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Thread: 2 John 1:1 The elder unto the elect lady and her children

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    2 John 1:1 The elder unto the elect lady and her children

    I thought with the current discussion about how to approach the Scripture by first determining who was writing and to whom were they writing to, etc.; that maybe we could discuss the second epistle of John.

    2 John (as Trump would say ) is a short epistle. We'll keep this simple.

    2 John 1:1-2 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; For the truth's sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever.

    First, the salutation does not identify the writer as the Apostle John, but rather "The elder". I think we can all agree that we can let the Canon stand and trust that this epistle is penned by John the Gospel writer. It isn't a slam dunk though and requires, as I have pointed out in other posts, a little bit of trust in the tradition of the early Church. If you want to jump in on this point, it is an interesting topic.

    Second, the letter is addressed to "the elect lady" and "her children".

    Verse 13, the conclusion, makes another reference for clues:

    13 The children of thy elect sister greet thee. Amen.

    What is apparent is that John was residing in proximity to the children of "thy elect sister", as they send their greetings to "the elect lady".

    For me, I have always read the epistle as addressed to a church, perhaps the Church in Jerusalem, and the children as those of that church. The Elect Sister as yet a second church, most likely Ephesus where John presumably was when he wrote the epistle.

    The epistle, while short, offers valuable content to any individual or church. So ultimately, we don't have to crack the case to apply the verses.

    However, there are many who believe the epistle is addressed to a particular woman, and that the name of that woman is given in the salutation. Additionally, there are many who believe the epistle is addressed to a particular woman while addressing her anonymously. In both these cases, the verse 13 reference then would mean the sister of the one addressed in verse 1, but referencing only the children which would be the elect lady's nieces and nephews (the elect sister either having passed on or not present for some reason). And there is the one I already offered, there are many who believe the epistle is addressed to a church, making a metaphorical reference to the church as "the elect lady" and the church where John resided as "thy elect sister".

    So how do you read the epistle? Does it matter about knowing exactly who was referenced in order to understand and apply the content as worthy of the Canon of the New Testament?

    Blessings,
    Watchinginawe

    I Samuel 3:10 And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.

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    Re: 2 John 1:1 The elder unto the elect lady and her children

    I know this: That many pastors use this book to justify woman preachers.

    I have always thought of the "elect lady" and "elect sister" to represent female teachers in a house bible study or house church. I have never seen an issue of woman teachers, but Paul certainly seemed to lean away from this idea: I will post examples that make me think this:

    1 Cor 14:34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law.

    1 Timothy 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

    1 Timothy 3:12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

    Titus 1:6 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. 7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; 8 But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; 9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.


    John however seems to expand away from this male oriented idea following this principle, (Which Paul Taught interestingly enough...)

    Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

    I wonder if Paul may have been unintentionally biased against Woman because of events in his own marriage or situations involving women... He did say some interesting things regarding wives:

    1 Cor 7:4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. 5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency. 6 But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment. 7 For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.


    Interesting subject, non-the-less..

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    Re: 2 John 1:1 The elder unto the elect lady and her children

    Quote Originally Posted by watchinginawe View Post
    I thought with the current discussion about how to approach the Scripture by first determining who was writing and to whom were they writing to, etc.; that maybe we could discuss the second epistle of John.

    2 John (as Trump would say ) is a short epistle. We'll keep this simple.

    2 John 1:1-2 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; For the truth's sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever.

    First, the salutation does not identify the writer as the Apostle John, but rather "The elder". I think we can all agree that we can let the Canon stand and trust that this epistle is penned by John the Gospel writer. It isn't a slam dunk though and requires, as I have pointed out in other posts, a little bit of trust in the tradition of the early Church. If you want to jump in on this point, it is an interesting topic.

    Second, the letter is addressed to "the elect lady" and "her children".

    Verse 13, the conclusion, makes another reference for clues:

    13 The children of thy elect sister greet thee. Amen.

    What is apparent is that John was residing in proximity to the children of "thy elect sister", as they send their greetings to "the elect lady".

    For me, I have always read the epistle as addressed to a church, perhaps the Church in Jerusalem, and the children as those of that church. The Elect Sister as yet a second church, most likely Ephesus where John presumably was when he wrote the epistle.

    The epistle, while short, offers valuable content to any individual or church. So ultimately, we don't have to crack the case to apply the verses.

    However, there are many who believe the epistle is addressed to a particular woman, and that the name of that woman is given in the salutation. Additionally, there are many who believe the epistle is addressed to a particular woman while addressing her anonymously. In both these cases, the verse 13 reference then would mean the sister of the one addressed in verse 1, but referencing only the children which would be the elect lady's nieces and nephews (the elect sister either having passed on or not present for some reason). And there is the one I already offered, there are many who believe the epistle is addressed to a church, making a metaphorical reference to the church as "the elect lady" and the church where John resided as "thy elect sister".

    So how do you read the epistle? Does it matter about knowing exactly who was referenced in order to understand and apply the content as worthy of the Canon of the New Testament?

    Blessings,
    As you say, there are various schools of thought. We might ask ourselves some questions which may make the choice easier. I refer to 2nd Peter 1:20, "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation." That is, if any matter in scripture is obscure, we may only turn to scripture to shed light on it. So I ask myself, if the Church is meant,
    • Does the Church have a sister? This is problematic because, if so, then there is another entity, separate from the Church, that exists in another place besides the one of writing, and which has God as her Father (the same Father as the Church)
    • Does the Church have her children? The Church is made up of "Children of God", and the Church has a Mother - New Jerusalem (Gal.4:26). Paul, an individual, likens his converts to his children in 1st Corinthians 4:15 but says in the same verse that it was actually the "gospel" that brought forth the new birth. But does the term or concept ever arise in the whole new Testament that the Church is a mother?

    These two should be enough to explain the address of 2nd John. It must be an individual sister in the Lord. There is some more evidence, though not conclusive in itself:
    1. The word for "Lady" in the Greek is NEVER used by the Bible for the Church
    2. The word for "Lady" in the Greek is also a common proper name "Cyria"
    3. That John does not actually name her directly could be appropriate since she might have been personally subjected to speculation when the whole Church read the letter.

    What think ye of the evidence?

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    Re: 2 John 1:1 The elder unto the elect lady and her children

    I think the main thrust of the discussion should be this: Does an epistle, accepted as canon, addressed to any certain person or group have relevance to the rest of the body of Christ?

    The answer should be a resounding YES!.

    Let's examine this portion of the letter:

    2 Jn 6-11
    And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it. For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.


    Is there anyone who would actually claim that this only applies to the elect lady and her children? I certainly hope not for such a position would indicate that one is devoid of any scriptural understanding and in dire need of accountability to spiritual authority and council.

    Blessings
    2 Ti 2:14 Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.

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    Re: 2 John 1:1 The elder unto the elect lady and her children

    Quote Originally Posted by watchinginawe View Post
    I thought with the current discussion about how to approach the Scripture by first determining who was writing and to whom were they writing to, etc.; that maybe we could discuss the second epistle of John.

    2 John (as Trump would say ) is a short epistle. We'll keep this simple.

    2 John 1:1-2 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; For the truth's sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever.

    First, the salutation does not identify the writer as the Apostle John, but rather "The elder". I think we can all agree that we can let the Canon stand and trust that this epistle is penned by John the Gospel writer. It isn't a slam dunk though and requires, as I have pointed out in other posts, a little bit of trust in the tradition of the early Church. If you want to jump in on this point, it is an interesting topic.

    Second, the letter is addressed to "the elect lady" and "her children".

    Verse 13, the conclusion, makes another reference for clues:

    13 The children of thy elect sister greet thee. Amen.

    What is apparent is that John was residing in proximity to the children of "thy elect sister", as they send their greetings to "the elect lady".

    For me, I have always read the epistle as addressed to a church, perhaps the Church in Jerusalem, and the children as those of that church. The Elect Sister as yet a second church, most likely Ephesus where John presumably was when he wrote the epistle.

    The epistle, while short, offers valuable content to any individual or church. So ultimately, we don't have to crack the case to apply the verses.

    However, there are many who believe the epistle is addressed to a particular woman, and that the name of that woman is given in the salutation. Additionally, there are many who believe the epistle is addressed to a particular woman while addressing her anonymously. In both these cases, the verse 13 reference then would mean the sister of the one addressed in verse 1, but referencing only the children which would be the elect lady's nieces and nephews (the elect sister either having passed on or not present for some reason). And there is the one I already offered, there are many who believe the epistle is addressed to a church, making a metaphorical reference to the church as "the elect lady" and the church where John resided as "thy elect sister".

    So how do you read the epistle? Does it matter about knowing exactly who was referenced in order to understand and apply the content as worthy of the Canon of the New Testament?

    Blessings,
    I have not investigated this thoroughly myself, but my teacher and mentor believes that Second John is the cover letter to First John. Note the contrast between "Elect Lady" and "The Old One" in the salutation, and also note the contrast between "The Elect Lady" and "her children". I believe the contrast between the ages of those in the salutation is a hint at their respective ages in the faith. That is, "The Old One" and "The Elect Lady" are typical of those people who first heard the Gospel and believed, while her "children" are second generation believers who heard and believed the gospel. These aren't literally her physical children, but those she has led to the Lord herself.

    The same contrast is found in First John, where he speaks about and compares "The Fathers" and "the Young Men." The Fathers would be those men who have first heard the Gospel and believed it. The young men, would be second generation believers who came to belief after the Fathers and perhaps the fathers were instrumental in bringing these young men to Christ.

    Note the comparison in First John, between the Fathers who "know that which has been from the beginning", and the young men who "have overcome the evil one." John makes this contrast in the context of an "anti-Jesus" campaign being waged among the churches by "deceivers who will not acknowledge Jesus to be the Messiah because he came in the flesh." These men seem to be targeting young believers, attempting to raise doubt about the teaching of John and the other "fathers" who "know that which has been from the beginning", in other words: the original teaching coming from those who were there to witness what Jesus said and how he lived his life while on earth.

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    Re: 2 John 1:1 The elder unto the elect lady and her children

    Quote Originally Posted by watchinginawe View Post
    I thought with the current discussion about how to approach the Scripture by first determining who was writing and to whom were they writing to, etc.; that maybe we could discuss the second epistle of John.

    2 John (as Trump would say ) is a short epistle. We'll keep this simple.

    2 John 1:1-2 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; For the truth's sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever.

    First, the salutation does not identify the writer as the Apostle John, but rather "The elder". I think we can all agree that we can let the Canon stand and trust that this epistle is penned by John the Gospel writer. It isn't a slam dunk though and requires, as I have pointed out in other posts, a little bit of trust in the tradition of the early Church. If you want to jump in on this point, it is an interesting topic.

    Second, the letter is addressed to "the elect lady" and "her children".

    Verse 13, the conclusion, makes another reference for clues:

    13 The children of thy elect sister greet thee. Amen.

    What is apparent is that John was residing in proximity to the children of "thy elect sister", as they send their greetings to "the elect lady".

    For me, I have always read the epistle as addressed to a church, perhaps the Church in Jerusalem, and the children as those of that church. The Elect Sister as yet a second church, most likely Ephesus where John presumably was when he wrote the epistle.

    The epistle, while short, offers valuable content to any individual or church. So ultimately, we don't have to crack the case to apply the verses.

    However, there are many who believe the epistle is addressed to a particular woman, and that the name of that woman is given in the salutation. Additionally, there are many who believe the epistle is addressed to a particular woman while addressing her anonymously. In both these cases, the verse 13 reference then would mean the sister of the one addressed in verse 1, but referencing only the children which would be the elect lady's nieces and nephews (the elect sister either having passed on or not present for some reason). And there is the one I already offered, there are many who believe the epistle is addressed to a church, making a metaphorical reference to the church as "the elect lady" and the church where John resided as "thy elect sister".

    So how do you read the epistle? Does it matter about knowing exactly who was referenced in order to understand and apply the content as worthy of the Canon of the New Testament?

    Blessings,
    My first thought of evidence comes in verse 5-6:

    5*And now I plead with you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning: that we love one another. 6*This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.

    I can't see this part of John's lesson being addressed to "a" person but instead, persons...or better put, those who are brothers and sisters together in Christ (the Body of Christ). Also, this would reveal/illuminate that "elect sister" is another church or all/any church in the area as the lesson is passed around in the Body of Christ. Also, the use of "children" can/could mean this: a "parent" church or one that is established, sent out an equipped pastor (elder) to shepherd a smaller group of Christians, or a home group that is getting larger and in receiving this lesson, they are referred to as children because they are just starting to "be" a church (small c).

    As churches pop up over the years, until present and even into the future, this lesson is addressed to all who have been, are and will be... members of the Body.

    The truth "in us" is Christ and this identifies who are our brothers and sisters (others who have "the truth" in them). In verse 2, John has the term "abides" and this reveals action on our part (per John's lesson from the Gospel of John, chapter 15), or better put, faith. Faith which when shared, in loving of others (revealed in this lesson)... because to be honest, it TAKES faith to "love" some people in our lives or to love strangers. John's lesson contains the sharing of faith, which is also, expressing love to others.

    This portion of John's lesson is powerful, all about faithful loving of God (obedience) and due to God, in faith... loving others.

    And for a Christian, what is the most natural way to show this love and faith to others?
    Slug1--out

    ~Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,~

    ~Honestly, the pain of persecution lets you KNOW you are still alive... IN Christ!~

    ~Colossians 1:28 Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.~


    ~"In the turmoil of any chaos, all it takes is that whisper that is heard like thunder over all the noise and the chaos seems to go away, focus returns and we are comforted in knowing that God has listened to our cry for help."~


  7. #7

    Re: 2 John 1:1 The elder unto the elect lady and her children

    It is always interesting this epistle is quoted by synergists, particularly since they like the Preterit letters are expressly written to the elect believing world and not all the world soever. It is likewise crucial to compare this with the other epistles of John as well as his gospel. A study of the 19 or so other mentions of [I]elect[I] in the Authorized Version is helpful.

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    Re: 2 John 1:1 The elder unto the elect lady and her children

    Quote Originally Posted by Vadouis View Post
    It is always interesting this epistle is quoted by synergists, particularly since they like the Preterit letters are expressly written to the elect believing world and not all the world soever. It is likewise crucial to compare this with the other epistles of John as well as his gospel. A study of the 19 or so other mentions of [I]elect[I] in the Authorized Version is helpful.
    Welcome to Bibleforums. If you want to start a thread regarding "the Elect", you have all the necessary privileges to do that. I'm not sure why your opening post would be so divisive, separating yourself apparently from "synergists". I guess at the proper time and place, I'll give you a go on that, but that isn't what this thread is really about.
    Watchinginawe

    I Samuel 3:10 And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.

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    Re: 2 John 1:1 The elder unto the elect lady and her children

    Quote Originally Posted by Soldier_of_Faith View Post
    I know this: That many pastors use this book to justify woman preachers.

    I have always thought of the "elect lady" and "elect sister" to represent female teachers in a house bible study or house church. I have never seen an issue of woman teachers, but Paul certainly seemed to lean away from this idea: I will post examples that make me think this:
    I have thought about this some, and can honestly say that my view regarding the Church being addressed instead of a particular individual is not based in opposition or even in consideration of the Epistle somehow conferring leadership of the Church also upon women. I like your Galatians 3:28 reference though.

    Assuming that I believed that the "elect lady" and "elect sister" were particular female persons, I am not sure how to get to where they would necessarily be addressed as female teachers. This probably has to do with my view of the Epistle being generally to the Church though, as I don't see a specific instruction to a leader or teacher. For example, at the center of the matter:

    2 John 1:5-6 And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.


    I don't see the above as John beseeching or correcting an individual, but if "lady" in the above is the personal name of the individual John is writing to, the exhortation becomes much more correcting, as if there is a controversy between the two (John and "lady"), and that John says perhaps that they should drop the matter and that "we love one another". Then John goes on to tell her to walk after the commandments. So then we see the letter more about correcting error that John is aware of instead of a general letter of encouragement and warning against false teachers.
    Watchinginawe

    I Samuel 3:10 And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.

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    Re: 2 John 1:1 The elder unto the elect lady and her children

    Quote Originally Posted by Walls View Post
    As you say, there are various schools of thought. We might ask ourselves some questions which may make the choice easier. I refer to 2nd Peter 1:20, "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation." That is, if any matter in scripture is obscure, we may only turn to scripture to shed light on it. So I ask myself, if the Church is meant,
    • Does the Church have a sister? This is problematic because, if so, then there is another entity, separate from the Church, that exists in another place besides the one of writing, and which has God as her Father (the same Father as the Church)
    This is not a good objection in my opinion. First, they (the elect lady and the elect sister) are both "elect", so we are talking about "one" Church, but perhaps two churches or distinct congregations.

    We know in Revelation that John is instructed to write "to the seven churches which are in Asia", all which are referenced in separate geographical "places". These weren't separate "entities" as regards "the Church", so there certainly would be no problem with the "elect sister" being a related church under God, as children and siblings. The New Testament is replete with metaphors used in this manner and hardly an objection could be made that "sister" implies a separate "Church" entity that violates the thought of the Church being one universal entity in Christ. At least IMO.

    Quote Originally Posted by Walls
    • Does the Church have her children? The Church is made up of "Children of God", and the Church has a Mother - New Jerusalem (Gal.4:26). Paul, an individual, likens his converts to his children in 1st Corinthians 4:15 but says in the same verse that it was actually the "gospel" that brought forth the new birth. But does the term or concept ever arise in the whole new Testament that the Church is a mother?

    These two should be enough to explain the address of 2nd John.
    If "thy elect lady" refers to a church, then surely there will be children of God present. As you acknowledge, the Church is made up of "Children of God". Therefore, John's reference would be regarding the Children of God associated with that particular church.

    Ask yourself this. Are there references in the New Testament to a specific church's (one among many) "works"? Or "patience"? Etc? We see this also from John in the Revelation:

    Revelation 2:1-3 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.

    Thy works, thy labour, and thy patience. Thou canst bear, thou hast tried, hast found, hast borne, hast patience. These references are specifically to the church of Ephesus, but there is a personification of the church apparent.

    John speaks of and personifies the "elect lady's" children in the same way:

    2 John 1:4 I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father.

    Those children of God of the "elect lady" (the church he was writing to), "thy children", who were found to be "walking in truth" caused John to rejoice greatly.

    Also, "children" carries a significant meaning in all of John's Epistles, but always represents those who are "children of God":

    1 John 2: My little children, these things write I unto you...

    And in the third epistle, John refers to Gaius as one of his children:

    3 John 1:3-4 For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

    Quote Originally Posted by Walls
    It must be an individual sister in the Lord. There is some more evidence, though not conclusive in itself:
    1. The word for "Lady" in the Greek is NEVER used by the Bible for the Church
    2. The word for "Lady" in the Greek is also a common proper name "Cyria"
    3. That John does not actually name her directly could be appropriate since she might have been personally subjected to speculation when the whole Church read the letter.

    What think ye of the evidence?
    Comparing 2 John to 3 John seems to me to show the second epistle to be a corporate epistle and the third epistle to be a personal letter. I am not dogmatic about it though.

    I would mention that the Church is mentioned in the feminine by Paul:

    2 Corinthians 11:2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

    While written to the Corinthian church, and while Paul writes possessively of them, we know that we are all likewise espoused to one "husband". Again, the TYPE of metaphor is not scarce in the New Testament, however, this is a singular reference in the New Testament as the church being an espoused chaste virgin to Christ.

    Because of it's sole reference, we wouldn't say "it can't mean this or it can't mean that" based solely on the fact that the use is singular and " never used in the Bible for the Church".

    Chaste virgin = elect lady? I don't think that is a large stretch of kind.

    But I think you made some good points to interact with.
    Watchinginawe

    I Samuel 3:10 And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.

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    Re: 2 John 1:1 The elder unto the elect lady and her children

    Quote Originally Posted by shepherdsword View Post
    I think the main thrust of the discussion should be this: Does an epistle, accepted as canon, addressed to any certain person or group have relevance to the rest of the body of Christ?

    The answer should be a resounding YES!.

    Let's examine this portion of the letter:

    2 Jn 6-11
    And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it. For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.


    Is there anyone who would actually claim that this only applies to the elect lady and her children? I certainly hope not for such a position would indicate that one is devoid of any scriptural understanding and in dire need of accountability to spiritual authority and council.

    Blessings
    While it is interesting to investigate and ponder to whom John wrote this epistle too, I agree that the payload is easily applied to the reader of the New Testament in this day. I could get examples where this isn't true, but it certainly holds here in my opinion.

    The deceivers confess that Jesus Christ has not come in the flesh. John refers to "the doctrine of Christ", which surely includes what he mentions about those that say Christ has not come, or has not come in the flesh. What else does John refer to here? We would be insufficiently informed if that is all the New Testament or John had to say regarding "the doctrine of Christ". We know that it also excludes many errors in Christology like Jesus not being entirely human in form, or Jesus not being God in person, etc.

    John certainly makes this kind of error regarding the "doctrine of Christ" of extreme importance regarding who and how we entreat those who claim to represent the "truth".

    None of that teaching is subject to our understanding of whether the epistle was a personal letter or a corporate letter, we can apply this to ourselves today.
    Watchinginawe

    I Samuel 3:10 And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.

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    Re: 2 John 1:1 The elder unto the elect lady and her children

    Quote Originally Posted by CadyandZoe View Post
    I have not investigated this thoroughly myself, but my teacher and mentor believes that Second John is the cover letter to First John. Note the contrast between "Elect Lady" and "The Old One" in the salutation, and also note the contrast between "The Elect Lady" and "her children". I believe the contrast between the ages of those in the salutation is a hint at their respective ages in the faith. That is, "The Old One" and "The Elect Lady" are typical of those people who first heard the Gospel and believed, while her "children" are second generation believers who heard and believed the gospel. These aren't literally her physical children, but those she has led to the Lord herself.
    In somewhat the same kind of idea, some see the salutation from John, the last of the Apostles, to the Church at Jerusalem; i.e. where the Church began and the respective ages in the faith becomes much like you state. The Elect Sister then would be the Church at Ephesus where John presumably resided. Of course, the date of when the epistle was written might affect that view also.

    Quote Originally Posted by CadyandZoe
    The same contrast is found in First John, where he speaks about and compares "The Fathers" and "the Young Men." The Fathers would be those men who have first heard the Gospel and believed it. The young men, would be second generation believers who came to belief after the Fathers and perhaps the fathers were instrumental in bringing these young men to Christ.

    Note the comparison in First John, between the Fathers who "know that which has been from the beginning", and the young men who "have overcome the evil one." John makes this contrast in the context of an "anti-Jesus" campaign being waged among the churches by "deceivers who will not acknowledge Jesus to be the Messiah because he came in the flesh." These men seem to be targeting young believers, attempting to raise doubt about the teaching of John and the other "fathers" who "know that which has been from the beginning", in other words: the original teaching coming from those who were there to witness what Jesus said and how he lived his life while on earth.
    The second epistle serving as a cover letter would seem to work best if addressed corporately. I'm not sure of the cover letter idea though I can see why it might be proffered given that there is no salutation nor final greeting and words in 1 John. So that is an interesting idea. But surely 1 John is entirely a corporate communication and doesn't fit if 2 John is addressed to an individual. It makes more sense if addressed corporately. However, I doubt that our understanding is compromised looking at it in either context.
    Watchinginawe

    I Samuel 3:10 And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.

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    Re: 2 John 1:1 The elder unto the elect lady and her children

    Quote Originally Posted by Slug1 View Post
    My first thought of evidence comes in verse 5-6:

    5*And now I plead with you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning: that we love one another. 6*This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.

    I can't see this part of John's lesson being addressed to "a" person but instead, persons...or better put, those who are brothers and sisters together in Christ (the Body of Christ). Also, this would reveal/illuminate that "elect sister" is another church or all/any church in the area as the lesson is passed around in the Body of Christ. Also, the use of "children" can/could mean this: a "parent" church or one that is established, sent out an equipped pastor (elder) to shepherd a smaller group of Christians, or a home group that is getting larger and in receiving this lesson, they are referred to as children because they are just starting to "be" a church (small c).

    As churches pop up over the years, until present and even into the future, this lesson is addressed to all who have been, are and will be... members of the Body.

    The truth "in us" is Christ and this identifies who are our brothers and sisters (others who have "the truth" in them). In verse 2, John has the term "abides" and this reveals action on our part (per John's lesson from the Gospel of John, chapter 15), or better put, faith. Faith which when shared, in loving of others (revealed in this lesson)... because to be honest, it TAKES faith to "love" some people in our lives or to love strangers. John's lesson contains the sharing of faith, which is also, expressing love to others.

    This portion of John's lesson is powerful, all about faithful loving of God (obedience) and due to God, in faith... loving others.

    And for a Christian, what is the most natural way to show this love and faith to others?
    If one first reads the epistle through, then the context, at least to me, appears as you say. You might start with wondering who the "elect lady" is, and her children, but as you read on down it becomes apparent to the reader that it is us who should walk in truth and who should (have) receive(d) the commandment of love.

    I always like to point out though that when you read this sort of thing, it should be apparent that there is an aspect of instruction in this or it needn't be offered as instruction. Thus, we can read, apply, and adjust our course as we mature in understanding and knowledge of Christ and in entreating the abiding Holy Spirit.
    Watchinginawe

    I Samuel 3:10 And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.

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    Re: 2 John 1:1 The elder unto the elect lady and her children

    Quote Originally Posted by watchinginawe View Post
    I always like to point out though that when you read this sort of thing, it should be apparent that there is an aspect of instruction in this or it needn't be offered as instruction. Thus, we can read, apply, and adjust our course as we mature in understanding and knowledge of Christ and in entreating the abiding Holy Spirit.
    Thus why we understand this scripture as a "lesson" to all who are in Christ. The scripture "speaks" change, into the life of one who will walk in "truth." If change is not a product (in this case we can say "to love" when one could not love), then the scriptures are not a lesson, but just... advice.

    There is a difference in that a Christian "will or even must" walk in love (result of heeding the lesson found in the scriptures) compared to "should" walk in love (a result of thinking there is no lesson in the scriptures and taking the verses as advice only).
    Slug1--out

    ~Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,~

    ~Honestly, the pain of persecution lets you KNOW you are still alive... IN Christ!~

    ~Colossians 1:28 Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.~


    ~"In the turmoil of any chaos, all it takes is that whisper that is heard like thunder over all the noise and the chaos seems to go away, focus returns and we are comforted in knowing that God has listened to our cry for help."~


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    Re: 2 John 1:1 The elder unto the elect lady and her children

    Quote Originally Posted by watchinginawe View Post
    In somewhat the same kind of idea, some see the salutation from John, the last of the Apostles, to the Church at Jerusalem; i.e. where the Church began and the respective ages in the faith becomes much like you state. The Elect Sister then would be the Church at Ephesus where John presumably resided. Of course, the date of when the epistle was written might affect that view also.



    The second epistle serving as a cover letter would seem to work best if addressed corporately. I'm not sure of the cover letter idea though I can see why it might be proffered given that there is no salutation nor final greeting and words in 1 John. So that is an interesting idea. But surely 1 John is entirely a corporate communication and doesn't fit if 2 John is addressed to an individual. It makes more sense if addressed corporately. However, I doubt that our understanding is compromised looking at it in either context.
    The justification for two or three documents is the natural fact that letter writers often want to say something to the recipient of the letter, that they didn't intend for the larger audience. For instance, consider this verse from 2John,

    10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; 11 for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.

    Apparently the Chosen Lady had the means and the resources to hold church in her house. And apparently it was her habit to invite guest speakers to bring a message from the Apostles. And apparently there were traveling teachers who stayed at her house when they came to town. And John exhorts her to be discriminating with regard to those she might give lodging and other support. This advise was meant for her personally as one who had the means to give lodging to itinerant preachers.

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