Question

Could you please send me some of your thoughts, ideas, and answers concerning the Second Letter of John.

Answer

The II and III letters of John were written about the same time, around A.D. 90. Although the author never calls himself by name, instead referring to himself as “The Elder,” it is widely accepted that the author of II and III John is the same John who wrote the 4th gospel and 1 John.

II John is logically divided into 2 sections. The first, verses 1-6, concerns God’s commandments and the writer’s exhortation to his audience to walk in truth (4) and love (5-6).

The second section concerns the need for Christians to use a discerning love rather than a blind, unquestioning love (8). Because there are “many deceivers [who] have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh” (7), the “elect lady and her children” (1) must have the same attitude as the Bereans in Acts 17:11-12: they must test those who would be teachers to ensure that their teaching does not transgress the “doctrine of Christ” (9). This is the way to test for false teachers: their teaching must conform to the teaching of Christ. If someone teaches otherwise, “do not receive him into your house or greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds” (10-11).

By Michael Molloy

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