SECOND EPISTLE OF ST. JOHN
1. The Presbyter: i.e., the elder. Cf. Commentary
on 1 Tim. 5, 17 ff. The title is also used for all the Apostles (1 Pet. 5, 1), and
indiscriminately for bishops and priests (Acts 11, 30; 15, 2; 16, 4; 20, 17; 21,
18; etc.). It is indicative of authority. Whom I love in truth: i.e., with a sincere love, or for the
sake of the truth which is common to them both. 4. Walking in truth: i.e.,
according to the teachings of the faith. Cf. John 10, 18; 1 John 3, 23; 4, 21.
1 John 2, 19; 4, 1-6. These deny the reality of the Incarnation in one form or another.
8. The just through their good works truly merit their reward; sin, however, entails the complete loss
of previously acquired title to reward. 9. It is only through faith and love that
the divine communion is had and preserved. Heretics who deny the Son destroy this relationship; for he who denies the
Son denies also the Father. Cf. 1 John 2, 22-24; 5, 12.20.
10. This injunction
is best understood in the light of oriental custom, in which such hospitality is a religious act. Such a greeting to
a known heretic or sinner is equivalent to co-operation in his sin.
12 f. The paper was papyrus; the ink was made of
pine-soot and glue dissolved in water and applied with a reed-pen. The children of thy sister, etc.: this seems
to confirm the opinion that the recipients of the letter were a community. Otherwise the sisters would have the same
1* The Presbyter to the Elect Lady and to her children whom I love in truth---and not I alone, but also all who have know
the truth--- 2 for the sake of the truth which abides in us, and will be with us forever: 3 grace, mercy and peace be with
you from God the Father and from Christ Jesus, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.
4 I rejoiced greatly that I found some of thy children walking in truth, according to the commandment that we have received
from the Father. 5 And now I beseech thee, lady, not as writing to thee a new commandment, but that which we have had
from the beginning, that we love one another. 6 And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments.
This is the commandment, that, just as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.
Against False Teachers
7 For many deceivers have gone forth into the world who do not confess Jesus as the Christ coming in the flesh. This
is the deceiver and the Antichrist.
8 Look to yourselves, that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may receive a full reward.
9 Anyone who advances and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ, has not God; he who abides in the doctrine, he has both
the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone come to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into the house,
or say to him, Welcome. 11 For he who says to him, Welcome, is sharer in his evil works.
12 Though I have much to write
to you, I do not wish to do so with paper and ink; for I hope to be with you and to speak face to face, that your joy may
The children of thy sister Elect greet you.
1: Presbyter: a general term meaning "elder" or "ancient." The author is called The
Presbyter, such apparently being his title, or surname of honor. The Elect Lady may have been an individual,
but more likely the title given to a particular church, since the name occurs at the end of the Epistle, and is applied to
another. Cf. Introduction.