2 John Summary
2 John or Second John is a text that is included in the New Testament. It is believed to have been authored by John the Evangelist. Also known as the Second Epistle of John, it forms the second of the three epistles or letters written by Saint John.
The epistle does not mention the writer by name. Instead, the author simply refers to himself as “the Elder”. Although the authorship of Second John or 2 John was ascribed to John the Presbyter by early church traditions, 2 John bore more close relationship to First John and Gospel of John. Considering the authoritarian tone by which the speaker presents his account, it can be very well said that the person who is writing 2 John is a respectful individual who holds substantial understanding about the matter he represents.
Both theologically as well as stylistically, the 2 John resembles Gospel of John. However, many scholars consider that instead of John the Evangelist himself, the work was actually composed by the “Johannine community”. Considering the fact that Saint John the Evangelist was the youngest of Jesus’ original disciples and that he lived a long life, it could be said that 2 John was written sometime around the end of first century or early part of second century AD.
2 John commences with an opening address from an unknown writer who only calls himself as “the Elder”. He speaks to “the elect Lady and her children.” Scholars usually view the Lady along with her kids as symbolic representations of the church and its followers. Hence the letter can be said to be a communiqué between two Christian congregations. The idea of using the term “elect Lady” to describe the church is associated with the bride and bridegroom analogy between church and Christ and also the husband-wife language that is used to illustrate the Old Testament relationship between the God and Israel.
The 2 John author expresses his joy when he finds some of the “Lady’s” children walking in the path of truth. This implies that there are others who have deviated from the righteous path. The author reminds his audience that the only way to walk along God’s commandments is through loving others. He also states his concern plainly by saying that there have been many people who refuse to accept the fact that Jesus was present among us in flesh; such people are deceivers and epitome of the Antichrist. John especially expresses his concerns on the heretic belief of Docetism which stated that as the spirit is higher than the detrimental flesh, Jesus did not have a physical body like the other human beings. Associated frequently with Gnosticism, this idea had a great following particularly due to its appeal to higher spirituality.
The author of 2 John warns people that those who go along with such false teachings cannot find Christ in them, but those who accept the truth of Jesus’ human existence can find both Father and Son. Heretics preaching illusive ideas on Christ shouldn’t be permitted to enter “the house”. This refers to the heretics being banned to be a part of Christian worship services as well as denying them any hospitality. The author finally concludes by saying that even though he has much more to relate to the reader, he hopes to do that in person.
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