A Letter to a Christian Friend

About John’s third letter

Most students believe that John wrote this letter. He was the apostle John, who also wrote the Gospel of John.

John wrote to a person called Gaius. John is sad, because Diotrephes is hurting Christian people. Diotrephes is not welcoming Christians. Also, he is saying bad things about John. He is telling lies. John is warning Gaius not to copy Diotrephes.

Chapter 1

1 I, the Church leader, am writing this letter to you, Gaius. I really love you. 2 My dear friend, I ask God to give you good health. Your spirit is well. I hope that you may do as well in everything. 3 I was very happy when I heard news about you. Some Christians arrived. And they told me that you are living as you should live. I know that you will continue to live like that. 4 It makes me really happy when I hear news like that about my children. I am happy when they are really living properly.

5 My dear friend, you have done many things to help other Christians. You help those who travel about and teach about Jesus Christ. You do this even when they are strangers to you. This shows that you really trust Christ. 6 These people that you helped have told the Christians here about your love. I say to you, ‘Continue to help people who are like that.’ Give them what they need to travel. This pleases God. 7 Because these people are travelling about to tell about Jesus Christ. They do not take help from those that are not Christians. 8 So, we Christians ought to receive them. And we should give them what they need. So we will work together with them as they tell people the true message about Christ.

9 I wrote to the Christians in your town. But Diotrephes refuses to read to them what I wrote. He wants to be the only important person among them. 10 So, when I come, I will speak to the Christians there about this. Diotrephes is saying false and bad things about me to other people. He is doing something worse than that. He refuses to receive Christians from other places when you meet together. He will not let them teach the Christians in your town. And, if someone wants to receive those travelling Christians, he does not let them. He even sends away those who want to receive them.

11 My dear friend, do not copy bad people. Instead, you should copy what good people do. The person who does good things is a child of God. But the person who does bad things does not know God.

12 All Christians say that Demetrius is a good person. He really lives as God wants. And this shows that he is a good person. I also tell you that he is a good person. And whatever things I say about anyone are true. You know that.

13 I would like to tell you many more things. But I do not want to write them in a letter. 14 Instead, I hope to come and visit you soon. Then we can talk together.

I pray that God will give you peace. All your Christian friends here say hello to you. Say hello for me to each of my friends there.

Word List

a man that God chose to lead other Christians and to teach about Jesus.
John was an old man. He wrote to his readers as if they were his children.
what we call someone that we love.
dear children
John was an old man. He wrote to his readers as if they were his children.
a book about the good news; the message that Jesus came to save us from the results of sin.
something that is false.
when we have no troubles in our mind or spirit.
make someone happy.
talk with God.
God’s enemy. He is also called the devil.
not to obey God’s rules.
the part of a person that will always be alive, even after their body is dead; someone that is always alive, even without a body. There are good spirits, like God’s Spirit and God’s servants. And there are bad spirits, like Satan and his servants.
believe that someone will do good things for you.
tell someone about the danger of something; say that something (usually bad) will happen.
say ‘hello’ to; let a person come into your home with pleasure.

Book List

Andrew Persson ~ Translator’s helps on 1, 2 & 3 John

English and Greek Interlinear text, Paumari New Testament, A.V., T.E.V. & N.I.V.


© Wycliffe Associates (UK), 1997-2005

This version published March 2005

The translated Bible text has been through Advanced Checking.