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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

    ~At the end of the day, the Cross we bear... is small!~

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


    ~"It is one thing to speak God's name in a message but another to speak of God's standards in a message. The name of God is not removed from many a message today but the standards of God... ARE removed."~

    ~"Psalm 106:23 Therefore He said that He would destroy them, Had not Moses His chosen one stood before Him in the breach, To turn away His wrath, lest He destroy them."...
    So don't say that God never meant to destroy the Hebrews, to do so, makes God a liar.~



  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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