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2 John 1:4-5

Context

1:4 I rejoiced greatly because I have found some 1  of your children living according to the truth, 2  just as the Father commanded us. 3 

Warning Against False Teachers

1:5 But now 4  I ask you, lady (not as if I were 5  writing a new commandment 6  to you, but the one 7  we have had from the beginning), 8  that 9  we love one another.

1 tn “Some” is not in the Greek text, but is supplied because the prepositional phrase beginning with ἐκ (ek) has partitive force. The partitive force of the prepositional phrase here has been taken by some interpreters to mean that the author has found some of the elect lady’s children who are living according to the truth and some who are not. This is grammatically possible, but the author has merely stated that he knows of some Christians in the church addressed who are “walking in the truth.” He does not know for certain that all of them are, and concern over this is probably part of the motivation for writing the letter.

2 sn Living according to the truth (Grk “walking in [the] truth”). The use of the Greek verb περιπατέω (peripatew) to refer to conduct or lifestyle is common in the NT (see 1 John 1:6, 3 John 3-4, as well as numerous times in Paul. Here the phrase refers to conduct that results when a person has “truth” residing within, and possibly alludes to the indwelling Spirit of Truth (see 2 John 2). In the specific context of 2 John the phrase refers to true Christians who are holding fast to an apostolic Christology in the face of the secessionist opponents’ challenge to orthodoxy.

3 tn Grk “just as we received commandment from the Father.” The idiom “we received commandment from the Father” means the Father gave (a) commandment to them (the author plus the recipients).

4 tn The introductory καὶ νῦν (kai nun) has some adversative (contrastive) force: The addressees are already “living according to the truth” (v. 4) but in the face of the threat posed by the opponents, the author has to stress obedience all the more.

5 tn The words “if I were” are not in the Greek text, but are supplied for clarity in English.

6 sn An allusion to John 13:34-35, 1 John 2:7-8.

7 tn “The one” is not in the Greek text. It is supplied for clarity in English.

8 sn See 1 John 2:7.

9 tn The ἵνα (Jina) clause indicates content.



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