2 John
New American Bible Revised Edition

* [1] The chosen Lady: literally, “elected”; this could also be translated “Kyria (a woman’s name) chosen (by God)” or “the lady Electa” or “Electa Kyria.” The adjective “chosen” is applied to all Christians at the beginning of other New Testament letters (1 Pt 1:1; Ti 1:1). The description is of a specific community with “children” who are its members. The truth: the affirmation of Jesus in the flesh and in contrast to false teaching (2 Jn 7).

* [3] Grace, mercy, and peace: like 1 Timothy; 2 Timothy this letter adds mercy to the terms used frequently in a salutation to describe Christian blessing; it appears only here in the Johannine writings. The author also puts the blessing in relation to truth and love, the watchwords of the Johannine teaching. The Father’s Son: the title that affirms the close relationship of Christ to God; similar variations of this title occur elsewhere (Jn 1:14; 3:35), but the precise wording is not found elsewhere in the New Testament.

* [4] Some of your children: this refers to those whom the Presbyter has recently encountered, but it may also indicate the presence of false doctrine in the community: the Presbyter encourages those who have remained faithful. Walking in the truth: an expression used in the Johannine writings to describe a way of living in which the Christian faith is visibly expressed; cf. 1 Jn 1:6–7; 2:6, 11; 3 Jn 3.

* [6] His commandments: cf. 1 Jn 3:23; 2:7–8; 4:21; obedience to the commandment of faith and love includes all others.

* [7] The antichrist: see 1 Jn 2:18–19, 22; 4:3.

* [8] You (plural): it is not certain whether this means the Christians addressed or includes the Presbyter, since some of the ancient Greek manuscripts and Greek Fathers have “we.”

* [9] Anyone who is so “progressive”: literally, “Anyone who goes ahead.” Some gnostic groups held the doctrine of the Christ come in the flesh to be a first step in belief, which the more advanced and spiritual believer surpassed and abandoned in his knowledge of the spiritual Christ. The author affirms that fellowship with God may be gained only by holding to the complete doctrine of Jesus Christ (1 Jn 2:22–23; 4:2; 5:5–6).

* [10–11] At this time false teachers were considered so dangerous and divisive as to be shunned completely. From this description they seem to be wandering preachers. We see here a natural suspicion of early Christians concerning such itinerants and can envisage the problems faced by missionaries such as those mentioned in 3 Jn 10.

* [12] Our joy: a number of other Greek manuscripts read “your joy.”

* [13] Chosen sister: the community of which the Presbyter is now a part greets you (singular), the community of the Lady addressed.

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Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

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