False charges (3 John 1:10)

“If I come,

I will call attention

To what he is doing

With evil words,

In spreading false charges

Against us.

Not content

With those charges,

He refuses to welcome

The brothers.

He even prevents those

Who want to do so.

He expels them

From the church.”

διὰ τοῦτο, ἐὰν ἔλθω, ὑπομνήσω αὐτοῦ τὰ ἔργα ἃ ποιεῖ λόγοις πονηροῖς φλυαρῶν ἡμᾶς, καὶ μὴ ἀρκούμενος ἐπὶ τούτοις οὔτε αὐτὸς ἐπιδέχεται τοὺς ἀδελφοὺς καὶ τοὺς βουλομένους κωλύει καὶ ἐκ τῆς ἐκκλησίας ἐκβάλλει.

This author said “If I come (ἐὰν ἔλθω), I will call attention (ὑπομνήσω αὐτοῦ) to what (διὰ τοῦτο) he is doing (τὰ ἔργα ἃ ποιεῖ) with evil words (λόγοις πονηροῖς), in spreading false charges against us (φλυαρῶν ἡμᾶς).  Not content (καὶ μὴ ἀρκούμενος) with those charges (ἐπὶ τούτοις), he refuses to welcome (ἐπὶ τούτοις) the brothers (τοὺς ἀδελφοὺς).  He even prevents (κωλύει) those who want to do so (καὶ τοὺς βουλομένους).  He expels (ἐκβάλλει) them from the church (καὶ ἐκ τῆς ἐκκλησίας).”  This is the only time in the canonical NT that these words were used, here in 3 John, the word φλυαρῶν, that means to talk nonsense, gossip against, talk idly, or make empty charges against, and the word ἐπιδέχεται, that means to accept as true, to receive besides, admit, or welcome.  This author tore into this Diotrephes.  He explained what Diotrephes had done to him.  This was clearly an early Christian dispute.  He was going to remind Diotrephes what he had done by spreading these evil false charges against him.  Diotrephes did not stop there.  He also refused to accept other Christian brothers.  He prevented other Christians from welcoming these traveling Christian preachers.  On top of that, Diotrephes hindered them from having contact with these traveling Christians.  Apparently, this Diotrephes wanted everything done his way.  If you did not agree with him, you had to find another Christian community.  He expelled these Christians from this community.  This did not appear to be a controversy about faith in Jesus Christ, but about behavior in a Christian community.  Have you had problems about authority in your Christian community church?

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