Brief but powerful letters

I really like this insight from Our Daily Bread today…

The apostle John’s letters (1, 2, and 3 John) are considered brief—particularly in comparison to Paul’s lengthy epistles and other letters, such as Romans and 1 Corinthians. However, even 3 John—the shortest of the biblical letters—would’ve been considered long by ancient standards. Scholar Randy Richards wrote: “The average letter in the first century was 87 words.” Meanwhile 3 John has 219 words in the Greek and is the shortest New Testament letter. First John—at 2,517 words—is still quite brief yet much longer than the typical first-century letter. That common brevity in ancient letters was due to several factors including the cost of hiring a secretary, the cost of papyrus and ink (which had to be handmade), and the difficulty in getting letters to their destinations.