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Second Epistle of John

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Second Epistle of John, often referred to as Second John and often written 2 John or II John, is a book of the New Testament attributed to John the Evangelist, traditionally thought to be the author of the Gospel of John and the other two epistles of John.

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Transcription

The Second Epistle General of John 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; 1:2 For the truth's sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever. 1:3 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. 1:4 I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father. 1:5 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. 1:6 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. 1:7 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. 1:8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. 1:9 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. 1:10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 1:11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. 1:12 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. 1:13 The children of thy elect sister greet thee. Amen.

Contents

Composition

The language of this epistle is remarkably similar to 3 John. It is therefore suggested by a few that a single author composed both of these letters. The traditional view contends that all the letters are by the hand of John the Apostle, and the linguistic structure, special vocabulary, and polemical issues all lend toward this theory.[1]

Also significant is the clear warning against paying heed to those who say that Jesus was not a flesh-and-blood figure: "For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh." This establishes that, from the time the epistle was first written, there were those who had docetic Christologies, believing that the human person of Jesus was actually pure spirit or not come at all.[2]

Alternatively, the letter's acknowledgment and rejection of gnostic theology may reveal a later date of authorship than orthodox Christianity claims. This can not be assured by a simple study of the context. Gnosticism's beginnings and its relationship to Christianity are poorly dated, due to an insufficient corpus of literature relating the first interactions between the two religions. It vehemently condemns such anti-corporeal attitudes, which also indicates that those taking such unorthodox positions were either sufficiently vocal, persuasive, or numerous enough to warrant rebuttal in this form. Adherents of gnosticism were most numerous during the second and third centuries.[3]

Thus, in regard to this matter and this document, either one of two explanations is commonly held:

Contents

It reads as follows:

The 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, because of the truth that abides in us and will be with us for ever:

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

I was overjoyed to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as we have been commanded by the Father. But 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. And 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.

Many 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! Be on your guard, so that you do not lose what we have worked for, but may receive a full reward. Everyone 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. Do not receive into the house or welcome anyone who comes to you and does not bring this teaching; for to welcome is to participate in the evil deeds of such a person.

Although 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.

The children of your elect sister send you their greetings.[1]

The doctrines of Doceticm and Gnosticism had made inroads among the followers of Jesus in the latter half of the First Century. Some said that Jesus never assumed human flesh, but only had the appearance of flesh, because they were scandalized that Divinity would soil itself by associating so closely with matter. Others said that Christ was raised as a spirit only, and did not experience a bodily resurrection. In this epistle John condemns such doctrines in no uncertain terms with the statement that such persons were antichrist.

Interpretation of "The Lady"

The text is addressed to "the elect lady and her children" (some interpretations translate this phrase as "elder lady and her children"), and closes with the words, "The children of thy elect sister greet thee." The person addressed is commended for her piety, and is warned against false teachers.

The lady has traditionally been seen as a metaphor for the church, the church being the body of believers as a whole and as local congregations.[4] The children would be members of that local congregation. He also includes a greeting from another church in the last verse, "The children of thy elect sister greet thee." The term the elect was a fairly common term for those who believe in the gospel and follow Christ.[5][6][7]

Another interpretation holds that the letter is addressed to a specific individual, Kyria, but according to scholar Amos Wilder, "the contents of our letter exclude this view".[8]

It is also possible that the letter refers to Mary, mother of Jesus; Jesus had entrusted his "beloved disciple" with Mary's life when Jesus was on the cross (John 19:26–27). The children would thus refer to the brothers of Jesus: James, Joses, Simon and Jude, and the sister to Mary's sister mentioned in John 19:25. Mary was likewise never referred to by name in John's gospel. Such an interpretation would assume a much earlier date of composition than modern scholars have suggested.[9][10]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ John Painter, 1, 2, and 3 John (Sacra Pagina), Volume 18 of Sacra Pagina, Liturgical Press, 2008. pp. 57–59
  2. ^ James Leslie Houlden, Johannine epistles, Black's New Testament commentaries, Edition 2, Continuum International Publishing Group, 1994. pp. 139–40
  3. ^ Cf. Bart D. Ehrman. Lost Christianities. Oxford University press, 2003, pp. 116–26
  4. ^ Burton, Ernest DeWitt (1896). "The Epistles of John". The Biblical World. 7 (5): 368–69. JSTOR 3140373.
  5. ^ thebereancall.org
  6. ^ Did Christ Die Only for the Elect?: A Treatise on the extent of Christ's Atonement ISBN 1-57910-135-6 pp. 113-114
  7. ^ biblegateway.com
  8. ^ Wilder, Amos. "II John: Exegesis". In Harmon, Nolan. The Interpreter's Bible. 12. p. 303.
  9. ^ biblicalarchaeology.org
  10. ^ bible-truth.org

References

External links

Online translations of the Second Epistle of John:

Online articles on the Second Epistle of John:

Second Epistle of John
Preceded by
First John
New Testament
Books of the Bible
Succeeded by
Third John
This page was last edited on 19 October 2018, at 02:13
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