one sometimes hears is that 'prosper' at the beginning of this verse concerns prosperity of a financial nature while 'prospers' at the conclusion of the verse only concerns spiritual matters. Purpose of Writing: John’s purpose in writing this third epistle is threefold. Interpreting the Various Sections of the New Testament Epistles. 2002, With regard to the 'positive confession' and prosperity teaching, you may also wish to read the following articles, This means that they were written in response to specific occasions in the life and times of the writer and his recipients. 4. The truth is, this message is little different to one which we use all the time today, 'I trust that this letter finds you well.'. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.". Verse2 of the epistle of 3 John appears as part of the salutation. They express the author’s wishes for the recipients: “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit” (Gal. Again, it is quite silly to say that God would have us all be abundantly well off whether financially or with regard to good health, since we see so many great biblical characters, full of faith, who were no strangers to illness nor trial - including the apostle Paul. " suffer for His sake." We can note two things in this interpretation of 3 John 2. The New Testament Epistles have these same ingredients. John is expressing a wish for the complete well-being of his friend. And when they wanted wine — It is probable that, in consequence of its being known that Jesus would be present at this feast, a greater resort of company came than was expected, and that this occasioned a failure of the wine. John's gospel is meant to approach Jesus' ministry from a different perspective than the other three gospels. Here is how Paul finishes his sentence, here is the other vital thing 'granted to us,' The New Testament Epistles are a modification of letter writing conventions of the Greek and Roman cultures of the New Testament era. The phrase “just as” or “even as,” then, has the force of a coordinate link, not a cause and effect link. t is indeed lamentable that this typical farewell message from the apostle John to Gaius the Elder has been picked up and distorted by so many during the last few years. CAN OUR 'POSITIVE CONFESSION' FORCE GOD TO CHANGE COURSE? The person who receives my expression of good wishes does not claim it as something assured. 'But also to be healthy and wealthy??' Second, following the body or doctrinal section of a New Testament Epistle, we typically find a section of moral commands that goes by the Greek word paraenesis, which means “exhortations.” This section might contain groupings of proverbs, lists of vices and virtues, catalogs of commands about what to avoid and what to practice, or exhortations about a single moral topic. There are no hidden or esoteric spiritual truths embodied in a conventional epistolary salutation. Some of those who uphold the 'prosperity gospel' say that God wants us all to be healthy and wealthy and we are denying ourselves these things by not 'claiming the promises in faith,' they also seem to imply that words themselves have some sort of magical properties to them, so that if we will only boldly say we will have this or have that, we can have those things! First, in most of the Epistles, the opening salutation is followed by a thanksgiving. Thomas F. Johnson, 1, 2, and 3 John (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1993), 167. John 3:3 Parallel Verses [ See commentary ]John 3:3, NIV: "Jesus replied, 'Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again. The writer is instead responding to the questions or topics that have been directed to him. Do I Drink Virtuously? "3 John 1:2, ESV: "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." Now this is REAL New Testament teaching; the prosperity teachers show no understanding of the cross of Christ which we too have to bear in varying degrees during this life. Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations are from the English Standard Version. Likewise, they have what we would call the body of the letter, and they end with a conventional closing: “All who are with me send greetings to you. If God had faith in His Word, we can have faith in our words, they tell us, so that we too can boldly bring what we desire into existence! Looking “Along” A Review of Moral Combat: How Sex Divided American Christians and Fractured American Politics by R. Marie Griffith, She Who Has Eyes, Let Her See: A look at Didn’t See That Coming by Rachel Hollis, BoJack Horseman: Loneliness in a Godless Universe, HBO’s Westworld and the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence. They believe that the phrase “even as” means “as a result of,” or “as an inevitable accompaniment to.” The gist of the passage, however, is that John already knows that Gaius is flourishing spiritually (as several English translations and numerous commentaries make clear).

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