John the Elder writes to a local church leader and her "children" (that is, the local house church), encouraging them to continue to walk in the truth and love of God. He warns them to avoid false teachers or "deceivers" who deny that Jesus Christ has come fully in the flesh.
This letter reminds readers that theology matters to our "walk in the truth," our daily lives in faith. Especially important to any Christian's life is one's view of Jesus Christ.
Where Do I Find It?
The Second Letter of John is the twenty-fourth book in the New Testament. It is the second of the three "Johannine Letters," a collection of writings that share much in common with each other and with the Gospel of John.
Who Wrote It?
The "elder" who wrote this letter is often identified as John, the same person who probably wrote the Gospel of John (maybe in cooperation with other writers). This elder may or may not be the Apostle John, son of Zebedee.
When Was It Written?
The Second Letter of John comes from around 90 C.E. It was probably written before 1 John, but after the Gospel of John.
What's It About?
John the Elder opposes the false teachers who deny that Jesus came in the flesh, and he encourages a local church and its leader to continue to walk in the truth.
How Do I Read It?
Read this letter in its context, written to a local house church to keep its members from heresy. Recognize the importance that John the Elder puts on sound theology. The simple language conveys profound issues, and so we should read also for the deeper messages that continue to speak to us.
AUTHOR: Alan Padgett, Professor of Systematic Theology