2 John


To the elect lady

Salutation, commendation, exhortation and warning


Although the address "to the lady chosen by God" presents as though to an individual, it is more than likely that this is the Elder's way of addressing a particular church under his care. As a pastoral letter, it contains words of commendation and exhortation, but its prime concern is to warn the congregation of a heretical movement presently disrupting and dividing the Christian church. These heretics, "deceivers", do not "abide in the teachings of Christ", v9, and so if they visit the church in order to promote their teachings , the church should not "receive" them, v10.


i] Background:

For the situation addressed by this letter, see 1 John 1:1-5.

It is likely that this letter is addressed to a church in the Elder's Asian diocese. The designated words eklekth/ kuria/, can be both proper names, Electa, or Kyria, giving us something like "the lady Electa" or "the elect Kyria", along with her sister, also Electa, v13. Commentators today are inclined to the view that these references are personalised descriptors for two Christian congregations, "the elect lady" and her sister (church) "the elect", v13. So, second John is likely to be a pastoral letter to a Christian congregation, probably in Asia somewhere, an associate church to John's main church where presumably he ministers, the sister church with the similar nameeklekthV, "The Church of the Elect", v13.

John's first epistle serves as a general pastoral letter to his churches, warning them of a secessionist movement presently infiltrating the churches under his care. In his second epistle, John doesn't go into the details of the problem, assuming that the recipients are aware of the first epistle. John's second epistle is more like a personal followup on the first epistle, and unlike the first epistle, it is addressed to a particular church. In fact, the tone of the second epistle seems to indicate that the problem hasn't as yet affected the church, although the danger is ever present, thus the stern warning in v10-11.


ii] Structure: Salutation, commendation, exhortation and warning:

Opening salutation, v1-2;

Commendation, v3;

Exhortation, v4-6:


Warning, v7-11:

the heretical danger and the need to break fellowship with such.

Personal aside, v12;

Conclusion, v13:

ascribed greetings.


iii] Interpretation:

The heart of this letter lies in its warning to the readers, v7-11. Although the warning is clear, there is no analysis whatsoever of the dangerous heresy of which the congregation is being warned. It is likely that the heresy is the same one confronted in the Elder's more general epistle, 1 John, but even there we struggle to understand its nature. John is more focused on shoring up the faith of believers under his care than to engage with the heresy itself. Faith, and its fruit love, is the substance of "walking in the truth." Nothing more is required for fullness in Christ, and as far as John is concerned, those under his charge are full already; they already possess "the truth which lives in us and will be with us forever", v2.

This letter, therefore, provides the appropriate response to heresy, to the flawed idea that a wonderful little extra can add to faith in Christ, and so move our Christian life into a higher plane, make us more acceptable to God and able to appropriate more of his blessings. For the Elder, the appropriate response is "do not receive" and so "take part in their wicked work." Have nothing to do with those who promote something more than the cross of Christ.

There is one particular statement that has prompted discussion as to the nature of the heresy. The heretics "do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh", v7. At first sight this seems to imply that the heretics had a warped view of the person of Christ. This is certainly possible, and is argued strongly by many commentators, see "The nature of the secessionists denial of Christ", 1Jn.2:18-27. Kruse is probably right when he argues that the Elder here is only giving us a shorthand descriptor of the heretics / secessionists teaching. What they deny, when stated fully, is that "Jesus Christ is the Messiah, God's Son, come in the flesh and whose death was real and vicarious." They deny the full package: Jesus is the Son of God come in the flesh as God's perfect sacrifice on our behalf, whose atoning death has wholly restored our relationship with the living God, and this for eternity. Nothing can be added to the cross of Christ; faith, and its fruit love, is the whole of it.


iv] Exposition: A simple exposition of this passage may be found in the linked pew-level Sermon Notes.

Text - v1.

i] Opening salutation, v1-2. In much the say way as we write a letter, our author states who it is from and to whom it is addressed. It is from "the Elder." There is much debate on the subject of authorship, but the Elder is probably John, the author of the gospel and epistles in his name. Of course, debate rages as to whether the author is John the apostle, but if he is not the apostle himself, he is surely someone very close to him, possibly the very person who compiled John's writings into the gospel of John. The to whom is most likely a church within the Elder's care. It is a church he loves "in truth" (a church he truly loves), and this because, like the Elder, the members of this Christian fellowship have heard and responded to the truth of the gospel, a truth which realises the divine presence in a person's life, and this for eternity.

oJ presbuteroV (oV) "the elder" - the elder. Nominative absolute. Most likely used here of a title.

kuria/ (oV) dat. "to the lady" - [to elect] lady. Dative of recipient, as also with toiV teknowiV, "[her] children." Limited by the attributive adjective eklekth/, "elect, chosen." As noted above, here used of a Christian assembly, rather than an individual; "My dear congregation ...", Peterson. The term "elect" is often used of God's children, the elect of God, set apart for his service. Entry to this elect people is by grace through faith. So, the actual title of the congregation may be something like The Church of the Lady Elect.

authV gen. pro. "her [children]" - [and to the children] of her. The genitive is adjectival, relational.

en + dat. "in" - [whom i love] in [truth]. Probably adverbial here, "sincerely", "whom I truly love", Berkeley, or reference / respect, "with respect to the gospel", Culy, "as a fellow-believer, as one who, together with them is of the truth", Bruce. Local, sphere is of course possible, truth is the sphere within which believers live out their faith.

alla "but" - [and not only i] but [and = also]. Strong adversative standing in a counterpoint construction, "not ...., but ....", + an adjunctive kai, "also".

oi egnwkoteV (ginwskw) perf. part. "[all] who know" - [all / everyone] the ones knowing [the truth]. If we take the adjective panteV as a substantive, "everyone", then the participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "everyone"' but everyone who knows the truth of the gospel." "But all those who have attained a knowledge of the truth", Cassirer.


dia + acc. "because of" - because of [the truth]. Causal, introducing a causal clause explaining why the Elder loves the "elect lady" = the believers in The church of the Lady Elect.

thn menousan (menw) pres. part. "which lives" - the one abiding, remaining. The participle is adjective, attributive, limiting "the truth." The abiding of "the truth" within reflects the language of John 14:15-17, of the Advocate "who will be with you forever - the Spirit of Truth", or Christ as the embodiment of truth, Jn.14:6, cf. 1Jn.5:7. The divine presence is likely the intended sense, although possibly "the truth" in the sense of gospel-truth passionately held, a message "internalised by believers so that it lives in them" and "creates the community of love", Kruse.

en + dat. "in" - in [us]. Local, space, metaphorical; incorporative union if "truth" = "Christ".

meq (meta) + gen. "with" - [and will be] with [us]. Expressing association / accompaniment.

eiV ton aiwna "forever" - into the age. Idiomatic, as NIV.


ii] Commendation. The Elder now offers a wish-prayer; he desires that his readers may experience in their lives God's grace, mercy and love. With these divine blessings, a believer is lead into the sphere of truth and love, of knowledge expressed in compassion.

para + gen. "from [God the Father]" - [grace, mercy, peace will be with us] from [god father and] from [jesus christ]. Expressing source / origin, "from".

tou patroV (hr roV) gen. "the Father's [Son]" - [the son] of the father. The genitive is adjectival, relational. That "grace, mercy and peace" come also from Jesus may reflect the background situation where the heretics have undervalued the extent of Christ's redemptive work. The is a rather unique descriptor of Jesus, but what it attests is not unique.

meq (meta) + gen. "with [us]" - Expressing association / accompaniment. We would expect an optative expressing a wish or desire that "grace, truth and love" be "with" the readers, but the future verb to-be estai expresses a certainty, "an assurance", Zerwick. This may well reflect the background situation where the secessionists / heretics claim a status above other believers such that the Elder assures his readers of their status now and forever.

en + dat. "in" - in [truth and love]. The preposition my be instrumental, expressing means, "the blessings are experienced by those who continue to hold to the truth and practice love", Kruse. In that sense the phrase serves as a proviso, the blessings of grace, mercy and love divine are ours provided we live by (abide in??) truth and love; "it is as Christians grow in truth and love that they go on to experience the fullness of God's blessings", Marshall. On the other hand, the preposition may be local, expressing sphere, such that the blessings lead a believer into truth and love. "Truth and love" here is "the effect the divine blessing has upon the believers", Schnackenburg, and "where truth and love coexist harmoniously, we have a well balanced Christian character", Bruce. We are always on safer ground when we hold that grace makes us gracious, rather than arguing that we prompt God's grace by being gracious. Of course, phrases like this do not necessarily express high theology, so Phillips, "I wish you, in all love and sincerity, grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, the Father's Son."


iii] Exhortation, v4-6. It is of great joy to our author that many in the congregation of The Church of the Lady Elect are living out the gospel in their day-to-day life, living the truth in accord with God's command. The truth of the gospel, when approached in faith, brings with it the fruit of love. A person who loves God will obey his commands. To this end, the Elder entreats his readers to live out the divine command to walk in truth and love - let truth and love be the rule of your life. "This is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another", 1Jn.3:23.

oJti "-" - [i rejoice exceedingly] that. Either introducing an object clause / dependent statement of indirect speech expressing the content of the joyous outburst, "that I find some ....", or introducing a causal clause explaining why the Elder rejoices, "because I have found ...."

ek + gen. "some of" - [i have found] from = some of [the children of you]. The preposition serves as a partitive genitive with tinaV, "some", assumed; a semitic construction. It seems more than likely that the statement is positive, with the stress on the some who are "walking in the truth", not the rest who are not "walking in the truth." The "some" may be those the Elder personally knows of, so Bruce. So: "I can't tell you how happy I am to learn that many members of your congregation are diligent in living out the Truth", Peterson.

peripatountaV (peripatew) pres. part. "walking" - walking. The word is used in the sense of living, behaving. The participle serves as the complement of the assumed direct object tinaV, "some", standing in a double accusative construction, and stating a fact about the direct object, namely that the "some" are behaving in accord with the truth; "it made me very happy to find (to know, to hear) that some of your children are making truth the rule", Barclay.

en + dat. "in [the truth]" - in [truth]. The lack of the article for "truth" may imply that the preposition is being used adverbially, either modal, expressing manner, so "keeping his commandments", TH, "living truly / faithfully as the Father commanded us", living "in an exemplary manner", Yarbrough. Better taken to express a standard, "to live in accordance with the truth of the message of the gospel as it was received in the beginning", Kruse. Living the truth would go hand-in-hand with "loving one another", v5. Of course, an instrumental sense is possible, "walking / living by the truth", so REB. As for the "truth" itself, whether we read the definite article or not ("truth" = "truly", or "the truth"), it is surely both known and lived; "doctrine and duty, creed and conduct", Akin.

kaqwV "just as" - as. Usually taken in a comparative sense; "I was very glad to find that some of your children are living by the truth, in accordance with the command we have received from the Father", REB.

entolhn (h) "commanded [us]" - a command [we received]. The aorist verb "to receive" indicates punctiliar action, presumably in the past. The following verse indicates that the command is "love one another", a command originating from the Father and given to the disciples by Jesus.

para + gen. "-" - from [the father]. Expressing source / origin; "from beside / the side of."


nun adv. "[and] now" - [and] now [i ask you lady]. Together with kai, transitional.

ouc wV... grafwn (grafw) + part. "I am not writing" - [not as] writing. The particle wJV + a participle can form a substantive expressing "with the assertion that / on the pretext that / with the thought that", cf., BDF #425.3; "I ask, dear lady - not with the assertion / thought that I am writing you a new commandment, but ......" The ESV treats the construction as adverbial, concessive; "And now I ask you, dear lady - not as though I were writing you a new command, but the one we have had from the beginning - that we love one another."

soi dat. pro. "you" - to you. Dative of indirect object.

kainhn adj. "new" - a new [command]. "New command" serves as the direct object of the participle "writing". In his gospel, John calls the command to love the brotherhood a "new command", but in John's letters it is not a new command, but one that was new when Jesus gave it to his disciples "in the beginning" / during his ministry. This command we should "walk in", v6; it should be "your rule of life", NEB. In v4, "walking in the truth" is also a command of the Father; walk in truth / walk in love. The relationship between the two may be such that truth produces love. The truth / gospel prompts a coming to know Christ through faith, which knowledge produces the fruit of love, cf., 1Jn.3:23. In this case, the command to love the brotherhood would be a be what you are command.

alla "but" - Strong adversative standing in a counterpoint construction; "not ...., but ....."

h}n rel. pro. "one" - with the assertion that I am writing what. Direct object of an assumed grafwn, "I am writing."

ap (apo) + gen. "from" - [we had] from [beginning]. Temporal use of the preposition.

iJna + subj. "[I ask] that" - that [we should love one another]. Here serving as a epexegetic infinitive, specifying the command we had from the beginning, "namely that we should love one another." The command to love takes a durative present tense, a continuing to live in love. The Elder "entreats", Moffatt, his readers to walk in love (truth and love).


The verse is troublesome due to its compact nature (semantic density / short-talk) and the employment of a chiastic structure - walk (live, behave) - commands - command - walk.

*First, John has reversed his formula, namely that God's command to us is that we love one another - a command that is not new, but from the beginning, v5. Now in v6, "love" amounts to living in obedience to God's commands. Presumably, the "love" John now has in mind is the love of God; a person who loves God lives in obedience to his commands, cf. Jn.15:10. So, the command to love God is realised in obedience to God's commands, which commands together amount to walking in truth, v4, and walking in love, v5, ie., "believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another", 1Jn.3:23.

*Second, the antecedent of the feminine pronoun auth/, "[we should walk in = obey] it", is somewhat unclear, given that both "love, and "command" are feminine. The NIV has "[walk in] love", and this is strongly supported, so Schnackenburg, Smalley, ..... None-the-less, the Gk. syntax supports entolh, "commandment", as does the context. "That in it we should walk" may take the sense "love must be your rule of life", but it is not contextually strong; on the other hand, "the heart of the command is to live by it", Lieu, is somewhat redundant. Still, Lieu opts for this approach and it is followed by NEB, Phillips, Berkeley, Barclay, ... "What the love of God entails is a life lived in accord with his commands. This was the command given you from the beginning; let it be the rule of your life."

au{th pro. "this" - [and] this [is love]. Cataphoric / forward referring. The "love" in mind is the love of God.

iJna + subj. "that" - that [we should walk]. Here epexegetic, specifying the content of au{th, "this".

kata + acc. "in obedience to" - according to [the commands of him]. Expressing a standard; "in conformity with, according to ....". The commands = walk in truth, walk in love.

kaqwV "as" - [and this is the command] as [you heard]. Usually serving to introduce a comparative, but as in v4, here it heads toward a characteristic quality, or standard; "this is the very commandment of which you have heard from the beginning", Cassirer. Note that the demonstrative pronoun au{th, "this", is cataphoric, referencing forward.

ap (apo) "from" - from [beginning]. Temporal use of the preposition. "The very beginning of Christian experience", Smalley.

iJna + subj. "that" - that [we should walk]. Epexegetic, specifying the content of au{th, "this".

en + dat. "in [love]" - in [it]. See v4, "walking in truth." Best taken as adverbial, standard, "to live in accordance with .....", Culy. As noted above, the antecedent of auth/, "it", may be taken to be "love" or entolh, "commandment." "Commandment" seems best; see note above.


iv] Warning - The need to break fellowship with the heretical secessionists , v7-11. The Elder has encouraged his readers to love God and obey his commands, namely walk in truth and love, and this because there are may deceivers, enemies of Christ who limit Jesus' earthly ministry on our behalf. The deceivers seem to think that Jesus' faithfulness is not enough, in itself, to fully acquire God's promised blessings. We must never forget that in the righteousness of Christ alone we stand righteous before God, fully gifted with his promised blessings, and this for eternity.

oJti " - / I say this because" - because [many deceivers went out into the world]. Introducing a causal clause explaining why it is so necessary to obey the divine command to walk in truth and love, namely, "because" there are many planoi, "deceivers" who are operating in the world. The NIV11 corrects NIV decision to ignore oJti at this point.

oiJ mh oJmologounteV (oJmologew) pres. part. "who do not acknowledge" - the ones not confessing [jesus christ]. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "deceivers".

ercomenon (arcomai) pres. mid. part. "as coming" - coming. One might expect a perfect tense, but the present tense "keeps the focus on the action of coming", Culy / Porter. The action is none the less perfective, "has come"; the "deceivers" are not promoting a false eschatology that Jesus is not coming in the flesh, cf., 1Jn.4:2 where a perfect is used. The participle could be classified as introducing a dependent statement, although participles are normally only used to introduce a dependent statement of perception after a cognitive verb, here it would be a dependent statement of indirect speech expressing what the "deceivers" do not confess, namely, "they do not confess that Jesus is come = came in the flesh." The participle is more likely serving as the accusative complement of the direct object "Jesus Christ", standing in a double accusative construction and asserting a fact about the object, namely Jesus "coming in flesh" , so Culy.

en + dat. "in" - in [flesh]. The preposition is again being used adverbially, expressing manner; "fleshly". The reference is most likely to the whole package of Jesus' fleshly presence on earth, in particular his atoning sacrifice for the complete restoration of our relationship with God. That this as a reference to a Docetic denial of Jesus' incarnation is unconvincing, ie., that the Son of God did not actually inhabit the body of Jesus of Nazareth. See [ii] Interpretation, above.

ouJtoV pro. "any such person" - this one [is the deceiver]. Demonstrative pronoun, nominative subject of the verb to-be; "Such a person ....."

oJ anticristoV (oV) "the antichrist" - [and] the antichrist. Predicate nominative, along with "the deceiver". As with "the deceiver", the use of the article is indicating a class of persons, not the definite, "the deceiver", "the antichrist", so they are "deceivers", "antichrists", so Yarbrough; "they are liars and the enemies of Christ", CEV.


John calls on his readers to stay true to their grounding as believers in order to receive back the promised reward that is theirs in Christ. The NT teaches that in the last day all mankind will be repaid / rewarded on the basis of what each has done, Rev.22:12. The work that brings with it God's reward (the promised blessings of the covenant, both now and for eternity) is faith in the faithfulness of Christ. Paul warned the Galatians that their flirtation with the heresy of sanctification by obedience (nomism) had the potential of undermining their grounding on the grace of God, Gal.5:4. It is likely we have a similar warning here. The heresy, now confronting the readers, has the potential to undermine their reliance on the grace of God and thus their possession of eternal reward, so watch out! It is very unlikely that there are degrees of blessing / rewards, so we should not put weight on plhrh, "full", as if there is less rewards for the less faithful - the implication being, the more faithful a believer the more powerful their Tardis (which means mine would be very underpowered!!!). Still, work and reward is a constant theme in the NT and some passages are troubling, cf., 1Cor.3:10-15, esp. v15.

blepete (blepw) pres. imp. "watch out" - look at. "Be on your guard", TH. The first of only two imperatives in this short letter (only ten in 1 John).

eJautouV pro. "-" - for yourselves. Reflexive, "yourselves", not reciprocal, "one another", although vigilance, not just for ourselves, but also for each other, is implied.

iJna mh + subj. "that [you may] not [lose]" - that not = lest [you lose what we worked for]. Introducing a negated final clause expressing purpose; "in order that you do not lose what we have worked for." The "what we have worked for" would refer to the ministry of the apostles, prophets, pastors and teachers. John and his team has worked for the salvation of the church and doesn't want to see that undermined. Yarbrough argues that John is simply including himself in the need to "watch out." There is a variant, "what you have worked for"; "that you do not undermine all that you have accomplished."

alla "but" - Introducing a contrasting point.

iJna "that" - that [you may receive a full reward]. The introductory iJna applies to the second subjunctive apolabhte, "may receive", introducing a second final clause; "in order that you may win a full reward"; "that you may receive in full all that God has promised you."


The secessionists have taken Christian doctrine beyond "the teachings of Christ", and in doing so have destroyed their relationship with God. The person who abides in this teaching abides in God. The "teaching" stands in opposition to those who "do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh", who deny that "Jesus Christ is the Messiah, God's Son, come in the flesh and whose death was real and vicarious", Kruse. It seems right to assume that these "teachings" are weighted toward the doctrine of the atonement, of salvation facilitated by the faithfulness of Christ in his sacrifice for lost humanity, the benefits of which are appropriated as a gift of grace through faith, and this apart from works of the law. To deny the atonement is to deny God, to take it to heart is to possess him. Yet, John doesn't even comment on the content of "the teachings" in this letter, and only touches on it in his first general letter. John's first general epistle is not a doctrinal dissertation, but a word of encouragement, an assurance of Christian standing, the basis of which may be summarised as "believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another", 1Jn.3:23 - faith and its fruit love. Given the context, it is possible that the didach, "teaching" is the same as the entolh, "command", v6, namely, love God and walk in truth and love. For John, little more needs to be said on the matter of orthodoxy; what concerns him is the danger of drifting from it.

oJ paragwn (paragw) pres. part. "[anyone] who runs ahead" - [all] the going before. Taking the adjective paV, "all", as a substantive, "everyone", the participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting all. "The secessionists, by running ahead of the teaching of Christ, show that they do not have God", Kruse. "Running ahead" = new insights which do not reflect the teachings of Christ, insights which go beyond apostolic teaching; "advances too far", Barclay.

mh menwn (menw) pres. part. "does not continue" - not abiding, remaining. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting paV, "all".

en + dat. "in" - Probably expressing a standard; they do not continue in accord with the teachings / orthodox doctrines of Christ, but rather blast off into uncharted territory (like some of my more less-fruitful sermons!). Smalley argues that being "in the teaching of Christ" is much the same as being in Christ himself, ie., local, sphere / union, but probably not.

tou Cristou (oV) gen. "of Christ" - [the teaching] of christ. The genitive prompts much discussion over whether it is objective, "teaching about Christ", or subjective, "teaching from Christ." We are best, as a rule, to lean toward an adjectival, possessive / verbal, subjective genitive when faced with a choice like this; this is Christ's teaching, teaching from him.

ouk ecei (ecw) pres. "does not have" - does not have [god]. The sense is of not "standing in a saving relationship with him (God) that Christ mediated by his appearing, death and resurrection. This relationship is entered into by faith or personal trust (surely not either or, but "faith / personal trust)", Yarbrough, of a "living relationship based on having God's own life, which is possible only through Jesus", Brown.

oJ menwn (menw) pres. part. "whoever continues" - the one remaining, continuing. The participle as above, with paV, "all", assumed. The person who continues in accord with the teachings / commands of Jesus, who walks in truth and love, will continue to have / possess God, both Father and Son.

ou|toV pro. "-" - [in the teaching] this one [has both the father and the son]. The close demonstrative pronoun serves as a substantive, "this one", nominative subject of the verb "to have", anaphoric, referencing back, the antecedent of "whoever continues in the / his teaching." "It is impossible to separate the Father from the Son in Christian experience; you cannot have fellowship with the one without having it with the other", Marshall.

kai .... kai "both ... and ..." - Correlative.


Have nothing to do with the secessionists and their teachings, cf., 1Jn.4:1-3, v10-11. Such a boycott carries with it a range of difficulties and so needs to be taken as a rule-of-thumb rather than a hard-and-fast rule. Dodd, in his early Moffatt Commentary on John's epistles, bravely asks "weather this policy in the end best serves the cause of truth and love ..... Does truth prevail the more if we are not on speaking terms with those whose view of the truth differs from ours - however disastrous the error may be?" "If anyone shows up who doesn't hold to this teaching, don't invite him in and give him the run of the place. That would just give him a platform to perpetuate his evil ways, making you his partner", Peterson.

ei "if" - if, [as is the case, anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, then do not receive him into house of you, and do not say to him greetings]. Introducing a 1st. class conditional clause where the condition has the possibility of coming true. As a first class conditional clause, it is not really "if" they come, but when they come, given they will come.

cairein (cairw) pres. inf. "welcome" - to greet, rejoice, hail. The infinitive introduces an object clause / dependent statement of indirect speech expressing what should not be said to a visiting secessionist, namely "greetings"; "Welcome / G'Day mate." In this situation, to not "greet" someone means to not allow them over your threshold and into your home where they will be free to peddle their heresy.

autw/ dat. pro. "them" - him. Dative of indirect object.


gar "-" - because. Introducing a causal clause explaining why a secessionist should not be welcomed into "a house" = "house church"???

oJ legwn (legw) pres. part. "anyone who" - the one saying. The participle serves as a substantive.

cairein (cairw) pres. inf. "welcomes" - to greet = greetings. The infinitive introduces an object clause / dependant statement of indirect speech, as above. "Anyone who receives them ...."

autw/ dat. pro. "them" - to him. Dative of indirect object.

toiV ergoiV (on) dat. "[shares in their wicked] work" - [shares in] the [wicked] work. Dative of direct object after the verb "to share in, take part in"; "shares / provides a platform", "to perpetuate his evil ways, making you his partner", Peterson.

autou gen. pro. "their" - of him. The genitive is usually classified as verbal, subject, but it may also be classified as adjectival, possessive.


v] Personal comment, v12. It is the Elder's intention to visit the church soon, and for this reason his letter is short and to the point.

ecwn (ecw) pres. part. "I have [much]" - having [many] things. The participle is adverbial, best taken as concessive; "although / though I have much to write to you", Zerwick. "(Though) I have much to tell you", TEV

grafein (grafw) pres. inf. "to write" - to write. We have here a participle + infinitive construction which is rather difficult to classify. Such is viewed as a verbal construction by BDAG and so the infinitive could be classified as complementary, so Culy, but it could also be treated as epexegetic, specifying the "many things.."

uJmin dat. pro. "to you" - Dative of indirect object.

dia + gen. "[but I do not want to use]" - [i do not want] by [paper and ink]. Zerwick opts for an adverbial construction expressing manner, "with paper and ink", but we are best to follow Culy who suggests instrumental, means, "by paper and ink"; "but I don't want to communicate with you by (by means of) letter, rather ....."

alla "instead" - but. Adversative standing in a counterpoint construction.

genesqai (ginomai) aor. inf. "to visit" - [i hope] to be able [toward you]. The infinitive introduces an object clause / dependent statement of perception expressing what John hopes. The preposition proV, is local / spacial, usually directional, of movement toward, so "be able to move toward you" = "to come to you", ESV.

lalhsai (lalew) aor. inf. "talk" - [and] to speak [mouth to mouth]. The infinitive as for "to visit" above. "I want to come and talk with you in person", CEV.

iJna + subj. "so that" - that. Introducing a final clause expressing purpose.

hJmwn gen. pro. "our" - [the joy] of us. The genitive may be taken as verbal, subjective, or adjectival, possessive. In this context a royal plural may be intended = "so that my joy may be complete", but an inclusive sense may also be intended, "our joy." Textual variant "your".

peplhrwmenh (plhrow) perf. mid/pas. part. "may be complete" - may be full, complete, fulfilled. The participle + the subjunctive verb to-be h\/ forms a periphrastic perfect construction, possibly emphasising aspect, "of completeness of such a joy", Culy. "That will be far more satisfying for both you and me", Peterson.


vi] Final greetings, v13. This greeting from the elect children of the elect sister is often taken at face value, but again it is likely that we have an allusion to a church fellowship, rather than a person. So, we have the members of a sister church, elect of God, sending their greetings to the members of the church addressed in this letter, similarly a fellowship elect of God. There is no evidence, one way or the others, but possibly the greeting is from the Elder's home church where he resides and exercises his main ministry, a greeting to what we might call a branch church. Certainly the Elder exercises an authoritative ministry over the church addressed in this letter, a church which is not the base of his operations. Evidenced by a minuscule of the eleventh century which identifies "the sister" as the church of Ephesus, early interpretations of the letter obviously included the possibility that the "sister" is a church rather than an individual.

thV adelfhV (h) gen. "of [your] sister" - [the children] of the sister. The genitive is adjectival, relational.

sou gen. pro. "your" - of you. The genitive is adjectival, relational.

thV eklekthV (h) gen. "who is chosen by God" - of the elect [greet you]. The genitive is adjectival, attributive, limiting "children". Some texts add "Grace be with you" and Byzantine texts add "Amen". "Chosen" implies individual selection, whereas "elect" implies "the elect people of God", a people set apart by God for blessing under his grace, the membership of which is attained through faith in the faithfulness of Christ. This way of viewing "the elect" best resolves the doctrinal impasse of Calvinism and Arminianism.


2 John Introduction


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