There is no convincing evidence that the thee epistles that we call 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John were written by any other person than the apostle John who wrote the fourth gospel. In fact, the literary style and key elements are much too similar to think otherwise, and the early church fathers all agree that it was he who wrote them. It is widely believed that he wrote them after leaving Jerusalem, which is believed to be around 67 A. D., before the Roman destruction.
John is supposed to have written this letter from Ephesus, and it may well have been intended for the church there, as well as some of the same churches that the Book of Revelation was written for – Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. The letters could have been written after the 70 A. D. destruction, but are generally considered to have been delivered before 90 A. D.
The writing style and tone of the opening part of this first letter is highly similar to the opening of John’s gospel, and is highly indicative of an eyewitness account, as seen here:
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you…”
The theme and message of this epistle includes the character of God (God is love – 1 John 4:8), what it means to have been born again, and “born of God”(1 John 2:29, 1 John 5:1), and most importantly, what God’s love for us means in terms of our daily lives (1 John 3:16, 1 John 5:11).
(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility. When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.