3 John 1:11
Parallel Verses
New International Version
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.

New Living Translation
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.

English Standard Version
Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God.

New American Standard Bible
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.

King James Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
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.

International Standard Version
Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. The person who does what is good is from God. The person who does what is evil has never seen God.

NET Bible
Dear friend, do not imitate what is bad but what is good. The one who does good is of God; the one who does what is bad has not seen God.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Our beloved, do not imitate evil, but the good. One who does good is from God. One who does evil has not seen God.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Dear friend, never imitate evil, but imitate good. The person who does good is from God. The person who does evil has never seen God.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that does good is of God, but he that does evil has not seen God.

King James 2000 Bible
Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that does good is of God: but he that does evil has not seen God.

American King James Version
Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that does good is of God: but he that does evil has not seen God.

American Standard Version
Beloved, imitate not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: he that doeth evil hath not seen God.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Dearly beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doth good, is of God: he that doth evil, hath not seen God.

Darby Bible Translation
Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He that does good is of God. He that does evil has not seen God.

English Revised Version
Beloved, imitate not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: he that doeth evil hath not seen God.

Webster's Bible Translation
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.

Weymouth New Testament
My dear friend, do not follow wrong examples, but right ones. He who habitually does what is right is a child of God: he who habitually does what is wrong has not seen God.

World English Bible
Beloved, don't imitate that which is evil, but that which is good. He who does good is of God. He who does evil hasn't seen God.

Young's Literal Translation
Beloved, be not thou following that which is evil, but that which is good; he who is doing good, of God he is, and he who is doing evil hath not seen God;
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

1:9-12 Both the heart and mouth must be watched. The temper and spirit of Diotrephes was full of pride and ambition. It is bad not to do good ourselves; but it is worse to hinder those who would do good. Those cautions and counsels are most likely to be accepted, which are seasoned with love. Follow that which is good, for he that doeth good, as delighting therein, is born of God. Evil-workers vainly pretend or boast acquaintance with God. Let us not follow that which is proud, selfish, and of bad design, though the example may be given by persons of rank and power; but let us be followers of God, and walk in love, after the example of our Lord.

Pulpit Commentary

Ver. 11. - This is the moral to which St. John has been leading up. Diotrephes will at least serve as a warning. A Christian gentleman will note such behaviour in order to avoid it. Strengthened by his own previous walk in the truth (verse 3), and encouraged by the apostle (verses 5-8), with Diotrephes as a warning on the one hand, and Demetrius as an example on the other, he ought not to fail in proving his heavenly birth by doing good and avoiding evil (see on 1 John 3:6).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Beloved, follow not that which is evil,.... Follow not evil in general, it being hateful to God, contrary to his nature and will, and bad in itself, as well as pernicious in its consequences; and particularly follow not, or do not imitate the particular evil or evils in Diotrephes; as his pride, ambition, love of preeminence, and tyrannical government in the church, and especially his hard heartedness, cruelty, and inhospitality to the poor saints; and so the Arabic version reads, "do not imitate him in evil"; the examples of persons in office and authority have great influence, especially in cases of charity, when men can be excused thereby, and save their money, or be freed from an expense:

but that which is good; follow and imitate that, be a follower of God, imitate him in acts of kindness and beneficence, be merciful as he is; copy the deeds of Jesus Christ, who went about doing good, and declared it to be more blessed to give than to receive; and tread in the steps of those good men, who have shown love to the name of Christ, by ministering to his saints; for though the apostle may mean everything that is good, which is to be followed and imitated in any, yet he chiefly designs acts of kindness and beneficence to poor saints and ministers: to which he encourages by the following,

he that doeth good is of God; he is a child of God, he appears to be so, in that he is like to his heavenly Father, who is kind and merciful; he is born of God, he is passed from death to life, which his love to the brethren shows; he has the grace of God, and strength from Christ, and the assistance of the Spirit, without either of which he could not do that which is good:

but he that doeth evil hath not seen God; has had no spiritual saving sight of God in Christ; for if he had, he would abhor that which is evil, and, with Job, abhor himself for it, and reckon himself, with Isaiah, as undone, Job 42:6, for such effects has the sight of God on the souls of men; such an one knows not God, nor what it is to have communion with him: for those who live in sin, in whom it is a governing principle, cannot have fellowship with God; nor has such an one ever felt the love of God in his soul, or been made a partaker of his grace, which would teach and constrain him to act otherwise. Compare this text with 1 John 3:10, which shows the Apostle John to be the writer of this epistle. The Ethiopic version reads, "shall not see God"; that is, hereafter, in the world to come.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

11. follow not that which is evil—as manifested in Diotrephes (3Jo 9, 10).

but … good—as manifested in Demetrius (3Jo 12).

is of God—is born of God, who is good.

hath not seen God—spiritually, not literally.

3 John 1:11 Additional Commentaries
Context
Diotrephes and Demetrius
10For 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 of the church. 11Beloved, 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. 12Demetrius 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.
Cross References
Psalm 34:14
Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.

Psalm 37:27
Turn from evil and do good; then you will dwell in the land forever.

1 John 2:29
If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of him.

1 John 3:6
No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.

1 John 3:9
No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.

1 John 3:10
This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God's child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.

1 John 4:1
Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
Treasury of Scripture

Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that does good is of God: but he that does evil has not seen God.

Beloved. Beloved, [agapetos <27>,] is in the vocative singular, and therefore refers to Gaius.

follow. Rather, imitate [mimou.]

Exodus 23:2 You shall not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shall you speak …

Psalm 37:27 Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for ever more.

Proverbs 12:11 He that tills his land shall be satisfied with bread: but he that …

Isaiah 1:16,17 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before …

John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

John 12:26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall …

1 Corinthians 4:16 Why I beseech you, be you followers of me.

1 Corinthians 11:1 Be you followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

Ephesians 5:1 Be you therefore followers of God, as dear children;

Philippians 3:17 Brothers, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so …

1 Thessalonians 1:6 And you became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received …

1 Thessalonians 2:14 For you, brothers, became followers of the churches of God which …

2 Timothy 3:10 But you have fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, …

Hebrews 6:12 That you be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith …

1 Peter 3:13 And who is he that will harm you, if you be followers of that which is good?

He that doeth good.

1 Peter 3:11 Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.

See on

1 John 2:29 If you know that he is righteous, you know that every one that does …

1 John 3:6-9 Whoever stays in him sins not: whoever sins has not seen him, neither …

he that doeth evil.

John 3:20 For every one that does evil hates the light, neither comes to the …

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