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No other epistle or letter in the New Testament begins more abruptly than the first Epistle of John. It has no formal salutation, no personal words of greeting, and no concluding benediction. After a brief prologue (1:1-4) the writer goes directly to what is on his heart, the message which we have heard of him and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all (1:5). Second and Third John are similar in structure, style, and theme. In both letters John introduces himself as the elder. In both letters John offers commendations for good behavior and rebukes for bad conduct. And in both letters his major theme is the truth, for in both John is determined to warn believers against false teachers and to protect from errors that are infiltrating the church of God.