Lange Commentary on the Holy Scriptures
The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth;(Ἰωάννου β. B. Cod. Sin. Several codices add ἐπιστολή, and others ἐπιστολή καθολική. Several have after Ἰωάννου: τοῦ ἐπὶ στηθοῦς, G: τοῦ ἁγίου ἀποστόλου—τοῦ θεολόγου).
I. The Address (2John 1:1–3)
1The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth;1 and2 not I only, but also all they that have known the truth; 2for the truth’s sake, which dwelleth in us,3 and shall be with us for ever 3Grace be4 with you,5 mercy, and peace from God the Father, and from6 the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.
EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL
The address proper. 2John 1:1. The elder, ὁ πρεσβύτερος; the definite Article notes a person, the word without the Article would give prominence to his official position. That John the Apostle is meant we have endeavoured to prove in the Introduction § 5. Thus Peter also calls himself, in an exhortation addressed to presbyters, συμπρεσβύτερος. (1 Pet. 5:1).
To the elect lady, ἐκλεκτῃ κυρίᾳ; these words have been very differently explained. Grammatically they present a perfect analogy to 1 Pet. 1:1: ἐκλεκτοῖς παρεπιδήμοις, to elect strangers; κυρίᾳ therefore cannot well be taken as a proper name, which would require as at 2John 1:13, and 3 Jno. 1: Γαΐῳ τῷ ἀγαπητῷ,—κυρίᾳ τῇ ἐκλεκτῇ Cf. Phil. 1:2. Rom. 16:5, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13 etc. To what purpose is it that κυρίᾳ was a female proper name, as may be seen in Gruteri inscript. p. 1127. N. 11., and that this was maintained by Athanasius, and later by Benson, Heumann, Bengel, Krigele (de κυρία Joannis, Lips. 1758). S. G. Lange, Carpzovius, Paulus, de Wette, Brückner, Lücke, Düsterdieck and others? Düsterdieck and Lücke notice a certain irregularity and inconsequence, which is not explained by but consists in the adjective preceding the noun, as long as κυρία is treated as a nomen proprium. But the difficulty is even greater in treating ἐκλεκτή as a proper name, as is done by de Lyra, Cappellus, Wetstein, Grotius and al. For the sister, 2John 1:13, is also called ἐκλεκτή.—But how are we to take the elect lady? The context requires us to think of an individual: the ἐγὼ of the writer answers to the σύ of the person addressed (2John 1:1, 4 sq.); she as a mother with her children is mentioned (2John 1:3, 6, 8, 10, 12); her sister and her sister’s children salute her (2John 1:13). Epictetus (cap. 62) observes that: αἱ γυναῖκες εὐθῦς ἀπὸ τεσσαρεσκαίδεκα ἐτῶν ὑπὸ τῶν ἀνδρῶν κυρίαι καλοῡνται. Huther is wrong in saying that the term κυρία does not answer to the German Frau [=the English Mistress, the word used to address married ladies—M.], but to the German Herrin [=the English Mistress or lady of the house—M.]; for Frau is the feminine of fro, the Master, (Frohndienst, Frohnveste, Fronleichnam), and Frau=Herrin (see Jütting, Biblisches Wörterbuch 1864, s. v. Frauenzimmer p. 61 and s. v. Frohnvogt p. 65); nor need that author designate κυρία only as a polite form of address, nor Düsterdieck pronounce it a title only suited to worldly politeness. It may just as well be taken as the standing designation of an esteemed woman, and it is neither unworthy of a Christian, nor of an Apostle to call a church-member, according to a prevailing usage, “Frau” (lady or mistress)=κυρία, so Luther, Piscator, Beza, Heidegger, Rittmeier, de electa domina, Helmst. 1706), Wolf, Baumgarten-Crusius, Sander and al.; a Lapide reports her to have been called Drusia or Drusiana. Carpzovius supposes that Martha, the sister of Lazarus, is the person addressed; Knauer (Studien und Kritiken, 1833, pp. 452–458), suggests Mary, the mother of the Lord—but all these views are wholly untenable. It is true, that unfortunately the name of the person addressed is not given in the address, so that one might almost feel inclined to take κυρία as a proper name. But the name of the person addressed might be wanting just as well as that of the writer; the messenger may and probably did make up for such omission.—But the circumstance that this “note” (Handbillet-Augusti) found its way among the Catholic Epistles, should not occasion any difficulty. Just as well as the third Epistle to Caius; it is no more unworthy of the Canon than St. Paul’s Epistle to Philemon; the individual, also a woman, is worthy of due regard and consideration; I confine myself to making mention of Priscilla (Acts 18:2, sq.; 26, sq.; Rom. 16:3, sq.).—It is far more hazardous to understand κυρία to signify the Christian Church in general, or some particular congregation; the former is recommended by Jerome, the latter by the Scholiast I.; they are followed by Calov, Hofmann (Weissagung und Erfüllung II., p. 321; Schriftbeweis, I., p. 226, sq.), Hilgenfeld, Huther and al. Serrarius guessed Corinth, Whiston argued for Philadelphia, Whit by for Jerusalem, the mother of all Churches, and Augusti for Jerusalem, because founded by the Lord Himself, though such a “note” would certainly be less suited to a Church than to an individual church-member. Hammond has the curious notion that κυρία is=curia, ecclesia, and Michælis, that it designates the Church assembled on the Lord’s day. But wholly unfounded, and devoid of all possibility of proof is the hypothesis of Besser and al., that κυρία is the ἐκκλησία to which 3 Jno. 9, was written, and that the 2d Epistle of John is the one there referred to. Hofmann adverts to the Church being called νύμφη and γυνή in the Apocalypse, to שׁוּלַמּית and שְׁלֹמֹח and to ἡ ἐν Βαβυλῶνι συνεκλεκτή (1 Pet. 5:13). Huther also rightly observes in opposition to Ebrard, that the Church, which in respect of Christ is an obedient handmaid, may be considered both in her subordinate relation to Christ and in her superior relation to individual members, and as such be described as κυρία by the side of κύριος; but that 2John 1:12 requires us to understand a single congregation and not “all orthodox Christendom” (Hilgenfeld), and that our Epistle is not an Encyclical. But in that case the address ought to have given the name of that congregation. Nor would ἐκλεκτή exactly suit κυρία=ἐκκλησία for ἡ ἐν Βαβυλῶνι συνεκλεκτὴ is somewhat different, and, in juxtaposition with and as distinguished from ὁ Μάρκος, can hardly designate the Church in that place (see Fronmüller on 1 Pet. 5:13, in this Commentary). The relation indicated at Gal. 4:26: ἥτις ἐστὶν μήτηρ ἡμῶν, can hardly have been applied here to a single congregation, so that it might be called κυρία. After all that has been said, the choice lies between κυρία as a nomen proprium, or κυρία=lady. [Among recent English commentators, Alford takes the former view, while Wordsworth elaborates the interpretation, according to which κυρία is a Church.—M.].
And her children (τοῖς τέκνοις) should be taken literally; a family is always an important circle of men! But if κυρία is construed as a Church, the children designate Church-members.
Further particulars. 2John 1:1, 2.
Whom I love in truth.—Οὓς after τέκνα imports sons, but does not exclude daughters, the κυρία had sons and daughters, but more sons than daughters; hence it would have been improper to say τοῖς υἱοῖς, as Huther maintains, who, if κυρία designates a Church, refers to Gal. 4:9 (τεκνία μου—οὓς), Matth. 28:19 (τὰ ἔθνη—αὐτούς), passages which fully justify the given explanation, and prove that τέκνα need not be sons only (de Wette and al.); nor does οὒς refer to κυρία and her children (Beza, Bengel, Sander [al.]). Ἐγώ emphatically asserts the Apostle’s personal relations to that family-congregation; that which makes that family-congregation the object of the Apostle’s love and of that of all believers, implies the reason of this Epistle and its importance. Though ἐν ἀληθεία along with ἀγαπῶ should be construed adverbially, yet it signifies more than: “in sincerity,” for it denotes also Christian love. Bengel: “Amor non modo verus amor, sed veritate evangelica nititur.” Lücke: “It designates genuine Christian love.” Ebrard: “I love thee with that love which is love in truth,” cf. 1. Jno. 3:18, 19. The additional clause has respect to objective truth (Düsterdieck, Huther 2d ed.).
And not I only, but also all who have known the truth.—Bengel pointedly observes: “communio sanctorum.” He assumes in his own case, as well as in the ἀγαπᾷν ἐν ἀληθείᾳ, the ἐγνωκέναι τὴν ἀλήθειαν. The term πάντες must not be restricted to Ephesus and its environs, the supposed place of writing (Grotius, de Wette and al.), but only to those who were acquainted with the κυρία and her children (Lücke), yet so that those, who afterwards might get acquainted with her, are included. The restriction lies not in the word itself, but in the situation (Ebrard). It is not necessary to think here of only one Church (Huther).—The reason of this love is stated in
2JOHN 1:2. For the truth’s sake, which abideth in us.—Ἡμῖν designates the persons loving and beloved, (Huther); it must not be altogether construed in a general sense or applied, as if by implication, to the persons specified in 2John 1:1 (Bede, Düsterdieck and al.). This is also the ground of the definition of ἀγαπᾷν ἐν ἀληθείᾳ and of believers as οἱ ἐγνωκότες τὴν ἀλήθειαν (2John 1:1), not as Huther maintains, in πλάνοι (2John 1:7). The common life-sphere is just ἡ ἀλήθεια, and moreover not only that which is objectively sure, but also that which subjectively is securely kept. In order to note the former point, the Apostle adds:
And shall be with us forever.—The reason why the Participle, instead of being followed by a further participial sentence, is here followed by the Verb. finit., is the writer’s intention to give greater prominence to this thought. Winer, p. 600. The Future is not the expression of a wish, as Grotius, Lücke, Ebrard and others suppose, but the confident assertion of certain duration. Hence εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα must not be restricted to the duration of the life of the persons interested (Benson and others). Μεθ’ ἡμῶν denotes the objectivity of Divine truth as well as our subjectively developed activity. Cf. Jno 14:16; 1 Jno. 2:20, 27; especially Matth. 28:20. Hence ἐν and μετὰ, must not be taken as substantially equivalent (Winer, p. 430), since ἐν notes the subjective side, and μετὰ also the objective side.
The greeting. 2John 1:3. There shall be with you.—Singular, and proof that we have not to deal here with the imitation of a forger; who would have adhered to usual and current forms of expression, like the addition ἐν ἀληθείᾳ καὶ ἀγάπῃ, here Future; it is qualified by the preceding words with which it is connected. It is not=ἔστω, but votum cum affirmatione (Bengel); the certainty of the expectation excels the wish of the greeting.
Grace, mercy, peace.—1. Tim. 1:2; 2 Tim. 1:2 have also χάρις, ἔλεος, εἰρήνη.—Χάρις is free grace, which, without any merit on the part of man, lovingly condescends to men and denotes the thoughts of peace in the paternal heart of God, the mind of Him who is Love (Rom. 3:24; Eph. 2:4–10); ἔλεος describes the mercy which energetically lays hold of, and enters into the misery of man (Luke 10:30–37), and denotes the act of love; εἰρήνη is the gift of love, the effect of χάρις and ἔλεος. [Trench, Synonyms of the New Testament, p. 225: “Χάρις has reference to the sins of men, ἔλεος to their misery. God’s χάρις, His free grace and gift, is extended to men, as they are guilty, His ἔλεος is extended to them, as they are miserable. The lower creation may be, and is, the object of God’s ἔλεος, inasmuch as the burden of man’s curse has redounded also upon it (Job. 38:41; Ps. 147:9; Jonah 4:11), but of His χάρις man alone he only needs, he only is capable of receiving it. In the Divine mind, and in the order of our salvation as conceived therein, the ἔλεος precedes the χάρις. God so loved the world with a pitying love (herein was the ἔλεος) that He gave His only-begotten Son (herein the χάρις) that the world through Him might be saved: cf. Eph. 2:14; Luke 1:78, 79. But in the order of the manifestation of God’s purposes of salvation the grace must go before the mercy, the χάρις must make way for the ἔλεος. It is true, that the same persons are the subjects of both, being at once the guilty and the miserable, yet the righteousness of God, which it is just as necessary should be maintained as His Love, demands that the guilt should be done away, before the misery can be assuaged; only the forgiven can, or indeed may, be made happy; whom He has pardoned, He heals; men are justified before they are sanctified. Thus in each of the Apostolic salutations it is first χάρις and then ἐλεος, which the Apostle desires for the faithful (Rom. 1:7; 1 Cor. 1:3; 2 Cor. 1:2; Gal. 1:3; Eph. 1 2; Phil. 1:2, etc.); nor could the order of the words be reversed.”—M.].—This might be wanting soonest, since the χάρις of the Almighty, of course, cannot remain idle; see Tit. 1:4; Rom. 1:7; 1 Cor. 1:3; 2 Cor. 1:2; Gal. 1:3; Eph. 1:2; Phil. 1:2; Col. 1:2; 1 Thess. 1:1; 2 Thess. 1:2. But it is just χάρις which is omitted in Jude 2 (ἔλεος ὕμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη καὶ ἀγάπη πληθυνθείη), since these two, with respect to εἰρήνη, belong together. But the order is established. Bengel observes very well: “GRATIA tollit culpam, MISERICORDIA miseriam, PAX dicit permansionem in gratia est misericordia.” [Alford: “Εἰρήνη is the whole sum and substance of the possession and enjoyment of God’s grace and mercy; cf. Luke 2:14; Rom. 5:1; 10:15; Jno. 14:27; 16:33.”—M.].
From God the Father, and from Jesus Christ the Son of the Father.—The employment of παρὰ instead of the ἀπὸ commonly used in the Pauline writings, points to the independence of our author; and so does the circumstance that the pronoun ἡμῶν is omitted after πατρός. Thus, in this connection, God is to be taken primarily as the Father of Jesus Christ, especially since the words τοῦ υἱοῦ τοῦ πατρός are annexed, and the Sonship is rendered peculiarly prominent, also since the preposition παρὰ is repeated, as denoting the Divine nature and character of the object desired by the Apostle, whereas ἀπὸ denotes only their procession from God; παρὰ designates them as the gifts of God, ἀπὸ as Divine gifts. Cf. Winer, 382 sq. Note should also be taken here of the independence of the Son by the side of the Father, as importing their equality.
In truth and love.—Also a peculiar addition; it belongs to ἔσται μεθ’ ὑμῶν, the preposition ἐν denoting the two life-elements (Huther) of believers, in which the Divine exhibitions of grace, mercy and peace have to be received and enjoyed (Düsterdieck); these words contain also a reference to the contents of the Epistle (Bengel, Ebrard). Hence it is wrong to join ἐν ἀληθείᾳ καὶ ἀγάπῃ with τοῦ υἱοῦ τοῦ πατρὸς, as if it were=filio verissimo et dilectissimo (Barth. Petrus), or to explain ut perseveretis vel ut crescatis (a Lapide), or like Grotius: per cognitionem veri et dilectionem mutuam, nam per haec in nos Dei beneficia provocamus, conservamus, augemus; for ἐν is not=per, and our conduct is not the reason of the χάρις etc. (Huther).
DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL
1. God is primarily the Father of Jesus Christ, and Christ the Son of God, and it is not until we are in Christ, that he is our Father, and we are His children.
2. By the side of the Personality of the Father the Personality of the Son is a fundamental view.
3. The grace of God is the ground of our peace.
4. Our peace is the end and aim of the Divine grace and mercy.
5. All true love rests upon the truth of revelation.
6. Love with its all-embracing power is coextensive with truth.
HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL
Love is truth, and truth is love!—Truth and love are the fundamental elements of the Christian life. Peace is really nothing but the health of the soul.
STARKE: In Christ there is neither male nor female.—Caution is needed, not to call any man elect, of whose true and firm faith we are not sufficiently convinced.—The abuse of titles should be abolished; but their right use should be preserved; honour to whom honour is due!—What! each and every person are not to be allowed to read the Holy Scriptures? and yet the Holy Spirit caused a special Epistle to be written to a pious matron and her children!—Preachers ought to pasture sheep and lambs, to teach great and small, in various ways, the ways of the Lord.—It is a rare example to meet a whole family of pious people.—A hireling loves the sheep for the sake of their fleece; but a true shepherd only for the truth’s sake, because of God and with self-denial.—Truth is beautiful as such; but it is unprofitable, if it is not, and does not remain, in us.—Truth holds out longest.—Truth is founded on God, it has consequently an eternal root and will never perish. The greeting of Christians is a part of prayer.—None does truly receive peace, unless he have received the grace of God; hence that peace, which is not the daughter of grace, is the offspring of corrupt nature, and a carnal security.—God deems none worthy of peace or grace, who do not deem themselves unworthy of either or both, well knowing, that in virtue of his greatest misery he does not merit any thing, but that he stands in need of mercy.—The grace of God is not with us, unless it be also in us, and be worthily received by us.
HEUBNER: Love towards a Christian presupposes the knowledge of the truth, and the love of it. But Christ is the truth. For the truth’s sake the shepherd should love his flock.—All greetings ought to have a Christian foundation.
BESSER: Every pastor is a successor to the office of the Apostles, and according to the Divine right, there is no difference between bishops, and pastors, and parsons. [On this point I beg leave to differ with the Author, although this is not the place to discuss so important a question.—M.]. Grace, which removes our guilt, mercy, which delivers us from misery, peace, into which grace and mercy translate us.
2John 1:1. [German: “Whom I love in truth.” So Alford, Lillie.—M.].
2John 1:1. B. Cod. Sin.: καὶοὐκἐγὼ; A.; οὐκἐγὼδὲ; G: καὶοὐκἐγὼδὲ. [The reading of A. may have arisen from a desire to mark the antithesis more strongly.—M.]
2John 1:2. μένουσαν is the reading of B. Sin. and most and the best codd. A. reads ἐνοικοῦσαν, but is evidently an interpretation. [German: “which abideth in us.”—M.]
2John 1:3. [German: “There shall be with you.”—M.]
2John 1:3. A. omits ἔσταιμεθ’ ὑμῶν—evidently by a mistake, occasioned by the conclusion of 5:2. B. G. Sin. read ἡμῶν which is also occasioned by 5:2.
2John 1:3. G. K. Sin. insert before Ἰησοῦ the word κυρίου; this addition, as well as the exchange of the preposition παρὰ for ἀπὸ are probably transcribed from the beginnings of the Pauline Epistles.
I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father.2. Exhortation to walk in truth and love
4I rejoiced greatly that I found7 of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father.8 5And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote9 a new commandment unto thee, but that which10 we had from the beginning, that we love one another. 6And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment,11 That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.12 7For many deceivers are entered13 into the world; who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.14 This is a deceiver and an antichrist.15 8Look to yourselves, that we lose16 not those things which we have wrought,10 but that 9we receive a full reward.10 Whosoever transgresseth,17 and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine18 of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.19 10If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, 11receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:20 For21 he that biddeth him22 God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.23
EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL
2JOHN 1:4. Joy in [the lady’s children—M.] walking in the truth. I rejoiced greatly.—The Aorist ἐχάρην answers to the Perfect εὕρηκα and notes the time, when he did make the discovery, hence it is not=I rejoice (Luther). The Pauline Epistles begin with similar expressions of joy in the Christian standing of Churches; we have here, however, not an imitation but only the expression of the same Christian mode of viewing things. Cf. Rom. 1:8 sqq.; 1 Cor. 1:4 sqq.; 2 Cor. 1:3 sqq.; Eph. 1:3 sqq.; Phil. 1:3 sqq.; Col. 1:3 sqq.—
That I have found of thy children walking in truth.—The first reference here is to ἐν ἀληθείᾳ 2John 1:3. [Alford: “not only in honesty and uprightness, but in that truth which is derived from and is part of the truth of God in Christ.”—M.].—Ἐκ τῶν τεκνῶν σου is not=τὰ σέκνα σου, but should be taken in a partitive sense, though there is no need of supplying τίνας (Beza), as in 1 Jno. 4:13; Jno. 16:17; Matth. 23:34. The omission of the Article before περιπατοῦντας does not import that her other children did not walk ἐν ἀληθείᾳ. Ebrard’s remark—“It is a delicate way, how the presbyter conceals the censure he has to express in a mere limitation of praise”—is overfine, for it cannot be maintained that the same praise of walking in truth could not be accorded to all. Εὕρηκα simply states that the Apostle had found them, but there is here no intimation how he found them, whether accidentally, or in consequence of inquiries to that effect. But περιπατοῦντας denotes sons, whom the Apostle was more likely to encounter on his missionary journeys than daughters; hence the reference seems to be rather to an accidental meeting. Lücke, not without some ground (2John 1:12), thinks that he met the children without their mother, elsewhere than in the family. Bengel: Hosea liberos in domo materteræ eorum invenerat Johannes, 2John 1:13. But this uncertainty does not favour, as Huther thinks, the hypothesis of a Church, but [rather] that of a lady.—On περιπατεῖν ἐν ἀληθείᾳ, denoting not only the Christian state, but true, vital Christianity, see 1 Jno. 1:6, 7; 2:6; cf. 3 Jno. 3, 4; Jno. 8:12.—
According as we received commandment from the Father.—The clause introduced by καθώς expressly refers to objective Divine truth, as the ground of Christian walking. Ebrard falsely understands καθώς in the sense of “even as we,” and turns the thought “even as we have (indeed) a command from the Father (that we should walk in the truth).” But the clause in question should not be taken argumentatively, but as an apposition and explanation. Ἐντολὴν does not refer to the commandment of brotherly love (Lücke), but denotes the περιπατεῖν ἐν ἀληθείᾳ taken as ἐντολή (de Wette, Huther, Düsterdieck).—On παρὰ τοῦ πατρός see 2John 1:3. The interpretation of Oecumenius that Christ is here referred to as the Father of believers cannot be upheld by Is. 8:18; Hebr. 2:13. But the mediation of Christ is to be supplied [Huther—M.].
Reference to ἐν ἀγάπῃ (2John 1:3). 2John 1:5, 6.
2JOHN 1:5. And now I beseech thee, lady.—Καὶ νῦν as in 1 Jno. 2:28. The connection is not temporal but logical, and moreover with the whole of 2John 1:4, not with the subordinate clause beginning with καθὼς only (as Düsterdieck thinks); nor does it belong to ἐρωτῶ in order to mark the point of time. On ἐρωτῶ Schlichting says: “blandior quædam admonendi ratio;” Düsterdieck calls it an entreaty with a reference to the inviolable authority of the Divine law of love. Hence the Apostle adds:
Not as writing to thee a new commandment, but that which we had from the beginning.—Cf. 1 Jno. 2:7: that we should love one another.—Ἵνα ἀγαπῶμεν ἀλλήλους, as the object of ἐρωτῶ, indicates its end and aim. Hence it does not describe or specify the substance of ἐντολή (Baumgarten-Crusius).
2JOHN 1:6. And this is love, that we should walk according to His commandments.—Ἀγάπη is left undefined and nothing is said beyond its being exhibited in our walking according to the commandments of God; so that the reference is neither to love to the brethren (Benson), nor to love to God (Grotius, Carpzov., and al.), but to love in general, as in 1 Jno. 4:7, 16 sqq.—This is the view of most and the best commentators. The end of all the commandments of God regulating the conduct of men, is love; hence ἵνα, as at 1 Jno. 5:3. Hence also κατὰ τὰς ἐντολὰς αὐτοῦ, is here followed by ἐντολή in the Singular, as denoting their unity.
The commandment is this,—cf. 1 Jno. 3:22, 23; it is further described as to its contents.
As ye heard from the beginning, as in 2John 1:5. It is not a secondary aim of the commandment, as such (de Wette, Lücke).
That ye should walk in it.—Ἵνα denotes the aim and scope; ἐν αὐτῇ refers to ἀγάπῃ which should be supplied; for ἐν ἐντολῇ περιπατεῖν does not occur, and would be an intolerable tautology (against Sander). Thus the Apostle describes the identity of love, especially of brotherly love, and of obedience to God; both stand and fall together.
Description of the false teachers: 2John 1:7.
For many deceivers.—Ὅτι grounds the reason of this exhortation to brotherly love on the Apostle’s fear of its being marred by the influence of false teachers (Huther). But ὅτι is not governed by ἐρωτῶ σε (Lücke, Ewald), nor should there be mentally repeated ἐρωτῶ σε (de Wette), nor should any thought be supplied, e.g. “seeing that ye have the true Christianity, I have to warn you, for” (Heumann), or “hoc non temere dixi, nam” (Beza); nor does ὅι introduce a protasis, followed by 2John 1:8 as apodosis (Grotius, Carpzov), wholly unlike the Johannean diction. Bengel’s remark also is wrong: “ratio cur jubeat retinere audita a principio.” The love required (2John 1:5, 6) rests on the truth (2John 1:7), and the ἐντολή (2John 1:6) embraces also the truth (2John 1:7, Düsterdieck). Cf. 2John 1:1–3, and 1 Jno. 3:23, 16. The false teachers are called πλάνοι on account of their influence and effect on belie2John 1:1 Jno. 2:26; 1 Tim. 4:1.
Went out into the world.—1 Jno. 2:19; 4:1; Who do not confess Jesus Christ coming in flesh.—Οἱ μὴ ὁμολογοῦντες denotes that whereby, or how these are πλάνοι. Winer, p. 146. But Winer (p. 405) errs in assuming a genus on account of μή: all those who do not confess, quicunque non profitentur. If we had οὐχ it would be equal to: οἱ ἀρνούμενοι. But the reference here is not to simple, open denial, but to a contradicting, which by various turnings and twistings, evades and endangers the definite confession. Cf. 1 Jno. 4:2, 3. Ἐρχόμενον ἐν σαρκί is different both from ἐληλυθότα (1 Jno. 4:2), and from ὁ ἐλθών (1 Jno. 5:6). The Present denotes the thought per se “without any reference to time” 1 Cor. 15:35 (Düsterdieck), “separate from all consideration of time” (Huther); so also Lücke, de Wette, Sander and al.—This may intimate that the false teachers denied the possibility of the Incarnation (Lücke). Bengel [qui veniebat) is beside the mark, for 3 Jno. 3, where the Participle Imperfect is clearly indicated by ἐχάρην, is not apposite here; and so is Oecumenius, who per enallagen temporis suggests the second advent of Christ.
This is the deceiver and the antichrist.—Οὖτος refers to οἱ μὴ ὁμολογοῦντες, and expresses plurality (πολλοὶ πλάνοι) in unity: ἐστιν ὁ πλάνος; it is a transition from the Plural to the distributive Singular; Winer, pp. 186, 654. The words καὶ ὁ ἀντίχριστος give prominence to a further characteristic of πλάνος (Huther); we must not say, however, that the πλάνος is in reality only in the many that have the πνεῦμα πλάνης (Lücke, Huther); but he is personally behind the many, who are his forerunners. Cf. 1 Jno. 2:18, 22.
Warning against the false teachers, 2John 1:8, 9.
2JOHN 1:8. Look to yourselves, βλέπετε ἑαυτούς. They are to consider what would be the loss entailed upon themselves by being deceived, viz., the loss of fellowship with the Father and the Son, the loss of truth and love. Bengel’s explanatory clauses “me absente” would be in point, if we had here: βλέπετε ὑμεῖς ἑαυτούς, as in Mark 13:9. Moreover they themselves had to look to themselves, even though the Apostles were present.
That ye do not lose.—Ἵνα μή denotes the end and aim of their precaution. Matth. 12:16; 26:5; Luke 18:5; John 7:23; 1 Cor. 16:10. The object is to avoid a loss, even a loss on the part of the readers. But of what?
What things we have wrought.—The Apostles of Jesus Christ had done, wrought and accomplished something by their labours and preaching, even a possession of truth and love with their fruits (ἃ εἰργασάμεθα), which possession will be lost, if they give ear to false teachers (Düsterdieck, Huther). This a bold self-testimony (1 Jno. 1:3; 4:6). It is unnecessary to add ἐν ὑμῖν, as Lücke thinks, for the context supplies it. The first person does not require us to understand that the Apostle must have converted the children of the κυρία; he only includes himself in the number of the Apostles and genuine witnesses of Christ, whom he opposes to the recipients of their preaching, without determining through whose instrumentality the children of the κυρία were converted; but the teachers and their hearers are not taken together.
But that ye receive full reward.—Μισθός denotes the blessing of truth and love in one’s own heart, in life with its joys and sorrows, and in eternity; μισθὸν πλήρη is the full reward, uncurtailed, as it falls to the lot of perfect fidelity (Huther, Düsterdieck); it is not=πολὺν (Carpzov), nor is it said that they had only received it in part, and that they were to receive it fully in eternity (Grotius, Ebrard), for this fulness is relative; there is even here on earth a full reward, a full peace, a full παῤῥησία, etc., in conformity to the relations of this present time. But Bengel rightly observes: “nulla merces dimidia est, aut tota amittitur, aut plena accipitur,” but his next remark is irrelevant, viz., “consideranda diversitas graduum in gloria;” for the blessed have their full reward on the lowest grade. But ἀπολάβητε designates the receiving as a gift, a present (Col. 3:24; Gal. 4:2; Luke 16:25). Taking all the verbs in the first person, weakens the thought as much as taking them all in the second person (see Apparatus Crit. Note 10); in the former case the teachers and hearers are taken together, in the latter the teachers are wholly excluded, and the delicate touches, the Apostle’s right of warning them, and the weight of the Apostolical warning are all lost.
2JOHN 1:9. Every one that progresseth and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ.—This describes him who does not receive the full reward, of whom they are warned, whereby they lose the reward. Ὁ προάγων and μὴ μένων designate the same persons, positively and negatively. Προάγειν denotes a progression, a going before, which in the opinion of the προάγων is the reaching of a higher degree of knowledge, a decided progress, but in reality is a departure from the truth, ἐν διδαχῇ τοῦ χριστοῦ, a going beyond the limits of Christian doctrine. Huther errs in seeing here an ironical allusion (Düsterdieck); it is a bitter truth of the actual fact. On προάγειν cf. Matth. 21:9; 1 Tim. 1:18; 5:24. On the characteristics of those who know and learn without knowledge, see 2 Tim. 3:7. The lectio rec. παραβαίνων, passing by, τὴν διδαχήν (according to Matth. 15:3), or ἐκ τῆς διδαχῆς (Acts 1:25), and the exposition: “ἀπάγων ἑαυτόν” (Oecumenius), are clearly untenable; and in the variation of the Vulgate recedit instead of præcedit, it is more probable that the former arose from the latter, than that the latter arose from the former. St. Paul also insists upon the μένειν, 2 Tim. 3:14; 1:13; Tit. 1:9.—Ἡ διδαχὴ τοῦ χριστοῦ signifies that Paul calls the ὑγιαίνοντες λόγοι (2 Tim. 1:13); the Genitive is subjective (Düsterdieck, Huther al.). Agreeably to constant usage (Matth. 7:28; 16:12; 22:33; Mark 1:22; 4:2; 12:38; Acts 2:42; 5:28), it cannot be the Genitive of the object (Bengel, Lücke, Sander, al.). Cf. Jno. 8:31: μείνητε ἐν τῷ λόγῳ τῷ ἐμῷ. It is the doctrine which Christ Himself brought and taught and caused to be propagated by His Apostles. But, of course, the principal part of its contents, is Christology.
Hath not God.—cf. 1 Jno. 2:23; 5:12.—Truth, life and God are inseparable.
He that abideth in the doctrine hath both the Father and the Son.—The same thought, not only repeated positively, but completed by the addition of καὶ τὸν υἱὸν, as in 1 Jno. 2:23. [Alford: “The order in the text is the theological one, the Father being mentioned first, then the Son. That in A. etc. is the logical and contextual one, seeing that the test is, abiding in the doctrine of Christ. Thus he has Christ, and through Him, the Father: which of the two is original, it is impossible to decide.”—M.].
Warning against fellowship with the false teachers. 2John 1:10, 11.
2JOHN 1:10. If any cometh to you.—Εἴ τις ἔρχεται shows that the case supposed actually existed. Winer, p. 307. Ἐὰν with the subjunctive denotes a possibility. There is hence no occasion for surprise, as if this were unjohannean (de Wette, Ebrard), since it cannot be unjohannean to suppose a case as actually existing. Πρὸς ὑμᾶς, as in 2 Tim. 3:6, refers to the forwardness of the false teachers and their calculating on the greater receptivity and mouldableness of women.
And bringeth not this doctrine.—Καὶ adds the capacity and character in which such persons come, not as soliciting aid, as necessitous persons, but as false teachers (Bengel: quasi doctor aut frater). The use of οὐ φέρει, instead of μή, also shows that the case mentioned is actually true, and imports the simple denial of φέρειν. Similar is φέρειν κατηγορίαν, Jno. 18:29 (Acts 25:7). It is unnecessary to supply here that the contrary doctrine is brought (de Lyra), and that the true doctrine is disputed (Tirinus); this is self-evident from 1 John 4:2, 3. Ταύτην τὴν διδαχήν is τὴν διδαχὴν τοῦ χριστοῦ. Non de iis, qui alieni semper fuerunt ab ecclesia (1 Cor. 5:10), sed de iis qui volunt fratres haberi et doctrinam evertunt (Grotius).
Receive him not into (your) house.—On the above supposition the point in question is not an act of φιλοξενία (Heb. 13:2; Rom. 12:13); for the reference is not to the necessitous. The injunction simply bears upon the false teachers not being received into the house (αὐτὸν εἰς οἰκίαν λαμβάνειν), on account of the danger per se.
And do not bid him welcome, which was unavoidable if they were received into the house; the two circumstances should be taken together; for while the former would be dangerous, the latter would be untrue; χαίρειν, joy, good speed, prosperity, cannot be said to the false teacher; only to ὁμοτρόποις and ὁμοπίστοις is due the Christian, fraternal greeting, in its deeper import (Oecumenius, Calov, Bengel, Lücke, de Wette, Huther, Düsterdieck and al). This χαίρειν μὴ λέγετε must therefore not be limited to the salutatio as a conventional form of politeness (Clemens Alex.), or as an expression of friendship (Grotius), or be taken quite generally: velut hic Joannes omne colloquium, omne consortium, omne commercium cum hæreticis (a Lapide), or applied to excommunication (Vitringa, de syn. vet. p. 759); nor must it be referred to the κρίσις which was necessary only at that time (Lücke), nor must it be construed, according to the now prevailing loftier view that man, all his errors notwithstanding, remains man and an object of esteem and love, as an act of intolerance which may have been justifiable at that time (de Wette), or be charged to the fiery temperament of the Apostle, according to the notices contained in Luke 9:54 and Euseb. Hist. Eccl. 3: 28; 4: 14. The reference is simply to the cultivation of personal acquaintance and fraternal intercourse with the false teachers; this is, and continues to be, forbidden; brotherly love in its depth, truth and blessedness has its limits. Hofmann, Schriftbeweis II. 2, p. 339.
2JOHN 1:11. For he that biddeth him welcome, partaketh in his deeds, the evil ones.—Γὰρ gives the reason of the injunction: in the words ὁ λέγων αὐτῷ χαίρειν the Apostle gives prominence to the one point which is closely connected with the other: αὐτὸν εἰς οἰκίαν λαμβάνειν. The clause κοινωνεῖ τοῖς ἔργοις αὐτοῦ shows that we have here not simply an outward conventional form of politeness, but an “inward relation of communion” (Huther), which is fostered. The ἔργα τὰ πονηρά are primarily acts of communicating false doctrine, but secondarily also the whole ethical conduct connected with it, which injures God, Christ, the Church, the truth, individual communities, believers and their souls.
DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL
1. The knowledge of the truth from God is acquired in the way of obedience to the will of God (2John 1:4).
2. The law of God should only be viewed as the revelation of His love, and as it originates in love, so it impels to love (2John 1:5, 6).
3. The acme and ground of all error is the denial of the Incarnation of Christ (2John 1:7). He that breaks with Christ come in the flesh and as the Son of man ever the Coming One, breaks brotherhood with believers and forces them to break brotherhood with him. Besser truly says: “The doctrine of Christ is through and through from Christ. ‘It is I,’ is the fundamental theme of the Gospel, preached by Himself and the holy Apostles, from beginning to end.” Believing Catholics, Lutherans, Reformed, United, are brethren and remain brethren, because they are living Christians, the children of God and coheirs with Christ. But he ought hardly to have used this passage for the purpose of warning against the union nor to have said: “Yes, people reverse the meaning of John and are perchance afraid to hold private intercourse with manifest blasphemers and revilers of the Divine truth, perhaps to take coffee with them, but—alas! our table has become more holy to us than God’s table.” For these things occur, inside the same communion, every where and at all times, if instead of putting blasphemers, he had said: hypocrites or adulterers.
4. False teachers corrupt not only the christological truth, but also the work of the Church and the salvation of individual church-members (2John 1:7, 8).
5. The promised reward is not a merit of good works, but a consequence of Divine appointment, and a communicated gift (2John 1:8).
6. True progress is only possible in the maintenance and on the foundation of Christian truth (2John 1:9). For men come short not so much in the desire to be furthered, as in the judgment as to what constitutes true progress, and what is the true mode of progressing. A striving forward with a good conscience will always be a diligent and faithful road-maker bridging over the chasm between himself and signal successes, by the most faithful and scrupulous discharge of duty.
7. In the converse among Christians love must not be practised at the expense of truth and truthfulness (2John 1:10, 11), nor must the truth be spoken at the expense of love!
HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL
Compare Doctrinal and Ethical.
STARKE:—Preachers should rejoice most when they see that young children are well trained, grow in grace and make the beginning of their wisdom in the fear of the Lord.—Christians have also their joy in the world, though not of the world.—Godly children are their parents’ joy, the ornament of the Church and the joy of all godly people. Young plants of righteousness look more beautiful in the garden of the Lord, than old trees on the point of decaying.—Truth is not only to be investigated and meditated upon, but it must be practised, and men should walk in it.—A preacher should not always use severity and earnestness, but also lenity and gentleness, not command but entreat his people to become godly.—Whenever thou lackest the mind to follow, thou art wont to cry: it is a novelty! Thou utterest a falsehood! Hear what St. John says: To love, which contains all the commandments, has been from the beginning.—Christianity needs no new commandments, but it requires the constantly renewed inculcation of the old commandments.—It is not enough that the truth be preached, falsehood must also be denounced. The heresies, persecutions and abuses in the Church of God must not cause us to waver, and doubt the truth of the Christian religion, but rather strengthen and confirm us while we are exposed to their danger.—Alas, by nature we all have an antichristian mind and antichrist in our hearts; he who does not know and expel him, will nevermore know or avoid the outward antichrist.—Ye that are wise overmuch and are anxious about unnecessary things, ye that judge and censure every thing, hear what St. John says: “Look to yourselves.”—Delightful reward of faithful ministers, if they see in their hearers the fruit of their labour arranged according to the mind of Christ.—The less regard a minister pays to the temporal reward in his office, the more is he faithful, and the greater will be the reward which he shall receive from Christ, the Great Shepherd.—What can a man lack who has God, and what can a man possess who has not God? If none may receive into their houses wicked and false teachers, how much the more ought they not to be introduced into the sheepfold of Christ, which would be like taking wolves among sheep! It is injurious to have fellowship with false people, but still more injurious to open to them the door of our heart; where the first is done, the latter is wont not to be wanting.—Who enters into a pest-house? Do we not flee a bedfellow affected with a venomous disease? Why not likewise a deceiver, a servant of Satan? The opposite takes place in the world: be friendly to everybody except to Christ in His members!—The greetings of Christians should not be merely conventional, but spring from the ground of truth and love.—A Christian should be on his guard not only against his own sins, but also against those of others, of which he may easily and in various ways become partaker.
HEUBNER:—The children of the same family are not always of one mind; a godly mother may have unbelieving children.—Christian mothers, Christian families are a blessing to the world.—Those also who run already in the Christian course need stirring up.—A Christian’s treasure is liable to be lost as long as he continues to live among deceivers and enemies; hence the necessity of foresight, courage and fidelity of vigilance over himself and in respect of temptation: the more precious the treasure, the more carefully should it be guarded. It is slowly acquired, but may be lost at once. The number of those who once had grace and then lost it, will one day appear very great.—John teaches us what we should ask of every one that comes to us, to wit: do you bring Christ with you or not? Reception was denied to a false teacher, because it would have been a token of brotherly acknowledgment; but this was so much the more to be denied, because such reception took place in the name of the Church, and hence would have been a declaration that the whole Church did receive him as a brother. But on that account we need not in a case of emergency deny to such an one our bounden private love.—Love should never be prejudicial to the confession of our faith. Love at the expense of faith, to its injury or with its denial is no love. This commandment was falsely applied in the case of John a Lasco, who having been expelled from England in the reign of Mary, A. D., 1553, was denied reception in Denmark, both he and his congregation (Salig, Hist. Conf. Aug. II., 1090).
BESSER:—It is an idle speech that Christians and antichristians have one and the same God. “We are believers in one God” is sung in truth by those only who continue: “We also believe in Jesus Christ, His Son and our Lord.”
2John 1:4. [German: “That I have found.” So Alford, Lillie.—M.]
2John 1:4. Instead of ἐλάβομεν Cod. Sin. reads, ἔλαβον, evidently a writing error; A. and others have ἀπὸ, instead of παρὰ; B. omits τοῦ.
2John 1:5. A. B. G. K. Sin. γράφων; elsewhere γράφω. The arrangement of A. Sin. is: ἐντολὴνκαινὴνγράφων that of B., al.: ἐντολὴν γράφων σοικαινήν; Might the former have been corrected from 1 Jno. 2:7? [German: “Not as if I write,” better “not as writing,” Alford, Lillie.—M.]
2John 1:5. Cod. Sin. Inserts ἐντολὴν before ἥν.
2John 1:6. G. Cod. Sin.: αὕτηἐστινἡἐντολή; B. D.K, αὕτηἡἐντολήἐστιν.
[German: “As ye heard from the beginning, that ye should walk in it.” So Lillie and Alford, who supplies however “even” before “as ye heard, etc.”—M.]
2John 1:7. B. Sin. ἐξῆλθον; A. ἐξῆλθαν; G. K. εἰσῆλθον. [German: “went out,” Alford: “went forth.”—M.]
2John 1:7. [German: “who did not confess Jesus Christ, who cometh in the flesh;” “who confess not Jesus Christ coming in (the) flesh” (Alford), so Lillie, who omits the definite Article before flesh.—M.]
2John 1:7. [German: “This is the deceiver and the antichrist.” So Alford, Lillie.—M.]
 2John 1:8. G. K.: ἀπολέσωμεν—εἰργασάμεθα—ἀπολάβωμεν; Cod. Sin.: ἀπολῆσθε (with the correction: ἀπολέσητε—εἰργάσασθαι(ε)—ἀπολάβητε; thus also A.; but B.: ἀπολέσητε—εἰργασάμεθα—ἀπολάβητε; this is decidedly preferable as the lectio difficilior and mater lectionum. Bengel, on very slender grounds, recommends: ἀπολέσητε, εἰργάσασθε—ἀπολάβωμεν.
[German: “Look to yourselves, that ye do not lose, what things we have wrought, but that ye receive full reward.”—Alford: “… that ye lose not the things which we wrought but receive reward in full.”—Lillie: “… but receive a full reward.”—M.]
 2John 1:9. A. B. Cod. Sin.: προάγων; G. K.: παραβαίνων. The former reading is supported by the versions with the variations: præcedit, procedit.
[German: “Every one that progresseth;” Alford: “goeth before you.”…—M.]
 2John 1:9. A. B. Cod. Sin. omit τοῦΧριστοῦ, which are perhaps repeated from the former half of the verse
[German: “He that abideth in the doctrine;” so Alford.—M.]
2John 1:9. B. Cod. Sin.: καὶτὸνπατέρακαὶτὸνυἱὸν; A.: καὶτὸνυἱὸνκαὶτὸνπατέρα.
2John 1:10. German: “And do not bid him welcome;” Alford: “Do not bid him good speed:” Lillie: “neither bid him hail.” The introduction of the Divine name both in this verse and the next, is avoided by almost all the versions.—M.]
2John 1:11. A. B. Cod. Sin.: ὁλέγωνγάρ; G. K. ὁγὰρλέγων. The former reading is preferable because of the weight of authority by which it is supported, and also because of its singularity.
2John 1:11. A. B. G. Cod. Sin.: αὐτῷ; αὐτὸν is probably an error; there is not sufficient reason for its omission.
2John 1:11. The Vulgate (ed. Sixtin.) concludes thus: Ecce, prædixi vobis, ne in diem domini condemnemini (ut in diem—non confundamini). The words are found in Greek in the Lectiones Velesian. (Tischendorf). They are interpolated.
Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full.THE CONCLUSION
2John 1:12, 13
12Having many things to write unto you, I would not write24 with paper and ink; but25 I trust to come26 unto you, and speak face to face,27 that our28 joy may be full. 13The children of thy elect sister greet thee.29 Amen.30
EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL
Breaking off. 2John 1:12.
2JOHN 1:12. Having many things to write to you.—His heart is full; he had only written very little of what he had in his heart. Hence it is unwarrantable to see, with Ebrard, in most of these verses, simply citations from the First Epistle.
I would not [write them] with paper and ink.—The Infinitive from the preceding clause: πολλὰ ἔχων ὑμῖν γράφειν should, of course, be supplied here. Διὰ χάρτου καὶ μέλανος denotes the written character of his communication; the more common phrase is: διὰ μέλανος—καὶ καλάου, 3 Jno. 13.—Ὁ χάρτης is the Egyptian papyrus, probably the so-called Augustan or Claudian, for letters; τὸ μέλαν, also 2 Cor. 3:3, ink made of soot, water and gum; ὁ κάλαμος, the writing reed, probably split (μεσοσχιδής, μεσότομος). Cf. Lücke on this passage. The Aorist οὐκ ἐβουλήθην, from the standpoint of the readers on receiving the Epistle, because he wished to communicate it personally, orally.
But I hope to come to you and to speak [say it] mouth to mouth.—The antithesis of γράφειν διὰ χάρτου καὶ μέλανος is πρὸς ὑμᾶς γενέσθαι καὶ στόμα πρὸς στόμα λαλῆσαι; because he hopes for the latter, he has broken off the former; but this does not import that he did reserve part of the doctrine necessary to salvation for oral tradition (Barth. Petrus); for he surely spoke only what he had written in the first Epistle. On στόμα πρὸς στόμα λαλῆσαι see Jno. 6:21, 25; Acts 20:16; 21:17; 25:15; 1 Cor. 16:10; Jno. 10:35; Acts 10:13=to turn towards a person or place. On στόμα πρὸς στόμα λαλῆσαι, cf. 1 Cor. 13:12; Xenoph. Mem. II., 6, 32; and פֶּח אֶל־פֶּה, Numb. 12:8.
That our joy may be fulfilled [filled full].—The aim (ἵνα) is to fill up his own and the readers’ joy, and then that of the hearers. Cf. notes on 1 Jno. 1:4. The object of joy is not the personal presence of the Apostle (Bengel), but the full communication of the truth in oral intercourse.
The greetings, 2John 1:13.
2JOHN 1:13. There greet thee the children of thy sister, the elect one.—To explain τῆς ἀδελφῆς of a Church, and τέκνα of church-members is not warranted by any thing found here; the reason why the sister herself does not send greetings, may be death, or absence, but “can neither be ascertained, nor is it a proper question” (Düsterdieck versus Huther). Bengel: “Suavissima communitas! Comitas apostoli, minorum verbis salutem nunciantis.”
HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL
STARKE:—Both what the Apostles wrote and what they spoke is the word of God, and we do well to bear this in mind.—A true reader is he, who not satisfied with the written Epistle or the printer’s work on paper, suffers the Holy Spirit to write in his heart and thus becomes himself an Epistle of the living God.—It is a blessing of God if we have the opportunity given to us of conferring with friends on matters of importance and of enjoying the benefit of their counsel.—The children of the world imagine that the life of the godly consists in nothing but dejected looks and constant sorrowing; but here applies that saying: as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing.—He is the servant of his belly, but not the servant of Christ, who seeks in his office other joy than the salvation of his hearers.—It is and ever will be a beautiful custom to interchange cordial greetings with friends in Epistles and in other ways, and thus to desire for them all temporal and spiritual prosperity.—Happy are those sisters and brothers who besides being united by the ties of nature, are also firmly united by the tie of Divine grace. For it is eternal grace only, which works alliances of eternal friendship.
HEUBNER:—With us it is often the opposite; we have much to write and little to speak, when we do meet.—When those who are one in faith, meet and converse together of the grace of God, of which they have made experience, they have a foretaste of heavenly joy.
2John 1:12. [German omits “write” supplied in E. V.—M.]
2John 1:12. ἀλλα ἐλπίζω is the reading of the best and of most Codices, also of Cod. Sin. A. al. read ἐλπίζωγάρ.
2John 1:12. πρὸς ὑμᾶς γενέσθαι is the most authentic reading; ἐλθεῖν lect. rec. supported by G. K.; Coptic version has ἰδεῖν ὑμᾶς according to 3 Jno. 14.
2John 1:12. [German: “mouth to mouth;” Alford, Lillie.—M.]
2John 1:12. Cod. Sin. G. K.: Χαρὰ ἡμῶν; A. B. ὑμῶν. The former, on account of 1 Jno. 1:4 is lectio difficilior.
2John 1:13. [German: “There greet thee the children of thy sister, the elect one.” Alford; “There greet thee the children of thine elect sister.”—M.]
2John 1:13. Ἀμὴν, at the conclusion, is wanting. Cod. Sin. A.B.; Ἰωάννουβ́. Others add ἐπιστολὴ, others τοῦ θεολόγου, and still others καθολική.