Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God.
Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. The one who does good is of God; the one who does evil has not seen God.
Dear friend, don’t let this bad example influence you. Follow only what is good. Remember that those who do good prove that they are God’s children, and those who do evil prove that they do not know God.
Friend, don't go along with evil. Model the good. The person who does good does God's work. The person who does evil falsifies God, doesn't know the first thing about God.
My loved one, do not be copying what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God: he who does evil has not seen God.
Beloved, do not imitate what is evil but imitate what is good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God.
Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God.
|NET © [draft] ITL|
|NET © Notes||
1 sn The exhortation do not imitate what is bad but what is good is clearly a reference to Diotrephes’ evil behavior. The author exhorts Gaius (whom he wishes to continue assisting the missionaries) not to follow the negative example of Diotrephes, but to do what is right. Implicitly there may be a contrast between the bad behavior of Diotrephes and the good reputation of Demetrius (mentioned in the following verse); but it seems more likely that Demetrius is himself one of the traveling missionaries (perhaps their leader), rather than the leader of a local congregation who, unlike Diotrephes, has supported the missionaries himself.
2 sn The statement The one who does what is bad has not seen God is asyndetic; its abrupt introduction adds emphasis. The statement reiterates the common Johannine theme of behavior as an indication of genuine faith, found in 1 John in 3:6, 10; 4:7, 20; and in the Gospel of John in 3:17-21. By implication, the genuineness of Diotrephes’ faith is called into question, because he has obviously done what is bad (v. 11b; cf. vv. 9-10). In John’s terminology it is clear that the phrase has not seen God is equivalent to “is not a genuine Christian” (see John 3:17-21 and 1 John 3:6, 10; 4:7, 20).