Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on 2 John 1:9-13

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2 John 1:9-10

See WCF 10.4.

Runs ahead - 2 John 1:9

goes on ahead. The teaching of John's opponents may have offered a "further and deeper spirituality" than John's gospel. But John's imagery warns readers they should not leave behind the gospel they heard from eyewitnesses in the beginning. John's point here is to urge his readers to resist false teaching that separates knowing God the Father from knowing his Son, Jesus Christ (see notes on 1 Jn. 5:12-13). On Father and Son, see note on Jn. 14:23. Both the Father and the Son indwell a Christian through the Holy Spirit.

False teachers - 2 John 1:10-11

See WCF 20.4. In these verses, John is telling his readers how they can practically deal with itinerant false teachers. In ancient culture, travelers depended on hospitality from family and friends. However, by accepting a person into their home, a host would be saying to the rest of the community that their guest was worthy of respect. John warns his readers not to host false teachers who are trying to disrupt and deceive Christian communities.

Do not receive false teachers - 2 John 1:10

do not receive. See BC 7. From the beginning, Christian missionaries have depended on the hospitality of others (see notes on Matt. 10:9-14 and 3 Jn 5-6). Some travelling philosophers would charge fees for their teaching, but Christians normally demonstrated practical support by providing food and lodging. However, John establishes a policy to turn away known false teachers.

Shares in his wicked work - 2 John 1:11

greets, participates. The Christian community should be known for welcoming strangers (see notes on Matt. 10:11-14; 1 Tim. 5:10; 1 Pet. 4:8-10; Rom. 12:13; Heb. 13:2), but not people who are known as false teachers. To do so, according to John is equivalent to partnering in their work. Moreover, the strength of this warning may also be because the word house could reference a church (see notes on Rom. 16:5; 1 Cor. 16:19; Col. 4:15).

Closing Remarks - 2 John 1:12-13

John ends his letter by talking about his strong desire to speak with his readers "face to face" in order to complete the joy of his fellowship with them.

Paper and ink - 2 John 1:12

paper and ink, face to face. Our idiom, face to face, is different in the Graeco-Roman world as the text reads, "mouth to mouth" (see note on Num. 12:8). The word paper is referring to papyrus. This papyrus was made from reeds providing an affordable writing surface. A pen would be made from a reed with a pointed end. Writers dipped this into ink, which was made from charcoal, vegetable gum, and water. This ending is very similar to the ending of 3 John, demonstrating the priority of in-person communication in the ancient world .

Chosen sister - 2 John 1:13

chosen sister. John uses the same metaphor from v. 1. This is the only place where this kind of description is used in the NT, but the family language most likely refers to the church (see note on v. 1). Here, two sister churches are sharing intimate family greetings.

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