SECOND JOHN: PRECIOUS WORDS TO A DEAR CHURCH
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, The Last Supper, unknown artist, 1883,
John leaning upon Jesus, Museu Nacional de Belas Artes
Bible quotations are from the NIV unless otherwise noted. The Holy Bible: New International Version ® NIV ®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011, by the International Bible Society, www.ibs.org.
Copyright © 2015 Jim Gerrish
The little book of Second John is indeed a little book. In fact, the letters of First and Second John make up the shortest books in the New Testament. They are even shorter than Philemon and Jude. Second John is small enough that it was probably written on a single sheet of papyrus. 1 Because the book is tiny, it no doubt often gets ignored and overlooked by readers today.
Second John closely resembles First John in many ways. Adam Clark, the early Methodist commentator, says that it does not contain anything that is not found in First John. He notes that eight out of the thirteen verses express the same information or sentiment that is found in the first epistle. 2 The little book also makes similar emphases like love, truth and obedience.
Although John is not named, just as he is not in the first epistle, we can be quite certain that the aged apostle John was the author.3 It also seems likely that the little letter was written from Ephesus, where the great apostle lived. As was the case with First John, we really have no idea to whom the epistle was written or to what city or area it was written. We can surmise that it was written around AD 90, like the first epistle. It was no doubt written to folks in the general area of John’s influence, that is, in the Roman province of Asia (Asia Minor today).
Since earliest Christian times, Bible interpreters have been intrigued as to whom this epistle was addressed. It is sent simply to “the chosen lady and her children.” So, is this epistle addressed to a woman and her natural children? Or, is it sent to a church, and this is John’s way of avoiding the persecution that was prevalent in the latter years of the First Century?
We may never know the answer to these questions, but that should in no way keep us from enjoying the freshness and richness of this little book.
The elder, To the lady chosen by God and to her children, whom I love in the truth— and not I only, but also all who know the truth— 2 John 1:1
The “elder” mentioned here was certainly someone well known to many in the early church. There were only a very few people so highly esteemed that they could address an epistle in this manner. John was one of those few people and he was actually the last survivor of that special group of Jesus’ twelve disciples, so he had every right to use this title.
In ancient times, we know that the term “elder” (Gk. presbuteros) was used in several ways. It was originally used for older men and later it became a designation of rank or office. Thus the Jewish leaders came to be called elders, and that title was adopted in the Christian realm as well. We read in the New Testament that elders were ordained in all the churches as these groups were established (cf. Acts 14:23). The elder was primarily a local office. However, we see here that since John exercised authority over a wide circle of churches, and that he was acting as an elder in an unusual official capacity. 1 It is probable that in 1 Peter 5:1, Peter was also considering himself an elder, or fellow-elder.
This verse not only presents us with the question of who the elder is, but it hands us a problem even more difficult. Who is the lady chosen by God and who are her children? This woman, whoever she is, is the addressee of this letter.
The Greek words describing this mysterious woman are eklekte kuria. Through the centuries Christian expositors have tried to make these terms describe a certain woman. The word eklekte is from the Greek word “chosen,” and kuria is from the Greek word for “lady.” Commentators have tried to describe her as a certain noble lady who is named Eklekte or Kuria. Although such a thing is linguistically possible, it is not probable for a number of reasons. The Baptist scholar, Bob Utley, in tracing this problem through history, has pointed out several reasons why such a thing is not likely. He notes that term “elect” refers to a body of people in the Greek Septuagint and in 1 Peter 2:9, he reminds us that the church is compared to a bride (Eph. 5:25-32; Rev. 19:7-8; 21:2), and church members are called children (cf. 2 Jn. v.13). He makes clear that this woman had a sister, who seems to be another local church; and that there is great play between the singular and plurals in this whole passage (cf. vs. 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12 & 13). Finally he notes that the same term is used for the church in 1 Peter 5:13. 2
We need to remember that this letter was written during the rule of Domitian (AD 81-96). There was a great deal of persecution of Christians during his regime and even John himself was imprisoned on the isle of Patmos for a time. It is most likely therefore that the elect lady is used in a metaphorical sense (cf. Eph. 5:22-32 & Rev. 21:9), indicating a certain Christian church. 3 John likely did not name himself or the church because of this threat of persecution. 4
Of course, if the woman is used metaphorically indicating a church, then the children (teknois) would also be used metaphorically, indicating church members. The well known pastor and Bible commentator, Warren Wiersbe comes up with a possible solution to the problems of this verse. He says, “Perhaps the solution is that a Christian assembly was meeting in this home, along with the family of the “elect lady,” so that John had both the family and the congregation in mind.” 5
The 20th century commentator, James Burton Coffman, adds that the last verse (v.13) pretty much concludes that John is writing to a church and not to just a woman and her children. He says, “It is inconceivable that any prominent woman in the early church was known to ‘all who know the truth.’” 6
John affirms that he loves the church “in truth” and that all who know the truth do the same. Today, it is difficult for us to understand how truth (aletheia) was understood in the early church. They knew that truth was essentially expressed in the person of Jesus Christ (Jn. 14:6). Therefore, truth was highly prized in those days, and truth was something that had eternal significance. Unfortunately, we live in a time when truth is cast to the ground and trampled under-foot (Dan. 8:12). Our postmodern philosophers have now all but convinced us that truth is relative and that it can change at the whims of humankind. Many proud folks today believe that they can have their very own “truth” and that they can do what feels right to them. All this is utter nonsense of course and cannot stand up to the tests of either logic or of reality.
So, we live in a time when truth is broken, fragmented and when there is actually very little true truth around. David Dockery in his book, The Challenge of Postmodernism, tells us that 72 percent of Americans now even deny the existence of any absolute truth. 7
The twentieth-century founders of this post-modernistic thought are generally felt to be Michael Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Jean-Francois Lyotard and Richard Rorty. They have literally turned truth upside-down. The Christian philosophic writer Nancy Pearcey says: “The very meaning of the word true has been distorted. It no longer means that a statement matches what really exists in the world but only that it matches my inner experience.” 8 Pearcey goes on to advise us saying: “Christians must always lean against the predominate error of their age. And the most characteristic error today is the break-up of truth….” 9 Robert Ringer in his book Restoring the American Dream, seems to encapsulate the thinking of many folks today. He says, “People say they love truth, but, instead, they try to make true that which they love.” 10
John says he can love the church in truth, “because of the truth, which lives in us and will be with us forever:” (1:2). It is truth that makes real love possible. As long as lying and deception are present, love can never flourish. As Christians, the truth (Jesus Christ) lives in each of us through the Holy Spirit. It is this Spirit of Truth who guides us into all truth (Jn. 16:13). The commentators, Kenneth Barker and John Kohlenberger III state: “Love and truth originate in God. Like him, they endure without changing, and their splendor never fades.” 11
Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love. 2 John 1:3
John is using the customary greeting often seen in letters of his time. He does however make some slight modifications. Instead of the word “greeting” (chairein) normally used, he substitutes the word “grace” (charis). 12 He adds both “mercy” (eleeōi) and “peace” (eirene) to his greeting. In the Greek world, there was some understanding of grace. However, it seems that Christianity greatly modified this concept. Wuest describes this transition saying that in the Greek world, “This favor was always done for a friend never for an enemy. When charis is taken into the New Testament, it leaps an infinite distance forward…” 13 Grace can now be shown to friends and enemies alike. Of grace and mercy the Commentary Critical appropriately states, “‘Grace’ covers the sins of men; ‘mercy,’ their miseries.” 14
In this same verse we see the inner workings of two other important concepts, “truth” and “love.” Stott comments about these two saying: “Christian fellowship should be marked equally by love and truth, and we are to avoid extremism which pursues either at the expense of the other. Our love grows soft if it is not strengthened by truth, and our truth hard if it is not softened by love.” 15
For example, a suitor who is a two-timer would not be able to express true love to the woman he is pursuing. He would not be walking in the truth. We cannot gossip and spread a falsehood about another Christian while enjoying true Christian love in the fellowship or church. The noted Scottish scholar, F. F.Bruce says: “Where ‘truth and love; coexist harmoniously, we have a well-balanced Christian character…” 16 As Ephesians 4:15 has it: “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.”
WALKING IN THE TRUTH
It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us. 2 John 1:4
In reading the New Testament, especially in books like Romans, we realize that people of this era did a lot of traveling across the Roman world. John, as the last remaining apostle, no doubt had done much traveling himself. Perhaps in some of his travels to other churches or even other provinces, he had met members of this particular church. His heart was rejoiced in meeting these saints because they were walking in truth. Seeing such a thing does the heart of any real pastor a lot of good. John experienced great joy and glad surprise in meeting up with these members.
In this verse we encounter the word “commanded” as we repeatedly saw this concept in our study of First John (cf. 1 Jn. 2:7, 8; 3:23; 4:21). We will explain again here that we Christians are not done with commandments. Jesus has come to fulfill the law not to destroy it (Matt. 5:17). He has come to actually write the law on our hearts (Jer. 31:33). Christ is the end of the law for righteousness (Rom. 10:4), but he is definitely not the end of the law. In First John, we pointed out that while the law has 613 commandments we have more than a thousand in the New Testament. We must not panic however, because God is at work in us to fulfill his every wish and command (Phil. 2:13).
“And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another” (1:5). John is still addressing the church as the dear lady, no doubt to throw off the persecutors. We have friends who are missionaries in China and it is interesting to read their letters. They will say things like “We have been talking to dad…” What they mean is that they have been praying about a certain matter. They have to disguise their conversation because the hostile Communist government may be pouring over their letters.
Just as in 1 John (cf. 1 Jn. 3:1 ff.; 4:7 ff.), the apostle continues to speak about love. He calls it a new command, no doubt because he is referring to his own gospel and Jesus’ words (Jn. 13:34), where he says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” As the Methodist commentator William Godbey says, “He still pours out his flooded emphasis on his great favorite dogma of divine love to one another, which is demonstrative proof that we are all right with God.” 17
Christian love was really “something new under the sun” in that cold and hateful pagan world. Also, Utley says “It was characteristic of the heretics to be exclusivistic and unloving.” 18 Those Christians who had been lured away from the church by the heretics no doubt soon realized that the flowers of their love were withering away.
“And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love” (1:6). In Romans 13:10, we read that love is the fulfilling of the law. Let us go back to the greatest commandments given in Mark 12:30-31: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” The command to love the neighbor as oneself was always in the Torah (Law) in Leviticus 19:18. However, Jesus put the two commands together in a remarkably new way.
Let us consider these great commands for a moment. If we are loving the Lord with all our hearts and our neighbor as ourselves, we will not be able to covet our neighbor’s goods. We will not be able to do that neighbor wrong in any way. This is talking about that agapē love, the kind of love that God has for us. I like how Barclay defines it as “undefeatable goodwill; it is the attitude towards others which, no matter what they do, will never feel bitterness and will always seek their highest good.” 19 The Christian writer Oecumenius (about 990) once said of love: “This was given from the beginning in order to prevent a situation in which we might be honoring God in purely spiritual things but at the same time rebelling against him and denying him in more practical matters.” 20 As Alfred Plummer put it: “Love divorced from duty will run riot, and duty divorced from love will starve.” 21
All through the book of First John we remember how the apostle insisted on giving us little tests to insure that we were following in the Way. Here in Second John he continues this process, giving us once more the tests of love, lifestyle and doctrine. 22
BE ALERT FOR ANTICHRISTS
I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. 2 John 1:7
In his first letter John warned against these antichrists (1 Jn. 2:18-23; 4:1-6). As we have mentioned in First John, these deceivers were Gnostics and their problem was that they did not believe that God could come to earth in flesh and blood. This idea probably originated with Plato but it had become part and parcel of Greek philosophical thinking. If God was with Christ at all he would have had to come upon him at his baptism and depart from him prior to his crucifixion. Gnostic teachings also focused on certain hidden knowledge and this has always been attractive to the proud and fallen mind of humanity.
We mentioned in First John that Gnosticism developed in two streams. Some felt that only the spirit mattered and the flesh accounted for nothing. It was entirely possible for these to live as they pleased in the flesh, since flesh was not important. Others concentrated on the spiritual world but still tended to be aesthetic regarding fleshly things.
John in his “all black or all white manner” calls these deceivers antichrists. As we also learned in First John, an antichrist was one who denied Christ but also one who could replace Christ with something or someone else. As the web commentator David Guzik says, “They are those who not only oppose Jesus, but also offer a ‘substitute’ Christ.” 23 Jesus prophesied that such as these would come in Matthew 24:4-5, and 24.
The Greek word for deceiver is planos. This comes from the Greek planē, and this is where we get our term “planet.” The ancient world paid a lot of attention to the heavenly bodies and to their movements. They noted that some of the stars moved irregularly. Later these stars came to be known as planets. So the word developed metaphorically to describe those who wandered from the truth. 24 The Greek scholar Kenneth Wuest further describes this Greek word as speaking of, “wandering, roving, misleading, leading into error, a vagabond, tramp, impostor, a corrupter, deceiver, thus a false teacher who leads others into heresies.” 25
As we have noted, these deceivers denied that God could come in the flesh. The word for “come” or “coming” is erchomenon. This is a present participle and, “…what the present tense emphasizes is the timeless character of the event (cf. Jn. 3:31; 6:14; 11:27). It is not simply an event in history but an ‘abiding truth.’” 26 Jesus is the Coming One.
“Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully” (1:8). The Bible often speaks of rewards for God’s servants (Matt. 20:8; Jn. 4:36). Sometimes we forget the fact that God’s servants will get different rewards. Some will please the Master and others will not please him as much (Matt. 25:24-28). The idea in this verse is that some people may not get a full reward.
It is interesting that there was an early tradition in the church regarding rewards. Irenaeus (d. AD 202) speaks of this:
As the presbyters say, those who are deemed worthy of an abode in heaven will go there, others will enjoy the delights of Paradise, and others will possess the splendor of the city. For everyone the Savior will be seen – depending on the worthiness of those who see him. There is this distinction between the habitation of those who produce a hundred-fold, and those who produce sixty-fold, and those who produce thirty-fold…. 27
This, of course, is not Bible and we cannot depend upon such traditions, however, it may indicate that some teaching was passed down in this regard. We should be alert as Paul says in 2 Corinthians 6:1, “As God’s co-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain.” He also says in 1 Corinthians 15:58, “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
John continues: “Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son” (1:9). The Greek word for “runs ahead” is proago. It means, “‘to lead forward, to go before,’ in a bad sense, ‘to go further than is right or proper,’…‘to go beyond: the limits of true doctrine.’” 28
The Gnostics were the theological progressives, the advanced thinkers of their day. They no doubt wanted to leave behind some of the old dust-covered doctrines and go on to new things. They particularly wanted to leave the old ideas about Christ that probably galled them considerably. Wiersbe says, “‘Progressive theology’ that denies Christ is not progressive at all; it is regressive- all the way back to Genesis 3:1, ‘Yea, hath God said?’” 29 Coffman adds: “The heresy of this age is that religious teachers may ‘go beyond’ Christ’s teachings in any direction they please, or that they may eliminate from their doctrine any of the Lord’s teachings that they hold to be unnecessary or distasteful to themselves.” 30
There were a couple of real progressives in Moses’ day. They were two young priests named Nadab and Abihu (Lev. 10:1-2). These young men decided to make an unauthorized offering to the Lord. Perhaps their motive was good, but they were running ahead in the things of God. Fire came out from God’s presence and consumed the two young men. They ever stand before us in holy history as a lesson to those who want to run ahead of God.
BE CAREFUL WHOM YOU WELCOME!
If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take them into your house or welcome them. 2 John 1:10
We need to understand the setting of this injunction. In those days the churches met in houses of individuals, and they did so for the first few generations of Christianity. The religion of Christ was spread largely through the hospitality of early believers. In many places in Scripture Christians were taught to take in other Christians and traveling ministries (cf. Matt. 25:35; Rom. 12:13; 1 Tim. 3:2; 5:3-10; Tit. 1:8; Heb. 13:2; 1 Pet. 4:8-10; 3 Jn. 5-6).
It was almost impossible for a Christian to stay at an inn in those days. William Ramsay says: “The ancient inns…were little removed from houses of ill fame…The profession of innkeeper was dishonorable, and their infamous character is often noted in Roman laws. Inns were notoriously dirty and flea-infested, while innkeepers were notoriously rapacious.” 31 The Englishman, John Stott says, “As a result, it was natural that Christian people on their travels should be given hospitality by members of local churches…Paul was entertained by Lydia in Philippi, Jason in Thessalonica, Gaius in Corinth, Philip the evangelist in Caesarea and the Cypriot Mnason in Jerusalem.” 32
In light of the dismal lodging situation in ancient times, it is surprising to hear John, the Apostle of Love, forbid Christians from taking in certain guests. Why would he talk this way? Simply, the line had to be drawn for those who were teachers and disseminators of false doctrine. The English Baptist Peter Pett says, “The emphasis here is on not welcoming false teachers in such a way as to give some the impression that they are of the truth.” 33 In Titus 3:10, we see something similar to this: “Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them.”
We can imagine what some of the results would have been if a church welcomed and hosted a Gnostic false teacher. From the sense of the Greek here it implies that this church had been doing that very thing. 34 Such a welcome would have sent a wrong signal to other churches and it would have automatically given the false teacher an unwritten letter of recommendation to the next congregation. The church itself may thus have allowed its members to be infected with wrong theology. Church leaders and churches had to exercise “tough love” in such cases. It is told that the great saint and martyr Polycarp once had an encounter with the arch-heretic Marcion (c. 85- c. 160). Marcion asked if Polycarp recognized who he was. Polycarp is said to have replied, “I recognize Satan’s first-born.” 35
This verse must not be construed to forbid fellowship with people just because they have some strange ideas theologically. Stott says, “this verse gives us no warrant to refuse fellowship to those, even teachers, who do not agree with our interpretation of apostolic doctrine in every particular…It is the entertainment of antichrists which is forbidden.” 36 The early church was in a life and death struggle with an idea about Christ that could cut the heart out of Christianity. This struggle was to go on for hundreds of years and in some sense it still goes on today. Wiersbe comments, “The Christian faith stands or falls on the doctrine of the deity of Jesus Christ. If he is only man, then he cannot save us, no matter how gifted or unique he might be. If he is not God come in human flesh, then the Christian faith is lies…” 37
“Anyone who welcomes them shares in their wicked work” (1:11). Plummer says, “Charity has its limits; it must not be shown to one man in such a way as to do grievous harm to others.” 38 Godbey adds: “Since this glorious doctrine of the Christhood constitutes the essence of the redemptive scheme, we are to guard it as the apple of the eye, filled with spiritual discernment, ever ready to detect the cloven foot of Antichrist and the soft palaver of the false prophets, who in John’s day were making sad havoc with the church.” 39
JOHN’S CLOSING REMARKS
I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete. 2 John 1:12
It is definitely an understatement for John to say that he has much to write. He was the last living link to Christ. He had a world of information to share. There was no way he could put down on paper even a sketch of this first-hand apostolic information. John did not wish to use paper and ink. The word for paper is chartēs, meaning Egyptian papyrus. The ink (melanos) of those early days was made of water and soot, with some gum added. The pen John would write with was simply a split reed. 40
John longed for a face to face meeting with this church. In both the Greek and the Hebrew the expression “face to face” is literally “mouth to mouth.” 41 We remember in Numbers 12:8, the Lord said of Moses, “With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the LORD…” It is much more advantageous to speak face to face with a person than in just read that person’s letter. When we are face to face, we have the great benefit of body language, of seeing that person’s facial expressions and hearing the subtleties of that person’s voice. In our postmodern era we rely so much on email for our communication. However, email can be a brutal way of communicating with others. It tends to be much to direct and terse. We say things on email that we would not dream of saying in person.
“The children of your sister, who is chosen by God, send their greetings” (1:13). The researcher on early Christianity, Gerald Bray, says, “The greeting in the final verse seems to confirm that the letter was sent from one church to another.” 42 In such case, the children spoken of here were no doubt members of John’s own fellowship. In truth, both sisters were simply beautiful expressions of the Body Christ in their respective areas.
Several sources I have cited here are from the electronic media, either from websites or from electronic research libraries. Thus in some of these sources it is not possible to cite page numbers. Instead, I have cited the verse or verses in 2 John (e.g. verse v. 1:1 or vs. verses 1:5-6) about which the commentators speak.
1. John R. Stott, The Letters of John, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, Vol. 19 (Downers Grove: Inter-Varsity Press, 1964, 1988, p. 199.
2. Adam Clarke, The Adam Clarke Commentary, Commentary on 2 John Overviews, 1832. v. 13. http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/view.cgi?bk=62&ch=0.
3. R. Allen Culpepper, The Bible Knowledge Commentary, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John (Colorado Springs: Cook Communications Ministries, 2005), p.192.
“It is generally agreed that the three epistles come from the same author and reflect a close relationship to the Gospel of John…”
1. Kenneth S. Wuest, In These Last Days, II Peter, I, II, III John, and Jude in the Greek New Testament (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1954), p. 199.
Culpepper adds: “[He was] perhaps the leader of a circle of various (Johannine) churches that acknowledged his authority” (Culpepper, p. 192).
2. Dr. Bob Utley, Free Bible Commentary, 2 John, Introduction. http://www.freebiblecommentary.org/new_testament_studies/VOL04/VOL04_28.html
3. William Barclay, William Barclay’s Daily Study Bible, Commentary on 2 John, 1956-1959, vs. 1-3. http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dsb/view.cgi?bk=62&ch=1
4. David Guzik, David Guzik Commentaries on the Bible, Commentary on 2 John, 1997-2003, vs. 1-2. http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/guz/view.cgi?bk=62
5. Warren W. Wiersbe, The Wiersbe Bible Commentary, NT (Colorado Springs: David C. Cook, 2007), p. 1010.
6. James Burton Coffman, Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament, Commentary on 2 John (Abilene, TX: Abilene Christian University Press, 1983-1999), v. 1.
7. David S. Dockery, ed., The Challenge of Postmodernism, An Evangelical Engagement (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1995), p. 365.
8. Nancy Pearcey, Saving Leonardo, A Call to Resist the Secular Assault on Mind, Morals, & Meaning (Nashville: B&H Publishing Group, 2010), p. 30.
9. Ibid., p. 36.
10. Robert Ringer, Restoring the American Dream (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2010), p. xxi.
11. Kenneth L. Barker & John R. Kohlenberger III, Zondervan NIV Bible Commentary, Vol. 2: New Testament (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1994), p. 1110.
12. Stott, The Letters of John, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, Vol. 19, p. 205.
13. Wuest, In These Last Days, II Peter, I, II, III John, and Jude in the Greek New Testament, p. 201.
14. Robert Jamieson, A.R. Fausset, & David Brown, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, Commentary on 2 John – Unabridged, 1871-78, v. 3. http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/view.cgi?bk=62
15. Stott, The Letters of John, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, Vol. 19, p. 207.
16. F.F. Bruce, The Epistles of John (Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1970), p.139.
17. William Godbey, William Godbey’s Commentary on the New Testament, Commentary on 2 John, v. 5. http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ges/view.cgi?bk=62&ch=1.
18. Utley, Free Bible Commentary, 2 John, v. 5.
19. Barclay, William Barclay’s Daily Study Bible, Commentary on 2 John, v. 6.
20. Gerald Bray, ed., Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, James, 1-2 Peter, 1-3 John, Jude, Vol. XI, New Testament (Downers Grove: Inter-Varsity Press, 2009), p. 234.
21. Quoted in Charles F. Pfeiffer & Everett F. Harrison, eds., The Wycliffe Bible Commentary (Chicago: Moody Press, 1962), p. 1480.
22. Utley, Free Bible Commentary, 2 John, v. 5.
23. Guzik, David Guzik Commentaries on the Bible, Commentary on 2 John, vs. 7-9.
24. Utley, Free Bible Commentary, 2 John, v. 7.
25. Wuest, In These Last Days, II Peter, I, II, III John, and Jude in the Greek New Testament, p. 205.
26. Barker & Kohlenberger, Zondervan NIV Bible Commentary, Vol. 2: New Testament, p.1112.
27. Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson, eds., The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 1 (Edinburgh, T&T Clark, 1988; & Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1956),
28. Wuest, In These Last Days, II Peter, I, II, III John, and Jude in the Greek New Testament, p. 206.
29. Wiersbe, The Wiersbe Bible Commentary, NT, p. 1013.
Stott adds here: “In describing the false teacher as one who runs ahead, proagon (‘runs ahead too far’, NEB), John is almost certainly borrowing from the vocabulary of the heretics. They claimed to have ‘go-ahead’ views, a superior gnosis, which had enabled them to advance beyond the rudiments of the faith in which the common herd were content to ‘continue.’” (Stott page 213).
30. Coffman, Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament, Commentary on 2 John, v. 9.
31. Quoted in Stott, The Letters of John, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, Vol. 19, p. 200.
33. Peter Pett, Peter Pett’s Commentary on the Bible, Commentary on 2 John, 2013, v.11. http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/view.cgi?bk=62&ch=1.
34. Wuest, In These Last Days, II Peter, I, II, III John, and Jude in the Greek New Testament, p. 207. “The words “receive not: and “neither bid godspeed: are in a Greek construction which forbids the continuance of an act already going on. This Lady had received such false teachers and had given them greeting, of course, innocently. John exhorts her to stop doing so.”
35. Barclay, William Barclay’s Daily Study Bible, Commentary on 2 John, vs. 10-13.
36. Stott, The Letters of John, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, Vol. 19, p. 216.
37. Wiersbe, The Wiersbe Bible Commentary, NT, pp. 1010-1011.
38. Quoted in Stott, The Letters of John, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, Vol. 19, p. 217.
39. Godbey, William Godbey’s Commentary on the New Testament, Commentary on 2 John, v. 11.
40. Jamieson, Fausset & Brown, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, Commentary on 2 John, v.12.
41. Barclay, William Barclay’s Daily Study Bible, Commentary on 2 John, vs.10-13.
42. Bray, ed., Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, p. 238.
Oecumenius states: “This ending proves that John was not writing to a single individual but to a church.”