John's Second Letter
Copyright ©1999, Charles Hess, Ridgefield, Washington
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The letter of 2 John was just about the size of a postcard with its thirteen verses. It is written by "the elder." Because of the similar style and because of the letter's acceptance by early churches, it is commonly agreed that "the elder" was the apostle John.<713> After considering objections made by Moffatt, Dodd and others, I find no valid reason to doubt this. When the apostles were chosen, John was probably the youngest.<714> Some think the other apostles had all died by the time he wrote this letter. If so, as the last surviving apostle, John would have been "the" elder (eldest) of the apostles.


I do not even know the approximate year 2 John was written. It is difficult to suggest even a probable date. As a matter of fact, I have had a great amount of difficulty establishing a date for John's other writings as well. Some NT books are perplexing as to date, but John's are next to impossible. I do not even know the chronological sequence of his books. I suppose Cerinthus, Basilides or someone like them is referred to but I have been unable to pin down the dates of their sinister activity.


There is uncertainty about who is addressed because the "chosen lady" or "elect lady" may be taken literally or figuratively (see extensive note under To the elect lady, verse 1). We are at least sure the letter was written to Christians.


The short letter is cordial and personal but contains sharp warnings about erroneous teachings. The same or similar false teachers alluded to in 1 John are again countered in this letter. They did not believe that Christ came in the flesh. Instead, they taught that "Christ" came upon Jesus at His baptism and left Him before He died on the cross.


1:1, 2 The elder to the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all who know the truth, 2 because of the truth abiding in us. And with us it will be for ever.

  1. To the elect lady and her children (verses 1-4).
  2. Love one another (verses 5, 6).
  3. Many deceivers have gone out into the world (verses 7-11).
  4. Conclusion (verses 12, 13).

  1. To the elect lady and her children (verses 1-4).
      a. Whom I love in truth.
      b. Because of the truth.
      c. In truth and love.
      d. I rejoice greatly that I have found some of your children walking in truth.
  2. Love one another (verses 5, 6).
      a. And this is love: that we walk according to His commandments.
  3. Many deceivers have gone out into the world (verses 7-11).
      a. Who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh.
      b. Watch out for yourselves, that you do not lose what you have worked for.
      c. Anyone going beyond -- and not remaining in -- the teaching of Christ, does not have God.
      d. If anyone does not bring this teaching, do not receive him.
  4. Conclusion (verses 12, 13).
      a. Hope to come to you, and to speak face to face.
      b. Children of your elect sister greet you.

The elder.<716> At the time of writing, John was HO PRESBUTEROS, the elder.<717> He was a senior citizen, a member of the older generation (compare 1Ti 5:1, 2; 1Pe 5:5). Was he also an elder of the church? We know the apostle Peter was an elder of the church (1Pe 5:1, 2). Some think John also was an elder in this sense.<718> As an apostle, John was also a PRESBEUO, an ambassador of Christ, a position usually held by older men (see notes on 2Co 5:20; Eph 6:20; Phm 9). If the other apostles had gone on to be with the Lord, he might refer to himself as "the elder" because he was the only apostle still on earth.

  1. You shall know the truth (Joh 8:32).
  2. Established in the truth which is present with you (2Pe 1:12).
  3. The truth abides in us (2Jo 2).
  4. The truth will be with us for ever (2Jo 2; compare 1Pe 1:25).

To the elect lady [unto, the chosen lady, to the lady chosen by God].<719> The Greek KURIA<720> lady is thought by some to have been a personal name. If so, we might anglicize it as Kyria, Kuria, Cyria or Curia. The Greek EKLEKTEE elect or chosen is generally taken as an adjective modifying KURIA. Thus the letter was addressed to the chosen lady or the elect Cyria.

Some take EKLEKTEE as a proper name but I doubt that. Would her "elect" sister have a name so much like hers? Does it not seem odd that the sister of the EKLEKTEE KURIA elect lady would be named ADELPHES EKLEKTEES elect or chosen sister (verse 13)? Some have postulated that the "elect lady" was a certain Christian woman whom John appreciated for her works' sake. The identity of the woman has never been confirmed. Was the letter "catholic" and addressed to the universal church termed the "elect lady"? I doubt that also. If that were the case, who was her chosen sister?

"Elect" is an adjective applied appropriately to all Christians (see 1Pe 5:13<721>). Was the "elect lady" one local church and her "elect sister" another congregation of the churches of Christ? The use of HUMAS and HUMIN, plurals of "you" and "to you" (verses 10, 12) does not help much in this matter since the letter was addressed to more than one person -- to the elect lady and her children.

  1. An unnamed woman called "the elect lady" because she was a Christian?
  2. A woman whose name means "elect", "lady" or "elect lady"?
  3. Figuratively, the entire church of Christ?
  4. Figuratively, a congregation or certain congregations?

One rule of biblical interpretation is to take a passage literally unless there is a good reason to understand it figuratively. Applying this rule with some caution, one might say the book was personal, that it was addressed to a certain unidentified Christian lady.

The letter might have been addressed to a local congregation of the elect using a cryptic designation in times of persecution, or alluding to the church as the wife of Christ (2Co 11:2; Eph 5:25-33; Re 21:2,9; 22:17).

In any case, lessons in the letter apply to Christians and churches today.

And her children.<722> This may be explained as the literal offspring of the "elect lady" or, possibly, her converts. If the elect lady is a congregation, then her children might have been the members of the congregation or other congregations begun by that local church.<723> Her sister could be the congregation where John was when he wrote (verse 13). Since John sent greetings from the sister's children, we may infer that they were with him when he wrote.

Whom.<724> The word "whom" includes the elect lady and her children.

I love.<725> John uses the word AGAPOO, a word for love that signifies the kind of unselfish love God has for man and which Christians have for each other. The Greek present tense suggests John had a continuing love for them.

In truth [in the truth].<726> John sincerely loved the "elect lady" and her children. His love was profound because of the common bond due to their obedience to the truth of the gospel (see 1Pe 1:22).

And not only I [I only, I alone].<727>

But also all who know the truth [but also all they that, those who, have known the truth].<728> When one comprehends the great love of God he begins to return that love. He cannot love Him without obeying His commandments. When one loves God, he also loves God's children (see 1Jo 4:20, 21; 5:1, 2). John's love for the elect lady and her children was shared by all Christians.

The truth is knowable (see note on Joh 8:32). In the sense in which John uses the term, knowing the truth means becoming a Christian. The truth cannot really abide in one who does not respond to it in obedience.

Because of the truth [for the sake of the truth, for the truth's sake].<729> The truth is according to "the commandment we received from the Father" (verse 4) and "His commandments" (verse 6). It is identical to "the teaching of Christ" (verse 9). It is the same truth in which Peter's readers were "established" (2Pe 1:12; see chart Because of the truth).

Abiding [which abides, abideth, dwelleth, lives, that dwells].<730>

In us [among us].<731> The truth is the gospel seed that abides within the heart of faithful Christians (see note on 1Jo 3:9; compare Lu 8:11).

And with us it will be [and shall be, and it shall be with us].<732> In Greek "And with us" is in the emphatic position at the beginning of the phrase. Unlike the seed on the path that was removed by birds (Satan), the seed on the good ground will germinate and produce. It will spring up to eternal life (compare Mt 13:4, 8; Lu 8:12, 15; Joh 4:14).

For ever.<733> The word of God is permanent (Mt 24:35; Lu 21:33; compare Ps 119:89, 152; Isa 40:8; Mt 5:18; 1Pe 1:25).


1:3 Grace, mercy and peace will be with us from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father's Son, in truth and love.

Grace, mercy and peace.<734> Our loving God extends grace that takes the form of mercy which, when properly received by man, relieves guilt and misery and brings life and peace (Joh 3:16; Ro 5:1). In six other passages, John uses the same Greek word [CHARIS] for grace (Joh 1:14, 16, 17; 3Jo 4; Re 1:4; Re 22:21).

Will be with us [be with you, shall be with us].<735>

From God the Father.<736>

And from Jesus Christ [the Lord Jesus Christ].<737> Grace, mercy and peace are blessings from both God the Father and from Jesus Christ. Though not conclusive, this is strongly indicative of the deity of Christ.

The Father's Son [the Son of the Father].<738> John also wrote, "No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him" (Joh 1:18 CH). John wrote in his first epistle, "And our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ" (1Jo 1:3; compare 2:22, 23).

In truth and love.<739> The truth is sincerity (verses 1a, 3). It is also the gospel truth in which Christians walk (verses 1b, 4).


1:4 I rejoice greatly that I have found some of your children walking in truth, according to the commandment we received from the Father.

I rejoice greatly [was very glad, rejoiced, was delighted, it has given me great joy].<740> Joy and gladness are prominent traits of Christians (see Ro 14:17; 15:13; 15:32; 1Co 16:17; 2Co 1:24; 2:3; 7:13; 8:2; Ga 5:22; Php 1:1, 4; 2:2; 4:1, 10; 1Th 1:6; 2:19, 20; 3:9; 2Ti 1:4; 3Jo 3:3).

That I have found [found].<741> The use of the Greek perfect tense suggests that the information John found out about the children of the elect lady was still true. The Greek verb does not require that John personally located her children. He could have learned about them from a message, from response to an inquiry or by direct revelation.

Some of your children [certain of thy children, that some of your children].<742> It is intimated that some of the children of the elect lady may have become unfaithful. However, John does not stress that.

Walking in truth [living by the truth].<743> John was elated when people were living according to the truth. He was delighted that the brethren who came to him bore witness that the beloved Gaius was "walking in truth" (3Jo 3). He was always glad to know of his converts living faithfully. He termed this "walking in truth." The term "walking" alludes to all activities of life, not just "religious" duties.

According to the commandment [commandment to do, a commandment, as the father commanded us, as we were commanded by the Father].<744> On the Mount of Transfiguration, the Father said, "This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; hear Him!" "Hear Him" amounts to a command to give heed to Christ in the sense of obedience to Him. John developed the thought of this command when he wrote, "And this is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us" (1Jo 3:23).

We received from the Father, [just as we have received, as we received, have received, even as we received].<745>


1:5 And now I entreat you, lady, not as though I were writing a new commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning, that we should love one another.

And now I entreat you [beseech, plead with, ask, have a request to make of].<746>

Lady [dear lady].<747> See note on verse 1. I like the translation "dear lady" mostly because of the modern English to which I am accustomed. In our vernacular, "lady" is slightly abrupt. It was not considered so by NT writers. Similarly, when Jesus' said to Mary, "Woman, behold, your son!" (Joh 19:26), He meant no disrespect by the term "woman." Neither did John by referring to his reader as "lady."

Not as though I were writing [wrote, I am not writing you].<748> Just because John is not writing a new commandment, it is fallacious reasoning to try to infer that this letter was written after 1 John or even after the Gospel of John. Consider the command to love in the OT as well as the oral teaching by Christ on the subject as well as by the inspired apostles (see notes in three paragraphs below).

A new commandment to you [command].<749> Notice that love is commanded. Is it possible to invoke or summon a desired emotion upon demand? Perhaps some can. But the love commanded here is not primarily a feeling. It is active, caring good will (see the notes below on We walk and According to His commandments, verse 6). Compassion and empathy generally follow naturally when one obeys the command to love (but see 1Pe 1:22).

But that which we have had [but one, had].<750> John defines what he meant by not writing a new commandment. It was one which they had for some time, that is, from "the beginning." In 1 John, he said it was an old commandment. "Beloved, I am not writing a new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard" (1Jo 2:7).

From the beginning.<751> When Jesus gave the command to love, He said it was new. "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another" (Joh 13:34 NASV; see note on From the beginning at 1Jo 3:11). That which came from Christ had the stability of being older than the "new" untried message of the false teachers.

That we love one another [let us love one another].<752> John reiterates the love command Christ gave. "For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning: that we should love one another" (1Jo 3:11; compare 1Jo 3:16-18).


1:6 And this is love: that we walk according to His commandments. This -- as you have heard from the beginning -- is the commandment in which you should walk.

  1. Receiving false teachers into your house (2Jo 10).
  2. Giving a greeting to false teachers (2Jo 10).
  3. Participating in the evil deeds of false teachers (2Jo 11).

And this is love [love means].<753> Love, according to John, is not some sweet feeling but is daily living itself, walking according to God's commandments.

Love without obedience is counterfeit.

Obedience without love is artificial.

  1. Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat their bread with impure hands? (Mk 7:5 NASV).
  2. In order that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit (Ro 8:4 NASV).
  3. For if because of food your brother is hurt, you are no longer walking according to love (Ro 14:15 NASV).
  4. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men? (1Co 3:3 NASV).
  5. I ask that when I am present I may not be bold with the confidence with which I propose to be courageous against some, who regard us as if we walked according to the flesh (2Co 10:2 NASV).

That.<754> The intent and object of love is to walk according to God's commandments.

We walk [we should walk, following].<755> Love is a walk. By this, John implies that it is not an emotion but actions. It especially consists of acts of obedience to the commands of God.

According to His commandments [after his commandments, in obedience to his commands, the commands of God].<756> Walking "according to" the commandments is to obey them. "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome" (1Jo 5:3); see charts According To Commandments (OT); According To Commandments (NT).<757>

  1. Thus Noah did; according to all that God had commanded him, so he did (Ge 6:22 NASV; 7:5).
  2. Now the sons of Israel had done according to the word of Moses (Ex 12:35 NASV; compare 12:50; 17:1; 39:42).
  3. And thus you shall do to Aaron and to his sons, according to all that I have commanded you (Ex 29:35 NASV).
  4. The anointing oil also, and the fragrant incense . . . they are to make them according to all that I have commanded you (Ex 31:11 NASV; compare Le 10:7).
  5. And they observed the Passover . . . according to all that the Lord had commanded Moses, so the sons of Israel did (Nu 9:5 NASV).
  6. This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it (Jos 1:8 NASV).

  1. On the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus (Ro 2:16 NASV).
  2. To Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery (Ro 16:25 NASV).
  3. But now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith (Ro 16:26 NASV).
  4. Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us out of this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father (Ga 1:4 NASV).
  5. At the proper time manifested, even His word, in the proclamation with which I was entrusted according to the commandment of God our Savior (Tit 1:3 NASV).
  6. "See," He says, "that you make all things according to the pattern" (Heb 8:5 NASV).

This --

As you have heard [just as, even as, ye heard].<758>

From the beginning<759> (see note above on verse 5).

-- is the commandment [command, his command is].<760> It is interesting to note how John alternates between the singular commandment and the plural commandments (see charts The Commandment [Singular] and The Commandments [Plural]; compare also Joh 13:34; 15:12 with 14:15, 21; 15:10). "The commandment" is to love one another while "the commandments" are the various details or required actions that come under the main heading of love (see Mt 7:12; 22:40; charts OT Commands A, B and C; NT Commands A, B and C [the "love" commands encompass them all]; on Ro 13:9; note on His commandments, 1Jo 5:3).

  1. Beloved, I am not writing a new commandment to you (1Jo 2:7).
  2. On the other hand, I am writing you a new commandment (1Jo 2:8).
  3. And this is His commandment, that we should believe in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another according to the commandment He gave us (1Jo 3:23).
  4. And this commandment we have from Him, that he who loves God should love his brother also (1Jo 4:21).
  5. I rejoice greatly that I have found some of your children walking in truth, according to the commandment we received from the Father (2Jo 4).
  6. Not as though I were writing a new commandment to you (2Jo 5).
  7. This -- as you have heard from the beginning -- is the commandment in which you should walk (2Jo 6).

  1. And by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments (1Jo 2:3).
  2. He who says, I know Him, and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him (1Jo 2:4).
  3. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we are keeping His commandments and doing the things that are pleasing in His sight (1Jo 3:22).
  4. And He who keeps His commandments remains in Him, and He in him (1Jo 3:24).
  5. And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments (2Jo 6).

In which you should walk [that ye, you, should walk in it].<761> The antecedent of "in which" is love (compare Eph 5:2). Christians are to walk in the kind of love that is according to God's commandments. Without obedience from the heart to the correct form of doctrine, one cannot truly claim to love God (see Ro 6:17). There is entirely too much mushy, gooey, "touchy-feely" love being advocated by religious huxters. Those who proclaim, "All we need is love, sweet love" too often overlook the detailed commandments of God, without obedience to which there can be no Scriptural love.


1:7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world, they who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist.

For many deceivers.<762> "For" bridges the previous thought with this verse. That thought was to love and walk according to God's commandments. A sincere life of love and obedience is preventive against accepting false doctrine. Nevertheless, one should not become complacent or self-righteous. One should not allow himself to become over-confident. Remember, anyone who denies he has sin deceives himself (1Jo 1:8).

Jesus Himself predicted the coming of false prophets who would deceive (see Mt 7:15, 16; 24:11, 24-26; Mk 13:5, 6, 22; Lu 21:8). The false teachers John describes were having some success in deceiving people. How could they do it when they denied that Jesus Christ came in the flesh? Impossible? Yet, they did that very thing!

Have gone out into [are gone forth into, entered into].<763>In NT times, preachers of the truth "went out for the sake of the Name" (3Jo 7). Deceivers went out to oppose the truth and promulgate error.

The world.<764> Jesus commanded his apostles to "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation" (Mk 16:15). Wherever truth was proclaimed there seemed to be false teachers at work. In the present context, false teachers went out into the world as counterfeit teachers of the gospel with the intent to deceive.

They who do not confess.<765> When threatened with death, many early Christians were called upon to save their lives by denying their faith in Christ. Multitudes confessed Him under such duress and were subsequently killed.

The coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh.<766> Faith in the humanity of Jesus is important. So is belief in His deity. If He had been only God, the temptations He resisted would have been inconsequential. To walk as He walked would have been easy for God, but for a man it was surprisingly improbable (see 1Jo 2:6).

This is the deceiver [a deceiver, any such person is the deceiver].<767> The persons described by John were blasting at the very substructure of the doctrine of Christ. What deceiver could be worse than one who denied that Jesus Christ came in the flesh?

And the antichrist [an antichrist].<768> Although some translations use the indefinite article, the definite article is present in Greek! Notice that when it says "This is the deceiver and the antichrist" it is referring back to the "many" deceivers in the world. John said many antichrists had arisen in his day (see 1Jo 2:18).

It is difficult to imagine a more derogatory term to be applied to a human being than "Satan" (compare Mt 16:23; Mk 8:33). A horribly wicked person is sometimes called "the devil himself." Yet, even more disgraceful is the term "antichrist."


Cerinthus taught that "after His baptism Christ descended upon [Jesus] in the form of a dove, from the power that is over all things, and then He proclaimed the unknown Father and accomplished miracles. But at the end, Christ separated again from Jesus, and Jesus suffered and was raised again, but Christ remained impassible, since he was pneumatic."<769>


Another false teacher, by the name of Basilides, was just as bad. He taught that the Father "sent his first-born NOUS<770> -- He is the one who is called the Christ -- to liberate those who believe in Him from the power of those who made the world. . . . He appeared on earth as a man and performed miracles. . . . He did not suffer, but a certain Simon of Cyrene was compelled to carry His cross for Him; and this [Simon] was transformed by Him [Jesus] so that he was thought to be Jesus himself, and was crucified through ignorance and error. Jesus however, took the form of Simon, and stood by laughing at them."<771> This paragraph and the one above it contain the kind of error John so strongly spoke against.


1:8 Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what you* have worked for, but that you might receive a full reward.
[* Early manuscripts are about equally divided between 'you' and 'we'.]

Watch yourselves [look to yourselves].<772> In view of the error being taught, John admonished Christians to watch themselves. The reason? They might find themselves embracing error to their eternal doom.

That you do not lose [ye, we lose not, so that you may not lose].<773> Christians who listened to false teachers were faced with the threat of a great loss. John warns them. The fact that the false teachers were never "really of us" (1Jo 2:19), did not prevent faithful Christians from following bad doctrine and being lost too. They had to be on guard against error.

What you* have worked for [those things which we have wrought, ye wrought, all that we worked for].<774> Manuscript evidence is divided between you (Sinaiticus, Alexandrinus and others) and we (Vaticanus and others). "You" would be John's readers and "we" the apostles. In either case the risk was the same, namely, losing what had been accomplished by their acceptance and application of the apostles' teaching.<775>

But that you might receive [ye, we, may receive].<776>

A full reward [be rewarded fully, your reward in full].<777> The "fullness" of this reward refers to its abundance. This does not mean there is a partial reward for some and a full reward for others. Verse 9 affirms: "Anyone going beyond -- and not remaining in -- the teaching of Christ, does not have God." I take it that someone who does not have God is lost. So were Christians who followed the deceivers.

    REWARD (2Jo 8)
  1. Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great (Mt 5:12 NASV).
  2. Already he who reaps is receiving wages, and is gathering fruit for life eternal (Joh 4:36 NASV).
  3. Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor (1Co 3:8 NASV).
  4. The time to give their reward to Thy bond-servants the prophets and to the saints and to those who fear Thy name (Re 11:18 NASV).
  5. Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done (Re 22:12 NASV).


1:9 Anyone going beyond -- and not remaining in -- the teaching of Christ, does not have God. He who remains in the teaching, has both the Father and the Son.

Anyone going beyond [who goes too far, who runs ahead, whosoever goeth onward, transgresses, transgresseth].<778> Notice the word "anyone." It does not matter whether the person is a Christian or not -- if anyone does not abide in the teaching of Christ, he does not have God and is lost.

In OT days, the Jews were to abide in the Lord's teaching as given by Moses. They had to watch themselves. "So watch yourselves, lest you forget the covenant of the LORD your God, which He made with you, and make for yourselves a graven image in the form of anything against which the LORD your God has commanded you" (De 4:23 NASV). The reason? They had a tendency to forget. "Beware lest you forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments and His ordinances and His statutes which I am commanding you today" (De 8:11 NASV; compare De 8:19, 20). Through Malachi, God warned the Jews: "Remember the law of Moses My servant, even the statutes and ordinances which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel" (Mal 4:4 NASV).

And not remaining in [does not abide, and abideth not, and does not continue, and does not stand].<779>

The teaching [doctrine].<780> To remain in the teaching of Christ is to believe and live by His revealed truth. Jesus taught, "My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me" (Joh 7:16 NASV). "If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine" (Joh 8:31 NASV). One cannot abide in His word without abiding in Him. Notice the converse in Jesus' statement. "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you" (Joh 15:7 NASV).

Of Christ.<781> The teaching "of Christ"<782> is what Christ taught (see Heb 1:1). In the present context, the teaching of Christ is "the truth abiding in us" (2Jo 2). It is "the truth" in which Christians walked (2Jo 4). And that walk is "according to His commandments" (2Jo 6). Acknowledging that Jesus Christ came in the flesh was basic but that was an acceptance of only part of Christ's teaching. Likewise, His teaching about love was fundamental but it did not delineate all the other essential commands.

The teaching of Balaam was what Balaam taught (Re 2:14). The teaching of the Nicolaitans was what the Nicolaitans taught (Re 2:15). What Christ taught is not limited to personal sayings that appear in red letters in some Bibles. What the Holy Spirit guided the apostles and NT prophets to teach is also from Christ. He told the apostles, "The one who listens to you listens to Me, and the one who rejects you rejects Me; and he who rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me" (Lu 10:16 NASV). He said further, "My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me" (Joh 7:16 NASV; compare 15:15).

To illustrate: when Philip went down to Samaria, he preached "Christ" to them (Ac 8:5). From Acts 8:12, we infer that preaching Christ included preaching about "the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ" and also baptism (compare Ac 8:35-38).

  1. The high priest therefore questioned Jesus about His disciples, and about His teaching (Joh 18:19 NASV).
  2. How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard (Heb 2:3 NASV).

Does not have God [hath not God, is without God].<783> To "not have God" is the opposite of having "both the Father and the Son." If one does not have "the Son" he does not have "God." In other words, one who does not have God is lost.

He who remains in the teaching [whoever continues, the one who abides, he that abideth, in the doctrine of Christ, stands by that doctrine].<784> It is urgent that doctrine be kept pure. "Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them" (Ro 16:17 NASV). Judaizing teachers had changed the gospel by adding some of the Law of Moses to it (see Ac 15:1). Paul wrote to the Galatians about that point, saying, "I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you, and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed" (Ga 1:6-9 NASV). When giving the qualifications of elders, he taught them what they should do with reference to the truth and those who contradicted it. "Holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, that he may be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict" (Tit 1:9 NASV).

Has both the Father and the Son [he, the same, hath, possesses].<785> Jesus said to Judas (not Iscariot), "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him" (Joh 14:23 NASV). God promised to dwell within His people only when they separated themselves from idolatry and immorality (2Co 6:16). By faith, Christ dwells in the hearts of faithful Christians (Eph 3:17). John wrote, "If what you heard from the beginning remains in you, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father" (1Jo 2:24). Christ Himself walks among the golden lampstands which are His churches (Re 1:20, 2:1).

1:10, 11 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not bid him welcome. 11 For he who bids him welcome, shares in his evil works.

If anyone comes to you [cometh unto you, if there come any unto you].<786> The mood of the Greek verb implies there was someone actually coming to see "the elect lady and her children."

And does not bring [who does not bring, and bring not, and bringeth not].<787> Teachers are under consideration. Elders must be careful in recognizing leaders lest they harbor, encourage or fellowship false teachers. No one is justified in flirting with error. Just because teachers are on the "cutting edge" or because someone wants to hear the "other side" is no excuse to depart from the faith and endorse them.


This teaching [doctrine].<788> "This teaching" refers to the teaching of Christ (see note above on verse 9). Those who did not bring "this teaching" were spouting religious propaganda of the rankest kind. Yet, it sounded so innocent to the untrained ear that the average person might not perceive it as a threat. That is why John sounded a plain warning. His admonition about false teachers needs to be emblazoned in bold letters before God's church today. In this time of "enlightenment," the tolerance, yea acceptance, of religious error is the order of the day in what were once faithful churches of the Lord.

The denominations are no better. When their own scholars produce honest studies<789> of the Scriptures that bring out the truth, they are often repudiated by their denominational boards and associations. In such cases, the boards and associations will be held accountable for their renunciation of the truth and their ill-treatment of their scholarly brothers.

Do not receive him into your house [receive him not, do not welcome him, do not take him into your house].<790> The Greek verb "forbids the continuance of that which was customary." In the early church, it was routine for the saints to invite visiting Christians into their own homes. They washed their feet, fed and housed them. It was a special honor to lodge a gospel preacher. John cautions against granting any degree of honor to deceivers. Let it be heard today that it is a sin to give a false teacher any encouragement! This includes allowing them to teach, preach or appear on college lectureships.

And do not bid him welcome [give him a greeting, neither bid him God speed, nor greet him, and give him no greeting, or welcome him].<791> CHAIREIN greeting was the word used in the "Jerusalem letter" for the greeting by the elders and apostles (Ac 15:23). It was used by Claudius Lysias to greet Felix in his letter (Ac 23:26). James used the word as he greeted the twelve tribes of the dispersion (Jas 1:1). It is a greeting that recognizes and honors the one addressed.

For he who bids him welcome [the one who gives him a greeting, anyone who welcomes him, that biddeth him God speed, for he that giveth him greeting, who greets him].<792> The Greek verb is more comprehensive than "biddeth him God speed." Any kind of greeting that gives recognition or honor to a false teacher is sinful. The support of visiting teachers or preachers has become largely financial. It is definitely a sin to contribute one dime to a false teacher or to give a nickel to a false church!

Shares [participates, is partaker, partaketh, is an accomplice].<793> We may not participate, even indirectly, in things that are sinful and wrong. Paul wrote, "Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people's sins; keep yourself pure" (1Ti 5:22 NKJV; see note on 1Jo 1:3).

In his evil works [evil deeds, wicked work].<794> They who fellowship those in error are guilty by association.


1:12 Having many things to write to you, I did not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to come to you, and to speak face to face, that our joy may be complete.

Having many things [I have much]<795> (compare 3Jo 13).

To write to you [unto you].<796>

I did not want [do not, would not, did not wish, do not care, would rather not].<797> (Mt 1:18).

To use paper [write with, write them with].<798>

And ink.<799> Alfred Edersheim has provided such an excellent description of writing materials in Bible times that I am constrained to reproduce the entire section.
"The materials on which the Jews wrote were of the most divers kind: leaves, as of olives, palms, the carob, etc.; the rind of the pomegranate, the shell of walnuts, etc.; the prepared skins of animals (leather and parchment); and the product of the papyrus, used long before the time of Alexander the Great for the manufacture of paper, and known in Talmudic writings by the same name, as Papir (the Talmudic Tractate Sotah, on the Woman accused of adultery 49b) or Apipeir (Kelim, on the purification of furniture and vessels 24.7), but more frequently by that of Nayyar -- probably from the stripes (Nirin) of the plant of which it was made. But what interests us more, as we remember the 'tablet' (PINAKIDION) on which Zacharias wrote the name of the future Baptist, is the circumstance that it bears not only the name, Pinaques or Pinquesa, but that it seems to have been of such common use in Palestine. It consisted of thin pieces of wood (the Luach) fastened or strung together. The Mishnah (Kelim, on the purification of furniture and vessels 24.7) enumerates three kinds of them: those where the wood was covered with papyrus, those where it was covered with wax, and those where the wood was left plain to be written on with ink. The latter was of different kinds. Black ink was prepared of soot (the Deyo), or of vegetable or mineral substances.<800> Gum Arabic and Egyptian (Qumos and Quma) and vitriol (Qanqanthos) seem also to have been used in writing. It is curious to read of writing in colors and with red ink or Siqra, and even of a kind of sympathetic [sic] ink, made from the bark of the ash, and brought out by a mixture of vitriol and gum. We also read of a gold-ink, as that in which the copy of the Law was written which, according to the legend, the High-Priest had sent to Ptolemy Philadelphus for the purpose of being translated into Greek by the LXX (Josephus, Antiquities 12.2.10). But the Talmud prohibits copies of the Law in gold letters, or more probably such in which the Divine Name was written in gold letters. In writing, a pen, Qolemos, made of reed (Qaneh) was used, and the reference in an Apostolic Epistle to writing 'with ink and pen' (dia melanos kai kalamou) finds even its verbal counterpart in the Midrash, which speaks of Milanin and Qolemin (ink and pens). Indeed, the public 'writer'--a trade very common in the East--went about with a Qolemos, or reed-pen, behind his ear, as badge of his employment. With the reed-pen we ought to mention its necessary accompaniments; the penknife (mentioned in Jer 36:23), the inkstand (which, when double, for black and red ink, was sometimes made of earthenware, Qalamarim), and the ruler--it being regarded by the stricter set as unlawful to write any words of Holy Writ on any unlined material, no doubt to ensure correct writing and reading."<801>

Instead, I hope to come to you [I trust, unto you, to see you, to visit you].<802>

And to speak face to face [and talk with you].<803> The translation "face to face" is a paraphrase of the Greek which is, literally, "mouth to mouth." The same applies to 3 John 13. In 1 Corinthians 13:12, however, a literal translation of PROSOPON PROS PROSOPON is "face to face."

That our joy may be complete [so that, your joy, be full]<804> (see chart That Our Joy May Be Complete A and B).

  1. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom's voice. And so this joy of mine has been made full (Joh 3:29 NASV).
  2. And these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy made full in themselves (Joh 17:13 NASV).
  3. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full (Joh 15:11 NASV).
  4. Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be made full (Joh 16:24 NASV).

  1. Make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose (Php 2:2 NASV).
  2. And we are writing these things so our joy may be complete (1Jo 1:4).
  3. I hope to come to you, and to speak face to face, that our joy may be complete (2Jo 12).

1:13 The children of your elect sister greet you.

The children.<805> "Children" may be taken literally. If the "elect lady" is a congregation, then the "elect sister" is another local church. Since the children desired to be remembered to the elect lady and her children, it may be inferred that these Christians were with John when he wrote.

Of your elect sister [of thy, of thine, chosen sister, of your sister chosen by God]<806> (see note above; also on verse 1).

Greet you [thee, salute thee, send their greetings].<807> "Greet" is from a different Greek word than that used in verses 11, 12. When the "children" sent greetings, they expressed their fellowship to the saints to whom John wrote.

Amen. This word is carried by the KJ and NKJ versions. When man uses it, he means, "So be it." When God uses it, He means, "Be it so!"


<713> Irenaeus, Against Heresies 3.16.5, 8 attributes 1 John to "the disciple of the Lord." That Irenaeus believed "the disciple of the Lord" was John the apostle is shown by his reference to "the disciple that Jesus loved" and he who "leaned on his breast" (Irenaeus, Against Heresies. 1.9.2; 2.22.5; 3.1.1). Clement also tells of "John the apostle" who "removed from the island of Patmos to Ephesus" (Who is the Rich Man? 42.1; Roberts 11). Eusebius (Historia Ecclesiastica 3.25.3) refers to "the so-called second and third Epistles of John which may be the work of the evangelist or of some other with the same name." Eusebius, of course, assumed that the evangelist (that is, the author of the Gospel) also composed 1 John (I. Marshall 31).
<714> Estimates of John's age when called to be an apostle range from 17 to 30 years of age.
<716> HO PRESBUTEROS, the elder (Marshall 947); originally of seniority in age. So Luke 15:25. Afterward as a term of rank or office. Applied to members of the Sanhedrin [Mt 16:21; Ac 6:12]. Those who presided over the Christian assemblies or churches [Ac 11:30; 1Ti 5:17, 19]). The twenty-four members of the heavenly court in John's vision [Re 4:4, 10; 5:5, 6, 8, 11, 14]. Here with reference to official position, coupled, presumably with age (Vincent 2.391); an adjective, the comparative degree of PRESBUS, an old man, an elder (Vine 350).
<717> Jews used the term "elders" to refer to certain honored men (Mk 7:3, 5) and for other leaders (Mk 8:31).
<718> In the first century, most every congregation had elders appointed to oversee the local work (see Ac 11:30; 14:23; 15:4, 6, 23; 16:4; 20:17; 1Ti 5:17, 19; Tit 1:5; Jas 5:14). These men had charge of the flock of God "among" them (see Ac 20:28; 1Pe 5:2). In NT times, men designated as elders were also known as presbyters, pastors, shepherds, overseers, and bishops. The practice of having one man as bishop over several congregations was introduced after the NT was completed.
<719> EKLEKTEE KURIA, to [the] chosen lady (Marshall 947); an expression which baffles all the commentators (Vincent 2.391); the person addressed in 2 John 1 and 5. Not improbably it is a proper name [English, Cyria], in spite of the fact that the full form of address in verse 1 is not quite in accord, in the original, with those in verse 13 and 3 John 1. The suggestion that the Church is addressed is most unlikely. Possibly the person is one who had a special relation with the local church (Vine 636).
<720> KURIA is the feminine of KURIOS lord.
<721> "Chosen" in 1 Peter 5:13 is SUNEKLEKTEE co-chosen.
<722> KAI TOIS TEKNOIS AUTEES, and to the children of her (Marshall 947); may be taken either in a literal or in a spiritual sense (Vincent 2.391); universally and without regard to sex, children . . . "In St. Paul the expressions 'sons of God', 'children of God', mostly convey the idea of liberty [see however Php 2:15], in St John of guilelessness and love; in accordance with this distinction St. Paul uses HUIOI as well as TEKNA, St. John TEKNA only" [Bishop Lightfoot] (Thayer 617, 618).
<723> There is an example in non-biblical literature where the church is presented as the spiritual mother of believers (see Cyprian, De Unitate 6).
<724> HOUS, whom (Marshall 947); comprehensive, embracing the mother and the children of both sexes (Vincent 2.391).
<725> EGOO AGAPOO, I love (Marshall 947); AGAPOO is first person singular, present active indicative of AGAPAOO (Han 433); a reasoning, discriminating attachment, founded in the conviction that its object is worthy of esteem, or entitled to it on account of benefits bestowed (Vincent 2.135).
<726> EN ALEETHEIA, in truth (Marshall 947); omit the. The expression in truth marks the atmosphere or element of truth in which something is said, or felt, or done. . . . equivalent to truly, really (Vincent 2.392); subjectively, truthfulness, truth, not merely verbal, but sincerity and integrity of character (Vine 1171); see also verses 3, 4.
<727> KAI OUK EGOO MONOS, and not I alone (Marshall 947).
<728> ALLA KAI PANTES HOI EGNOOKOTES TEEN ALEETHEIAN, but also all the [ones] having known the truth (Marshall 947); EGNOOKOTES is the perfect active participle, nominative plural masculine of GINOOSKOO (Han 433); either have come to know or know. The perfect tense of GINOOSKOO to learn to know, is rendered as a present: I have learned to know, therefore I know (Vincent 2.392); in particular, GINOOSKOO, to become acquainted with, to know, is employed in the NT of the knowledge of God and Christ, and of the things relating to them or proceeding from them . . . the nature of God the Father, especially the holy will and affection by which he aims to sanctify and redeem men through Christ (Thayer 117); perfect tense, those who have come to know [the truth] and continue to do so (Ferguson 153).
<729> DIA TEEN ALEETHEIAN, because of the truth (Marshall 947); the truth, as taught in the Christian religion, respecting God and the execution of his purposes through Christ, and respecting the duties of man, opposed alike to the superstitions of the Gentiles and the inventions of the Jews, and to the corrupt opinions and precepts of false teachers even among Christians . . . the truth which is the gospel or which the gospel presents (Thayer 26).
<730> TEEN MENOUSAN, remaining (Marshall 947); MENOUSAN is the present active participle, accusative singular feminine of MENOO (Han 433); enlarging on the idea of the truth: that which abideth (Vincent 2.392); abides, of place, metaphorically, of qualities, the truth (Vine 2); an inward, enduring personal communion . . . of truth (Arndt 504).
<731> EN HEEMIN, among us (Marshall 947).
<732> KAI METH' HEEMOON ESTAI, and with us will be (Marshall 947); ESTAI is third person singular, future middle indicative of EIMI (Han 433); with us has the emphatic position in the sentence: and with us it shall be (Vincent 2.392).
<733> EIS TON AIOONA, unto the age (Marshall 947); literally, unto the age, for ever (Vine 377).
<734> CHARIS ELEOS EIREENEE, grace[,] mercy[,] peace (Marshall 947); the sentiment [of mercy] in God assumes the character of pitying love. Mercy is kindness and good-will toward the miserable and afflicted, joined with a desire to relieve them (Vincent 2.393); translate: "There shall be with us grace." Mercy is the compassion of God for us in our misery (Harrison 1480).
<735> ESTAI METH' HEEMOON, will be with us (Marshall 947); ESTAI is third person singular, future middle indicative of EIMI (Han 433); the verb is in the future tense: shall be; the best texts read "with us" (Vincent 2.392, 393).
<736> PARA THEOU PATROS, from God [the] Father (Marshall 947).
<737> KAI PARA 'IEESOU CHRISTOU, and from Jesus Christ (Marshall 947); note the repeated preposition [PARA from], bringing out the twofold relation to the Father and Son (Vincent 2.393).
<738> TOU HUIOU TOU PATROS, the Son of the Father (Marshall 947); the phrase occurs nowhere else (Vincent 2.393).
<739> EN ALEETHEIA KAI AGAPEE, in truth and love (Marshall 947); the words indicate the contents of the whole Epistle (Vincent 2.393); subjectively, truthfulness, truth, not merely verbal, but sincerity and integrity of character (Vine 1171); the truth, as taught in the Christian religion, respecting God and the execution of his purposes through Christ, and respecting the duties of man, opposed alike to the superstitions of the Gentiles and the inventions of the Jews, and to the corrupt opinions and precepts of false teachers even among Christians . . . the truth which is the gospel or which the gospel presents (Thayer 26).
<740> 'ECHAREEN LIAN, I rejoiced greatly (Marshall 948); 'ECHAREEN is first person singular, second aorist passive indicative of CHAIROO (Han 433); the word LIAN greatly is found in John's writings only here and 3 John 3 (Vincent 2.393); I rejoice very, exceedingly (Vine 506, 942); aorist (Harrison 1480).
<741> HOTI HEUREEKA, because I have found (Marshall 948); HEUREEKA is first person singular, perfect active indicative of HEURISKOO (Han 433); I have found (Vincent 2.394); to find, either with previous search, for example, Matthew 7:7, 8, or without, for example Matthew 27:32 (Vine 430); perfect tense; what John found continued to be true (Harrison 1480).
<742> EK TOON TEKNOON SOU, [some] of the children of thee (Marshall 948); the ASV rightly supplies certain (Vincent 2.394); universally and without regard to sex, children . . . "In St. Paul the expressions 'sons of God', 'children of God', mostly convey the idea of liberty [see however Php 2:15], in St John of guilelessness and love; in accordance with this distinction St. Paul uses HUIOI as well as TEKNA, St. John TEKNA only" [Bishop Lightfoot] (Thayer 617, 618).
<743> PERIPATOUNTAS EN ALEETHEIA, walking in truth (Marshall 948); PERIPATOUNTAS is the present active participle, accusative plural masculine of PERIPATEOO (Han 433); subjectively, truthfulness, truth, not merely verbal, but sincerity and integrity of character; figuratively, "signifying the whole round of the activities of the individual life" in truth (Vine 1171, 1207).
<744> ENTOLEEN ... PARA TOU PATROS, commandment from the Father (Marshall 948).
<745> KATHOOS ELABOMEN, as we received (Marshall 948); ELABOMEN is first person plural, second aorist active indicative of LAMBANOO (Han 433).
<746> KAI NUN EROOTOO SE, and now I request thee (Marshall 948); EROOTOO is first person singular, present active indicative of EROOTAOO (Han 433); asks . . . suggests that the petitioner is on a footing of equality or familiarity with the person whom he requests (Vine 71); EROOTAOO, a personal request, rather than PARAKALEOO, a general request [which word is never used by John] (Harrison 1480).
<747> KURIA, lady (Marshall 948); the use of the vocative here underlines the personal appeal which is being made by the writer (I. Marshall 66).
<748> OUCH HOOS ... GRAPHOON SOI, not as writing to thee (Marshall 948); GRAPHOON is the present active participle, nominative singular masculine of GRAPHOO (Han 433).
<749> ENTOLEEN ... KAINEEN, commandment a new (Marshall 948); new, of that which is unaccustomed or unused, not new in time, recent, but new as to form or quality, of different nature from what is contrasted as old (Vine 781).
<750> ALLA HEEN EICHOMEN, but which we had (Marshall 948); EICHOMEN is first person plural, imperfect active indicative of ECHOO (Han 433); the apostle identifies himself with his readers (Vincent 2.394).
<751> AP' ARCHEES, from [the] beginning (Marshall 948); in a relative sense, of the beginning of the thing spoken of: as soon as instruction was imparted (Thayer 76).
<752> HINA AGAPOOMEN ALLEELOUS, in order that we should love one another (Marshall 948); AGAPOOMEN is first person plural, present active subjunctive of AGAPAOO (Han 433).
<753> KAI HAUTEE ESTIN HEE AGAPEE, and this is love (Marshall 948); ESTIN is third person singular, present active indicative of EIMI (Han 433); the love just mentioned in the verb we love (Vincent 2.393); Christian love has God for its primary object, and expresses itself first of all in implicit obedience to His commandments. ... Self will, that is, self-pleasing, is the negation of love to God (Vine 693).
<754> HINA, in order that (Marshall 948); its predominant sense is intent, purpose, purport or object. Hence that, as representing HINA, is to be taken in the sense of to the end or intent that; in order that (Vincent 2.251).
<755> PERIPATOOMEN, we should walk (Marshall 948); first person plural, present active subjunctive of PERIPATEOO (Han 433); figuratively, "signifying the whole round of the activities of the individual life" after the commandments of the Lord (Vine 1207).
<756> KATA TAS ENTOLAS AUTOU, according to the commandments of him (Marshall 948).
<757> Other OT "according to" passages include Exodus 31:1; 32:28; 36:1; 40:16; Numbers 9:12, 20; Deuteronomy 1:3; Joshua 4:10; Judges 11:10; 1 Kings 16:34; 17:1, 5, 15, 16; 2 Kings 4:38, 42-44; 5:14; 23:15, 16; compare verse 25; 1 Chronicles 11:3; compare verse 10; 15:15; 2 Chronicles 29:15; Ezra 6:14; 10:2, 3; Isaiah 8:20; Jeremiah 36:1-3, and especially verses 4, 8; Jonah 3:3; Haggai 2:1, 2, and especially verses 4, 5). Among the 127 NT "according to" passages are Luke 2:22 [Le 12:2-6]; 2:39; 23:56; 18:31; Acts 7:44; 13:23 [1Ki 8:56; Jos 23:14]; 22:3, 12; 24:6; Ro 1:1-4; 2:2; 8:27, 28; 10:2; 15:5; 1 Corinthians 3:10; 15:3, 4; 2 Corinthians 4:13 [Ps 116:10]; 13:10; Galatians 3:29; Ephesians 3:10, 11, 20; Colossians 1:25; 1 Timothy 1:11; 6:3; 2 Timothy 1:8; Hebrews 7:5; 8:4; 9:19; James 2:8; 1 Peter 1:17; 1 John 5:14, 15; Revelation 2:23; 18:6; 20:12, 13). My thanks to Goebel Music in Behold the Pattern, pages 61-65 for these references.
<758> KATHOOS EEKOUSATE, as ye heard (Marshall 948); EEKOUSATE is second person plural, first aorist active indicative of AKOUOO (Han 433).
<759> AP' ARCHEES, from [the] beginning (Marshall 948); with evident allusion to the first word of Genesis. John elevates the phrase from its reference to a point of time, the beginning of creation, to the time of absolute pre-existence before any creation, which [in John 1] is not mentioned until verse 3. This beginning had no beginning (Vincent 2.24).
<760> HAUTEE HEE ENTOLEE ESTIN, this the commandment is (Marshall 948); ESTIN is third person singular, present active indicative of EIMI (Han 433).
<761> HINA EN AUTEE PERIPATEETE, in order that in it ye should walk (Marshall 948); PERIPATEETE is second person plural, present active subjunctive of PERIPATEOO (Han 433); in love: not the commandment (Vincent 2.394).
<762> HOTI POLLOI PLANOI, because many deceivers (Marshall 948); properly, an adjective, signifying wandering, or leading astray, seducing . . . used as a noun, it denotes an impostor of the vagabond type, and so any kind of deceiver or corrupter, . . . 2 John 7 [twice] in the last of which the accompanying definite article necessitates the translation "the deceiver" (Vine 272). Versions like the NIV and NEB that fail to translate HOTI for or because miss the link with verses 4-6.
<763> EXEELTHON EIS, went forth into (Marshall 948); EXEELTHON is third person plural, second aorist active indicative of EXERCHOMAI (Han 433); are gone forth into. The KJ follows the reading EISEELTHON entered into. The tense is aorist, strictly rendered, went forth. It may indicate a particular crisis, at which they went forth from the Christian society (Vincent 2.394).
<764> TON KOSMON, the world (Marshall 948); the world as the habitation of mankind (Arndt 446).
<765> HOI MEE HOMOLOGOUNTES, the [ones] not confessing (Marshall 948); HOMOLOGOUNTES is the present active participle, nominative plural masculine of HOMOLOGEOO (Han 433); the article with the participle describes the character of this class of deceivers and does not merely assert a definite fact concerning them (Vincent 2.394); one is said [to acknowledge] that of which he is convinced and which he holds to be true (Thayer 446).
<766> 'IEESOUN CHRISTON ERCHOMENON EN SARKI, Jesus Christ coming in [the] flesh (Marshall 948); ERCHOMENON is the present middle participle, accusative singular masculine of ERCHOMAI (Han 433); present participle, coming, which describes the manhood of Christ as still being manifested (Vincent 2.395); literally, coming [a participle] (Harrison 1480).
<767> HOUTOS ESTIN HO PLANOS, this is the deceiver (Marshall 948); ESTIN is third person singular, present active indicative of EIMI (Han 433); any kind of deceiver or corrupter . . . 2 John 7 [twice] in the last of which the accompanying definite article necessitates the translation "the deceiver" (Vine 272).
<768> KAI HO ANTICHRISTOS, and the antichrist (Marshall 948); definite article, the antichrist (Vincent 2.395); can either mean against Christ or instead of Christ, or perhaps, combining the two, "one who, assuming the guise of Christ, opposes Christ" [Westcott]; of the many antichrists who are forerunners of the Antichrist himself (Vine 53, 54); the antichrist (Harrison 1480).
<769> Irenaeus, Against Heresies 1.26.1, quoted from I. Marshall 70, 71.
<770> NOUS is Greek for mind or intellect.
<771> Irenaeus, Against Heresies 1.24.4, quoted from I. Marshall 71.
<772> BLEPETE HEAUTOUS, see yourselves (Marshall 948); BLEPETE is second person plural, present active indicative of BLEPOO (Han 433); primarily, have sight, see, then, observe, discern, perceive, frequently implying special contemplation (Vine 685).
<773> HINA MEE APOLESEETE, lest ye lose (Marshall 948); APOLESEETE is second person plural, first aorist active subjunctive of APOLLUMI (Han 433); ye lose [some texts read APOLESOOMEN we lose] HINA in order that, marks the intent of the caution (Vincent 2.395); signifies [I] In the active voice, (a) destroy, destroy utterly, kill, for example, Matthew 10:28; Mark 1:24; 9:22; (b) lose utterly, for example, Matthew 10:42, of losing a reward; Luke 15:4 [first part], of losing a sheep; Luke 9:25, of losing oneself [of the loss of well-being hereafter]; metaphorically, John 6:39, of failing to save; 18:9, of Christ's not losing His own; [II] in the Middle Voice, (a) perish, of things, for example, John 6:12 "[that nothing] be lost"; of persons, for example, Matthew 8:25, "we perish;" of the loss of eternal life (Vine 690).
<774> HA EERGASAMETHA, [the] things which we wrought (Marshall 948); EERGASAMETHA is first person plural, first aorist middle indicative of ERGAZOMAI (Han 433); worked, [used] transitively, worked something, produced, performed, etc. (Vine 1243).
<775> Because of variations in the manuscripts, the pronouns vary greatly in translations of this verse: "that we lose not those thing which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward" (KJV); "that ye lose not the things which we have wrought, but that ye receive a full reward" (ASV); "that you may not lose what you have worked for, but may win a full reward" (RSV); "that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may receive a full reward" (Confraternity); "that you might not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward" (NASV); "that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward" (NKJV). The translator of the Old Paths Version considered the manuscript evidence to be strongest for "you" in all three cases. But I believe, along with F. F. Bruce and others, that the second instance should be "we" as in the NASV.
<776> ALLA ... APOLABEETE, but ... ye may receive (Marshall 948); APOLABEETE is second person plural, second aorist active subjunctive of APOLAMBANOO (Han 433); ye receive [some texts read APOLABOOMEN we receive]. The compounded preposition APO has the force of back: receive back from God (Vincent 2.395); signifies receive from another, receive as one's due (Vine 927).
<777> MISTHON PLEEREE, reward a full (Marshall 948); full, in the sense of being complete, of a reward hereafter; primarily wages, hire, and then, generally, reward . . . to be received hereafter (Vine 466, 966).
<778> PAS HO PROAGOON, everyone going forward (Marshall 948); PROAGOON is the present active participle, nominative singular masculine of PROAGOO (Han 433); [some texts read PAS HO PARABAINOON, whoever transgresses]. The meaning is, whosoever advances beyond the limits of Christian doctrine (Vincent 2.395); in 2 John 9, where the best manuscripts have this verb [instead of PARABAINOO to transgress, KJ], the ASV renders it "goeth onward" [margin "taketh the lead"], of not abiding in the doctrine of Christ (Vine 487).
<779> KAI MEE MENOON, and not remaining (Marshall 948); MENOON is the present active participle, nominative singular masculine of MENOO (Han 433); abide, of place, metaphorically of the Word of God (Vine 2).
<780> EN TEE DIDACHEE, in the teaching (Marshall 948); teaching (Vincent 2.395).
<781> TOU CHRISTOU, of Christ (Marshall 948); not the teaching concerning Christ but the teaching of Christ Himself and of His apostles. . . . So according to NT usage (Vincent 2.396); that which he taught at his coming (Harrison 1481).
<782> Most regard "of Christ" as subjective genitive, meaning the teaching given by Christ. Some consider it to be objective genitive, that is, teaching about Christ.
<783> THEON OUK ECHEI, God not has (Marshall 948); ECHEI is third person singular, present active indicative of ECHOO (Han 433).
<784> HO MENOON EN TEE DIDACHEE, the [one] remaining in the teaching (Marshall 948); MENOON is the present active participle, nominative singular masculine of MENOO (Han 433); teaching; omit of Christ (Vincent 2.396); abide, of place, metaphorically of the Word of God (Vine 2).
<785> HOUTOS KAI TON PATERA KAI TON HUION ECHEI, this one both the Father and the Son has (Marshall 948); ECHEI is third person singular, present active indicative of ECHOO (Han 433).
<786> EI TIS ERCHETAI PROS HUMAS, if anyone comes to you (Marshall 948); ERCHETAI is third person singular, present middle indicative of ERCHOMAI (Han 433); if anyone cometh. The indicative mood assumes the fact: if any one comes, as there are those that come. Cometh is used in an official sense as of a teacher (Vincent 2.396); come, the most frequent verb, denoting either to come, or to go (Vine 195).
<787> KAI ... OU PHERI, and brings not (Marshall 948, 949); PHERI is third person singular, present active indicative of PHEROO (Han 433); bring, bear, or carry (Vine 143).
<788> TAUTEEN TEEN DIDACHEEN, this teaching (Marshall 948, 949); denotes teaching, either that which is taught, or the act of teaching, instruction (Vine 323).
<789> An example is the forthright work on Baptism in the New Testament by G. R. Beasly-Murray, published by Eerdmans, Grand Rapids in 1962. For the most part, this fine work has been rejected by the Baptists. Another example is the Adventist who made an exhaustive study of the Sabbath. Yet many in his denomination declined to accept it. Also, after the death of Herbert W. Armstrong, when the Worldwide Church of God discovered they were no longer under the Law of Moses, Gerald Flurry and others rejected that and still cling to Armstrong as an apostle and a prophet.
<790> MEE LAMBANETE AUTON EIS OIKIAN, do not ye receive him into [your] house (Marshall 949); LAMBANETE is second person plural, present active indicative of LAMBANOO (Han 433); denotes either to take or to receive; a house, a dwelling (Vine 566, 926); present imperative, forbidding the continuance of what was customary (Harrison 1481); house, literally, as a building . . . into your house (Arndt 557).
<791> KAI CHAIREIN AUTOO MEE LEGETE, and to rejoice him not tell ye [that is, do not greet him] (Marshall 949); CHAIREIN is the present active infinitive of CHAIROO; LEGETE is the second person plural, present active indicative of LEGOO (Han 433); literally, and say not unto him "greeting!" CHAIREIN rejoice, hail, was the customary form of salutation. It was also used in bidding farewell; but in the NT always of greeting (Vincent 2.396); [and do not] rejoice. In 2 John 10, 11, the ASV substitutes the phrase [to give] greeting, for the KJ [to bid] God speed (Vine 508); present imperative, forbidding the continuance of what was customary. God speed is a good translation of the broad idea contained in the word CHAIREIN (Harrison 1481).
<792> HO LEGOON GAR AUTOO CHAREIN, the [one] telling for him to rejoice (Marshall 949); LEGOON is the present active participle, nominative singularmasculine of LEGOO (Han 433); in 2 John 10, 11, the RV substitutes the phrase [to give] greeting, for the AV [to bid] God speed (Vine 508); used as a formula of greeting -- as a form of address, often on meeting people . . . welcome, good day, hail [to you], I am glad to see you, sometimes . . . = how do you do? or even the colloquial hello . . . good morning. . . . greet someone, bid someone the time of day (Arndt 874); give one greeting, salute (Thayer 664).
<793> KOINOONEI ... AUTOU shares in the works of him evil (Marshall 949); KOINOONEI is third person singular, present active indicative of KOINOONEOO (Han 433); the verb occurs nowhere else in John's writings. The kindred noun KOINOONIA fellowship, is peculiar to the First Epistle (Vincent 2.396); has a share of, shares with, takes part in (Vine 834).
<794> TOIS ERGOIS TOIS PONEEROIS, in the works of him evil (Marshall 949); [akin to PONOS labor, toil], denotes evil that causes labor, pain, sorrow, malignant evil; used with the meaning bad, worthless, of things (Vine 380); literally, his deeds, his evil deeds. Emphasis [is] on the evil character of his works (Harrison 1481).
<795> POLLA ECHOON, many things having (Marshall 949); ECHOON is the present active participle, nominative singular masculine of ECHOO (Han 433).
<796> HUMIN GRAPHEIN, to you to write (Marshall 949); GRAPHEIN is the present active infinitive of GRAPHOO (Han 433).
<797> OUK EBOULEETHEEN, not I purpose (Marshall 949); EBOULEETHEEN is first person singular, first aorist passive indicative of BOULOMAI (Han 433); of decisions of the will after previous deliberation (Arndt 146).
<798> DIA CHARTOU, by means of paper (Marshall 949); the Egyptian papyrus or byblus, Cyperus papyrus, anciently very common, but now found within the limits of the country. It is a tall, smooth flag or reed, with a large triangular stalk, containing the pith which furnished the paper. The paper was manufactured by cutting the pith into strips, arranging them horizontally, and then placing across them another layer of strips, uniting the two layers by a paste, and subjecting the whole to a heavy pressure (Vincent 2.397); a sheet of paper made of strips of papyrus [whence English "paper"], English chart, charter, etc.; the word is used in 2 John 12. The papyrus reed grew in ancient times in great profusion in the Nile and was used as a material for writing. From Egypt its use spread to other countries and it was the universal material for writing in general in Greece and Italy during the most flourishing periods of their literature. . . . Papyrus continued to be used until the seventh century AD, when the conquest of Egypt by the Arabs led to the disuse of the material for literary purposes and the use of vellum till the 12th century (Vine 829).
<799> KAI MELANOS, and ink (Marshall 949); literally, that which is black. . . . prepared of soot or of vegetable or mineral substances. Gum and vitriol were also used. Colored inks, red and gold, were also employed (Vincent 2.397); the neuter of the adjective MELAS black, denotes ink (Vine 591).
<800> The Deyo seems to have been a dry substance which was made into black ink. Ink from gall-nuts appears to be of later invention.
<801> Edersheim 2.270.
<802> ALLA ELPIZOO GENESTHAI PROS HUMAS, I am hoping to be with you (Marshall 949); ELPIZOO is first person singular, present active indicative of ELPIZOO (Hana 433); or, to be present with you (Vincent 2.397).
<803> KAI STOMA PROS STOMA LALEESAI, and mouth to mouth to speak (Marshall 949); LALEESAI is the first aorist active infinitive of LALEOO (Han 433); literally, mouth to mouth (Vincent 2.397); literally, mouth to mouth [STOMA a mouth] (Vine 398).
<804> HINA HEE CHARA HEEMON PEPLEEROOMENEE EE, in order that the joy of us having been fulfilled may be (Marshall 949); EE is third person singular, present active subjunctive of EIMI (Han 433); PEPLEEROOMENEE is the perfect passive participle, nominative singular feminine of PLEERO'OO (Han 433); fulfilled (Vincent 2.397); signifies fulfil, of joy (Vine 465).
<805> TA TEKNA, the children (Marshall 949); universally and without regard to sex, children . . . "In St. Paul the expressions 'sons of God', 'children of God', mostly convey the idea of liberty [see however Php 2:15], in St John of guilelessness and love; in accordance with this distinction St. Paul uses HUIOI as well as TEKNA, St. John TEKNA only" [Bishop Lightfoot] (Thayer 617, 618).
<806> TEES ADELPHEES SOU TEES EKLEKTEES, of the sister of thee chosen (Marshall 949); chosen out, select sister, of natural relationship . . . [or] spiritual relationship based upon faith in Christ (Vine 182, 1049).
<807> 'ASPAZETAI SE, greets thee (Marshall 949); 'ASPAZETAI is third person singular, present middle indicative of ASPAZOMAI (Han 433); signifies, greet, welcome or salute. . . . The verb is used as a technical term for conveying greetings at the close of a letter (Vine 507).

Copyright ©1999, Charles Hess, Ridgefield, Washington, U.S.A.
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Quotations from 1 John and 3 John are also in the OPV.

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