You asked about the anonymity of 1 John. You may not be too
keen on my rather speculative ideas but, as no one else has
responded to your question, may I offer the following.
I suspect that 1 John is anonymous because it was written at a
time when its author, the Apostle John, could have been in
considerable danger if he was identified. The danger came
about because he had written a book which, if it fell into Roman
hands, could only be understood by them as treasonous. That
book was the Revelation of which, I suspect, very few copies
were made at the time of the events and personages
(particularly Nero) it was thought to have been indicating. I
suspect that only the apostles had copies at that time.
1 John, then, was a circular letter from John to support and
encourage the faithful especially those in Asia but no doubt
more broadly in the light of the Revelation and what the
apostles expected was about to happen (i.e. severe
persecutions followed by Christ's return `Children, it is the last
hour' 2:18; the `antichrists' of 2:18-19 were primarily the
Nicolaitans [cf. Rev 2:6,15]).
My hunch is that Ephesians (written by Paul in Ephesus
following his two years in Rome - '...we are not contending
against flesh and blood...' [6:12]) and 1 Peter (written by that
apostle in Rome [1:6; 4:12; 5:10]) were written for the same
reason, and the three may well have been circulated together,
especially in Asia. I believe the Revelation and the three epistles
mentioned were all written in 62AD.
For the same reason John was not named but was called the
Beloved Disciple in the Gospel for which he was largely
responsible. I think that gospel was written in 68, soon after
Nero's death and the apostle's release from Patmos, but too
close to the events of the previous four years for John to risk
being identified with the John of Patmos (Rev 1:1,4,9) should a
copy of the Revelation be sited by someone unsympathetic to the