Archaeological dating labs

Since “Parthia” referred to territory including Babylon in Mesopotamia, some have suggested that 1 John may originally have been written to Jewish Christians living in Babylon sometime toward the end of the first century.26 What are we to make of this?Evidence for such a destination for 1 John is very slim, and a reason for the author of the Johannine letters to address one or more of them to a region in Mesopotamia so far removed from Ephesus, where John the Apostle traditionally lived and ministered in the latter part of the first century a.d., is difficult to discern.We aim to educate and empower our students to be proactive in their lifetime academic and career success.1 John itself contains no hint of the identity of the Christian community to which it was addressed, nor does it give any specific clue to the identification of the locale involved where these believers lived.Excavations on Ayasoluk Hill at Selçuk, about 3.5 km (2 mi) from the archaeological site of ancient Ephesus (located in modern Turkey), beneath the basilica built later in honor of St.John, have shown the existence of a mausoleum dating from the third century. Braun thinks this confirms the testimony of Polycrates (see above).25 In any case this is the traditional site of the grave of the Apostle John, still visited by tourists today, in the ruins of the magnificent basilica built by the Emperor Justinian that bears his name.What can be said about the setting of 1 John and the two shorter Johannine Epistles must be gleaned from hints in the text itself.No explicit statements are made within the Epistles themselves concerning the life-situation to which these writings were addressed, but there are some important clues: Since the author does not introduce himself to the readers in 1 John, we may assume that he was well known to them and needed no introduction.

The traditional site associated with the publication of the Fourth Gospel by the Apostle John appears as the most likely location from which the letters were written as well.The English theologian and historian Bede, writing in the early eighth century a.d., said in the prologue to his exposition of the catholic epistles that the Greek bishop Athanasius of Alexander believed 1 John to have been written to the Parthians.There appear to be only three medieval Greek manuscripts in existance that carry such a designation for one of the Johannine letters, and it is 2 John, not 1 John, that each of the three designate as “to the Parthians.”27 Although it has occasionally been suggested that there really was a Christian community in Babylon to which John wrote, it seems more likely that the Latin designation ad Parthos to which Augustine made reference probably resulted from a confused reading of something else.This in turn has had a significant effect on the interpretation of the letters themselves.For example, the repeated exhortation to “love one another” gets reduced to a platitude which should be true of all Christians everywhere in every time (which is certainly true), but what gets lost in this “generalized” interpretation is the use by the author of 1 John of love for fellow members of the community as a diagnostic tool for determining who has held fast to the apostolic teaching about who Jesus is, versus who has departed and followed the teaching of the secessionist opponents (cf. What we can say about the setting which produced these letters thus becomes vitally important for their accurate interpretation, but also for our understanding of how their teaching can be applied to situations in which we find ourselves today.