THE SECOND EPISTLE OF JOHN
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
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
AUTHOR: Alan Padgett, Professor of Systematic Theology
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.
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
this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the
commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk
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.
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
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.
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
13 The children of thy elect sister greet thee. Amen.