SUMMARY.--The Address to an Elect Woman and Her Family.
The Commandment of Love.
Godspeed Not To Be Given to These Opposers.
1-3. The elder. John, unlike Peter and Paul, nowhere in his
writings speaks of himself as an apostle. Peter also speaks of himself
as an elder. John probably uses the term here, not officially, but in
reference to his great age, as the only survivor of the apostles, and
perhaps then the only personal disciple of the Lord living.
Unto the elect lady. The term is Kyria in the
Greek, a term which we know to have been a female proper name. Hence
many of the best commentators from the time of Athanasius have held
that this is the name of the sister. If not a proper name
Kyria would be the feminine form of Kurios
(Lord), the term applied to Christ, a worldly title unaccountable in
the church, which does not recognize artificial distinctions of rank.
To avoid this difficulty some have held that by "Kyria" the
church is meant. It is better to regard the term a proper name.
Whom. That is, the mother and her children.
2. For the truth's sake. Those who love in truth, love for the
3. Grace be with you. The usual benediction of the saints.
The Lord Jesus Christ. The Revision omits Lord, a word which
occurs nowhere else in John's Epistles.
4-6. I rejoiced greatly. Because he had found her children
walking in the truth, by keeping the commandment of the Father. The
commandment referred to, the one which sums up all, is love.
5. And now I beseech thee, lady.Kyria in Greek.
If lady at all it would mean "your ladyship."
Not as though I wrote a new commandment. Love embraces all.
1 John 2:7.
6. And this is love, etc. Keeping the commandments is the
demonstration of love. Compare
1 John 5:3, and John 14:15, 14:23.
7-11. For many deceivers are entered into the world. See notes
1 John 2:18;
Antichrist. Opposed to Christ.
8. Look to yourselves. Let not these deceivers lead you astray.
The full reward. Belonging to all saints who continue to abide
9. Whosoever transgresseth. He that lives a life of transgression
cannot abide in Christ.
Abideth in the doctrine. The teaching, the Gospel.
10. If there come . . . and bring not this doctrine.
That of Christ. If he be a deceiver, an opposer of Christ, one who
denies that "Jesus Christ came in the flesh."
Receive him not into your house. Do not recognize him as a
brother and extend to him a brotherly welcome. He is not to be
Neither bid him God speed. Give him no encouragement in his work
of destruction. To give him greetings is to wish for his success.
11. For he that biddeth, etc. He that gives him these prayerful
greetings and encouragement becomes a partaker, to that extent, in his
12, 13. Having many things. Though many more things occurred
that he wished to write about, he hopes soon to see her and speak face
13. The children of thy elect sister. It is usually supposed
that this refers to a sister in the flesh, also one of the elect, whose
children, probably grown up and Christians, were at that time with