Redating the gospels
Although 1 John does not have an attribution of authorship, the author writes as an elder, addressing his readers as little children (1 John 2:1, , , , 4:4, ).
Many of these themes in 1-3 John are also present in the Gospel of John.
Ignatius (35-107), Papius, Iraneus and Origin (185-254) assigned John the son of Zebedee as the author of the Gospel of John.
However, Papius identifies a separate John as the writer of the letters of John and Revelation, so there is some variance in early tradition as to authorship of the Johannine letters.
The "we" in John indicates that the author, along with the other apostles, were eyewitnesses of Jesus.
The identification of John the son of Zebedee as the author of this material is dependent on a combination of the writings of early church fathers and indirect evidence within these books.
Holding John the son of Zebedee to be the author of Revelation are the second century church fathers Justin Martyr and Irenaeus, along with third century fathers Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian of Carthage, Origen of Alexandria, and Hippolytus of Rome.
Having connected 2 and 3 John, let us now connect these books to the longer letter of 1 John.
Despite the brevity of 2 and 3 John, many common ideas and phrases are obvious.
Both 1 and 2 John speak of a new commandment (1 John 2:8, 2 John 5) of love.