2 John 1:10
If there come any to you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
2 John 1:10-11. If there come any unto you — Either as a teacher or a brother; and bring not this doctrine — Of Christ, namely, that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, did come in the flesh to save mankind; or advance any thing contrary to it, or any other branch of Christ’s doctrine; receive him not into your house — Either as a teacher or a brother; neither bid him God speed — Give him no encouragement therein; for he that biddeth him God speed — That gives him any encouragement; is partaker of — Is necessary to; his evil deeds — We may infer, from what the apostle here says, 1st, That when those who professed to be the disciples of Christ came to any place where they were not known to the brethren who resided there, nor were recommended to them by some with whom they were acquainted, they made themselves known to them as the real disciples of Christ, by declaring their faith. This shows the propriety of the apostle’s advice to this pious matron and her children. 2d, That as the Christians in those days exercised hospitality to their stranger brethren, who were employed in spreading the gospel; so the Christian sister to whom the apostle wrote this letter, being probably rich, and of a benevolent disposition, thought herself under an obligation to supply the wants of those strangers who went about preaching. Wherefore, to prevent her from being deceived by impostors, the apostle here directs her to require such teachers to give an account of the doctrines which they taught; and if she found that they did not hold the true Christian doctrine, he advised her not to receive them into her house, nor to give them any countenance. And this advice of the apostle was certainly perfectly proper, because they who entertained, or otherwise showed respect to, false teachers, enabled them the more effectually to spread their erroneous doctrine, to the seduction and ruin of those whom they deceived.1:7-11 The deceiver and his deceit are described: he brings some error concerning the person or office of the Lord Jesus. Such a one is a deceiver and an antichrist; he deludes souls, and undermines the glory and kingdom of the Lord Christ. Let us not think it strange, that there are deceivers and opposers of the Lord Christ's name and dignity now, for there were such, even in the apostles' times. The more deceivers and deceits abound, the more watchful the disciples must be. Sad it is, that splendid attainments in the school of Christ, should ever be lost. The way to gain the full reward is, to abide true to Christ, and constant in religion to the end. Firm cleaving to Christian truth unites us to Christ, and thereby to the Father also; for they are one. Let us equally disregard such as abide not in the doctrine of Christ, and those who transgress his commands. Any who did not profess and preach the doctrine of Christ, respecting him as the Son of God, and salvation by him from guilt and sin, were not to be noticed and countenanced. Yet in obeying this command, we must show kindness and a good spirit to those who differ from us in lesser matters, but hold firmly the all-important doctrines of Christ's person, atonement, and holy salvation.If there come any unto you - Any professed teacher of religion. There can be no doubt that she to whom this Epistle was written was accustomed to entertain such teachers.

And bring not this doctrine - This doctrine which Christ taught, or the true doctrine respecting him and his religion.

Receive him not into your house - This cannot mean that no acts of kindness, in any circumstances, were to be shown to such persons; but that there was to be nothing done which could be fairly construed as encouraging or countenancing them as "religious teachers." The true rule would seem to be, in regard to such persons, that, so far as we have contact with them as neighbors, or strangers, we are to be honest, true, kind, and just, but we are to do nothing that will countenance them as religious teachers, We are not to aid their instruction, Proverbs 19:27; we are not to receive them into our houses, or to entertain them as religious teachers; we are not to commend them to others, or to give them any reason to use our names or influence in propagating error. It would not be difficult to practice this rule, and yet to show to others all the kindness, and all the attention in circumstances of need, which religion demands. A person who is truly consistent is never suspected of countenancing error, even when he is distinguished for liberality, and is ready, like the good Samaritan, to pour in oil and wine in the wounds of any waylaid traveler. The command not to "receive such an one into the house," in such circumstances as those referred to by John, would be probably understood literally, as he doubtless designed that it should be. To do that, to meet such persons with a friendly greeting, would be construed as countenancing their doctrine, and as commending them to others; and hence it was forbidden that they should be entertained as such. This treatment would not be demanded where no such interpretation could be put on receiving a friend or relative who held different and even erroneous views, or in showing kindness to a stranger who differed from us, but it would apply to the receiving and entertaining "a professed teacher of religion, as such;" and the rule is as applicable now as it was then.

Neither bid him God speed - Καὶ χαίρειν αὐτῷ μὴ λέγετε Kai chairein autō mē legete - "and do not say to him, hail, or joy." Do not wish him joy; do not hail, or salute him. The word used expresses the common form of salutation, as when we wish one health, success, prosperity, Matthew 26:49; Acts 15:23; Acts 23:26; James 1:1. It would be understood as expressing a wish for success in the enterprise in which they were embarked; and, though we should love all people, and desire their welfare, and sincerely seek their happiness, yet we can properly wish no one success in career of sin and error.

10. If there come any—as a teacher or brother. The Greek is indicative, not subjunctive; implying that such persons do actually come, and are sure to come; when any comes, as there will. True love is combined with hearty renunciation and separation from all that is false, whether persons or doctrines.

receive him not … neither bid him God speed—This is not said of those who were always aliens from the Church, but of those who wish to be esteemed brethren, and subvert the true doctrine [Grotius]. The greeting salutation forbidden in the case of such a one is that usual among Christian brethren in those days, not a mere formality, but a token of Christian brotherhood.

Ver. 10,11. Such as bring any contrary doctrine, (as Galatians 1:8), ought not to be harboured or countenanced by any encouraging salutation, lest we involve ourselves in the participation of their guilt, 1 Timothy 5:22. If there come any unto you,.... Under the character of a preacher;

and bring not this doctrine; or does not preach the doctrine of Christ, as before explained, but despises it, and preaches a contrary one:

receive him not into your house; neither into the house of God, suffer him not to preach there; nor into your own house, give him no entertainment there: false teachers always tried to creep into houses, where they served their own turn every way, both by feeding their bellies, and spreading their pernicious doctrines; and therefore such should: be avoided, both publicly and privately; their ministry should not be attended on in the church, or house of God; and they should not be entertained in private houses, and much less caressed:

neither bid him God speed; or give him the usual civil form of salutation, as a good day to you, all hail, all health and prosperity attend you, the Lord be with you, and the like. The word used by the Jews was which signifies "happiness"; so it is said (i), what do they salute with? "God speed"; which was forbidden to say to one that was ploughing in the seventh year. The meaning is, that with such no familiar conversation should be had, lest any encouragement should be given them; or it should induce a suspicion in the minds of other saints, that they are in the same sentiments; or it should tend to make others think favourably of them, and be a snare and a stumblingblock to weak Christians.

(i) T. Hieros. Sheviith, fol. 35. 2. Vid. Taanith. fol. 64. 2.

{5} If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:

(5) We should have nothing to do with those who defend perverse doctrine.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2 John 1:10. Warning against fellowship with false teachers. εἴ τις ἔρχεται πρὸς ὑμᾶς] The more particular definition of the τις is contained in the following: καὶφέρει. The particle εἰ is used here because “the case is put as if actual” (Winer). The author assumes the ἔρχεσθαι as really occurring, and in reference to it gives the command: μὴ λαμβάνετε; if he had regarded the coming as a thing which might only possibly occur, he would have put ἐάν; hence it is unsuitable to say that εἴ τις is un-Johannean (Ebrard), “for it cannot be un-Johannean to assume a case as a reality” (Braune).

καὶ ταύτην τὴν διδαχὴν οὐ φέρει] τ. τ. διδ., namely, the διδ. τοῦ Χριστοῦ. The phrase φέρειν τ. διδ. only here in the N. T.; comp. the classical: μῦθον, ἀγγελίην φέρειν τινί.

On οὐ after εἰ, see Al. Buttm. p. 299. Grotius rightly says: non de iis qui alieni semper fuerunt ab ecclesia (1 Corinthians 5:10), sed de iis qui volunt fratres haberi ct doctrinam evertunt. It is only with this interpretation that the prohibition of the apostle can be correctly understood.

μὴ λαμβάνετε αὐτὸν εἰς οἰκίαν] is to be understood of the hospitable reception into our house, which is to be accorded to the brethren as such; the apostle therefore forbids the brotherly reception of such as bring not the doctrine of Christ, but another doctrine opposed to it, and are, accordingly, assiduous in asserting the latter. The limitation of the prohibition to the relationship of φιλοξενία (Romans 12:13; Hebrews 13:2) finds no support in the words of the apostle. Now such a κρίσις was so much the more necessary the more the false teachers sought to abuse the Christian hospitality, in order to gain for themselves access to the Churches; comp. 2 Timothy 3:6.

καὶ χαίρειν αὐτῷ μὴ λέγετε] It is arbitrary to limit this prohibition, with Clemens Alex., to the salutatio, quae fiebat, postquam surgebatur ab oratione solemni velut gaudii et pacis indicium; as well as to interpret it in that degree of generality which a Lapide gives it when he says: vetat hic Joh. omne colloquium, omne consortium, omne commercium cum haereticis; just as little is it to be interpreted, with Vitringa (de Synag. vet. p. 759), of the excommunication proper. This prohibition is in closest connection with the preceding, and similarly refers to εἴ τις ἔρχεται πρὸς ὑμᾶς κ.τ.λ.; it is meant to strengthen the former; not merely the hospitable reception into the house, but also the friendly greeting of the false teacher, if he comes as a Christian brother, is not to take place[13] (comp. Hofmann, Schriftbew. II. 2, p. 339). The word χαίρειν, as a formula of salutation, appears frequently both in the classics and also in the N. T., especially in Epistles; see Wahl on this word.

[13] Ebrard contradicts himself when, in opposition to the interpretation given here, he first maintains that χαίρειν λέγειν here is the “quite general idea of the greeting of conventional politeness,” and afterwards interprets: “He who greets such a false teacher, i.e. keeps up personal acquaintance and conventional intercourse with him.2 John 1:10-11. Treatment of Heretical Teachers. “If any one cometh unto you and bringeth not this teaching, receive him not into your house, and bid him not farewell. For he that biddeth him farewell hath fellowship with his works, his evil works.”10, 11. Warnings against False Charity

10. If there come any unto you] Better, as R. V., if any one Cometh unto you: it is εἰ with the indicative, not ἐάν with the subjunctive. It is implied that such people do come; it is no mere hypothesis: comp. 1 John 5:9; John 7:4; John 7:23; John 8:39; John 8:46; John 18:8. ‘Cometh’ probably means more than a mere visit: it implies coming on a mission as a teacher; comp. 3 John 1:10; John 1:7; John 1:30-31; John 3:2; John 4:25; John 5:43; John 7:27, &c.; 1 Corinthians 2:1; 1 Corinthians 4:18-19; 1 Corinthians 4:21; 1 Corinthians 11:34, &c.

and bring not this doctrine] Better, and bringeth not this doctrine, The negative (οὐ not μή should be emphasized in reading: it “does not coalesce with the verb, as some maintain, but sharply marks off from the class of faithful Christians all who are not faithful” (Speaker’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 16:22). The phrase ‘to bring doctrine’ occurs nowhere else in N. T., but it is on the analogy of ‘to bring a message, to bring word’ (Hom. Il. XV. 15, 175 &c.): comp. ‘What accusation bring ye’? (John 18:29).

receive him not into your house] ‘Refuse him the hospitality which as a matter of course you would shew to a faithful Christian’. Charity has its limits: it must not be shewn to one man in such a way as to do grievous harm to others; still less must it be shewn in such a way as to do more harm than good to the recipient of it. If these deceivers were treated as if they were true Christians, (1) their opportunities of doing harm would be greatly increased, (2) they might never be brought to see their own errors. “S. John is at once earnestly dogmatic and earnestly philanthropic; for the Incarnation has taught him both the preciousness of man and the preciousness of truth” (Liddon). The famous story respecting S. John and Cerinthus in the public baths is confirmed in its main outlines by this injunction to the elect lady, which it explains and illustrates. See the Introduction, p. 24.

The greatest care will be necessary before we can venture to act upon the injunction here given to the elect lady. We must ask, Are the cases really parallel? Am I quite sure that the man in question is an unbeliever and a teacher of infidelity? Will my shewing him hospitality aid him in teaching infidelity? Am I and mine in any danger of being infected by his errors? Is he more likely to be impressed by severity or gentleness? Is severity likely to create sympathy in others, first for him, and then for his teaching? In not a few cases the differences between Christianity in the first century and Christianity in the nineteenth would at once destroy the analogy between these antichristian Gnostics visiting Kyria and an Agnostic visiting one of ourselves. Let us never forget the way in which the Lord treated Pharisees, publicans and sinners.

neither bid him God speed] ‘Give him no greeting’ is perhaps too narrow, whether as translation or interpretation. And do not bid him, God speed will perhaps be a better rendering; and the injunction will cover any act which might seem to give sanction to the false doctrine or shew sympathy with it. The word for ‘God speed’ (χαίρειν) is used in a similar sense Acts 15:23; Acts 23:26; James 1:1 : comp. John 19:3, &c.2 John 1:10. Ἔρχεται, comes) as a teacher or brother.—ταύτην) this, of Christ.—οὐ φέρει, does not bring) by a true profession.—καὶ) and moreover.—χαίρειν, salutation) Let him be to you as a heathen, to whom however a salutation is more safely addressed: 1 Corinthians 5:10. He is speaking of a familiar greeting, and that of brethren and Christians. Salutations appear to have been more unusual of old among strangers and foreigners.Verse 10. - If any one cometh unto you. As in 1 John 5:9, the Greek construction (indicative with εἰ, not conjunctive with ἐάν shows that the case is stated as a fact, and not as a mere supposition. "If people of this kind come - and it is well known that they do - do not receive them or give them a welcome." It is of the utmost importance to remember that St. John is here giving a rule for a special case, not laying down a general principle. His words give no sanction to the view that no hospitality is to be shown to heretics, still less to the monstrous mediaeval doctrine that no faith need be kept with them. The apostle is giving directions to a particular Christian household during a particular crisis in the history of the Christian faith. It by no means follows that he would have given the same directions to every household during that crisis, or to any household under totally different circumstances. We may well believe that he would not have followed them himself, but would have endeavoured "to convince the gainsayers." His charity towards them would not have been misunderstood, and his faith would not have been in danger of being subverted. It was otherwise with her and her children, as experience had proved. And before we take this verse as a rule for our own guidance, we must consider the difference, which may well constitute an essential difference, between a time in which those who confessed Jesus Christ coming in the flesh were a despised and persecuted handful, and one in which some courage is required to avow that one denies him. If there come any (εἴ τις ἔρχεται)

Better, Rev., if anyone cometh. The indicative mood assumes the fact: if anyone comes, as there are those that come. Cometh is used in an official sense as of a teacher. See on 1 John 3:5.

Bring (φέρει)

For the use of the verb see John 18:29; Acts 25:18; 2 Peter 2:11; 2 Peter 1:17, 2 Peter 1:18; 1 Peter 1:13.

Neither bid him God speed (καὶ χαίρειν αὐτῷ μὴ λέγετε)

Lit., and say not unto him "greeting!" Χαίρειν rejoice, hail, was the customary form of salutation. It was also used in bidding farewell; but in the New Testament always of greeting (Acts 15:23; Acts 23:26; James 1:1). "Now whoever cometh and teacheth you all these things, before spoken, receive him; but if the teacher himself turn aside and teach another teaching, so as to overthrow this, do not hear him" ("Teaching of the Twelve Apostles," ch. xi. See on Matthew 10:10).

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