The writer of this Epistle was the beloved Apostle, John, a fisherman from Kahpehrnah-oúm and the brother of James, the son of Zebedee. He was the youngest disciple, who later owned his own house in Jerusalem (John 19:27) and was an eye witness to Jesus. He also wrote the Gospel bearing his name, two other Epistles also bearing his name, and Revelation. Only Paul wrote more New Testament Books than John, but Luke wrote greater volume than both.
Since there is no indication of the writer in the text, Internal evidence to John's authorship is dependent upon the accepted title that bears his name which was placed at ‘the head of the scroll' of the circulated copies; and upon links of the Third Epistle to the Second (please refer to Internal Evidence in the Introductory Notes of First John for the link to John's First Epistle); and it is also dependent upon a comparison of the First, Second and Third Epistles of John. Such a comparison reveals that eight of the thirteen verses of Second John contain similar language to First John and seven times in five of the fourteen verses in Third John similar language to Second John is used. Both are personal letters.
External evidence is limited but linked to that of First and Second Epistles by John (see introductory notes of First and Second Epistles by John).
Dating of this Epistle is difficult because precise information is lacking. Since this Epistle was successive to Second John, and prior to his banishment to Isle of Patmos (A.D. 96) the date would be A.D. late 94-95. Since John's ministry in his later years was at Ephesus, it was likely written from there.
The destination of this Epistle is Gáh-ëeohs, beloved one to John (1:1), possibly (note intensive-possessive pronoun, v. 4) his son (relational emphatic word, child) or at least a convert. Three others so named are mentioned in the New Testament: Gáh-ëeohs of Mahkehdohnéeah (Acts 19:29),Gáh-ëeohs of Derbe (Acts 20:4), and Gáh-ëeohs of Corinth (1 Cor. 1:14 cf. Rom. 16:23).
The Purpose of John in writing this Epistle is to encourage his beloved child (v. 4) to provide hospitable care for God's servants, who are of the truth, on their journey and to warn of wicked treatment of them like that by Deeohtrehfáys.
Characteristics of this Epistle include: encouraging (vs. 2-8), and warning (v. 11).
The Book may be outlined as follows:
I. Greetings (1-4).
II. Instructions (5-10) concerning:
A. Itinerant Servants of The Lord (5-8);
B. Domineering Deeohtrehfáys (9,10).
III. Exhortation and Commendation (11,12).
IV. Expectation and Salutation (13,14).