John the Elder writes to a local church leader and her "children" (that is, the local house church), encouraging them to continue to walk in the truth and love of God. He warns them to avoid false teachers or "deceivers" who deny that Jesus Christ has come fully in the flesh.

This letter reminds readers that theology matters to our "walk in the truth," our daily lives in faith. Especially important to any Christian's life is one's view of Jesus Christ.

The Second Letter of John is the twenty-fourth book in the New Testament. It is the second of the three "Johannine Letters," a collection of writings that share much in common with each other and with the Gospel of John.

The "elder" who wrote this letter is often identified as John, the same person who probably wrote the Gospel of John (maybe in cooperation with other writers). This elder may or may not be the Apostle John, son of Zebedee.

The Second Letter of John comes from around 90 C.E. It was probably written before 1 John, but after the Gospel of John.

John the Elder opposes the false teachers who deny that Jesus came in the flesh, and he encourages a local church and its leader to continue to walk in the truth.

Read this letter in its context, written to a local house church to keep its members from heresy. Recognize the importance that John the Elder puts on sound theology. The simple language conveys profound issues, and so we should read also for the deeper messages that continue to speak to us.
AUTHOR: Alan Padgett, Professor of Systematic Theology

2 John

Chapter 1

1 The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth;
2 For the truth's sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever.
3 Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.
4 I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father.
5 And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another.
6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.
7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.
9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:
11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.
12 Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full.
13 The children of thy elect sister greet thee. Amen.


  1. John's second letter was written to warn a Christian woman against indiscriminate fellowship with unbelievers. The leading ideas of the epistle are love, truth and obedience which partly involve and partly supplement one another. Obedience without love is servile; love without obedience is unreal; neither of them can flourish outside the realm of truth.

  2. 2 John would have been a letter READ ALOUD TO GAIUS and his CHURCH. ... Verses 7-11 – John warns of false teachers traveling through the area. ... 2 John 1 – “The elder to the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth, and not ... “Elder” is presbuteros and was used to refer to pastoral leaders of local churches.

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