Christian Churches of God
Commentary on 2John
(Edition 1.0 20200921-20200921)
The Second Epistle of John follows the general Epistle of 1John and telegraphs his intention to visit that nearby church of God to where he was located at Ephesus.
Commentary on 2John
The primary text of 1John was written to the churches in Asia Minor which came under the jurisdiction of the last of the apostles operating from the church at Ephesus under John and then later from Smyrna as we see from the letters of Irenaeus and also of Hippolytus as explained in the text of the Quartodeciman Disputes (No. 277); Annex A to the Sanctification of the Simple and Erroneous (No. 291) and also Establishment of the Church under the Seventy (No. 122D) (cf. also Surah 018 “The Cave” Q018)).
The text of 2John was written to the primary church at Ephesus from which John operated. The elect lady cannot refer to Mariam, the mother of Christ as she had already died at the time this was probably written and been buried at Ephesus, where John was also later buried, as were the other people who were present at Ephesus when Irenaeus and Hippolytus studied there at the feet of John and “those who knew the Lord” towards the end of John’s Ministry. The writer has viewed the location but neither Mariam’s nor John’s grave were marked presumably to avoid desecration.
The epistle closes with the greeting from the children of their elect sister. If that were true then it would have been from the children of Mariah, wife of Clophas. Mariah was the sister of Mariam and this sister of Mariam would have been over 120 years of age when this was written. The entity and location is thus another church in Asia Minor and may have been at either Ephesus or Smyrna, both of which are in modern Turkey. The same message against division and the emphasis on the Second Great Commandment is reiterated. From 1John we see that he also condemns the antinomianism and ditheism, entering from the Sun and Mystery Cults, so condemned by James, Peter and Paul (cf. Commentary on Acts 15, James (F059), 1Peter (F060); 2Peter (F061) and Commentary on Jude (F065)).
1The 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,2because of the truth which abides in us and will be with us forever: 3Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ the Father's Son, in truth and love. 4I rejoiced greatly to find some of your children following the truth, just as we have been commanded by the Father. 5And now I beg you, lady, not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but the one we have had from the beginning, that we love one another. 6And this is love, that we follow his commandments; this is the commandment, as you have heard from the beginning, that you follow love. 7For many deceivers have gone out into the world, men who will not acknowledge the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh; such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist. 8Look to yourselves, that you may not lose what you have worked for, but may win a full reward. 9Anyone who goes ahead and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God; he who abides in the doctrine has both the Father and the Son. 10If any one comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into the house or give him any greeting; 11for he who greets him shares his wicked work. 12Though I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink, but I hope to come to see you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete. 13The children of your elect sister greet you. (RSV)
Note (v. 7f.) the doctrines entered the church before that time that separated the divinity from the humanity of Christ which is of Antichrist.
Bullinger’s notes on 2John (for KJV)
elder. App-189. Here not an official title, but referring to the apostle"s age. Compare Philemon 1:9.
unto = to.
elect. Compare 1 Peter 1:2. But perhaps used in the sense of "excellent".
lady. Greek. kuria, feminine of kurios. In all probability a proper name, "Kyria".
truth. Seep. 1511. The element or sphere in which the love was seen. Compare Ephesians 4:15.
also, &c. = all they also.
For, &c. = On account of (App-104. 2 John 1:2) the truth.
dwelleth = abideth. Greek. meno. See p. 1511.
for ever. App-151. a.
Grace. Only here, and three times in the Gospel, and twice in Rev., in John"s writings. App-184. Compare 1 Timothy 1:2.
be = shall be.
mercy. Only here in John.
Lord. The texts omit.
Jesus Christ. App-98.
rejoiced. Compare 3 John 1:3. Several of Paul"s epistles open with thanksgiving.
greatly. Greek. lian. Only here and 3 John 1:3 in John"s writings.
of. App-104. Not implying that there were others who did not so walk, but referring to such as he had met.
beseech = ask. App-134.
new. Greek. kainos. See Matthew 9:17.
from the beginning. Greek. ap" arches. See 1 John 1:1.
that = in order that. Greek. hina.
have. Omit. In this verse is the Figure of speech Antimetabole, "walk . . . commandments commandment . . . walk".
that, &c. Literally Jesus Christ coming in the flesh. The present participle is used, as in Revelation 1:4. In 1 John 4:2, 1 John 4:3, the perfect is used, referring to His first coming. This refers to His second coming. Compare Acts 1:11.
a, an = the.
antichrist. See 1 John 2:18.
Look to. App-133.
we. The texts read "ye" in both occurances.
lose. Greek. apollumi. See John 17:12.
have wrought. i.e. the truth and love resulting from John"s teaching.
transgresseth. App-128. The texts read "goeth before", Greek. proago. See 1 Timothy 1:18; 1 Timothy 5:24. Hebrews 7:18. This refers to false teachers who claimed to bring some higher teaching, beyond the apostle"s doctrine. Compare 1 Timothy 6:3. 2 Timothy 1:13; 2 Timothy 3:14.
abideth. See "dwelleth", 2 John 1:2.
of Christ. The texts omit.
there . . . any = any one (App-123) cometh.
neither, &c. = and . . . not (App-105).
bid . . . God speed. Literally, say, Hail! (Greek. chairein,
to rejoice. See Matthew 26:49).
with = by means of. App-104. 2 John 1:1.
paper. Greek. chartes. Only here.
ink. See 2 Corinthians 3:3.
trust = hope.
face, &c. Literally mouth to (App-104.) mouth.
our. The texts read "your".
joy. See 1 John 1:4.
full. See 1 John 1:4.
Amen. The texts omit.