3 John 1:9
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will not welcome us.

New Living Translation
I wrote to the church about this, but Diotrephes, who loves to be the leader, refuses to have anything to do with us.

English Standard Version
I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority.

Berean Study Bible
I have written to the church about this, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will not accept our instruction.

Berean Literal Bible
I have written something to the church; but Diotrephes, the one loving to be first among them, does not welcome us.

New American Standard Bible
I wrote something to the church; but Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them, does not accept what we say.

King James Bible
I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
I wrote something to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have first place among them, does not receive us.

International Standard Version
I wrote a letter to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be in charge, will not recognize our authority.

NET Bible
I wrote something to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them, does not acknowledge us.

New Heart English Bible
I wrote something to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them, does not accept what we say.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
I desired to write to The Assembly, but he who loves to be their number one, Diotrephis, does not receive us.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I wrote a letter to the congregation. But Diotrephes, who loves to be in charge, won't accept us.

New American Standard 1977
I wrote something to the church; but Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them, does not accept what we say.

Jubilee Bible 2000
I wrote unto the congregation {Gr. ekklesia – called out ones}, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, did not receive us.

King James 2000 Bible
I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, receives us not.

American King James Version
I wrote to the church: but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, receives us not.

American Standard Version
I wrote somewhat unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.

Douay-Rheims Bible
I had written perhaps to the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the pre-eminence among them, doth not receive us.

Darby Bible Translation
I wrote something to the assembly; but Diotrephes, who loves to have the first place among them, receives us not.

English Revised Version
I wrote somewhat unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.

Webster's Bible Translation
I wrote to the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the pre-eminence among them, receiveth us not.

Weymouth New Testament
I wrote to the Church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the first place among them, refuses to listen to us.

World English Bible
I wrote to the assembly, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them, doesn't accept what we say.

Young's Literal Translation
I did write to the assembly, but he who is loving the first place among them -- Diotrephes -- doth not receive us;
Study Bible
Diotrephes and Demetrius
8Therefore we ought to support such men, so that we may be fellow workers for the truth. 9I have written to the church about this, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will not accept our instruction. 10So if I come, I will call attention to his malicious slander against us. And unsatisfied with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers and forbids those who want to do so, even putting them out of the church.…
Cross References
Matthew 7:8
For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

Colossians 1:18
And He is the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning and firstborn from among the dead, so that in all things He may have preeminence.

2 John 1:9
Anyone who runs ahead without remaining in the teaching of Christ does not have God. Whoever remains in His teaching has both the Father and the Son.

3 John 1:8
Therefore we ought to support such men, so that we may be fellow workers for the truth.
Treasury of Scripture

I wrote to the church: but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, receives us not.

who loveth. [Ho Philoproteuon] 'who loveth the presidency,' or chief place, doubtless in the church, of which Diotrephes was most probably an officer; and being one, magnified himself in his office: he loved such pre-eminence, and behaved haughtily in it.

Matthew 20:20-28 Then came to him the mother of Zebedees children with her sons, worshipping …

Matthew 23:4-8 For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them …

Mark 9:34 But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among …

Mark 10:35-45 And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come to him, saying, Master, …

Luke 22:24-27 And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted …

Romans 12:10 Be kindly affectionate one to another with brotherly love; in honor …

Philippians 2:3-5 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness …

Titus 1:7-16 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not self-willed, …

receiveth. See on ver.

3 John 1:8 We therefore ought to receive such, that we might be fellow helpers …

Matthew 10:40-42 He that receives you receives me, and he that receives me receives …

Mark 9:37 Whoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receives me: …

Luke 9:48 And said to them, Whoever shall receive this child in my name receives …

Ver. 9. - I wrote somewhat to the Church (reading, with the best authorities, ἔγραψά τι probably means that St. John had written a letter, now lost, and perhaps destroyed by Diotrephes, to the Church to which Diotrephes belonged. That Diotrephes was bishop of this Church is conjecture; as also that he opposed St. John's emissaries "because they were bent on carrying the gospel to the Gentiles, he himself being, no doubt, both a Jew and of the Jewish faction." He may have been an influential layman. But the context favours the view that he was at least a presbyter. This ecclesiastical Cleon is the type of all vain, noisy, self-asserting teachers, whose main object is to get their own way - an object which they effect by browbeating all who differ from them. No authority is respected and no character spared which seems to oppose their policy. Even an apostle is denounced if he ventures to maintain that the truth may be larger than their view of it. Christian ministers now must not be surprised if they sometimes meet with no better treatment. I wrote unto the church,.... Where Gaius was a member: those who take Gaius to be the same with Paul's host, and whom he baptized at Corinth, think the church at Corinth is here meant; but it seems rather to be meant of some church in Asia nearer Ephesus; nor is it likely that John's first epistle should be here intended, which makes no mention of relieving the brethren, the ministers of the Gospel, that came from Judea: and that this epistle should not be preserved, need not seem strange; for it cannot be thought that everything that was written by him to particular persons, or churches, should be continued. The Alexandrian copy and one of Stephens's read, "I wrote something to the church"; upon this head, concerning receiving and supporting ministers of the Gospel, and so prevents an objection that Gaius might make, why did he not write to the church about it? The Vulgate Latin version reads, "I should", or "would have wrote": and the Syriac version, "I desired", or "wished to have wrote"; suggesting, that though he had not wrote, yet it was much upon his mind, he had a great desire to it:

but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them,

receiveth us not; which hindered him from writing, or was the reason why he wrote now to Gaius since Diotrephes gave no heed to what he had wrote, suppressed his letter, and would not suffer it to be read to the brethren. This Diotrephes, by his name, which signifies one "nourished", or "brought up by Jupiter", was a Gentile; there was one of this name, who was one of the kings of Athens (a); and what may confirm this is, his slighting and rejecting the brethren that came from Judea: it is very likely he was more than a private member in the church, and that he was an officer, and it may be the pastor; and though there is a preeminence, which of right belongs to such an officer, as to preside over the church, to govern, guide, and direct, according to the laws of Christ, he being set over the church, as a ruler, governor, and guide; yet this may be carried too far, as it was by this man, who coveted more than was his due, and lorded it over God's heritage, ruled the flock with force and cruelty, and usurped a tyrannical power over them; whereas every thing in a church ought to be done, by pastor and people, in love, meekness, and with mutual consent. And it may be also, that he sought to have the preeminence over the rest of the elders of the church, for in those large churches there were oftentimes more elders and pastors than one; see Acts 20:17. This ambitious spirit prevailed and obtained among the false teachers, who set up themselves at the head of parties, and above the apostles of Christ, and paved the way for antichrist, who assumed the title of universal bishop, which has introduced all the errors and impieties of the Romish church. Now this man such an ambitious, lordly, and governing spirit, received not the Apostle John, and those that were with him; meaning not their persons, for as yet he and they were not in person where he was; but his letter, his orders, and instructions; these he paid no regard to, concealed them from the church, and would not admit them to be read: or else the apostle's sense is, that he received not the brethren that came from him, and were recommended by him, and whom he affectionately loved, and who were near and dear to him as himself; and therefore not receiving them is interpreted by him as not receiving himself.

(a) Vid. Fabricii Bibliograph. Antiqu. p. 211. 9. I wrote—The oldest manuscripts add "something": a communication, probably, on the subject of receiving the brethren with brotherly love (3Jo 8, 10). That Epistle was not designed by the Spirit for the universal Church, or else it would have been preserved.

unto the church—of which Gaius is a member.

loveth … pre-eminence—through ambition. Evidently occupying a high place in the Church where Gaius was (3Jo 10).

among them—over the members of the Church.

receiveth us not—virtually, namely, by not receiving with love the brethren whom we recommended to be received (3Jo 8, 10; compare Mt 10:40).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.
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