- THE TITLE
The book gets its name from the fact that it is the second of three epistles by John.
- THE WRITER
A few ancient scholars maintained that II John was written by "John the presbyter," a contemporary of John the apostle. The argument is based on verse 1 where the writer assumes the title of "elder" or "presbyter." However, this fact does not prove that John the apostle did not write the epistle, for "elder" is a title by which Peter also designates himself (1 Pet 5:1). John used the title because he was an elder in a congregation, or because he was one advanced in year.
- THE ONE ADDRESSED
There is also a difference of opinion concerning the one addressed. Some think that "the elect lady" is a symbolical expression used by John to refer to a nation, a church or to the church in general. Many scholars believe that "the elect lady" was a Christian woman. References to her children imply that she was a mother, and because no mention is made of her husband, it is thought that she was a widow.
- TIME AND PLACE OF WRITING
II John was probably written from Ephesus about A.D. 90, shortly after the first epistle.
- PURPOSE AND CONTENTS
The evident purpose of the letter was to warn the addressee against error and false teachers. The letter shows the warm affection that true gospel preachers have toward those whom they serve. One writer says: "Of the thirteen verses in this epistle, eight are in substance found in the former letter." Characteristic words are love, truth, commandment and walking.
- EXERCISES FOR STUDENT ACTIVITY
- The word love occurs__________ times in II John.
- The word truth occurs__________ times in II John.
- The word commandment occurs __________ times in II John.
- The word walking occurs __________ times in II John.
- The author of II John refers to himself as "The ____________________."
- The addressee of II John is called "the elect __________."
- II John was probably written from the city of __________.
- Children of "the elect lady" were walking in __________.
- John admonished the elect lady "that we __________ one another."
- Walking after God's commandments is John's definition of __________.
- II John was probably written before I John T F
- The presbyter John is the same as John the apostle T F
- II John is addressed to a particular nation T F
- II John was probably written from the Isle of Patmos T F
- II John warns against false teachers T F
- "The elect lady" probably was a widow T F
- "The elect lady" probably lived in Rome T F
- II John contains no material found in I John T F
- Few deceivers had entered the world T F
- John wrote six New Testament books T F
- II John mentions "the elect lady's" husband T F
- John hoped to visit "the elect lady" T F
- Topics for further study
- List the characteristics of true discipleship given in the epistle.
- What Gnostic heresy is referred to in verse 7?
- Does verse 8 suggest degrees of eternal happiness?
- Harmonize verses 10 and 11 with I Tim 5:10 and Heb 13:2.