3 John and the canon of the NT

Early church literature contains no mention of 3 John.  The first explicit reference to 3 John comes from the middle of the third century.  Eusebius (260-339) said that Origen (185-253) knew of both 2 and 3 John.  Similarly, Pope Dionysius of Alexandria (pope from 248-264), Origen’s pupil, was aware of a “reputed Second or Third Epistle of John”.  A lack of documentation is likely due to the extreme brevity of these two epistles.  This work was accepted into the Biblical New Testament canon, since the language of 3 John echoed that of the Gospel of John.  By the end of the fourth century the presbyter (author of 2 and 3 John) was thought to be a different person than the Apostle John.  This opinion, although reported by Jerome (347-420), was not held by all, as Jerome himself attributed the epistles to John the Apostle.  This epistle of 3 John is found in many of the oldest New Testament manuscripts, since its text is free of major discrepancies or textual variants.  Thus, there is little dispute about its canonicity.  What do you know about the canon of the Bible?

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