Who wrote the books of 2 and 3 John?

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The books of 2 and 3 John are believed to be written by the same author and most scholars believe the author is John the Evangelist. Linguistically there is evidence that 2 and 3 John are similar to the other Johannine works by the apostle John. Here are the similarities in context between 2 and 3 John with those found in the epistle of John:

The epistle of John the Evangelist:

“If ye love me, keep my commandments” (ch. 14:15).

“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him” (ch. 14:21).

“If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love” (ch. 15:10).

“If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love” (ch. 15:14)..

You will clearly see that the same context of the above verses is also presented in 2 and 3 John:

“And this is love, that we walk after his commandments” (2 John 6).

“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” (3 John 11).

Therefore, the evidence of the similarities of the context points that the author of the books of 2 and 3 John is John the beloved disciple who also wrote the Gospel of John.

Who was John the beloved disciple?

John was one of the twelve disciples of Jesus. He was the son of Zebedee, Salome (Joanna), and the brother of James, ( one of the Twelve disciples). He is also known as John the Evangelist, John of Patmos, John the Elder, and the Beloved Disciple.

John grew up in Bethsaida, a fishing community on the northern shore of the Lake of Galilee. It seemed that his father was a man of some means and social position, and his mother joined the group of devout women who served Jesus and the Twelve in Galilee and in Palestine.

When John and his brother James first came to Christ, they were named the “sons of thunder” (Mark 3:17). They were proud, self-confident, striving for honor, impulsive, indignant under injury; they often had the desire for retaliation, and took it when there was an opportunity. But below this hostile exterior, Jesus saw a zealous, honest, and a loving heart. Divine mercy and grace converted him as he yielded his life to the Savior’s touch.

John the apostle is known more than the rest of the Twelve as “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 21:20). He was a one of the inner circle of three whom Jesus made His most close friends (Matthew 17:1). And Christ entrusted His own mother to His beloved disciple as He hung upon the cross (John 19:25-27). John was the first of the disciples at the tomb on the resurrection day, and the first to know the glorious truth that the Lord had risen (John 20:8).

He also wrote four other books of the New Testament — the three Epistles of John and the Book of Revelation. According to tradition, John and the other Apostles remained ministering to the believers in Judea about 12 years. The persecution of Christians under Herod Agrippa I scattered the Apostles through the Roman Empire (Acts 12:1-17). It is believed that John was the youngest of the disciples and survived them. He is said to have lived to an old age, dying at Ephesus sometime after AD 98.

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In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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