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6 Which have borne wit
ness of thy charity before the church: whom ifthou
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.
6 Οι εμαρτύρησαν σου τη αγαπη ενωπιον εκκλησίας· ὃς κάλως ποιησεις προπεμψας αξίως του Θεου.
7 ‘Υπερ γαρ του ονόματος αυτου εξήλθον, μηδεν λαμβανοντες απο των εθνων.
8 We, therefore, ought 8 Ἡμεις ουν οφειλομεν to receive such, that we απολαμβανειν τους τοιουτους, night be fellow-helpersto ἵνα συνεργοι γινωμεδα τη
clause xai is Ts Eevus and to pilgrims. With the same view they have translated, erodoxnσev, 1 Tim. v. 10. If she hath lodged pilgrims. See another instance, James v. 11. note.-These examples shew, of what importance, toward the faithful translation of the sacred oracles, it is to give the true literal meaning of the words, as far as it can be done with propriety.
Ver. 6.-1. These have borne testimony to thy love, in the presence, &c. Since the apostle represents the strangers, as joining the brethren in bearing witness to Caius's love before the church, from which the brethren went forth to the Gentiles; also since in ver. 7. these strangers are represented as having gone forth with the brethren to the Gentiles, it is probable, as was observed in note 2. on verse 5. that these strangers met the brethren in the city, or place, where Caius lived, and joined them in their journey to the Gentiles; and accompanied them, when they returned to the church from which they had come.
2. Whom if thou help forward on their journey. These brethren and strangers, it seemeth, proposed to undertake a second journey, or had undertaken it, for the purpose of preaching to the Gentiles. The apostle therefore requested Caius, still to assist them in executing their pious resolution by entertaining them. For in the language of scripture, to help forward on a journey, signifies, not only to accompany a person in a part of his journey, Acts xxi. 5. but also to furnish him with necessaries for his journey, Tit. iii. 13.
Ver. 7.-1. Because for his name's sake they went forth. For the different interpretations of these words given by the ancient commentators see Pref. Sect. 3. par. 4.-I think these brethren and strangers were preachers, who had gone forth among the Gentiles for the sake of making known to them the name of Christ, that is, his character as the Son of God, and his office as Saviour of the world; because, as was observed, Pref. Sect. 3. par. 4. if
these strangers had been merely persons in want, there was no reason for their not receiving assistance from the Gentiles, whether converted or unconverted.
2. Receiving nothing from the Gentiles. It is not clear whether the apostle meant the converted, or the unconverted Gentiles, or both. I am of opinion that he meant both; because if the brethren and the strangers were preachers, they may have prudently resolved to receive neither entertainment nor money from the Gentiles, lest it might have marred the success of their preaching among them, when they found the reception of the gospel attended with expense. This at least was the consideration which determined the apostle Paul to preach the gospel gratis.-The commentators who think these brethren and strangers were simply poor Christians who had been driven from their homes by their persecutors, suppose that they received nothing from the unconverted Gentiles, lest it might have given them. occasion to say that there was no charity among the Christians.
Ver. 8.-1. We therefore ought to entertain such. See Luke xv. 27. Galat. iv. 5. where Azoraμbave, signifies, simply to receive, which, in the language of the New Testament, means to lodge and entertain a person in one's house; to keep company with him, as one whom we esteem. Wherefore
9 I wrote unto the
church; but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the pre
eminence among them, receiveth us not.
10 Wherefore, if I
come, I will remember
his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with ma
licious words; and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbid
deth them that would, and casteth_them out of the church.
ο Εγραψα τη εκκλησία αλλ' ὁ φιλοπρωτεύων αυτων Διοτρεφης ουκ επιδέχεται ή
10 Δια τουτο, εαν ελθω, ὑπομνήσω αυτου τα εργα å ποιει, λογοις πονηροις φλυαρων ἡμας· και μη αρκουμενος επι τουτοις, ούτε αυτος επιδέχεται τους αδελφους, και τους βουλομενους κωλυει, και εκ της εκκλησιας εκβαλλει.
the apostle's sentiment in this precept is, that such of the brethren as had not devoted themselves to the preaching of the gospel, but followed their ordinary occupations at home, were bound to contribute according to their ability toward the maintenance of those who went about preaching the gospel. And to render his exhortation the more acceptable to them, he included himself in the exhortation: We ought to entertain such.—Benson thinks Caius was a Jewish Christian, and that the apostle's exhortation was directed particularly to Jewish believers, who they contributed towards the support of those who preached the gospel to the Gentiles, would thereby shew their earnest desire of the conversion of the Gentiles.
Ver. 9-1. I would have written to the church. Eygafa tḥ sxxλnold. Six or seven MSS. read here sygaya av, which is followed by the Vulgate; scripsissem. The second Syriac likewise and the Coptic versions follow that reading, which I suppose is genuine; because if the common reading is retained, the particle av must be supplied; as is plain from what follows, where the apostle, in apology for not writing to the church, adds, But Diotrephes, who loveth to rule them, doth not receive us; doth not acknowledge me as an apostle.-The letters which the apostles wrote to the churches were all sent to the bishops and elders in these churches, to be by them read to the people in their public assemblies See Ess. ii. page 73. If Diotrephes was a bishop or elder of the church to which John would have written, he might suspect that that imperious arrogant man would have suppressed his letter: consequently to have written to a church of which he had usurped the sole government, would have answered no good purpose. The translation of this clause in our English Bible represents the apostle as saying that he had written a letter, which is now lost. This to some may appear a difficulty. But the translation I have given, which is supported by several MSS. and by the Vulgate version, obviates that difficulty.
9 (Eypata, supply a) I would have written to the church; but Diotrephes,2 who loveth to rule them, doth not receive us.3
10 For this cause, when I come, I will bring his deeds to remembrance1 which he practiseth, prating against us with malicious words, and not content therewith, he doth not himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them who would, and casteth THEM Out of the church.2
9 I would have written the same exhortation to the church, of which thou art a member: But Diotrephes who loveth to rule them according to his own humour, doth not acknowledge my authority as an apostle of Christ.
10 For this cause, when I come I will bring his deeds to his remembrance; I will punish him for his deeds; which he practiseth, prating against me with calumnious speeches, as if I were no apostle, but had assumed that office. And not content therewith, he doth not himself shew kindness to the brethren in their journey to the Gentiles, and forbiddeth them who are disposed to entertain them; and casteth them out of the church, when they do so contrary to his orders.
2. But Diotrephes who loveth to rule them, namely, who are members of his church. From Diotrephes's loving to rule the church of which Caius was a member, many have supposed him to have been the bishop of that church. Besides, they think if he had been a private person only, he could not have hindered any letter which the apostle might have written to that church from being read in it, and from having its due effect.-See the preface to this epistle, Sect. 3. paragr. 3. from the end.
3. Both not receive us. On this circumstance Benson founds his opinion that Dietrephes was a bigotted Judaizing teacher. For he thinks the persons who denied John's authority as an apostle, were the Judaizers only, and not the Gentile teachers.
Ver. 10.-1. I will bring his deeds to remembrance which he practiseth. "Yoμvnow properly signifies to bring another to the remembrance of a thing; and it is so translated Jude, ver. 5.—In thus speaking, the writer of this epistle shewed himself to be Diotre phes's superior. It is therefore highly probable that the writer of the third epistle of John, was not the person called by the ancients John the presbyter, but John the apostle.-Heuman and Lardner are of opinion, that the apostle only meant that he would put Diotrephes in mind of his evil deeds, and endeavour to persuade him to repent of them by mild admonitions. But there is no occasion to give a mild sense to the apostle's words. For allowing that John threatened to punish Diotrephes for his insolence in prating against him with malicious words 21
11 Αγαπητε, μη μιμου το κακον, άλλα το αγαθον. Ὁ ayadoлow, ex αγαθοποιών, εκ του Θεου ó ¿wεξιν· ὁ δε κακοποιων, ουχ
ρακε τον Θεον·
11 Beloved, follow not
that which is evil, but that which is good. He that, doth good is of God: but he that doth 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
12 Δημητριῳ μεμαρτυρηται ὑπο παντων, και ὑπ ̓ αυτης της αλήθειας και ήμεις δε μαρτυρουμεν, και οιδατε, ὅτι ἡ μαρτυρια ἡμων αληθης εςι.
13 I had many things
13 Πολλα ειχον γράφειν, to write, but I will not αλλ’ ου θελω δια μελανος και καλαμου σοι γράψαι.
with ink and pen write unto thee:
and for his uncharitableness in refusing to entertain and assist the brethren and the strangers, his threatening did not proceed from resentment, but from zeal for the interests of religion, in which he is to be commended; because as Whitby remarks on this verse, "Private offences against our"selves must be forgiven, and forgotten; but when the offence is an impe"diment to the faith, and very prejudicial to the church, it is to be opposed,
and publicly reproved."
2. He doth not himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them who would, and casteth them out, &c. Because Caius, who shewed great kindness to the brethren and the strangers, doth not seem to have been cast out of the church by Diotrephes, Heuman contends that the persons who were cast out of the church, were not those who shewed kindness to the brethren and to the strangers, but the brethren and strangers themselves, whom he obliged to leave the church, by denying them relief himself, and by hindering others from relieving them. In support of this interpretation, it is but fair to observe that the relative pronoun often expresseth, not the near, but the remote antecedent, Ess. iv. 63. Yet I doubt that Heuman's interpretation doth not give the true meaning of the passage.-Some Commentators, by Diotrephes's casting the persons spoken of, out of the church, understand his excommunicating them; a sense of the phrase which is suitable to Diotrephes's insolent and arrogant disposition, and agreeable to the sup position that the persons whom he cast out of the church, were those who relieved the brethren and the strangers.
Ver. 11.-1. Beloved, do not thou imitate what is evil, but what is good. Having reprobated the temper and behaviour of Diotrephes, the apostle naturally cautioned Caius against the pernicious influence of his bad example; and exhorted him to imitate another member of his own church named De