3 John 1:2
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.

New Living Translation
Dear friend, I hope all is well with you and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit.

English Standard Version
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.

Berean Study Bible
Beloved, I pray that in every way you may prosper and enjoy good health, as your soul also prospers.

Berean Literal Bible
Beloved, I pray you to prosper concerning all things and to be in good health, just as your soul prospers.

New American Standard Bible
Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.

King James Bible
Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Dear friend, I pray that you may prosper in every way and be in good health physically just as you are spiritually.

International Standard Version
Dear friend, I pray that you are doing well in every way and that you are healthy, just as your soul is healthy.

NET Bible
Dear friend, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, just as it is well with your soul.

New Heart English Bible
Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in good health, even as your soul prospers.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Our beloved, I pray for you that you will prosper in all things and be well, just as your soul prospers.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Dear friend, I know that you are spiritually well. I pray that you're doing well in every other way and that you're healthy.

New American Standard 1977
Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Beloved, I wish that thou be prospered in all things and be sound, even as thy soul prospers.

King James 2000 Bible
Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers.

American King James Version
Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers.

American Standard Version
Beloved, I pray that in all things thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Dearly beloved, concerning all things I make it my prayer that thou mayest proceed prosperously, and fare well as thy soul doth prosperously.

Darby Bible Translation
Beloved, I desire that in all things thou shouldest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospers.

English Revised Version
Beloved, I pray that in all things thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

Webster's Bible Translation
Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

Weymouth New Testament
My dear friend, I pray that you may in all respects prosper and enjoy good health, just as your soul already prospers.

World English Bible
Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be healthy, even as your soul prospers.

Young's Literal Translation
beloved, concerning all things I desire thee to prosper, and to be in health, even as thy soul doth prosper,
Study Bible
Greeting to Gaius from the Elder
1The elder, To the beloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth: 2Beloved, I pray that in every way you may prosper and enjoy good health, as your soul also prospers. 3For I was overjoyed when the brothers came and testified about your devotion to the truth, in which you continue to walk.…
Cross References
Matthew 9:12
On hearing this, Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.

3 John 1:1
The elder, To the beloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth:

3 John 1:3
For I was overjoyed when the brothers came and testified about your devotion to the truth, in which you continue to walk.
Treasury of Scripture

Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers.

wish. or, pray. above.

James 5:12 But above all things, my brothers, swear not, neither by heaven, …

1 Peter 4:8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity …

that.

Psalm 20:1-5 The LORD hear you in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob …

Philippians 2:4,27 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things …

even.

3 John 1:3-6 For I rejoiced greatly, when the brothers came and testified of the …

Colossians 1:4-6 Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which …

1 Thessalonians 1:3-10 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labor of love, …

1 Thessalonians 2:13,14,19,20 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when you …

1 Thessalonians 3:6-9 But now when Timotheus came from you to us, and brought us good tidings …

2 Thessalonians 1:3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brothers, as it is meet, …

2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brothers beloved …

Philemon 1:5-7 Hearing of your love and faith, which you have toward the Lord Jesus, …

2 Peter 1:3-9 According as his divine power has given to us all things that pertain …

2 Peter 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus …

Revelation 2:9 I know your works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but you are rich) …

(2 a.) (2) Beloved.--St. John's affection is founded on the high merits of Caius as a Christian.

Above all things.--This may mean "in all things."

Be in health.--An ascetic would be surprised that one of the greatest of the Apostles should be so earnest on such a point. But the better a man's health, the more thoroughly he can do the work of God. Sickness may be allowed to chasten the erring or rebellious heart, but a Christian whose faith is firm and character established, can ill afford to despise the inestimable blessing of a sound body. Functional and organic disorder or enervation proportionately lessen the capacity for thought, resolution, and activity.

Even as thy soul prospereth.--The word "prospereth" is literally makes good way, and so links on to the idea of walking, in 3John 1:3-4. The health of the soul came first in the Apostle's mind: when there is that, he can wish for bodily health to support it.

(2 b.) (3) I rejoiced greatly.--Compare 2John 1:4. "For" introduces the reason of the high praise in 3John 1:2.

The truth that is in thee.--The inward presence of Christ, manifested by the Christian life and consistency of Caius.

Even as thou walkest in the truth.--This is an additional evidence from the brethren to show that the presence of the truth in Caius had been practically tested.

Thou is emphatic in the Greek, showing that there were others, like Diotrephes, of whom this could not be said.

(4) I have no greater joy.--This is a general statement arising out of the particular instance. The comparative is double--a comparative formed on a comparative; it may be only irregular, an evidence that the writer was not a classical Greek scholar, or it may be for intensity. There is a similar comparative in Ephesians 3:8, where the force is evidently intensive.

My children means the members of the churches specially under the care of St. John.

(5) Thou doest faithfully--i.e., worthily of a faithful man, consistently with the Christian character. It may be translated, "Thou doest a faithful work in whatsoever. . . ."

Whatsoever thou doest.--Done from right motives, as unto Christ. Whatever form (it is hinted that the form would be various) the activity of Caius might take, so high was the Apostle's opinion of his character, that he was sure it would be done wisely and well.

And to strangers.--According to another reading it is, "And that, strangers," as in 1Corinthians 6:6, Ephesians 2:8, Philippians 1:28. Either way, the strangers would be Christians; but, according to the reading in the text, the brethren would be more or less acquaintances of their host. The duty of entertaining Christians on their travels was of peculiar importance in early times, (1) from the length of time which travelling required, (2) from the poverty of the Christians, (3) from the kind of society they would meet at public inns. The duty is enforced in Romans 12:13; 1Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8; Hebrews 13:2; 1Peter 4:9.

(6) Charity might be translated "love."

Before the church.--That where the Apostle then was, and from which they had probably been sent forth as missionaries, or, at any rate, with some definite religious object.

Whom if thou bring forward.--Perhaps while they were still staying with Caius, the emissaries sent back a report to the church whence they came. St. John seems to imply that there was still something which Caius could do for them. "If thou bring forward" is in the Greek in the past; "when thou hast sent them on, it will be a good work."

After a godly sort.--Rather, worthily of God. (Comp. Titus 3:13, 1Corinthians 16:11.) It would imply journey money, provisions, love, care, encouragement, prayer, a humble and reasonable imitation of God's providence to Caius, proportional to his means, the occasion, and the recipients.

(7) Because that for his name's sake they went forth.--Their object was the highest possible--the glory of God's name. Hence there must have been some kind of missionary character in their journey. (Comp. Acts 5:41; Acts 15:40; Romans 1:6; James 2:7.)

Of the Gentiles.--Probably the heathens among whom they were preaching. From settled churches, or wealthy Christians of long standing, there would be nothing inimical to the interests of the message in receiving material support. Among those who were hearing for the first time, it would be highly prejudicial if there were any appearance of selling the truth. (Comp. 1Corinthians 9:18; 2Corinthians 11:7; 2Corinthians 12:16; 1Thessalonians 2:9.)

(2 c.) (8) We therefore.--In contrast to the heathens.

To receive.--In the original there is a play with the word "receiving" in 3John 1:8. (Comp. Matthew 10:40.)

That we might be fellowhelpers to the truth.--Fellow-helpers with them. The principle of co-operation was one of the earliest and leading ideas of the kingdom of Christ. Those who try to work alone lose the mighty force of sympathy, are sure to make mistakes, cannot help arousing opposition, and run the risk of nursing in their own souls an unsuspected spirit of self-will, self-confidence, and spiritual pride. Those who do not care to help the good works of others are at best cold Christians, feeble believers; they fail in the great critical testing virtue of Christian love; they limit the operation of God, who has chosen to work by human means; they hinder the spread of the gospel, and delay the second coming of Christ. (Comp. 2Corinthians 8:23; Philippians 1:27; Colossians 4:11; 1Thessalonians 3:2.) (2 d.)

(9) I wrote unto the church.--"I wrote somewhat unto the Church." This may either have been a copy of his Gospel or his First Epistle, or a lost letter of no special importance. The Church was that of the place where Caius and Diotrephes lived. Nothing whatever can be said of Diotrephes, except that his personal ambition led him into the grievous sin of rejecting the authority of the bosom friend of the Saviour; that he talked malignantly against St. John and his friends; that he refused to entertain the emissaries of the Church in which St. John was residing; and that he actually went so far as to eject from the local congregation those who were willing to entertain them. We may conjecture that, on account of the loyalty of Caius to St. John, there was so little intercourse between him and Diotrephes, that he would not even hear that St. John had written; that the greater part of the people of the place adhered for the present to Diotrephes, so that in addressing Caius St. John calls them "the church," and "them;" and, from 3John 1:11, that even now St. John did not think it superfluous to urge Caius not to follow the example of Diotrephes or submit to his influence.

Loveth to have the preeminence.--Makes it his evil aim to have the whole influence of the community in his own hands.

(10) If I come.--Comp. 1John 2:28. St. John was evidently expecting in both Letters to set out on the same journey.

Prating.--Idle slander; the moths that are always attracted to "the fierce light that beats about a throne." The intense spiritual affectionateness of the Apostle of love might be easily misunderstood by an unconverted pretender; but it is needless to imagine the groundless babble of a tyrannical upstart.

Casteth them out.--Not necessarily formal excommunication; but Diotrephes had so far succeeded in his object that he was able to exclude these better disposed persons from the Christian society of the place.

(2 e.) (11) Follow not that which is evil.--One of those simple exhortations so characteristic of St. John, which derive an intense meaning from the circumstances and the context. There was probably every reason why Caius should follow Diotrephes: peace, good-fellowship, the dislike of singularity, popular example, and the indolent indifference which ordinary men feel for truth and right. But the difference between right and wrong is eternal and irreconcilable. The conduct of Diotrephes was of the devil; and mighty moral consequences might follow if Caius gave way from good-natured pliability. (Comp. John 5:29; John 18:23; Ephesians 5:1; 2Thessalonians 3:7; 2Thessalonians 3:9; Hebrews 13:7; 1Peter 3:10-11; 1John 3:12.)

(2 f.) He that doeth good is of God.--Comp. 1John 3:10. "Doeth good" includes all practical virtue. (Comp. 1Peter 2:14-15; 1Peter 2:20; 1Peter 3:6; 1Peter 3:17.)

He that doeth evil hath not seen God.--Comp. 1John 2:3; 1John 3:6; 1John 3:10; 1John 4:2-4; 1John 4:6; 1John 4:8; 1John 5:19.

(2 g.) (12) Demetrius may very likely be the bearer of the Epistle.

Good report.--Rather, the witness.

Of all men.--All Christians who knew him.

Of the truth itself.--Christ dwelling in him manifested His presence as the Way, the Truth, and the Life in new virtues for every circumstance that arose in the career of Demetrius. His walk, agreeing with the revealed truth of God, showed that God was with him. (Comp. Acts 4:13.)

And we also.--St. John adds his own independent testimony as a third, in the most emphatic manner possible.

And ye know that our record is true.--There is no arrogance or egotism in this: it is solely the appeal to the loyal fidelity of Caius--to the simplicity of Christ's gospel as set forth by John in accordance with the other Apostles. The personal experience of believers would convince them of the truth of the last of the Apostles. (Comp. John 19:25; John 21:24.)

Ver. 2. - Beloved, I pray that in all respects (not "above all things" - St. John would surely never have said that) thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. The apostle wishes that his earthly career may be as bright as his spiritual career is; may he have a sound body for his sound mind, and may his fortunes be sound also. The Greek for "prosper" εὐοδοῦσθαι means exactly to "have a good career." Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper,.... Or succeed in all temporal affairs, in the business of life, in which he was; and as success of this sort depends upon the blessing of God, which maketh rich, it is to be wished and prayed for from him:

and be in health; that is, of body, which above all things above all outward mercies, is the most desirable; for without this, what are the richest dainties, the largest possessions, or the best of friends? without this there can be no comfortable enjoyment of either of them; and therefore of this sort of mercies, it is in the first place, and above all others, to be wished for, and desired by one friend for another. The rule and measure of this wish is according to the prosperity of his soul,

even as thy soul prospereth: the soul is diseased with sin, and may be said to be in good health, when all its iniquities are forgiven; and may be said to prosper, when having a spiritual appetite for the Gospel, the sincere milk of the word, it feeds upon it, is nourished by it, and grows thereby; when it is in the lively exercise of faith, hope, and love; when spiritual knowledge is increased, or it grows in grace, and in the knowledge of Christ Jesus; when the inward man is renewed day by day with fresh strength; and when it enjoys communion with God, has the light of his countenance, and the joys of his salvation; and when it is fruitful in every good work. 2. above all things—Greek, "concerning all things": so Alford: in all respects. But Wahl justifies English Version (compare 1Pe 4:8). Of course, since his soul's prosperity is presupposed, "above all things" does not imply that John wishes Gaius' bodily health above that of his soul, but as the first object to be desired next after spiritual health. I know you are prospering in the concerns of your soul. I wish you similar prosperity in your body. Perhaps John had heard from the brethren (3Jo 3) that Gaius was in bad health, and was tried in other ways (3Jo 10), to which the wish, 3Jo 2, refers.

prosper—in general.

be in health—in particular.1:1-8 Those who are beloved of Christ, will love the brethren for his sake. Soul prosperity is the greatest blessing on this side heaven. Grace and health are rich companions. Grace will employ health. A rich soul may be lodged in a weak body; and grace must then be exercised in submitting to such a dispensation. But we may wish and pray that those who have prosperous souls, may have healthful bodies; that their grace may shine where there is still more room for activity. How many professors there are, about whom the apostle's words must be reversed, and we must earnestly wish and pray that their souls might prosper, as their health and circumstances do! True faith will work by love. A good report is due from those who receive good; they could not but testify to the church, what they found and felt. Good men will rejoice in the soul prosperity of others; and they are glad to hear of the grace and goodness of others. And as it is a joy to good parents, it will be a joy to good ministers, to see their people adorn their profession. Gaius overlooked petty differences among serious Christians, and freely helped all who bore the image, and did the work of Christ. He was upright in what he did, as a faithful servant. Faithful souls can hear their own praises without being puffed up; the commendation of what is good in them, lays them at the foot of the cross of Christ. Christians should consider not only what they must do, but what they may do; and should do even the common actions of life, and of good-will, after a godly sort, serving God therein, and designing his glory. Those who freely make known Christ's gospel, should be helped by others to whom God gives the means. Those who cannot themselves proclaim it, may yet receive, help, and countenance those who do so.
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NT Letters: 3 John 1:2 Beloved I pray that you may prosper (3J iiiJ 3Jn iii jn 3 jo) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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