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On the Epistles of John, Part 13: A Flock Divided

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On the Epistles of John, Part 13: A Flock Divided

Here we shall present a commentary on the last of these three epistles of John. In my opinion, this presentation also marks a milestone for us, as it is the very last book in a series of commentaries on the New Testament which I had begun in December of 2010. Surely it is not my last New Testament Commentary, but once it is published there will be a Christian Identity commentary on the entire New Testament at Christogenea. This morning I estimated that to amount to 306 of these presentations, but I do not claim that as an exact figure. In the meantime, among many other things we have also done that same thing for the Minor Prophets and for other books of Scripture, such as Ecclesiastes and the Wisdom of Solomon. While I certainly know that at least some of my work these last 11 years can be improved, and some of the earlier presentations may have been more comprehensive, I am generally satisfied with the outcome, and I believe that over the years I have had to capitulate on very little, if anything, as challenges to my Christian profession have arisen. So in the very near future, I do hope to improve the commentary on the Revelation with which I had first begun. But I also hope one day in the near future to produce commentaries on the major prophets and also on the Book of Genesis, if Yahweh God is willing, but I would not want to stop there.

Now, turning our attention to this third epistle of John, in our translation here we have either followed or considered the readings of the 4th century Codices Sinaiticus (א) and Vaticanus (B), the 5th century Codices Alexandrinus (A), Ephraemi Syri (C) and Vaticanus Graecus 2061 (048), and a 6th century codex known only as Uncial 0251, in which only a portion of verses 12 through 15 of this epistle are attested, as well as a part of the epistle of Jude. These manuscripts and their differences with one another and with the Majority Text, as they are presented in the critical apparatus of the 27th edition of the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece, were all considered in our translation or in the accompanying notes. Once again, there are no ancient papyri which have yet been discovered which predate the 7th century and attest to the text of either the second or third epistles of John. Here we shall add that portions of 1 John chapter 4 were preserved in a papyrus, P9, which is dated to the 3rd century. As we also stated in relation to the second epistle of John, these last two epistles are personal letters written to specific individuals, while 1 John is a general epistle, probably written to the churches at Ephesus.

On the Epistles of John, Part 12: Guarding the Flock

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On the Epistles of John, Part 12: Guarding the Flock

We have recently completed our commentary on the first epistle of John, and now we shall move on to the second of the epistles attributed to the apostle. In our translation here we have either followed or considered the readings of the 4th century Codices Sinaiticus (א) and Vaticanus (B), the 5th century Codices Alexandrinus (A), and Vaticanus Graecus 2061 (048), and another 5th, or perhaps 6th century Codex known only as Uncial 0232, in which only the first nine verses of this epistle are attested, in whole or in part. These manuscripts and their differences with one another and with the Majority Text, as they are presented in the critical apparatus of the 27th edition of the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece, were all considered in our translation or in the accompanying notes. Unfortunately, there are no ancient papyri which have yet been discovered which predate the 7th century and attest to the text of either the second or third epistles of John. For all of our translations, we only considered readings from manuscripts which are esteemed to date from the 6th century and earlier.

As I had also said in the preface of our presentation of the first epistle of John, while we possess a copy of the 28th edition of the Novum Testamentum Graece, which was first published in 2012, I have not yet had the opportunity to compare its Greek text and critical notes to these translations. Our translation and notes are based on the 27th edition, which was first published in 1993. The 28th edition does add 29 recently discovered papyri to the catalog of 98 New Testament papyri fragments from which readings were included in the 27th edition. But none of the newly added papyri fragments contain any portion of the epistles of John.

Now before we commence with a commentary on this rather short second epistle of John, I am compelled to recollect some of John’s most important teachings in that first epistle by comparing a passage from chapter 6 of the Wisdom of Solomon to aspects of the first epistle of John which we have recently seen and discussed. I feel compelled to do this in order to address some recent criticism which I have received, for which I am persuaded that this is a timely and appropriate occasion.

On the Epistles of John, Part 11: The Truth of God

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On the Epistles of John, Part 11: The Truth of God

In our commentary on the opening verses of 1 John chapter 5 we had discussed The Spirit, the Water and the Blood, and now we shall resume that discussion here, as there is still much to consider in regard to verses 7 and 8 of this chapter. However first we shall offer a summation of some of our remarks concerning verse 6, where John had written, speaking in reference to Christ Himself, that “6 This is He having come through water and blood, Yahshua Christ. Not by water only but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit which testifies, because the Spirit is the Truth.” By writing this, John the apostle placed an emphasis on the importance of Christ’s having come into the world through blood, and since all living creatures have blood, either man or beast, it must have been John’s intention to refer to a particular blood.

As we had also elucidated, Paul of Tarsus had explained this same thing in a different way, where he had written that Christ was bound to come in the same flesh and blood which belonged to His children, in Hebrews chapter 2 where he wrote that “14 Therefore, since the children have taken part in flesh and blood, He also in like manner took part in the same… 16 For surely not that of angels has He taken upon Himself, but He has taken upon Himself of the offspring of Abraham, 17 from which He was obliged in all respects to become like the brethren…” It is also evident that Christ had come for children of that same flesh and blood, as He Himself had professed that He came “but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel” in Matthew chapter 15. The children of which Paul had spoken are indeed the genetic children of Abraham, as they must be brethren of Christ who was of the seed of Abraham, and in Paul’s words they were brethren before Christ had come.

On the Epistles of John, Part 10: The Spirit, the Water and the Blood

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On the Epistles of John, Part 10: The Spirit, the Water and the Blood

Writing this first and most significant of his three surviving epistles, the apostle John began describing the love which is in the law in chapter 2 where, speaking of Christ, he wrote: “3 And by this we may know that we know Him, if we would keep His commandments. 4 He saying that he knows Him and not keeping His commandments, he is a liar and the truth is not in him. 5 But he whom would keep His word [God’s Word], truly the love of Yahweh is perfected in him: by this we know that we are in Him.” Following that point, throughout chapters 3 and 4 of this epistle John spoke of the love of Yahweh God which He has for His children, and upheld that love as the reason for which those same children should love one another. So in chapter 3 of the epistle, John also asserted that the love which the children of God have for one another serves as the assurance that they have eternal life, where he wrote: “14 We know that we have passed over from out of death into life, because we love the brethren.” On the surface, John seems to be using the term brother quite loosely, as a fellow man or fellow believer, but that is clearly not the case once it is understood that the Gospel of Christ is the only manner which men have to distinguish the wheat from the tares. So as he continued, he stated that “He not loving [his brother] abides in death.”

As Paul of Tarsus had often attested, there are brethren and there are false brethren. Paul counted his brethren as his “kinsmen according to the flesh” in Romans chapter 9. But in 2 Corinthians chapter 11 he spoke of having faced “perils among false brethren”, and then in Galatians chapter 2 speaking of certain Judaizers, those who would bind men to rituals of the flesh, he called them “false brethren, such who infiltrate to spy out our freedom, which we have in Christ Yahshua, in order that they may enslave us…” Paul had referred to the same in Acts chapter 20 where he warned the elders of Ephesus of the “oppressive wolves [which] shall come in to you, not being sparing of the sheep!” Paul distinguished those wolves from men who would arise from among themselves who may speak distortions, ostensibly creating their own heresies.

Likewise, in his brief epistle the apostle Jude warned that “4 … some men have stolen in, those of old having been written about beforetime for this judgment, godless men, substituting the favor of our God for licentiousness and denying our only Master and Prince, Yahshua Christ.” Historically, there has been little open acceptance of the sort of licentiousness found at Sodom and Gomorrah until recent times, and now both priests and pastors generally and openly accept, and even promote, all sorts of sin, including Sodomy and fornication, in their congregations. So today many churches are even being run by these godless intruders.

On the Epistles of John, Part 9: Love is in the Law

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On the Epistles of John, Part 9: Love is in the Law

In the last presentation of our commentary on this first epistle of John, we discussed The Discerning of Spirits in relation to the opening half of chapter 4 of this epistle. The chapter begins with the admonishment from the apostle that his readers “1… not have trust in every spirit, but scrutinize whether the spirits are from of Yahweh…” and he proceeds to inform them that those spirits, referring to embodied spirits, who are from of God would acknowledge that Yahshua, or Jesus of Nazareth, was the Christ, or Messiah, that for that reason they would be despised by the world, but that they would also love both God and one another, and in return they would be loved by God. When we read chapter 5 of the epistle, John professes that the love of God is expressed by keeping His commandments, and that is also the manner by which Christians should express their love for their brethren.

In relation to earlier chapters of this epistle, among other things we have discussed Christ and Antichrist, Separating the Wheat and Dichotomies, False and True. However none of these subjects have yet been exhausted, and throughout the balance of the letter John continues to inform us how to distinguish the wheat from the tares, although he does not use those terms, and that also explains how to unmask an antichrist, which is also how to discern spirits which are not from of God, people who were not born from of God. This is the true dichotomy governing our present existence, although it is ignored within the greater society. Instead, the world is full of false dichotomies and artificial, faulty or even wicked social and political constructs which snare us in ditches and which keep the children of God at odds with one another, rather than loving one another.

On the Epistles of John, Part 8: The Discerning of Spirits

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On the Epistles of John, Part 8: The Discerning of Spirits

At the end of our last presentation in this commentary on the epistles of John, which was titled Dichotomies, False and True, we presented the first few verses of 1 John chapter 4 where the apostle had explained one aspect of a true and quite significant dichotomy that existed in his time, and which is still found in our world today. That is the fact that not all spirits, or people, come from God, as John was referring to embodied spirits when he wrote that passage, and not to disembodied spirits. There he had professed that the embodied spirits which did not come from God are the source of many false prophets which had already “gone out into Society”, and that collectively, they are the antichrist which is “already now in Society.” So once again here we shall repeat that passage, which is found in the first three verses of 1 John chapter 4:

IV 1 Beloved, do not have trust in every spirit, but scrutinize whether the spirits are from of Yahweh, because many false prophets have gone out into Society.

For this same reason, in Galatians chapter 2 the apostle Paul had written of “4… false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage”. Evidently, they were false brethren because they did not belong in the first place. Likewise, in his one epistle Jude had warned of “4… certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men” and we see that having been condemned even before they “crept in unawares”, neither could they have been from of Yahweh. In his second epistle, Peter issued a similar warning.

On the Epistles of John, Part 7: Dichotomies, False and True

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On the Epistles of John, Part 7: Dichotomies, False and True

This may be an unusual title for a Bible commentary, but the world today is full of traps – prisons both intellectual and psychological – which keep men locked into false dichotomies, while the true dichotomies which actually define or govern our very existence as it is mandated by our Creator are virtually ignored. Then, by the grace of God, once we are able to recognize those true dichotomies, we are despised by the world. Yet the world often stands in contradiction of itself, as hypocrisy and the tendency to lie are qualities which are part of the Intrinsic Character of the enemies of God. Since “the whole world lies in the power of the Evil One”, as John had said in the closing verses of this epistle, we should expect the world to reflect those same qualities which the Devil innately possesses as a part of his own character. But of course, when I refer to the Devil I speak collectively of all of the enemies of God, and regardless of their professed religion.

According to one Oxford English dictionary, a dichotomy is “A division or contrast between two things that are or are represented as being opposed or entirely different.” But then the dictionary offers an example of the use of the word in a statement which purports that there is “a rigid dichotomy between science and mysticism”. While it is only an example, the example reflects what the world believes, however we know that this is not true. While there is legitimate science which is found in the investigation of nature and matter, much of what passes for “science” originated in ancient paganism and the Jewish Kabbalah, and it truly is mysticism.

Modern science began with medieval Alchemy, which had its origins in the Kabbalah, and to a great extent that has not changed. Among this so-called science are concepts such as the big bang theory, the theory of evolution, theoretical physics, string theory, parallel universes, and more. All of these things are actually mysticism because they are not observable science and can not be proven in spite of the insistences of their proponents. In fact, some of these theories are promoted as “science” contrary to actual scientific evidence which discredits them. While there are natural substances which may cure or alleviate various diseases, many pharmaceuticals are a form of sorcery, they fail as often as they may appear to succeed, and in that manner they also qualify as a form of mysticism. Therefore it may be asserted that the “dichotomy between science and mysticism” is indeed false, because mysticism is often labelled as science. But the world wants us to believe that the dichotomy is true. This false science is actually demonic Jewish propaganda leveraged in their ages-old struggle against both God and man. In fact, the satanic propaganda outlet which calls itself Scientific American has recently published a claim that the denial of a belief in their evolution theory is tantamount to so-called “White Supremacy”, and thereby they have demonstrated once again their hatred for both God and man.

On the Epistles of John, Part 6: Separating the Wheat

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On the Epistles of John, Part 6: Separating the Wheat

We began our last presentation in this commentary, The Authors of Sin, with a discussion of the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares which is found in chapter 13 of the Gospel of Matthew. That is because here in chapter 3 of the first epistle of John, the apostle teaches his readers in his own words how to separate the wheat from the tares, ostensibly from lessons that he himself had learned while hearing the teachings of Christ. By the time he wrote this epistle, John evidently had many decades of experience contemplating those words and putting them into practice. And although John did not use the same terms which are found in the parable, examining his words here we may notice that in keeping the commandments of Yahweh through the instruction of the Gospel of Christ, and loving one’s own brethren, Christians are afforded the ability both to separate the wheat and to discern the identity of the tares.

Beginning our discussion of this phenomenon in that last presentation, we tarried at length on verse 8 of this chapter, where, paraphrasing our own translation, John had said that “8 He who is creating sin is from of the Devil, since the Devil sins from the beginning. For this the Son of God has been made manifest, in order that He would do away with the works of the Devil.” So he who is creating, authoring, or perhaps merely practicing sin is of the Devil. But John is not telling us that everyone who happens to sin is of the Devil, as all men sin and John himself also tells us in chapter 1 of this epistle that “8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” Rather, as John explained in chapter 2 of this epistle, there are children of God who may sin, but when they do sin they have an advocate and a propitiation in Christ. Being children of God, they are certainly not “of the Devil.” It is only the tares that the Devil had planted which are “of the Devil”, and they cannot help to keep themselves from sin.

On the Epistles of John, Part 5: The Authors of Sin

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On the Epistles of John, Part 5: The Authors of Sin

In our last presentation in this commentary, titled The Children of Yahweh, we presented some of the Biblical evidence that those who were declared to be the children of God in the Old Testament are the exclusive beneficiaries of the Old Testament promises of forgiveness, reconciliation, mercy, salvation and redemption for Israel which are fulfilled in Christ, that Christ Himself and His apostles had declared that He had come to fulfill those same promises to those same people, and therefore also that it is those very same people who are exclusively considered to be the children of God in the New Testament. As Paul of Tarsus had attested in Romans chapter 11, “29… the gifts and calling of God are without repentance”, meaning that the promises of God did not change, and he also said in Galatians chapter 3 that no man may disannul or add to the promises of God. The New Covenant having been made exclusively with the ancient children of Israel, with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, as Paul also cited the words of Jeremiah in Hebrews chapter 8, under no circumstances may any other man from outside of the children of Israel ever legitimately claim to be a party to that covenant.

Yet from as early as the 2nd century in Samaria, which is evident in the writings of Justin Martyr and later so-called “Church Fathers”, some strange interpretation of Christianity was developed whereby it was admitted that the promises of God were for Israel, but that somehow the identity of Israel was changed. This we call “replacement theology”, it is a lie, and it has always been a lie. As Paul of Tarsus had also attested near the very end of his ministry, his labors were for the twelve tribes of Israel, for the hope of those twelve tribes, and not for some new replacement Israel, which is recorded in Acts chapter 26. A lie which has been perpetuated for over 1,800 years does not make it true. The promises of God were made to Abraham’s seed through Jacob, and Paul himself explained in Romans chapter 4 that Abraham had already become the father of many nations “according to that which was spoken”. Then he repeated what was spoken and said: “So shall thy seed be.” Other nations did not become Abraham’s seed, and Abraham himself believed that God was true when He promised that his seed would become many nations, which it did. This identification of the seed has been a shell game between Church and Jews which has been played now for over 1,800 years, and neither of them are the seed. The Word of God promised that Abraham’s actual physical seed would become many nations, and those nations can be identified in Scripture as the White Christian nations of history, which we should accept if indeed we believe the Word of God.

On the Epistles of John, Part 4: The Children of Yahweh

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On the Epistles of John, Part 4: The Children of Yahweh

In our last presentation in this commentary, which discussed the final verses of John chapter 2 and which was titled Christ and Antichrist, we sought to describe what it was that the apostles and others had believed the Christ to be from their own professions as they are recorded in the Gospel accounts, and which they themselves must have attained through their understanding of the words of the prophets. So by understanding what the apostles had believed the Christ to be, only then can we properly understand what John could have meant where he wrote in that chapter and asked: “22 Who is a liar, if not he denying that Yahshua is the Christ? He is the Antichrist, who denies the Father and the Son!”

So we must ask, how could one deny the Father by denying that Yahshua is the Christ? Then John had once again led us to discuss the inseparable nature of Yahshua Christ and Yahweh God the Father in his declaration that “23 Each denying the Son has not the Father either; he being in agreement with the Son also has the Father.” To summarize our conclusions briefly, as well as answering our own question, the only valid Christian understanding is that Yahshua Christ is Yahweh God incarnate, the Father as the Son, the invisible God and Creator taking part in His Own Creation as King, Redeemer and Savior of His people. To understand any differently is to imagine that the words of Yahweh which were recorded by the prophets are lies, and that Yahweh destroyed His Own law, having transgressed it, rather than understanding how Christ had fulfilled the law while at the same time never having transgressed the law.

On the Epistles of John, Part 3: Christ and Antichrist

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On the Epistles of John, Part 3: Christ and Antichrist

In our last presentation in this commentary on the epistles of John, which we had titled The Propitiation for Sin, we sought to explain how the law stood in the way of any reconciliation between Yahweh God and the divorced children of Israel. Among other things, we cited the law where it says that every man (which includes every woman) must die for his own sin. When a man sins a sin for which he is liable to death, then he himself must die, and there is no other option under the law. But the ways in which the law obstructed the reconciliation of Yahweh and Israel is evident in even more ways than we had explained. For example, once the divorce of Israel was announced in the words of the prophet Hosea, Yahweh instructed the prophet, in Hosea chapter 3 where we read “1 Then said the LORD unto me, Go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress, according to the love of the LORD toward the children of Israel, who look to other gods, and love flagons of wine.” In Hosea chapter 2 Yahweh had already spoken of Israel and said: “7 And she shall follow after her lovers, but she shall not overtake them; and she shall seek them, but shall not find them: then shall she say, I will go and return to my first husband; for then was it better with me than now.” In spite of that, Yahweh had also sworn later in that same chapter that He would betroth Israel once again, and betroth Israel forever. This is a paradox, as we must know that Yahweh would not transgress His Own law.

So we must ask, could Israel return to her first husband? Or could the Husband take back an adulterous wife? The law forbids that, as we read in Deuteronomy chapter 24: “1 When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house. 2 And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's wife. 3 And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife; 4 Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the LORD: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.” So even if Israel sought to return to Yahweh, there was no way under the law by which that was possible, and Yahweh’s law does not change.

On the Epistles of John, Part 2: The Propitiation for Sin

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On the Epistles of John, Part 2: The Propitiation for Sin

In our opening presentation in this commentary, discussing 1 John chapter 1, we saw the apostle repeat particular themes from his Gospel in relation to the nature of Christ, that, among other things, He is the Word of Life, and He is the true Light come into the World. Doing that, we used an accompanying illustration which seeks to describe the various ways in which Yahweh, the Invisible God, chose to manifest Himself in the world. Among these are the burning in the bush which appeared to Moses, the pillars of cloud and fire which led the Israelites out of Egypt, the Rock in the desert, and finally, as the man Yahshua Christ, who is also the Son. Sadly, there are trinitarians who also call themselves Christian Identity, but who do not realize that the concept of the trinity is contrary to the truth of God.

It is not that Yahweh God became or made Himself into a pillar of smoke or a pillar of fire, but that He used the pillars of smoke and fire as signs indicating that He was present with the children of Israel to lead them out of Egypt. So from the perspective of man, we read in Exodus chapter 13 that “21… the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night:” Likewise, in Exodus chapter 3, while the burning in the bush was initially called an “angel”, an angel is only a messenger, and an angel does not have to be a sentient being, as even the elements of Creation may be used by God to send a message. So after Moses wrote that “the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire”, as it is in the King James Version, in that same place we then read: “4 And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.” It was not an angel who spoke to Moses, but Yahweh God Himself, described as being in the flames in the bush. Therefore the flames themselves were the angel, as they were employed to attract the attention of Moses and to represent to presence of the Invisible God. Perhaps trinitarians may imagine Moses to have been speaking to a man with wings and a white garment sitting in the flames in a bush, but that is not what the Scripture implies.

On the Epistles of John, Part 1: Light and the Word of Life

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See the full article for the opening notes to this presentation.

On the Epistles of John, Part 1: Light and the Word of Life

Now, turning our attention to the first epistle of John, for our translation we have either followed or considered the readings of the 4th century Codices Sinaiticus (א) and Vaticanus (B), the 5th century Codices Alexandrinus (A), Ephraemi Syri (C) and Vaticanus Graecus 2061 (048), and the 6th century Codices known only as Uncial 0245 and Uncial 0296, all of them as they are presented in the 27th edition of the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece. Additionally, there is one ancient papyrus that was also considered, which is known as P9 in the Nestle-Aland editions. In this papyrus are preserved fragments of several verses of 1 John chapter 4, and it is esteemed to date to the 3rd century. The earliest surviving witness to any of the text of 1 John may be the Muratorian Fragment, or Canon, which dates to approximately 170 AD and which cites the opening three verses of this epistle.

As I have said in the past, while we possess a copy of the 28th edition of the Novum Testamentum Graece, which was first published in 2012, I have not yet had the opportunity to compare its Greek text and critical notes to these translations. Our translation and notes are based on the 27th edition, which was first published in 1993. The 28th edition does add 29 recently discovered papyri to the catalog of 98 New Testament papyri fragments from which readings were included in the 27th edition. But none of the newly added papyri fragments contain any portion of the epistles of John.

Among the early Christian writers, 1 John is mentioned in the surviving fragments of Papias, a bishop of Hierapolis who died about 130 AD. So Papias attests to 1 John only decades after it was written. Both Clement of Alexandria, who died circa 215 AD, and Origen who died perhaps 23 years later, had written commentaries on the epistles of John. In his commentary, Clement expressly considered the John of the Gospel to have been the same John to whom the epistles are attributed. Origen also mentioned or cited 1 John in both his de Principiis and his commentary on Matthew. 1 John is mentioned frequently in Cyprian's Three Books of Testimonies Against the Jews. Cyprian was a bishop of Roman Carthage in the first half of the 3rd century. So far as we have seen, authorship of the epistles is not disputed in any of these writings.

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