1:2 Dear friend, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, just as it is well with your soul. 1 1:3 For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified to your truth, just as you are living according to the truth. 2
1 tn The noun ψυχή (yuch) is used 10 times in the Gospel of John and 2 times in 1 John; of these 6 of the uses in John and both in 1 John refer to a person’s “life” (as something that can be laid down). In John 10:24 and 12:27 the ψυχή is that part of a person where emotions are experienced; one’s ψυχή is held in suspense or deeply troubled. This is, in other words, the immaterial part of a person as opposed to his physical existence. A close parallel is found in Philo, Heir 58 (285): “nourished with peace, he will depart, having gained a calm, unclouded life…welfare in the body, welfare in the soul (ψυχή)…health and strength…delight in virtues.”
sn Just as it is well with your soul. The equivalent contemporary idiom would be to speak of ‘spiritual’ health as opposed to physical health. The author affirms that Gaius is indeed well off spiritually, and he prays that Gaius’ physical health would match his spiritual health, i.e., that Gaius would be as well off physically as he is spiritually. It is the spiritual health which is to be the standard by which one’s physical health is measured, not the other way round.
2 sn Living according to the truth (Grk “walking in [the] truth”). The use of the Greek verb περιπατέω (peripatew) to refer to conduct or lifestyle is common in the NT (see 1 John 1:6, 2 John 4, as well as numerous times in Paul. Here the phrase refers to conduct that results when a person has “truth” residing within, and possibly alludes to the indwelling Spirit of Truth (see 2 John 2). In the specific context of 3 John the phrase refers to true Christians who are holding fast to an apostolic Christology in the face of the secessionist opponents’ challenge to orthodoxy.
3 tn Grk “that I hear”; the ἵνα (Jina) clause indicates content. This is more smoothly expressed as an English infinitive.