The Other Letters Series covers Hebrews; Firstand Second Peter; First, Secondand Third John;and, Jude. All the letters written by Paul are in the Paul’s Letters Series, while Jamesis in the James Series and Revelationis in the Revelation Series.
Surprisingly little information is known about the letters in this series. The exact dates of all of them are unknown, and the author of Hebrewsis both unknown and disputed. The target audiences of the letters are broadly described, if described at all.
Based on information from the NIV Archaeological Study Bible, the dates of these letters might be:
Hebrews 60-70 AD
1 Peter 60-64 AD
2 Peter 64-68 AD
Jude 60-68 AD
1 John 85-95 AD
2 John 85-95 AD
3 John 85-95 AD
Love. That is the main theme of 1 John. Minor themes include obedience, warnings against false teachings, and life. Make no mistake, though: this book is about love.
It is generally accepted that the Apostle John wrote this book, along with 2 John and 3 John. He also wrote the Gospel of John and Revelation. There is no confirmation on the date he wrote this book, but scholars suspect it was written very late in John’s life, between 85 and 95 AD.
The letter is not addressed to a particular group, but late in the letter, John says he wrote it to those who believe in the name of the Son of God… so that they may know they have eternal life. It is possible that John was writing to Christians under persecution from Rome or to those being influenced by false teachers.
The letter opens with John’s personal witness of being with Jesus. He describes God as being light, and verifies that the blood of Jesus cleans people of their sin. Jesus is the Advocate and the atoning sacrifice for people and their sins. John wants people to know, beyond any doubt, that they have eternal life if they follow Jesus.
Love is light. If you love, you are in the light. If you hate someone, you are in the dark. If you love the world, you don’t have the love of the Father in you.
If you accept Jesus, and abide in him and the Father, you receive the promise: eternal life. The Father loves His people so much He calls them His children… and incredible promise and reward. John wants everyone to receive this promise and not be led astray by false teaching and sinning.
Like James, John insists the love of God is shown by helping people in need. Like James, John insists his hearers love with actions and truth, not just words.
1 John 3:23 is an eye-opening verse. John commands people to believe in the name of Jesus, and to love one another. These are not recommendations from John, but commands.
1 John 4:16 is the summation of everything John teaches: God is love, and whoever lives in love, lives in God and God lives in them. John follows a few verses later with the demand that anyone who loves God must love their brother and sister.
Apollos – Tim Urban
Barnabas – Bob Hess
Silas – Tony Schneider
John Mark (older) – Wilbur Penn
Mary – Chana Keefer
Gaius – Matthew Clark
Jude – Zachary Leasau