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The Second Letter of John: Chapter 1

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1The elder to the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth, and not only I but also all who know the truth, 2because of the truth that abides in us and will be with us forever:

3Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us from God the Father and from a Other ancient authorities add the Lord Jesus Christ, the Father's Son, in truth and love.

4I was overjoyed to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as we have been commanded by the Father. 5But now, dear lady, I ask you, not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but one we have had from the beginning, let us love one another. 6And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment just as you have heard it from the beginning—you must walk in it.

7Many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh; any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist! 8Be on your guard, so that you do not lose what we a Other ancient authorities read you have worked for, but may receive a full reward. 9Everyone who does not abide in the teaching of Christ, but goes beyond it, does not have God; whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10Do not receive into the house or welcome anyone who comes to you and does not bring this teaching; 11for to welcome is to participate in the evil deeds of such a person.

12Although I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink; instead I hope to come to you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete.

13The children of your elect sister send you their greetings. b Other ancient authorities add Amen

Notes:

a Other ancient authorities add the Lord

a Other ancient authorities read you

b Other ancient authorities add Amen

Text Commentary view alone

1–3 : Letter opening.

See Rom 1.1–7 . Elect lady probably refers to the local church. Love in the truth sets out the author' vision of the church. Its members are united by Jesus' command to love one another (vv. 4–6; 1 Jn 2.22–23; 3.23 ). They reject false teaching about the Son (vv. 7–9 ).

4–11 : Letter body.

The author' actual request comes at the end: Avoid extending any form of assistance or hospitality to false teachers (vv. 10–11 ).

4–6 :

The new commandment to love one another has been an identifying mark of Johannine Christianity from its beginning (Jn 13.34–35; 1 Jn 2.7–10 ).

7–9 :

The secessionists who do notabide in the teaching of Christ by denying that the human Jesus is the Christ (v. 7 ; see 1 Jn, Introduction) have shattered that fellowship (1 Jn 2.19 ). False teaching is a sign that the antichrist is at work in the world (1 Jn 2.18; 4.1–3 ).

7 :

Antichrist, see 1 Jn 2.18–23 .

10–11 :

The severity of this demand, do not receive into the house (i.e., church) anyone connected with the secessionists, follows from the view that their activities are Satan' final effort against God' people.

12–13 : Letter closing.

Ancient letters frequently end with a notice of the sender' future travel plans (Rom 15.22,33 ).

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