2 John 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.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
2 John 1:3. Grace be with you, &c. — See on Romans 1:7. Grace takes away the guilt and power of sin, and renews our fallen nature; mercy relieves our misery; peace implies our abiding in grace and mercy. It includes the testimony of God’s Spirit and of our own conscience, both that we are his children, and that all our ways are acceptable to him. This is the very foretaste of heaven, where it is perfected: in truth and love — Truth embraced by a lively faith, and love to God, his children, and all mankind, flowing from discoveries of his favour.1:1-3 Religion turns compliments into real expressions of respect and love. And old disciple is honourable; an old apostle and leader of disciples is more so. The letter is to a noble Christian matron, and her children; it is well that the gospel should get among such: some noble persons are called. Families are to be encouraged and directed in their love and duties at home. Those who love truth and piety in themselves, should love it in others; and the Christians loved this lady, not for her rank, but for her holiness. And where religion truly dwells, it will abide for ever. From the Divine Persons of the Godhead, the apostle craves grace, Divine favour, and good-will, the spring of all good things. It is grace indeed that any spiritual blessing should be given to sinful mortals. Mercy, free pardon, and forgiveness; for those already rich in grace, need continual forgiveness. Peace, quietness of spirit, and a clear conscience, in assured reconciliation with God, together with all outward prosperity that is really for good: these are desired in truth and love.Grace be unto you ... - See the notes at Romans 1:7. This salutation does not differ from those commonly employed by the sacred writers, except in the emphasis which is placed on the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ is "the Son of the Father." This is much in the style of John, in all of whose writings he dwells much on the fact that the Lord Jesus is the Son of God, and on the importance of recognizing that fact in order to the possession of true religion. Compare 1 John 2:22-23; 1 John 4:15; 1 John 5:1-2, 1 John 5:10-12, 1 John 5:20.

In truth and love - This phrase is not to be connected with the expression "the Son of the Father," as if it meant that he was his Son "in truth and love," but is rather to be connected with the "grace, mercy, and peace" referred to, as a prayer that they might be manifested to this family in promoting truth and love.

3. Grace be with you—One of the oldest manuscripts and several versions have "us" for you. The Greek is literally, "Grace shall be with us," that is, with both you and me. A prayer, however, is implied besides a confident affirmation.

grace … mercy … peace—"Grace" covers the sins of men; "mercy," their miseries. Grace must first do away with man's guilt before his misery can be relieved by mercy. Therefore grace stands before mercy. Peace is the result of both, and therefore stands third in order. Casting all our care on the Lord, with thanksgiving, maintains this peace.

the Lord—The oldest manuscripts and most of the oldest versions omit "the Lord." John never elsewhere uses this title in his Epistles, but "the Son of God."

in truth and love—The element or sphere in which alone grace, mercy, and peace, have place. He mentions truth in 2Jo 4; love, in 2Jo 5. Paul uses FAITH and love; for faith and truth are close akin.

Such salutations see explained where they have formerly occurred. Grace be with you, mercy and peace,.... This form of salutation, or wish and prayer for the blessings mentioned,

from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, is the same used by other apostles; see 1 Timothy 1:2 and See Gill on Romans 1:7. Only it is added here with respect to Christ, that he is

the Son of the Father in truth and love; which is mentioned by the apostle to confirm the deity of Christ, which is plainly implied in wishing for the above things equally from him, as from the Father; and to oppose and confront some heretics of those times, who denied the true and proper sonship of Christ; and therefore he calls him, "the Son of the Father", the only begotten of the Father; and that "in truth", or truly and properly, and not in a figurative and metaphorical sense, as magistrates are called the sons of God, and children of the most High, by reason of their office; but so is not Christ, he is God's own Son, in a true, proper, and natural sense: and he is so "in love"; he is his well beloved Son, his dear Son, the Son of his love; as he cannot otherwise be; since he is not only the image of him, but of the same nature, and has the same perfections with him.

Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in

(c) truth and love.

(c) With true knowledge which always has love united with it, and following it.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2 John 1:3. The formula of greeting. It agrees substantially with that which is found in most of the N. T. Epistles; the prefixed ἔσται μεθʼ ἡμῶν (ὑμῶν), however, is peculiar; the future indicates the wish as a certain expectation, which is based on the immediately preceding statement (Düsterdieck). If we take the reading ἡμῶν (see the critical notes), the apostle includes himself along with the readers of the Epistle, which indeed does not elsewhere occur in the salutatory formulae; μετά = “with.”

χάρις, ἔλεος, εἰρήνη] just as in 1 and 2 Tim. and Titus 1:4.[7]

παρὰ Θεοῦ πατρός] Instead of παρά, ἀπό is elsewhere regularly used in this connection, as א reads here also; on the difference of the two prepositions, see Winer, p. 326; VII. p. 342.

To Θεοῦ πατρός, ἡμῶν is always added by Paul, except in the Pastoral Epistles. God is here called πατήρ, first of all in His relation to Christ, but also with the consciousness that in Christ He is the Father of believers also.

καὶ παρὰ Ἰησ. Χρ. τοῦ υἱοῦ τοῦ πατρός] similarly in the other Epistles of the N. T., only that here the sonship of Christ is specially indicated; the repetition of the preposition brings out the independence of the Son along with the Father.

The last addition: ἐν ἀληθείᾳ καὶ ἀγάπῃ, is peculiar to John; the ἀλ. and ἀγάπη are the two vital elements (Baumgarten-Crusius: fundamental features) of the believer, in which the divine manifestations of grace, mercy, and peace have to work (Düsterdieck): “the words contain an indication of the contents of the whole Epistle” (Ebrard); a Lapide erroneously supplies: ut perseveretis vel ut crescatis. Grotius wrongly defines the relationship when he says: per cognitionem veri et dilectionem mutuam, nam per haec in nos Dei beneficia provocamus, conservamus, augemus; in the first place, ἐν is not = per; and, in the second place, our conduct is not the cause of the divine ΧΆΡΙς Κ.Τ.Λ., but the relationship is the converse.

[7] The explanation of these words given on 1 Timothy 1:2 is regarded as unsatisfactory by Düsterdieck, although it is in substantial agreement with his own, only that it is not expressly stated that χάρις means “grace,” ἔλεος “mercy,” and εἰρήνη “peace,”—which is surely self-evident,—but only the relation of the three ideas to one another, which is often erroneously interpreted, is pointed out.2 John 1:3. ἔσται μεθʼ ἡμῶν, not a wish (1 Peter 1:2; 2 Peter 1:2) but a confident assurance. χάρις the well-spring in the heart of God; ἔλεος, its outpourings; εἰρήνη, its blessed effect. They are evangelical blessings: (1) not merely “from God” but “from God the Father and from Jesus Christ the Son of the Father” who has interpreted Him and brought Him near, made Him accessible; (2) not merely “in Truth,” enlightening the intellect, but “in love,” engaging the heart.

Observe the high tribute which the Elder pays to Kyria: (1) He testifies to the esteem in which she is held; (2) he recognises her as a fellow-worker as though she were a fellow-apostle—the three-fold “us,” not “you”; (3) he is about to speak of the danger from heretical teaching, but he has no fear of her being led astray: “You and I are secure from the deceiver. The Truth abideth in us; with us it shall be for ever; yea, there shall be with us grace, mercy, peace.”3. Grace be with you, mercy, and peace] Rather, as R. V., Grace, mercy, and peace shall be with us. It is not so much a prayer or a blessing, as the confident assurance of a blessing; and the Apostle includes himself within its scope. This triplet of heavenly gifts occurs, and in the same order, in the salutations to Timothy (both Epistles) and Titus. The more common form is ‘grace and peace’. In Judges 2 we have another combination; ‘mercy, peace, and love’. In secular letters we have simply ‘greeting’ (χαίρειν) instead of these Christian blessings. ‘Grace’ is the favour of God towards sinners (see on John 1:14); ‘mercy’ is the compassion of God for the misery of sinners; ‘peace’ is the result when the guilt and misery of sin are removed. ‘Grace’ is rare in the writings of S. John; elsewhere only John 1:14; John 1:16-17; Revelation 1:4; Revelation 22:21.

from God the Father] Literally, ‘from the presence of, or from the hand of (παρά) God the Father’: see on John 1:6; John 16:27 : the more usual expression is simply ‘from’ (ἀπό), as in Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:3; 2 Corinthians 1:2, &c.

and from the Lord Jesus Christ the Son of the Father] Omit ‘the Lord’ with AB and the Vulgate; the title of ‘Lord’ for Jesus Christ, though found in the Gospel and in the Revelation, does not occur in S. John’s Epistles. The repetition of the preposition marks the separate Personality of Christ; whose Divine Sonship is emphasized with an unusual fulness of expression, perhaps in anticipation of the errors condemned in 2 John 1:7; 2 John 1:10.

in truth and love] These two words, so characteristic of S. John (see on 1 John 1:8; 1 John 2:8; 1 John 3:1), are key-notes of this short Epistle, in which ‘truth’ occurs five times, and ‘love’ twice as a substantive and twice as a verb. ‘Commandment’ is a third such word.2 John 1:3. Ἔσται, shall be) יהי. A prayer, together with an affirmation.—μεθʼ ὑμῶν, with you) See the App. Crit. Ed. ii. on this passage.[2] The Latin Version has vobiscum, with you: and this is properly consonant with the salutation. Comp. 3 John 1:2.—χάρις, ἔλεος, εἰρήνη, grace, mercy, and peace) Grace removes guilt; mercy removes misery; peace expresses a continuance in grace and mercy.—εἰρήνη, peace) even under the assaults of temptation.—Κυρίου, Lord) This is the only passage in which the Epistles of St John contain the title of Lord, which is well adapted to a salutation.[3] He usually calls Him the Son of God.—ἐν ἀληθείᾳ καὶ ἀγάπῃ, in truth and love) Respecting the former he speaks in 2 John 1:4; respecting the latter, in 2 John 1:5. St Paul is accustomed to use the appellations, faith and love, for truth and faith are synonymous: and the Hebrew אמת is constantly translated in the Septuagint by either word. Comp. 3 John 1:3, the truth that is in thee.

[2] B (according to Lachm., not so Tisch.) Vulg. Elzev. Rec. Text, have ἔσται μεθʼ ὑμῶν. But A and later Syr. omit the words. Stephens’ Rec. Text has ἡμῶν.—E.

[3] But the margin of both Ed., even in this passage, prefers the omission of the word Κυρίου; and the Germ. Vers. omits it altogether.—E. B.

AB Vulg. Theb. Syr. omit it. Rec. Text supports it, with Memph. and later Syr. alone of the oldest authorities.—E.Verse 3. - In truth and love. Love, as we have seen in the First Epistle, is another of the words which is characteristic of St. John, "the apostle of love ;" it also occurs repeatedly in this short letter. Truth and love are noble and natural companions. They must not be severed on earth any more than in heaven. In the Godhead the two are essentially united: "God is Light" and "God is Love." In human society they ought to be united: truth without love becomes cold, stern, and even cruel; love without truth becomes unstable and capricious. Grace be with you, mercy and peace (ἔσται μεθ ἡμῶν χάρις ἔλεος εἰρήνη)

The verb is in the future tense: shall be. In the Pauline Epistles the salutations contain no verb. In 1 and 2 Peter nd Jude, πληθυνθείη be multiplied, is used. Grace (χάρις) is of rare occurrence in John's writings (John 1:14, John 1:16, John 1:17; Revelation 1:4; Revelation 22:21); and the kindred χαρίζομαι to favor, be kind, forgive, and χάρισμα gift, are not found at all. See on Luke 1:30. Mercy (ἔλεος), only here in John. See on Luke 1:50. The pre-Christian definitions of the word include the element of grief experienced on account of the unworthy suffering of another. So Aristotle. The Latin misericordia (miser "wretched," cor "the heart") carries the same idea. So Cicero defines it, the sorrow arising from the wretchedness of another suffering wrongfully. Strictly speaking, the word as applied to God, cannot include either of these elements, since grief cannot be ascribed to Him, and suffering is the legitimate result of sin. The sentiment in God assumes the character of pitying love. Mercy is kindness and goodwill toward the miserable and afflicted, joined with a desire to relieve them. Trench observes: "In the Divine mind, and in the order of our salvation as conceived therein, the mercy precedes the grace. God so loved the world with a pitying love (herein was the mercy), that He gave His only-begotten Son (herein the grace), that the world through Him might be saved. But in the order of the manifestation of God's purposes of salvation, the grace must go before the mercy and make way for it. It is true that the same persons are the subjects of both, being at once the guilty and the miserable; yet the righteousness of God, which it is quite as necessary should be maintained as His love, demands that the guilt should be done away before the misery can be assuaged; only the forgiven may be blessed. He must pardon before He can heal.... From this it follows that in each of the apostolic salutations where these words occur, grace precedes mercy" ("Synonyms of the New Testament").

With you

The best texts read with us.

From God - from Jesus Christ (παρὰ Θεοῦ - παρὰ Ἱησοῦ Χριστοῦ)

Note the repeated preposition, bringing out the twofold relation to the Father and Son. In the Pauline salutations ἀπό from, is invariably used with God, and never repeated with Jesus Christ. On the use of παρά from, see on John 6:46; see on 1 John 1:5.

God the Father

The more common expression is "God our Father."

The Son of the Father

The phrase occurs nowhere else. Compare John 1:18; 1 John 2:22, 1 John 2:23; 1 John 1:3.

In truth and in love

The combination is not found elsewhere. The words indicate the contents of the whole Epistle.

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