Answers to Common Questions

Does 3 John 2 indicate that it is God's will for all of us to be financially prosperous?

In 3 John 2 we read: "Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers." Some people have cited this verse in support of what they call the "prosperity gospel." But this is a misunderstanding of the verse.

The Greek word for "prosper" here refers not to financial prosperity but simply means "to go well with someone." In fact, the NIV translation correctly reflects this idea in its rendering of the verse: "Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well." It is noteworthy that in biblical times the wish for "things to go well" along with the wish for "good health" was a standard form of greeting. Financial prosperity is completely foreign to both this ancient greeting and 3 John 2. 

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Complete Book of Bible Answers: Answers to the Tough Questions