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
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It is traditionally thought that 2 John and 3 John were written by John the apostle. He Is thought to have also authored the Gospel of John, 1 John and Revelation. It is likely the audience for these two letters is the same as for 1 John. John was probably much older than eighty when he wrote these letters.
Both 2 John and 3 John demonstrate John’s love for his audiences and his warnings against false teachers. These letters are probably written about a half-century after the death of Jesus. They demonstrate that the Church has made a lot of progress but still faces a multitude of problems.
The church has many members who have stayed true to the teachings of Jesus and the apostles. These faithful members treat each other with hospitality and love. 2 John 1:5 seems to be a clear reference to the command of Jesus to love God and to love your neighbor.
John shows the importance of protecting the fellowship of Christians from false teachers, warning against inviting them into homes or even greeting them. Such things align believers with false teachers, which quickly taints true teaching.
Unfortunately, the Church was already infiltrated by false teachers. Rooting them out would not be easy. The false teachers told falsehoods about the person of Jesus. One such falsehood was that Jesus only seemed to have come in the flesh but that this was only an illusion. One word for this type of false teaching is Docetism, and this type of belief may have been an early form of Gnosticism.
Apparently, John had heard of difficulties caused by a man named Diotrephes. John wrote to Gaius to confirm Gaius’ faith, and to instruct him about dealing with Diotrephes. Diotrephes was refusing to show hospitality to traveling missionaries and had refused correction from John. His actions threatened to disrupt the harmony of the Asian churches and could threaten the very way the Gospel was shared.
John’s solution is for Christians to remain faithful to the teachings of Jesus and the apostles, and to show love to one another.
John shows us that it is important to be obedient to true teachings. Our disobedience affects many others than just ourselves.
Apollos – Tim Urban
Barnabas – Bob Hess
Silas – Tony Schneider
John Mark (older) – Wilbur Penn
Mary – Chana Keefer
Gaius – Matthew Clark
Jude – Zachary Leasau