The elder to Gaius (3 John 1:1)

“The elder

To the beloved Gaius,

Whom I love

In truth.”

Ὁ πρεσβύτερος Γαΐῳ τῷ ἀγαπητῷ, ὃν ἐγὼ ἀγαπῶ ἐν ἀληθείᾳ.

This author began his letter, “The elder (Ὁ πρεσβύτερος) to the beloved (τῷ ἀγαπητῷ) Gaius (Γαΐῳ), whom I love (ὃν ἐγὼ ἀγαπῶ) in truth (ἐν ἀληθείᾳ).”  This author said that he was an elder or presbyter just like in 2 John, chapter 1:1.  He wrote this letter to his good and beloved friend Gaius that he truly loved.  Who is this elder?  Who is this Gaius?  This is probably the same elder from the preceding letter, 2 John.  Gaius was mentioned twice in the Acts of the Apostles, and twice in letters by Paul.  Is this the same person or a different person?  There was a Gaius from Macedonia in Acts, chapter 19:29, who was dragged into the theater in Ephesus with Aristarchus.  Is he the same person mentioned later in chapter 20:4 as Gaius from Derbe?  In I Corinthians, chapter 1:14, Paul said that he had baptized Gaius.  In Paul’s letter to the Romans, chapter 16:23, this Gaius was the host to Paul in Corinth and to the whole community, so that he must have been a person with some wealth.  Thus, this Gaius could be from Macedonia, Derbe, or Corinth.  He could have been baptized by Paul and been his host in Corinth.  In other words, Gaius was a prominent Christian in Greece and Asia Minor.  He had a reputation for holiness and hospitality, either as a church leader or as a generous wealthy fellow Christian.  This author truly loved him.  The question remains if this is one Gaius or series of people named Gaius.  Do you think that Gaius is a common name?

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