Authorship of 3 John

This work does not mention the name of John, so that technically it is anonymous.  3 John, or the Third Epistle of John leaves the possibility of either John the apostle, son of Zebedee, John the presbyter, John the Evangelist, John of the Gospel, or the John of the other two letters as the author.  The traditional belief was that John the Evangelist composed this letter at Ephesus, when he was very old.  The epistle’s content and conceptual style are very similar to the Gospel of John, 1 John, and 2 John.  However, in the 20th century. some critical scholars maintained that the Gospel of John and the Johannine letters had linguistic and stylistic features that were very different.  The majority opinion today follows the scholar Raymond Brown in holding that the Gospel of John and the letters of John were written by different members of the same “Johannine Community”.  The general consensus is that these three Johannine epistles have the same author.  3 John was almost certainly written by the same author who wrote 2 John, and likely 1 John as well.  This individual may have been perhaps John the Presbyter, but the name John never appeared in any of these letters.  Most critical scholars have concluded that John the Apostle did not write any of these Johannine works.  How many people do you know who are named John?

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