13 Nov. 2 John 1:1-13

13 Nov. Why did John use pseudonyms in his Second Letter?

"From the elder
To the chosen lady and her children:
I love all of you in the truth, and all those who know the truth you love. We love you because of the truth that lives in us and will be with us for ever.
Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ, will be with us in truth and love."

"I was very happy to learn that some of your children are following the way of truth, as the Father commanded us. And now, dear lady, this is not a new command but is the same command we have had from the beginning."

"I ask you that we all love each other. And love means living the way God commanded us to live. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is this: live a life of love."

"Many false teachers are in the world now who do not confess that Jesus Christ came to earth as a human. Anyone who does not confess this is a false teacher and an enemy of Christ."

"Be careful yourselves that you do not lose everything you have worked for, but that you receive your full reward. Anyone who goes beyond Christ's teaching and does not continue to follow only his teaching does not have God. But whoever continues to follow the teaching of Christ has both the Father and the Son."

"If someone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not welcome or accept that person into your house. If you welcome such a person, you share in the evil work."

"I have many things to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to come to you and talk face to face so we can be full of joy."

"The children of your chosen sister greet you."

          (2 John 1:1-13)

 

 

Did you know that John's Second Letter (quoted here in its entirety) is the shortest book in the Bible with just thirteen verses?

And did you spot that John didn't use his own name or the names of the people he was writing to?

The letter was written by ‘the elder’ to ‘the chosen lady and her children’ (see 2 John 1:1). In a time of persecution when identifying people by their real names could have endangered lives, John used pseudonyms to refer to himself (‘the elder’) and the church (‘the chosen lady’) and its members (‘her children’) to whom he was writing.

The style and content have many similarities to John’s First Letter and to John’s Gospel (compare, for example, 2 John 1:5 with 1 John 2:7 & John 13:34-35, or 2 John 1:12 with 1 John 1:4, John 15:11 & John 16:24). It was probably written shortly after John’s First Letter – between c.86 and 88AD.

This brief letter was written to warn believers not to welcome false teachers into their homes. These false teachers – known today as ‘Gnostics’ – believed that Jesus was truly divine, but argued that he was not fully human.

John, the leader (or ‘elder’) of the church in Ephesus, starts his letter by sending greetings from the ‘mother church’ to his ‘children’ in one (or more) of the other churches in Asia Minor.

He urges the believers to follow Jesus’s command to “love one other” (2 John 1:5) (see 1 John 2:7, John 13:34-35 & Leviticus 19:18).

John warns the believers about false teachers “who do not confess that Jesus Christ came to earth as a human” (2 John 1:7). He tells them to be on their guard if these false teachers arrive at their doors. They shouldn’t welcome them into their homes in case they assist them in spreading false teachings.

John says he's planning to visit the believers shortly, and he concludes with a greeting from their ‘chosen sister’ – a reference to the ‘mother church’ in Ephesus. (2 John 1:12-13)

The photo shows the tomb of St John in the mother church of St John at Ephesus.

You can read more from John's letters @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/1…/the-2nd-letter-of-john/


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