2 John 1

2 John 1

Loving Truth
1From the elder # 1 Or “presbyter.” This was obviously a self-designated term for the apostle John. He was an elder because of being the only living apostle who was chosen by Jesus. to God’s chosen woman # 1 The letter is addressed to the eklekte kuria (“elect/chosen/excellent lady”). Most commentators see this as a metaphor for the church and her spiritual children, believing that John wrote this letter to a sister congregation or network of congregations. This has been the majority view since it was first noted by Jerome (Jerome, Ep. Xi. ad Ageruchiam). Still, others see it as a letter to a specific woman, with the conjecture that her name was either Elekta or Kyria. This is a possibility, since one way to read the letter is that John knew this woman and was acquainted with her sister and her children (v. 13). If this was indeed written to Kyria (feminine of “lord,” meaning a woman in authority), there is a possibility that she was the pastor or overseer of a specific church. But who was the most especially “chosen woman” in the entire Bible? It was Mary, the mother of our Lord Jesus. John was given the commission by Jesus himself in his last moments on the cross to care for Mary as his mother, and we know that Mary had a sister (John 19:25–27, cf. v. 13). What other woman is chosen and loved, not only by John but all the church? Every believer in Jesus rightly honors and reveres his mother, Mary. Throughout church history there have been a few scholars who believe that Mary was the recipient of this letter. (See Knauer, Stud. U. Krit., 1833, Part 2, p.452ff.; q.v. J. E. Huther, Critical and Exegetical Handbook to the General Epistles of James, Peter, John, and Jude, translated from the German, 11 vols., Funk and Wagnalls, 1884.) and her children:
I love you all as those who are in the truth. # 1 Or “whom I love in truth.” John uses the word love sixty-two times in the New Testament, while all the other New Testament writers combined use it a total of 116 times. And I’m not the only one, for all who come to know the truth # 1 It is possible that John is using the word truth as he uses word (Gr. logos), as a title for Jesus Christ (“all who know the Truth”). share my love for you 2because of the living truth that has a permanent home in us and will be with us forever. # 2 Or “into the age.” The Aramaic can be translated “because the truth sustains us to the end of the eternity.”
3Grace, mercy, and peace belong to us, flowing from the presence of God the Father and from Jesus Christ, Son of the Father and from the realm of true love. # 3 Or “in truth and love.”
4I was delighted and filled with joy when I learned that your children are consistently living in the truth, just as we have received the command from the Father.
5Dearest woman, I have a request to make of you. It is not a new commandment but a repetition of the one we have had from the beginning: that we constantly love one another. 6This love means living in obedience to whatever God commands us. For to walk in love toward one another is the unifying commandment we’ve heard from the beginning.
Warning about False Teachers
7Numerous deceivers have surfaced from among us and gone out into the world, # 7 In the context of love, John now mentions false teachers. This shows us that love is the safeguard against error. The more that love flows through us as we honor God’s commands, the more we are kept from deception. Our unity, produced by love, enables us to recognize and resist false teachers. people who will not acknowledge Jesus Christ coming as a man. These deceivers are antichrists! 8Be on your guard so that you do not lose all that we # 8 Some manuscripts have “you.” have diligently worked for but receive a full reward.
9Anyone who wanders away # 9 Or “goes beyond” (the teaching of Christ). The Aramaic implies a visiting minister or itinerant speaker, “whoever passes through.” and does not remain faithful to the teaching of Christ has no relationship with God. But those who remain in the teaching of Christ have a wonderful relationship with both the Father and the Son. 10So if anyone comes into your fellowship claiming to be a true believer yet doesn’t bring this teaching, you are not to consider him as a fellow believer, # 10 Or “don’t give him any greeting” (as a believer). Hospitality was such a cultural virtue in the time of John that he actually had to warn them not to show hospitality to false teachers. nor should you welcome him into your homes. # 10 Or possibly “house [church].” 11For if you welcome him as a believer, # 11 Or “If you give him a [public] greeting [as a believer].” you will be partnering with him in his evil agenda.
12Although I have many more subjects I’d like to discuss with you, I’d rather not include them in this letter. # 12 Or “I’d rather not write with ink [pen] and paper.” But I look forward to coming to visit and speaking with you face-to-face # 12 The Aramaic can be translated “mouth to mouth.” —for being together will complete our joy!
13The children of your sister, whom God has chosen, send you their loving greetings. Amen. # 13 Most manuscripts do not include “Amen.”
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