Here’s a video that offers a simple summary of these three letters:
1 John, 2 John, 3 John
The three letters of John are assumed to be written by John the Apostle, the brother of James and son of Zebedee. However, none of the letters bear his name. 1 John is anonymous, and 2 and 3 John are attributed to someone simply named “the elder.” Because of the similarities in themes and writing styles, and because of the tradition of the early church, these three letters are usually presumed to have the same author as the Gospel of John.
1 John speaks primarily about the supernatural love of Jesus Christ, compared to the enemies of Christ, specifically the Antichrist and the devil. John does not describe love as an emotion. Neither does he suggested that love is blind acceptance. Instead, he roots his understanding of love in two qualities. See 1 John 3:16 and 4:9-10 for the definition of God’s love for us; then see 1 John 5:2-5 for the definition of our love for God. What is similar? What is different?
This letter has some often quoted passages, like “God is love,” that are taken outside of the intended context. What does John mean by “God is love” in 1 John 4:7-12?
John also includes some challenging passages about those outside of God’s family. He speaks not only of the “children of God” but also of “the children of the devil.” (1 John 3:4-10). What does he mean by each of these terms?
What strikes you as interesting about 2 and 3 John? Why do you think these letters were preserved and placed in Holy Scripture?
1 and 2 Peter are attributed to Simon Peter, the chief Apostle. Jude is assumed to be one of the half-brothers of Jesus (he calls himself “the brother of James” both to avoid claiming a special relationship with Jesus, and also because the Lord’s brother James became an enormously influential figure in the early church).
1 Peter is a powerful and beautifully written letter firmly rooted in the story of Jesus and the Old Testament, in order to strengthen the Jewish Christian believers scattered through the Roman Empire. What section of this letter is most impactful for you?
2 Peter and Jude have some striking similarities. Read these two letters together; what do they share in common?
Keep it up - these are the last three books before Revelation!